The Free Plus Shipping Funnel - What It Is & How It Works - Miles Beckler
free plus shipping

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

Sales funnels are getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. They are an essential tool in every internet-marketer’s arsenal.

Creating content and building an audience is obviously important. But at some point, you will need to start using funnels if you really want to convert traffic to sales.

Of course, this creates a very important question….

What is the best funnel?

Today you will learn one of the hottest funnels in the game right now, and most of the big-time marketers are using it to generate serious cash flow.

It’s called the Free Plus Shipping Funnel.

It also helps you to build a customer list that will drive more sales on the back end… and I’ll explain how it accomplishes this toward the end of this article.

This is probably one of the most powerful sales funnels, especially for advanced marketers.

I’m going to show you how to create each of the 4 stages of a free plus shipping funnel, but I’m also going to show you a few examples of how people have been using it, as it can be used in a few different ways.

You can get pretty creative with this one!

Alright, let’s dig in and crush it!

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.

It could be a CD, a book, or some other type of product that appeals to your base demographic.

But what is interesting about this funnel 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 with this funnel, 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.

Does Free + Shipping Still Work??

In a word… yes!

The great thing about this funnel is that it gives you the ability to use marketing’s favorite word… FREE! So the ad you are running on Facebook, Pinterest, Google, or YouTube can tell your visitors to ‘go here and get a free thing!’

In fact, shipping is usually just mentioned briefly on the landing page, before the viewer enters the funnel. So it is made known, but it isn’t plastered everywhere.

At this point, early in the funnel, you are focusing on the ‘free’ part of the equation.
free + shipping

This also produces a positive psychological effect for your visitors. It brings them in with the promise of something that is going to help them solve their problem.

Then, you follow through by delivering on the promise of the free item… but you also gain an email address in the process, as well as the opportunity to upsell.

Plus, you are placing a physical product or item in their hands… which does a couple of different things.

First, it tells them that your business has value, and that you are actually equipped to deliver it. And second, it keeps you in their mind as they enjoy that free product… making them that much more likely to respond to your marketing efforts later on through email.

At this point, you are building trust in your brand… and that is super powerful.

Email list building is also really important right now in internet marketing. And it shows no signs of slowing down. This is one of the best things about this funnel.

You are really using two very compelling angles to get people to give you their email. You are…

  • Offering them a product that will help them
  • Telling them that you will give it to them free of charge! They only need to pay shipping

This gives customers two very good reasons to click on the link.

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 page in this funnel 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

Another example of a more ‘traditional’ free plus delivery can be found on Russell Brunson's website. He actually offers his DotCom Secrets book as a free plus shipping offer.

On his landing page, you will see that he actually wrote a full-length sales letter to sell this offer.

He even has testimonials from people, making a compelling case for why you should think about signing up to get a free copy of this amazing book!

free shipping testimonials

Of course, he offers upsells along the way. But at the heart of this deal, he is still offering his awesome book for free plus shipping… which packs in a ton of value!

Step 2… Checkout Page

funnel 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.

The checkout page is the most simple page to create but the platform that you run your transactions through is not an easy decision.

I lost 10k going with the wrong funnel system and had to learn the hard way.

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.

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 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.

So, he is putting ads on Facebook, offering this free gun T-shirt to people who love guns.

Then, when people follow the link and click on the ‘order’ button of the landing page to claim their free gun T-shirt, they are being directed to the checkout page.

They are then directed to this upsell page for the monthly subscription on their way to delivery.

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!

Another really cool free plus shipping offer that I’ve seen was for a survival business card, I found this offer on Clickbank. It is one of those business-card-sized tools that had a bunch of stuff included in it.

funnel one time offer

It’s a metal credit card with a water compass, a wrench, a knife edge, a screwdriver, a magnifying glass, a saw blade… etc. It just slides into your wallet, and this particular site said that they were ‘giving it away for free, shipping and handling not included.’

Once again, they didn’t even say how much the shipping and handling was going to be on the landing page. They just said that it was a free offer, plus shipping.

how much is shipping

This was actually a Ryan Dice offer… so this thing converts like a gangbuster!

Long story short, the upsell pages on these funnels are killer. They offer you the chance to earn serious cash by offering additional products, especially when you tie a free plus shipping offer into a membership funnel.

They are not even inconvenient, so they don’t really even mess with customer happiness.

But some marketers are using them to absolutely crush it with sales!

For example… on Russell Brunson's website, where they use a full-length sales letter and testimonials to sell their free plus shipping offer for DotCom Secrets, you will also find the back-end strategically loaded with upsells.

But the beauty of Russell Brunson’s landing page is that they do such a good job of ‘selling’ his book with a sales letter and testimonials, they obviously put a lot of time into his landing page.

roi with upsells

They know that for every book that is given away, they will average a certain amount of money in upsells. Plus, they are getting emails to use on the back end… and that is super powerful!

