Converting Visitors to Customers

Maximize the efficiency of your sales funnel

You’ve already spent tons of time optimizing your content and driving visitors to your site, but your overall sales and customer engagements remain unaffected. It’s a common problem, and one that occurs all too often when business owners don’t take into account what needs to be done to convert site visitors into customers.

Much of that starts with understanding – and making good use of – the marketing sales funnel. The marketing sales funnel refers to the number of visitors that you catch and follows their progress through the various stages of the sales process as they become leads and, ultimately, customers.

Your quest is to maximize the efficiency of your sales funnel. Making that happen starts with having a good understanding of the metrics that you should be using to measure your marketing funnel efficiency.

Traffic Sources and Content Engagement

To get started, it’s important for you to know exactly where your inbound traffic is coming from and just how people are engaging with your content. You simply cannot measure your ROI without this information.

Google Analytics is the go-to source for many when it comes to determining the source of their website traffic, but ensure you’re also paying attention to the built-in analytics on the various social media sites where you’re posting your content (such as Facebook).

Once you have these metrics at your disposal, take the time to study them and see what you can learn from this analysis. For example, what kind of content has the highest engagement? Are people sharing, retweeting, liking, etc.? Getting even more in-depth, who are the people that are most frequently sharing your content? Which people and what channels are leading to the greatest spread of your content?

From there, you can focus on even bigger concepts. For example, once you know which content is performing better, you can begin to dig in and determine why that content performs better. Likewise, you can look at both your top performing content and poorest performing content to identify common threads occurring with each.

Bear in mind that these metrics are only the starting point for measuring content engagement. It’s not enough to have visitors land on your site. You want to understand what visitors do when they come to your site. What pages do they visit? Which pages perform the best and why? What are the best sources of referral traffic? Why? How can you tweak your content to make it even more effective? (Hint: This is where split testing using tools such as Optimizely can come in handy!)

Call to Action (CTA) Effectiveness

Don’t spend all your time shouting aimlessly into the void. Take the time to measure the effectiveness of your CTA (and to adjust it as necessary) right now, before all your prospects slip out of your fingers.

It should already go without saying that your CTA should be more than a suggestion to lead them down the sales funnel pipeline. As you develop your CTAs, think about how the content fits into the various stages of the marketing funnel. Not all CTAs should be “buy now.” Sometimes you want a visitor to subscribe, or opt-in to attend a free webinar, or to refer a friend or colleague to your website. But regardless of your CTA, you must make it clear what the desired next step is for them, make that next step simple, and encourage them to take action right now!

As you start to understand how your visitors interact with your content and how your CTAs work toward your bigger business goals, then you are ready to add multiple calls to action into your content and campaigns. Make event tracking a key component of your analytics. It’s important that you know where people are clicking, when they are clicking, and, ultimately, why they are clicking to increase the overall effectiveness of your campaign. Once you’ve analyzed these metrics, you will know which CTAs are your top performers, allowing you to maximize the efficiency of your sales funnel and increase conversions.

Landing Page Submission Rates

So you already know how many people are visiting your landing pages, but how many of them are following them through to submission or converting into your marketing funnel? Of course, if your landing pages simply aren’t getting that many views, then you already know it’s time to take a couple of steps back to promote them properly.

This may mean that you need to perform some studies on that specific page’s URL, examining factors such as:

  • Is that page receiving enough quality traffic? Why or why not?

  • Who are the top referring sources of traffic and how can you leverage that knowledge to your advantage?

  • Is the content compelling enough to convert visitors?

If you have plenty of traffic but only a small percentage of visitors are filling out your forms and signing up for your offers, it’s time for troubleshooting. Is what you have to offer simply not interesting enough for your leads? Or is what you have to offer not worth the trouble of filling out a form that’s too complex and asks too many questions? Perhaps you simply haven’t fully demonstrated that what you have to offer is of value. A few tweaks may be all that’s needed to increase your landing page submission rates overall.

Email Click-Through Rates

Email sequences remain an important part of marketing campaigns as they serve as reminders of your products and services and give you yet another platform to demonstrate the value of what you have to offer. However, all too often, marketers focus on the wrong metrics when it comes to their email campaigns.

Bounce rates and deliverability are important, but there are variables that you can’t control such as restrictions set by the email or internet service provider. These unknown restrictions (or issues with email campaigns) make open rates and click-through rates the more important metrics to consider when it comes to email sequences.

Measure how often people open your emails, the number of times your leads click on links within your emails, and how often those who opened emails clicked on links. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of everything from your headlines to the CTA within the email so you can optimize your email sequences as necessary.

Sales Velocity

Putting aside some of the more obvious goals of marketing funnels such as generating more and higher-quality leads and more revenue are factors which are more subtle but nonetheless, are equally important measures to use in evaluating the effectiveness of the marketing funnel.

Reducing the cost of lead acquisition can have a substantial impact on overall revenue. Even a small reduction of $1 a lead can add thousands of dollars to bottom-line revenue.

In the same respect, speeding the lead to sale conversion timeline can also add significant revenue to your business.

Factors you should consider to evaluate the marketing funnel’s impact on sales velocity include:

  • What is the quality of the leads generated through the funnel and automated marketing process? Do these leads convert into customers faster than they did previously?

  • Are sales teams able to better quantify the specific needs, on an individual-by-individual basis, to better define the best solution for the visitor?

Focusing on the marketing sales funnel and optimizing it for the best possible sales velocity can be instrumental in your business’s overall productivity. Always remember that it’s not all about how many leads you catch, but how efficiently you can convert those leads into paying customers. (And not only that, but paying customers who are willing to spend more money and who have more potential to keep doing business with you, in the long run.)  From top to bottom, the marketing sales funnel can be your key to success.