The Ultimate Guide to Funnel Hacking

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • If you don’t know what kind of funnel to build, funnel hacking can help. 
  • Funnel hacking fast tracks the process of building a marketing/sales funnel for your business, by analyzing competitor sales funnels and testing their strategies on your own processes.
  • This can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your business, quickly and efficiently. 
  • It involves understanding your customers, researching your competitors and their keywords, and more.

The quickest way to success in this world is by modeling what works.

And for business owners who don’t know what kind of funnel to build, you can Funnel Hack.

We put together this guide to give you clarity on funnel hacking and how you can use this hyper valuable strategy in your business.

…And as a bonus, we also want to give you all the tools & tips we used to hack over 60 high converting funnels.

These are the exact tools we used to build our funnel hacking library – The Funnelytics Vault.

I know this is going to be a game-changer for you.

Let’s get started!

What Exactly is Funnel Hacking?

If you’ve never heard of the term of Funnel Hacking, it’s a concept that’s been talked about extensively by Russell Brunson, CEO of Clickfunnels (check out his book DotCom Secrets).

Inside the book, Russel goes over the concept of funnel hacking fast track the process of building a marketing/sales funnel for your business.

Click here to check out the book by Russell. It’s a must-read for any digital marketer.

Here’s a quick definition:

Funnel Hacking [verb] /ˈfÊŒnÉ™l hækɪŋ/
The art of examining your competitor’s sales funnels to model and test their strategies in your own marketing and sales processes.  

Now, the idea isn’t that you are going to copy everything word for word. You are different than your competitors. You have unique branding, messaging and resources at your disposal. Heck, you may not be able to afford what some of your competitors are doing right now.

The purpose of funnel hacking is to find new strategies that you can test in your own business. Test is the key word here.


Just because you see a competitor using a particular strategy does not guarantee that it will work in your business (or that it’s even working in theirs).

There is a lot of information you won’t have about their business. Cash flow, the size of their team, what their customer service strategy is. Keep this in mind.

The goal is to find some actionable strategies that you can implement in your own business that you may have never thought of on your own (with your own twist of course) . Test what works, keep the winners, cut the losers, rinse and repeat.

3 Reasons Why You Should Funnel Hack

  1. It helps you figure out what sales strategies successful businesses are using online.
  2. It cuts your sales funnel development time by 10X.
  3. It will save you from spending time and money on something you’re not even sure will work.

The best part is that Funnel Hacking can be used in any industry. I don’t care if your a dentist, consultant, agency, SaaS company, eCommerce store, etc. If you model sales funnels that other successful businesses used and test it in your own business you WILL find a strategy that grows your business.

You just need to put in the work.

Get the guide to customer journey tracking

We outline the actionable strategies to track & optimize the customer journey at every stage of the funnel

How to Funnel Hack

Here comes the fun part. We’re going to show you exactly how to funnel hack the competition.

Step #1: Research

Do not skip this part and go straight to building a funnel you think will work.

Proper research will give you the clarity you’ll need to make the right decisions to move your business forward.
Got it? Good.

Many marketers have spent countless hours with nothing to show and I don’t want you to go through that.
Let’s hop into our research…

Define Who You're Speaking To.

To do that you’ll need to create a customer avatar to REALLY know your target market.
You’ve probably heard of this exercise before and that’s because it’s a super important one.
The better you know your target market, the more people you’ll connect with, the more repeat buyers you’ll create and the more revenue you’ll generate…
Answer these questions to create your Customer Avatar. Quick Tip: It’s best to create a few different avatars

  1. Are they Female, Male, both?
  2. What’s their name?
  3. What’s their education level?
  4. What is their occupation?
  5. What’s their job title?
  6. Where do they live?
  7. How much money do they make?
  8. Do they have any kids?

Make it super easy on yourself and get a name/ face from As the name suggests, the site will generate a random face and name for you to use in building your customer avatar for FREE.
After you have your basic questions finished, it’s time to dive a little deeper.

List out all of the things your avatar might be interested in so you know exactly where they’re hanging out and what kind of information they’re consuming. (min 3 of each)

  1. Gurus/ Influencers
  2. Books
  3. Blogs/ Websites
  4. Facebook Groups
  5. Forums
  6. Youtube Channels
  7. Instagram Accounts
  8. Podcasts
  9. Conferences

Now it’s time to list out all of your customer’s pain points and challenges they might be facing. What keeps your customers up at night?

