MLM Sales Funnel: What You Should Know

What is a sales funnel and how can you use one to grow your network marketing business?  For the rest of this blog post I want to share everything I know about online sales funnels, so you can create one for your own business.

The easiest way to describe a MLM Sales Funnel is to think of an upside down pyramid, with the big end on top. The purpose of a MLM Sales Funnel is to sift, sort and filter your leads to weed out the tire kickers, produce multiple streams of income, and produce distributors and retail customers on the back end.  Lots of people enter the sales funnel and a small percentage buy affiliate products you recommend, sign up as a distributor on your team, or become a retail customer.

A good sales funnel simplifies your business, puts your business on auto-pilot, and lets you create low cost or free leads. You might initially spend a lot of money on advertising, but sales from the affiliate products you recommend help offset this cost, so you can keep advertising and keep generating more leads. Once your funnel is set up and in place your primary job is simply to keep adding people to your funnel every single day.  

In most cases, people use an auto-responder for their MLM Sales Funnel. This provides a series of pre-written emails delivered on a frequency that you determine. The first email is normally a welcome message. Typically, the second message offers a $9.95 to $29.95 product, such as an eBook, affiliate product, or training DVD. Sales from this low cost product put money in your pocket, which helps pay for your advertising costs.

In addition, you will have another 20-100 messages in your funnel. Most messages are educational in nature. Every few emails, you recommend a different affiliate product. In each case, the product you recommend should be slightly higher than the previous product you recommended. For instance, your sales funnel might look like this.

• Email 1: Welcome Message

• Email 2: $9.95 to $29.95 product

• Email 3-6: Educational Emails

• Email 7: $47 eBook

• Email 8-10: Educational Emails

• Email 11: $97 Coaching Session

• Email 12-15: Educational Emails

• Email 16: $197 Email Mini-Series

• Email 17-19: Educational Emails

• Email 20: $497 Seminar

• Email 21-24: Educational Emails

• Email 25: Offer Your MLM Business

This is just an example of a structure you could use.

You will find that some people buy your first product and do nothing else. Some people won’t buy anything at all. Other people will buy 2-3 things. And a very small group of people will buy everything you recommend. In addition, uninterested people will unsubscribe from your list (which is good). Finally, a very small portion of your leads will join your MLM business opportunity. Best of all, you make money whether people join your team or not, and you have multiple streams of income.

In my opinion, all smart internet network marketers should use a MLM Sales Funnel to grow their business. This lets you work smart. If you just advertise your business opportunity, you will typically get horrible results. You also need a way to make money from people who are in your target market, but aren’t interested in your business opportunity.  That’s why I recommend you offer a variety of products and services in your funnel. You can use 20 emails, 50 emails, or 100 or more emails. At a bare bones minimum, you should have 20-30 emails in your funnel, and three to five different affiliate products you recommend.

I’ve also found that it makes a lot of sense to communicate MINIMUM three times per week with your email leads. Most top marketers communicate DAILY with their email list.  A few leads might complain and unsubscribe, but that’s okay. Your goal is to weed out the tire kickers and find the serious people.  Your ultimate goal is to build a strong relationship with your list and get them to know you, like you and trust you.  And the best way to do that is to offer value and communicate often.

It took me a couple years of trial and error to figure out how to use a MLM Sales Funnel the right way. It definitely didn’t happen overnight. But, I can promise you that this method does work. Best of all, you don’t need to create any of these products yourself. You can sell other people’s affiliate products. That’s what I do.

Setting Up Your Own MLM Sales Funnel

If you want to set up your own sales funnel, this is what you need to do.

# 1 Pick Your Target Market – The first step is to pick a niche or target market.  Ideally, you want to put a lot of thought into which group of people you will focus your marketing efforts on.  For example, will you focus on stay at home moms, other network marketers, opportunity junkies, executives, or someone else.  It makes no sense to focus on everyone and anyone.  The “tighter” the niche group you can find the better you will do.

# 2 Get an Auto-Responder – Once you have a target market identified, your next step is to get an auto-responder.  I personally use Aweber.  Your auto-responder is a web-based software program that manages your leads for you and sends out your emails for you.

# 3 Find 3-5 Affiliate Products – Next, you need to find three to five affiliate products that you can promote in your own sales funnel.  You are looking for one product in the $10 to $30 range, one product in the $47 to $97 range, and one product that is more than $97.  You need products that people in your niche will be interested in.  You can find these products on Clickbank, Share a Sale, Commission Junction or maybe even Amazon.

