Converting leads into happy customers is the ultimate goal of any sales and marketing team. But there are many steps in between those two events, or in other words, funnel stages.
Your sales funnel includes all the steps you take to make your audience aware of your product or services and convince them to purchase. Conversion funnel optimisation strategies can help you move users through the stages of your sales funnel.
This article will show you how to optimise your conversion funnel and boost sales — no matter how your funnel looks. We’ll go over practical tips you can implement and how you can analyse and measure results.
Let’s get started.
What is conversion funnel optimisation?
Conversion funnel optimisation is the strategic and ongoing process of refining and improving the different stages of a sales or marketing funnel to increase the rate at which users complete desired actions.
A sales funnel represents the stages a potential customer goes through before purchasing.
The typical stages of a sales funnel include:
- Awareness: At the top of the funnel, potential customers become aware of your product or service.
- Consideration: In this stage, prospects evaluate the product or service against alternatives. They may compare features, prices and customer reviews to make an informed decision.
- Conversion: The prospect completes the transaction and becomes an actual customer by purchasing.
- Loyalty: You can turn one-time buyers into repeat customers and brand advocates.
It’s called a “funnel” because, similar to the shape of a funnel, the number of potential customers decreases as they progress through the various stages of the sales process — as you can see illustrated below.
Sales funnels can vary across industries and business models, but the general concept remains the same. The goal is to guide potential customers through each funnel stage, addressing their needs and concerns at each step, ultimately leading to a successful conversion.
You can create and monitor a custom funnel for your site’s user journey with a web analytics solution like Matomo.
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The importance of conversion funnel optimisation
At the heart of conversion funnel optimisation is the quest for higher conversion rates.
Refining the customer journey can increase the chances of turning visitors into customers who return repeatedly.
Specifically, here’s how conversion funnel optimisation can benefit your business:
- Increased conversions: Marketers can increase the likelihood of turning website visitors into customers by making the user journey more user-friendly and persuasive.
- Higher revenue: Improved conversion rates aren’t just numbers on a chart; they translate to tangible revenue.
- Increased ROI (return on investment): By optimising the conversion funnel, you can get more value from your marketing and sales efforts.
- Improved customer satisfaction: When customers find it easy and enjoyable to interact with a website or service, it positively influences their satisfaction and likelihood of returning.
- Data-driven decision-making: Businesses can make informed decisions on budgets and resources based on user behaviour and performance metrics by analysing and optimising conversion funnels.
Ultimately, conversion funnel optimisation efforts align the entire funnel with overarching business goals.
10 ways to optimise your conversion funnel
Here are 10 ways to optimise your conversion funnel.
1. Identify and segment your target audience
The key to a successful conversion funnel begins with a deep understanding of your target audience.
Identifying and segmenting your audience lets you speak directly to their pain points, desires and motivations.
One effective way to know your audience better is by creating detailed buyer personas. These are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on thorough market research and real data. Dive into demographics and behavioural patterns to craft personas that resonate with your audience.
Note that consumer preferences are not static. They evolve, influenced by trends, technological advancements and shifts in societal values. Staying attuned to these changes is crucial as part of optimising your conversion funnel.
Thus, you must regularly update your buyer personas and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
2. Create content for every stage of the funnel
Each funnel stage represents a different mindset and needs for your potential customers. Tailoring your content ensures you deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience.
Here’s how to tailor your content to fit prospective customers at every conversion funnel stage.
Prospects here are seeking information. Your content should be educational and focused on addressing their pain points. Create blog posts, infographics and videos introducing them to your industry, product or service.
Prospects are evaluating their options. Provide content highlighting your product’s unique selling points, such as case studies, product demonstrations and customer testimonials.
Here’s how we use a versus landing page at Matomo to persuade prospects at this funnel stage.
This is the final push. Ensure a smooth transition to conversion with content like promotional offers, limited-time discounts and clear calls to action (CTA).
In this stage, you might express gratitude for the purchase through personalised thank-you emails. Follow up with additional resources, tips or exclusive offers to reinforce a positive post-purchase experience. This also positions your brand as a helpful resource beyond the initial sale.
Reward customer loyalty with exclusive offers, discounts or membership in a loyalty program.
3. Capture leads
Lead magnets are incentives offered to potential customers in exchange for their contact information, typically their email addresses.
Examples of lead magnets include:
- Ebooks and whitepapers: In-depth resources that delve into specific topics of interest to your target audience.
- Webinars and workshops: Live or recorded sessions that offer valuable insights, training or demonstrations.
- Free trials and demos: Opportunities for potential customers to experience your product or service firsthand.
- Checklists and templates: Practical tools that help your audience solve specific challenges.
- Exclusive offers and discounts: Special promotions are available to those who subscribe or provide their contact information.
For instance, here’s how HubSpot uses templates as lead magnets.
Similarly, you can incorporate your lead magnets into relevant articles or social media posts, email campaigns and other marketing channels.
4. Optimise your landing pages
Understanding how visitors interact with your landing pages is a game-changer. So, the first step in optimising your landing pages is to analyse them.
Enter Matomo’s heatmaps — the secret weapon in landing page optimisation. They visually represent how users interact with your pages, revealing where they linger, what catches their attention and where they may encounter friction.
Here are a few landing page elements you should pay attention to:
- Strategic visual elements: Integrate high-quality images, videos and graphics that support your message and guide visitors through the content.
- Compelling copy: Develop concise and persuasive copy that emphasises the benefits of your offering, addressing user pain points.
