The 5 Most Common Problems Killing Your Marketing Funnels (And How To Fix Them)

Funnels have a habit of breaking here and there. A sign that your funnel is broken, is when your business isn’t generating 1 of 3 results that you need.

  1. Low/no customers
  2. Low/no subscribers
  3. Low/no revenue

You might have lots of customers, but they’ve only bought 1 product or they haven’t bought anything in ages. You might have lots of traffic but few subscribers and even fewer subscriber turning into customers.

It gets really difficult to pinpoint where the problem lies in your business system. Should you focus on a sales page for a current product or a new email series for an old product?

On top of all that, even after you discover the “leak” in your funnel, you still need to know how to solve it. Sure, you’re not making sales because you don’t have a sales page. But HOW do you build the sales page?

Fortunately, that’s what we’re about to share with you now. Using our Funnel Troubleshooting Guide: Email Edition, which you can download for free below, we’re going to uncover and solve the 5 most common problems killing your (or your customers) marketing funnels.

marketing funnel flowchart troubleshooting traffic emails sales

If you like flowchart diagrams…forget about it!

These problems can all be solved using email marketing, email sales automation and a few sales pages. We’ve got our Funnel Troubleshooting Flowchart: Traffic Edition coming soon!

If you’re ready to start increasing sales, revenue and customers on automation then you need to diagnose where you’re going wrong with your funnel. You can even use this flowchart with your customers to understand what’s happening in their funnel. Enter your name and best email below and I’ll send you this flowchart WITH links to every single solution, so you can solve each problem there and then.

1. No recurring revenue or subscription sales

Let’s start with the big one. Recurring income and subscription based sales are the single biggest objective a business should have. If your business doesn’t doesn’t have regular, repeat income, it’ll struggle to grow.

Loads of businesses tell me that a subscription based, recurring revenue product isn’t possible for their business and that is grade A bollocks.

  • Blockbuster – Netflix
  • Comic book shop – Comixology
  • Runners Need – Jogboxx
  • Topman – Thread

There are literally an unlimited number of ways to create recurring revenue based products from your current business, or for any business. In fact, I wrote an entire book about it.

If your business doesn’t make recurring sales, first, you need to look at whether you have a recurring or subscription product. If you don’t – build one.

Even if you have to think outside your market, creating recurring income subscription products can create unlimited wealth for your business.

What about if you HAVE a subscription product, but no one is buying it?

First, do you have a sales page for that product? Do you have sales videos, demos and sales letters? All to often I have customers complain to me that they struggle to sell their subscription products and when I ask them “where’s the sales page?”, they reply “oh we’re getting round to that.”

Well…get round to it now. Unless your customers are psychic, they’re not going to GUESS you have a product.

Build the sales page, then promote it.

Which brings me to my second point. Let’s say you’ve got a product AND you’ve got a sales page.

How often are you promoting that sales page? How often are you telling your core customers that you have a next product? How often are your emailing your customers?

If you’re not sending regular emails to your customers, telling them THIS will help them, then of course you’re not going to make sales.

2. No core offer sales

Hopefully, you’ve already spotted the pattern here.

Let’s say you’ve got a subscription based recurring revenue product built. It makes sales and you regularly promote it.

Now, I can already here people cracking their knuckles, getting ready to type hurtful emails to me “Mike, if I don’t have core sales, how could I POSSIBLY have subscription sales?”

The usual funnel process shows that we have traffic, which converts into subscribers, then small sales, core sales then subscription sales. That’s the process right?

Well yes…and no.

Until you’ve got a subscription product set up, we can’t focus on core offers and tripwires. It might sound hard, but in the long run it’s well worth focusing on.

What it means is that rather than trying to focus on making NEW sales (which is expensive), you’re focusing on creating revenue from your current customers (which costs less). By promoting a new recurring revenue product to your current customers, you’re not spending money on marketing and acquisition. You’re converting customers who already know you.

THEN, when you plug the leaks in your core offer process, it means that those new customers will begin to convert to subscription customers on automation.

So if you’re not making any core offer sales, do you even have a core offer?

What is the 1 thing you can sell and build and deliver in your sleep? What do you build better than anyone? We’re talking ONE service. Not trying to do everything for everyone. A core, repeatable service or product that you can offer over and over.

Once you’ve built the offer, build the sales page. We could argue that we should build the sales page before we’ve built the offer.

I’ve always been very keen on writing sales letters and selling products before they’re built. When we “build” an offer, I don’t mean spend days and thousands of $$$’s on building a new product. You can sell something that you haven’t delivered yet. Building the offer means being clear on what results you’re going to get.

So you’ve got your core offer, you’ve got your sales page. Now what..? Email people. Email your lower-revenue customers, email your network, your email list, your subscribers, customers and leads.

