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How to Create a Sales Funnel With ConvertKit or Infusionsoft

You’re already doing a ton of work to build your email list.

From jumping on the blogging hamster wheel and establishing your expertise on webinars and podcasts to investing in paid advertising…

But if you haven’t quite figured out how to turn these new email subscribers into happy paying customers (without annoying them!), it might be because you have yet to learn how to create a sales funnel using The Login Optin™ Strategy.

We talked about this strategy in-depth a couple weeks ago, but in short, it’s a simple way to build your list and sell your courses, products, and services in a non-pushy way.

In fact, The Login Optin™ Strategy leverages the power available to users of tag-based CRMs to automate the entire process… from the free opt-in to selling your main paid products/courses.

When paired with a fully integrated tool like AccessAlly, you can create the perfect sequence. Keep reading to find out how.

Are Your Current Sales Funnels REALLY Designed For Conversions?

I mean…for real?

This is the first question to stop and ask yourself. All too often, what we might think is a great sales sequence is anything but that.

Conventionally, a sales funnel is meant to take your website visitor from their current state to a point where they’re ready and willing to purchase your product.

It’s easy to throw together a sequence that advertises your product and just call it a “sales funnel.”

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth the time you spent on it.

In fact, if you’re not designing your sales funnels to deliver a personal, intimate experience for your visitors, you’re doing it wrong.

Unfortunately, a sales funnel is a very general concept that doesn’t automatically come with details.

But without details, how can you be sure that you’re doing it “right”?

It All Begins With A Free Course…

Most sales funnels begin with a free lead magnet: a single, static piece of content as a reward for your new opt-ins. (For this purpose, e-books, videos, and other types of free downloads are the typical fare.)

But, if the goal is to sell your own online courses… it only makes sense to offer a free course as your primary opt-in reward or lead magnet.

This is called a Login Optin™ because you’re giving people access to your free course, which happens to reside inside your membership site.

For it to work, your free course must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a valuable solution to a common problem faced by your ideal clients (if you prove to your subscribers that you really “get” them, they’ll quickly trust you and your brand)
  • Include phenomenal content and resources for optimal results (if they experience success from this course, you can bet they’ll start knocking on your door for more!)
  • Have the same high-quality feel that a paid course would have (because people can see through “cheap.”)
  • Be focused on a more general topic that appeals to a wide range of your ideal clients, since you’ll be using it to attract the majority of your new email subscribers.

In other words: the quality and content of your free course will make or break the rest of your automated sequence. The more you invest in it now, the better the payoff will be.

Where to put your free course:

You’ll want to house this free course in the same membership site as the rest of your online courses or other programs. We’ve done this with our free 30 Day List Building Challenge.

We’ll talk about why it’s important in a minute…

Now, Start Inviting Your Subscribers With Warmth and Purpose

Once your amazing free course is designed, created, and totally ready to go, it’s time to start sending some serious traffic to your opt-in page.

For this, you might choose to use paid ads, podcast interviews, webinars, blog articles – or a combination of it all. The most important thing is to funnel as many of your ideal clients to your new offer as possible using your membership marketing funnel.

Think of this as the very first stage of your client journey – or the “top of the funnel,” as marketers like to call it.

How to Create A Sales Funnel Powered by Your CRM’s Automation

The moment anyone opts in to your free course, the magic of your tag-based CRM + AccessAlly integration comes into play.

Specifically, we’ll focus on two of our favorite CRM options: ConvertKit and Infusionsoft.

There are a few other options, too – definitely take time to check out the Ultimate Tag-Based CRM Comparison Guide if you’re curious!

But getting back to today’s two CRMs…

It’s incredibly easy to set it up so that anyone who fills out your ConvertKit or Infusionsoft opt-in form is automatically moved into the next part of your sales funnel.

Here’s an example of what the beginning of your sales funnel might look like if you’re using Infusionsoft:

how to create a sales funnel

ConvertKit and Infusionsoft are really amazing here, because you can set up a sequence can be set up so that the new subscriber is immediately sent a welcome email that includes their login info, and any other relevant information you’d like to share.

Plus, because of ConvertKit and Infusionsoft’s tagging abilities, the new subscriber gains access only to the free course.

Continue To Engage With Your New Subscribers To Move Them Through The Sales Funnel

This first (automated) email that they receive as a subscriber will set the tone for the rest of their time spent with you… so make it a good one!

Not only do you want to tell your new subscriber how excited you are to have them along for the journey, but it’s also a good idea to emphasize how elite your membership site is… and that they should now consider your membership site as their “home.”

I can’t put enough stress on the power of using a membership site as way to really engage with your new subscribers. Membership sites make it really easy for them to stick around for the long haul.

Move Organically To the “Sale” Part of A Sales Funnel

At this point, you’ve used ConvertKit or Infusionsoft to automate your “top of the funnel” process. Your new subscribers are duly impressed and excited about the free material they’re receiving…

Now it’s time to get things moving.

