What OkDork’s Marketing Funnel Can Teach You

May 21, 2013 - Get free updates of new posts here

What’s the first thought you have after you read a really great book? (PS Here are the 18 books that changed my life…)

What is it?

…Rubs hands together while I use my mind reading skills….

You go look for other books by that author.


Why do you think I have bought 5 of Seth Godin’s books?

Point being is that if people like your stuff they want more.

At the exact moment your customer is interacting with or just found your biz, they are MOST excited!

So you want to funnel them into other FUN experiences with you instead of letting them go.


Create a funnel marketing plan (or marketing sales funnel) to connect them to other fun activities (and beneficial to you).

Let me show you a real example so that you can use this in your business!

While at Mint.com, people signed up to find out when we would launch:

Mint Landing Sign Up

(Click here to check out the other original landing pages for Mint)

Imagine what a visitor is thinking:

“Damn this is tight. I can’t wait to find out when this goes live…”

After someone submits their email, most companies just ask them to confirm their email and go about their day.

The customer leaves with an online version of “blue balls.”

Not at Mint.com…

1. After submitting your email, we asked you to take a survey. This helped us better craft our marketing and the customer got to help us figure out the product.

2. Then we had a 2nd section of the survey called “VIP”. The person could refer friends and answer even more questions. This gave them earlier access to Mint.

3. Then we asked them to post a badge on their site to show ‘I want Mint.’ This is one of the key ways we ranked for keywords like “personal finance tool”. We had more traffic than all of our competitors combined…before we even launched.

We could have done more but do you see what I’m getting at?

People wanted more and we needed help too, both parties won.

As you are creating your funnel marketing plan, the key thing is WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF IT?

For Okdork I have a few objectives:
1- Get more Twitter & YouTube Followers
2- Figure out which topics to write about
3- Find the sites I should get traffic from

So let’s see how I set that up.

After you subscribe to the Okdork newsletter, I realize you may want to learn more about me, so I send you here: http://okdork.com/bonus

I added a 1-4 simple checklist so people can be more involved.

1- Follow me on Twitter
2- Subscribe to me on YouTube.
3- Take this BRIEF survey
4- Email me with the word i love tacos as your subject line.

(If you do it then I’ll send you my never before published and written years ago story of life at Facebook)

Feel free to copy!

Imagine seeing a billboard for some new website while you’re driving home.

You have to remember the website, drive home, not get hit by a car, cook dinner, listen to your significant other nag you about bills, then get to the computer…and what was that website again?

The BEST time to get customers to go deeper with you is when their interest is high. Also get more subscribers by asking! It seems simple but have you asked your Twitter followers to sign up for your emails? What about visa versa?? Once you have subscribers, here’s how to reduce your unsubscriptions.

For this post, I wanted you to read it… but here’s my funnel:

1. You read this post. Done

2. I want you to comment so I know people are reading. Leave a comment here.

3. Now maybe a few of you will create your own funnel marketing plan which was my objective in the first place. 🙂

Congrats Yael on winning the awesome Dropcam Wireless Video Camera that was generously hooked by the guys at Dropcam for her comment!

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167 responses to “What OkDork’s Marketing Funnel Can Teach You

  1. Scott Nelson Reply

    Am I really the first commenter? To be the first, you would have thought I would have to bribe Noah with some really nice, pleated toilet paper.

    By the way, just watched Noah’s presentation on LoveOrgasm’s via the Growth Hacker course on Udemy. The content Noah delivered was worth the cost of the course alone.

  2. Chris Reply

    Wow, that is really simple but really smart as well, you just have to do few little things so your visitor won’t forget about you.

    I have to think about it and use it on my websites.
    Thanks Noah for this helpful post!

  3. Max Reply

    Hello Noah, thanks.

    It is always nice to hear from you. The only thing that make me mumble mumble about your article is that besides the fact that you are showing and explaining “simple” concept (I mean they “look” simple) you should mention also about the real costs of programming and implementing such ideas on our websites. Not mine, cause I have mostly static websites.

