September 6, 2017 34 comments

Create a Feel-Good Facebook Ads Funnel for Your Course or eBook

by Regina

Facebook Ads Funnels for Courses and eBooks

Long before I could even begin to define a Facebook ads funnel, from the moment my first $3 sale showed up in my eCommerce dashboard for an eBook I’d written out of pure necessity (to help potential clients plan their brand fully before I started working on their website), I was amazed at the magic/science of someone who doesn’t know you one day, purchasing from you and passionately sharing your stuff all over the web the next day.

I made up my mind to get a Ph.D. where I could research the factors that go into the purchasing decisions of consumers buying from infopreneurs, influencers, and “authorities” online. Still working on that whole Ph.D. thing, but until that time, I have some 80% nerdy, 20% hip, but 100% mind-blowing examples and trainings for you if you want to start selling your programs, services, or digital products online . . . on autopilot . . . while remaining very human and in touch with the people you are serving.

We’re gonna get into actual funnel examples, and so much more . . . you’re ready, right? Oh, and I told you about the free case studies and masterclasses to help you learn Facebook ads from scratch, right? More on that later. And more on these mysterious sheets in a second.

Facebook ads funnel examples for an online business owner

First, it’s time to briefly review what a funnel is and why I go through an intense period every 2 years or so where I desperately try to think of a different name for “funnels” because of the way people abuse, misuse, overuse, etc. the term.

What is a funnel, really?

A funnel is simply one or more of your ideal audience members being drawn in by an amazing resource or gift you offer, then being taken through a series of content pieces you’ve created, in which each piece is meant to: (1) educate and motivate your audience to act on something helpful to them, and (2) accomplish a specific brand goal for you.

The Parts of an Effective Facebook Ads Funnel

My belief is that even though your funnel may have one general goal, the most feel-good, customer-centric, and sensitive funnels are ones that are highly valuable even if someone doesn’t purchase anything and/or ones that have a few stop-off points for people just in case your end goal is not what they need.

Which is why I’m always trying to rename “funnel” . . . people in the online marketing space seem to love to abuse the word . . . by offering little value, lots of pressure, and only high price point resources. Funnels don’t have to be ridiculous. They can be some of the most amazing experiences for your audience . . . something that you get thank you emails and fire emoji tweets about.

Back to the point of this article . . .

Let’s get to an example funnel, eh?

We can take the example of my totally real friend (I didn’t make him up or anything) named Theo to illustrate extremely helpful funnels. In this content series, Theo is not only selling his $35 guide to being a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen, but he is also dishing out essential, valuable information for people who might only need a few additional details or for people who can’t yet afford his book.

Example Funnel from Theo

That funnel looks super sexy and helpful, right?

But you may have noticed a very key thing is missing. “Traffic” as the marketers say. Humans as I like to call them. How are human-actual-people going to become aware of Theo’s amazing free video on “A day in the life of a digital nomad in Playa del Carmen” to begin with?

Getting people to the start of your funnel . . .

There are countless ways someone can become aware of Theo’s video (or his free checklist, or his workshop, or whatever he chooses to share):

  • Theo might share a link to his video in a Facebook Group for digital nomads that he’s a part of
  • Theo might share his link on Instagram
  • Someone might tweet out about Theo’s video/resource
  • People could find his video from a pin on Pinterest or a Facebook Live video
  • . . . and so on

BUT. How can Theo create a consistent stream of the right kind of people landing on his resources? People who are interested in travel, digital nomading, living abroad, doing freelance work on the Internet, etc.?

One seriously epic way is to invest a little time learning how to target, and scale with, Facebook ads.

And I have some seriously cool examples for you in this article. But first, know this: I used to be so epically scared of Facebook ads. I was 100% sure (in my state of ignorance) that they were going to waste my time and money.

Then I started paying attention to various friends of mine online. Like Aby Moore, second from the right in the image below—she drove hundreds of dollars in sales on a workbook from $130 in Facebook ad spend. Or like the amazing Kimra Luna, on the left below—her love affair with Facebook ads started when she spent $400 and got 1000 people signed up for her first business webinar. P.S. The thing all these screenshots have in common is the fact that they’re all case studies and masterclasses you can access in Social Ads School.

