Are Most Sales Funnels Just Con Artists Selling False Hope?

Sales funnels are everywhere at the moment, but can they be trusted? Anyone can set one up, so what are you really buying?

Modern Sales Funnels – ClickFunnels

Like many, I was first introduced to the idea of sales funnels by Russell Brunson with ClickFunnels, but the model behind the sales funnel has been around for many years, and has existed in many different forms.

The Truth About Sales Funnels

As a marketer there is something highly attractive about sales funnels. You create an offering that solves a real world problem, you lead people there with a compelling video or advert, and you make the offer simple – take it or leave it.

But there’s no escaping the impression that the modern sales funnel is a way for people to con you out of money. They dangle a shiny object in front of you that promises to make your life amazing, and seems so easy to attain, but in reality 98% of people won’t see it through, but it’s not enough money to really bother complaining about.

So is it just snake oil, or people selling false hope? When you see “You can earn $1m in 30 days if you pay $10 for my training course”, who wouldn’t pay up the $10 if there’s a chance of earning $1m in 30 days.

Of course it turns out to be a theoretical idea and loads of hard work, and you either need to upgrade and pay for the $2,000 masterclass, do it all yourself, or just give up.

New To Sales Funnels?

If you haven’t seen it, then ClickFunnels is a tool that allows people to build a series of web pages that lead prospects down a path towards a purchase, with no need to build any feature integrations or even write any code. Everything you need is in the platform.

You used to be able to do this with a website platform, but you would have had to connect a whole range of separate components together.

Add to that the social element of how people browse the internet these days, and you have the perfect situation for a new type of direct marketing.


If you’ve been on facebook or Instagram lately, then you’re bound to have been advertised into a funnel. Join the webinar, download the white paper, register for the bootcamp.

They come in many forms but essentially they push you into a signup wall to capture your details, then they push you to buy the product by making a really powerful case for the outcome you will get.

There is usually a really compelling and hard to resist tagline, offering something you would pay a lot more money for than they are offering. It could even be listed as “usually $199, now only $19” which of course is rediculous and clearly just a marketing ploy.

The Irresistable Offer

Product and service sellers can use targeted adverts on social platforms to reach individuals with interests linked to their product. They can serve up an advert with a juicy offering and convince the person to spend a relatively small amount of money to solve a real world problem they have.

This is a paradym shift on website development, because with a sales funnel we’re not really looking at a website as such, but instead a series of web pages with a single conversion goal, and focusing on one thing that a hand-picked selection of people are though to really want.

But Here’s The Issue

ClickFunnels and other funnel platforms make out that is so simple to create your own funnel and start selling products, but the issue is, that if it is that easy to create a sales funnel, anyone can do it and who can you trust?

What is happening right now, is people are just recycling the same content over and over, learning it from here, and selling it over there. Many of the sellers of course have little or no experience, but in their training they were shown how to fabricate experience so that it looks real.

That’s why everyone you see seems to have worked with this person and that person and have graphs showing how they turnover 7 figures each month with little or no ad spend.

Theory vs Practice

The other major issue with many funnels is that it’s all just theory. You can make anything work if you can fabricate the numbers. Check this out…

Build a funnel selling a $19 course, you pay $2,000 on ads in month 1, you achieve $0.10 per click, you reach 20,000 people, you convert at 5% – minus the ad spend, you’ve got $17,000 profit in month 1 and a 6 fig funnel right? Boooom! (mic drop).

Except it’s not that simple. You may only hit 1% conversion rate (if you’re lucky) in the beginning and be left with $1,800 after ad spend, not enough to cover the content creation and platform costs. Or worse, you sell nothing at all and wonder what you did so wrong.

So Are Funnels A Bust?

Short answer, no. Long answer, the best funnels are people who already had a lot of specific knowledge and have been able to wrap it up into a scalable training system. That’s why they can sell it so cheap because they’re selling it many times.

Sure, yes there are more people selling recycled information than there are originators with proven track records, but funnels in general are not a con.

What they feed into is the desire for people to better themselves, this is a trend right now and if you want to run your own business and be successful you do need to learn from others.

Just be selective over who you buy your information from. If you haven’t heard of them, and their offer seems to good to be true, then it probably is.

If they’re telling you that ‘dropshipping is dead’ or ‘Facebook ads are dead’, or basically anything is ‘dead’ then they’re just trying to legitimize their particular system or strategy that they think isn’t as saturated.

What Do You Think?

I would love to know what you think about funnels, have you tried selling with a funnel, are you successful with funnels? If you want to share your experience and thoughts do so below. Good or bad.

Thanks for reading, follow me, please share this, and subscribe below to give me some kudos.

Chris Bradshaw

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About the author

I created Ecom Uprising because I spent more than a decade searching the internet to find the answers I needed to grow the businesses I was working for, and I wished there had been one easy to use resource with reliable information. So here it is.

Thanks for reading, Chris

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