  4. Mark Anthony Ly Reply

    Good follow up to your previous post about not being afraid to ask for more subscribers.

    Now I’ll get to the point, is there any time where too many incentives fail?

    Doesn’t it become a process of always delivering better and better than you did before?

    Looking forward to hearing your expertise on the matter.

    Mark Anthony

  5. Chris Reply

    Nice work Noah – as usual, your advice is simple straightforward, and actionable! BOOM – the trifecta!

  6. Jenn Reply


    I was happy to see that I’d already executed one of these ideas on my company’s site, but I totally forgot about social badges.

  7. Rajive Reply

    For the love of tacos, this was an awesome post !! Thank you ! Is it normal to be scared of how funnel marketing plans could still flop – only faint trickle come in ? Another post on that would be awesome !

  8. Jenae Reply

    I wonder how messy your keyboard is from eating tacos and writing amazing content… Brain fuel at its finest?

  9. Blake Reply

    I’ve never thought about that before. It’s like asking for a girls phone number and then not calling for 6 months and expecting her to be ready to go on a date. I will start using this with my site.

    Great article!

  10. Andrew Watson Reply

    Another good, short, succinct, effective post!

    I always find it odd how so many biz just let me out of their funnel so easily. sometimes i start signing up for things or put things in my cart and then QUIT just to see what happens. mostly, NOTHING happens but sometimes i get an email or SMS asking what happened, what could be done to get me back. Those are the entrepreneurs I want to learn more about.

  11. barlow Reply

    I always learn a lot from reading your emails and blog posts; I’m always trying to adapt what I read for the public sector where I work (university and state government).

  12. Bongface Reply

    First of all, no one uses 1 ply unless your taking a shit at UT… or other non-profit orgs that have entire sections of toilet paper regulation in their mission statements.
    Second, funneling is genius. This is a great strategy that I always forget to consider. We should be thinking about it every day.
    Thanks Noah!
    PS – you FOR-profits out there: Buy nice toilet paper for your employees! Quality of work-life pooping is important.

  13. sheiler Reply

    Yep this was the best post of yours so far. Succinct and interesting – and I too am going to get my funnel on.

    Many tacos of thanks to you.

  14. Mike Reply

    Noah – enjoyed your funnel email (and it worked!) – we do some of this already but looking forward to improving our system and doing a lot more with our funnel.


  15. Kristina Heaton Reply


    This is great info that makes complete sense – I’m already trying to figure out how I can implement this strategy in my small business.

    pork belly tacos > other tacos!


  16. Carter Reply

    Started reading because “funnel cake” then realized the post was about “funnel marketing.”

    I’m not even mad. This is something I can use, while a post about delicious funnel cake would just leave me hungry…

    The mint.com hack for ranking on “personal finance tool” is flippin brilliant!

  17. Electra Reply

    I think you should funnel all your new Ultimate Entrepreneur Getaway lead entries into a “play at home” livestream/taped version of just the “talks” and “challenges” we could participate in from home- minus the tacos, margaritas, cannonballs and other fun shenanigans. People are paying for the personal access to you & your team. Might as well leverage your time spent there & rework it into another revenue generator! Make it low cost, with the hope that the “at home” players will throw some love & exposure on whatever projects emerge 🙂

  18. Nick Gray Reply

    Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland. This was one of the most helpful OkDork emails that I have gotten. Thank you! Will try to incorporate into my own website and stuff. Maybe for Hack The Met we can get people to do more interactions after the sign up.

  19. Derek Reply

    I am a technical writer/course developer. When I need a brain refresh I take a moment to read something from Noah. he uses an economy of words to make his point often leaving a smile on my face… That doesn’t sound weird does it?

  20. Huw Reply

    Shit you’re good.

    My consulting business is all based on marketing / sales funnels!

    They’re freaking genius!

    It’s amazing how good they are at building relationships, trust and desire for your products or services.

    I’ve seen companies I’ve worked with increase their sales times the original amount by adding a marketing / sales funnel.

    Thanks for the great new ideas Noah!

