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7 Tips to Highlight Product Features on Your Website

7 Tips to Highlight Product Features on Your Website

Whether your customers are shopping for tennis shoes or a marketing automation tool, they care about your product’s features. Features (along with price and design) are one of the main factors people consider when comparing products. 

Would you buy a computer without knowing how much storage it has? Or a pair of yoga pants without knowing whether they stretch? 

Despite their importance, many brands fail to make their product’s features clear on their websites—and that could cause revenue to drop. 

Your product’s features are massive selling points, so they need to be clear and compelling. Here’s how to get your product features right. 

What Is a Product Feature?

A product feature is a characteristic of your product that differentiates it from other products in the market. It could be how it looks (a design feature), how you can use it (a functional feature) or what it comes with (an added-value feature).

Let’s take running shoes as an example. The material of the shoe is a feature, so is the technology in the shoe. Both are highlighted in this example by Nike. 

Nike product features

What about a software product? 

Features typically center on the product’s functionality (what you can do with it), but they can also include integrations or data security. Slack’s feature page below highlights these types of features: 

Slack product features

Features don’t have to be unique to your product, though. As design, technology, and manufacturing processes evolve, some features become standard. You’d be hard-pressed to buy a smartphone without a touchscreen, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a feature brands can talk about.

Whether your product comes with ten features or two, you need to be talking about them across your website including your product descriptions, landing page, and even your homepage. 

Make your product features clear so customers can easily compare you to your competitors. It’s even more important if your product boasts the best features in the industry. The more you shout about them, the more likely consumers are to take notice—and maybe make a purchase. 

7 Strategies for Highlighting Product Features

You know what features are, and you know why they’re important to include on your site. Now let’s look at seven ways e-commerce stores and SaaS tools can effectively leverage them. 

Include Social Proof

Talking about how great your features are is nice, but every other company does the same thing. Even if your product features are superior, customers may not believe you. After all, only one-third of customers trust the brands they buy from. 

You need social proof to convince them your product delivers. Add quotes and testimonials from your customers or trusted third parties that mention your product features to relevant pages. Better yet, include images and videos of them using your product.

Featuring real people showing off your product’s features instantly makes them more credible and makes it much more likely consumers will trust your brand.

UK maternity brand Isabella Oliver does a great job of this, including a quote from Vogue in the product description of a maternity tank dress.

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Include Social Proof

Speak to Your Target Audience

You need to understand your target audience to write about your product features effectively. If you have buyer personas, make sure to refer to them while writing. This will help you prioritize which features your customers care about most.

Start by looking at reviews for your product and those of your competitors—G2 is a great place to start for software companies and Amazon for e-commerce brands. Identify the top features customers talk about and prioritize them.  

Be wary of trying to target everyone. This is particularly important for SaaS products that can have a dozen different use cases. Each target customer should have a dedicated landing page where you speak exclusively about relevant product features. If you try to speak to everyone on one landing page, you’ll end up not targeting any audience well. 

Everlane is an example of a brand who knows their target audience and what they care about. Each product description includes a link to the factory it’s made in and other information related to sustainability.

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Speak to Your Target Audience

Focus on the Benefits

Consumers only care so much about what makes your product special. What they really care about is how it benefits them.

Talk about a benefit whenever you mention a feature.

Writing about benefits requires a bit more effort and creativity. Your product’s features are fairly obvious, especially to you. What isn’t so obvious is how the user benefits from them. Think about your customer personas and spend some time reading product reviews. These will help you get into your customers’ minds and focus on the benefits they care about. 

If you really want to do a good job, interview your customers to find out exactly how they benefit from your product. It takes a little more effort, but this is hands-down the best way to tease out the benefits of your product.

One of Hootsuite’s most popular features is the ability to track social media mentions on their dashboard–but that’s not how the brand sells the feature to its users. Instead, they focus on the benefit: finding out what customers really think. They even follow this up with another user-generated benefit of the feature.

