Chris, thank you so very much for that. I am new to all of this and feel so overwhelmed in trying to figure out what system to use and how to put it all together. I have written 3 ebooks and have a course to go with one. One is a free give-away. I didn’t know where to start, but wanted to just do the free give-away in exchange for the emails. Later on, I thought I’d offer the course that goes with that book. What do you recommend? Do you think I should just stick with Leadpages and collect the emails and then when I’m ready to offer the course, use ClickFunnels? Can the names collected in LeadPages be integrated into ClickFunnels? I’m still trying to work this all out. Thanks for any help/guidance you can give.
Much of this is steeped in buyer psychology. The best marketers in the world know that there is a psychological process that must occur for prospects to whip out those credit cards and turn into buyers or even hyper-active buyers. One such person whose perfected this process is Russell Brunson, an "underground entrepreneur" who founded a company called ClickFunnels, a sales funnel SaaS business that empowers marketers from around the world to build marketing automation without all the hassle. 
The idea of using a funnel as a metaphor for Sales & Marketing processes in business really stems from the classic Marketing concept, AIDA. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. These 4 elements generally describe how you build customer relationships, but they can also describe lots of other things too (like how to structure a really good sales letter or sales pitch).

ClickFunnels alone massively reduces the amount of effort and money it normally takes to build a sales funnel from scratch, so with the complete Funnel Hacks bundle, you’ll save time and money, and you won’t have to worry about outsourcing the work to designers, writers or other marketers. With the information and resources provided in Funnel Hacks you’ll be able to build your own pages, create your own sales scripts, and before long you’ll be converting more visitors than ever before.
The Actionetics email builder also comes with an Action Funnels feature which allows you to hyper-segment your contracts in order to trigger external and internal actions at the appropriate time. Internal actions may include, for example, being removed/added from an email list, which external actions may include things such as being able to receive email sequences.
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.
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