    Looking forward to your next post

    – Huw.

  21. David Kadavy Reply

    This is a comment about how I am commenting.

    I’d also like to comment about what a brilliant post this is! I have lots of luck offerring incentives to people to get them to sign up for the Design for Hackers email list (increased conversion rates 300% just by making the bonus offering more prominent), but I’ve never gotten this detailed with the rest of the on-boarding process!

    I’ll do some brainstorming on it as soon as I finish a project I’m working on right now.

    1. Noah Kagan Reply

      1- Awesome on your new email sign up page! Have you seen a change in open rates since the increase in subs?

      2- Nice on commenting on commenting about a comment 🙂

  22. Mike Carroll Reply

    Noah, I spotted your funnel as I signed up and thought – genius! So simple (just 4 steps) but sooooo effective.

    I can use this technique in so many ways going forward, thanks!

  23. Thomas Knoll Reply

    Amazing what happens when you ask for something. (Especially when you’ve already given something first.)

    Over my past 6 years in the startup space, I’ve been giving as much as possible. Helping people out however I can. Making introductions, referring people to jobs, promoting and supporting other events, trying to make the companies I’ve worked at as valuable as possible… So now, as I’m building my own company, I’m confident when I ask people for introductions, candidate referrals, promotion, and hard work.

    1. Noah Kagan Reply

      I can attest mate. You are easily one of the most giving people I’ve met in the tech space.

      Definitely pumped and looking forward to your ass kicking (and happy to help)!

  24. Erin Reply

    “Cows…after you’ve seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though…now that would be something.” A purple cow is something hugely interesting sitting in a sea of uninterestingness(I heard that recently said by a really cool person.)…..anyway….love the concept and love the book.

    You listed some truly great ideas that I need to implement right now….like, RIGHT now….on my new site. Serendipity??? Possibly….

    So……. since we’re talking about Purple cows, I went to Starbucks this morning(wasn’t it in the book?), and asked for a discount per your “How to Make Your 1st Dollar” instructions. …I got my coffee for FREE, and I got coffee FREE for a bunch of other people. I bet you’d like to know how?

    If so, just pass on over that dropcam, and I’ll be happy to divulge my little secret. I’ll put the dropcam to good use. Promise…..

  25. Ryan Reply

    Great stuff. I hate that this shit is so simple but easily overlooked.

    ‘Obviously I eat while writing ( :’

    Let’s validate a hands free taco feeder!

  26. Patrick Reply

    As always, BOMB advice.

    Saved, archived and ready to test for my first validated idea.

    NOW I just need to get my shit going and validate that idea..

  27. Steph Reply

    I think the main reason I don’t ask those things of people after they’ve subscribed is the fear of exhausting them and losing engagement by asking too much or emailing too often. But you’re right, if they really are excited then of course they want more!
    Also, I want a Dropcam 🙂

  28. Rafael Oshiro Reply

    I’m usually read you blog posts but don’t leave a comment because I’m kind a lazy. But this time is different because you’re giving away an awesome gift for a commenter. 🙂

    Love the all the info you spread, Noah!

  29. Carlos Reply

    Sweet! This is a great post! You should cover a little of this on your “How To Make Your First Dollar” course! (If you don’t already–I’m still working through it!)

  30. Joel Reply

    And I’ve only been thinking of conversion / engagement funnels. This is awesome. Do you use cohort metrics to optimize a marketing funnel in the same way? Thanks!

  31. Mark Reply

    Genius! Cheers Noah. I’ve managed a sales funnel for 10 years – now I have a marketing funnel to fill my sales funnel! It’ll be interesting to see what % increase in comments you get by offering a gift…

  32. Nina Mehta Reply

    I like how the link from your email led straight to the comments box. I was expecting to have to scroll down to the bottom of the page. However, I tried to submit and had to come back, scroll up and fill in my name and email address.

  33. Luke Freeman Reply

    I love the way you think things through from concept to completion! This is definitely being posted to my company Yammer — need to encourage more of this thinking 🙂

  34. Nate Shivar Reply

    I had a “what should I write about next?” followup to my email list subscribe – but never realized the actual potential of it.

