Understanding your sales funnel
Here are some data areas – which are at your fingertips! – that can help you view and assess the effectiveness of your sales funnel:
One of the most important metrics to look at is your conversion rate, which is the percentage of potential customers who move from one stage of the funnel to the next. According to Statista, in the second quarter of 2021, about 4.2% of visits to e-commerce websites in Great Britain converted to purchases. In the same quarter of the following year, the conversion rate by British online shoppers was nearly identical at 4.1 percent. So, on average, only 4.1% of potential customers who become aware of a product or service, will actually make a purchase.
It’s important to set up conversion tracking on your website via a website analytics tool such as Google Analytics. This will track the number of visitors who have completed your desired conversion action e.g. making a purchase, filling out a form or subscribing to a service. You then have the data to calculate your conversion rates (dividing the number of visitors who took the desired action by the total number of visitors to your website and multiplying by 100 to get the conversion percentage). It’s also important to track and analyse conversion rates for different channels including email marketing, social media advertising and search engine optimisation.
By working out your conversion rates, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts, and make data-driven decisions.
Cart abandonment rates
A common problem for e-commerce websites is cart abandonment, which is when potential customers add items to their cart, but don’t complete the purchase. According to Baymard Institute, 69.99% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Let’s really think about that… For every 100 potential customers, almost 70 of them will leave without purchasing from you. Imagine how much your revenue would increase, if you captured these sales, instead of losing them?
Ways you can improve your cart abandonment rates include simplifying the checkout process, providing guest checkout, offering multiple payment options, displaying trust symbols, optimising your website speed, improving website design and implementing abandoned cart recovery email campaigns (such as a follow up email reminding them of the abandoned purchase, and offering a discount to entice them to follow through with the purchase).
Landing page conversion rates
Designed to convert potential customers into leads or customers, landing pages play an important role in the sales funnel. According to research by Unbounce, the average conversion rate for landing pages across 10 different industries is 4.02%. The lower your conversion rate, the more work you need to put into developing your landing pages.
Ways to improve your landing page conversion rates focus on the design, messaging (benefits before features!) and user experience of the page. For example, including a clear and compelling headline, using a strong call to action (CTA), using high quality visuals to support your message, ensuring your page / site is mobile-friendly, and keeping any submission forms simple – will all help to increase the effectiveness of your landing pages.
Email open rates
It’s time to dive into the data of your email marketing campaigns. Are your emails being opened in the first place? Are your subject lines appealing enough? Could your emails be too image-heavy, causing them to alert spam filters and go straight into junk folders? Are they being opened, but the calls to action aren’t encouraging click throughs to your website? Taking time to review the results of your email campaigns will help refine your activity moving forward.
Email marketing still remains one of the most influential digital marketing strategies for both B2C and B2B businesses. It’s therefore important to assess just how effective your current email campaigns are as part of your sales funnel analysis.
For example, how do you encourage prospects to subscribe to your emails? How do you transform these subscribers into paying customers? Do you include email opt-in forms on your website? Once subscribed, are you adding contacts to segmented lists, in order to send them the most relevant content and offers? If you are, how effective are they? Are the offers you’re sending given a short expiry date, so you can capitalise on ‘warm’ leads? You need to be asking yourself these types of questions when drilling down into your data.
(Remember, you can only send marketing emails to those who have opted in.)
Read more: How to Write an Effective Marketing Email
Social media engagement rates
This is the rate in which potential customers engage with your business’s social media content.
It’s the best way to tell if your audience cares about what you’re posting on social media and what they want to see more of.
As you can imagine, there’s a great deal of data offered up by various social platforms to help you refine your activity, from post impressions to levels of engagement. Even sites such as Hootsuite offer a free engagement rate calculator. Many social media marketing experts agree that a good engagement rate is between 1% to 5% – but the more followers you have, the harder it is to achieve.
Top tip: If you’re not in a position to hire a social media / digital marketing professional currently, make sure your time is being spent wisely on the social channels that are used most amongst your target audience. For example, according to Statista, as of the third quarter of 2022, WhatsApp was the most active social network among internet users in the UK, with nearly 75% of internet users reporting use of the service. Facebook was very close behind, with a rate of 70.7%t, followed by Instagram with 56.4%.
Just because a social media channel is available, doesn’t mean it’s the right marketing channel for your business. Avoid spreading yourself thinly across too many accounts – it will be hard to keep up and any gaps in communication can reflect poorly on your business. Spend your time wisely, and don’t forget to utilise the benefits of social media scheduling tools to ensure regular communication.