If you know sales, you know conversion funnels. They are an integral part of the entire sales process.
So, how do you visualize conversion funnels?
I see them like an adventure children’s game🤩 Say a game where you must help people reach their destination. The challenge is that the roads become steeper as you advance in the journey.
While you can successfully help a few reach their destinations, others get lost in the way. Unfortunately, a few others abandon the journey mid-way.
Similarly, a conversion funnel is a buyer’s journey where the destination is sales. You guide your prospects through the funnel, pique their interest, win their trust, and encourage them to take the desired action.
In today’s post, I’ll tell you about conversion funnels – what they are, and how to create, analyze, and optimize them.
Let’s start the journey!
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel, sometimes referred to as the sales funnel, describes the different stages of the buyer’s journey that prospects go through before they make the desired move (purchase decision).
The sales reps in an organization guides prospects through the conversion funnel to convert them from potential buyers into customers.
The funnel metaphor used here illustrates the gradual decrease in the number of potential buyers as they are guided along the conversion journey.
Different Stages in the Conversion Funnel
Most sales teams use the classic lead conversion funnel stages – top-middle-bottom funnel.
This traditional model focuses on triggering an interest in leads, informing potential buyers, convincing them to buy, and establishing loyalty to retain them as long-term customers.
Here’s a brief description of the traditional conversion funnel stages.
Top of the funnel (TOFU) – This is the first stage of the conversion funnel. Known as the awareness phase, potential buyers enter this phase when they interact with your brand through your website, ad, or social media.
Middle of the funnel (MOFU) – The second one is the consideration phase. Potential buyers enter this phase by engaging with your brand to know more about it. For example, they may subscribe to your newsletter, sign up, and download eBooks, guides, or templates.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) – The final one is the conversion phase. A lead reaches this phase before they make a purchase. Being in this phase means that you’ve given the prospect valuable information and guided them through relevant touchpoints.
At this phase, help the potential buyers to convert by offering them free trials and pricing details or sending them discounted offers.
Now that you know the traditional sales model, here’s a brief description of the AIDA model.
Awareness – The initiation happens when a lead discovers your brand.
At this stage, your main actions include posting blogs, social media posts, and targeted ads to draw traffic to your website.
Interest – Next, the lead starts taking an interest in your product/ service.
Here, you pique the lead’s interest by showcasing your products. Show customer reviews, case studies, and success stories to convey how you have helped businesses.
Desire – Your leads like you. However, they are confused about whether or not to choose you.
At this phase, nudge your leads by making proposals or strategically placing ads that help you create an emotional and trustworthy connection. Then, keep providing them content to make them realize that your product is the best fit for them.
Action – Finally, the golden chance of converting the lead arrives.
Your work is to encourage the leads to take the desired action. Offer them free guides and eBooks, or make them sign up by offering free trials. Send them a limited and personalized promotion offer if you want them to purchase your product.
5 Best Conversion Funnel Examples
Most prospects aren’t ready to make a purchase straight away. In fact, a little birdie (read research! 😀) told me that 96% of all website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase.
So, creating an effective process to grab the prospects’ attention and guide them to make a purchase is essential.
If you are intrigued about creating a sales, funnel that converts, get ready for some inspiration. Here are the five best conversion funnel examples.
Take a look!
Yes, your favorite OTT platform where you’ve binge-watched Stranger Things (I have too😁) has one of the best conversion funnels.
Netflix started with a 30-days free trial to capture the attention of new customers. And clearly, the brand was successful in attracting millions of subscribers globally.
Currently, Netflix mentions on its website about ‘no free trials’ but ‘you can change your subscription plan’ thing. But the idea here is to give people the ability to test run before the payment kicks in.
Here’s a breakdown of Netflix’s primary conversion funnel.
The brand is well-known. However, it promotes itself on various platforms, like podcasts, and social media, to improve its reach.
Once the prospect takes interest, these are the following touchpoints or conversion funnel stages.
