The Mechanics Behind A Free Plus Shipping Funnel

The Mechanics Behind A Free Plus Shipping Funnel
Funnel Strategy March 15, 2017 14 Comments

Sales Funnels are powerful mediums that not only turn your visitors into customers, but they also have the potential to CREATE customers out of visitors specially those who just clicked your ads out of curiosity. There are many approaches to create winning sales funnel and many strategies to optimise it as much as there are many types of funnels.

All these sales funnels, if built around data and executed properly, are valuable tools that maximizes ROI and bring in the profit. One such type of funnel is a free plus shipping funnel.

A free plus shipping funnel 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 to maximize the since they got something for free!

Why They Work So Well

The key word here is FREE. And who doesn’t want a free cool product, right?

Add to that the lure of free shipping and your ship is ready to sail! And while they are at it, the lure of a free shipping cost offer has the potential to convince them into availing upsells. Not only did you get your ROI, but you profited from it as well!

Just because you offered a product for FREE.

Where The Customers Are

Of course, your sales funnel won’t see the light of day without proper promotion or advertising. And most free plus shipping funnels thrive through advertising on social media networks like Facebook. Paid Advertising on social media channels like Facebook lets you acquire a lot of customers quickly and into your email list for marketing purposes. Why? Because most customers use social media channels as their virtual hangouts. It’s where they talk to friends, catch up on news, post their status updates, etc.

If you’re already a pro at creating and building free plus shipping funnels, there still may be something to learn here. Reviewing and touching bases with what you know is always useful. If you’re still a beginner, then this guide will teach you the basics and everything you should know about building and running a successful free plus shipping funnel.

Find A Product To Give Away

The first step is to find a product cheap enough to make a breakeven on cost of goods + ad spend + shipping. But hold your horses! This part needs some careful thinking and considering.

Consider the following key points in picking out a product:

  • Fits right in to your niche. This category should be a no-brainer. Of course it has to be something related to your funnel’s niche.
  • It’s something small. This is important because you’ll also be shouldering the shipping cost for the item.
  • It’s something that people buy in bulk.
  • It’s cheap to acquire. This is something you should consider since you’ll be giving it away and you’ll have to acquire it in bulk.
  • It’s something that potentially costs more when bought in retail stores.
  • It’s something that you can get from the manufacturers themselves. The reason for this is so you can add your own brand to it, as compared to buying it from distributors.
  • It is something easily identifiable and is widely known in the market.
  • It has mass appeal to your market.

Let’s say your target market consists of women in their 20’s to 40’s, who are always out for work, for social events, to hang out with friends, etc. What’s the one thing they might need? It can be something they will want to use everyday, like makeup.

And for most ladies on the go, they’ll want something that has everything they need and that will not potentially bulk up their bags. A good product to consider in your free plus shipping funnel is a makeup kit if you take all those points into consideration.

Create A 2-Step Order From

The next thing you have to do is to start creating your funnel and optimising your Order Page into a setup that has a high conversion rate. In this case, a 2 -step order form. Now, you may think that an order form with more than one step is a deterrent to converting your traffic, but it really is powerful.

Consider seeing a form with fields your shipping information, your credit card and billing information. Not only will your visitors be put off, they’ll find the form too long and may exit your funnel straight away. But with a 2-step order form, you only halve the form and still get to convert your traffic because you change your visitors’ perception. Not too mention, a 2-step order looks clean and organized as opposed to a form with too many fields.


ClickFunnels lets you easily add a 2-step order form element to your order page! It’s as simple as logging in to your ClickFunnels account > your sales funnel > order page > add 2-step Order element. Just a few clicks and you’re done!


After adding the 2-step order form to your order page, all you have to do is to edit accordingly.

1st One-Click Upsell

Your 1st One-Click Upsell is an offer similar to the one you will be giving out for free or it could be that plus something that will give it more value.

Let’s go back to your free plus shipping makeup kit. Your first upsell is another makeup kit, but it will be for a cost of course. It could be the exact same makeup kit you’re giving away free plus shipping or it could be a variation of that makeup kit for a party look, natural look, etc for a cost of $10. Package it into something your customer will potentially want to buy and price it competitively to promote how more affordable it is when compared to its retail price and you have a product worthy of an upsell.

2nd One-Click Upsell

Now this part is where the real profit will come in. Your 2nd one-click upsell should be something of real value, say a complete makeup kit complimentary to your initial offer plus a monthly membership packed with benefits that will surely interest your customer!

Now this part is where the real profit will come in. Your 2nd one-click upsell should be something of real value, say a complete makeup brush set to complement your makeup kits plus a 7-day free into a  $49/month program. This program could be anywhere from a curated box of cosmetics and skincare to a members only club where beauty tips, tricks and guides plus discounts await members.

