Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The Beginner’s Guide

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing quality traffic to a website using tactics like keyword research, backlinks, and meta descriptions. SEO is well known. In fact, it was the No. 1 tactic used by marketing teams in 2019. Using SEO, you can drive great traffic to your website by capturing users who are already interested in your product. But how do you turn traffic into sales?

That’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes in. What is CRO? It’s the process of getting the maximum percentage of visitors to your business website to perform a certain goal. Using CRO, you can make sure that your website is designed in such a way as to make it appealing and easy for customers to do business with you. 

While SEO focuses on building more traffic for your website, CRO’s goal is to move quality customers through a sales funnel. CRO tries to capitalize on the website visitors you already have. While many companies use both simultaneously, CRO can greatly increase a company’s bottom line.

This beginner’s guide to CRO fundamentals will help you obtain a basic understanding of CRO’s processes and strategies. After reading this, you should have an idea of how CRO can help your business’s growth and profitability.

What Is a Conversation Rate? How Does It Relate to Conversion Rate Optimization?

A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who come to a website and perform a certain action or conversion. There are two main types of conversions you might want a website visitor to take: micro conversions and macro conversions. 

The action or conversion can be something small, like signing up for an email list. These are called micro conversions. They don’t make a sale, but they move a customer further along in the sales process.

If a visitor’s action is something big, like purchasing a service, becoming a paid subscriber to a website, the action is a macro conversion. This type of conversion represents the end goal of the sales process. 

It’s fairly easy to calculate your conversion rate. To get a CRO calculation, take the total number of conversions you have and divide it by the total number of visitors to your site. Then, multiply the result by 100. You’ll be left with your conversion rate as a percentage. For example, if you have 100,000 visitors to your website, and you’ve made 1,000 conversions, your conversion rate will be 1%. More specifically, check out the CRO calculation below:

(1,000 conversions/100,000 visitors) x 100 = 1% conversion rate

CRO is a way to give companies the best chance to convert traffic into sales. Whereas processes like SEO can take a long time to be effective, CRO can immediately work because it doesn’t rely on attracting more clients, and it can swell your company’s revenue. 

There are a few different ways to track conversion rates, including: 

  • Google Analytics: If you track your site metrics using Google Analytics, you can use the “Goals” feature to track specific conversions. 
  • Heat maps: There are several tools available that can create a heat map of a site page to visualize where people are clicking and scrolling on your website. This can help you determine not only where to put your calls-to-action (CTAs) but also reveal whether they are successful in driving conversions. 
  • Internal data: Depending on what programs you use to monitor sales or sign-ups, you’ll likely be able to pull this data to see which pages or specific CTAs are driving the most conversions. 

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Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

CRO has a lot of benefits for businesses. It’s all about making your company’s sales process more efficient. If you do CRO marketing correctly, you can make your website content highly targeted toward the customers who are most likely to purchase your services. 

Some of the benefits of CRO include:

  • You can maximize your company’s marketing ROI. CRO focuses on using resources that your company has so that it can cost less and result in better returns than other options for driving sales. 
  • CRO lets you understand your customers’ behaviors, patterns, and needs. To effectively market to the right clients for your business, you must develop a picture of who those clients are. 
  • It helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPS) on Google. CRO is all about meeting your customers’ needs, and Google rewards websites that offer what customers search for with more visibility. 
  • You can get a competitive edge over others in your industry. If your competitor is trying to increase sales by simply increasing traffic or spending without using CRO, you’ll have the advantage of appearing more able to meet your clients’ needs.
  • It makes it easier for customers to buy from you. CRO aims to get rid of anything that could make it difficult for a client to do business with you. You don’t want anything keeping you from making a sale.

8 Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate

There are several things you can do to improve your conversion rate. CRO is all about making your website operate in a way that drives leads or sales. Learning these will ensure you’re not missing out on easy sales. – Read More

A Practical Guide to Building a CRO Roadmap

If you’ve recently embarked on your CRO journey, here’s a couple of questions for you: How do you prioritize your experimentation ideas? Do you work in silos, or do you see benefit in opening up experimentation to collaboration? If you do see benefit, how do you plan to go about achieving it? How do you plan to address resource issues in your testing plan? The answer to all these questions points to one strategic move that differentiates CRO experts from beginners – building a CRO roadmap. 