- Conversion funnel landing page
- Plan introduction page
- Plan pricing page
- Account creation introduction page
- Create an account sign-up page
- Payment method page
- Payment details page
The first step, the conversion funnel landing page, guides leads throughout – from providing contact info to making payment. Once the payment details are put, the service begins.
The service runs on auto-renewal until the subscriber cancels it. In 2016, a study suggested that 62% of subscribers unintentionally pay for services as they forget to cancel the auto-renew feature.
So, it may be that quite a few Netflix subscribers want to cancel their subscriptions, but they forget to change their auto-renew settings.
Zendesk’s luring formula involves video demonstrations that are pretty common in the service space. The brand explains what it does with the help of a video that has proven to be quite attractive and successful.
Though software like Trello also offers video demos, Zendesk walks the extra mile by providing personalized video demos.
If you visit their video demo page, you’ll find a prominent start your trial CTA. Then you’ll be greeted by a pop-up where you must fill in specific details like name, work email, contact, job title, etc. Once you fill these out, you will get a personalized list of demos based on what services you’re interested in.
Here’s how the Zendesk conversion funnel works.
- Zendesk creates awareness through social media, PPC ads, referrals, and inbound marketing like blogs, podcasts, etc.
- Once they catch an interested lead, the personalized video demos are used to get them to the desired products. In addition, the demos help the lead to understand Zendesk’s offerings.
- The lead can decide if they want to invest money in Zendesk’s products. They can also find relevant content – blogs and podcasts for more info.
- Lastly, Zendesk’s conversion funnel has been successful if the lead converts.
CoSchedule quickly catches a prospect’s attention as the company offers a free tool.
The free tool by CoSchedule is an excellent start for companies as it shows what a team can do without spending a penny. Once a prospect uses the free tool, they can move to the paid ones.
For example, CoSchedule’s headline analyzer is a free tool that is pretty cool for analyzing how good your headlines are.
This amazing web tool leads people to their primary work management page. Hence, it is the free tool that catches the attention of prospects and leads them to the main software.
The conversion funnel of CoSchedule looks something like this👇
- The brand’s awareness starts with social media promotions, PPC ads, etc.
- After the lead is aware of CoSchedule, they use the free tool to decide whether or not they want to invest in the brand.
- Finally, success happens when the lead uses the tool, reads through all valuable content, explores the platform, and decides to take action. Thus, your lead makes a purchase.
Groupon is a coupon database that helps consumers to save on their purchases with the use of coupons.
Groupon moves its prospects through the conversion funnel using rewards, offers like 20% off on signups, email marketing, referral, programs, and remarketing.
Here’s a brief breakdown of Groupon’s lead conversion funnel.
- In the awareness stage, prospects find Groupon searching for deals or referrals. Referrers earn $10 per referral. Also, Groupon offers a 10% commission to affiliates.
- Once the leads are interested in Groupon deals, they sign up for their email program. This email program sends prospects deals tailored to their preferences.
- The company makes it easy and convenient for the prospect to make a buying decision as it enables them to buy coupons through the app itself.
- Lastly, Groupon sends customers more offers based on their purchase history. Also, Groupon sends customers rewards as Groupon money that they can use in their purchases.
Groupon’s conversion funnel is full of rewards, offers, and benefits that effectively attract customers.
Also, prospects find deals that match their preferences. These tailored recommendations and offers retain Groupon customers.
Mixergy is an e-learning platform that offers courses and interviews with top entrepreneurs worldwide. The courses allow users to access premium content on entrepreneurial knowledge.
Mixergy’s website has a web form that allows users to access a few free video content. Thus, prospects get a chance to test-run the platform before they invest.
Here’s how Mixergy’s conversion funnel works.
- The platform attracts prospects primarily through social media and PPC ads. They also use influencer marketing, as much of their content includes interviews by entrepreneurs whom audiences follow.
- When prospects show interest by filling out their web form, they allow them to have a taste of their membership benefits. Mixergy offers leads access to 9 free interviews to sign up for their email list.
