Conversion Funnel Definition – A conversion funnel is a way to comprehend the flow of potential prospects into paying customers. Just as a funnel guides liquid or powder into a small opening, so too does a conversion funnel guide customers to complete the last step or final, desired action (a purchase or a conversion event).

In online marketing, a conversion funnel is a continuous mission of getting, keeping and growing your customer base while using technology and other available tools to meet their needs more efficiently. It’s lead nurturing, behavioral targeting, retention and referrals all rolled into one. (source)

Conversion Funnel Optimization

In its most basic form, conversion funnels follow the classic AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action). Not all customers will make it till the end of the funnel and will drop off as they move through each phase. Salespeople and marketers must always be thinking of innovative ways to test and optimize the funnel. They need to educate customers on the benefits of a product and create an increasingly smooth transition from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

Awareness

At the beginning of the process, a large number of visitors elect to visit a site through different marketing channels. Ask yourself: where are they coming from?  If through an ad—what was your click-through rate (CTR)? If through a piece of content—which content is reaching the most people? If through organic search—how many stayed on your website to learn more about your product or services? Use your data to understand which targeting methods are working for your and which aren’t—it will save you money in the long run.

Interest

In this phase, the website’s goal is to pique the visitor’s interest and keep them engaged. Content is key here, and creating a measurable conversion piece, such as a real-time message with a discount or a piece of high-value content in exchange for an email, can help you start to get a sense of who is interested and who isn’t.

Desire

Once visitors have entered this phase, it’s high time to grow and nurture them and alleviate any other pain points they may have. One way to do this is by creating a series of nurture emails that feature educational and useful content, that not only reflects your capabilities but re-frames the mindset of the customer to be able to benefit from those capabilities. Using marketing automation software will allow you to create a nurture stream to retouch new prospects while continuing to engage and educate existing leads.

Action

At this point, you want the customers in your funnel to buy or convert on the event you initially set forth. Only a small percentage of prospects will make it to this stage, and not all of them will take action. The more leads you can guide and nurture to this stage, the higher your chance of closing a sale. Not all is lost if the customer doesn’t take action here.

One way to win them back is by creating personalized remarketing campaigns or reaching out personally to find out the exact reason they were dissuaded. Learn as much as you can about the people who take action vs. the people who don’t. Doing this will allow you to understand how to motivate prospects in this final phase, eliminate objections, and optimize your conversion funnel to perform at its peak.

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