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What is Funnel Hacking? The No B.S. Guide To Sales Funnels

Prior to 2008, I’d never heard the term ‘funnel hacking’. It sounded like a weird process of attacking my oil funnel with a hacksaw 🤣

Now funnel hacking has become second nature to me. The good news about funnel hacking is that if you’re struggling to create your first successful sales funnel, understanding funnel hacking could be the thing you’re missing.

This game-changing reverse engineering approach allows you to leverage proven strategies from your competitors, which results in reduced guesswork and quicker results.

In this article, I’ll explain to you what funnel hacking is, how to do it successfully, what tools I use, and how to craft your own funnel for long-lasting success.

This is my no b.s. guide to funnel hacking.

russell brunson funnel hacking gif

Key Takeaways

  • Funnel hacking is the process of studying and modeling successful competitors’ sales and marketing processes to create a blueprint for your own highly effective marketing funnel.
  • Russell Brunson, co-founder of ClickFunnels, is a renowned authority on funnel hacking and has provided practical tools and insights through his books and industry events.
  • Funnel hacking can help businesses gain valuable insights, save time and money, improve conversion ratesenhance the customer journey, increase profitability, stay ahead of the competition, optimize marketing spend, refine messaging, improve user experience, and adapt quickly to market changes.
  • Funnel hacking is totally legal and most companies do it to improve their products and services

Disclaimer: If you choose to purchase via my link, I may receive a small commission which helps me keep this blog running.

Defining Funnel Hacking

Alrighty… before we get to the meat and potatoes of creating a kick-ass funnel, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way.

What actually is funnel hacking? I’m sure you’ve probably heard Russell and other marketers talk about the process… but here’s how I typically like to describe it:

Funnel hacking can be best described as the art of methodically and creatively studying, dissecting, and modeling your competitors’ sales and marketing processes. It is all about peeping into your rivals’ successful approaches to create a blueprint for a sales funnel that converts effectively. Then, you can easily replicate and reverse engineer what’s already working in your niche.

– Luke.

Geez, that was a long-winded explanation, wasn’t it?

Funnel hacking is simply modeling what’s already working. 😆

The idea here is identifying who your competition is, purchasing their products or services (through their sales funnel), understanding how they market those offerings, and why it works so well.

In essence, you’re going undercover in another company’s customer journey to see just what makes them tick. You get an intimate look at everything from their landing pages to their emails, retargeting ads, and price points – basically every touchpoint between them and their customers.

You then take these valuable insights are then used as a base for crafting your own highly effective marketing funnels built on proven strategies saving time on split testing and making financial savings through optimization.

In a nutshell: See what is already working, learn from it, and create your own version that’s unique to your skills and personality.

Check this awesome video on Funnel Hacking and ClickFunnels

Who is Russell Brunson?

Russell Brunson stands as a renowned figure in the realm of online marketing and funnel hacking. He has successfully carved out his niche in this space, becoming a leading authority with an exceptional understanding of creating effective marketing funnels that yield high conversions and stellar profits.

Russell Bruson
The man himself, Mr Russell Brunson.

His expertise is not just theoretical; he co-founded ClickFunnels, a widely used software platform for building sales funnels, providing practical tools to thousands of entrepreneurs.

In addition to his practical contributions through ClickFunnels, Brunson shares his wealth of knowledge through written works such as “DotCom Secrets” and “Expert Secrets.” These books illuminate the path to success in digital marketing and funnel hacking, making them invaluable resources for those looking to thrive in these fields.

Unsurprisingly given his reputation, Russell’s insights are also eagerly sought after at industry events like Funnel Hacking Live where he delivers guidance on replicating successful tactics observed from studying competitors’ sales processes.

Through continuous testing and optimization guided by Brunson’s advice, many businesses have honed their performance – amplifying profits by employing proven strategies gleaned from their competition.

Funnel Hacking Live, a hugely popular event about marketing funnels.

How Do You Ethically ‘Hack’ A Sales Funnel?

Okay – so how exactly do you ‘hack’ someone’s funnel? Well, the process is both simple and complicated at the same time.👇

Here’s a step-by-step guide to show you how I’ve been able to do it with competitor brands and products:

  1. Pick your niche (okay, I know… it’s bleedingly obvious, but you have to know your niche).
  2. Create a detailed list of all the competitor brands you can think of in that niche/vertical
  3. In the same list, add their websites, and social network accounts and keep a record of them
  4. Check their social network and landing pages for direct links to their primary product (i.e. their sales funnel). Can’t find a link? Don’t worry, I’ll help you find it below.
  5. If you can’t immediately find their sales funnel, we’re going to use some tools to make your life easier
  6. The first tool I typically fire up is Facebook’s Ad Library. The Ad Library tool will show you any brand’s current Facebook Ads. This tool shows you the ads a brand is running on its product or landing pages, which IMO is invaluable.