Building a sustainable CRO roadmap guides your efforts and ensures it systematically contributes towards your business goals at large. Whether you are an agency handling CRO for hundreds of clients or someone who manages CRO for your company, a roadmap will streamline your efforts and maximize throughput by avoiding redundancies and providing a clear step-by-step approach towards optimizing your site. 

Similar to a calendar, a CRO roadmap is essentially a detailed schedule that entails which experiment will be launched when, the time and resources it requires, and the expected outcome. A roadmap ensures that each tweak, change, test, and insight adds value to the next step and accordingly strengthens it to deliver improved results. With a dedicated roadmap to consult, you don’t rely on hope to get results from a few poorly planned and ill-executed experiments scattered across months.

Why do you need a CRO roadmap? 

You can think of a CRO roadmap as a step-by-step framework that you refer to for prioritization, test planning, and allocation of resources for all your CRO efforts, without which you would be completely shooting in the dark. Here are some of the major reasons you need a CRO roadmap to get started.

To switch from a fragmented to a strategic approach

If you randomly run a survey on your homepage this month and conduct a couple of tests on your product page the next month (and so on), you are not going to be able to make the most of the insights gathered or leverage the full potential of the results. To do so, you need a roadmap that dictates every process so you can feed every insight and learning into your pipeline and use it judiciously to drive more substantial results from your program as opposed to some scattered wins or losses.

Let’s say you want to improve your online store’s checkout rate. Needless to say, there are tonnes of tests you can run to optimize for the same. For instance, you could optimize the number of steps in the checkout flow, add social proof and trust badges, avoid the addition of surprise costs at the last step, and so on. Now, without a roadmap, you wouldn’t know which one to prioritize and you might just end up spending too much time running each one of them without getting the expected outcome. On the other hand, if you follow a roadmap, prioritize tests, plan and scope them out over a calendar month/quarter, you can be assured of more promising results.

To get a better hold of resource planning

Again, if you have a systemic approach to optimization, you can always plan your resources in advance, delegate projects, and overall function smoothly with little or no friction as opposed to facing a mini resource crisis every time you decide you want to run an ad-hoc test. 

Moreover, you can always learn from experience and incorporate your learnings of how you can allocate resources better to drive more significant results, efficiently. This is not possible if you follow a haphazard outlook towards optimization and don’t depend on any set framework to guide decisions. 

To improve the speed and efficiency of your CRO program

Needless to say, optimizing your digital properties methodically will only improve the efficiency of your efforts as you would be incorporating previous learnings and doubling down on what works well. Having an overarching roadmap also ensures your processes and tasks are aligned with the overall business goals, so there is minimum iteration, faster delivery, and more promising results.

For instance, if you follow a roadmap, you will know which tests you have to run in the coming month and have the liberty to start laying the groundwork (analyzing data, getting variations created, etc.) and plan your resources accordingly. On the other hand, if you are running sporadic tests, you will end up wasting time in deciding what to test next, ensuring it doesn’t overlap with another test, and planning your resources for it.

How to develop a successful CRO roadmap

Revisit your business goals

Take a step back to revisit your most pressing and current business goals so you can understand how CRO can help you achieve them. These goals will anchor your CRO program and ensure your efforts are not aimless or applied in the wrong direction. 
For example, an eCommerce company could have a business goal to increase the average order value, while for a media company, the goal could be to uplift the content consumption on their site. These will then help you deduce what your optimization goals (and their corresponding metrics) need to be.

Deduce corresponding website goals, KPIs, and target metrics from your business goals

Use your business goals to drill down upon what are some of the more tactical website goals you want your CRO program to achieve, what are the performance indicators you need to watch out for, and what would be the target metrics you need to measure corresponding to them. For instance, if increasing the average order value is your business goal, you can break it down further into:

  • Increasing upsell & cross-sell 
  • Increasing visits to product pages
  • Increasing checkout and ‘Add to cart’ rate

Now, these could be your optimization goals, each of which you can tackle using specific strategies and tests. The metrics to be measured could be revenue per customer, conversion rates, and so on.  – Read more

Why You Need a Customer Journey Map and How To Build One

Imagine travelling to a country for the first time by yourself. 

