Help! I’m caught in a Sales Funnel, and I can’t get out!

Leslie Stahlhut
6 min readAug 22, 2021


It began innocently enough.

I bought a book.

More specifically, I bought an ebook — an ebook for which I paid, but which REQUIRED me to sign up for an email list. Over the years that single acquisition that was meant to be a one-off purchase led me into a powerful sales-funnel vortex that threatened to pull me under.

“How to grow your email list!”

After making the purchase of “the book” that was going to solve my problem, I received an email that told me about a problem I didn’t know I had.

I didn’t have an email list.

As I read through the electronic missive, written in a folksy “Hi, I’m the best friend you never knew you had” tone, I learned that one of the things holding me back in life was my lack of an email list. This particular lack could lead to major life catastrophes including, but not limited to:

  • My blog would not be read
  • I wouldn’t be able to grow my business
  • My livelihood could be snatched from me by a big unthinking tech company that didn’t care about me but only wanted to sell my data

The first item resonated. At the time I was writing a daily crochet blog, and while I had developed a loyal and devoted readership, my blog never caught fire the way some crochet blogs had.

Part of that was my own doing. I knew that the most successful crochet blogs aggregated lists of crochet projects from other crochet blogs. The “content creators,” as they are now called, were seldom as widely read as the people who curated lists of that content.

I also knew that I didn’t want to spend my life scouring the internet for crochet projects that were list worthy, I wanted to crochet. So while the sentiment resonated, I wasn’t motivated to do anything about it.

As for the second item, I had no business to grow.

As for the third item, I didn’t have a livelihood to be snatched away from me.

I finished reading the email, deleted it, and moved on with my life. At least I did until the owner of that email list began a campaign that I call:



Leslie Stahlhut

Crocheter on a mission to make the world a better place — one stitch at a time. Twitter: @crochetbug. Crochet blog: