If your business is into the digital market, then it’s hard for you not to hear the word ‘funnel’ by now. Such as Conversion funnel, upper funnel, etc.
You’re mistaken if you think you could overlook it! If you use email marketing to sell your products or service or advertise them on your website, then you are using a conversion funnel.
Yes, your platform is highly possible to have not one but several conversion funnels.
Everyone knows that not every other individual is the same and shares the same mentality, so it can be said every prospect and customer might follow different conversion paths.
More than just a “straight-line” to sell or subscribe, the funnel is a great way to learn about the search habits of your consumers and what the average consumer decision journey looks like.
Being familiar with its features is a prerequisite for effectiveness and success in the long run.
Let’s start with understanding the funnel
“Conversion funnel” (also known as “sales funnel”) is a term that allows you to envision and understand the process through which a potential client lands on your website and then takes the desired step (i.e., purchase, subscribe, etc.).
This cycle is often represented as a funnel as you direct the consumer to your conversion point as a marketer.
Unlike a typical funnel, you don’t just force people into it. Indeed, you’re doing your best to draw consumers to the funnel, but you need to pull people through your funnel and direct them to the next intended action once they arrive.
Generally speaking, a consumer should never feel restricted to a website (i.e., they need options) or be uncertain about the next move to be taken (i.e., all choices need to be clear, accessible, and functional).
Your business objective(s), determines the visualization of the funnel, which could be:
- Selling products/services
- Requesting a demo or estimate
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Downloads (reports, etc.)
B2B, B2C and the Conversion Funnel
Be it B2B or B2C, the conversion funnel is essential in both scenarios and will be quite different depending on whether you target businesses or customers
In B2C, for example, the funnel would typically be simpler and smaller, because purchasing or subscribing is often performed on an impulse or at least highly subjective.
Nevertheless, a B2B transition will often be more practical and business-driven. Therefore, building trust over time will be critical for B2B brands.
Conversion Funnel: The Concept
Before we dive into it, you must know what the point of having a conversion funnel is?
A conversion funnel’s goal is to map the different stages of the customer’s purchasing journey.
Once you have been through these stages, you can then:
- Spot all the friction points which lead to exits (abandonment of the cart, high bounce rate on a landing page, etc.)
- Distinguish visitors at each stage of the journey (prospect, window shopper, customer, etc.).
- In the last, optimize your funnel(s) to increase conversions.
Stages of the Conversion Funnel
There will be radically different conversion funnels in various verticals such as retail, tourism, finance, insurance, online gaming.
An outline that will apply to more than one type of business can be worked out. Typically, this diagram follows four main levels. But remember that it’s not uncommon for a visitor to miss one or two steps depending on their maturity level.
They may decide, for example, to complete a transaction without seeking additional information because they are already familiar with a brand or product.
1. Inspire visitors
Answer your visitors’ questions and raise awareness about your product and brand for this first phase. Be professional – ensure that your landing pages are displaying content that discusses the value of your product or service.
2. Convert visitors into prospects
Now, it’s all about how much trust is there between you and the visitors. Your goal should be both simple and intricate: get contact information from your visitors to stay in touch or tailor the experience. Well, this is called ‘nurturing your lead.’
The best way to build your database is to be generous with your resources:
- Create a newsletter to recommend weekly tips to your visitors or make a report or study based on your sector expertise or proprietary data.
- Provide free tools or apps to your visitors
3. Converting prospects into a client
Converting prospects into a client is important for the third stage.
Always remember that your target customer is looking for the most attractive deal— now, it is up to you to stand out in a crowd.
If you want to do this, then you’ll have to:
- First, Clarify the sales funnel.
- Then remove friction points
- And lastly, shorten the customer journey
4. Loyalty building:
If you think that conversion is the last step in the conversion funnel, then you are wrong. The final step in a conversion funnel is to convert your customers into returning customers.
This has two challenges:
- To motivate the customers to make a purchase repeatedly. Good news: a consumer who has already purchased the product on your page is much easier to convert than a prospect.
- Encouraging your customers to review your products is also a good alternative because happy customers are more likely to leave positive reviews.
If you are trying to convert first-time visitors, then these suggestions will be very helpful.
Now, the question is, what is a good conversion rate?
You must be wondering what a good conversion rate is? If you already have a conversion rate of 3%, 5% or even 10%, is that as high as can go?
The average landing page conversion rate was 2.35% across sectors, yet the top 25% convert at or above 5.31%. Preferably, you’d like to break into the top 10 million— these are landing pages with 11.45 percent and higher conversion rates.