    Thanks for the post! I’m off to re-write my subscribe process. Thanks!

  35. Luke Freeman Reply

    It’s already generated a good discussion! I’m in Sydney, I’d love to buy you a beer (or taco), offer a couch or help out in any way. What brings you down under in our coldest month?

  36. Wendy Reply

    Everytime I received one of your emails, my first thoughts are: what is Noah going to say this time? and I smile even before I open the email, you surprise me everytime. Thank you for all your great advices, suggestions and specially for sharing…Kind Regards from Peru!

  37. Dumisani "Sumoling" Reply

    I just want to compliment you on doing such an amazing work. Your thought process is awesome. My take from this post is, be concious of what you want. Start with the end in mind. Put a little thought into it, don’t just jump into it.

    I will put it into practice.


  38. Robert J Mawson Reply

    Have just added a funnel to my “thanks for subscribing” page. Before now it just included a download but I’ve added a few things.

    By the way, when I subscribed to okdork just now I didn’t get directed to http://okdork.com/bonus/, it was just the standard Aweber page.

  39. Sarah M Reply

    Make sure you head to Perth, no one bothers to make the effort, be one of the few who do! We had tacos last night! They were awesome… I am enjoying reading your stuff!

  40. Kyle Reply

    Where I work I follow-up with members the best I can. Genuinely I expect them to like me (of course – being polite goes a long way) and mention “is there anything else you need or that I can do for you?” … It generally leads to a conversation about “well unless you can help me with … ” Which is usually something on the joking side haha. Anyway sometimes it does lead to good feedback and a potential sale.

  41. Andres Leguizamon Reply


    Yes, I am one of the suckers that reads all your posts all the way to the end as you can tell…;) I do it because I love your content, your straight forward advice and strategies. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience. I have a few products under development and a lot of the stuff you share has been very helpful to continue to make strides in a more efficient way. So, thank you!



  42. Libby Tucker Reply

    Love the tips for keeping users engaged and for asking for what you want, particularly when the iron is hottest. I will use your process and try it out, thanks! 🙂 Is it too late to send the i love tacos email for the Facebook story?

  43. Amir Reply

    As always, thank you for the great content Noah.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to stop being a wantrepreneur so I listened to Nev and printed the Boron letters and bought AdWeek.

    Once I figure something out I will invite the whole AppSumo team over to my place for the best taco fiesta you will ever have, ever.

    Hope you guys like it spicy!

    This is my first blog comment ever.
    (I guess I’m not a virgin anymore)

  44. Chris Reply

    I love how you’ve made me realize that it’s ok to copy great ideas. You and Neville both. It isn’t about coming up with the cleverest newest bangle or bauble of an idea. Or some secret twist on an old method. Genuine content and basic principles. Good stuff. Thanks for all the great insight.

  45. Eddy Reply

    This I like. It never occurred to me to set funnel goals related to what I want to learn; I always set them for what I wanted the person in the funnel to do.

    Thanks mate, I’ve already set a few for surveys.

  46. David Kartuzinski Reply

    You got me! I am emailing this post to my creative team behind the site we are building above. There is nothing there yet but a theme but your post is awesome in its simplistic approach of telling then showing. Bravo!

  47. Sebastian Strug Reply

    Hey Noah!

    I’ve been reading through your posts and I love how you conduct your strategies and then tell us about them.

    For funnelling you made a previous blog post about helping your friend Adam and linked it to your Youtube channel – funnelling people to your channel and achieving one of your goals.

    Then in your online workshop on sales, you told us the ultimate question and showed us that you used it in the email to advertise your product!

    I’m really blown away by the depth you’ve set up here, and I’m scouring all your previous work to see how I can gain from it. It’s also fantastic to see that you are employing the same tactics you suggest we do. While you won’t (please don’t!) tell us all your secrets, its nice to feel that you’re using similar theory to a top-level entrepreneur.