    You can see what ads are working, what their most popular product is, the language and ad copy they use, and if they’re using static images or video content. It’s a huge cheat code that most people don’t know exists.
Facebook Ads Library for funnel hacking
Red Bulls Facebook Ads. Funnel hacking with Meta/Facebook Ads Library
  1. Now that you’ve found what ads the company is running, click the learn more/shop now button and find out where they’re sending traffic. Still can’t find the product or funnel? Don’t worry, there are more options.
  2. If at first, you can’t find the product or funnel through the Facebook Ads library, you can also head over to Google and use the following piece of code: site: “www.competitorsite.com”
  3. Google will show you the total number of pages indexed for that site, and you can then scroll through the list and click through each option. The final option will also show us the entire website’s sitemap.
Make sure you get the code correct – see above.

If that wasn’t any help, the final option you might want to look at is doing a sitemap review. Type in your competitor’s website and add the following piece of code to the end: www.competitor.com/sitemap.xml

You’ll be able to see all the posts and pages that the website has, and then click around to find all the various pages/products they have.

If you STILL can’t find the funnel or sales page, sometimes brands will purchase a secondary domain that’s not connected to their primary website.

In that scenario, Google is going to be your best friend.

Go to Google and type in the name of the person and start crawling the pages for clues. You might not find a direct link to it this way, but you’ll often find people talking about it on Reddit or Quora, or random forums. The other thing I sometimes try is a broad search like this: competitor brand review or competitor brand webinar (see screenshot below for example).

This will bring up reviews of products or courses this person has created which you can then reverse engineer to find what the product is called and a link to the funnel.

funnel hacking with google search
This is a more manual process, but sometimes a sales funnel can be well hidden

Once you’ve done all of that, it’s time to record every step of the funnel. Before we jump into that, let’s cover the basics of what a sales funnel actually is.

Our Pick

ClickFunnels 2.0

5.0

Now that you know what you’re closest competitors are doing, use the best funnel tool on the web. ClickFunnels 2.0 has had a HUGE overall to make it even more powerful. Grab a free trial and create your first Sales Funnel.

Pros:
  • Industry Standard Funnel Builder
  • Easy to use
  • Integrates with everything

Cons:

  • Small learning curve
clickfunnels

What is a Sales Funnel?

sales funnel is the digital journey a customer takes from becoming aware of your brand to making an actual purchase. It’s essentially a series of steps designed to guide visitors toward a buying decision, serving as the cornerstone of every successful online business.

Image credit: Forbes

Just like in a real-life funnel, not all prospects who enter your digital sales funnel will make it to the end — some drop off at various stages due to different reasons ranging from lack of interest, insufficient funds, or simply because they’re exploring options.

However, its ultimate goal is simple: convert visitors into customers through strategic stages including awareness, interest, decision-making, and finally conversion. This process helps businesses streamline their marketing and sales efforts for optimal results.

Marketing Funnel Vs. Sales Funnel

The marketing and sales funnels are two integral aspects of the business cycle, each with its unique purpose and focus. They might seem similar at a glance, but there are crucial differences between them.

➡️ Marketing Funnel✅ Sales Funnel
A Marketing funnel focuses on attracting potential customers through awareness and interest generation.A Sales funnel focuses on turning these potential customers into actual buyers.
Sales funnel stages include the decision to action, which involves negotiation, closing, delivery, and follow-up.It begins where the marketing funnel ends, that is, with qualified leads and aims to convert them into customers.
Stage-wise, it includes awareness, interest, evaluation, and decision-making.Sales funnel stages include the decision stage, which involves negotiation, closing, delivery, and follow-up.
Marketing funnel uses tools like social media, content marketing, SEO, and PPC campaigns.Sales funnel utilizes methods such as direct contact, offers, retargeting ads, and upsells or cross-sells, as can be revealed through funnel hacking.
The function of the marketing funnel is to attract and educate the potential audience, leading them gradually towards a purchasing decision.The sales funnel aims to convince these potential buyers to make a purchase and maintain a relationship with them to encourage repeat business and referrals.
What’s the difference between a marketing funnel and a sales funnel?

Both these funnels are interdependent and crucial for a successful business strategy. Effective funnel hacking involves understanding and integrating both these processes.