While many of us might cringe at the idea of putting out that initial sales message, there’s good news ahead: you can slip it in organically. No big fuss involved.

Give Subscribers A Glimpse Of “Something More”

First impressions are generally made in less than 5 seconds… which means you want to give an immediate, positive impression on your new subscribers the moment they log into the membership site.

Of course, you know that they’re logging in to access the free course content that you promised… but why not give them a quick glimpse into the rest of your “world” before they get there?

That’s just what you can do, by using the built-in AccessAlly dashboard feature to prominently display (and subtly advertise) every course you offer.

how to create a sales funnel

Since each user’s permissions are governed by what they have or have not signed up for with Infusionsoft or ConvertKit’s tag functionality, AccessAlly will provide a visual distinction between courses that a user has access to, and the ones that they still have to purchase.

This creates an ideal, no-pressure shopping environment

The dashboard setup is known as their unique Logged-In Experience™. With it, your entire membership website is set up to give your users the freedom to shop at their leisure, no pressure.

If they’re busy and just want to focus on the content within the free course, they can do so.

If, however, they want to poke around and browse the rest of your materials, clicking on any of the grayed out course icons will take them to a sales page for that particular course.

While they might not make a purchase the first, second, third, or fourth time they log in, you can be confident that the rest of your paid products will continue to grow on your subscribers’ minds.

When the time is right (and if you’ve attracted the right clients with the right content), your email subscribers will make the decision that another course in your membership site is worth their investment… and they’ll click to buy.

Pro Tip: to make sure that your subscribers remember to log in from time to time, create an automated email sequence through ConvertKit to provide motivational reminders and support, always linking back to your membership site.

Continue to Follow Up With Each Member Differently Using Individual Signals™

By this point, your sales funnel is really shaping up to be an incredibly sweet thing.

… And a lot of us might tempted to start checking the stats now to see how many of our subscribers are turning into paid clients through this organic upsell process.

After all, we’re obsessed with the idea of learning how to create a sales funnel that’s overly simplistic…

But in reality, 3 out of 4 potential buyers will end up abandoning their online shopping cart and simply disappear… Even if they were interested enough to click the “Buy Now” button.

Unfinished sales aren’t always “your fault”… here’s why.

Maybe they decided it was “too much” to spend, or maybe they got distracted, or their credit card was in the other room.

So the challenge for you is to reach out to those 3 out of 4 would-be-clients who didn’t follow through with the purchase, and convince them that they need what you’re offering.

And yes, you can use ConvertKit (or Infusionsoft) + AccessAlly to make this happen!

The “Save the Shopping Cart” Sequence:

We’ve taken an in-depth look into this part of your sales funnel before (read our membership site tips), but here’s the quick version:

When a user begins the checkout process through an AccessAlly order form, the first thing they have to do is fill out their email address. AccessAlly order forms currently integrate with PayPal and Stripe course integration)

The moment they do, ConvertKit will capture this email, and subscribe them to your “Shopping Cart” sequence. If they don’t complete that purchase within 24 hours, an automated email can be sent out to remind them of a few things:

  • That they’re really cool and you want them in your life
  • That you’ve put your heart and soul into this particular product, and it’s totally going to transform their lives
  • Include a shortlist of proven benefits that come as a result of investing in your course

Then, include a link back to their AccessAlly order form, so they can complete their purchase.

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The Important thing is to make sure no one falls through the cracks

Will this sequence guarantee a 100% conversion rate?


But it will ensure that no one falls through the cracks just because you didn’t have time to write a personal email or make the phone call to connect with them about what they’re looking for.

Instead, Infusionsoft and ConvertKit’s automations do it all for you, and you get to treat each member individually based on the Individual Signals that AccessAlly recognizes. Get more membership site tips here.

Trust in Your Automation and Watch Your Business Grow

This organic upsell is, of course, only one way to use the incredible automation potential of your tag-based CRM system.

For this particular example of how to create a sales funnel, pair your CRM with a tool like AccessAlly, which is designed with full integration to make the most of Infusionsoft or ConvertKit’s automation features. Tools like AccessAlly allow you to send – and receive – tag-based information on your clients, so that your membership site can hold a full conversation with your CRM.

Is it an investment?


But it’s an investment that can save you hours of manual processes, reduce the number of sales emails that you have to write, and flat out impress your subscribers at the professional membership site experience that they’re treated to… even before they open up their wallets for you.

So my question is: what’s holding you back from making the most of YOUR Infusionosft or ConvertKit automation?

Nathalie Lussier

I’m a writer, technologist, and regenerative farmer. I founded AccessAlly with my husband in one frantic weekend to solve my immediate course platform issues. Over a decade later the company has grown, and our product has evolved to serve millions of learners across the globe.

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