A conversion funnel, also known as a sales funnel, is a term used to describe the different stages of a buyer’s journey until taking a desired action (i.e. conversion). It is the job of every business owner, whether they hire outside help or do the work in-house, to guide buyers through the funnel in order to increase the chances of gaining a conversion.
The term “funnel” is actually a bit misleading – you can’t simply expect buyers to end up converting simply because you got them to your site. Instead, buyers often need to be led through the funnel to be guided to the action you’re looking for them to make.
Conversion funnels can range from the most basic three-step to more than a dozen depending on how much you want to break it down. In general, we recommend a five-step approach in order to provide multiple options for optimization without making things overly complicated.
The Five Main Elements of a Conversion Funnel
Often referred to as the “top” of the funnel, awareness represents the work that you do to attract potential customers to your website. It is essentially the same as lead generation, and includes nearly everything that you do marketing-wise, from PPC ads to social posts to blogging. It can also include networking, referrals, outbound/inbound efforts; everything that you do to make users aware of your brand.
The most important part of awareness is monitoring your marketing metrics. Pay attention to which avenues are getting the most traffic to your website, and, if you have social campaigns, which posts are getting the most traction from your audience.
It’s also important to ensure that your efforts are targeting the right audience. Putting time and money into content that is being seen by the wrong audience is a waste of your efforts. Take the time to dive into who your target audience is, what platforms they’re on, and what appeals to them. Like helps get more valuable leads into your funnel, and weed out those that aren’t likely to convert.
In this step of the funnel, you are looking to engage users with information about your products or services. This means building a relationship with the user in order to increase trust. The best way to do this is by getting emails via opt-in forms or newsletters. Focus on building valuable content with attention-grabbing headlines and graphics. Compelling copy and accessible layouts can help draw website visitors into your site, encouraging them to read your blog, check out your products or services, and learn more about your business’s story. All of these things help bring users further into your sales funnel.
This phase involves trying to build a purchasing desire in potential customers. You’ve already built interest, so now it’s time to entice visitors into converting. Make sure you have great product photos, well-written and engaging product descriptions, and, if you can, well-produced product videos. This is the point at which you want to provide visitors with all of the information that they need to make their purchasing decision.
Want to take this phase a bit further? Offer a competitive satisfaction guarantee, promotional offers, blog posts, etc. Anything that you can think of that will drive desire for your product or services.
A conversion doesn’t necessarily have to be a sale; it can also be signing up for a newsletter, attending a webinar, or the like. Making the journey from interest to conversion as smooth and simple as possible is key to gaining conversions. People are more likely to leave your site if the navigation is awkward, or if they can’t figure out what they are supposed to do, or how to get a hold of you. Make sure to keep an eye on your abandonment rates, and put work into figuring out how to improve them.
Many businesses think that, once they’ve converted a visitor, their work is done. But in today’s highly competitive business world, that simply isn’t the case. If you simply ignore customers after they’ve converted, you’re failing to take advantage of one of the most valuable customers to have: repeat customers. Retention is critical for growth over time, and it isn’t as hard as you might think. Invite customers to follow your social media pages so they keep up-to-date with sales, promotions, new products, and the like. Send coupons or discounts via email. Really, the options are endless to court customers into making repeat purchases. Just make sure that you aren’t harassing them with too many messages, as that will likely end with them opting out and choosing to do business elsewhere.
Streamline Your Conversion Funnel for Optimum Success
There are many small or inexpensive things your business can do to help streamline and optimize your conversion funnel. Often, even the smallest changes can make a world of difference to your bottom line.
If you’re looking to improve your conversion funnel by optimizing your website, we are here to help. Gulf Coast Web has decades of experience in managing digital marketing and web design services for business across all industries. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.