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Creating Your First Sales Funnel: The Moment of Truth

In the previous blog post, I showed you how to create your own informational product. Today, we’re going to take it a step further as I’ll be walking you through the process of actually selling that product.

If you happened to miss the post I am referring to, you can view it here.

The model I am going to introduce to you is based on taking full advantage of “the moment of truth”.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with a master chef and converse about the sales process that is used in the restaurant business.

He explained to me that in the hospitality industry, the moment that the potential consumer interacts with the staff that gives the consumer an opportunity to form (or change) their opinion about that particular business is called “the moment of truth”. For instance;

  • When the consumer is first greeted upon entering the restaurant
  • When the consumer opens the menu
  • When the waiter takes the consumer’s order
  • When the waiter brings the food to the consumer

These are all considered “the moment of truth” because they can significantly alter (for better or worse) how the consumer views that business.

So what does this have to do with internet marketing? Well, within our particular industry (during the sales funnel) there are also multiple “moments of truth” that can either make or break an entire business model in an instant.

Ensuring that the first interaction with the potential consumer goes well is absolutely essential for the success of any online business as it will help the consumer form an opinion of whether or not they’d like to do business with you in the future.

So today, we’re going to cover the 3 most important “moments of truth” in your sales funnel; the landing page, your Thank You page, and your email auto responder.

Your Highly Converting Landing Page: The First Moment of Truth

The landing page will be the very first thing that most people will see and forms the start of your funnel. It’s critical to have a well constructed landing page that will convert. This is your first moment of truth.

The opinion your potential consumer has of you will begin to form the instant that they lay their eyes on your landing page, so it’s important to not overlook any details.

There is no rule of thumb as to how high a landing page should convert because conversions also fall on your method of traffic as well. However, if you find that the vast majority of people that view your landing page isn’t converting, then you have a significant problem.

First, it’s important to understand that your landing page is NOT a sales page…It is simply for obtaining email addresses in order to begin the sales funnel process.

The only thing that your landing page is meant to do is to raise curiosity…that’s it and nothing else.

Below is a squeeze page that I found online…

squeeze page example

Notice that it provides the intended benefit, but doesn’t go into great detail. It’s enough for a reader to think “Ok, you got my attention, here is my email address. Now give me more info.”

Also notice that it only requires the person to submit their email and doesn’t ask for their name. The majority of people want to receive your info while also being anonymous (aside from their email). In general, the less information the reader is required to input, the higher your conversion rate will be.

There are countless option out there for creating highly effective landing pages. The two that I’ve seen used the most are from Leadpages or designed using Optimizepress 2.0.

The wording that you use is the most important aspect of a successful landing page. A single word could mean the difference between a successful marketing campaign and utter failure, so be highly critical of your word choices.

For instance, there are a lot of marketers out there that use the word “submit” on their call to action buttons. Who wants to “submit”? Instead, tell them what you’re going to do for them, such as “Get Instant Access” or “Download Now”.

Auto Responders

I’m sure that the majority of people reading this already have an auto responder. In the rare case that you don’t, you can’t build an online business without using the proper tools.

There are two auto responders that I am rather partial towards because I believe they provide the highest in quality service. They are Aweber and Get Response. Although I believe Aweber is much more newbie friendly, Get Response does have some redeeming qualities.

When you set up your auto responder, you’ll want to have at minimum, 2 separate lists; “the freebie seekers” and the “buyers” list.

The freebie seekers list contains anyone that has yet to buy your product, while the buyers list will contain anyone that has made a purchase.

Most payment platforms like JVZoo offer an automation rule that allows you to switch emails from one list to the next after they’ve made a purchase from that particular platform.

The main reason for separating buyers from non buyers is that it allows you to create more targeted email campaigns. For instance, if you know someone has purchased your product, then you can promote an additional product that might compliment yours. Since the recipient already has your product, this might be relevant to their needs, while someone that hasn’t purchased your product might not find any value in it at all.

Plus, if you continue to promote your product to someone that has already purchased it, they are far more likely to unsubscribe (which is the last thing you want). You’ll want to send your promotional email series to your freebie seekers list while saving your buyer’s list for broadcast messages and later promotions.

Another reason to separate your list, is that you may want use your list for adswaps someday. If this is the case, you’ll want to keep your buyers to yourself, because it’s obviously not in your best interest to encourage your buyers to join other lists.

Your Second Moment of Truth: the OTO

Ok, so once you’ve signed up for your auto responder and created your two lists, you’re far from done.

You’ll need to ensure that once someone subscribes, they are forwarded to your “Thank You” page. You’ll use this page to promote your One Time Offer (OTO). In a recent blog post, How One Internet Marketer Made $17,351 In His First Month, I outlined the specifics of how a one time offer can significantly increase your earnings and how to properly position it.

In the first post of this series, I covered the basics of creating your own product. You will then take the product you created and offer it to the subscriber right out of the gates.