Usually, a successful conversion rate is between 2% and 5% somewhere. If you’re sitting at 2 percent, it seems like a big shift to improve to 4 percent. You can say that you have doubled your conversion rate now, but you are still stuck in the average performance pit
In an analysis conducted by Wordstream, they started with all the accounts that they could review and return back for a duration of three months. They eliminated those with low conversion volumes (< 10 conversions/month) and low volume accounts (< 100 clicks/month), leaving hundreds of accounts for their study. They then mapped where the conversion rate of the accounts fit.
So, if you are still wondering, what is a good conversion rate? You can clearly see that approximately 1/4 of all accounts have conversion rates of less than 1%. The average was 2.35%, but the top 25% of accounts had double that–5.31%–and higher. Check the far right red bar–the top 10 percent of Google Ads advertisers have 11.45 percent of their account conversion rates.
Note, this is not for individual landing pages–these advertisers reach 11.45 percent or higher conversion for their entire account.
This is obviously not an anomaly; it’s perfectly achievable. If you are currently receiving 5 percent conversion rates, then 75 percent of advertisers are outperforming you, but don’t worry because you can still grow!
Here are 9 tips to optimize your sales funnel whatever business you are in
1. Make sure the message is clear
Whether it’s free or not, your conversion funnel(s) is based on your offer. For instance, Amazon offers its Prime members free and fast delivery and an expanded catalogue.
Defining the product offering also involves showcasing unique events around it, such as members-only deals to begin the shopping season on holiday.
2. Defining the goals
Without an end goal, planning the path from start to finish will be challenging — from the entry point to the follow-up post-conversion.
You must decide the conversion funnel’s key objective to improve the different stages leading to the end goal.
This could be anything from selling, downloading, subscribing, etc.
3. Personas are good, but mindsets are better
If you are not aware of the ‘mindset methodology,’ then you must know about this term.
The Mindset methodology goes much further than conventional personas to deeply understand the state of mind of your prospects at each stage of the funnel.
What’s the reason for them being on your site? Is it for purchase or comparison or information? What is the background (on the phone, at home, in the subway, in-store)of their browsing?
Understanding your visitors’ mindset is the first step towards transforming them into customers.
4. Build a strong content strategy
Your plan will not hold up without valuable content.
Offer your visitors tools that provide a clear answer to their challenges:
- Determine the needs of your visitors.
- Put yourself as a leading thinker in your sector
- Refine your database by downloading (webinars, ebooks, etc.)
- Make your brand image strong.
5. Streamline the UX
Even with the best offers in the market with high-quality content, your efforts will be futile unless you meet your visitor’s expectations.
Here are a few common friction points you can fix as a matter of priority:
- Account creation: Remove any complexities from account creation
- Checkout: drastically reduce the number of steps
- CTA: Create the perfect CTA
- Navigation: Structure your menu in a way that it displays the main categories on your site
- Product information: Remove any elements that distract your visitors and pay attention to descriptions, images you use, CTAs.
- Forms: Only add required fields
- Mobile: Visitors who will check out your mobile page will probably exit the page after 40 seconds. So, the mobile-first approach is not really recommended but is required.
- Experience: Recommend alternative products and create a wishlist feature which visitors can easily share
6. Boost site performance
Your website’s load time can make your customers stay.
Back in February 2018, a study was published by Google, which indicated that visitors are 32% more likely to leave a site if it takes between 1- 3 seconds or more to load.
7. Create elements of reassurance
The competition out there is fierce, and your rivals have the product and prices similar to yours. In this scenario, reassurance factors can only help you, especially when it comes to making purchase decisions.
Make sure information and rates are clear:
- Make sure to be clear about the shipping costs
- Don’t forget to incorporate various payment options
- Customer reviews are important to showcase them too.
8. Determine entry points
While goals and targets are critically important factors in the creation of content, as you have already read above, it is also important to maintain your strategy around the different channels that lead visitors to your website.
When ironing the creases out of your purchasing funnel, you should remember these key points:
- Social platforms
- Organic search
- Influencer marketing
9. Test, analyze and test again
Finally, you have planned out your online content and streamlined your UX, now, what’s the next thing to do?
Now, it is time to monitor and analyze your traffic, bounce rate, session length, click frequency, conversions, and exits to identify any unexpected barriers to conversion at each point of the funnel.
After you have all this information, you can then test various funnel variations, images, CTAs, menu, or customer reviews and see how it is affecting your sales funnel.
Ultimately, this is a never-ending phase.
If you are selling products or services online, then conversion funnels are crucial to transforming prospects into loyal customers.
But it’s not enough to create a conversion funnel. With the right segmentation approach, you need to support these activities and observe customer behavior as they move closer to the end target.