A Marketing Funnel illustrates the different stages a buyer goes through before they make a purchase. As potential customers journey through the funnel or conversion path their numbers steadily decrease. Typically, a conversion funnel consists of several parts: an upper funnel, a middle funnel and a lower funnel. These different parts of the funnel are useful in helping marketers adjust their strategy to increase their conversion rates. Each section of the funnel describes the amount of information a prospect has about a product or service and their chances of making a purchase.
A prospect at the upper funnel stage has only begun to learn about the product and is not certain if they need the product or any of its technical features. Usually, users at this stage are researching different brands and are learning how the product or service can benefit them.
Users at the middle funnel stage are usually informed about the most popular brands and have agreed to receive further information via email about the products and services of particular businesses. They are aware of their own needs as they relate to the brand, and are a discerning potential customer who knows what to expect from particular brands.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, we have users who know which brands are their favourites. These potential customers are now comparing reviews from actual customers in order to become fully informed about what to expect by purchasing a specific product or service.
Now that you have a grip on what a conversion funnel describes, we can take a look at various ways you can optimize your conversion funnels. There are many different components that you need to consider in order to improve the performance of your funnel. You need to test each element of the customer engagement, look at analytics and then improve the design.
Let’s take a look at where to begin. Firstly, you should head over to Google Analytics and set up a funnel visualization. Google Analytics is an indispensable tool in the digital marketing space. The information you get from this powerful tool will show you exactly where your prospects are leaving the conversion funnel. Getting started with Google Analytics is pretty straightforward.
You first need to write down a goal name. This is simply the name of the goal which will help you when you’re looking at the date. For instance, “sign up to free newsletter”. After you’ve decided on a name, you can add ten pages in a conversion funnel. Now you can pinpoint exactly where your prospects are abandoning ship before completing the goal. Finally, you need to assign a monetary value to your specific goal. This will help Google Analytics assign a value to your goal. So for instance, if 20% of people who sign up to receive a newsletter from you end up spending $500, then the value of your goal (signing up for the newsletter) is $100.
So how exactly does Google Analytics help you see where your prospects are leaving the funnel? Well, this tool shows you which page has the highest bounce rate (the largest number of users leaving). Suppose that the price of a service you offer is listed on this page. This could mean that many prospects don’t feel comfortable spending that amount of money. Perhaps you could lower the price a little bit. Or alternatively, you might want to list the price further down the funnel where users are more aware of your business and its stellar testimonials. Going through these kinds of questions will help you fix any leaky faucets on your online conversion funnel.
The next thing you need to do is focus on the different components of your landing page. What you are trying to do here is to ensure that your landing page meets all the criteria of a perfect landing page. Typically, you should look at the headline, the copy, the colours used, the font size and finally the customer’s buying journey or path.
Firstly, test out different headlines and see which ones grab people’s attention the most. Your headlines should be clear and concise. Since the headline is usually the first thing a reader will see, you want this section of the page to be compelling. The reader should know what action to perform after reading your headline. A good way of drawing a user’s attention is by having a single and specific point in our headline, which is further unpacked in the rest of the text. In other words, avoid writing general and vague headlines because they tend to be unexciting.
It should go without stating that you must use perfect grammar. Even if you do everything right from a technical standpoint including offering amazing deals, if your grammar is sloppy then your conversion rates will drop drastically. Your reputation as a professional and trustworthy business will be in serious jeopardy.
Colour Scheme & Fonts
Next, coming up with an attractive colour scheme takes time. If the colour of your page’s background goes well with text colour, then that can increase conversion rates. You have to conduct a lot of tests before you find the ones that work. When testing the page’s font size, play around with the size and also with different font styles. Look at which combination of font sizes and styles draws prospects’ attention and keeps them longer on your landing page.
The call to actions and buttons on your page should be extremely noticeable. Don’t hesitate to make the call to action a bright yellow or orange button that almost screams at the reader. Also, research the keywords that people who are looking for your product or service might use and use them with phrases like “free” and “download now”.
Finally, there are many different tests you should perform to make the purchase path of your prospect seamless and enjoyable. One of the aspects you should pay attention to is the page loading speed. If the loading speed is too slow, then it can significantly contribute to an increase in bounce rates. Page Speed Report by Google provides a usability test, which is a good way to see just how a slowly loading page can harm your conversion rates.