So yeah… upsell pages are a huge part of what makes the free plus shipping funnel so effective.

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 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.

Internet marketers are using this funnel to great effect right now, and are crushing it with killer numbers. The examples I gave above are just a few of them.

Building Your Largest Marketing Asset via Free Plus Shipping

grow your business

What is your best asset in your business?

It is email addresses of customers.

A free plus shipping customer has turned from prospect to giving you money and getting something in exchange for that money.

Paying customers are much more likely to buy from you again in the future than a prospect is, which means that you will be able to use that email you gathered to more effectively market products in the future.

Why?

They who have already given you money and have experienced the benefits of your work.

It’s easier to make more money from a current customer than it is to generate a new customer.

The long-term successful business game requires you to focus on your customer lifetime value.

What do you think is more simple?

Getting $17 from 588 people = 10k

Or

$1,500 from 6 people = 10k

Previous Customers are more likely to buy than prospects!

See a Live Funnel that is Crushing it!

If you haven’t read DotCom Secrets, I would absolutely recommend that you do so. I’ve gone through it multiple times, and always get a ton of value from it. It talks about funnels, value ladders, and all kinds of other related topics!

DotCom Secrets free book offer

It is easily the best 6-7 dollars you will ever spend on your business and It is currently available through this funnel for that price because of the free plus shipping offer, and he is crushing it with conversions!

Now, I do not recommend clickfunnels, or any of the stuff on the back end. In fact, clickfunnels has cost me about $10,000 over the course of my career!

But… if you want to learn how to grow your business, you should pay for shipping and pay attention to the funnel steps! This guy is a serious marketing pro, and you can learn a lot from him!

A Basic Summary of The Free + Shipping Funnel

free + shipping funnel stages

Let’s recap on exactly how the steps in this funnel lead up to an email address and possible upsells.

Here is how visitors enter and navigate through the funnel, one step at a time…

  1. An ad or post sends them to your landing page
  2. Your landing page offers a ‘free plus shipping’ offer
  3. When they click on the offer, they are taken to the checkout page
  4. When they reach the checkout page, they fill out shipping details and email, but are still not given the shipping cost! (This is very important! You are keeping them in suspense about the shipping costs at this point!)
  5. Once they fill this out, they are taken to an upsell page
  6. Then, they are taken to the delivery page where the offer is officially completed, and they actually pay for the shipping

It is also important to understand that these funnels convert at a much higher rate than digital product funnels. These funnels are converting upwards of 10, 12, and 20% of traffic. Plus, these are NOT just optins. You are converting them to customers!

So this funnel comes with an extremely high potential for conversions when it is employed correctly.

This is obviously a more complex funnel than some we have looked at in the past, but that is also part of what makes it so powerful.

If this is your first funnel to try, I recommend generating leads with a different funnel first, learning how to dial that in with a minimum viable funnel.

If you have used clickfunnels or other closed platform funnel software and are ready to bump up your funnel automation game, this one gives you more control and helps you to save money.

You can own your own funnel platform with WordPress.

This is the foundation of my whole entire business.

This gives you SEO, sales funnels, lead generation, popups, shopping carts, email segmentation, and more.

It is built from 3 tools and in this guide I show you how you can own your own internet marketing foundation instead of leasing it.

Once you get a visitor to click through to the delivery page portion of the funnel, you will have not only secured an email for your list and potentially even sold an upsell product or two… but you will have also cultivated an actual customer, not just a prospect.

And the difference here is HUGE!

The magic is in the physical item. Once they get that item in their hands, they officially and psychologically become your customer… even if they only paid for the shipping.

Is Free + Shipping For You? How to Take Things to the Next Level!

If you are an advanced marketer who is wondering what the next level is, then the free plus shipping funnel might be an awesome next step for you.

This is especially true if you wouldn’t mind organizing the logistics of offering a physical product in exchange for just shipping costs.

The only thing you are really risking with this funnel is the time it takes to mail out the physical products… but the upsell potential and the email list make it more than worth the effort.

This is also an excellent funnel to try if your digital funnels just haven’t been performing as well as you would like. You may find that this funnel simply converts better in some cases… at least as long as you do it right.

Please comment and let me know if you’ve been using this funnel. Has it worked for you? Also feel free to drop questions. I am happy to help in any way that I can!

About the Author Miles

Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.

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2 comments
gregmurrayno1@gmail.com says March 16, 2019

Hi Miles
Thanks for this article!

I was wondering would the influence (andre chaperon) type funnel work even better with this offer?
and what company fulfils a physical book shipping.I have looked online for print on demand like ingram spark but nothing seems to fit with this type of funnel offer.Even clickfunnels wont give companies name for physical book print on demand company.

Thanks

Reply
    Miles says March 30, 2019

    You have to test the funnels against eachother to know for sure. Too many variables.

    Look at who ClickFunnels integrates with and you'll find clues about who they use.

    Reply
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