Without a guide or some sort of map, you’ll definitely get lost. 

The same thing happens when you don’t map out your customers’ journey; you’ll get prospects lost because they won’t find it easy to equate your business to the solution they’re looking for. 

Worse, you’ll lose them to competitors who have their customer journey mapped out already. And you’ll understand this better as you proceed with this guide.

Without a customer journey map, you can’t easily plan out the interactions potential customers should have with your business that will convert them into customers. In other words, you can’t engage with your audience, effectively.

And besides that, you won’t be able to easily strategize what they should do after buying your product. Should they be advocating for your business? Should they join an online community of your existing customers? These are some questions you’ll be able to answer with a customer journey map.

But let’s define what it really is – just to be sure we’re on the same page:

What’s a customer journey map?

To put it simply, a customer journey is the process a potential customer goes through before, during, and after making a purchase from you. 

It covers all the customer journey stages from the time they hear about your brand through the period they’re considering your product or service, to even after they’ve bought from you. 

Unfortunately, your customer’s journey isn’t always linear. 

A prospect can visit your site, add a product to cart or start filling your contact form, go through your testimonials page, and leave for days before coming back to finally make a purchase.  

To understand this better, let’s look at this example: Mr A needs to buy a pair of affordable, high-quality blue shoes. There are a couple of places (Google, Amazon, etc.) that he could go to start his buying journey, but he chooses Instagram. He searches Instagram, scrolls through the feed, and sees a page that promises what he’s looking for. 

Impressed by the product descriptions and their page’s aesthetics, he clicks on their website link and lands on their homepage. Then, he browses through their page and, that’s right, sees a blue shoe. 

There, Mr A becomes a customer of the brand he’s bought the product from.

This is an example of a simple customer’s customer journey, and mapping it out visually helps you create your customer journey map.

But a customer journey can be much more complex than this simple illustration we just gave, depending on the nature of your business and the complexity of your product or service. 

The image below is an example of a customer journey map; it can be simple or complex based on what you include, the time frame, and your type of company. 

By now, you probably have enough reasons why you should be mapping out your customer journey, but if you’re still not certain you need it, here are three other reasons you should consider:

Three major reasons why you need a customer journey map

Smart business owners use customer journey maps. Research reveals that companies using customer journey maps have a 54% greater return on marketing investment than those that don’t. 

Even more, the chart below shows a side-by-side comparison of brands that use customer journey maps and others that don’t. You can see that in every area compared, brands that use customer journey have a higher percentage than brands that don’t.

With a good customer journey map, you can:

Reason 1: Improve your customers’ experience 

Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors that don’t. 

Since a customer journey map is a visual representation of your customers’ journey, you’d be able to see their experience with your brand and improve on it. When you do this, your customers will have a seamless experience buying from you. 
And the more seamless their experience with your brand, the more sales you get; no wonder 43% of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience.

Reason 2: Reduce cost and increase sales

Brands that use customer journey maps reduce costs and increase sales. A study by the Aberdeen Group shows that such brands experience more than 10 times the improvement in customer service costs and a 21% yearly growth, while brands that don’t actually experience a decline in growth at -2.2%. 

The same research shows that brands that use customer journey maps enjoy an average sales cycle that is 18 times faster, with 56% more revenue from upselling and cross-selling efforts. – Read more

How To Optimize Offline Conversion Tracking

Offline conversion tracking is a dream for B2B advertisers. It lets you take a whole chunk of data your automated bidding strategies were previously missing out on and optimize toward it. But if you’ve set up offline conversion tracking, and you’re not quite sure what to do next, here are some tips on how to optimize for the best lead quality.

1. Assign Value to Your Conversion Actions

Think about the lifetime value of your customer and the steps along your customer journey. You can assign value to each step along the customer journey to make sure your campaigns are optimized to the right conversion actions.

First, you’ll determine the lifetime value of a customer. In determining the lifetime value of a customer, you want to consider the number of users who converted from PPC clicks, average revenue per purchase, average purchases per year, and then number of years they’ll be a customer. Multiply all of these number together, plus your profit margin, and subtract your Google Ads spend and voila! You have the customer lifetime value. 

From there, you’ll work backwards to determine what value each step of the customer journey has.