Learn Facebook Ads for Free with Social Ads School

I watched how my friend (and former client) Courtney Sanders absolutely blew up online—the good way—with Facebook ads funnels like the ones she shares in Social Ads School. She didn’t start testing out thousands of dollars. She started testing out a $100 ad spend and getting back $196 in sales of a 7-day challenge—as she explains in the slide towards the left above.

And of course, I’ve been watching two people I admire a ton, Verick Wayne (my friend since undergrad)—as he got more and more passionate about Instagram and Facebook and paved the way for me to use them more effectively, and Andrew Hubbard—a genius Facebook ads strategist who works with course sellers, event hosts, and more.

And after all these examples and lessons, I decided to give Facebook ads a serious try. The results have been kinda magical, and today I want to be a ShareBear and share as much as possible with you.

Facebook ads funnels aren’t scary, and they can be totally human and warm.

Over the next few articles on this site, we’re going to get into four super clutch examples based on four pretty common product/business models that you might be pursuing or considering. These are the same four “tracks” or “streams” used in Social Ads School, so that you can find the sessions most relevant to your business (but of course you can always watch all 30 sessions).

You may be selling:

  1. Courses and eBooks
  2. 1-on-1 services like consulting and freelancing
  3. Masterminds or group coaching programs
  4. Tickets to live and virtual events

We’re going to take some examples from a book I created on funnels, example avatars—one for each of the product models above—and trace out a full, epic, profitable funnel that starts with a targeted Facebook ad. Today we’re starting with Facebook ads funnels specifically for course creators or book sellers.


How to Create a Facebook Ads Funnel to Sell Your Course or eBook on Autopilot

Let’s revisit this Theo character from one of my books. Remember . . . he is selling a digital guide (eBook and an accompanying video or two) on living and working internationally in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Theo is getting a Facebook ads funnel

Step 1: Create a Compelling Offer to Start off Your Facebook Ads Funnel

The start of a Facebook ads funnelTheo might start with a simple Facebook ad that he targets at anyone who has similar habits (on Facebook) to his website visitors—he can do this by installing a piece of code on his site (a Facebook pixel) and then creating a “lookalike” audience in his Facebook ads account.

In addition to the fact that the people he targets “look like” people who already visit his website, he might also make a condition of his ad that it’s only shown to people who also like a popular digital nomad Facebook page, are between the ages of 23 – 38, and use Gmail as their primary email provider.

His Facebook ad can be a simple 90-second video (maybe where he’s simply holding his phone on a selfie stick and walking around key spots in his city during the day—with good light—sharing 2 or 3 key tips about being a digital nomad).

His video ad can direct people to a landing page on his website where they can sign up (with their name and email address) for two more videos in his series—one that explains the ways you can make money as a digital nomad and one that explains the basics of living internationally.

Pro tip: Theo can use the “thank you” page after people sign up for his free videos to lightly (or fully and directly) mention the $35 guide he sells. This can help sales trickle in immediately and pay for his Facebook ads. But, since he’s still giving free value, it won’t turn off most (reasonable) people to get a special offer of an affordable digital guide.

Personal story side note: I’ve used this “redirect to special offer” method before to drive over $10,000 in sales of an online course immediately after people signed up for a free workshop series. It’s also a method that Tamra Floyd, Courtney Sanders, and Claire Pelletreau use often and show you how to work during Social Ads School.

Tripwires and special offers in your Facebook Ads Funnel


Step 2: Follow Up with a Reminder and Some Helpful Info/Resources

Since Theo recently collected people’s email addresses, he can send a follow-up email, 3 days after they initially signed up for his list, re-linking to the videos (in case his subscribers missed them), and giving some new, relevant information to his audience.

Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course on Autopilot

^^In this email, Theo is combatting a common objection/fear he hears about moving abroad through a well-researched government report on the low crime rates in the city he lives in. He’s also giving people a chance to check out a free podcast series he created with some amazing fellow digital nomads, or to join his free Facebook group and/or buy his $35 guide.

