The Free Plus Shipping model is a popular and profitable funnel type where you offer the front-end product for free, and collect the shipping costs.
Although this funnel leads to an inrush of new customers and a boost in revenue, most eCommerce businesses are not using it because of the expensive tools you need to build one.
In this post, I'll show you some examples of free plus shipping offers so that you can reverse engineer your funnel and we'll also see how to build it at a minimal cost.
Yup, that's important - I know!
The best part? It only requires a one-time effort and you can reap the benefits of this sales funnel for a long time.
We'll be using WooCommerce and WooFunnels.
So strap on those belts and let's begin!
Stores usually have a catalog of products. The shoppers come, pick what they like and buy it when they want. As a store owner, you have no control over the products they purchase or the average order value of a sale.
But with a free plus shipping funnel, the environment is controlled. You build the funnel, piece by piece, and hand-hold users through the journey.
There are no unnecessary steps in the process like - Add to cart > Go to the cart page > Proceed to checkout > Land on the Checkout page, making this funnel very efficient.
And yes, also because the front-end item is free!
Free plus shipping depends on how exactly you execute it.
If you’re not incurring a loss on your front-end item or barely breaking even – then the customer also knows that you’re charging him for the product via the shipping cost.
So you’ve got to be honest here and not let their order total exceed the original shipping cost.
You don’t make your profits until they’ve accepted the order bump or the one-click upsell or an offer pitched later via emails.
Your focus should not be on the initial sale but the average order value and the lifetime customer value.
Free plus shipping is the only way for you to acquire fresh customers and build a relationship with them.
Here are a few e-commerce store owners who are using this funnel pretty effectively.
Feel free to carry these insights into your world. Let's now look at what all we've got:
Printed T-shirts make for great front-end products because they let people make a statement.
Moreover, who doesn't want to express themselves? Here's an example of a free t-shirt plus shipping offer:
This example is taken from Miles Beckler's awesome post on the free plus shipping funnel. Take a few minutes to read that too!
Who doesn’t like to show off a bit?
People often buy items that are different from anything their friends might have.
Here’s an example of an item that’s super cool to own and can come in handy when you might need it. Take a look:
It’s a firestarter that one would need during camping – what a great tool to have and flaunt!
Here’s the order form for this item:
Notice the product cost and taxes are zero, while the shipping and handling are $3.95.
Another excellent example of the free plus shipping model!
If you write ebooks, it's best to get them printed. You don't even need a publisher.
This book is an excellent front-end offer:
Cardone spends one whole page convincing people of the offer and why they should buy it.
He’s only charging $4.97 for shipping the book which appears authentic and is the reason for the success of his funnel.
The most significant component of this free plus shipping funnel is an enticing front-end offer because if it doesn’t attract customers, it’s a waste of effort.
Besides, it should be a low-priced product, so that you can break even on the ad spends with the shipping fees alone.
Follow this checklist to find your winner:
So, what do I mean by that?
I mean that it should be a reasonable product because you’re going to either bundle its cost in the shipping price or pay it from your pocket to acquire customers.
Therefore, do not pick an expensive product.
Something in the range of $2-$8 is just right.
It would also encourage people to buy without giving it much thought (impulse purchase).
You’ve got to entice people through your copy and attractive images of the product to convert them.
You cannot pique a buyer’s interest if the product’s bland.
So make sure you pick something that has the right amount of social proof and a credible reason backing the need for the product.
It’s not essential, but it will be a substantial addition to your offer
Let me give you an example of an emotion-evoking story:
Notice how the seller, Bryce, writes a personal letter about the survival cup. He goes on to explain the different uses of the product and also shows lifestyle images of the same.
I will take you through the various parts of a high-converting funnel so that you get a better idea of how to build one for yourself.
The first piece in the jigsaw is the advertisement. Since the product is free, you’ll not have a hard time convincing people to click and explore the details. So make sure you highlight the word free in your ad copy and image.
Take a look at this example:
The product takes center stage, and the word ‘FREE’ is written in bold and capital letters. The call to action is simple yet effective.
Look at the engagement!