Importance of Funnel Hacking

Funnel hacking is a crucial strategy for businesses looking to maximize their marketing efforts and increase their sales. By studying competitors’ successful funnels, you can gain valuable insights into what works and implement these strategies in your own business.

Discover the benefits and drawbacks of funnel hacking and learn about essential tools for effective analysis in this comprehensive blog post. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to level up your marketing game!

Benefits of Funnel Hacking

Funnel hacking offers several benefits for businesses looking to optimize their marketing strategies and increase sales.

  1. Gain valuable insights: Funnel hacking allows you to analyze successful competitors’ strategies, giving you a deeper understanding of what works in your industry. By studying their sales pages, landing pages, and emails, you can uncover effective tactics and apply them to your own funnel.
  2. Save time and money: Instead of starting from scratch, funnel hacking provides a shortcut to success. By leveraging proven strategies, you can avoid costly trial-and-error processes and focus on implementing tactics that have already been tested and proven.
  3. Improve conversion rates: With funnel hacking, you can identify key elements that contribute to high conversion rates. By analyzing competitors’ offers, price points, and positioning, you can optimize your own offer for maximum effectiveness and appeal to your target audience.
  4. Enhance customer journey: Funnel hacking enables you to map out an optimized customer journey by studying how competitors guide their prospects from awareness to conversion. This insight allows you to create a seamless experience that nurtures leads through each stage of the funnel.
  5. Increase profitability: Funnel hacking helps identify opportunities for upsells, down sells, and cross-sells within your sales process. By analyzing competitors’ back-end funnels, you can implement strategic offers that capture additional revenue and maximize profitability.
  6. Stay ahead of the competition: Funnel hacking allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in your industry. By continuously researching and analyzing your competitors’ funnels, you can adapt your strategies accordingly and maintain a competitive edge.

Drawbacks of Funnel Hacking

  1. Funnel hacking can be time-consuming and require a significant investment of resources.
  2. Replicating a competitor’s funnel may not guarantee the same level of success for your own business.
  3. It can lead to a lack of originality and creativity in your marketing approach.
  4. Funnel hacking may result in a loss of focus on your unique value proposition and target market.
  5. The data obtained from funnel hacking may not always be accurate or up-to-date.
  6. Over-reliance on funnel hacking can stifle innovation and limit experimentation with new strategies.
  7. Funnel hacking may create an unhealthy obsession with competitors rather than focusing on your own business growth.
  8. Copying competitors too closely may lead to legal issues or copyright infringement concerns.
  9. Funnel hacking alone is not enough to guarantee long-term business success; it should be combined with other marketing tactics and strategies.
  10. Constantly monitoring and analyzing competitors’ funnels can become overwhelming and distract from other important aspects of running a business.

Tools for Effective Funnel Hacking

FIND FUNNELS

BuiltWith

  • Easily uncover what your competitors use
  • Find Funnels & Websites
  • Easy to use
AD RESEARCH

AdBeat

  • Spy on competitor ads
  • See ad copy strategy
  • Create swipe file of ads
  • Save a HUGE amount of time
RESEARCH

SemRUSH

  • Industry-standard for keyword research
  • Find easy-to-rank keywords
  • See what your competitors are doing
  • Build passive income

To effectively hack your competitors’ funnels, you can utilize powerful tools like BuiltWith, AdBeat, SEMrush, and SimilarWeb. Let’s go over how to use each tool correctly.

BuiltWith Technology Profiler

BuiltWith Technology Profiler is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance the process of funnel hacking. It enables businesses to gain valuable insights into their competitors’ strategies and technologies.

With BuiltWith, you can uncover the tools, platforms, and even code snippets being used by your competitors. By understanding what technology they are utilizing, you can make informed decisions about your own marketing stack and improve your overall funnel performance.

This tool allows you to stay ahead in the competitive landscape by providing detailed information on how successful funnels are built and optimized. So whether you want to analyze landing pages, track conversion rates, or explore new growth opportunities, BuiltWith Technology Profiler is an essential asset for any serious funnel hacker.

AdBeat

AdBeat is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance the process of funnel hacking. This comprehensive platform allows businesses to gain valuable insights into their competitors’ online advertising strategies, including their ad copy, creative, landing pages, and targeting tactics.

By using AdBeat, businesses can uncover the most successful ads in their industry, identify trends and patterns, and develop a deeper understanding of what resonates with their target audience.

With this information at hand, businesses can optimize their own ad campaigns and create more effective sales funnels.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your funnel hacking efforts. With SEMrush, you can gain valuable insights into your competitors’ strategies and technologies.

