We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.
This is an in-depth guide to the free plus shipping funnel.
In this guide you’re going to find out:
- What is the free plus shipping funnel?
- What are the free plus shipping funnel stages?
- How to use the free plus shipping funnel effectively?
- How to create the free plus shipping funnel?
- The free plus shipping funnel examples.
- And so much more.
So, let’s get right into it.
- What Is a Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
- The Free Plus Shipping Funnel Process Explained: How Does It Work?
- What Can I Sell With the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
- How Can I Create a Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
- Pros & Cons of the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
- Examples of the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
- How Can I Learn More About Free Plus Shipping Funnels?
What Is a Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
The free plus shipping funnel is a funnel that offers visitors of your website a free physical item or product, in return asking only for an email address, shipping address, and the payment for the cost of delivery of a product.
Usually, the item that is being offered in the free plus shipping offer, is some kind of physical item or product.
Simply put, a free plus shipping offer is a product you sell for $0.00, but only charge the customer for shipping costs.
Usually, shipping costs are slightly higher than usual to cover not only shipping costs but also the cost of the product.
Free Plus Shipping Meaning And Definition
The free plus shipping model is a popular offer type where you offer the front-end product for free, and collect the shipping costs.
The term free shipping refers to not charging your customers any delivery costs.
Meanwhile, a free plus shipping funnel offers your visitors a free physical product. You only charge the delivery cost.
It is built around the premise that since a customer was offered something for free with complimentary shipping, this will prompt them to purchase another product to cover what they got for free.
When executed correctly, a free plus shipping funnel can increase your profit level and maximize ROI.
Free Plus Shipping Model
A free plus shipping model works just like any other type of funnel.
It is based on the AIDA model and starts by attracting a customer, arousing their interest, prompting their desire, and finally fueling them to take action.
There are different types of free plus shipping funnel models.
Some follow a long conversion pathway, while others are short and direct. The approach used depends on the kind of business and the products you’re selling.
Nevertheless, all models aim to use a free product boot up with low shipping costs as bait to prompt a customer to purchase something of higher value and hopefully convert them into a long-term customers.
Note: free plus shipping model is best applicable in selling tangible products.
How Does a Free Plus Shipping Funnel Work?
The free plus shipping funnel works very simply.
If a regular seller is going to sell a product for $5.00, they will likely add an additional $2.95 for shipping.
Meanwhile, using the free plus shipping model, the same seller will sell the product for $0.00, but increase the shipping fees to $7.95.
That way, both sellers will generate $7.95 in revenue. However, the second offer may be more attractive to buyers, so they will tend to buy more of the same products.
The free plus shipping model can be a very clever tactic to increase sales without incurring more costs.
A free plus shipping model is basically founded on the premise that since a customer got something for free with complimentary shipping to boot, they are justified to purchase something else since they got something for free.
Why Is the Free Plus Shipping Funnel So Effective?
A free plus shipping model is effective because it tricks your visitors into believing they secured a good deal.
The key word here is FREE.
This is the same offer, only to the extent that there is a differently arranged offer.
In one case, the buyer sees exactly how much they are paying for the product and how much for shipping, in another case, the product is presented as a FREE offer, but shipping costs are higher.
But in spite of everything, the seller still earns the same in both cases.
And shoppers also stay more satisfied because they think they got something for free (although it really isn’t).
It’s also relatively simple to set up a free plus shipping offer, and when it’s up and running you’ll be able to select a wide variety of products to add to your store.
The Free Plus Shipping Funnel Process Explained: How Does It Work?
Here’s what the free plus shipping offer process should look like:
- Step #1: the visitor enters your landing page with a free plus shipping offer
- Step #2: they provide you with an email address and shipping address
- Step #3: the customer is redirected to the checkout page where they will provide their details for the shipping payment.
- Step #4: the customer goes to the upsell page, where he’s presented with offers that are related to the free product. At this point, they can accept the offer, or reject it
- Step #5: customer goes to the “Thank You” page that confirms their order.
The free plus shipping funnel’s primary battle is lifetime value vs. gross profit and average order value.
The idea is to attract your dream client for free in exchange for their shipping details and email addresses.
The key to a successful free plus shipping funnel is to do your math correctly and understand economics.