Personal story side note: Theo’s funnel is very similar to how I’ve sold a graphic design course in the past. Facebook ad >> to workshop >> to helpful email chain with more videos/info >> to purchase. The course was priced at $175, and even though only a small percentage of people purchased it, it was enough to pay for the ads and make a nice profit.

Oh, and: If you want some case studies and masterclasses that talk about selling digital courses and eBooks using Facebook ads, check out the sessions in Social Ads School by Melyssa Griffin, Kimra Luna, and Aby Moore, among others.


Step 3: Re-Target People on Facebook AND Send Another Educational/Motivational Email

Here’s where some next level cool stuff comes in. You may or may not know that most entrepreneurs and businesses online are getting open rates on their emails between 17% and 25%. No, I’m serious. Check out this report (updated in 2017) by MailChimp.

That means that for every 100 people you send your emails to, 80 of them don’t open it. That’s serious.

But, it’s not the end of the world. There are almost 2 billion people on Facebook, so it’s a good bet that a lot (if not all) of your ideal audience members are on Facebook.

So, instead of relying solely on email to deliver your funnel (let’s say it goes out to 1000 people one month . . . you want more than 170 or 200 people getting it, right?) . . . why not add a Facebook ad into your funnel?

You’re increasing the chances that the right person will see your content at the right time. So, let’s look at what Theo does and see if it can give you some ideas.

We know that Theo already had people landing on a “thank you” page on his site after they signed up for his video series that they learned about through his Facebook ad (and/or some other means—he can always share his series using free methods as well).

Let’s call that thank you page TheoTravels.com/video. Someone would have only landed there if they’d signed up for his series.

Theo can go inside his Facebook ads account and now create an audience (basically, a group of people to show ads to) that will only include people who’ve seen that specific page on his site . . . so the audience consists only of people who signed up for his offer.

And here’s where he goes NEXT LEVEL.

Here's how to set up a hack to create a Facebook Ads FunnelTheo can create that audience out of people who’ve been on that page at least 3 days ago, but no longer than 10 days ago. Or whatever numbers he chooses. Why would he do this?

If he knows he’s about to spend money to show an ad to people in his funnel, why not make sure they signed up for his resource at least 3 days ago (meaning they’ve had time to watch the videos and “warm up” to Theo) but not longer than 10 days ago (so he can keep the audience relevant and fresh—someone may not remember him from 33 days ago or may not be as concerned about the topic anymore).

He (and you and I) can essentially then spend money on just the people who have already shown a high level of interest in what we’re talking about. And because of the way Facebook “Audiences” work, people will automatically be added and removed from the group of people we’re showing ads to based on the conditions we set up.

So on Day 11 after signing up for Theo’s resource and landing on his “video” page, that person will no longer be shown the ad for the second piece of the funnel (let’s say piece #2 is a case study). If they haven’t taken advantage of it by then, why spend money trying to make them? Also, Theo can add a condition that this audience he’s showing an ad to on days 3 – 10 doesn’t include anyone who has already visited the case study’s landing page.

#Brilliant.

So to summarize, 2 – 5 days after someone initially signs up for a resource from you, you can start targeting them with an ad that takes them to the next content piece in your funnel. Simultaneously, you can schedule another email that also takes them to the next piece in your funnel. Adding in the *hopefully* high-converting ad to your email plan will increase the number of people who actually see your next funnel piece.

The second ad in your Facebook ads funnel

Funnel Email Example for Selling an eBook or Course


Step 4: Continue to Use a Combination of the Custom Audience “Hack” in Step 3, and Funnel Emails Spaced a Few Days Apart, to Deliver a Few More Resources

Remember, Theo still has a blog post on how to get great Internet speeds in Playa, his own case study of how he lives and works for under $1500/month, and a lesson on getting the proper visas and permits to stay legally in Mexico.

Example Funnel from Theo

He can choose to create an ad for some, none, or all of his remaining funnel content pieces (videos, articles, podcast episodes, and more)—pieces that always link or invite people to purchase his guide or a different resource/course he sells. And, he can definitely, for free, create an email to go out every few days for the rest of his funnel content.

If he’s using email software like ConvertKit (the one I use), then as soon as someone buys his guide, he can make sure they stop receiving funnel emails to promote the guide—all of this is done “automagically” with no extra work from Theo after he initially sets up the action/reaction in ConvertKit.


