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The Free Plus Shipping Funnel - What It Is & How It Works

Perhaps you've heard of the term, free plus shipping and then immediately thought,

"Hey it's not really free if you have to pay for shipping!"

And while yes this true, this method of bringing in leads is works very well.

As a matter of fact, many industry leaders are turning those leads in to raving customers.

Let's look at how to make this work in your business, step by step.

What is The Free Plus Shipping Funnel?

free shipping funnel definition

The free plus shipping funnel is a funnel that offers visitors to your website a free physical item or product, asking only for an email address, shipping address and the payment for the cost of delivery of a product.

Visitors are directed to your landing page through ads. Your landing page is basically the entrance point of the funnel.

The item being offered is some kind of physical item or product. This is actually a very important detail, and I will explain why in just a moment.

This could be something like:

  • A DVD
  • A Book
  • Or some other reliant product that appeals to your audience.

But what is interesting about doing free plus shipping is that you usually just ‘break even’ on the initial offer.

So, let’s say that you are offering a book. Let’s say that the book costs $4 to print, and $2 to ship. You would, then, offer the book for free, plus $6 in shipping.

This just barely covers your costs… That is it!

The only monetary cost to you is the cost of getting that click to get someone into your funnel.

But when they click ‘buy’ to get the free plus delivery offer, they will be taken to a checkout page… then, to an upsell page… and this is where the potential to make a lot of extra money starts to take shape.

When they checkout, they also give you their email address for your email list… which you can use to market to them in the future.

I’ve seen companies sell multi-thousand dollar products using free plush shipping, and I’ve even seen some of them sell products in the tens-of-thousands range.

And it all starts with a free plus shipping funnel offer.

Setup Your Funnel in 4 Easy Steps

So let’s take a moment to go through all of the steps required to execute with this type of funnel.

There are a few basic steps to making the free plus shipping funnel work. But it’s actually pretty simple.

Step 1… Free Plus Shipping Landing Page

The first thing you'll need to create for a free plus shipping offer to work is a landing page. This page lays out the offer for the visitor, telling them what they will be getting and why they need it.

It basically sells them on the offer, and gives them an ‘order now’ button to click.

One great example of a landing page is from American Gun Association, offering a free gun T-shirt on their page. The landing page even showed you what sizes were available and everything!

There is an ‘order now’ button located at the bottom of the screen, and it was made very obvious through the content that this shirt was ‘free.’

shipping funnel landing page

Of course, at the bottom of the screen, he had the words ‘Shipping Applies’ added to the page. That was all he said about it. He didn’t say how much the shipping was, just that you could get a free T-shirt. All it would cost was the price of shipping.

But you had to go into the funnel to see how much the shipping was… which is brilliant. I will explain why in just a moment.

free plus delivery

Step 2… Checkout Page

The checkout page comes right after the landing page. This is a pretty simple step. Here, they fill in their shipping details and their email address.

funnel checkout page

The checkout page is the most simple page to create for the free plush shipping offer. However, the platform that you run your transactions through is not an easy decision.

Each business has unique goals and objectives. I have tried them all and show how to build them in this DIY sales funnel series on YouTube.

Most businesses will find their match with Samcart or ThriveCart for a free plus shipping offer.

I’ve run $739,578 in revenue through SamCart and $271,246 with Thrive.

You can read a review on each from the above links.

Step 3… One-Time-Offer Upsell

Continuing with the free plush shipping T-shirt example above, after you click ‘order now,’ you are taken directly to the checkout page.

But after this, you are taken to the upsell page.

This page offers your visitor a one-time-offer upsell.

On the T-shirt upsell page referenced above, you are offered a subscription to the ‘American Gun Association.’ It is a subscription-based membership that costs $9.95 per month.

It’s actually a really awesome setup, because they can just click through the upsell offer if they aren’t interested. They can still claim their T-shirt without being required to buy anything else.

But if they are interested in the upsell, they can buy it… and bam! That’s a payday!

Again, even if the free plus shipping method doesn't lead to a sale you're still building your email list.

Step 4… The Free Plus Shipping Funnel Delivery Page

Your visitors will visit the landing page first. Then, they go to checkout. But one thing that you will notice about the free plus shipping funnel is that it asks for a ‘micro-commitment’ from the visitor before any money details are shared.

Remember… this is a pretty important aspect of the funnel. Visitors won’t know exactly how much the shipping part of the free plus shipping is going to be until they have clicked the ‘order now’ button and are taken to the checkout page.

After they pay for shipping and choose to accept or reject the one time offer they will reach the delivery page.

Here is where you give them access to your course you sold, access to your membership program, software tool or whatever you sold them in them one time offer.

And that's pretty much the end of the free plus shipping funnel. However there were two tremendously important parts of these 4 steps that's worth revisiting.

Steps 1 and 3 can make or break the longevity of your funnel.

Sticking Points

In order to make a free plus shipping offers work you must dial in steps 1 and 3.

Specifically on step 1, you'll need to test a few different free products. If you're offering a free No. 2 Pencil for one of your free products VS a iPhone case then you can guess which one will probably bring in more customers.

Not all free products will produce the same results. So whatever product for free you're pitching to your potentiall customers had better be relivant.

Furthermore the price of your free plus shipping offers need to be tested as well. Depending on how good your product is you may be able to get away with a slightly higher price point on your free plus shipping offers.

However, if you charge too much then customers will not want your product all together.

Remember you goal is to try and break even with free plus shipping offers as quick as you can. You just want to set the price so it covers the shipping costs.

More About The Upsell In Step 3

There needs to be a logical progression in your free plus shipping to make it viable.

For example if you offer a book about survivalist tactics, then the next logical thing you'd want to offer on the up sell page could be a cool credit card knife tool. Consider offering some type of cool gadget a survivalist (potentially ex-military) sort of person would like.

Once you have or initial free plus shipping item dialed in you'll then need to test different up sells on your customers. You can't know for 100% certainty what they like unless you test them out.


No matter if you have a free plus shipping Shopify set up or one you've crated yourself, you'll simply need to test product after product on your customers until you find one that sticks.

If you are trying to make a free plus shipping store account work then that will only boost your brand for your store over time.

As always, test everything.