Reverse engineering a successful funnel

Before I start to build out any new sales funnel, the first thing I want to do is find other
people who already have a successful funnel and are selling to my target market. If I can’t
find other businesses, then I won’t continue to move forward. But if I can find others who
are already successfully selling to the chosen market, then I can reverse engineer what
they’re doing and figure out where they are getting their traffic.
The Internet is full of gurus teaching hundreds of different ways to generate traffic,
and it seems like a new tactic or trick pops up every day. For me, I focus on one real
strategy. I prefer to find out where the traffic already exists and then just plunk myself
down in front of it and send it on a little detour to my site. Why work hard to generate
traffic when it’s already out there waiting for you? This chapter is going to show you how
to reverse engineer your competitors’sales funnels. You will learn how to understand what
they are doing, where their traffic is coming from, and how to transform their traffic into
your traffic.


The first step to reverse engineering existing traffic streams is understanding the five
elements that go into any successful online ad campaign. I never start creating a funnel

unless I know at least four of these five things. I never want two unknowns. Also, as I’m
analyzing my own funnels—if something isn’t working—it usually comes down to one of
these five things:

1. Demographics
2. Offer
3. Landing page
4. Traffic source
5.Ad copy

Let’s look at each variable individually so you can get a clearer picture of what I’m
talking about.
1. Demographics. The demographics are all the characteristics of the people you’re
targeting. The demographics define who belongs in the target group and who doesn’t.
We’re talking about distinguishing factors, like age, sex, education, geographical location,
income level, race, language, and political affiliations—any and all characteristics you can
think of that define those people you want to reach with your message. For example, our
supplement company has an older demographic of men and women. Our coaching
company’s main demographic is entrepreneurs making between one and three million
dollars a year.
If I put the right offer in front of the wrong demographic, it’s going to bomb. If I put a
wrestling supplement offer in front of older people with diabetes, they’re not going to buy.
So, we need to make sure we get our demographics right. Once you know the
demographics of the people your competitors are going after, it’s very simple to know
what yours should be.
When I first started working with our pain supplement, I had no idea who to target or
where to find the traffic. So my team and I went through this process of reverse
engineering some supplements similar to ours, and we found out very quickly where our
competitors were placing their ads. We found that some of their ads were on diabetic
websites (a segment we didn’t know would benefit from our supplement). We found ads
running successfully on survival websites, natural health websites, and more. By digging
deeper and researching our competitors, a whole new world of opportunity opened for us.
After we found some of these new demographics, over the course of two months, we were
easily able to scale a product that was making twenty thousand dollars a month to making
over five hundred thousand a month now. Pretty cool, huh?
When you know your demographics, you know who your target market is and where
they are likely to be hanging out online. You know what sites they’re on and where they
get together to talk to each other. Once you have that information, it becomes very easy to
scale your offer and build your business quickly.
2. Offer. The offer comes down to what you are selling and at what price point you
are selling it, including your upsells and downsells. When I want to find out what my
successful competitors are offering, I buy their products. Remember, the first offer you see
probably isn’t the primary offer. It’s more likely to be what gets people in the door, while
the real moneymakers are down the line somewhere. The first offer is just the tip of the
iceberg, and I need to see their ENTIRE iceberg during this research phase.
When I’m researching competitors, I go in and purchase everything they offer me. I
will easily spend hundreds of dollars to study their offers and their funnels. And I keep
careful notes. This is critical competitive research. I want to know exactly what they’re
selling, how they’re selling it, and at what point they’re offering each product in their
funnel. What’s the copy on the sales videos? What emails am I getting? How many? Are
they selling in every email or offering content in some? The more I know, the better
chance of success I will have.
3. Landing Page. This is the page a person lands on right after they click on an ad,
and I believe it’s the most important page in your entire sales funnel. What does that page
look like for your successful competitors? Is it an opt-in page? Is it a sales page? What’s
working for people right now? I’m not going to make up my own landing page and hope it
works. I’m going to reverse engineer what’s already working and model that for my own
page. I’m going to make something very similar to what’s already successful.
It always comes back to modeling what’s already working. It amazes me how so
many people put up random sites they think look good, without first investigating
successful sites in their niche. Then they wonder why they’re not making any money. It’s
because they’re not following a proven model.
I remember when I first heard Tony Robbins speak, and he emphasized that if you
want to be successful in any part of your life, you needed to find someone else who is
already doing what you want to do and model your efforts after theirs. Nowhere is that
idea truer than when you’re building a new sales funnel. You need to model what is
working. Do NOT try to re-invent the wheel. That’s the secret. That’s how you take a
decade of hard work and compress it down into a day’s worth of time and effort. Find
what someone else has already done and model it. Start there, and then you can tweak
your funnel, test it, and try to improve on that model after you’re already making money.
4. Traffic Source. Where is your competitor’s traffic coming from? What are the
specific websites that competitor buys ads on? Is the traffic coming from banner ads or
social media or email? Does he use mainly video or text?
Do not think that you need to “create” traffic. The traffic is already out there. All you
have to do is find it, tap into it, and redirect it back to your offer. In just a minute, I’m
going to show you some cool tools and techniques you can use to find out exactly where a
competitor’s traffic is coming from so it’s easy to funnel those people to your offers.
5. Ad Copy. This is the last element of a successful campaign. What do successful
ads look like? What makes people click on the ad? What’s enticing them to even look at
the competitor’s ad in the first place? What pictures are competitors using? What does the
headline say? What does the body copy look like? Are the competitors using video? All
these things influence whether a person clicks on an ad or not. Remember, traffic is made
up of real people. People can be persuaded to click, but it can take months or years of trial
and error to discover how to make that happen. Don’t waste time trying to figure it out by
blindly tweaking and adjusting your own advertising methods. Find what’s already
working, and model it. Then once you’ve got a predictable, steady income, you can run
split tests and try to improve on the ad yourself.
The whole reverse engineering process depends upon finding out about all five of
these elements in regards to your competitors. Unfortunately, you’re not always going to
be able to do that. I’ve gotten really good at the reverse engineering process, but there are
still times when I can’t find all the banner ads, or I’m not sure about all the demographics.
One unknown is not good, but you can usually try to guess and get close enough. If there
are two unknowns, I’m probably not going into that market. I want as much data as
possible before I start building out my offers, landing pages, and ads. Never move forward
with two unknowns. Keep digging, keep researching until you find a niche where you can
find all the data you need to move ahead and be profitable.