What allows the conversion of visitors into potential clients or customers? It’s pretty simple: the unique sales path they go through in order to discover a product or service. This process, called conversion funnel or purchase funnel, encompasses each step leading, with a little chance and a lot of marketing strategy, to the purchase of a product at the end of the journey.
Here’s everything you need to know regarding what a conversion funnel is, what are the steps to converting visitors into customers, and how to optimize this sales funnel to get the most profit and leads possible.
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel, also called a purchase funnel or sales funnel, encompasses the various steps a client goes through when engaging in a product’s purchase funnel. In short, it’s the path an internet user goes through which ultimately leads them to do an action that a brand or business aims for. The analysis of this process allows the optimization of a product, page, or brand’s conversion rate (Source: BDM).
Thanks to this meticulously calculated path, qualified leads are collected – in other words, quality web traffic ready to purchase a product, service, or content.
This conversion funnel generally consists of 4 steps. Do you see the light at the end of the funnel?
The first step simply involves raising awareness or catching the attention of targetted visitors. One of the strategies to achieve this goal is inbound marketing, a concept consisting in drawing in prospects to the product rather than reaching out to them.
Inbound marketing is opposite to traditional outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a strategy consisting in drawing in prospective customers to the product offered by a business (pull) rather than reaching out to them (push). The advantage lies in the acquisition of quality traffic that’s a better match for a given product or service. Rather than attempting to draw in everyone, we focus on prospects that fit the ideal customer of a target product or service.
Some of the most popular inbound marketing strategies include:
- Content marketing
- SEO and SEA
- Blog articles
- Social media
- CTAs (call-to-action)
- Landing pages
- And more!
This step of the purchase process is where the visitor becomes a prospect and moves on to the next stage of the funnel.
The difference between a visitor and a prospect? A visitor refers to any user visiting a web page, while a prospect refers to someone with the specific characteristics needed to become a consumer or client!
Arouse interest in prospects
In each step of the conversion funnel, it’s normal for a few prospects to drop off. The objective, after all, is to lead the best traffic possible to the end of the purchase journey! The second step consists in arousing interest in potential customers.
A visitor is generally for the best solution possible to an encountered problem. This second step is all about presenting that visitor with THE solution to fix their issue quickly, easily, and efficiently. This is where a landing page plays a crucial role.
This page introduces the offer to a potential customer in a clear, concise way, intending to pique their interest for even a fraction of a second. A landing page is essential to ensure a high conversion rate because it acts as a first contact after a visitor clicks on an ad, a social media link, a blog article, etc.
Landing pages are nothing more than a springboard inviting the prospect to continue their navigation through the conversion funnel. And hop, to the third step!
This third step is the most important in order to convert visitors: this is where we create the desire to act. An email campaign is an excellent way to personalize an offer and foster customer loyalty, for example. Repetitive exposition to a product allows the client to build desire to acquire it.
Why choose one product or offer over the other? This is where content creators or qualified copywriters make all the difference. We analyze what should be put forward and how. To create desire, we introduce the benefits of an offer, whether they’re unique product characteristics, advantages such as easy payment methods, or additional bonuses or rewards for customers.
Call to action
This is the funnel stage where the most crucial step happens: the sale! We invite the prospect to solidify their client status by completing a target action, whether it’s purchasing a product, making an appointment, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading content, etc. (Yumens)
A call-to-action helps achieve this set goal, often presented as a clickable button displaying some piece of text such as “Buy here,” “Subscribe,” “Get discounts,” etc.!
We invite the user to seize the opportunity quickly before the offer vanishes.
Why invest in a conversion funnel
Without a well-developed conversion funnel, the most beautiful website, the best-written text, or the most innovative and attractive product won’t be optimized to its fullest potential. A high conversion rate is the best tool to increase profit, solidify customer loyalty, and widen marketing reach on the web.
Investing in a conversion funnel allows to gain new high-quality customers and increase revenue by leading them to a complete purchase.
Personalizing elements within that funnel greatly helps achieving these goals: personalized call-to-actions convert 202% higher than default CTAs (Hubspot), and tailored email marketing generates a median ROI of 122% (Instapage)!
Google Analytics and content optimization
Implementing a conversion funnel is good, but analyzing it to draw valuable insights is even better!
Using a tool such as Google Analytics to collect data on the sale funnel provides the opportunity to identify at which step the prospect drops off the funnel, which in turn allows you to isolate which step requires improvement to increase conversions.
Google Analytics even offers its own conversion funnel as well as funnel visualization options. The “Conversions” tab on Google Analytics allows target identification, URL attachments, the visualization of your funnel, and more. You can also analyze product or sale performance data and even collect information on the amount of time needed to complete a sale!
Multichannel funnels allow the chance to implement assisted conversions, identify the shortest, most effective conversion paths, and carry out ROI analyses.
Advantageous for all
A conversion funnel is as advantageous for users as it is for a business. It allows brands to optimize content and encourage purchases, and offers users a more pleasant and personalized shopping experience.
And you, at which step of the funnel do you drop off?