  1. What is the biggest challenge they’re currently facing?
  2. What happens if they don’t do anything about the pain?
  3. What’s the thing keeping them from relieving the pain?
  4. Why haven’t they been able to solve this problem?

Gain Clarity On The Why’s

To really drill down deep, I recommend using the Six Sigma principle of going 5 why’s deep into each one of your customers pain-points/challenges.

“By repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the ostensible reason for a problem will lead you to another question.”

Seek to gain absolute clarity with WHO you’re selling to and WHY you have the solution.

Learn From Your Competitors

Map out the big players in your industry that have a strong online prescence. Remember, we’re looking to see what products/services they are selling and marketing heavily online.

Create two separate lists of all of your competition:

Direct Competitors (source: TechTarget)
Direct competition is a situation in which two or more businesses offer products or services that are essentially the same; as such, the businesses are competing for the same potential market.

Microsoft and Apple would be and example of direct competitors because they sell similar products to a simliar customer base.

Indirect Competitors (source: TechTarget)
Indirect competition is the conflict between vendors whose products or services are not the same but that could satisfy the same consumer need.

This type of competition takes a little more thought to identify. A good example of an Indirect Competitor would be group fitness classes vs 1-on-1 personal training sessions. They have direct competition on the problem they solve (helping people get in better shape), but indirect competition because the serve different markets. People who prefer 1-on-1 training vs. people who prefer group exercise.

Step #2: Become a Customer

Now that you know who your customer is and who your direct and indirect competitors are, it’s time to buy some of their products and opt-in to their lead magnets.

You should target the competitors who appear to be investing the most in online marketing. It is usually safe to assume that if someone appears to be investing a significant amount of time or money on a marketing channel, that it is profitable for their business. That means it can be profitable for YOUR business.

Why You Should Buy from Your Competitions

Some of you reading this guide may be hesitant to spend money purchasing your competitors’ products. It’s completely understandable. Why would you want to give money to your competition?

I want you to try and change your mindset. Rather than thinking of it as giving money to your competitors, think of it as an investment in your business. By spending the money today, you will save yourself the time of trying to build a funnel from scratch.

You can also count on the fact that if you execute as well as your competition or better, what is working for them is likely to work for you!

Now that our minds are in the right place, it’s time to start funnel hacking…

We’ll be taking screenshots, videos, and notes along the way to create a swipe file to use when it’s time to build your funnel. Let’s begin.

9 Examples of customer journey analytics in action

Our guide outlines top examples & best practices to optimize your customer journey funnel

Go Through Each Funnel & Take Screenshots

Start by going through each funnel your competitor has:

  • Front End Funnels
  • Back End Funnel
  • Upsells
  • Downsells
  • Order Pages

Take full-page screenshots of every page you visit, every ad and retargeting ad you come across – this is crucial.

How to Screen Shot on a Mac


How to Screen Shot on a PC


Or if you’re a Google Chrome user, you can add the FREE Chrome Extension Full Page Screen Capture for full-page screenshots.

Full Page Screen Capture

Organize Your Swipe

Next, create a new folder or each competitor and place any screenshots into the appropriate folder.

Create a folder structure like this to house all of your screenshots

Example Swipe File Structure

  • Ads [sub-folders with all platforms they advertise on]
  • Front End Funnels
  • Email Sequences
  • Backend Funnels
  • Notes on Funnel
  • Keywords

Record Your Funnel Hack

While you’re going through your competitor’s funnels, you might as well make a video to review later.

Check it out here.

The easiest FREE way to do this is with Loom’s
free screen recording software.

With the push of a button, you can record and speak the entire way through the funnel.

Once you’ve shot your video, just download the file from Loom and put it in your swipe file.

Hacking Ads & Traffic

Now that you’re looking at your competitor’s funnels, you’ll want to break down their ads, website referrers, and keywords to give you a deeper insight into how well they’re actually doing.

Here’s a list of really awesome tools that we’ve used in the past.

Spy On Their Traffic…

SimilarWeb is one of the best analytics websites for spying on your competition. We use it every day.

