A free plus shipping funnel lets you use the power word ‘free’ in your marketing campaigns and attract more customers.
Our user, Brian Hazard (a recording artist and founder, Color Theory) got about 500 new customers with his ‘$0 product and $5 shipping’ funnel.
If you multiply 500 customers with a $5 offer- it’s $2500. But he actually made $7000 from this launch! 🔥
So, what’s the catch?
Well, don’t proceed to make any calculations yet – you haven’t seen his backend funnel with the upsells, downsells and of course, the order bump.
That’s where the money is!
In this post, I’ll do a complete teardown and analysis of Brian’s badass free plus shipping funnel.
What’s with the Word ‘Free’ in Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
Marsh Supermarkets in Indianapolis wanted to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition and boost excitement and sales in the store.
So they began a free sampling program– people could come in and get free samples.
68% of consumers said that free samples persuaded them to make a purchase.
And it reflected in numbers too – the sales increased by anywhere between 600%-2000%. Remarkable!
According to Dan Ariely of Predictably Irrational, free isn’t just an indicator of price but it’s a strong emotional trigger that makes people act irrationally.
When Brian ran a Facebook ad promoting his free plus shipping campaign – he got a ton of traction.
Take a look at his video ad on Facebook:
There is enough social proof in the ad to make it convert like a charm!
You may ask -But why not $5 product plus free shipping? That should be equally powerful, right?
Not really. The phrase ‘free shipping’ has been exploited by Amazon a lot. In fact by several stores out there.
It doesn’t make for a case as compelling because people are used to hearing it and will tune out the marketing message.
Contrast this with the wordings on Brian’s ad:
For a limited time, get the SOUND on CD FREE + $5 Shipping/Handling.
He kept the cost at $5 and not $7 which may be typical in the digital marketing industry because $5 is close to the actual costs to ship.
So while advanced digital marketers may say- ‘Is free plus shipping dead?‘ the truth is in niches like music, skincare, supplements, books – it still works well.
Brian’s Exact Free Plus Shipping Funnel
Brian put together a really strategic free plus shipping funnel.
If you’re wondering – who buys CDs in 2020, well then wait, he has potential customers everywhere. When we posted about his funnel in our group, here’s what our user Melanie said:
So as you can imagine it’s not easy to find CDs everywhere – but it’s a small product, easy to ship and has a sort of cult associated with it.
As Brian highlights:
- Getting stuff in the mail is fun
- Superior sound quality
- The artwork, lyrics, and liner notes
- It has value as a collectible, especially when autographed
- To support the artist!
So those are pretty compelling reasons for people who are raving fans of music!
Here’s a quick look at what his funnel actually looks like – in the real world:
Let’s now look at all his digital assets and components of the funnel.
1. Two-Step Order Form
This two-step order form lets users enter their details including email and address on the first step, followed by the payment details on the next.
It’s well-spaced out, doesn’t look overwhelming, and has a lot going on for it!
Take a look at Brian’s order form built using AeroCheckout:
Here’s what makes it effective:
- The page looks on-brand and polished– Do you notice the beautiful header at the top with the logo at the center It’s so well done!
- Distraction-free header– There are no exit routes in form for a navigation menu on the page which is great.
- It’s minimalist- He’s not trying to oversell the CD and instead banking on the goodwill. His copy is short, to the point, and makes a compelling case for the product.
- Bang-on social proof – The social proof is actually from magazines revered in the music industry and his ideal customers know and respect their verdict.
See some more interesting one-page checkout examples here.
2. The Order Bump
The order bump is a low-dollar on the checkout page. The users ideally see it right before clicking on the ‘place order’ button.
It’s like candies at the checkout counter of the grocery store.
Brian offered 4” stickers there for a meager $2 and one can just check on the box to add to order:
There are a few things that are going right for this order bump:
- Attention-grabbing section – The page is white and which is why the hot pink order bump section grabs attention
- Concise order bump copy– Brian is not beating around the bush. I love how he describes the product and then even tells a bit about the use cases of the sticker.
- Desirable offer– people love custom stickers and the high-quality print is visually attractive.
What’s more? $2 is not a lot – it’s a no-brainer yes!
