Most people trying to grow eCommerce businesses just set up their website and try to send as much traffic as possible to it. But they rarely think about what needs to happen before someone lands on a website. Because of this, conversion rates tend to be low, causing business costs to become crippling.
This is why the concept of “warming up traffic” is so important. Essentially, this approach filters out the traffic with no purchase intent and only lets those who have a potential interest in your product enter your website. Of course, this is not a rule set in stone (plenty of businesses do great by just driving directly to their website), but it is a hard thing to achieve.
eCommerce funnels facilitate this. They act as bridges from the traffic source to the website that ideally filter out traffic with no purchase intent. They are very common and they are used widely. Some are better than others, but they all serve the same purpose: warm up the traffic for conversion.
Below, we’ll explore some funnels that you may not be using today, but that could make a significant impact on your conversion rate. Let’s get started!
The advertorial funnel has been used for a long, long time. It’s certainly nothing new, but it’s something modern marketers may have missed considering the “easy” advertising approach tech companies like Facebook and Google provided in the past decade or so. That luxury, as we’re sure everyone knows now, is no longer something to rely on.
With the changes and irregularities in performance caused by iOS14 and on, marketers need to find solutions outside of just driving traffic to home pages or product pages. This is no longer converting the way it used to, but a business can’t just stop marketing — especially if you’re in growth mode.
Enter the advertorial funnel. You’ve probably seen this before. Have you ever clicked on an ad or a link that was about an interesting topic? Then, after clicking, you’re redirected to a page that basically looks like a news article, or just content (doesn’t have to be in the style of a news article necessarily)? If you paid close attention, you may have noticed the page links to a product or products. This is usually the case. The page is being used as a bridge between the ad and the product page. The ad grabs the attention of the user by promising interesting content. The advertorial delivers on such promise by providing interesting content and, within it, promotes some type of product or offer, which, of course, is clickable.
This works great with Facebook Ads traffic, which has suffered a big hit on performance due to its impacted targeting features. This is a good point to make, as the majority of growing eCommerce businesses are currently using Facebook for, likely, the majority of their paid traffic. If this applies to your business, give the advertorial funnel a try. You may be surprised by the results.
Keep in mind, in order to have a successful advertorial funnel, you’ll need a few things:
- First and foremost, you need a quality copywriter. We cannot emphasize this enough. The copy is ultimately what makes or breaks the advertorial. It’s the most important element and you should not cut any corners here. They can be expensive pieces of content to put out, but it has the potential to open up an entire new stream of traffic you weren’t exposed to before.
- Second, you need to design the actual page. This does not need to be a fancy design. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen extremely simple article pages perform fine. As long as you have a landing page builder and someone who feels comfortable with the software, you’ll be fine.
- Finally, and this is the obvious part, you need a traffic source. However, because this piece of content is built to entertain first and promote second, it can work well with any type of traffic source: organic, social, etc.
Lead Gen Funnel
You may have heard the term “first-party data” a lot in the past year. While first-party data has always been key, it has certainly become a buzzword in the marketing world. The lead gen funnel, like the advertorial funnel, is not new. However, it shines now more than ever with the very real need to capture first-party data.
You want to get the most value out of every visit to your eCommerce website . This funnels helps you get closer to achieving that goal. Let’s break it down so you see how simple, yet powerful it can be.
This funnel consists of a landing page with a form and some type of offer, which, upon completion, redirects the user to the final destination: (usually) the eCommerce website. The landing page acts as a door. And the only way to gain admission is to complete the form, which usually asks for an email address or a phone number. That’s it. It’s that simple.
But… Why does this deserve its own highlight? Mainly because of what it means to now hold that email address or phone number… or data… or first-party data!
