A conversion funnel includes both marketing and sales efforts. Using a marketing automation tool to propel conversion is exactly what every business needs in the present hour.

A marketing automation tool can help you put your efforts in place and trigger higher conversion rates. However, if you believe a conversion funnel begins at the SQL (sales qualified) stage then you are wrong.
Infact, a conversion funnel begins right when a stranger comes in contact with your brand, and continues until it has become a customer and an advocate.

Optimize your conversion funnel with Aritic PinPoint

Rather than randomly stating that a marketing automation tool can help you trigger your conversion funnel, we will show you exactly what features of a marketing automation tool actually helps you (with direct reference to ofcourse, Aritic PinPoint).

Important Conversion Funnel Metrics

Before we dig into understanding a conversion funnel, here are three important metrics that you need to measure your lead generation funnel:

  • Interaction metrics: This comprises of how your leads are engaging with your campaigns and your content. Metrics like website visit, page visit, click-through rates, unsubscription rate are measures. This metric is measured throughout the conversion funnel but they are actually mere pointers of success.
  • Performance metrics: This measures the effectiveness of your campaigns. Metrics that indicate whether a lead is an MQL or SQL or sales opportunity are used.
  • Revenue metrics: Lastly, this involves measuring the valuation and return on your campaigns against your investments. It includes customer acquisition cost, customer’s life value, total income generation, churn rate, and conversion rate.

Understanding the Conversion Funnel

P.S. This funnel is more appropriate for a B2B business.

Conversion funnel inbound marketing

The conversion funnel begins right from the moment a stranger gets in touch with your brand. A user does not directly search for a brand unless they are familiar with it or have a reference from someone they know.
It always begins with the DISCOVER stage – a stage where the user is only starting to know about your brand.

Ideally, the conversion funnel is divided into five main stages following an ideal customer journey:

  1. Discover
  2. Engage
  3. Consider
  4. Convert
  5. Advocacy

To understand how the funnel works, we will simultaneously look at the funnel from both the user’s and the marketer’s point of view.

Conversion funnel stage one:

It begins when the user understands that it has a problem but is not aware of what it is. It may have some symptoms but is unclear of its exact problem statement. This is when it starts using keywords or phrases to describe its problem and make a search.

Marketers understand what kind of keywords ideal users may be using. They target such keywords and phrases (along with their semantic variations) so that when the user makes a search, it find their brand.

This stage of knowing about the problem and also getting aware of various solution providers is called as AWARENESS.

Conversion funnel stage two and three

Now that the user is aware of what problem it has, it starts looking for probable solutions. This is the engagement phase which quickly passes on to the consideration phase.
However, it is during the engagement phase that the user tries to analyze which solution provider is best suited.

Again, the engagement stage is exactly where marketer’s use forms or landing pages or newsletter campaigns or social media ads to capture visitors and convert them into leads. By monitoring their browsing patterns, it is easier to retarget them with relevant campaigns and get them onboard.

Once a visitor converts into a lead, it enters the CONSIDERATION stage. Once a lead enters the funnel, various automation campaigns are used to nurture them. Lead profiling is done, behaviors are monitored and lead scoring is used to identify whether the lead is progressing or not.

Conversion funnel stage four and five

With effective lead nurturing campaigns, the lead gains enough knowledge to draw comparisons and make a final decision. Marketer’s use comparison charts, market insights, use cases, and testimonials to convince leads to decide in their favor. By showing explicitly how a brand can be useful and can add value, marketers ensure that the lead gets converted.

When lead scoring indicates that a lead has become HOT, it means it has become a sales opportunity i.e. a sales qualified lead. Immediately, sales-based automation campaigns are triggered that may include product demos, videos or ebooks to help them get onboard faster. Deal values are measured and sales pipelines are created.
When the lead hits the purchase button, they get CONVERTED.

However, conversion funnel does not end with the CONVERT stage. Infact, the conversion is just half-way job done. Retaining your customers is a big task because these customers will go on to refer to new users in the future. Using email campaigns, offers, social monitoring, gated video, etc. marketers ensure that the customer has a smooth onboarding and starts using the product. Activities to ensure that the customer keeps renewing their subscription are mandatory. A delighted customer makes way for brand ADVOCACY wherein they refer to new users.

Referring to new users means the conversion funnel begins again from stage one.

Below is an infographic that lists down the problem statements, stages, activities and features corresponding to each other. Use this conversion funnel infographic as a guide for your next conversion strategy.

business conversion funnel
Author

Ankit Prakash is principal founder of Aritic. Ankit is a passionate and determined entrepreneur; building successful Internet product since 2006.