Tips and Tricks for Improving Your Web Funnels

Is your funnel not performing up to your expectations? If you’re reading this, chances are that’s the case.

At Mixpanel, we know how many variables need to line up within a funnel to optimize the flow of conversion. It’s not a build it and they will come situation. Your funnel has to deliver the right information at the right time in the right way to keep moving users towards the conversion finish line.

What is a Funnel, Really?

You already know a funnel is a series of steps a user takes to reach a desired outcome. It’s the path to a conversion. But that’s just the basic idea. 

A funnel directs users while also building awareness, showcasing value and telling the story of your business or product. Funnels can also be used to observe user behavior and get a better idea of how visitors move through your website. Using funnels this way you can create an overall better user experience and learn a lot about the people who visit your site. That information can then be used to create highly targeted marketing campaigns that draw more qualified leads into your funnels. 

It can also tell you which type of funnel you should be using.

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10 Common Types of Funnels and Tips for Optimizing Them

When you’re analyzing funnel performance, one of the first things to consider is whether you’re using the right type of funnel. That’s right, there’s more than one type of funnel.

Many organizations mistakenly believe funnels are reserved to making a sale. While that’s certainly the case in a lot of circumstances, funnels can be used for virtually any type of conversion. They are also very effective at generating secondary conversions that ultimately lead to a primary conversion.

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used funnels, who they are best for and tips for optimizing them. 

Marketing Funnel 

A marketing funnel, also known as a marketing sales funnel, is the general term for a funnel that draws users in through a marketing campaign in an effort to make a sale.

Marketing Funnel Tips

  • Cast as wide a net as possible with your marketing, especially when you first put the funnel in place. After a little time, data analysis can tell you where your best converting audience comes from.
  • A transactional page should never be the first page in a marketing funnel. It’s best to use a purpose-built landing page that reflects the offer, ad, content, etc. that brought the user to your website. The landing page should focus on moving users to the next step rather than pushing the sale at the top of the funnel.
  • Keep in mind the customer journey may not be linear. Customer journey mapping can help you figure out how users navigate through your website so that the marketing funnel can be optimized and communicate more effectively.

Purchase Funnel

This type of funnel is widely used in eCommerce. It includes the essential steps to making an online purchase, such as: visit the website > view a product page > add the product to the shopping cart > complete the purchase. The user will likely complete other tasks in between, but these are the core steps that really matter for the funnel.

Purchase Funnel Tips

  • Either in the shopping cart or after the purchase you can add a step in the funnel for upsells. Just make sure the data supports adding it before the purchase is made or you could bring your conversion rate down.
  • Add trust builders before users get to the purchase page. They need to be comfortable enough to share payment information in order to get past the shopping cart where a lot of drop off usually occurs.

Membership Funnel

If your business is membership based this is a funnel you want to use. It can lead new users down a paid membership conversion path or target people with a free membership that you want them to upgrade later.

Membership Funnel Tips

  • If your conversion rate is low, try offering a free trial on your highest exit page.
  • Every field is a friction point, which is why you want to limit the number of form fields as much as possible. Too many form fields looks like information harvesting and will prevent users from taking the final conversion step.

Live Demo Funnel

Hosting a live demo is a powerful marketing tactic for SaaS businesses that want to show potential customers how they can use the software for their particular needs. The live demo funnel is focused on getting the user to request a demo so that the pitch for purchasing can be made.  

Live Demo Funnel Tips

  • Asking a few questions at the sign up step can help you better understand how the prospect would like to use the product so that certain functionality can be showcased during the demo.
  • The person conducting the live demo needs to not only know the product inside and out, they also need to know how to field questions and move the user further down the funnel.
  • Live demos are almost an expectation for expensive SaaS purchases. It’s like buying a car – the buyer wants to take a test drive. During the funnel building keep in mind leads are going to need extra nurturing. 

Webinar Funnel

Webinars are a way to show expertise, build trust and gain a following while converting participants into customers. A webinar funnel looks something like this: landing page > sign up > webinar presentation > conversion. Of course, getting people to sign up is a conversion as well as getting them to attend.