Let’s use an example. The landing page says “Get Early Access & Unlock 40% Off NOW”. Below that is a two-step form asking for an email & phone. The user fills it out, gets the 40% off discount and is sent to the website. Great, but now what? Well, you have 2 data points on this user. You can put them on an automated email flow, you can send them SMS broadcasts, or you can put them on retargeting audiences. You’ve now created at least 3 more opportunities to communicate with this user that you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t generate any first-party data. There are many things you can do beyond that point, but the main takeaway is that you’re maximizing how much juice you’re getting out of every visit you get, which likely has a cost associated with it.
Let’s say you’re spending $2 for every visit you generate via ads. If you’re not collecting any data, all you’re getting for your $2 is a visit. But with the lead gen funnel, you’re now getting an email address and a phone number for some of those visits, which allow you to remarket them in the future, thus stretching your dollar longer.
Quiz funnels became extremely popular in Facebook Ads in the past few years. Want to know why? Because they work.
This is a take on the lead gen funnel with a fun twist. It gamifies the concept by asking the user to take a quiz, answer a few questions, and to enter his/her email (or other data point) in order to get access to the quiz result.
You may have seen those “What 19th century artist are you?” type of links in Facebook. These are quiz funnels. Their ultimate goal is to warm up a lead, collect data, and generate the conversion.
The answers each user selects are also data points that get collected and can help you in multiple ways. The first obvious one is that it helps you pick the most appropriate quiz result, which can increase your overall conversion rate. Another way it can help is by simply creating segments of users based on responses. You can then analyze which quiz result (which is based on answer combinations) produces the highest value user or lead.
If you want to see examples of types of quiz funnels, you can see 7 proposed ones here by Sleeknote.
Zero-Party Data Funnel
Here’s another buzzword in the current marketing world: zero-party data!
What is it? Zero-party data is data that your customers intentionally share with you. This can include purchase intentions, personal context, communication preferences, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize them. It goes beyond just a phone number or an email address.
How is this a funnel you can use for eCommerce? One way to try this is by using an offer pop up.
Consider the following scenario. An user is presented with a pop-up on your site. It offers a free $5 gift card. It has a form asking for an email address. However, once they enter their email and click submit, instead of just giving away the gift card, a multi-step display proceeds, each screen with a unique question that gives you an insight on the type of customer the user can be. For example, if you’re a clothing store, you could ask: “What are you interested in most? Shirts, Pants, Hats.” Or maybe “When are you looking to buy? Today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month.” Once the user completes all the questions, they then get redirected to the checkout page with the free gift card already in it. They must complete checkout as if they were buying any regular product (keep in mind they’re not spending any money).
Let’s analyze what we’ve done here. For a $5 offer, we’ve been able to collect:
- An email address (at the beginning)
- Multiple answers to key questions
- A phone number (at checkout)
- First and last name (at checkout)
- Physical address (at checkout)
That’s a lot of data you wouldn’t have with a regular lead capture. You can now set up various retargeting campaigns on paid channels, you can put them in email campaigns or SMS, you can even set up direct mail campaigns.
But the best part is the question-answers data you’ve collected. You can aggregate this data and from it pull the most optimal “profile” of user. So you can basically learn which combinations of answers produce the best results, and now you can tailor your marketing campaigns and overall messaging around those learnings.
Using zero party data properly to create better relationships in your marketing efforts has immense potential. We encourage you to play with this idea or even give it your own twist. But definitely go out there and collect that data!
eCommerce funnels are something every eCommerce business should experiment with. And when you start to think in terms of CRO, that’s when things can really take off.
Keep in mind that the funnels mentioned above are not the only ones. There are many. And unique combinations can be created that fit the needs of your business. The sky’s the limit! To get even more insights on eCommerce funnels and email marketing, contact us!
Using eCommerce funnels allows you to significantly increase the number of opportunities for experimentation and testing. Even if you don’t see a big impact in terms of conversion rates, there are always learnings to be collected and applied. For example, you may not increase conversion rate, but you may learn that the funnel with a different type of messaging results in more clicks through to the site. That may tell you something about the copywriting.
It is never a bad idea to create a machine that constantly pumps out business-related learnings. So go out there, create some funnels, and test them out!