Here’s another example:
It’s a 1-minute video ad with a short but to-the-point copy. Cardone doesn’t beat around the bush and encourages people to claim their free book right away.
Both the examples have implemented the free plus shipping strategy beautifully.
A two-step order form embedded on a landing page is a well-converting design. We make it multi-step because it’s proven to convert better.
You can collect necessary details on step 1 and payment-related information on the next level. Here’s how:
On step 2 of this form, we display what they’re paying for - the item and the shipping - along with the payment section:
When you click on the second step, you can see the small shipping charge.
This is the free plus shipping strategy that we're talking about!
An order bump is a low-dollar upsell offer that helps increase your average order value. I’ve already written some long posts on order bump ideas, examples, and setup – I recommend you take a look.
Here’s the order bump for our example:
Notice the bump is a beneficial product in this case because it’s post-mask care, so it complements the main item pretty well.
We have another example of an order bump, which is the ‘more of what you’re buying’ type offer.
It makes for an excellent order bump. You can add some more units to their order and charge additionally for it.
Include the additional shipping charges in the final price of the deal.
Bundles make for great one-time offers. Although creating a bundle requires a bit of research, it can potentially double the order value of customers.
In the case, you do not want to upsell a package, use this upsell framework to zero in on your offer.
According to this research, people have an innate desire to complete the set. So give them different components of the item selected to complete it.
Take a look at Cardon’s Video Training Package:
It is a bundle with recorded videos, seminar recordings, and ebooks on various topics - all related to the central theme.
If you sell physical products, for you, this could be a whole kit with all your products or a bundle of multiples of the same product.
All right! So now we’re going to look at the step-by-step process to set up the funnel.
You can do it along with me, or take some time to go through the steps and execute them later.
You need WooFunnels for this because WooCommerce doesn’t provide you with these functionalities.
Add a new product, make the cost zero dollars, and mark the product as hidden.
We’re doing this because there are different shipping methods activated in the store and we want to associate this class with our free product.
Go To WooCommerce (on the side panel) >> Settings >> Shipping >> Shipping Zones
Now add a new shipping zone, choose the region, and the shipping method as flat-rate. You’ll have the option here to set up the shipping charges when you edit it:
In this case, I've set it up to $2.87:
Next, go to your free product, scroll below, and hit the Shipping tab >> Shipping Class >> Choose the class you just set up.
For example, we have set up a free product with $20 as the shipping charge. Set a low amount for your free plus shipping strategy to work.
You can now create your order form and select the product.
Hover over WooFunnels >> Funnels >> Add New
Add a new Checkout step to your blank funnel page.
You’ll have to name your new Checkout page and add some descriptions if you like. Your page ID will be auto-generated:
Enter the name of your funnel.
Now, add a checkout step to your funnel.
Edit the Checkout page and select the template.
Add the product and give a 100% discount on the sale price.
We don’t need to set up any discount or quantity here, so you can leave all of that to default values.
Next, go to the Forms section.
All the fields can be dragged and dropped into the section area of the form:
You can also add a new step to create a multi-step form.
We’re going to collect the name, email, and other essential details on the first step.
The subsequent steps are easy.
Stylize the form by using the Checkout Form widget. You can change the form width, typography, colors, background, and more.
Further, you can use the ‘Enter Customer Information’ tab to change the width of any fields on your Checkout Form.
Under the Style section, you can modify the typography, colors, buttons, background, border, coupon section, payment methods, product switcher, and much more.
Alternatively, you can install and activate the other WordPress editors. WooFunnels deeply integrates with Gutenberg, Elementor, Divi, Oxygen, and other page builder tools.
Order Bump by WooFunnels has a very intuitive interface.
We've added some new skins to our order bump plugin, you can customize the bump to your liking. Take a look at one of the classy skins:
Further, you can also set up one-click upsells using the WooFunnels Funnel Builder.
Free Plus Shipping funnel is pretty popular in the funnel circuit.
Although it’s quite successful in profitably converting new customers, business owners don’t use it merely because of the different pieces involved in the jigsaw.
However, as I showed you it’s actually pretty simple to build this funnel and is quite cost-effective as well. What do you think?