Most website owners think of better products, lower price tags, or better advertisements for increasing sales.
Rarely do Funnel Optimization Strategies show up as an option. But interestingly, it’s the silver bullet to growing sales and beating competitors with the exact same product and no cheaper price tags! It’s the story behind the success of giant online stores like Amazon.
Here I will review 10 powerful and well-proven strategies for optimizing the sales funnel in your online store. I also introduce my favorite plugins for implementing some of these techniques on WordPress. Of course, the mentioned strategies are applicable in any medium other than WordPress.
How the Sales Funnel Works؟
Before getting to the tips, let’s lay the groundwork for our work in funnel optimization. It will be a refresher for some of you, but it’s essential to ensure we are all on the same page.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel represents a customer’s journey, from just getting aware of your product or service to purchasing it.
Thinking in terms of the sales funnel is very useful because it allows us to draw the path our customers take and remove any obstacles they might face along the way.
How do Customers Decide? (The AIDA Model)
Whether you sell grilled chicken or offer professional health care service, customers undertake a roughly similar path from the first touchpoint to the final action.
A very popular business-independent model of this is the well-known AIDA model. Each letter in AIDA refers to a stage in the customer’s journey. It stands for attention, interest, desire, and action.
Attention: The consumer becomes aware of your product.
Interest: The consumer becomes interested in learning about your brand.
Desire: The consumer starts liking the brand or product.
Action: The consumer forms a purchase intention and acts.
10 Strategies for Sale Funnel Optimization
Here are 10 Sales Funnel optimization strategies for getting the most out of your sales funnel.
Start by asking a series of simple questions to find out more about your customers:
- Are they mostly women, men, or equally both?
- What age are they?
- What is their education level?
- How much do they earn or spend?
- What do they want from my business?
- Why are they choosing me over the competitors?
The list is endless, and the above questions are only a few examples. If you can’t answer these questions on your own, then a good way is to run surveys and ask questions about your customers.
After forming a rough picture of your potential customers, it’s time to use this knowledge in action. Every decision you make should be based on the typical persona of your customers.
1) Learn more about the customers
The first step for applying any strategy in optimizing your sales funnel is understanding who you are optimizing for. This very intuitive step is often overlooked, resulting in good strategy in the wrong place.
2) Build better Landing Pages
Landing pages are always preferred to any other page, including product and home pages, as they convert noticeably better.
But, of course, that’s not the whole story. Optimizing your landing pages is a big step in optimizing the sales funnel and increasing sales.
Here are the most important tips to consider when creating or optimizing your next landing page:
🔸Make it Visually Engaging.
Your landing pages should stand out from the rest of the website. You should use vibrant, high-contrast colors mixed with animations and effects to grab the users’ attention and not let them close the tab.
🔸Offer social proof
Social proofs are excellent in buying users’ trust and making them confident about the purchase. Don’t overlook their power! Always consider a section for offering customers reviews. It’s also much better to provide reviews from trusted celebrities.
🔸Use powerful CTAs
Finally, you want your call to action button to be prominent and reachable so that you don’t lose the golden moment when the user finally makes the decision. Make sure it stands out! It’s totally fine to have it in more than one place.
3) Generate leads
A lead is a person interested in your products or services; in other words, a lead is a potential customer.
We have two jobs here:
- Generate leads
- Guide leads through the funnel
The most straightforward part is generating leads. There are various effective strategies for generating leads. The most popular ones offer digital content, assets, subscriptions, or coupons in exchange for an email address.
Regarding WordPress, options are countless. One excellent lead generation plugin is OptinMonster. It allows you to create your lead forms using the drag-and-drop builder. You can also use its content-locking feature to ask visitors to join your email list before reading your full content.
🔸Guide prospects through the funnel
The second step, guiding a prospect through the sales funnel, needs more effort and takes much longer.
The AIDA model is practically useful here. We have to grab prospects’ attention, make them interested, nurture a strong desire, and finally, make them click the purchase button.
4) Be creative with email marketing
In the previous section, we talked about sending emails. Now is the time to see how we can get the most out of these emails. Here are some important and usually overlooked tips to improve your emails.