3. One-Click Upsells
A great free plus shipping offer is one that can be purchased in bulk. And Brian got that part right.
The authentic music lovers are offered a chance in the form of a one-click upsell to get five additional Color Theory CDs in the same package at a deep discount.
That’s accompanied by a bumper sticker – so another free goodie is thrown into the package.
Take a look at his one-click upsell page:
If this offer is accepted, the funnel ends, and if not – they are shown a downsell.
It’s a CD with a 6-panel Digipak with original art on it at half the price!
This is the one:
What I particularly love about Brian’s pages – is how he keeps them minimalist. He doesn’t try to inundate the users with too much information or choices.
So leave some spaces white, it helps.
The language on the pages is conversational and helps pacify customer anxiety, which is great!
You do want to come across as friendly and suggestive – not pushy. Many funnel builders forget that – you shouldn’t!
Notice the headlines:
“Want to go all in?”
“How about this?”
The Stellar Results
Brian’s simplistic funnel has led to incredibly impressive results.
In a period of one month – he made – $7000 from the funnel:
That’s total sales – the worth of all the transactions that happened in the store.
His upsells converted at 18%+ rate which is quite impressive. So out of 460 times, the offers were shown, 145 times they were accepted.
This includes the upsell and the downsell.
“The chief moneymaker is the “All CDs” bundle, which started at $40 then dropped to $35 and then $30 as CDs went out of print.
Bundle sales account for over $3K and nearly 600 CDs sold.”- Brian Hazard
His Powerful Tech Stack
Here’s a quick look at the tools Brian used to put this funnel together:
1. WooCommerce is his sales engine
2. Elementor to create pages – He can’t stop raving about the flexibility and ease of use
3. Siteground for hosting – Brian’s particularly impressed by their service and support. He found their responses thoughtful and instructions clear.
Finally for building the funnel – the on-page checkout, order bump, one-click upsells – he used WooFunnels.
And here’s what he said:
The linchpin of the operation is WooFunnels, which is responsible for the landing/checkout page, upsell, downsell, order bump, and even the abandoned cart emails.
You can piece together just the elements you need, but I opted for the full bundle at $299 per year.
Contrast that with ClickFunnels, which is $97 per month ($1164 per year) last I checked.
I need to give a shoutout to WooFunnels support. Their team in India is incredibly responsive and goes way beyond the call of duty. I’d email with an issue at night, and wake up to find a half dozen test orders and an email full of screenshots detailing a custom-coded solution.
Two WooFunnels highlights put the cherry on top:
- The checkout form uses the Google Maps API to autocomplete your address, which leaves little room for typos.
- Apple Pay automatically pops up as an option if available. Classy!
One nifty technique that Brian used was placing the email field right at the top of the checkout page.
This allows you to capture more abandoned carts and add users to the recovery sequence.
For this, he used Autonami – WordPress Marketing Automation Engine.
This is Color Theory’s cart recovery email:
Autonami has two versions:
1. Autonami (free) – Use it to run your cart abandonment and post-purchase campaigns.
2. Autonami (premium) – It allows you to connect your WordPress site/WooCommerce store with apps and tools you use and love like your CRM, Slack, Zapier, form plugins like Gravity Forms, Elementor forms, and many more!
What’s Next for Brian’s Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
The astonishing fact about Brian’s free plus shipping funnel is not his numbers or that he gained 500 new customers.
Of course, that’s important, he can sell them more stuff down the lane and increase the lifetime customer value.
Also, he now has a system that he can strategically scale.
But the fact that he showed the grit to put all the blocks of his funnel together.
He pulled just the right product out of his garage, figured out the details, did the research, invested in the right tech stack, and took a kickstart.
That’s where most people falter.
“I’ll soon put it to the test, as I just put in a pair of 1000 CD orders to Disc Makers for my last two albums.
I never thought they’d see a physical release, but then again, I never thought I’d reach this many potential CD buyers.
In the meantime, I’ll keep the offer going for another 100 CDs or so, or until Facebook stops finding me buyers at a reasonable cost.” – Brian Hazard.
So he now has an incredibly solid and repeatable system at his disposal.