Conversion Funnel: Stages and Optimization
Your Funnel Conversion Rate
Conversion funnel analysis isn’t the most discussed digital marketing topic. But it may be one of the most important.
Funnel analysis helps you ensure that you are successfully moving prospects, leads, and customers forward as their relationship with your brand deepens. Each category of contact has its own conversion actions, such as subscribing to your email marketing list. These different actions are all considered within your digital marketing conversion funnel.
Your funnel conversion rate – also known as the sales funnel conversion rate or digital marketing conversion rate – is one of the most important metrics you can track and improve over time. It tells you how much raw traffic from each audience segment is taking the next steps necessary to ultimately become a customer.
But no simple conversion funnel template is enough on its own to understand how it all comes together.
With every small tweak in conversion funnel optimization, you make more money from your existing traffic. Once your digital properties are established, funnel optimization is often the activity that will get you the most bang for your buck. Let’s take a closer look at funnels, funnel metrics, and how to optimize conversion funnels.
What Is a Conversion Funnel?
Funnels function to organize and conceptualize your goals for each stage of the buyer journey, moving your new traffic from the prospect stage to the lead stage and finally the customer stage.
A standard digital marketing funnel comes in three stages. At each stage, the contact needs more sophisticated content to take the next step. With that in mind, a large amount of traffic may enter the funnel, but only a small amount will reach the bottom, where the conversion from lead to customer takes place.
Standard digital marketing conversion funnel has three stages:
1. Top of the Funnel (ToFu)
All the traffic received by your website and your digital properties begins at the top of your conversion funnel.
At the top of the funnel, most visitors have just identified a problem. They need further information so they can understand the issue they’re facing. They have no idea what solutions may be relevant to their situation or the remedial steps they might need to take.
To serve prospects at the top of the funnel, you want to be sure you have plenty of “evergreen” content. This is general content that introduces subjects pertinent to most of your first-time visitors. Buyers use it to gain basic knowledge about the problem they have encountered and why it might be happening.
ToFu content has an important role to play in ensuring you are highly visible for search queries relevant to your business. The conversion goal of ToFu content is usually to get those early visitors to subscribe to your email marketing list. This conversion is achieved by offering a high-quality piece of content, a lead magnet.
2. Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)
In the middle of the funnel, the prospect has developed into an unqualified lead.
Joining your email marketing list is a way for prospects to raise their hand and indicate they have real interest in your content. However, you don’t yet know enough about them to be sure that they will be the right customer for your business.
Where ToFu content serves a general educational purpose, MoFu content is much more specific. Its aim is to help the newly minted lead develop buying criteria around the solution that will put an end to their problem. It does not propose a specific solution, but instead provides guidance on what all good solutions must include.
3. Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
By the time they reach the bottom of the funnel, a lead should be well qualified. The right leads are almost ready to be passed off from marketing to sales. Much of the buyer journey is over, and the lead is looking at a small handful of potential solutions – if you’ve done everything right so far, then yours is positioned to succeed.
BoFu content includes things like videos and product demonstrations. This content answers leads’ questions about whether your solution will work well within their specific business context. They are no longer looking for which solution is best, but which one is best for them.
How to Optimize a Conversion Funnel
Conversion funnel optimization requires sound analytics data. That’s why using a marketing automation platform is a good way to go. With such platforms, you will easily collect all data in one place and calculate the conversion rate for your specific audience.
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