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Focus on the Benefits

Draw Attention to the Important Details

There are some features you’ll want customers to take note of more than others. That’s why it’s important to create a hierarchy of features and look for ways to draw attention to the features consumers care most about. 

To do this, break your page into sections and devote each section to a specific feature. Use a bold heading to grab your reader’s attention and back this up with short, sharp copy and eye-catching imagery. 

Google takes this to the extreme by letting each feature take up all of the screen’s real estate. There’s no way to miss them: 

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Draw Attention to the Important Details

Another is to remove the navigation menu from your landing page. With no way to move away from the page, users are forced to focus on your sales copy and read about your product’s features. Don’t get carried away using this tactic, however. Most customers won’t be happy with you removing the navigation bar, especially if you’re an e-commerce site. 

Make Information Scannable

Your customers are busy, and most aren’t going to read every word on your page. Instead, they’re going to scan it for key bits of information. It’s your job to make your product features as scannable as possible while still getting across the core message. 

Bullet points are an excellent tool because huge chunks of text are a massive turn-off for readers—especially if you want to share a lot of information. 

Target includes a bullet list of each product’s features on their listing page, so you don’t even have to click them individually to get the need-to-know information.

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Make Information Scannable

Use Video and Images

Words aren’t the only way to get across your product features. Images and videos are usually a much better way to get across exactly what your product can do. 

Images are an easy way to show customers how key features look and work. They are particularly powerful for design-focused features and most e-commerce products in general. Bonus points if you include user-generated photos in your descriptions.

UK furniture brand Made did a great job of including user-generated images in their product listings. Potential customers can see exactly what each sofa will look like in a range of settings. 

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Use Video and Images

Videos take a little more work, but they can be even more effective. For example, you could create an explainer video that highlights your product’s core features, or a separate video for each feature.  

Your feature-led videos can also be used as part of your onboarding process and by your sales team during client calls. They can even boost your search rankings, especially if you host them on YouTube

Write Blog Posts and Emails

If you have a SaaS product, blog posts, emails, and other forms of content marketing are one of the best ways to highlight your product features—particularly if those features come in the form of new software releases.

Make sure your blog posts talk about the benefits that users can gain from the new features and don’t just talk about the features alone. Plenty of screenshots are also a good idea, so is a video if you can create one.

Unlike other forms of content marketing, there’s no need to post these articles regularly. Writing them when you have a new feature to describe is enough.

Email updates should also be sent sparingly. Only email when you have a new feature to announce and keep your email succinct. Only include the key details in the email and link to a more in-depth blog post if necessary.

Existing users will learn about the new features when using the software, so it may be wise to only send an email about features that may re-engage lost customers.

Asana’s blog is filled with feature-focused blog posts. Note that many don’t focus on individual features. Rather they cluster feature releases around a particular topic and write about that instead.

Strategies for Highlighting Product Features - Write Blog Posts and Emails

3 Examples of Product Feature Highlights

If the examples above weren’t enough for you, I’ve got three more examples of brands that do a great job highlighting their product features.

Apple

Examples of Product Feature Highlights - Apple

Few companies are better than Apple at creating buzz about their products. There aren’t many better at highlighting their product’s benefits, either. 

Apple makes a point of creating a new banner for every feature, pairs each with a user benefit, and includes high-quality images and graphics. Even if you already have an iPhone, reading their product pages makes you want to upgrade.

Amazon

Examples of Product Feature Highlights - Amazon

Amazon is famous for its in-depth product listings, but those listings are also great at highlighting each product’s most important features. 

The clear layout makes it easy for customers to skim the product description, and bullet points highlight the most important features. There’s even a video showcasing the product in detail. 

Tesla

Examples of Product Feature Highlights - Tesla

Tesla combines several of the tactics mentioned above to highlight the key features of the Model 3. Each feature is given a hierarchy—security is first—and takes up the entire page. They also use graphics to illustrate points and annotations to draw attention to specific features.