- The team then uses email marketing to nurture leads. They share inspirational and valuable content. Also, they promote interviews and courses through emails to help them understand what they have to offer.
- To ensure convenience in decision-making, Mixergy inserts CTAs in its emails and invites prospects to join its community. The CTAs redirect the leads to the platform’s landing page that shows membership benefits – access to 1700+ interviews and 200+ courses.
Differences Between a Conversion Funnel and a Marketing Funnel
Before I tell you the difference between a conversion and a marketing funnel, here are their similarities.
- Both help to visualize the customer’s journey
- They work towards maximizing sales
- Both require strategies, processes, and tools to optimize each funnel stage.
Now, let’s see the differences between a conversion and a marketing funnel.
A conversion funnel is a journey or system that guides prospects from the marketing stage to sales or conversion. In contrast, a marketing funnel is a process of converting a lead into a customer.
A conversion funnel focuses primarily on making more sales. Whereas a marketing funnel mainly focuses on building brand image and recognition. However, a marketing funnel also has the broader goal of increasing sales.
A conversion funnel maintains the consumer’s interest and a marketing funnel creates consumer interest in a product or service.
How to create an effective conversion funnel?
There are nine steps to creating an effective conversion funnel. Let’s see what they are!
Map out your Ideal Buyer’s Journey as a Funnel
Building an effective conversion funnel is all about creating an effective buyer’s journey that increases conversions. And to increase conversions, you must identify;
- Your existing buyer’s journey
- Your end goal or the action you want your prospect to take
- Ways to improve your existing buyer’s journey to increase the likelihood of leads converting into paid and loyal customers.
Once you know your end goal, you can visualize and map your lead conversion funnel.
Set goals for each funnel stage
As I have mentioned above, consider the three stages of your conversion funnel – TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. Then, set goals for each stage.
For example, increase web traffic at the top of the funnel phase, boost engagement rate in the middle, and increase conversion in the bottom phase.
Once you have clear goals for each stage, you can work towards meeting your target. Moreover, you can track your progress using tools like Google Analytics.
Build a content plan for each stage
Your conversion funnel marketing needs a concrete plan for each stage. Moving prospects from one stage to the next will be tough without a proper marketing plan.
Top – The top phase of the conversion funnel needs brand building and product awareness content. Create engaging content like videos, reels, social posts, and short blog posts.
The main aim of the early-stage content is to introduce the brand and tell the brand story to the audience. After that, all you need to do is create buzz.
Middle – You’ve got the attention you wanted. Now, it’s time to win the lead’s trust. Tell them why your product is the one they want.
Put your focus on creating informative and valuable content. Give the prospects something that would help them trust you. For example, offer case studies, video demos, tutorials, customer stories, and downloads.
Bottom – In the final stage, give your prospect a reason to buy your product or sign up for your service.
Here, you can use conversion funnel marketing strategies like free trials, CTAs, actionable emails, free eBooks with CTAs to subscribe or purchase your product, etc.
Generate awareness through strategy implementation and content
From this stage onwards, your content strategy will be in action. At the awareness stage, create content to answer the following questions:
- Why should customers care about your brand?
- How can your product/service address their issue or pain points?
Undertake some competitor research too. Look at their ads, social media pages, landing pages, and blogs to get ideas.
Here are a few tips on generating awareness and apt content in the first conversion funnel stage.
- Optimize your content for SEO for higher ranks in search engine results. It will increase your visibility.
- Use PPC ads to boost traffic.
- Post consistently and interact with followers on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Set up referral schemes and reward customers for recommending your products to their friends, family, and network.
Build interest and desire
Generating interest and desire in prospects requires you to create compelling content. You need to show why people need your product/ service.
At this stage, you must nudge your prospects with these content ideas:
- First, educate your audience with valuable blog content. If your audience finds your content relevant, they’re likely to trust you more.
- Create YouTube videos to show your product in action. Videos help the audience to visualize how their product can work towards solving their problems.
