My research into funnels and recent experience with ClickFunnels gave me some clues. I needed five pages for my WordPress funnel. Opt-in, confirmation, thank you, quote request, and download. The first issue I ran into was that WordPress pages contain a sidebar on the right by default. If I put links there it takes this squeeze out of the squeeze page, and if I leave it blank it looks weird.
A sales funnel is a marketing system. It’s the “ideal” process you intend your customers to experience as they go from Prospect to Lead to Customer to Repeat Buyer. Sales funnels have been around much longer than web marketing, but the online world is the best thing to ever happen to sales funnels because websites and email marketing make sales funnels easier to build.
Follow-up with a thank you page. The thank-you page is a great way to guide visitors to other related material on your website that they may be interested in. Providing this added info in the initial landing page would have been distracting and could have led visitors away from making a conversion. However, now that you’ve sealed the deal, the thank-you page is the perfect place to suggest related products, guides and information your audience may find helpful, or links to other parts of your site, such as your company blog.
Creating your own landing page can be a challenge. Because they're so conversion-focused, getting something wrong is super easy. My recommendation is to look into the many landing page template providers out there - something that's already designed by UX experts and professional designers. A good landing page builder (like Wishpond) makes something which can be overwhelming and complicated quick and easy.
A good landing page should naturally lead a user to the conclusion that converting is in their best interest. To do that, however, you need to know exactly what you want them to do and why they might not want to do it. Then, throughout your landing page, you address their concerns and sell them on the value of what they get in exchange for converting.
Prospecting and marketing are all the things you do to get people into the first of your sales funnel stages. Note that stages are broken into two or more steps wherever possible. A demo could be called a single stage, but in real life it involves a lot of things: contacting the customer, sending reminders, doing the demo, and then following up. Whatever your own sales stages look like, the support you need in managing them will be the same.