Frequently Asked Questions About Product Features

What are product features?

Your product features are any characteristic of your product that makes it stand out and separates it from your competitors. It can include the look and design of the product, how it’s made, or what you can do with it.

What are examples of product features?

For an e-commerce product, the material the product is made with can be a feature—if it’s made from recycled plastic, for example. For SaaS products, features include the functionality of the product. The ability to instantly message colleagues is a feature of Slack, for instance.

What’s the difference between a product feature and a benefit?

A feature is a characteristic of your product. A benefit is how a customer can use that characteristic to overcome a pain point.

How can I highlight the features of my SaaS product?

A sales page is an excellent way to highlight all of the features of your SaaS products. Blog posts, videos, and demos are also great ways to highlight SaaS features.

How can I highlight the features of my e-commerce product?

Your product description is the best place to highlight the features of your e-commerce product. Make sure they are easy to read and stand out from the rest of your copy.

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The Conclusion of My Product Features Guide

Showcasing your product features is a hugely underrated tactic. Marketers and salespeople will tell you to focus on the benefits of your product rather than the features. While benefits are important, they rely on explaining your features clearly first. Features are also one of the most common ways potential customers compare your product with your competitors. 

Take time to determine which features are most important and get opinions from current customers if you can. Then use the seven tactics I’ve listed above to make them as clear as possible on your site.

Which features of your product are you most proud of?

10 Snapchat Ads Strategies, Tips, and Resources

10 Snapchat Ads Strategies, Tips, and Resources

Snapchat is one of the most popular social networks in the world.

It boasts 293 million daily active users on average. 

That’s a ton of people sharing and engaging with content on a daily basis.

On top of a huge user base, the engagement levels are off the charts. People open the app 30 times a day on average, over 75 percent of 13 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. use the app, and over 5 billion Snaps are created every day.

It’s no question Snapchat has potential in numbers and engagement, so why don’t you see results with the platform?

Below, you’ll find some of my top Snapchat ad strategies, tips, and resources to help you run successful campaigns. 

However, before we dive in, we need to establish if Snapchat ads are actually worth your time and money. 

Why Should You Advertise on Snapchat?

If your brand appeals to Gen Z and millennials, you should look at Snapchat as a way to increase user acquisition, brand awareness, and sales.

Why?

Snapchat has over $1 trillion in direct spending power between these two generations. With one-third of users more likely to make purchases on their phones,  it’s a platform that’s worth a second look.

On Snapchat’s Inspiration page, you can see tons of businesses have found massive success with Snap Ads.

Spinnaker Nordic tried Snapchat ads for three days and had incredible results. With $759.04 ad spend, the company achieved:

  • +300,000 ad views
  • +1,300 Swipe Ups
  • +24,000 site visitors 
  • 52 phone calls

What if you don’t have $700 to blow on ads? No problem. You can advertise on Snapchat for as little as $5. With such a low daily minimum spend, you can test, learn, and optimize your ads on any budget.

Not enough to convince you?

Snapchat also has a partnership with Amazon. If a user sees a product they like, all they need to do is point their cameras at the barcode or product and long press on the camera screen.

Snapchat will then show a card with a link to the item on Amazon. The app has created one of the fastest ways to shop online and is one of the frontrunners for augmented reality e-commerce.

10 Snapchat Ad Strategies and Resources

If there is anything we can learn about finding success on Snapchat, we can learn it from experience.

Multiple brands using Snapchat find massive conversion rates and increases in sales on-site and for their mobile apps.

Here are some of the best Snapchat ad strategies and resources to help you mimic their success and grow your business.

1. Add Polls to Your Snapchat Ads

Why should you care about poll ads?

Well, it can increase your engagement and views. 

On Instagram, polling stickers in Story Ads increased the number of three-second video views in 9 out of 10 campaigns.

The insights you gain from your audience can also strengthen your ads, help you stand out from the competition, and potentially increase your sales.