Let’s imagine you sell software to enterprise level businesses. Your average lifetime value for a customer is a $10,000. You know on average, before someone becomes a customer they download a case study, then sign up for a webinar, and if they attend a webinar, your sales team marks them as an SQL and takes it from there.

That’s three steps before they become a customer. You know from experience that about 10% of people who become SQL turn into customers. Your $10,000 customer lifetime value multiplied by the 10% conversion rate from SQL to customer means the value of a meeting attendee is roughly $2,000. From there, you can continue working backward to determine a value for each step. 

2. Create Custom Columns for Each Stage in Your Sales Cycle

Continuing from our previous example, you now have your 3 steps in the sales cycle (case-study, webinar, and SQL), and you know the rough value of each. Create custom columns in the Google Ads interface to better organize this information. Access custom columns by choosing ‘Modify Columns’ and search for ‘Custom Columns’.

Creating custom columns is the easiest way to define metrics around your imported offline conversions. You can also lump together different conversion actions. If you’re tracking multiple case study offers as conversions, you might lump those together under one umbrella in a custom column. You can assign value to each conversion action, making it easier to track metrics like ROI or revenue. You can also create custom cost/conversion metrics for different conversion actions. 

3. Optimizing Your Campaigns Towards a Conversion Action

Which conversion action your campaign optimizes for really depends on your campaign objectives. Using the same sales cycle steps as we did above, you know that your sales cycle is long, so it may take a while for leads to become sales-qualified. In this case, you might want to set up your campaigns focused on awareness and reach to optimize toward the first step in your sales cycle, a case study download. From there, you can use remarketing campaigns to drive users to more down-funnel conversion actions. – Read more

Introducing the new Google Analytics

Millions of businesses, large and small, rely on Google Analytics to understand customer preferences and create better experiences for them. With more commerce moving online and businesses under increased pressure to make every marketing dollar count, insights from digital analytics tools are even more critical.

But with major shifts in consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes to longtime industry standards, current approaches to analytics aren’t keeping pace. In a survey from Forrester Consulting, marketers said that improving their use of analytics is a top priority, and that existing solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer and derive insights from their data.

To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.

Smarter insights to improve your marketing decisions and get better ROI

By applying Google’s advanced machine learning models, the new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data – like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure. We’re continuing to add new predictive metrics, like the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. This allows you to create audiences to reach higher value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others, so you can take action to improve your results.

Google_Analytics_predictive_metrics.png
Churn probability in the Analysis module

With new integrations across Google’s marketing products, it’s easy to use what you learn to improve the ROI of your marketing. A deeper integration with Google Ads, for example, lets you create audiences that can reach your customers with more relevant, helpful experiences, wherever they choose to engage with your business.

The new approach also makes it possible to address longtime advertiser requests. Because the new Analytics can measure app and web interactions together, it can include conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web in reports. Seeing conversions from YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email, helps you understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts.

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YouTube Engaged-view conversions in Analytics reports

Businesses taking part in the beta are already seeing benefits. Vistaprint, responding to rapid changes in their business at the start of the pandemic, was able to quickly measure and understand the customer response to their new line of protective masks. And Jeff Kacmarek, Vice President of Domino’s Pizza of Canada, found that “linking the new Google Analytics to Google Ads enables us to optimize around the actions that matter most to our customers, regardless of how they interact with our brand.”

A more complete understanding of how customers interact with your business

The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform. It uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalization, to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business. For example, you can see if customers first discover your business from an ad on the web, then later install your app and make purchases there. – Read more

8 Steps to Achieve Personalized Ecommerce for Better Sales

Customers have come to expect personalization when they’re shopping online. They’re starting to see this as a standard service and appreciate receiving special, tailored offers. 

Ecommerce personalization enables you to treat every customer like a VIP. And when customers feel like VIPs they’re more likely to stay loyal to your brand. 

Ways to keep customers happy include providing them with a seamless customer service experience. For example, implementing VoIP technology is a great way to handle incoming calls. Other ways to keep satisfaction levels high include offering a customized shopping experience like no other. 

Follow these eight steps to create a winning website personalization strategy.