This tool allows you to uncover important details about their sales pages, landing pages, price points, emails, retargeting ads, and more. By analyzing this information, you can reverse engineer their successful marketing funnels and apply those insights to your own business.

The data provided by SEMrush helps you stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions when designing your own high-converting sales funnel.

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit businesses looking to enhance their funnel hacking efforts. With SimilarWeb, users gain valuable insights into their competitors’ traffic sourcesad copy, and even backlinks.

This tool provides an in-depth analysis of the digital marketing strategies employed by competitors, helping businesses identify trends and industry standards in marketing content.

By leveraging the data provided by SimilarWeb, businesses can replicate successful funnels and maximize their lifetime customer value. It’s an essential addition to any marketer’s toolbox for staying competitive in today’s market.

Funnel Hacking From a 30,000-Foot View

In this step-by-step guide to funnel hacking, you will learn how to identify your goals and target market, analyze your competition, and recreate a successful sales funnel. Read on to take your marketing strategy to the next level.

Identify Your Goal and Target Market

To start funnel hacking, it is crucial to identify your goal and target market. Knowing what you want to achieve and who your ideal customers are will guide your entire funnel-hacking process.

By understanding your goals, whether it’s increasing sales or generating leads, you can tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Additionally, identifying your target market allows you to focus on the specific demographics and interests of potential customers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

This ensures that you create a funnel that resonates with your target audience and increases the chances of converting them into paying customers.

List Out Your Funnel-Hacking Competition

To effectively funnel hack, it’s essential to identify your competition and list them out. Look for businesses that are successful in your niche and have similar target markets. By analyzing their marketing funnels, you can gain valuable insights into what strategies are working for them and apply those techniques to your own business.

Remember to focus on both direct competitors who offer similar products or services and indirect competitors who may share a target market with you but offer different solutions. This comprehensive approach will give you a well-rounded understanding of the competitive landscape and allow you to create a more effective marketing funnel tailored to your target audience.

Purchase Their Products

To truly understand and replicate the success of your competitors’ marketing funnels, it’s essential to go beyond just observing from the outside. One crucial step in funnel hacking is actually purchasing their products.

By becoming a customer, you’ll gain firsthand experience of how they engage with buyers at each stage of the sales process. This allows you to analyze their checkout process, upsells, down sells, and any other strategies they use to maximize revenue.

In addition to understanding their product offerings, this step also gives you insights into their customer service and overall user experience. By immersing yourself as a customer, you can uncover valuable information that will help you fine-tune your own sales funnel for optimal results.

Save Their URLs & Take Screenshots

To effectively funnel hack your competitors, it is crucial to save their URLs and take screenshots of their landing pages and sales funnels. This allows you to have a visual reference of their strategies and design elements that are working for them.

By saving the URLs, you can easily go back and analyze specific components of their funnel at any time. Taking screenshots helps you compile a collection of inspiration for your own funnel designs and provides a concrete example to refer to during the creation process.

With these saved URLs and screenshots in hand, you can closely examine every detail, from page layout to copywriting techniques, helping you gain valuable insights into what works best in your industry.

Analyze Competitors’ Traffic Sources

To effectively funnel hack, it’s crucial to analyze your competitors’ traffic sources. This involves understanding where their website visitors are coming from, whether it be through search engines, social media platforms, or paid advertising campaigns.

By studying these sources of traffic, you can gain valuable insights into the most effective marketing channels in your industry and adjust your own strategies accordingly. Tools like SEMrush and SimilarWeb can provide data on competitors’ organic and paid search keywords, top referring websites, and social media referrals.

This information allows you to identify untapped opportunities and optimize your own traffic generation efforts for maximum success.

Review Their Back-End

Analyzing a competitor’s back end is a crucial step in funnel hacking. This involves examining the upsells, down sells, cross-sells, and purchase flows that occur after the initial offer.

By understanding how competitors structure their back end, businesses can uncover additional opportunities for maximizing profits. It allows them to identify strategies to increase average order value and customer lifetime value by offering complementary products or services.

Understanding competitors’ back-end tactics provides valuable insights into their overall sales process and helps businesses create more effective funnels tailored to their target audience’s needs and preferences.

Recreate Your Sales Funnel

To recreate your sales funnel, start by identifying your goal and target market. This will help you tailor your funnel to attract the right audience and achieve specific objectives.

Next, list out your funnel-hacking competition and study their strategies. Purchase their products or services to gain first-hand experience of their sales process. Save their URLs and take screenshots for further analysis.

Analyze competitors’ traffic sources to understand where they are getting their most valuable leads from. Review their back-end offers, upsells, down sells, and purchase flows to get insights into how they maximize profits.