The only downside? Snapchat doesn’t have a built-in polling feature like Instagram.

However, by using an app called Polly, you can mimic Instagram’s polling success on Snapchat. Polly lets you create polls and share them to Snapchat, where your audience can answer anonymously.

Snapchat Ad Strategies and Resources - Add Polls to Your Snapchat Ads

How to Use Polls in Your Snapchat Ads Strategy

  • Brand announcements: Ask your audience to vote on your newest flavors, colors, or product varieties. You can use social media trends like Selena Gomez versus. Miley Cyrus battle and pit your products against one another.
  • Trivia questions: Who doesn’t love a good quiz night at the pub? Put your audience’s wits to the test, and add some game show flair to your Snapchat ads. You can also redirect people to your website to see the answer.
  • Audience insights: Need to know what makes your audience tick? Poll them! It’s a great way to see what content resonates or what people want to see from you next.

Polling Ad Resources:

2. Link Your Snapchat Ads to the Correct Landing Page

Once you have your audience’s attention, you need to direct them to the next step, i.e., your landing page. You don’t want users to watch your ad and move on. You want to instigate an action that will get users into your sales funnel and create conversions.

What is a landing page?

It’s a stand-alone webpage created for an advertising or marketing campaign.

The page usually has a goal like:

  • sales
  • email list sign-ups
  • white paper downloads

For example, if you’re an app developer, you would redirect people to your Google Play or App Store download page. If you’re an e-commerce brand, your landing page could link to sign up for a newsletter and get a 15-percent discount code.

 On Snap Ads, there are three different types of ad links you can use:

  1. Web view attachments: This is a great option to drive online sales. Users swipe up, and your landing page will instantly load.
  2. App install attachments: Use the “Install Now” or “Download” buttons as your CTA and redirect users to your app install page.
  3. Deep link attachments: This option helps you to re-engage users who have your app. If an existing user swipes up on your ad, you can direct them to a location in your app, e.g., the latest collection or an exclusive sale.

The one you choose depends on your landing page goals and the types of products you’re selling on the app.

If you need help creating a high conversion landing page, use these resources below:

Landing Page Resources:

3. Write Catchy Copy

For your Snapchat ads to find success, you need:

  • great visuals (no blurry, pixelated images or videos)
  • a short, snappy, message (i.e., what is the purpose of the ad)
  • enticing call-to-action (CTA)

With the short attention spans of Gen Z and millennials, Snapchat recommends writing copy that’s easy to understand, is localized for your audience, and has an offer message within the first two seconds of the ad.

Subway used this approach to announce its new cheesy garlic bread. The ad is only five seconds long and uses two short sentences to get its message across.

Ad Copy Resources

4. Use Split Testing on Snapchat to Create Higher Performing Ad Content

Spit testing or A/B testing is crucial to improving your conversion rates. It helps you hone in on what’s working and get rid of what isn’t. Most importantly, it helps save you money.

Gone are days of blowing your entire ad budget on a campaign with lackluster results. With split testing, you can combine your more effective elements to boost ROI, lower the risk of failure, and create a winning ad strategy.

How does spit testing work with Snapchat ads?

Inside your advertiser’s dashboard, you can test different variables such as:

  • creative
  • audience
  • placement
  • goal

For example, let’s say you want to test an audience. Maybe you’re not too sure if you should target 18 to 25 or 30 to 35-year-olds for your next campaign. Your creative, placement, and delivery will be the same with the split-testing feature, but each ad set will target the different audiences you’ve created.

The winning test is the one that achieves the lowest cost per goal. A goal can be:

  • swipe-ups
  • app installs
  • shares
  • story opens

When you’re done, create a campaign with the winning variable, and start getting better results from your ad spend.

Snapchat Ad Strategies - Use Split Testing

Split Testing Resources:

5. Use the Shoppable AR Lens Feature

In a study with Deloitte, 94 percent of people expect to use AR for shopping, making Snapchat’s AR Lenses one of its most valuable features.