On the free side, they offer a ton of info on your competitors’ website traffic volume, referral sources, keyword analysis, and a bunch more in the paid version!

Get their FREE Chrome Extention to instantly see any websites traffic.

Spy On Their Ads…

Facebook Ad Library’s ads are all on FB Ad Library

The Ad Library provides advertising transparency by offering a comprehensive, searchable collection of all ads currently running from across Facebook Products. Anyone can explore the Library, with or without a Facebook account.

Power Ad Spy

Power Ad Spy

PowerAdSpy is a POWER house when it comes to spying on your competitors.

  • Database of over 6 million Facebook ads from 15 countries
  • Has Latest Facebook ads
  • Track every creative, landing page, ad
  • Track only successful campaigns and see their engagement

Spy Fu

Spy Fu

Use Spyfu to search for any competitor and download their keywords. Learn competitors’ PPC & SEO tricks and avoid their mistakes.

Compile Your Keywords

Keyword research is vital for when you’re creating a search campaign. Building a content strategy around the keywords your competitors are ranking to put you right there with them — bidding for the same customers.

Simply open a new sheet in Google Sheets and use the tools below to list out the highest ranking keywords you’ll use to help drive traffic to your promotions.

Just like this

And the great news is that these tools below will ‘Export’ keyword lists for you, and some even have plugins to help you write better SEO driven content!

SEM Rush

A comprehensive keyword research and domain analytics tool. Use it for backlink tracking, desktop/mobile search breakdowns, keyword suggestions, and proactive SEO recommendations.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a FREE browser add-on for Chrome & Firefox that shows search volume, CPC & competition on multiple websites.

Join Their Email List

The website is just a part of their funnel… most of the selling happens when a customer gets a sequenced promo email.

Sam Ovens Does Most of His Selling Through Email and One Webinar

Set up a separate email address just for promotions and for when you sign up to your competitor’s funnels.

This way your personal inbox doesn’t get messy and you get all of your promo emails. Win-Win

You never know when you need to quickly write an email and using someone else email as a template can speed up the process for you a kajillion.

Find Out What Makes Their Funnel Convert

In every funnel, there are a lot of variables and moving parts…

As the Funnel Hacker, it’s your job to figure out how everything works together to create the desired end result.

Some funnels have landing pages that are very short and to the point, while others are more long-form with lots of sections to help build interest before asking for the sale.

…and the same applies to Facebook and Instagram ads.

Pay close attention and work out if the most successful funnels follow a particular layout or use the same message structure.

Then once you have a good idea for what you need to do…

Step #3: Go Build Your Funnel!

If you followed the plan outlined above, you should have put together the pieces and are ready to use what you’ve learned from your competitor to build your funnel.

Here’s how to build your funnel in 5 simple steps:

  1. Startup your favorite funnel builder and start crafting your pages. Make them similar in concept but different than your competitors. Use different verbiage, graphics, and add a bit of YOU in there – that’s the important part
  2. Next, open your autoresponder to write your emails (time saver)
  3. Do your best to nail the sequencing and get them polished for your incoming traffic
  4. Create your ads, load them up onto the social platforms you’ve found most effective for your niche
  5. Create buzz and launch your funnel

Obviously, this is an over-simplification for what sort of work you’ll need to put into this to make it work. Just because you hacked someone funnel does not mean you have a functioning business. There is so much more to owning a business but we’ll save that for another article.

Optimize, launch & analyze your funnel

Funnelytics visual mapping platform lets you see what works in your funnel- and what you can improve


Funnel hacking is one of the most important processes every business should go through if they want to grow. By testing whats your competitors and other successful businesses are doing, you can find new strategies that will help you grow your own business.

Take the tools, resources, and processes that we’ve given you to funnel hack your direct and in-direct competitors.

Remember that feeling overwhelmed at first is normal but as you progress you’ll become more confident in hacking and building high converting funnels.

(NOTE: If you want a shortcut, look no further than the Funnelytics Vault. We have hacked 50+ high converting funnels built by some of the top marketers on the internet in virtually any industry you can think of. Go check out the Funnelytics Vault and see what’s inside!)


Picture of Mikael Dia

Mikael Dia

Founder & CEO @ Funnelytics Inc.

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