The first stage in setting up sales funnel reporting is to understand your sales process fully (perhaps using a technique like flowcharting). While sales processes are often quite similar from company-to-company, there can be points of difference depending, for example, on the size of the order and the consequences to the client of making the wrong purchase decision.
Testing can be conducted sequentially or in parallel. In sequential testing, often the easiest to implement, the various versions of the webpages are made available online for a specified time period. In parallel (split) testing, both versions are made available, and the traffic is divided between the two. The results of sequential split testing can be skewed by differing time periods and traffic patterns in which the different tests are run.
Pro Tip: Of course, online sales funnels don’t end when customers make their first purchase. With every opt-in or purchase, you should offer relevant upsells and downsells (each one offering undeniable value). The ability to quickly grow the customer relationship and increase cart size is just one more way funnels have an advantage over other types of online selling mechanisms.
Total-experience testing, or experience testing, is a type of experiment-based testing in which the entire website experience of the visitor is examined using technical capabilities of the website platform (e.g., ATG, Blue Martini Software, etc.). Rather than creating multiple websites, total-experience testing uses the website platform to create several persistent experiences, and monitors which one is preferred by the customers.
Webflow, a design tool for web developers, packs a lot of information into just a GIF and three form fields. Having the entire sign-up form on a single line is a nice touch here -- not only does it make the page shorter, but filling out each box from left to right shows users how close they are to clicking the fourth blue button and getting started for free.
Nauto, a data platform for self-driving cars, helps make autonomous driving safer for companies who manage fleets of self-driving vehicles. Naturally, its customers would need all kinds of information to sell them on this platform. Nauto has it, packaged into a super-simple ebook whose landing page gives you both a brief contact form and some preview statistics to prove why this resource is so important.
Muzzle, a mac app that silences on-screen notifications, fully embraces this show don't tell mentality on their otherwise minimal landing page. Visitors to the page are greeted with a rapid-fire onslaught of embarrassing notifications in the upper left of the screen. Not only is the animation hilarious, it also manages to compellingly convey the app's usefulness without lengthly descriptions.
A/B testing, or A/B split testing, is a method for testing two versions of a webpage: version "A" and version "B". The goal is to test multiple versions of webpages (e.g., home page vs. product page) or one specific element that changes between variation A and variation B (such as having a lead form on the left hand side or having it placed on the right hand side), FAQ to determine which version is most appealing/effective. This testing method may also be known as A/B/n split testing; the n denoting more than 2 tests being measured and compared. The data for A/B testing is usually measured via click-through rate or an alternative conversion tracking method.
The first helps direct attention to the goal of the page -- for you to fill out the form -- in a way that's unobtrusive and feels less like a chore. The second gives this page an SEO boost (search engines will have more content to crawl) and assuages any worry from folks who need to know more about a piece of content before handing over their information, all while not distracting people from the chat window.
Much of this is steeped in buyer psychology. The best marketers in the world know that there is a psychological process that must occur for prospects to whip out those credit cards and turn into buyers or even hyper-active buyers. One such person whose perfected this process is Russell Brunson, an "underground entrepreneur" who founded a company called ClickFunnels, a sales funnel SaaS business that empowers marketers from around the world to build marketing automation without all the hassle.
Open-ended experimentation. This approach is similar to closed-ended experimentation except that more variations will be added for testing and experimentation will not stop when a winner is found. This method is used by large corporation to dynamically improve their conversion rates and improve user experience. Landing page can also be adjusted dynamically as the experiment results change to further enhance user experience.
In a recent conversation I had with Perry Belcher, co-founder of Native Commerce Media, he told me that you also need to train your prospects to click on links. For example, you could have them click on a link of what interests them or link them to a blog post or eventually to a product or service that you're selling, but you need to train them to build a habit of clicking on those links from the very beginning.
Once the prospect is in the proverbial funnel, you've peaked their awareness. That's the first stage of the funnel. However, getting a prospect aware of you is no simple feat. Depending upon how they've arrived to your website (organically or through a paid ad), those customers might view your funnel differently and your opt-in rates will vary significantly.
Of course, implementing this isn't easy. You need to first develop your stories, then decide on how you're going to convey those stories and at what drip-rate. For example, your first email or two might go out on the day they first signup, then one email per day might go out afterwards. How much of that will be story-based and how much will be pitches?
Pro Tip: Use benefit-based headers to increase conversion rates. Telling customers you have the “#1 product on the market” is compelling. Letting them know you have the “#1 product to help generate low-cost, qualified leads” is compelling AND solution-focused. The more easily customers can visualize the benefits in their own life, the more likely they are to continue reading and moving through the funnel.
Like many of the other landing pages in this post, Shopify's trial landing page keeps it simple. The user-oriented headline is just a few words, for example, and the page relies on simple bullets, not paragraphs, to communicate the trial's details and benefits. There are only a few fields you need to fill out before you get started. All of this makes it easier for you to get to the point: selling online with their tool.
Full disclosure: IMPACT is a HubSpot partner -- but that's not why they're included here. IMPACT's landing pages have long been a source of design inspiration. I love the simple layout of the page, from the large headline copy and detailed featured image, to the outline that surrounds the form, to the colors and fonts that are very pleasing to the eye.
Principle of commitment & consistency -- When people commit to something, they're far more likely to purchase from you. That's why getting them to agree to something like a free + shipping offer or by agreeing with something you've said in some way. This is a powerful principle in sales and if you pay attention to some of the best marketers in the world, you'll notice that they work fervently to get your commitment to something, even if it's very small in the beginning.