When I work with private clients, we always start with a planning session.

We work out who we’re trying to sell to, and what the big “profit product” at the end of the funnel is.

Take this simple plan that I’m using as the basis for a mastermind group project.

There’s actually 3 funnels in there:

1) The lead generation funnel, where we turn cold traffic into email leads.

2) The sale generation funnel, where we turn warm email leads into sales.

3) The customer generation funnel, where the real profit lies, where we take our one-time buyers and turn them into repeat customers.

Everything has to lead to that big product, or we’ll be recruiting the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

That’s what “plan from the back” means.

Know where you’re headed at the end of the funnel.

So what about “Execute from the front”?

Well, we start to build the funnel from the customer-facing end.

We don’t build the whole thing, then unveil the entrance at the last minute.

We build the entrance, then if those people have to hang about in th lobby for a bit, so be it. We’re going to over-service those people anyway to make up for it.

That way, when we unveil our products, we have a list waiting.

We don’t turn on the ads full blast until we know our numbers, but we don’t hold back until everything is perfect either.

Whatever problem we’re solving with our product at the end of the funnel, has to be of interest to people coming into the lead generation funnel.

If you’re selling a diet plan at the end, you probably won’t do well with a workout plan on the front end.

There’s overlap between people who diet and people who work out, but generally there’s one solution that they’ll prefer.

You can nudge people into a new lane of the same road, but it’s really hard to get them to take a different road.

This is the biggest reasons that we see lists that are hard to turn into buyers from. When we look at how the list was built, it has nothing to do with what’s being sold.

Another example.

I spoke to another consultant recently who was getting a lot of traffic, building a big email list, but was getting almost no sales.

When I looked at his site, 90% of the traffic was coming from a page where they’d “lucked out” and got a lot of search traffic about YouTube ads.

They’d seen the traffic spike and quickly thrown up a quick PDF with some good YouTube ad examples, and the emails rolled in.

“OK, so what’s your YouTube product?” I asked.

“We don’t have one. We just wrote that article when YouTube ads weren’t being talked about and a couple of big sites linked to it.

Most of our services are about using copy to position their business.”

So much for strategy.

Where they were starting had nothing to do with where they wanted to get to.

Anyway, the story has a happy ending as another client of mine had a friend doing some good work with YouTube ads.

We did a quick set of follow-up emails pointing the traffic to his offer which makes them a few thousand dollars each year.

Now they focus much more on what people want today, who will want high end copy and branding services later on.

No surprises, they’ve started to make real sales from email at last!

Stephen Pratley
Copy & Conversion Consultant
The Conversion Co.


I’ll talk a bit about the lead magnet tomorrow. If you get this right, you can screw up design and copy and still do OK.

c/o The Conversion Co., 2a The High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
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