Your conversion paths are truly the core of your entire website. Everything should be built around your conversion paths to feed new leads into your funnel.
However the structure of this can look a little different based on your particular business model. So, we will take a quick look at some of the most common business models and the ideal conversion paths:
These are typically content websites that feature blogs, news articles or videos and make money when visitors click on advertising or affiliate marketing links. For these sites the primary goal is to bring in visitors and get them to click on advertising links. The secondary goal is to keep visitors on the site by suggesting more content. Typically an effective strategy for doing this is to provide suggested content that is highly relevant to the current page or personalized suggestions based on the profile of the user. The 5 step conversion funnel can help turn one time visitors into repeat visitors.
- Lead Generator: Depending on the type of content featured on the site, offer an exclusive report with information that would be highly valuable to your target audience.
- Lead Converter: While the majority of your content is free, consider creating a premium content section. Make this paid content, then offer lifetime access for $1. Or, find an industry guru and get them to offer some sage advice through a paid webinar. Promote it as an exclusive course for $297 with a discount coupon bringing the price down to just $7.
- Core Offer: By now, they should be on a newsletter and connected with you on all the top social networks. Just keep sending them content and keeping a good profile of their preferences utilizing a marketing automation suite such as Pardot, Marketo or HubSpot. Tailor your content to their preferences and keep them clicking.
- Upsells: Send them special affiliate offers based on the history of their interactions with your content.
- Recycling: Use surveys to get them to tell you more about their preferences and focus your marketing based on those preferences.
With an advertising based website your focus is on content marketing. Marketing automation suites like Pardot can help you progressively profile visitors even if they haven’t signed in, and you can use those profiles to deliver content that is more in line with their preferences. Thus increasing their tendency to engage, read and click.
If you have a product based website you would use the conversion funnel strategies to build loyalty through a deeper relationship. Again, learning more about your buyer’s persona and preferences is the key to that long term sale. Of all online business models, product based businesses tend to have the highest draw to the core offer. However, implementing a conversion funnel can still increase your conversion rate and lead to more long term business.
- Lead Generator: Create a guide to the latest and greatest cutting edge information in your industry. Provide insider information, or even straight discount codes in exchange for email addresses.
- Lead Converter: If you are selling niche products, consider the accessories that are necessary and make those your loss leader. For instance, if you sell guitars, sell packs of 100 picks for $3. If you sell computers, offer chords at cost. Or offer a membership in exchange for a lifetime discount.
- Core Offer: This is pretty straight forward. Hopefully, through your interactions with the Lead Generator and Lead Converter you will have established enough trust and a relationship that will lead them to purchase from you.
- Upsells: This is typically fairly easy with product sites as well. Before checkout, offer additional purchase suggestions such as “People who bought ____ also bought…” accessories, warranties and discount for quantity offers all make good product upsells.
- Recycling: Remain in contact with your customers, request reviews and social shares. Offer discounted alternative products to prospects who didn’t buy. Remarketing campaigns should be used to try to keep possible repeat customers coming back.
If your website is service based then the 5 step conversion funnel could profoundly change your business. We will assume that the goal is to get someone to come into a physical location and retain your services.
- Lead Generator: Offer a guide, a report, or a video that will give them information that could improve their life or really help them in some way.
- Lead Converter: Offer an a-la-carte service at an irresistibly low price.
- Core Offer: Again this is very straight forward.
- Upsell: Upgrade them by offering bundled services as a package for a discount. Or, offer a membership for regular service.
- Recycling: If they didn’t buy, try another lead converter type offer. If they have become customers, consider a partnership with another business and collect referral fees.
The thing to remember with each of these businesses is that a continuous stream of new content is at the core of a user engagement strategy that can keep visitors and customers coming back again and again. Every piece of content should also be supporting the conversion funnel in some way. Whether the end goal is for the user to fill out a form, sign up for a service, set up an appointment, or purchase a product, your site architecture should be created with the conversion process in mind and every piece of content you create should play a clear role in that process.