Do You Know Your Front End From Your Back End?

back end of a web business donkeyRelax, I’m not being rude with the title of this post 😉

Instead, this is a genuine question – I promise!

If somebody asked you to explain the difference between the front end and back end of a web business what would you say?

If you’d have asked me during my first 12 months online then I wouldn’t have had a clue so if you’re in the dark too then please don’t feel bad.

But do read on, because this post is for you and concerns one of THE most important things to understand when it comes to making money on the internet…

Your Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is simply the journey your subscribers and customers take through your business.

Take a look at the picture below which shows your sales funnel:

Make Money Online Sales Funnel Front End Back End

As you can see, the sales funnel is split into 2 parts, the front end and the back end. Let’s look at these…

The Front End: This is what happens as people join your list as new subscribers.

But how do people join your list in the first place? Well, this could be in a couple of ways.

They could…

1. Sign up for your newsletter or free gift using the opt in form on the sidebar of your blog or on your squeeze page
2. Purchase one of your products

Basically, there are a number of potential different “on ramps” which allow people to become your subscriber.

Either way, they join your list at the front end of your business.

The Back End: This is what happens after people have become your subscribers.

As you’ll see from the diagram above they basically receive follow up emails from you. These can be either trust building emails such as sending free gifts, PDF cheat sheets, videos, blog updates or they can be promotional emails where you promote your own or affiliate products.

Now here’s the most important thing of all:


Understanding this is super powerful.

Most online (and offline) businesses only make a tiny amount for profit, break even or even LOSE money on the FRONT END of their business.

For example, many businesses spend money on advertising, getting ranked in Google (SEO), direct mail, live events and so on in order to generate new subscribers.

There are ways of immediately making money on the front end of the business but basically it is rare to make a big profit.

This is FINE and how it should be provided that you have a solid back end to your business that makes the real money for you!

And this means of course it’s vital to build your email follow up sequence well.

The great thing here is that it can be put on autopilot using your autoresponder.

It’s also important to make sure you look after your subscribers so they get a great experience. This is something a lot of people fail to do and it really makes a big difference when you go to your list and offer them a product to purchase.

If you get this right then the subscribers on your list are more likely to become your customers. And your customers are more likely to purchase from you time and time again.

They are happy and you make money. It’s a Win-Win!


Understanding the difference between the front and back ends is really important as you start to see a clear difference between your lead generation activities and real money making activities.

This really helped me to think a lot clearer about what I was doing when I learnt this.

A FAILURE to understand it often leads to big problems. For example, I met someone who was offering 35% commission on a small product of theirs and was frustrated that he couldn’t get affiliates to promote it for him.

This person has failed to understand that this product could have been used as a lead generation and traffic strategy at the front end of his business. By offering 100% (yes 100%!) commission on the product he would have had a much better chance of getting other marketers to promote.

But this person couldn’t understand this and kept saying, “Why would I ever give 100%? I’m in this for the money!”

But if he had understood his front end from his back end then he would have been able to see that it’s worth giving ALL of the profits away on the front end to drive the traffic. Then once the customers are onto the list you can make MUCH more money by building more trust with them and promoting to them again and again!

A similar attitude to whatever traffic techniques you decide to use will serve you very well too.

Does this make sense? Please do go for the LIKE button if you liked and let me know your questions/thoughts/anger/disagreements below 🙂

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13 Responses to Do You Know Your Front End From Your Back End?

  1. colin May 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Will be interesed in the open rate for this one !!

    • Rob May 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi Colin,

      Haha! As I type this comment it is early days but the stats look above average so far according to my Aweber account.

      Cheers – Rob

  2. David May 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Thank s Rob, That makes perfect sense..Give,Give, Give,Good quality before you they say.

    • Rob May 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      Hi David,

      You’re welcome – glad you found it useful.

      And yes, GIVE GIVE GIVE is absolutely the way to keep subscribers happy AND make more money 🙂

      Cheers – Rob

  3. Peter May 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Rob

    I understand the principle here, but thanks for the reminder!


    • Rob May 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      No problem Peter. I know you already understand this – thanks for the comment 🙂


  4. John May 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Hi Rob,
    If nothing else, in all my marketing years, I learnt this fact.
    Guess it’s hard to accept for some.


  5. Napoles- internetmarketingblog May 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Ha…Ha…I love the Pic Rob. BTY as always Superb Content on that 26 mins
    Webinar I got in my Inbox about Internet Income Funnels. Thanks !

    • Rob May 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      Thanks Napoles, glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Hope all is well with you,


  6. Joe May 19, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Hi Rob,
    What an exemplary marketing foundation you’ve laid , it’s awesome though still half newbie can now practically decode the formula. Thanks greatly; while awaiting more of its kind.

    • Rob May 19, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Hey Joe,

      Thanks for your kind words – really glad you enjoyed this one.

      Please stay tuned for the videos that I’m sending out over the next week. These are very much related to this post and will expand upon the idea we’ve discussed here.

      Kind regards,


  7. Steve May 31, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Great article Rob. You write in simple terms and decipher difficult concepts so that a newbie like myself can understand better.

    • Rob May 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Thanks Steve – appreciate that and thanks for letting me know.

      Kind regards,


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