Snapchat Ad Strategies - Use the Shoppable AR Lens Feature

What is AR for shopping exactly?

The filter lets users interact with a brand or product. For example, MAC has four Snapchat lenses to try on 20 different lip and eye products

The feature is immersive. It brings the in-person shopping experience into your home, evolving the e-commerce experience.

However, it’s not only for brands selling products.

You could create a filter with iconic makeup looks from Ru Paul’s Drag Race and use it to promote the new season.

For games, you could create a filter of one of your characters or create a branded filter for specific times of the year.

For example, Burger King could do something for International Burger Day or the Fourth of July.

Here’s an example of how Starling Bank used the AR lens in a campaign to increase brand awareness:

The result? A 61 percent lower cost per install versus other platforms.

You can choose from three shoppable AR categories:

  • Website: Comes with a “Buy Now” button. It has the option to link to a product page and works best for e-commerce brands.
  • Video: This option has a “Watch” button and is great for promoting content like movie trailers.
  • Install: The “Install Now” button takes users to the Google Play or App Store to download an app.

What are the benefits of creating a Snapchat ad strategy around AR lenses?

  • Brand awareness: Lenses from their Creator Community have over 2 trillion views, and 2 million lenses have been created with their Lens Studio.
  • Increase in sales and a decrease in returns: Users who engage with AR are twice as likely to make a purchase and are 30 percent less likely to return a product.

Snapchat Shoppable AR Resources:

6. Use Audience Insights

Snapchat’s Audience Insights is a powerful tool for marketers. It provides a wealth of information about your audience and can help you tweak your campaigns to improve your conversion rate.

Inside the dashboard, you can compare and create new audience segments. The data, a mixture of demographics, Snap Lifestyle Categories and external third-party partners, tells you more about your current audience and helps you discover new segments for your brand.

Snapchat Ad Strategies - Use Audience Insights

By using the Audience Insights dashboard, you might discover that 70 percent of your audience is also interested in rock climbing. You can use this interest to optimize and create more relevant ads that appeal to your audience.

Pretty nifty, right?

Well, Snapchat’s wealth of data doesn’t end there.

One of the best features on the dashboard is purchase intent. You can see at a glance what is the likelihood of your audience purchasing your service or product. 

You can also compare the purchase intent across different audiences and use the information to adjust your Snapchat Ad bids.

Analyzing Your Audience Resources:

7. Use User-Generated Content

If you’re not incorporating UGC into your Snapchat ads strategy, you’re missing opportunities to convert your audience into paying customers. 

There’s plenty of data that shows it’s an effective marketing strategy. 

  • A study by Stackla reveals 79 percent of users said UGC impacts their purchasing decisions and find UGC 9.8 times more impactful than influencer content.
  • Thirty-one percent of consumers agree that UGC content is more memorable than traditional ads.
  • When analyzing watching habits, YouTube found Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to watch UGC than older generations.
Snapchat Ad Strategies - Use User-Generated Content

According to Snapchat, not only is it more likely to get viewed in full, but your ad will feel more authentic and less over-produced.

If you don’t have any UGC yet, create ads with a similar look and feel. Use Snapchat’s features, have someone speak directly to the camera, and keep your ads five to six seconds long. It will appear more organic and come across as an extension of other Snaps rather than an intrusive ad.

User-Generated Content Resources:

8. Choose the Right Ad Format to Match Your Snapchat Ad Goals

If you’re using the wrong ad format, you’re not going to see results with your Snapchat ad strategy.