# 4 Write Your Emails – This is where the rubber meets the road.  You need to write persuasive emails.  Follow the example I listed above on how to set up the sequence.  You can do this yourself or outsource it.  Your emails should be conversational in nature, read like a story, and be persuasive.  Remember that you aren’t trying to sell stuff in every single email.  Your job is to educate and entertain your prospects, so you can build up the know, like and trust factor.

# 5 Start Advertising – Once steps one through four are done your sales funnel is set up.  Your next step is to start advertising, so you can start generating leads.  You can do some free stuff, but I think paid advertising is even better.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you want to build your MLM business online, you must use a MLM Sales Funnel. It is the most effective way to create multiple streams of income, so you can pay for your advertising costs and generate low cost or fee leads. If you do it right, you will be able to advertise for free, so you can keep generating leads forever. And as you find new products to sell, you can add them to your MLM Sales Funnel and make even more money. Finally, you can offer your business opportunity on the back end, after you’ve built a relationship with your leads.

What do you think?  What type of sales funnel do you have for your network marketing business?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes is a Network Marketing Professional, author, and blogger. He's been in the industry since 2002. He is one of the top producers in his network marketing company. He is happily married and lives in Florida with his beautiful wife, Rachel. He enjoys flea markets, reading, writing, walking, fishing and funny movies. You can call Chuck during business hours at (352) 503-4816 EST or you can email him at

18 thoughts on “MLM Sales Funnel: What You Should Know

  1. Before reading this post, I had no idea what a sales funnel was. I know a little bit about auto responders, but had never used one and I have not heard of the system you use. This is excellent network marketing advice and you have given me some new things to look into!

  2. I am surprised more people and businesses don’t use this technique more, or even at all. The sales funnel is a win-win tool from what I can tell. Not only are you getting great sales, but you are weeding out the ones who will probably never purchase. It seems to me the sales funnel could be used in nearly any type of business structure.

    I would think that business courses should teach things like this. It amazes me they don’t. I would also think you could use a system such as this through the regular mail too.

    • Using a sales funnel has really helped me a lot. Now, I only talk to people who call me first and are already pre sold on what I have to offer.

      • I had never really thought how the sales funnel could make your job so much easier too. Sometimes the thought of talking to so many people can be nerve racking, but when you create a system as you explain here, when you speak with people, the majority of work is complete. Instead of a lot of time being taken to explain the product or services, you just close the deal and move on to other responsibilities.

        I am going to write this blueprint for a sales funnel and use it.

        • Good for you, Greg. You can use a sales funnel in any type of business and do well.

  3. I do love this system. I just wanted to mention something you may want to try.

    Every time you are selling something, by offering something small and simple to add FREE to the order, it creates a sense of “getting a great deal.” An example would be on email #2 you are offering a $10 ebook, and when you order today, I will throw in the FREE white paper teaching you how to _______. I believe you understand what I mean.

    When you throw something in for FREE, people tend to jump higher and further to get it. I have seen people pay 40% higher prices for a house full of windows just because they get a free storm door. It can be magical how the word FREE can get people to buy things they normally wouldn’t.

    • Yes, giving away stuff for free definitely leads to more sales and more conversions.

  4. To be very honest Chuck, I was completely unaware as to what a sales funnel was until I read this post.

    This makes good sense and by allowing you to run it on auto pilot, you are free to handle the many other responsibilities of life.

    Have you found a good supply of people that will purchase a $47 eBook? I have been told that much more than $20 is too expensive. I guess by putting it out there, you will get sales. After all, a person gets what they pay for.

    I like this system and I am going to try to use it in my business. Thank you for sharing this great advice.

    • The price of an eBook is dictated by the value it provides and what people will pay for it.

    • I think if you have built a good reputation and you have been able to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable, then you will be able to get people to purchase your product whether it is $20 or $47 in price. Of course, it shouldn’t be anything too outrageously priced. But you would be surprised what people will pay when it comes to a good product.

  5. Excellent blueprint for a marketing system.

    Mike Stokes
    Baton Rouge, LA

  6. hi chuckholmes, thanks for sharing the great post. Could you share more an example of pre-written email that can persuade people? 🙂

    • Syed,

      If you subscribe to my email series on my join my team page you will get copies of my emails that I use. Thanks.


      • oh glad to hear that Chuck. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it

  7. I appreciate how detailed this post was in explaining not only the benefit of a sales funnel, but in how to establish one. It certainly makes a lot of sense to use a strategy that will allow you to generate multiple streams of income instead of just relying on one. Also, offering multiple products expands your reach more than just having one or two would.

    • Yes, everyone should have multiple streams of income and several products that they promote.

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