- Send emails or newsletters to prospects curated with content like customer success stories, reviews or testimonials, summaries of your top blogs, and tips & tricks that can benefit your audience.
- Podcasts, product guides, and free trials can generate interest and desire.
Encourage users to make a move
You have reached the end of the conversion funnel, and now, you must encourage your lead to take the desired action. Here are a few ways to optimize this strategy.
Add CTAs wherever relevant. They clarify what action your prospect must take. Since you are trying to entice leads into action, displaying CTAs in resources can create urgency.
Hence, you can place distinct CTAs on landing pages, emails, end of a guide post, YouTube videos, etc.
Display customer testimonials
Reviews are the first thing that consumers check. Around 72% of customers do not purchase until they read reviews. So, display reviews to gain trust.
You can display your reviews on landing pages, embed the Trustpilot widget on your website that takes customers to the reviews, link videos of testimonials, and share happy customer stories on social media channels.
Besides, you can send actionable emails, offer demo videos, product samples, free trials, etc.
Your goal must not be limited to converting leads into customers. It must also include retaining customers too. So, how can you retain customers?
- Stay in touch with customers post-purchase. Follow them up and offer a similar product with attached discounts. But, of course, you can also simply communicate to make them feel valued.
- Create personalized loyalty programs and offer flexibility to customers using their reward points. Offer additional discounts, benefits, and perks to loyalty scheme members. For example – Amazon Prime and Starbucks Rewards programs.
- Update your product to match the evolving customer demands. For instance, add a feature to your app or fix the bug based on customer feedback.
Encourage existing customers to make more purchases. Here are a few strategies you can try out.
This strategy involves looking at a customer’s recent purchases and showing them similar products. Or you can also show them complementary items they can buy with their product.
For instance, a customer purchases a laptop from your website. You can recommend them cases and laptop bags to go with their purchase.
This marketing strategy involves offering customers something more expensive than they are interested in.
For instance, a customer chooses your free plan. Then you can recommend the lowest-priced subscription plan to them, highlighting the many additional features they would get.
However, be mindful of keeping the prices reasonable. Do not show an alternative way too expensive than what customers are looking for.
You can also send personalized emails, recommendations, offers, discounts, voucher codes, etc.
Address conversion funnel issues
A perfect conversion funnel does not exist. However, if you find your funnel not working well, there could be certain common errors like;
- Too many steps in your conversion funnel
- Failing lead follow-ups
- Not tracking progress, failing to understand analytics
- Not starting with a clear brand message
- Forgetting a strong CTA
To find out what’s wrong, use tools like Google Analytics. You can also run A/B testing, conduct surveys to take customer feedback, and go through the negative comments or reviews.
These can give you clear insights into what went wrong and what needs immediate attention to improve your conversion funnel.
How to analyze your conversion funnel?
No matter how nicely you plan and establish your conversion funnel, they are generally full of roadblocks and friction. Hence, analyzing your lead conversion funnel is significant.
Analyzing your conversion funnel will help you identify how prospects behave at each touchpoint of their journey. Also, you can discover the roadblocks that make prospects leave a page before they convert.
For instance, if you see a page with a high drop-off rate, you’ll know to prioritize the page improvement when working towards funnel optimization.
To analyze your conversion funnel, you must track a few metrics.
At the end of the day, your conversion rate says it all. So track your conversion rate to know how well your lead conversion funnel works.
To calculate the conversion rate, divide the number of sales by the total number of leads. This metric will convey how efficiently your sales team converts leads into customers.
Conversion rate = Number of Sales / Total number of leads
Cost per acquisition
Increasing revenue also requires controlling costs. In other words, cost per acquisition is the amount spent to acquire a new customer.
Calculate cost per acquisition by dividing the total acquisition cost by the number of customers.
You can also calculate lead acquisition costs by dividing the total acquisition cost by the number of generated customers.
Customer acquisition cost = Total acquisition cost/ number of customers
Lead acquisition cost = Total acquisition cost/ number of leads generated
Customer Lifetime Value or LTV
LTV indicates how effectively your business model performs over a period. It helps you track a customer’s investment in your product against the average customer acquisition cost.