    My only question is that doesn’t the ULTIMATE QUESTION force the person you’re asking to express and perhaps reinforce their negative opinions of you?

    Keep being awesome,


  48. Peter-G Reply

    Reminds me of a funnel web spider’s ploy. The more you struggle to get out the more trapped you get. But here the spider isn’t going to munch you, its going to give you a taco.
    #99 🙂

  49. Joseph Putnam Reply

    Not gonna lie, I love Noah’s marketing style, and I’m learning so much. Seems like a lot of people leave opportunities on the table by not incentivizing people to follow them or subscribe to their blog. Yes, some people will do it anyway, but the real key is to give them an offer they can’t refuse. Then, as Noah pointed out in this post, you need to get more out of them while they’re the most interested. All I can say is that this is awesome, and the marketing advice I’ve been getting is priceless. Can’t wait to get more.

  50. Courtney Reply

    Ohhh Noah Kagan….

    I have been in a week long tailspin after discovering Tim Ferriss, then an interview he did with you about Appsumo (incredible), then your blog! OMG. So much brain food to digest, am I right? I’m loving it, and I just subscribed. So thanks.

    BURNING question- I think I see the benefit of creating a landing/sales page for a product or website one is working on before it’s launched- like Mint-obviously it worked for them.

    I’m a bit confused though because I feel like people are less likely to give their email over to a product, company, or website that doesn’t totally exist yet, than to an up and running website they can use, see, etc. Am I wrong about this? Or does your model of “traffic first” only apply to certain situations? Leave them wanting more or just give them what they want….how do you know what will be more effective?


  51. Karen Reply

    I saw you on creative live yesterday and you were an awesome dork! Except for the part where you gave my gift concierge idea to the card guy and had everyone online buzzing about it and giving sending them his way. (Sniff, sniff)

    Great advice here as always. I bookmarked starred taco deli on my google maps. 🙂

  52. Earle Richards, Jr. Reply

    I’m reading Peter Bevelin’s Seeking Wisdom (http://bit.ly/19k3a6A) after reading Gay Hendrick’s The Big Leap after you suggested during your “Overcoming Your Fears” creativeLIVE course. You’ve had earned your way into my Primary inbox and, more importantly, my heart. Keep it up the great work. You’re an inspiration, Noah! TTFN!

  53. Pat J Reply

    Read it and liked it Noah. Now I have Blueballs for more funnel marketing tips with specifics to setting up funnel marketing on web pages.
    Be more specific about Tacos Dude: Fish? beef? spicey? soft shell/hard shell?

  54. Robert Reply

    Great post and great email. I like reading your emails and learning from you. When will you connect Okdork fans? I hope you got plenty of emails. And I will get connected with some good people. 🙂

  55. Sam Reply

    So true. Can you funnel us to comment on okdork more often from the newsletters? I like the sense of community it entails!

    PS – now this is a little dated, but amazing job with the creativeLive session with Tim Ferris, way back when. You really stood out as mindful, wise, and income-intellegent – not a money-monger, like others I’ve come across. I have been working on the GEBY model since!

    Looks like today is my alliterative-associations day. Also I’m a fan of good things in three or more.

  56. Josh Hamit Reply

    Here is the “comment” you asked for. I cannot remember how I first came across your blog/email… maybe a Facebook ad, but it has proven to be a great and entertaining read so far!

    I’m setting up a new website at the moment and was actually thinking about ways to keep customers in the loop after sign up. Some great ideas here!


  57. Heather Craik Reply

    Definitely read the post. (From the comfort of my email program)

    I remember your old list of things fondly! I think the only reason I went through it was for the last step, and because it mentioned tacos. Plus you’d already ‘sold’ me on you as a person so I was willing to run off and do other stuff. I think right after I devoured most of your site.

    In the process of updating all my own content (nearly done with what’s already there!) but will remember this when it comes to writing funnel stuff.