1- Send personal emails
In the mentioned example, we gathered the names and emails of the prospects. Why not use the names in the emails? Your email can go like this:
I hope you’re doing fine. You seem to be interested in natural beauty products, which is fantastic!
Here are some of our 100% genuine products. We also included a coupon to get 10% on any product at the end of this email.
2- Use friendly language
You should use a creative and distinct tone, but at the same time, stay consistent with your style and be aligned with your brand.
3- Use great visuals
You will be surprised to know how many great creative emails are overlooked only because of poor graphics and design.
If you’re wondering how to create engaging emails, MailPoet might become your new friend. It’s a plugin by the same team behind WooCommerce. It allows you to design beautiful emails very easily.
4- Use social proof
We talked about the benefits of social proofs in Landing Page Optimization. Why not use them in your emails as well? For example, you can quote reviews from known persons or Magazines at the end of the email. You can also display the star rating and the number of votes visually.
5) Remove friction
What stops a prospect with a purchase intention from actually making the purchase? It’s mostly friction!
Friction, as its name suggests, is anything slowing down the prospects through the funnel, despite their interest.
Considering WooCommerce, there are many good plugins to alter the default checkout form, which is honestly very complicated!
However, if you want a robust solution with more features than simply changing the input fields, then Funnel Builder is worth trying. It is a free plugin by CartFlows for optimizing the default sale funnel in WooCommerce. It Includes various premade templates and allows you to customize them with a page builder like Elementor.
6) Bring drifting customers back to the funnel
Customers frequently leave the funnel. We try to minimize this number, but many leave the funnel due to personal causes, which we can’t do anything about.
Whatever the cause is, it’s our job to bring them back kindly.
If you own a WooCommerce store, there are many plugins for this purpose. WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery by CartFlows is my favorite. It captures the email address of users on the checkout page and sends emails to users who leave their carts. Optimizing these emails is very straightforward.
7) Embrace wishlists
Letting users add their favorite products to a Wishlist is among the best sale funnel optimization strategies. You can also remind them when the product on their wishlist goes on sale.
If you’re using WooCommerce, then it’s a matter of installing a plugin. There are many wishlist plugins available for WooCommerce. Ti WooCommerce Wishlist and Yith WooCommerce Wishlist are two of my favorite options.
These plugins come in free and premium versions that offer more features. I recommend you test the free version of both of them to see which one is better for you.
8) Stay on brand
No matter what sales funnel optimization strategies you choose, keeping it consistent with your brand is crucial. Anything added or altered, from colors to pictures and even phrases, should be within your brand.
Chances are that you are not using a visual brand guide, like many small stores! Start by creating one with the help of a designer. Your brand guide should define your color pallet, spacing, and fonts. You can then align everything with your brand guide.
9) Reconsider Return Policies
Many big websites already offer a money-back guarantee in case the user doesn’t like the product for whatever reason. If your return policies aren’t friendly enough, it’s time to reconsider them.
You should also clearly state the return policy on every product page and even at checkout.
One excellent idea is to kindly remind your forgiving return policy to users who leave their cards.
For example, you can send an email like this:
We noticed you left your cart. If you are unsure about the product, it’s good to know that we have a 100% money-back guarantee!
10) Start referral marketing
So far, we have only discussed sales funnel optimization strategies for helping prospects move through the funnel. But what if the existing customers could bring more customers into the funnel?
That’s what referral marketing is all about. You can reward your existing customers for bringing new customers, and they all do the job, voila!
I usually stick with point rewards systems instead of actual currency rewards. They encourage users more and create better loyalty.
One excellent plugin for this purpose is the SUMO Reward Points plugin. It setups complete reward system functionality within minutes and supports referral marketing out of the box.
I tried to explain the best strategies in sale funnel optimization that I have used the most over the past years. While the mentioned strategies are well tested and effective in increasing sales, it’s essential to know that, like any other marketing tool, they should be used according to your needs and customers.
Also, note that sale funnel optimization is not a one-step effort. It’s an ongoing process, and you should constantly be looking for new ways and ideas to optimize your sales funnel.
Do you have any other Funnel Optimization Strategies that helped you with your Store? Let me know your answer in the comments below!