The subscriber is hungry and primed to buy. They have a problem and you have the solution. It’s the perfect opportunity.

If done correctly, not only will you have gained a subscriber, but you’ll also make some fast cash doing it.

The Final Moment of Truth: Your Email Series

The first email is another “moment of truth” as it introduces yourself and explains what the subscriber can expect from you. It essentially sets the tone for the rest of your email series. If the first email is weak and doesn’t receive a high enough open rate, then the rest of your series is doomed.

One monumental mistake that new marketers make, is that they begin promoting far too early in their email series. By this point they are simply feeling you out; trying to see what you’re all about.

This give you the perfect opportunity to reel them in and ensure that they become regular readers and that you’ve gained their truth. That means, for the first several emails, DO NOT SELL.

Simply provide quality information so that they actually look forward to opening your emails instead of discarding them or reporting you for spam.

Tell stories, give them inspiration, but don’t sell them anything.

Then how do you make money from this? You write a post on your website describing the solution to a problem they may be facing. Then in your email series, describe the problem, explaining why it should be a concern to your readers. Then, tell them that you have the solution…if they follow your link.

The link of course takes the reader to your website where your post pre-sells the reader on some sort of offer (whether affiliate or yours).

By avoiding selling in your emails, you will increase the engagement drastically, which provides you with a much larger following. This following will cling on to every word you say because they trust your opinion, and when it comes time to sell, they will buy whatever you ask them too.

Of course this doesn’t mean that you can’t promote offers within your emails, with this specific business model, it’s just more advantageous to promote sparingly (i.e. every 5 emails or more).


By understanding the various “Moments of Truth” where your potential consumers form their highest (or lowest) opinions of your business, is essential for maximizing the satisfaction of your potential buyers.


It allows you to “woo” them every step of the way and provide you with some big returns in the process.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Hi Sean. Great article as always, thanks. Just a little aside: I don’t know about other purchasers of Rapid Mailer, but I find it a bit discouraging that you mention Aweber and Get Response as viable choices for an autoresponder whereas you don’t give a mention to your own ‘award winning’ product.

  2. Hello Sean.

    Here is something that I don’t understand, I just bought two of your products, Rapid Mailer, couple weeks ago, and Profit Builder just yesterday. But now I just read in this post that you recommend LeadPages, Optimizepress and Awaber and GetResponse.

    I don’t really understand your point here, I don’t like to find that someone who sell his own product actually use the products of it direct competitor.

    Maybe I made a mistake buying your products instead of leadpages and aweber? Or do I missing something here??


  3. Sean, how can you totally overlook your own products like profit builder and rapid mailer in this post? These products are great and they work.

  4. Very detail article, Sean. Thanks. I have a couple of questions.

    1. You mentioned LeadPages and OptimizePress, not your Profit Builder, which I purchased a few days back. It’s a bit puzzling. Any good reason?

    2. You mentioned JVZoo shifts email addresses of subscribers to buyers when they buy. This is very useful. I’m curious, how exactly does this work? I use MyMail with Amazon SES as hosted solutions for email marketing. Can JVZoo help?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

  5. Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Just to clear up a bit of confusion, I didn’t mention my own products because I didn’t want this blog post to come off as promotional in any way. There’s nothing worse than a blogger that plugs his own stuff all the time. To me, that’s no way to build credibility with the readers.

    Also, I’d like to save that info for later posts. With Profit Builder and Rapid Mailer, you’ll be way ahead of the curve, I guarantee it!

    I hope that helps!

    • Hi Sean.

      When you say “To me, that’s no way to build credibility with the readers”, that is exactly what I was talking about in my previous comment.

      One of my Profit Builder clients call me yesterday to tell me about this. He literally said to me: “let’s see how long Profit Builder will be supported by its owner”.

      I hope it will be for a long haul 🙂


      • First of all, thanks for reading my blog and purchasing my products. It really does mean the world to me. I can assure you, Profit Builder isn’t going anywhere and is still my number one choice. I simply left it out of the post because I didn’t want someone to read it and assume that I’m using my blog posts to promote instead of simply educate and share ideas. Perhaps next time I’ll take your advice and plug Profit Builder 🙂

    • Sean, thanks for clearing the confusion. May I however mention my query again for your attention –

      You mentioned JVZoo shifts email addresses of subscribers to buyers when they buy. This is very useful. I’m curious, how exactly does this work? I use MyMail with Amazon SES as hosted solutions for email marketing. Can JVZoo help?

      Hope I’m not pressing too much..

      • JVZoo allows you to select which list you want to add the email to once someone has purchased your product… then in your auto response provider you add an automation rule that tells the autoresponder to remove that person from your freebie list when they are added to the buyers list. So the automation is all on the side of the autoresponder…

        You can select which email list you want people to be added to in JVZoo. Hope that answers your question…

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