With this information in hand, you can now recreate your own sales funnel using proven strategies that have already yielded results for your competitors. It’s important to consider the demographic of your target audience, craft an irresistible offer, create high-converting landing pages, choose the right traffic sources (such as PPC ads), write persuasive ad copies that drive action, and set up effective email follow-up series.

Crucial Elements for a Successful Funnel Hacking

The demographic, the offer, the landing page, the traffic source, and the ad copy are all crucial elements for successful funnel hacking.

The Demographic

Understanding the demographic of your target audience is a crucial element when it comes to funnel hacking. By analyzing the demographics of your competitor’s customers, you gain valuable insights into their preferences, needs, and behaviors.

This information allows you to tailor your own marketing efforts to effectively reach and engage with a similar audience. You can uncover key details such as age groups, gender distribution, geographic locations, income levels, and more.

Understanding the demographic allows businesses to target the same market while gaining new perspectives on their own audience for improved marketing strategies that resonate with potential customers on a deeper level.

The Offer

The offer is a critical component of any successful marketing funnel. It refers to the product or service being presented to potential customers. By analyzing competitors’ offers during funnel hacking, businesses can gain valuable insights into pricing strategiespositioning in the market, and what kind of value proposition resonates with their target audience.

Understanding how competitors structure their offers can help businesses craft compelling and competitive offerings that will attract and convert customers. Funnel hacking allows businesses to streamline the process of creating an effective offer by leveraging proven strategies used by successful competitors.

Their Landing Page

Analyzing competitors’ landing pages is a crucial aspect of funnel hacking. A landing page is where potential customers land after clicking on an ad or a link, and it plays a vital role in converting visitors into leads or customers.

By studying competitors’ landing pages, businesses can gain insights into their design elementscopywriting techniquescall-to-action placement, and overall conversion strategies.

This information helps in optimizing your own landing page to improve conversions and create a more effective sales funnel.

The Traffic Source

The traffic source is a crucial element of any successful sales funnel. It refers to the channel or platform through which businesses drive visitors to their website or landing page.

By analyzing competitors’ traffic sources, businesses can gain valuable insights into effective marketing strategies and discover new opportunities for reaching their target audience.

Understanding where their competitors are getting their traffic from allows businesses to tap into those same channels and potentially attract high-quality prospects who have already shown interest in similar products or services.

By leveraging successful traffic sources, businesses can increase their visibilitygenerate more leads, and ultimately boost conversions.

Utilizing tools like BuiltWith Technology Profiler, AdBeat, SEMrush, and SimilarWeb can help businesses uncover competitors’ traffic sources and understand how they are driving targeted visitors to their websites.

The Ad Copy

The ad copy is a crucial element of any successful marketing funnel. It refers to the written content used in advertisements to capture the attention and interest of potential customers.

Well-crafted ad copy can effectively communicate the value proposition, benefits, and call-to-action of a product or service, driving higher click-through rates and conversions. By analyzing competitors’ ad copies, businesses can gain insights into their messaging strategies, unique selling propositions, and target audience preferences.

This information can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of their own ad campaigns and maximize their return on investment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, funnel hacking is a powerful strategy for entrepreneurs to gain insights and replicate successful marketing funnels used by their competitors. By thoroughly analyzing their sales pages, landing pagesprice points, emails, and more, businesses can save time and resources by leveraging proven strategies.

With the right tools and a step-by-step approach, funnel hacking can help businesses create high-converting sales funnels that drive growth and increase revenue.

FAQs

Is funnel hacking legal?

Funnel hacking is completely legal and ethical. It involves analyzing publicly available information about your competitors’ marketing strategies to gain insights into their successful sales funnels.

How does funnel hacking help my business?

Funnel hacking can greatly benefit your business by providing valuable insights into your competitors’ successful marketing strategies. By analyzing their sales and marketing funnels, you can learn what works and replicate those tactics in your own business.

How does funnel hacking help my business?

Funnel hacking can greatly benefit your business by providing valuable insights into your competitors’ successful marketing strategies. By analyzing their sales and marketing funnels, you can learn what works and replicate those tactics in your own business.

How long does it take to see results from funnel hacking?

Results from funnel hacking can vary depending on the individual business and the strategies implemented. However, with proper research and analysis, businesses can start seeing positive results within a few weeks or months.

How do I create a successful sales funnel?

To create a successful sales funnel, you need to start by identifying your target market and their specific needs. This will help you tailor your messaging and offers to resonate with your audience.

Can I hire someone to do funnel hacking for me?

If you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of funnel hacking but don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, hiring someone to handle it for you is definitely an option.

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