What’s the first thing you do when you visitors land on your site? Well, you figure out how to make them take action. That’s the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy. You’re simply interested in taking your sites visitor through a sales funnel and in the end get them to take the desired action.
The process of taking your shoppers through a buying journey is what we refer to as conversion funnelling. It’s where you work on getting your visitors to take action.
This may sound a little complicated. But there’s no need to fret or overthink about the whole situtaion. We’ll try to break everything into digestible chunks so that you can have an easy time figuring out how to go about it. The end goal is to help you optimise the funnel and grow your bottom line by focusing on shoppers who landed on your site but didn’t complete an action.
Now what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.
What’s conversion funnel?
The other name given to a conversion funnel is sales funnel. It’s a term that marketers use to describe the flow of activities a potential buyer undertakes upon landing on your site with the aim of taking action. And once they do, they’re no longer visitors, but your new converts.
The term funnel is used as a fancy term for the process involved. But in reality, it’s nothing similar to a traditional funnel in the sense that you’re not just pouring visitors into it. Instead, you have to come up with a solid strategy on how to attract visitors. The visitors will then be guided to take a desired action.
Conversion funnels don’t confine a visitor to one particular page. It offers them options. It also strives to clear the confusion that shoppers are likely to have by showing them the direction to take. In other words, it’s what guides shoppers on where to head next.
Every stage of the conversion funnel has to be optimised. Something has to be done to increase the number of people that are progressing to the next stage of the funnel, and that’s what we call conversion rate optimisation.
The best approach a marketer can take when optimising their conversion funnel is to wear the mind of the user. You have to think like them. Understand their wants and give it to them.
Five Elements of a Conversion Funnel
A conversion funnel is focused on capturing your site’s visitors and guiding them through a well-defined sales process. It has to ensure it gets the highest number of the visitors to the end of the sales process. Not an easy task when you come to think about it.
In other words, the entire conversion funnelling process has to be guided, and that’s where the five elements of conversion funnel come in handy.
This is the first stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s where you focus on attracting potential shoppers and prospects to your site.
It can be compared to window dressing, where you line up your products in a window display with the aim of attracting passing shoppers. It can also be compared to the mouth watering smell of food wafting from your kitchen.
Or to say the least, it encapsulates any attempt to catch the attention of potential shoppers. You may call them or lure them with product displays and all that. However, in online marketing, there’re strategies that have been installed in place to help out with that. They include SEO, SMM, PPC, and social media ads to name a few.
You have to work on creating some awareness around your products or services. At this point, you’re in business, but you can’t be sure of shoppers knowing you well enough to key in your site’s URL and check you out.
As a marketer, you’re simply interested in the actions that your shoppers take. That’s what gives you Goosebumps. You get your jollies when shoppers go through your entire sales process. And suffice it to say, it’s you job to make it happen.
You have tools that you can use to analyse your awareness creation process so you can start driving even more visitors. Google Analytics is one these tools. It has all the information you need concerning your traffic or where your site’s visitors are coming from and how they’re interacting with your site.
With this information, you should be able to figure out where to direct the bulk of your marketing effort. You want to make sure that none of your marketing effort is going to waste and that you’re doing everything right.
After creating awareness, the next thing you want to do is pique the interest of potential visitors. You want to move them from mere visitors to qualified leads with some level of willingness to take action.
This is akin to a customer moving closer to your shop window to check out your product. Mind you, the prospect saw the product the first time. They then developed some awareness of the product and your business. But to get them to move closer and take a peek, there had to be something outstanding about the product that grabbed their interest.
Again, in online marketing, there are strategies that help out with establishing interest. Common among them is content. SEO is what creates awareness. It lines you up with other sites in the SERPs. So online users see you and when they click through the link, they’ll be directed to your post.
This simple gesture communicates interest. So it’s upon you to figure out how to take advantage of this interest phase. You can start by capturing their email address, or sending them to the first stage of your sales funnel so they can begin taking action. Opt-in forms are one way to go about it.
Now there’s a way to work on the opt-in forms and increase the opt-in rate. You want to start by focusing on attention grabbing tactics like using a catchy headline or incorporating banners and sliding images. You might also want to consider writing a compelling copy laced with a well-executed layout at the entry point of your sales funnel.
In other words, work on your first impression and you’ll have an easy time taking your visitors to the other stages of the conversion funnel.
Potential buyers have expressed interest in your products or services. What next?
Well, you need to make them want to buy your product. How, you ask?
In the real world, this can be compared to capturing the interest of the shopper with detail of the product; or assigning one of your sales reps to attend to them. You have to reassure them and use every tactic in the book to grow their desire.
With online marketing, you can focus on tactics that reveal details. Start by uploading high-quality images of the product. Write compelling product descriptions, and most importantly, upload clear videos of the products.
Reviews may also come in handy at this stage of the sales process. A simple trick would be to focus on the benefits of the product. Get into the mind of the shopper and reason everything from their point of view. If you were the user, how would you want the product to serve you? What aspects of the product would you be interested in the most?
This is where the shopper decides to proceed with the desired action. This is where they walk to the counter to purchase the product – a point of celebration for your business.
As an online marketer, your focus should be on making the entire process a cinch. You want to make sure that everything is running smooth and that the underlying shopper has an easy time entering items into their shopping cart.
Go ahead and examine their work flow. Be sure to respond to their question right on time just in case they encounter any hardship. All in all, make sure your checkout system is both smooth and easy to work around.
This is one of the most important stages of the conversion journey that most marketers make the mistake of treating it as an afterthought.
Come to think about it, trust is already established here. What you want to do is keep the shopper coming for more of your products. You also want to make sure that they refer their families and friends to you.
In other words, you should be thinking in terms of cultivating a long-lasting relationship with this particular customer. You want to retain them and get them to make a series of repeat purchases.
You can expand your product line or add them to your email list so you can start sending them regular newsletters informing them about the latest products in your pipeline.
You have options aplenty when it comes to this. Just let your creativity fly and you’ll surely be bombarded with tons of ideas on what to do. In whatever you do, avoid flooding your customers’ mail box with promotional message – lest they mark you as spam.
The final Thought
This post sums up a list of things that you can do to effectively optimise your conversion funnel. And there’s no limit as to what you can do. You’re however reminded not to ignore the small changes. You online success, for the most part, depends on them.
It’s also important that you visualise everything from the mindset of your target audience. Have a keen look at your customer’s journey. How can you best improve it? How are you planning to address their journey?
So, what next? Well, our team at MediaOne Marketing would love to hear you talk about conversion funnels. Talk to us about your project as well, and let’s see how we can chip in and help.