- Effective CTA: Ensure your CTA is prominently displayed, using compelling language and colours that stand out.
- Mobile responsiveness: Optimise your landing pages for various devices, especially considering the prevalence of mobile users.
- Minimal form fields: Reduce friction by keeping form fields to a minimum, requesting only essential information.
- Leverage social proof: Integrate testimonials, reviews and trust badges to build trust and credibility.
- A/B testing: Experiment with variations in design, copy and CTAs through A/B testing, allowing data to guide your decisions.
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5. Use compelling Calls to Action (CTAs)
Crafting compelling CTAs is an art that involves a careful balance of persuasion, clarity and relevance.
Here are a few tips you can implement to write CTAs that support your goals:
- Use language that compels action. Instead of generic phrases like “Click Here,” opt for more persuasive alternatives such as “Unlock Exclusive Access” or “Start Your Free Trial.”
- Make sure your CTAs are clear and straightforward. Visitors should instantly understand what action you want them to take.
- Tailor CTAs to the specific content on the page. Whether it’s a blog post, landing page or email, the CTA should seamlessly connect with the surrounding context.
- Position your CTAs strategically. They should be prominently displayed and easily noticeable, guiding visitors without intruding.
- Create a sense of urgency. Encourage immediate action by incorporating language that instils a sense of urgency. Phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Act Now” can prompt quicker responses.
6. Have an active social presence
Social media platforms are bustling hubs of activity where your target audience spends a significant portion of their online time. Cultivating a social media presence allows you to meet your audience where they are, fostering a direct line of communication.
Moreover, the integration of shopping features directly into social media platforms transforms them into seamless shopping experiences. Nearly half of Instagram users shop weekly through the platform.
Also, the US social commerce sales continue to grow each year and are expected to reach $79.64 billion by 2025.
7. Build a brand community
Four in five customers consider communities important to how engaged they are with a brand.
A strong community fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among members. When customers feel connected to your brand and each other, they are more likely to remain loyal over the long term.
Also, satisfied community members often share their positive experiences with others, expanding your brand’s reach without additional marketing efforts.
For example, Nike’s community for runners is a digital space where individuals share their running journeys, accomplishments and challenges.
By strategically building and nurturing a community, you not only enhance retention and spur referrals but also create a space where your brand becomes an integral part of your customers’ lives.
8. Conduct A/B tests
A/B testing systematically compares two versions of a webpage, email or other content to determine which performs better.
Examples of elements to A/B test:
- CTAs: The language, colour, size and placement of CTAs can significantly impact user engagement. A/B testing allows you to discover which variations prompt the desired actions.
- Headlines: Crafting compelling headlines is an art. Test different versions to identify which headlines resonate best with your audience, whether they are more drawn to clarity, humour, urgency or curiosity.
- Images: Test different images to understand your audience’s visual preferences. This could include product images, lifestyle shots or graphics.
With Matomo’s A/B testing feature, you can test various elements to see which is successful in converting visitors or moving them to the next stage of the conversion funnel.
9. Leverage social proof
In an era where consumers are inundated with choices, the opinions, reviews and endorsements of others serve as beacons, guiding potential customers through the decision-making process.
Simply put — when people see that others have had positive experiences with your brand, it instils trust and confidence.
You can proactively gather social proof and display it prominently across your marketing channels. Here are some examples of social proof you can leverage:
- Customer reviews: Positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers serve as authentic endorsements of your products or services.
- Case studies: In-depth case studies that showcase successful collaborations or solutions provided to clients offer a detailed narrative of your brand’s capabilities. These are particularly effective in B2B scenarios or for complex products and services.
- User-generated content: Encourage customers to share their experiences. This could include photos, videos or posts on social media platforms, providing a dynamic and genuine portrayal of your brand.
- Influencer endorsements: Collaborating with influencers in your industry or niche can amplify your social proof. When influencers vouch for your products or services, their followers are more likely to take notice.
10. Measure and analyse performance
This is a continuous loop of refinement, where you should use analysis and data-driven insights to guide your conversion funnel optimisation efforts.
Here’s a systematic approach you can take:
- Identify the path users take on your site using a feature like Users Flow.
- Map the customer journey using a Funnels feature like the one in Matomo.
- Identify the metrics that align with your conversion goals at each stage of the funnel, such as website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates and customer acquisition costs.
- Assess conversion rates at different stages of the funnel. Identify areas with significant drop-offs and investigate factors that might contribute to the decline.
- Use heatmaps and session recordings to see first-hand how users interact with your site.
- Create an experiment to test and improve a specific area within your funnel using insights from the heatmaps and session recordings.
- A/B test, analyse the results to understand which variations performed better. Use this data to refine elements within your funnel.
See how Concrete CMS 3x their leads with conversion optimisation.
The customer journey is not linear. However, it involves a few specific stages your audience will go through — from first learning about your product or services to considering whether to try it. The goal is to turn them into happy and loyal customers.
In this article, we went over strategies and practical tips you can use to guide customers through the conversion funnel. From segmenting your audience to capturing leads, optimising landing pages and running A/B tests, there are steps you can take to ensure your audience will move to the next stage.
And of course, you have to continuously measure and analyse your performance. That’s how you know whether you’re heading in the right direction and, if not, where to correct your course.
For that, you need a robust web analytics solution with conversion optimisation features. Try Matomo free for 21 days and start optimising your conversion funnel—no credit card required.