And that my human friend, is how someone can use Facebook ads to sell a course or eBook on “autopilot.” Cool, right? Want more examples like this? Make sure you are:

  • Signed up for business notes (emails) from me—you can do that at the top of this site
  • Signed up for Social Ads School—it includes 30 masterclasses and case studies to help you grow your business with Facebook ads and smart funnels

Join us for Social Ads School for free

I’ll see you super soon for Part 2 of this series. Excited? Leave a comment below with a funnel idea you have for your own content (no matter how rough an idea). I want to hear about it.

Regina out.

34 responses to “Create a Feel-Good Facebook Ads Funnel for Your Course or eBook”

  1. Andrea Jones says:

    When Regina posts another blog, the whole world stops! Seriously excited for this and for you and for all the humans who are going to learn some super cool stuff ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  2. This is great and detailed information. I never fully understood the retargetin process (now I’m sure I missed out on leads). Can’t wait to implement these tips for my upcoming launch. -Q

  3. Wow, Regina. I’m completely blown away with this blog post. I was actually contemplating a couple days ago on how to use Facebook ads to go with my funnel that I’ll be launching with my Facebook live series in the next coming months.

    I recently used Facebook ads to advertise my first Facebook live audio for the series and my engagement had a cute mini-explosion. I would love to track the metrics of success, but I unfortunately have trouble understanding my Facebook page insights.

    Thanks to the ad, I know the exact age range to target and gender. Now, if I could only figure out and understand Facebook Pixel…

    • regina says:

      Yo. For real. I am a little lost on Page Insights as well. And I don’t even visit the tab and read them enough to get any valuable info from them. It’s bad.

      In Social Ads School there is a “Pixel Magic” session and an “Advanced Pixel Magic” session, plus Claire Pelletreau (one of the people leading a masterclass) has a set of articles on her site about installing the pixel on WordPress, Squarespace, Leadpages and more >> http://clairepells.com/how-to-install-the-facebook-pixel-wordpress/.

  4. Jannie says:

    Regina, thank you so much for the added value in this article. I am starting to learn Fb ads both for my VA business and how to do this for my romance authors.

    Currently, I have a lead magnet for authors but all I have is an email sequence and landing page all set up for it. What’s your best advice using FB ads to promote that lead magnet? Thank you!

    • regina says:

      Jannie, yay for you using ads for both of these businesses/reasons. I think they will help a lot.

      What is the lead magnet? Is it a checklist? Mini-course? Video? There are a number of ways to present/promote the lead magnet with an ad, but I’d recommend trying a short video ad (it could even be a screencast that shows your lead magnet on your computer screen) or even the new slideshow feature Facebook has created for ads.

      A lot of ideas will be covered in Social Ads School, but as a tip, you can mock up and test out your ideas in the “creative hub” (https://www.facebook.com/ads/creativehub).

  5. Miesha says:

    Yaaah! I love Regina’s blogs!

  6. Thank you so much for this! I would love to see this in the form of when you’re wanting to gain email subscribers when providing a free webinar. Specifically, how long before your free webinar should you do a Facebook ad to make sure you gain sign ups and when you know you don’t have the website visitors??

    That would be really helpful for those who aren’t having traffic to their site at the moment, I’m sure targeting will work by choosing related pages but just wondering in detail!

    Thank you, this post was so informative!

    • regina says:

      That’s a great idea for a post, Tiffani. Thank you. I also want to cover all the different ways you can create “audiences” in Facebook. There are so many new options other than website traffic (such as: people who engage with you on Instagram or people who have watched a Facebook Live of yours, etc.).

      But, you’re right, even without traffic to pull from, you can target people for your webinars and grow your list. I’ll be working on that post for sure!

      In Social Ads School you may want to check out Courtney Sanders session, Allie Bjerk’s session, Tara Zirker’s, and Aby Moore and Tamara Floyd, at least. There are so many good talks it’s hard to choose.

      Thank you for commenting!

  7. Deya says:

    So goooooood! Thank you, Regina!!

    I’m thinking of running a funnel like Fb ad –> Free basic course (gather emails) –> advertise comprehensive course after that course –> follow up emails using your great examples!!