1. Encourage customers to create accounts 

In order to build a customer profile (or buyer persona) you need to gather data from your existing subscribers and buyers. One good source of data is the information that’s input when a customer signs up to buy or subscribe to your newsletter. When you have amassed enough data you can dig through it to identify common traits that many of your customers have. Such as, if they are in specific age groups or genders. Then you can use this information to help you create an ideal customer profile and targeted campaigns for people in those demographics. 

Having customer profiles will help you implement personalization strategies. It will help you monitor your customers’ behaviors (This is something that customers are generally happy[1] for you to do, so long as it leads to them having an improved shopping experience). 

Once you can identify customers by their profiles, you’ll be able to offer them products or information that may be of interest to them. 

When you ask people to create accounts, make it easy for them to do so by adding a checkbox at the checkout that nudges the customers to add their details. 

2. Segment email subscribers

You can segment your email lists by geographic data, demographic data, psychographic data (lifestyle, activities, etc.), and behavioral data (based on purchases, browsing behaviors, etc.)

the key pillars of segmentation
Image Source: [2]

Once you’ve segmented your lists you can make sure you send appropriate content, for instance, based on a customer’s location. Say you’re promoting a ‘winter sale’. You only want to send out emails to subscribers in locations that are currently, or are soon going to be, wintry.

Pair your email campaign with a landing page to boost conversion rates. Send subscribers an email that reflects their purchasing history – along with a link to a landing page that tells them more about those products or services. Linking them to a specific landing page (rather than the generic homepage) increases the likelihood of them taking action. 

Personalize email subject lines to include subscribers’ first names and send out celebratory birthday emails with special money off vouchers.

Other ways of personalizing include sending emails inviting customers to leave their opinions. These business review examples can give you an opportunity to reply personally to subscribers who love your brand as well as respond to criticisms. 

3. Create personalized homepages

Homepages are your online store’s front door. So apart from making sure, your landing page is optimized, make sure you give customers a warm personalized welcome based on their purchases or browsing history. By using tracking cookies you can see which pages a previous user has visited and present them offers that might be relevant to them. 

If, for example, someone has previously visited a blog on ‘how to start an ecommerce business’, next time they visit you could invite them to download an eBook on order management systems.

Or, for instance, if someone has previously browsed the ‘15% off boots section’ on the ‘women’s sale’ page you can show them ‘new women’s boots just-in’’ on the homepage next time they browse your site. 

4. Provide personalized online store assistance 

Invite customers to participate in quick quizzes around the size or style of items they’re looking to buy. By storing the results, you can personalize product suggestions. If you’re a fashion e-retailer you could provide personalized wardrobe suggestions that fit budgets, sizes, and tastes. 

Having this information also opens up further marketing opportunities in terms of email updates about new products that might fit the bill. If, for example, a customer has expressed an interest in creating sales literature for their website, you could send them an email inviting them to use your online digital brochure maker. – Read more

7+ Facts About Shopping Cart Abandonment & Recovery

Shopping cart abandonment is the most heartbreaking of conversion killers. it is also a fertile place to increase the performance of your website.

Shopping cart abandonment is like cholesterol: There is a good kind and a bad kind. For each there is a strategy for reducing the impact of abandonment on your business.

Good abandoners leave because they aren’t done with their shopping process.

Bad abandoners leave because you surprised them or didn’t provide the information they were looking for.

But it’s 2020, and the number of smartphone dependent shoppers has grown considerably. Thus, we will add one more layer of complexity to the shopping cart abandonment recovery strategy: desktop vs mobile visitors. Why it happens and what to do about it.

Cart Abandonment Rate Formula

The shopping cart abandonment rate formula is quite an easy Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to calculate. Divide the total number of completed purchases by the number of shopping carts created within the same period. Subtract the resulting number from one and multiply by 100 to get the abandonment rate percentage.

Abandonment Rate Calculation Example

  • Total number of completed purchases: 335
  • Total number of shopping carts created: 500
  • Cart abandonment rate: ((500-335) / 500) * 100 = 33%

Definitely not a bad shopping cart abandonment rate. Only 33 out of 100 customers are leaving their carts behind. Do you experience high add to cart but low conversion rates? Keep reading.

Top 7 Cart Conversion Optimization Solutions to Eliminate the Causes of Cart Abandonment.

The difference between mobile and desktop visitors

“A growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today roughly one-in-five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.”

