The word hacking is not a nice one, but funnel hacking is not actually a bad practice. We may say that it is in a grey area. However, there are good and bad ways of using it. The manner and length you go to when you start practicing funnel hacking makes the difference – and will impact your business in the longer term.
What Is Funnel Hacking?
Let us start with a basic definition: funnel hacking is going through the entire sales funnel of a competitor using your name and personal details in order to see how they are attracting customers. This involves:
- Clicking on Facebook™ ads to download a lead magnet;
- Subscribing to their email newsletters;
- Attending webinars and other middle of the funnel activities;
- Reaching their landing page once you get a sales offer;
- Making a purchase to receive the Thank You message (not mandatory).
Once you have gone through this entire cycle, you have collected a lot of material you can study: ad copy, emails, lead magnets, etc.
What Should You Look for in Materials Collected from Funnel Hacking?
There are several interesting aspects you can look at and should do it, once you’ve decided to go through this process. Here they are:
1. Timing and Frequency of Emails
Take note of the days of the week, hours and the frequency of each email. Once you have a timetable for these communications, make an analysis. How did you personally feel about this timing? Did you feel it was too rushed? Or did you nearly lose interest in the business before you received the next email?
The way you feel may be the way many other prospects feel. Thus, you can adapt your own timing to get better results.
2. Copywriting Style
How does the business address you? Do they use a familiar tone of voice, do they get extra chummy, or they maintain a professional approach? And how do you feel about this approach? Is it too cold or overly familiar?
If you are going after the same prospects as that business, you may want to tweak your approach in a way that creates a fine balance between the friendly approach and professionalism.
3. Landing Page Design
Once you’ve got on their landing page for the product sale, analyse it with a keen eye. What is the proportion between copy and white space? How many design elements are there in the page? Do you feel distracted by the colours, font and images used in the landing space? Is the CTA button visible enough?
If you find anything amiss and you realise you are using the same thing in your landing page, you know that you must change that.
Should You Use Funnel Hacking?
Now, we will not discuss whether it’s fair or unfair to do this. We will discuss, instead, whether you will actually get good results from funnel hacking. In other words, whether it’s worth your time and effort.
If you use funnel hacking as a source of inspiration, to create a swipe file you can go through when you feel you are out of ideas, then you are not wasting your time. Funnel hacking is especially useful for new business owners who are trying to learn as much as they can in as little time as possible.
However, if you intend to copy a competitor’s sales funnel down to the letter, you will probably not get good results. Instead of tweaking your marketing strategy to promote your unique selling proposition, you will become a copycat. And your prospects will notice that.
Funnel hacking is not 100% ethical, but it is not a black hat marketing tactics, either. It all depends on how you use the information you’ve obtained. In a world where competition is at the highest peak, being unique is what gives you a fighting chance.
Thus, you can try funnel hacking once in a while, but only if your purpose is to tweak your own marketing strategies and improve them while remaining authentic. Trying to reverse engineer someone else’ strategy by simply slapping your brand name to it will get you nowhere.