If you’re looking to add upsells to your sales funnel, ClickFunnels is a great tool that lets you easily add upsell pages to your sales funnel with just a few clicks. All you have to do is to login to your ClickFunnels account > Sales Funnel > Click Add New Step > Enter the information asked > Click Create Funnel Step.


Choose your template. In our case it’s Sales > One-Click Upsell.


You can choose from the various templates available and edit to align to your whole sales funnel.


What’s Next?

It is important to provide offers that is of great value to the customers and something they will want to avail of for fear of missing out.

While the examples above make good products to offer in your funnel, always consider your niche and your target market. Always consider their needs and wants and what problems they want to solve and what YOU can offer to solve those problems or satisfy their wants.

Remember that the goal of the funnel is to build up recurring revenue products.

Have you hear of free plus shipping funnels before?

Have you built funnels like this?

Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

Written by Stephen Esketzis

Stephen Esketzis is Head Of Content Marketing at Clickfunnels. He is known as the 'Sales Funnel Architect' and is a specialist at using paid traffic to generate highly profitable sales funnels. You can also listen to his podcast 'Marketing on The Move' and look him up on Facebook.

14 responses to “The Mechanics Behind A Free Plus Shipping Funnel”

  1. Robert Lazar says:

    Hi Stephen,

    1. What tips do you have for choosing and pricing the bump product, compared to the Free Product & cost of shipping?

    2. As the 1st UpSell I’m trying to sell the product developed by a partner of mine, but related to my funnel niche. So it’s a product under a different brand (lower in value) than the one who made the free product. Have you guys tried something like this?

  2. xandy says:

    I have been using click funnels for a client. I am a professional designer of 35+ years of experience. IMHO, if you can’t fit your design into THEIR templates, then just forget about good design. Their controls are awful, you cannot control leading of type (KEY to easy readability) and all other good design controls are lacking in this miserable software.

  3. Bob Dorris says:

    Hi Stephen – am I mistaken, or is this article contradicting itself? A Free plus shipping offer and 2 Step Optin both charge for the shipping, but you say the customer gets free shipping a couple times in the blog (ex: “customer got something for free with complimentary shipping to boot” )

  4. Marc de Groot says:

    Is there any way to use a different kind of payment method other then credit card in the Two Step order form? I love the system, but here in the Netherlands most people simply don’t own credit cards.

  5. chrishambly says:

    Hi guys. Can you let us know the mechanics behind the actual drop ship company? I mean do you really have a stack of books in the office that you guys personally ship? Or do you use a print on demand service here integrated with CF ? Many thanks.

    • Henrik says:

      Hi Chris, did you get an anser? – i AM looking for a company to print and send my book ( as In the book part og my free + shipping) in the states


      • chrishambly says:

        I didn’t find anyone willing to do this for a sensible price. So I’m doing it myself for now. I have boxes of books and use UPS to collect and ship.. it’s easier than I thought to be honest. This is my product

        • Henrik says:

          Thanks for the feedback.

          I have also been looking for such a company, but not much luck. Thou I still have a bit to go before my book is finished. I bought 1 year of ClickFunnels a year ago, as I “was waaay to optimistic” of the writing process + some personal challenges.

          But the nice people at ClickFunnels have promised I can get 2 months extra when ready, so I will have some runway to get started. I guess/hope that somewhere inside the system there is more info / options.
          Otherwise I fount the company via (I think he uses Clickfunnels) looks like they are able to do a – from print to send service.

          Nice product-website set up by the way. Guess that such a product normally is a bit complex to sell

          • chrishambly says:

            Nice work. I figured that it was just easier to get books printed inexpensively in bulk, and then ship them from my office. I shall be integrating ShipStation though soon, which integrated (so I can see) beautifully with ClickFunnels. That takes care of the UPS labels etc… the truck can simply come and collect.

            The guys at ClickFunnels are great to work, in fact I believe it is a company grown out of what you and I do… sell online.. they understand the process, the needs, and the tools required.

            Good luck bro.

  6. What publishing service did you use to pay only 5.90$ for shipping and handling?

  7. Bruce Beaudry says:

    Thanks for the useful article, but I agree with Bob Dorris that the article is contradicting itself. When I’m learning something for the first time, it really helps me to get the right facts from an article so that so that my understanding is correct. I really like all the other valuable analysis in the article and I’m sure this is helping a lot of people.

  8. Lee says:

    Here’s what I want to know … How do I get a POD book printer to print my own free plus shipping book that *I* write?

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