Source: Surveys conducted 2013-2019. Data for each year based on a pooled analysis of all surveys containing broadband and smartphone questions fielded during that year.

Traditionally, the desktop computer is a research tool and the smartphone is a dopamine delivery system.

These are two very different uses of internet attached computers.

For someone on a desktop, adding your product to their cart is the end of a journey. For the mobile user, the add to cart is to see how it will feel.

For a growing segment of our population, this is changing. For more and more people, the smartphone is their only source for communication, research, and dopamine. Reliance on smartphones for online access is especially common among younger adults, non-whites and lower-income Americans.

For this reason, we are not going to assume that most mobile visitors are “just shopping.” We are going to look at the causes of checkout abandonment and provide a playbook for eliminating them.

There are also consumers who only buy your products on desktop computers. They would not even think to pick up their phone and buy what you sell.

Let’s dive into how to reduce shopping cart abandonment and improve conversions.

Why do Shoppers Abandon the Checkout Process?

Just as science has identified “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol,” there are “good” and “bad” abandoners among your website’s visitors.

The Good Abandoners

Good abandoners leave you as part of their process. They are walking all the way to the edge of buying, even though they are not ready to buy. They are imagining purchasing from you. Yet, they fully intend to continue comparing your offering to alternatives when they start the checkout process.

And they may be hoping you’ll hang on to their selections for when they return. Wish lists and persistent shopping carts are a big help to these abandoners. More on that later.

The challenge is to get them to come back and buy when they are done. We cover some of the strategies for retargeting this visitor later on this article.

The Bad Abandoners

Bad abandoners leave you because they didn’t like what they saw after they got started. These abandoners are bad for you because they are lost opportunities. They were going to buy, but you chased them away with your checkout process. – Read more

How to Build an Email Funnel That Closes Sales Quickly

Don’t let the term “email funnel” scare you.

It’s much easier than you think. It’s true that if you’re new to building funnels, you might feel slow as molasses at first.

But once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. Don’t believe me?

Just keep reading. By the end of this post, you’ll be fully capable of building effective email funnels that generate sales.TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is an email funnel?

Simply put, an email funnel is a path or route you build over email for potential customers to travel from their first interaction with your business to the last step on the journey where they convert.

That route could look something like this:

From social media > blog post > email newsletter > autoresponders > conversions.

But “conversions,” when it comes to email funnels, doesn’t always mean sales. You can create your email funnel to either convert subscribers into customers (sales), convert them into attendees for an event, or convert them for something else that’s not sales related.

Essentially, this means there are two major types of email funnels:

  1. Email sales funnels
  2. Email marketing funnels

When you’re building an email funnel to ultimately convert subscribers into sales, you’re essentially building an email sales funnel

But if you’re building it to convert your email contacts into event attendees or any other non-sales results, then — for the most part — you’re building an email marketing funnel.

However, since most business owners and marketers build funnels for sales, that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this guide.

Do email funnels actually work?

“Email funnels,” as a term, has become an everyday word for business owners, marketers, and salespeople. 

And when anything becomes part of common language this way, it is tempting to start to think that it’s just hype and not a genuinely valuable tool.

But that’s not the case with email funnels; they actually work.

GetResponse customers are a living-proof of this.

Take Alex Terrier, jazz musician and a music teacher offering online music courses who gets 19% email signup rate with his content.

Or Landcafe, an online store created out of the love of travel and coffee, offering artisanal coffee beans, who get 54% of their sales from their educational email campaign.

If that’s not enough, just do a quick Google search for “email sales funnel case study” and see how many businesses have gotten their entire success from sales funnels they built over email.

Now, let’s dive right in and create your own email funnel success story.

Author’s note: You can build your email funnel from scratch using GetResponse’s Conversion Funnel.

How to create an email sales funnel that actually sells

You automatically create an email sales funnel when you:

  1. Start a campaign or create a content piece to collect the emails of your potential customers.
  2. Build relationships with people on your list by emailing them helpful content consistently — without being annoying, of course.
  3. Send prospects a series of emails to sell them on an offer.
  4. Close sales, making it easy for customers to buy.

String these four things together and you have a working email sales funnel.

But let’s explore these four funnel elements more deeply so you can learn how to best use each of them to build high-converting funnels.