Set up the promotion emails to send to anyone who HASN’T bought and boom – you’re automating your sales process.

3. No tripwire sales

Tripwire or splinter sales are small transactions designed to do 2 things.

  1. Pay for the cost of lead and customer acquisision
  2. Get the customer to invest in a low barrier to entry product

If you’re selling a $15 000 funnel core offer, with a $1000 a month subscription on the back-end, you might struggle to get leadsto convert to those higher ticket items.

Buying a $15 000 project from spending nothing can be a big jump for some people. So instead we give them a smaller transaction opportunity. The cost can be anything from a few bucks for a book to a paid discovery workshop for $997.

Splinter products or tripwires are smaller cost items that allow customers to reduce their risk. Going from $0 to $15 and then to $15000, incredibly is an easier jump for them to make.

Tripwire products also allow you to pay for traffic and acquire subscribers at a profit. Rather than paying for leads, you can have leads pay you!

We have loads of small products, books, courses and programs that we offer to new subscribers. When they buy, they are paying off the cost it took to acquire them.

If you want more information on generating leads at a profit, you can watch this video below.

If you’re not MAKING tripwire sales, let’s run through the checklist.

  1. Do you have a tripwire product?
  2. Do you have a sales page?
  3. Are you emailing/telling your new leads about the product?

Remember, our Funnel Troubleshooting Flowchart has solutions for every one of these problems, and more, killing your marketing funnels.

Enter your name and best email address below and we’ll send it straight to your inbox.

Build your splinter product using content and services you already provide. Create the sales page and drive new subscribers to that page.

4. No sales from training content/webinar

We use webinars to sell services, products and run special offers all the time. If you’re not generating sales from your webinars and training content, you’re leaving money on the table.

We’ve got a guide here on selling on webinars.

We love webinars because we can drive a ton of traffic and subscribers to our call and educate them. The more we educate and help them, the easier it is to sell to them.

If we’re not making sales on calls or on our webinars, it might mean that a) we’re not promoting the webinar enough b) our offer doesn’t resonate with the audience or c) we aren’t following up with attendees and registrants.

a) we’re not promoting the webinar enough

Sales on webinars is a numbers game. Yes, you can increase your conversions with great offers and deals. But if you’ve only got 5 attendees, even a 20% conversion rate means 1 sale.

So the first thing we’ll do, is drive more people to sign up. We’ll try to give a month for each live call and send between 5 – 8 emails reminding people about the call. Usually, for live calls we’ll try and drive warm traffic and subscribers.

b) our offer doesn’t resonate with the audience

A huge mistake that businesses mate is changing the PRODUCT rather than the OFFER. Instead, what most businesses need to do is change the offer and the message that they share with their audience.

If we assume that we ARE making sales (either core, tripwire or subscription), then it’s not the product that needs changing. But the message and offer to the audience on the call. This is why we troubleshoot backwards. All too many people will change the product before they’ve even made a sale.

c) we aren’t following up with attendees and registrants

Finally, this is the most common reason that people don’t buy after a call. We haven’t followed up with them.

It’s vital that we continue to “sell” after the call has ended. We’ll remind attendees about the offer and convert those that didn’t buy on the call. We’ll send the replay to everyone that registered and follow up with them too, sometimes with a phone call.

Finally, we’ll create a squeeze page to capture new leads and share the replay with them.

5. No sales on automation

Sales on automation is the holy grail of running a business. Imagine knowing that every new blog post attracted traffic. 10% of which converted into a lead. Those leads had product after product pitched and sold to them over time and you saw the money roll in.

That’s the dream right?

Not only is that the dream, that’s how business models SHOULD work. If you’re manually selling to every new customer, you’re wasting time and spending effort getting them to close.

The reason we troubleshoot backwards like this, is because you can see each stage and what you did differently to make the sale. Then, we can automate those same activities with autoresponders like ActiveCampaign.

The sales emails that you used to follow up with webinar attendees, are what you should send on automation to new webinar subscribers. Those emails you sent to core offer customers telling them about your subscription product, you should set up on automation.

No, it’s not easy but it does GET easier. It’s manual work to start but eventually you’ll see the results grow over time, with no more effort from yourself.

My businesses are almost entirely on automation. I write content and attract new subscribers. Those subscribers buy products and convert into higher value customers.

I have more time because I’m not selling manually, so I can spend MORE time with customers helping them.

If you’re ready to start increasing sales, revenue and customers on automation then you need to diagnose where you’re going wrong with your funnel. You can even use this flowchart with your customers to understand what’s happening in their funnel. Enter your name and best email below and I’ll send you this flowchart WITH links to every single solution, so you can solve each problem there and

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.