  58. Door Reply

    I read your email. I save your email. And then I throw it away, at some point. I am in awe of your style. And do you know what I liked most? The email you wrote about going to Cuba. This was soooo good: Noah is taking a breather. Your style is refreshing and fun. Please do exhale, it’s like a little pause that helps me take your intensity better. Lots of love and tacos, Door (European; this is probably why) (come visit us, take a breather here)

  59. Ken Reply

    Thanks for the funnel email Noah – good stuff. We’ve been honing not only our own, but our clients at Email Broadcast as well. This is one of the TOP email marketing things that most people miss out on. Your interaction with the customer after first contact needs to be TIGHT! otherwise you did all that work for nothing.

  60. Brad Hines Reply

    Your make a comment call to action worked nicely! And yes, the best time to get going as a content producer is the moment you have anything out there someone has liked. Best time to not quit.

  61. Lilia Tovbin Reply

    Is that why AppSumo developed SumoMe? Brilliant move – you have audience, now you can offer them endless experiences with the brand they love, that you can monetize too.

  62. Emma Reply

    I had completely forgotten about asking subscribers to follow up/subscribe etc on the end of email marketing communication. I used to do it and will implement that again. Thanks for the reminder!

  63. Sudhir Mantena Reply

    Makes a lot of sense in giving people more of what they want.
    What you guys did at Mint was revolutionary – getting people to put Mint badge on their site which drove more back links and more SEO value than anyone else. If I am not wrong, Google now considers that as spam. Ofcourse being the first to try new growth hack techniques is key. You have to maximize the distribution channel output before others jump in.

    I am in the process of thinking through a landing page before launching the product. Hope to implement some of the techniques I have learnt from you, SeanEllis and others. Thanks and keep up the good/helpful writing.

  64. Lazar Reply

    I’m actually just getting my first ever email campaign together through Aweber and needed some ideas for a good follow up series…this post couldn’t have come at a better time! Thanks Noah, keep on rockin’ in the free world.

  65. Adriana J Garces Reply

    Hey Noah…I AM reading your newsletters and learning! Thanks for this very insightful post. It’s not difficult and actually makes lots of sense. I have applied asking for subscribers across social media platforms and will schedule to repeat it now and then. Tacos…are awesome ???? your work, better. Cheers!

  66. mario Reply


    which program you use for the online survey in order to be able to do the 2 sections? I tried google forms, but that doesn’t work. Thanks for your help.

  67. John Reply

    Just like always Noah I enjoyed reading your article. I wish that you would be my mentor, help me create a good funnel marketing plan for my site, help me create a few apps and eat some delicious tacos if you ever come to Los Angeles California. Kudos Noah you always know how to inspire me.

  68. Nicole Reply

    I’m commenting because you are so awesome! I’ve never gotten a marketing email that used “blue balls” in it! Thanks for all the great content. Headed to make my funnel now

  69. Casey LaRue Reply

    Hey Noah! Great info. Added the Mint landing pages and funnel to my swipe file. Also purchased your book from Amazon. Thank you for the awesome posts, they are very helpful. Keep writing. Cheers =)

  70. oscar Reply

    You’re doing great in these emails. I don’t have a website just yet, but I’m an email coordinator and your approach is great. Helps me approach my clients to get them on board with new tactics to reach their customers. Thanks!

  71. Murky Master Reply

    Nice! I need to learn how to market this kind of advice to my bosses! Hey, why don’t you write about that: How to Market Scary New Marketing-Fu to your Director of Marketing.

  72. swyx Reply

    i read your stuff exclusively via email. only came to your site because you said to leave a comment and i was like “well, why not”. nicely done!

  73. Carlos Reply

    Hi Noah! Thanks for sharing great content always for statups! I’m still unclear how I should go about creating my marketing funnel. I already have a landing page. I will take your advice and prepare a quick survey for new subscribers, but what else should I do to keep them interested?

  74. Rafael Roldan Reply

    Hey, buddy! Thanks a lot for everything!! I’m just about to implement a few tests for landing pages and we’ll implement a little funnel on it, so my soon-to-come blog gets further on providing value to my targets. It seems that it will help a lot to have this increment in my strategy!!!