After you’ve tested your landing page, you should then go look at the signup forms. There are several components of the signup form which you should test: headlines, text box words and placement, text boxes per page and captcha. Sign-in forms that are used to get leads to play a pivotal role in your conversion rates. You have to ensure that your prospects can quickly and effortlessly fill out the forms. If you make it a cumbersome experience, they people simply won’t fill out your forms.
In the e-commerce space, studies have shown that shorter forms are much more effective than longer forms. It does make sense if you think about it. Entering your information on a shorter form does not feel like a lot of work. People are not willing to spend time filling in countless form fields in order to receive a discount or a free demo. Therefore, keep your forms very simple and strip everything to its bare bones. Avoid asking for a prospects name, location, education, job title, etc. Ideally, try to only get their email address.
Choosing the right call-to-action headline can increase your conversion rate by almost 30%, so keep testing different headlines until you find the one that works. Next, make sure that the text is clear and that you have arranged the text boxes on the form for maximum conversion. Also, don’t go overboard with the number of text boxes on the form; fewer boxes might increase your conversion rates. And finally, make sure that captcha is legible; if they are too hard to read then your bounce rate will skyrocket!
Prospects who are considering doing business with you want to be sure that your business is trustworthy. If your landing page has a stamp of trust on it, then this will dramatically increase your conversion rates.
One of the most popular elements to include on your landing page is the Guarantee. Your landing page could offer a 30 day money back guarantee. Test and see if a 60 day money back guarantee increases your conversion rates.
You could also include the logos of products that you use, your Google star ratings and logos of your trusted and well-known businesses. This will convince your prospects that you are a professional company with many big and successful clients and that you provide a quality product or service.
If you are in the eCommerce space, then you should use logos of Visa, Master Card, Amex, etc so that your customers are comfortable with giving you their private information. Another logo to consider for your landing page if your business sells online is the VeriSign logo. This logo lets your prospects know that the online check-out process is safe. The logo costs around $300 annually but is well worth the investment. For the best conversion rates, it’s strongly recommended that you use all three trust elements on your landing page.
Conversion Via Email
Your online conversion funnel should include an up-to-date email newsletter list. To maximize the conversion rates, pay attention to the following elements: open rates, the text, click through rate and call to action.
Whether your email gets opened or deleted depends largely on the content in the subject line. Therefore, the subject of your emails must be engaging and exciting. Test different versions until you find one that will lead to high open rates. Next, regardless of the length of the text, your email must be clear, exciting and concise.
While open rates are important, you should also consider another metric. The click through rate tells you if your readers went through and read everything on your page. Simply embed links throughout your copy to get this valuable metric. Finally, you should test different versions of calls to action see which ones attract the most traffic to your page. Also, be sure to place your calls to action in different positions on the page and see if that affects your rates.
Always Be Testing
Try to find an average internet user; avoid tech savvy friends for your tests. Ask this person to find your page on the internet and then go through the entire conversion process. Let them know beforehand just what it is that you expect a prospect to do on your page. If at all possible, try to be physically with them as they’re going through the process. Pay attention to their facial expressions, things they’re saying and other reactions they engage with your content. If that’s not possible, then try to have them on the phone or over Skype. Take notes and record the conversations so that later you can do a comprehensive analysis of their experience. Keep tinkering with your conversion process until an average user can go smoothly go through the entire process without leaving it. Don’t forget that your sales copy should offer numerous benefits to your prospects. Again, you have to test and see which one is the most enticing.
When conducting tests and creating seamless conversion funnels, you should constantly strive for simplicity. Vinod Khosla the legendary venture capitalist applies the 5 second rule to prove to executives that pages loaded with information are in fact counterproductive. The test involves presenting a page to a tester for 5 seconds and then taking it away. The more information the page contained, the less the tester was able to remember. So in other words, less is more. Many marketers make the mistake of including too many links to other sites on their landing page. While adding links is reasonable on a homepage, a landing page should have a simple design. In fact, having too many links is distracting and will affect negatively on conversion rates.
As you’re building conversion funnels, you can’t afford not to be constantly testing. When you’re testing, you are getting actionable data that will improve your conversion funnel and maximize your pages conversion rates. I’ve given you some cheap and simple tips to help you optimize your conversion funnel.