Ever heard of a website called Similar Web?
It's a free to use site that you can use to get insights for any website or app.
We're going to use it to reverse engineer our competitor's profitable sales funnel(s).
Let me explain a little better.
Similar Web is a place where you can type in your competitor's website and instantly receive a ton of competitive data on them.
1. How many website visitors they receive per month
2. Where their website traffic comes from
3. What their website banner ads & landing pages look like
We want this data for every single competitor and indirect competitor we can find.
Because of this, I developed my "Tools List" which has a hand-selected list of "Spy Tools
" so you have access to them right off the bat, and you can even see my personal favourite....
Type in every competitor's website you've found into Similar Web (don't worry it's a free tool, but if you want to get advanced, use the Tools List).
Starting with your direct competitors and ending with your indirect competitors.
Here's what you're looking for:
In a nutshell every time we type in a competitor's website into a spy tool's
website we are looking for four pieces of information.
1. Do they receive more than 10,000 visitors per month?
2. Are they running online paid advertising of any kind?
3. What do their ads and copy look like?
4. What page do we get taken to when we click on their ads if we can find them (their landing pages)?
The first question is important to know so you can confirm if it's even worth researching the competitor further.
If the competitor is not receiving any traffic or a tiny amount of traffic, they probably aren't making a lot of money from an online sales funnel.
...And should be ignored.
The second question is important to know because we only want to funnel hack competitors who are running paid traffic to their sales funnels.
The third question is important because we want to know what kind of ads, landing pages and copy to drive when launching our sales funnel.
We don't want to spend thousands of pounds and weeks testing ads.
The fourth question is important to know because, in order to funnel hack the remainder of their funnel, we'll need to know how the landing page they are using to advertise with looks like.
So we can model it instead of guess.
Note: I'm a marketer, I don't guess. Rarely when in the business of making money will I waste my time guessing.
It can only lead to opportunities for failure.
Educated guesses and approximations, maybe. But blind luck? There's no place for that here.
Often at times the landing page a company will use for paid advertising will look entirely different from the pages on their regular website.
Finding out this information for each of our competitor's takes a lot of time but it's worth its weight in thousands (if not hundreds of thousands of pounds).
Take the rest of the day...
And run all of your competitors through Similar Web or you can use my Spy Tools list.
If you need help or have a question about this step, shoot me a reply to the *email below.
I respond personally to each one :)
Here's the trick to using Similar Web quickly.
When we type in a competitor's website address into Similar Web, there are eight different left-hand tabs and it's easy to become confused.
We only really care about 3.
Overview, Referrals, and Display.
Overview will show you immediately if your competitor's website is receiving enough traffic. If it doesn't skip that competitor and type in the next one in your list.
Sometimes a site will receive such little traffic "Not Enough Data" will show up.
If that's the case, skip the place immediately.
Display will show us what percentage (if any) of their website traffic comes from display advertising.
Display advertising is also known more commonly as banner ads advertising.
Most sites don't run display ads.
If your competitors site does run display ads, then you are in luck because funnel hacking them will be much easier.
If 10% of their traffic or more comes from display, that's a great sign.
Underneath this option, you'll also get to see the exact banner ads they are running as well so you can easily model them.
If you decide to become a pro member, you can get more competitive data from each banner ad (such as how long your competitors have run said ad).
Referrals is very important because often our competitors will not make their "paper trail" easy to follow.
What I mean is...
That often at times our competitors will, in fact, be running paid advertising...
But it won't show up in Display advertising tab.
Because they aren't using a big display network to do it.
Instead, they are paying independent website publishers to put discrete banner ads or native ads on their websites instead (which is something you'll want to do too).
When we're looking at referrals, we want to analyze really the top 2-3 websites sending our competitors traffic.
Let's dive into the stuff that will help make you money.
If you've been following along by now, you should have at least 1 direct or indirect competitor who you've analysed and have confirmed their running paid traffic to their funnel.
You should have also discovered an ad (native or display/banner) they used to acquire their customers.
If so, congratulations!
A profitable funnel isn't too far away.
Now the next step is much easier than the last ones.
But for some reason, it seems to make people hesitate more.
I promise if you take this next step, you won't regret it.
Here it goes:
First you'll need screen recording software, screenshot capture software and potentially a notebook to take notes.
You can find a lot of these tools listed here.
Next we want to click one of our competitor's ads and visit the first page in their funnel.
And then we want to buy their product that they're selling and also take them up on all of their upsells that follow.
We want to record (or at least take screenshots of) every page in the process.
If they use a video, you want to record the video and transcribe it later so you have their script to carefully analyze and pull apart.
Leave nothing out, the more details you have the better. This is how your competitor is making money using their sales funnel.
If possible, buying their product multiple times not taking their upsells is great so you can see their down sells too (if they have them).
Don't be afraid to take notes on anything else you may see that you think might be important.
But because this action usually takes people by surprise quite a bit and shocks them, I'll give you some time to process it.