For example, you’re offering a free book that costs $5.00 to print plus $2.95 to ship. The total cost you’ll incur is $7.95.
This is a significant loss on your part because the only monetary value you get in return is a single click.
But, immediately after a customer clicks on the ‘add to cart button’ they are taken to the checkout page and presented with an upsell.
This is where you can make a lot of money.
The free product is used as bait to encourage visitors to make an actual purchase.
The product in the upsell should complement what was given for free to discourage customers from saying no.
Also, to avoid incurring losses, the product you offer for free should be easy to acquire and something that can be produced in massive quantities.
What Are the Main Free Plus Shipping Funnel Stages?
The free plus shipping funnel usually has four main stages (but it can vary).
- Free plus shipping landing page
- Checkout page
- One-Click Upsell
- The free plus shipping funnel thank you / delivery page
Let’s take a look at each of them.
Stage 1: Free Plus Shipping Landing Page
The first stage in creating your free plus shipping funnel is the landing page. This is where a visitor lands after clicking on an ad from Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms or a link that redirects them to your page.
This page displayed what you’re selling and the offer your visitors will get. It is where you highlight the details of your products, benefits, and why your visitors need that particular item.
It is crucial to ensure your CTA button is visible.
Place it in a strategic position where visitors can easily spot it.
Additionally, make it evident that your visitor will get free after clicking the button.
Step 2: Checkout Page
The checkout page comes immediately after the landing page.
This is where you collect a visitor’s information such as their first name, email address, shipping details, phone number, email, etc., depending on the template you’re using.
Also, on the checkout page, a visitor can specify the quantity and size of the product.
Generally, the checkout page is the most specific page to build.
Unlike the landing page, you don’t do a lot of convincing.
The complexity of this page depends on the cart platform you use in running your transactions.
The checkout page should also include a CTA for your visitors to complete their orders.
Note: Avoid putting too many fields on your checkout page. This might put your visitor off and even cause them to leave your site. Therefore, minimize the number of required fields as much as possible.
Step 3: One-Click Upsell
After the checkout page, your visitors are taken to a one-click upsell.
This is where you offer your audience an opportunity to buy something else apart from the free product.
An upsell is a sales strategy used to increase the value of a customer’s order.
Your one-click offer should complement your initial offer. For example, if your free product was a book, you could ask your customers to purchase a follow-up sequence of the book or even join a subscription-based membership in line with the subject of your book.
Always package your upsell at a lower but realistic price, which is hard to resist.
Not all upsells guarantee a payment. It is a 50/50 chance. Sometimes, a customer can click through and directly claim their free product.
That’s why it is essential to come up with an irresistible offer.
But, if the free plus shipping doesn’t convert into a sale, you’ll still build your email list.
Step 4: The Free Plus Shipping Funnel Thank You / Delivery Page
Your visitors must have gone through the landing page, checkout page, and the one-click upsell at this stage.
From this flow, you’ll notice that you’re working towards exciting your clients about the deal before sharing any money details with them.
The key is not to disclose how much a person has to spend until they enter their details and click on the ‘order now’ button.
Your visitors will eventually reach the thank you or delivery page regardless of whether they accept or reject the one-time offer.
This is where you give them full access to your free product and what was offered in the upsell.
Thank or congratulate them for the free product and offer additional information regarding the estimated time before their products arrive and anything else relevant.
After that, you’ve pretty much come to the end of the free plus shipping funnel.
What Can I Sell With the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
When you’re deciding on which product to sell with your free plus shipping offer, you need to consider that you will be relying on your shipping fees to generate profit.
With the free plus shipping model, you can sell anything that isn’t very expensive.
For example, I suggest you stick to products that range from $1-$10.
When you source products in this price range you’ll still receive a large profit margin, which is great for your business.
However, if you try to sell high-value products and you’re then charging $50 for shipping may wary your customers about paying large shipping fees to cover the cost of the more expensive products in your store.
Also, you will probably have problems with the ability to have good profit margins.
How Can I Create a Free Plus Shipping Funnel?
To create a free plus shipping funnel you need to follow these 3 basic steps:
1. Choose the Right Product
The very first thing you should do when creating a free plus shipping funnel is to choose the right product for it.
This product should be:
- Easy and cheap to acquire.
- Desirable and valuable to your audience.