Also, knowing the LTV of a new customer can help you set your acquisition cost goals accurately.
Calculate LTV by multiplying customer value with average customer lifespan.
LTV = Customer value x Average customer lifespan
Conversion Funnel drop-off rate
The drop-off rate is also known as the abandonment rate. This metric indicates the number of visitors who left the conversion funnel without completing the journey.
Calculate the drop-ff rate by dividing the number of people abandoning the buyer’s journey by the total number of people who started it.
For instance, 3000 people visit your website, but only 300 make a purchase. That makes the drop-off rate 90%.
Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
The MQL metric measures the quality of leads the marketing teams generate and pass on to the sales teams.
Calculate the MQL to customer conversion rate by dividing the number of customers by total MQL generated.
For instance, our website generated 1000 MQLs. Out of these, 350 converted into customers. Therefore, your MQL to customer conversion rate would be 350/1000 = 35%
How to optimize your conversion funnel?
So, how to go about conversion funnel optimization?
Think of funnel optimization as finding out what blocks customers face, what motivates them, and what works best to persuade them. Once you have this info, you can give customers the best possible experience.
Effective conversion funnel optimization demands analyzing and improving each stage of the buyer’s journey. Here’s how you must go about optimizing your conversion funnel.
Stage 1: Awareness (TOFU)
What are the issues at the top of the funnel? 🤔
Look at how you bring in leads. Compare the channels like paid ads, social media, blogs, search engines, etc. Find out which channels attract leads the most.
Ask them if you aren’t 100% sure about how customers discovered you. Conduct a survey or interviews to know how people find new brands. Analyze the responses and put dedicated efforts into the best channels.
However, ensure that your efforts attract your target audience to the brand.
Stage 2: Consideration (MOFU)
Yay! Potential buyers have made it to the middle of the funnel! 🎉🎊
Now, you must ensure that they keep moving down the conversion funnel.
If there are emerging issues at this stage, get to know how people learn about your company and how they engage with your website.
- Is the site navigation okay?
- Is your website content-rich?
- Do you post valuable and relevant content?
- Is your signup process easy?
- Is it easy to find answers to queries?
- Do you clearly mention pricing and product info?
Get all of these questions answered and accordingly work towards improving. Let me give you a few ideas to improve.
Review the following:
- FAQ page
- Webpages for page loading speed and broken elements
- Filters and search options
- Blogs, case studies
- Website navigation
- Product demo videos, if any
- Pricing details
Stage 3: Conversion (BOFU)
When you’re this 🤏 close to completing a sale, you do not want to lose out on customers. So, eliminate all friction from this stage (and every other stage!)
You must encourage buyers to take the final step and convert at this stage. To optimize this conversion funnel stage, ensure that your;
- Product pages are well-built with descriptions, videos, and images; and
- Checkout process is clear, simple, and quick.
Make it easy for customers to compare prices and features with product outlines. Also, you can send emails and create ads that work as reminders to buyers that they want to convert.
Do not think that your job’s done after converting leads into customers!
Discover opportunities to re-engage customers. As customer retention is equally important, stay in constant touch.
Invite customers to signup for new webinars, offer them loyalty schemes, gift them downloadable templates, send promotional offers, invite them to follow you on social media, give them social media shoutouts, etc.
Make Your Conversion Funnel Perfect for Customers
While it isn’t easy to perfect your conversion funnel, understanding how it works can help you make it better.
Understand your customers and your funnel to improve the flow. It can help you optimize your funnel, attract leads, convert them, and increase your bottom line.
Get to know what makes sense for your specific conversion funnel. Then, stay in touch with customers. And use the right tech tools to enhance your funnel flow.
RevenueHero can be your partner in improving your conversion funnel flow.
The sales acceleration platform offers all you need to automatically qualify leads, route them to the right sales reps, and instantly prioritize and schedule lead meetings.
Curious to know more? Get in touch!