Webinar Funnel Tips

  • Follow up with people who have signed up for the webinar is an important part of getting to the end conversion. People have busy schedules and they may forget they signed up for the webinar without a reminder.  
  • Webinar funnels can be used to create a sense of urgency by offering a deal that’s only available during the event.
  • An auto webinar funnel can be used if you have a recorded webinar that can be downloaded by leads. It’s highly beneficial if you don’t have the ability to host a webinar regularly.

Hero Funnel

The hero funnel is all about you. It’s used as an introduction to who you are and what your business does. The goal is to convince users you’re awesome enough to follow. The hero funnels looks like this: land on the intro page > join an email newsletter to stay in touch > use emails to ask recipients to follow you on social media.

Hero Funnel Tips

  • Don’t just ask for social media followers, send them to your accounts with links embedded in the email.
  • Make either the business owner or the business itself the “hero” – whichever is the voice of your social media accounts. 
  • Tap your network to build a following before creating a hero funnel. People are more likely to follow you if others are already doing so. 

Home Page Funnel

Using the home page to direct users to core funnel(s) is a home page funnel. Whether intentional or not, many websites today have this type of funnel.

Home Page Funnel Tips

  • Avoid using pop-ups on your home page. They are universally hated by users (as much as 95% in one study) and can make users have a negative opinion of the site. That’s not the first impression you want to make with a home page funnel.
  • Try to limit the number of funnels off of the home page so that it doesn’t get too distracting.

Storefront Funnel

A storefront funnel is like window shopping for eCommerce sites. The start of the funnel is a single page with all of your products or categories of products depending on the number. The goal is to move the user into a product funnel.

Storefront Funnel Tips

  • High-quality product photos are key for storefront funnel click throughs. If possible use a hover effect to show more than one image per product.
  • Like a physical storefront, you’ll want to make your most popular or highest value products the focus. 

Bridge Funnel

When you need to connect two ideas, two offers or an offer in two places a bridge funnel can be effective. It’s particularly useful for affiliate marketers that can’t control the next phase on the web pages where leads are sent.

Bridge Funnel Tips

  • If you are sending leads offsite go through the funnel like a user. It will provide insight for making the bridge funnel as seamless as possible. 
  • Bridge funnels can also be used as a pre-frame for something else that you want to sell without making a hard sale.
  • Product demos can be used in eCommerce bridge funnels that bring a person in with marketing that addresses a specific problem. 
  • Bridge funnels are all about knowing the awareness levels of users. The funnel has to bridge the gap between where user knowledge is now and where you want it to be for conversion.

Squeeze Page Funnel

This is a two-page funnel with the express purpose of getting the user’s email address. The pages are very simple with few distractions beyond a prompt to enter the email address to get the answer to a question, a coupon, an email course, etc. 

Squeeze Page Funnel Tips

  • Focus the offer on something that truly can only be delivered by email rather than done on the page, such as watching a video.
  • You can also try a reverse squeeze page funnel where you offer something of value first then ask for the user’s email.
  • Limit the opt-in form to just the user’s email. Once you have that you can nurture the new contact to get additional information for other offers.

Some funnels will make sense to use while others won’t. It mostly comes down to what you have to offer and the type of business you run.

Two Essential Tips for Optimizing Any Funnel

Whether you’re using one of the funnels above or all 10, there are two constant requirements for optimization: 

Know Your Conversion Goals

There’s no way of gauging how well your funnels are doing if goals haven’t been established. Setting measurable, quantifiable goals is the first step to building a funnel that will convert.

Get a Data Analytics Platform to Look Deeper

Websites have the advantage over brick-and-mortar stores in that you can analyze exactly what a potential customer does before and after converting. You can also figure out what when wrong with users that didn’t convert. 

Google Analytics is a great free tool for creating basic funnels – but you get what you pay for. A data analytics platform like Mixpanel allows you to do extensive funnel analysis and A/B testing for optimal performance. Plus, you don’t have to spend hours learning analytics for the data to make sense. Automatic Insights and other features parse out the most meaningful data and create reports that make the data easy to analyze.

Goals + Data Analytics = Funnels That Convert

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