“Funnel hacking is to reverse engineer the sales process of the competitors in your market. Model it and test it out so you can start from what has proven to work instead of starting out from scratch. “
In other words, you’ll actually participate in the various stages of your competitors’ sales funnels, then hack the process in order to learn how to go about creating your own.
Funnel hacking is one of the easiest and most important ways to grow your business. Being able to go deep into your competitor’s marketing funnel and reverse-engineer what they’re up to, you can test their strategies within your own business.
In an online business, this can be anything from landing pages, price points, email sequences, and even retargeting ads. It’s common that split testing various elements of your marketing funnel can yield great results, but testing blindly is a slow and sloppy process, agreed?
Here are some tips on how to funnel hack your competitors effectively.
Table of Contents
How to Funnel Hack Your Competitors
1. List Your Competitors
Now, you will want to list down all the big guy in your market that is doing well. These are your direct competitors that are serving your dream customers. You will want to fight them and win the market.
You will also want to consider looking into your indirect competition, as well. Here, you’ll be considering companies that don’t necessarily sell within your niche but overlaps with your audience group.
By doing so, you are able to understand what other people are doing to win the market. And also the sales process that gets your dream customers to take action.
When you are starting out, don’t filter the list first. List down every competitor that you can find out there. Then start with those big guys to see what they are doing good. Also, check out what other competitors are not doing well. See what they did and learn from their mistakes. Avoid making the same mistakes in your business.
2. Engage, Document, and Analyze
Funnel hacking doesn’t mean just browsing through your competitors’ websites, landing pages, and content. You want to know what they do and analyze why they do that. For example, it can be why they put the button there, why is the message like that, or even the color and layout of the image.
You would want to create a folder and take screenshots of what they did. Categorize those accordingly making sure you truly know what they do and why they do it.
We advise you to create separate folders for Hook, Frontend offers, and Backend offers for each competitor you analyze.
You also may want to create a folder specifically for ad swipes for different ad platforms so you can see the pattern of the winning ads. It can be the video, image, copywriting, the key message. Do remember this, not all platforms are created equally.
You do want to take as many preliminary steps as you can — such as signing up for mailing lists, requesting additional information, and downloading free content.
The idea is to take note of as many different aspects as possible — and to understand why your competitors decided to take the approach they did.
As you find the answers to these questions, make sure to document this information within the folders you’ve created.
3. Assess Tracking Strategies
Throughout the above stage of the sales funnel hacking process, you’ve most likely only seen about 20-30% of your competitors’ sales funnels.
That said, we want to know which tools your competitors use and determine whether or not you should be using these same tools as well.
To figure this out, you’ll need to download two add-ons for Google Chrome:
First, check out Ghostery. This extension allows you to see the “invisible” web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google, and other platforms that gather information about your internet activity.
While this app is primarily designed to stay hidden from trackers, you can use it to identify which trackers and programs are being used by competing businesses.
The second is BuiltWith, which allows you to see the tool stack running on a website — especially the marketing and e-commerce platforms — with the simple click of an icon.
This will begin to answer traffic and conversion rate questions about your competitors’ strategies, such as:
- Are they using remarketing (also known as retargeting)?
- Are they using Google, Facebook, or other platforms?
- Are they using any conversion rate tracking software?
The list of questions you might ask (and find the answer to) is nearly inexhaustible.
What’s important is that you dig up the information that will matter most to your company as you begin to build your own sales funnels. All of this should go right into the notes you created during the previous step of the sales funnel hacking process.
4. Use Competitive Intelligence Tools
You also want to find out how your competitors are acquiring traffic in the first place. This will tell you which sources to focus on when looking to uncover high-value prospects for your own business.
Focusing on the SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) side of things, SEMRush gathers insight into how your competitors generate traffic.
This includes information related to search positions (and changes), ads, keywords they’re targeting, the copy, video advertisements, backlinks, estimated traffic generated, keyword research — and much, much more.
This traffic-focused tool allows you to check out a wide range of activity that’s going on within the websites you’re profiling. With SimilarWeb, you can identify top referring sites, as well as top destination sites as people flow to and from your competitor.
5. Purchase From Your Top Competitors
Now, this is what good business owners do. Take out the credit card and make a purchase. Only with this, you can know the entire sales process and fulfillment process that your competitors are offering.
Once you’ve determined which of your competitors are worth taking a closer look at, your next step will be to engage with them as if you were an interested customer.
You don’t necessarily need to buy all of their products, but you need to act as if you are.
By purchasing on their sales funnel, you know what’s happening in the frontend. But what about the backend, high ticket offers that they are offering. Those high ticket offers are those really making big money for the business owner.
Since this is the high ticket item, they will show you their best skills to close the deal. This is where you can learn the most about their business secret. Learn all from them, but not necessary to buy if you don’t need it. Your goal here is to learn, but not be a customer.
At the end of the session, ask yourself :
- What specific value or benefit is being provided by a given offer?
- What action do you have to take to receive the offer?
- What strategies do they use to keep you moving forward?
- How does each subsequent offer relate to the previous and next sales funnel stage?
The answers to these questions will round out your understanding and allow you to clearly see what you should be offering your customers throughout your own sales funnel.
Now you have already known their bait, landing page, frontend, and backend offer, sales process, ads, and so on. It’s your turn to take action and create your own optimized sales process and sales letter.