    Thank you! <3

  8. Lori says:

    Another amazing tutorial by Regina! I know nothing about ads and can’t wait for part 2. I have a funnel idea for my first course that goes live at the end of the month. I’ve created two free guidebooks as part of the funnel and could use the ads budget. Thanks so much for your awesome content!

  9. Angela says:

    This is just what I needed right now. I’m preparing two launches for two different businesses right now and have honestly avoided Facebook Ads. My business partner and I have tried them in the past with no real idea of what to do! We’re both coaches and launching e-courses and group coaching so this is awesome and totally useful! I currently have one opt-in ready for my funnel but am now thinking about two more inspired by this!

    • regina says:

      Angela, I’m so so happy to hear that. Thank you for taking the time to share this! Can’t wait to see your coaching site. Will you please come back and link it when it’s up?

  10. ASwirlGirl says:

    Regina,

    BLESS YOU for providing this much detail – I read it through and now I’m going to take it bit by precious bit. We currently have a funnel in place for our web series (watch the first 5 episodes free, then move into the funnel). NOW I know I need to add an email sequence to better help us seal the deal. Thanks for being such an information Ninja! <3

  11. Paigon says:

    Wow, thanks for providing this detailed piece. Very informative! Will be waiting for part 2.

    • regina says:

      Yay. Okay, thank you lady. It’s coming soon. I’m so excited about it. Right now, I’m just trying to stay calm/tame and not make it like 70,000 words. Jaja!

  12. Eve says:

    Hey Regina! Epic post – as usual!

    I have my free email course set up using the Sensitive Sellers eKit to guide me, and it works so well. Over 500 humans working their way through or have completed it, and with very light mention of my paid membership site, I see sign ups! Two are completely unknown to me – cold audience if you will – and THAT was a total shocker! But, the email course is over 25k words so I think it’s completely value packed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    On my list is time to think about how I can continue to fill that funnel with new people, and as Facebook is filled with my audience, I think that’s my next step!

    Thanks again for this post!

    • regina says:

      Eve, hi!!!!!!!

      And, thank you. I’m so so happy the Sensitive Sellers eKit helped! And I’m so proud of you (weird way to word it because you’re a grown up) for your 500 humans going through it. Wow. Congratulations on the sales and everything you’ve been accomplishing.

      I do think Facebook ads could be a great way to reach and warm up new people!

  13. Pepa says:

    And what about an ad to drive a traffic to a specific blog post (epic one!) that has some hidden content?. And in order to access that content you have to leave email and name
    So you can grow your email list and afterwards retarget those who have signed up to sell your course.

  14. Toyin says:

    First of all, you are amazing Regina!!! So that’s how FB ads work! Mind blown!

    Here’s my funnel idea: I’m creating a product for math faculty members that walks them how to use Trello to keep all of their tasks organized as well as done-for-them boards that I use that they can just copy to their account.

    I want to start with a weekly planner, then move on to a video on how I use that planner, send one other educational email/blog post, and then pitch my $15 Trello product.

  15. Jenny Lord says:

    This is very interesting – my funnel idea is to catch women when they first find out they’re pregnant so I can guide them to the right resources they need and also sell them my online birth and baby preparation courses.

  16. Such great information, thank you for such a detailed explanation.

    I’m working on a three video funnel right now, planning to launch my course Oct 1! I have a list of 4 at the moment, so I’m hoping to use FB Ads to sell my course and build my list.

    I’m using the videos to start changing language learner’s perception of pronunciation by teaching them the high level view of pronunciation in an approachable manner. โ€œImprove Your Speaking Ability in Three Days!โ€ Video 1 is about confidence and how to fake it if you don’t feel it. Video 2 is about the mouth and how manipulating muscles creates sound. Video 3 is about intonation and rhythm- how they affect meaning and how to manipulate these skills to help improve pronunciation.

  17. Wow, now that’s a blog post…

    Was seriously thinking the other day how to use Facebook ads for a funnel (no joke). Will use this guide now! Amazing how all the examples of other bloggers you gave are successful with it also. Thanks!

  18. Eboni says:

    Awesome as usual!!! Love it!

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