Each format is designed to help you achieve specific business goals, such as:

  • brand awareness
  • increase conversions
  • drive sales
  • increase app downloads

Here’s a brief guide to what each format can help you achieve:

  • Dynamic ads: These include collection ads, story ads, and single image or video ads. Dynamic ads are great for driving sales and increasing sign-ups.
  • App install attachments: If you’re promoting an app, this ad format is made specifically for you. It adds an Install Card at the bottom of story ads, single image or video ads, and lens AR experiences.
  • Retargeting: Want to target users who didn’t convert or have engaged with your brand in the past? Story Ads is an excellent ad format to re-engage, boost brand awareness and increase customer loyalty. 

Ad Formats Resources:

9. Design Your Snapchat Ads With Sound

I know. 

This advice might seem odd, especially when there are statistics like 69 percent of people watch videos without sound.

Shouldn’t your Snapchat ad strategy follow suit and design for no sound?

Nope.

According to Snapchat, 64 percent of ads are watched with sound on. 

This isn’t surprising. 

As I mentioned earlier, the best Snapchat ads are the ones that fit natively within a user’s feed and don’t disrupt the experience. Most Snapchatters are watching their friends’ Snaps with sound, so your ads should do the same.

  • Create ads with your customers talking to the camera giving a testimonial. 
  • Use sound to get more information across (remember you only have about six seconds).
  • Put a face to your brand and do a quick tutorial.

Video Ad Resources:

10. Use Goal-Based Bidding

The final Snapchat ad strategy you need to implement is goal-based bidding.

What is goal-based bidding?

It’s a feature that allows you to optimize your ad spend toward a specific action you want a Snapchatter to take e.g., downloading your app or making a purchase.

By setting this cost-per-action, Snapchat will deliver your ads in the most efficient way possible to achieve the desired outcome.

The result?

Your ads will go out to people most likely to complete the action, and you’ll see higher conversions.

Snapchat Ad Bidding Resources:

Snapchat Ad Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of Snapchat ads?

There are six different ad types on Snapchat: Single image of video ads, filters, lenses, story ads, product catalog ads, and commercials.

How do I know which type of Snapchat ad is right for my business?

It depends on your campaign objectives. For example, filters help you create a branded conversion, lenses create interactive moments, the product catalog showcases a series of products, and commercials are great for driving brand awareness.

How much do Snapchat ads cost?

Snapchat Ads have a minimum daily spend of $5. 

Why should I advertise on Snapchat?

If your audience is Gen Z and millennials, Snapchat is one of the best social media networks to engage with them and drive sales. The app reaches 75 percent of Gen Z and millennials in the U.S., has 293 million daily users, and on average, people spend 30 minutes on the app each day.

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Snapchat Ad Strategies and Resources: Conclusion 

With almost 300 million people using the platform, Snapchat is not a dead social media network. It still carries weight, especially with the younger generation.

If your brand appeals to its user base, it’s worth investing in Snapchat ads. With such an affordable minimum daily spend, almost everyone can afford to roll out successful Snapchat ad strategies.

Get creative with AR technology to create unique campaigns and build hype around your products. Use split testing to figure out what works for your business and what needs to go, and you will see your acquisition cost go down with more conversions. 

The above tips and resources will make sure you create ads that resonate, engage, and drive action with your audience. 

How do you get the most out of your Snapchat Ad investment?

Don’t Panic, Most Sites Are Seeing Traffic Drops

It’s been a crazy rollercoaster over the last year and a half due to Covid.

When Covid first came out, the majority of websites across the globe saw traffic drops as you can see from the graph above.

But within a few months, things didn’t just reverse, many industries were facing all-time high traffic levels.

Just look at ecommerce as a sector, it’s had rapid growth.

So rapid, that Shopify now has a market cap of 192 billion dollars. Their stock went from $404 at the start of 2020 to currently sitting above $1500. That’s massive growth.

But with people tired of being stuck indoors things are starting to change. Especially because of the mass release of the Covid vaccine on a global level, many countries easing restrictions.

So, what does that mean when it comes to web traffic?

Travel is up, but…

Travel and leisure websites are getting much more traffic.

As you can see from the graph above, most industries are seeing a traffic dip. But not travel and leisure.