1. Collect the emails of actual potential customers

The emails you collect will determine the success of your email funnel.

It’s possible to collect 100,000 emails and get few to zero sales when you eventually try to sell them your product or service. Know why this can happen? There are several reasons, but a major one is that those 100k emails you got came from people who weren’t your potential customers. – Read more

Make every marketing dollar count with attribution and lift measurement

Understanding how each media touchpoint contributes to your goals can mean the difference between marketing that drives business growth and marketing that fails to deliver. To make every dollar count, you need tools that help you learn how people are responding to your ads, so you can take action to improve your results.

Today, we’re announcing improvements to Attribution in Google Ads including coverage for YouTube ads and a significant expansion in the availability of data-driven attribution. We’re also sharing updates to our lift measurement solutions including a new way to measure incremental conversions and an accelerated time frame so you get results even faster.

Measure more of your Google media

Attribution in Google Ads helps you understand the paths people take to complete conversions. It awards credit for conversions to different ads, clicks, and factors along the way, so you can focus your investments on the media having the biggest impact on results.

Earlier this year, we launched a new look for attribution reports to help you get important insights faster. And with more people turning to YouTube as we spend more time at home, we added YouTube to attribution reports, to help you better understand the role video plays in your customer’s path to purchase.

fuboTV, a live TV streaming platform that includes sports, news, network television and movies, used attribution reports to understand how customers interact with their YouTube and Search ads before converting. They saw that for every conversion YouTube drove directly, it assisted 2 more conversions on Search. “These insights helped us see the full value of video. This enabled us to start thinking about YouTube and Search media in one view and take into account blended cost-per-acquisition goals that more accurately reflect the total impact of our ads at driving conversions,” said Antonio Armenino, Search and Display Lead at fuboTV.

YouTube ads in attribution reports is now in beta. Eligible advertisers will be able to opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads to see YouTube ads in the Top Paths, Assisted Conversions and Path Metrics reports, alongside Search and Shopping ads. And to give advertisers a more holistic view of Google media, we’re also adding Display ads to attribution reports in the coming months.

Data-driven attribution is now available to more advertisers

Data-driven attribution (DDA) is a type of attribution model that uses Google’s machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each ad interaction along the consumer journey. Trained on and validated against incrementality experiments, data-driven attribution gives credit based on the incremental impact of your ads. It continuously analyzes unique conversion patterns, comparing the paths of customers who completed a desired action against those who did not, to determine the most effective touchpoints for each business. DDA is our recommended attribution model because the constantly updating, machine learning-based approach ensures you are always getting accurate results that account for the latest changes in consumer behavior.

DDA requires a certain volume of data in order for us to build a precise model, but to make DDA available to more advertisers, we’re lowering the data requirements for eligibility. With this change, each conversion action in your Google Ads account that has at least 3,000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions within 30 days will be eligible for DDA. This is possible due to ongoing improvements to the machine learning algorithms we use to train data-driven attribution models, so we can do more with less data without sacrificing precision.

Use full-funnel lift measurement to validate and implement findings

Attribution is best for day-to-day, always-on measurement and is effective for setting ad budgets and informing bid strategies on a campaign or channel level. Businesses that are prepared to move beyond DDA can use randomized controlled experiments—also known as incrementality or lift—to set channel-level budgets or to optimize future campaigns.

For years, marketers have used Brand Lift and Search Lift to measure the impact of YouTube ads on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey, from brand awareness to purchase intent, and lift in organic searches on Google and YouTube. Today, we’re announcing that Conversion Lift is now available in beta. Conversion Lift measures the impact of your YouTube ads on driving user actions, such as website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions.

Each of Google’s lift measurement tools use best-in-class methodology to ensure accuracy and precision, and that no additional costs are incurred to run these experiments. In addition to delivering accurate, full-funnel measurement, we’re making changes to our lift measurement tools so you get results even faster.

For Brand Lift, we recently launched accelerated flights so you can get the brand perception metrics you care about sooner, with the ability to re-measure over time. We’re also reporting Search Lift and Conversion Lift results as soon as they become available, with flexible study durations and integrated daily reporting, so you can see changes more frequently and over time. Last, you can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign, so you can get fast, actionable results across the entire consumer journey. – Read more