- It has to be something small.
- The product should not cost less when bought in retail stores.
2. Choose the Right Sales Funnel Building Tool
The next step would be to choose the right tool to create a free plus shipping funnel.
This tool should be affordable and fully meet all your needs.
Here is a list of the best and most suitable sales funnel-building tools to choose from.
|Sales Funnel Software||Description||Rating||Price||Website URL|
My Systeme.io Review
|$0.00-$97.00/month||Get the Tool >>|
My ClickFunnels Review
|$97.00-$297.00/month||Get the Tool >>|
My Kartra Review
|$99.00-$499.00/month||Get the Tool >>|
My Builderall Review
|$14.90-$79.90/month||Get the Tool >>|
My Groove.cm Review
|$0.00-$299.00/month||Get the Tool >>|
Virtually all of them offer a choice of endless free plus shipping templates that you can customize very easily and quickly.
3. Create Your Free Plus Shipping Funnel
Once you choose a sales funnel-building tool, it’s time to start building a free plus shipping funnel.
In most cases, you can choose from many ready-made templates and customize them to your needs.
However, in some cases, you can try to build everything from scratch.
Sales funnel building tools have pretty good development of this technology, so the whole process shouldn’t be very complicated.
And that should allow you to build your free plus shipping funnel very quickly.
Pros & Cons of the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
- You get the chance to use the magic word FREE that attracts instant attention.
- You can make higher profits on your one-click upsell offer depending on how good your product is.
- You attract your dream clients by simply using the word
- It is an excellent way of familiarizing customers with your products.
- If you use the right marketing channels, you can reach a larger audience and tremendously increase your customer turnover.
- You can easily increase your leads since prospects view free plus shipping as a risk-free opportunity.
- Making a successful sale isn’t guaranteed. It is a 50/50 gamble.
- It is more realistic and suitable for products that aren’t too expensive.
- It works best as a short-term marketing strategy because of limited profit margins, which aren’t reliable in the long run.
Examples of the Free Plus Shipping Funnel
1. Physical Book Free Plus Shipping Funnel
As mentioned earlier, you can give a free book in your free plus shipping funnel. Using books as a front end product is one of the most popular models because:
- Manufacturing books is cost-effective, especially if you’re producing them in bulk.
- Most people love reading.
Sales funnel guru Russel Brunson uses the free physical book plus shipping funnel technique in selling his popular book Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online with Sales Funnels.
The book is offered for free.
Visitors are only required to pay a shipping fee of $9.95 in the US or $19.95 for international shipping.
Russel takes it a step further by recommending his software ClickFunnels as the best sales funnel builder.
Therefore, apart from adding a one-click upsell, you can also use your book to sell a much higher-end product or service.
2. T-Shirt Free Plus Shipping Funnel
T-shirts are an excellent front-end product.
They help people make a statement.
Think about how many times you purchased a t-shirt because of the wording.
You can also use a t-shirt to display your brand logo and portray what your business stands for.
A good example of a free plus shipping funnel using the t-shirt model is the American Gun Association.
The words free and exclusive make the deal too good to resist.
They also highlight ‘Shipping applies’ in small words at the bottom of the CTA button. The chances of a visitor noting this are hard. Therefore you’ll realize that you’ve to pay shipping fees on the checkout page after going into the funnel.
This is a great free plus shipping funnel tactic.
How Can I Learn More About Free Plus Shipping Funnels?
For a better look at the free plus shipping funnel, I would suggest reading Dotcom Secrets by Russell Brunson.
By the way, this book itself is also based on the principle of free plus shipping. You can get it for free by paying only for shipping.
This will not only give you the opportunity to learn more about the free plus shipping model but also see how it really works.
- BRUNSON, RUSSELL (2022). Dotcom Secrets: The underground playbook for growing your company online with sales funnels. HAY HOUSE INC.
- Esketzis, S. (2022, February 18). The mechanics behind a free plus shipping funnel. ClickFunnels. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.clickfunnels.com/blog/mechanics-behind-free-plus-shipping-funnel/
- Tubis, N. (2019, December 23). Council post: How to get customers for free by building a ‘free plus shipping’ Funnel. Forbes. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/12/16/how-to-get-customers-for-free-by-building-a-free-plus-shipping-funnel/