11 Proven Funnel Optimization Strategies to Optimize Your Store

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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 11 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.

As customers move along the funnel, from seeing the advertisement and clicking on it to ordering the product, a noticeable percentage of them leave the funnel, or drop off, at every stage.
only a small portion of customers make it to the final step.



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.


The AIDA representation of the sale funnel
The AIDA Representation of the Sale Funnel: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

While there are slightly alternative versions or interpretations of the AIDA model, such as replacing attention with interest or adding satisfaction after action, the main idea is always the same.

Any sales funnel is a representation of the AIDA model. It’s always from attention to action.
Our job as marketers is to smooth this process and make it as enjoyable as possible for the customer to move through the funnel. 

Now that we understand the importance of the sale funnel, it’s time to see what sale funnel optimization strategies we can use to reduce funnel abandonment and consequently increase sales.


11 Strategies for Sale Funnel Optimization

Here are 11 Sales Funnel optimization strategies for getting the most out of your sales funnel.


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.

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.

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. 

For example, if you sell organic beauty products, most of your customers will be young ladies of above-average income.
You should use this knowledge while optimizing every part of your sales funnel, from advertisements to product descriptions and checkout forms


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.


🔸Make your offer clear

It’s essential to make it very clear. Vague landing pages that require some thinking and complete attention to discover the offer are the worst.

You should be able to describe the whole offer within a sentence, with less than 2 minutes needed to read and understand the entire page.

🔸Limit the number of actions

To increase focus and attention, it’s crucial to remove any non-needed element from the primary navigation bar (yes, you heard right! most websites simply don’t) to any other form, link, and button.

Keep your landing pages as simple as you can


🔸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:

  1. Generate leads
  2. Guide leads through the funnel


🔸Generate leads

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.

Back to the natural beauty products store, you can publish a short digital book on any health and beauty-related concept and email it for free to customers who fill in their email address or probably some other information. You can use popups for this purpose.

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.


OptinMonster plugin
Screenshot of OptinMonster Plugin on WordPress Repository


🔸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.

Let’s work with the same example, organic beauty products. Imagine you have successfully run your lead generation program, and now you own a list of 5,000 prospects with their name.

These people are interested in natural products as they have downloaded natural DIY cosmetics.

You can now email each prospect, nicely introduce some products and give them a coupon at the end. This will create awareness and hopefully some interest. 

The coupon part is already perfect for the desired part, but not all customers convert with a single email. You have to probably resend many other emails to convert some prospects finally. Remember, it’s not an easy job.


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:

Hi Sarah!
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

Using natural friendly language is much more appreciated than formal robotic tones.

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.

Pay a good time redesigning any email used in your sales funnel! Use high-contrast colors with icons and images when appropriate.

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.


MailPoet plugin
Screenshot of MailPoet Plugin on WordPress Repository


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.

It’s almost always long checkout forms! Start by removing any unnecessary input fields. Only ask what you need and postpone marketing-related information, like age and gender, to the future.

For example, you can ask for the minimal information needed and encourage customers to add additional details later.

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.


Funnel Builder plugin by CartFlows
Screenshot of Funnel Builder Plugin by CartFlows on WordPress Repository


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.


WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery plugin
Screenshot of WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Recovery Plugin on WordPress Repository


7) Embrace WooCommerce Wishlists

It often happens that users move from awareness to interest but don’t take action for personal reasons. Maybe they want to buy it later, such as a birthday gift. Or they don’t want to spend too much now.

Whatever their reasons are, it’s important not to let them forget about the product.

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.


YITH and TI plugins
Screenshot of YITH WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin and TI WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin on WordPress Repository


8) Test and Measure

When optimizing the sales funnel, we don’t always know how effective our actions are. We don’t know if creating a two-step checkout increases the sale or decreases it.

That’s why testing and measuring are vital. You should constantly measure the conversion rates and see how your actions affect them.

One excellent technique is AB testing. It’s called AB testing because we set up two different versions of the optimized website, versions A and B, and measure the performance of each.

We then can compare the conversion rates to pick the best.

AB testing the sale funnel funnel optimization strategies


We introduced two free plugins from Cartflow to optimize the sale funnel and send cart abandonment emails.

This company also offers a complete sale funnel optimization solution named CartFlows Pro.
It allows you to optimize and redesign many aspects of the default WooCommerce sale funnel and run AB tests quickly. It also supports cart abandonment emails, so you don’t need to use other plugins for your sale funnels.

Back to the organic beauty products website, we can design two checkout processes. We can create a single-step and a two-step checkout process. Then we can run an AB test to find the one that works the best.

It’s usually better to focus on one idea at a time during AB testing to be sure about the change. If we change many factors, we can only see a mixed result, which might not be very conclusive.


9) 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.

Many marketers forget this very basic fact and create pages that look different from the perceived brand. That reduces trust and weakens the overall image, reducing conversions and sales.

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.


10) Reconsider Return Policies

Besides frictions, uncertainties play a significant role in funnel abandonment. Many prospects leave the sale funnel or switch to a competitor only because they are unsure about the product.

By offering a customer-friendly return policy, you leave no excuse!

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:

Hi jane
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!


11) 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 in new customers, and they all do the job, voila!

Again, many free and paid referral plugins are available if you use WordPress. We aren’t going to mention any of them as a simple google search gives better results. The most crucial point here is to encourage users for this.

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.


SUMO Reward Points plugin
Screenshot of SUMO Reward Points Plugin on CodeCanyon Repository




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!






saeed threes avatar orange theme
Saeed Threes
I love WordPress, its plugins, and building a free world with this tool. That is why I would like to share my experiences in this wonderful world with you. You can do anything with WordPress without any hassle.
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