If you’ve looked into marketing yourself, you may have come across the term ‘funnels’ at some point. If you want to find out what a funnel is and how they can help, then this is for you.
No doubt you want visitors to take specific actions on your website. Maybe you want them to sign up to a list, enter a form or make a purchase.
When a person does what you want them to do on your site, it’s known as a conversion. A funnel is a set of steps a visitor takes on your site to reach a specific conversion.
Think about your favorite online store and the steps you would take to make a purchase.
- Visit the website
- View a product
- Add the product to your shopping cart
- Purchase the product.
There are other actions a person can take on your website too, like view your contact page or gallery, but these don’t matter in the context of the funnel, here only a specific set of steps matter.
So why is it called a funnel? At the start or top, you’ll have lots of website visitors, as they flow through the steps some will fall away thinning out the numbers until you have a much smaller but very focused group of visitors making a purchase.
The top of the funnel is as big as your marketing strategy, if you’re using all sorts of traffic methods to attract people to your website, then the top of your funnel is going to be big, and the end result will be a percentage of those visitors making purchases.
Funnels can be used all over your web site, you could use a 2 step funnel to get people to sign up to a newsletter, or you could use a funnel simply to track the efficiency of a lead magnet. Figure out the actions you want your visitors to your site to do, and you can create a funnel for it.
Why A Funnel Is Beneficial
Funnels allow tracking of every step. As an example take a website that sells software and how they could track a visitor’s progress.
- Visit site
- Sign up for a trial
- Use product
- Purchase software license
If the visitors are signing up for the trial and are using the product but are not making purchases, this could be a good indication to the software company that they need to look into their product offering.
A Funnel in Real Life
Funnels are an everyday part of our lives, you’ve unknowingly taken part in a funnel when you go grocery shopping or buying a new car. Let’s look at an example of a retail store.
Retail Store Funnel
Look at a shirt on a rack
Put the shirt in your trolly
Line up at the till
Purchase the shirt
Online Store Funnel
Look at a product page
Add product to cart
Go to check out
Purchase the product
The beauty of a funnel online is that every step of the funnel process can be tracked, and groupings can be made of all visitors at every step. So all the people who added a product to their cart, but didn’t check out, could be marketed differently, to all the people that visited your website but never viewed a product.
Let’s summarize what we’ve learned.
- When someone does something on your site that you want them to do, this is known as a conversion.
- A funnel is used to track the progress of visitors as they make their way to a conversion.
- Using a funnel report, you can see where people are dropping off on the way to a conversion for further marketing.