McKinsey and Company put it best, “tourists are back with vengeance.” Travel in the United States has hit 2 million passengers a day which is closer to pre-pandemic levels, versus 90,000 a day in April of 2020.

Now, most industries are not up. Here’s what traffic looks like when we compare July 2021 to July 2020.

When we analyzed the data, we looked at it from a global standpoint and we had anywhere from 107 sites to 391 sites per category. We tried to get a bigger sample size per category, but we weren’t able to get enough sites Google Analytics data on short notice.

Nonetheless, when you look at the chart it should give you a good directional idea of what is happening.

It’s not bad for all continents

Similar to this recent HubSpot study we saw the same trend. In which Asia has done well from a traffic growth standpoint.

If you are targeting regions like North America or Europe, the chances are you have seen your traffic drop.

But it is not all bad news, what’s interesting is when we looked at conversion rates, it’s up almost for all industries.

So, although traffic was down for most sites, conversion rates were up by 12.94%.

As a quick note, we didn’t have conversion data for all sites that were analyzed in the graph above as not everyone tracks their conversion rates. A bit less than 18% of the sites actually had conversion tracking setup.

If you don’t have your conversion tracking setup, follow this tutorial.

Did Google cause the traffic drops?

Yes, there have been some Google updates over the last few months, and many sites took beatings, and many saw increases.

But it wasn’t just a “Google” algorithm update. We are seeing traffic drops from direct traffic, referral traffic and even paid ads for keywords that have little to no seasonality.

I can’t definitively say why, but the most logical reasoning for traffic drops is people are out traveling or getting away from their computers because they have been stuck inside for so long.

Conclusion

Don’t stress out.

The one thing I’ve learned over the years is to try and not stress about things you can’t control.

I know it is easier said than done. But the good news is, you probably aren’t the only one seeing a traffic drop based on the data above.

How is your traffic stacking up compared to last July?

PS: If you want to see how my agency can help you increase your traffic to counteract the dips, go here.

How to Build a Conversion Funnel That Will Triple Your Profits

How to Build a Conversion Funnel That Will Triple Your Profits

A conversion funnel is a visual representation of the stages in a buyer’s journey, from the moment they land on your page until they complete a purchase. How do you create a conversion funnel, though, and how do you get the most from this tool? Let’s take a look.         

Should I Use the AIDA Model to Create My Conversion Funnel?

The AIDA model is the traditional way to track the customer journey. It’s based on the four classic stages people move through during the buying process: awareness, interest, desire, and action.

  • Awareness: First, a person discovers your brand and becomes a lead.
  • Interest: Next, you build their interest in your product.
  • Desire: Then, your goal should be nudging prospects from simply thinking they like something to actively wanting it, possibly by making proposals or carefully placing glamorous adverts for repeat exposure.
  • Action: Finally, you encourage a prospect to take the desired action―turning them into a customer.

Realistically, not everyone who visits your website will convert to a paying customer, which is why we use a funnel shape. Based on the AIDA model, then, a traditional-style sales marketing funnel might look something like this:

Conversion Funnel - Traditional AIDA Sales Funnel Model

The problem? This is a rigid and fairly unrealistic way to view how people move through the stages of a sales cycle.

Leads are human, and the sales process is rarely linear. Often, people loop back to different stages in the sales cycle before they’re ever ready to complete the sale. In other words, people need nurturing before they’ll buy a product. As a marketer, you must understand their behaviors, their personalities, and their needs to convert them into paying customers.

Rather than a straightforward sales funnel, you need a more flexible conversion-based funnel, which will look something like this:

Conversion Funnel Based on Lead Nurturing Buyer Behaviors

Don’t let the graphic intimidate you! While you might be tempted to start with a simple sales funnel, you’ll increase your chances of success if you start with a more flexible conversion funnel. Let me take you through exactly how it’s done.

How to Create a Conversion Funnel

There are nine main steps to creating a successful conversion funnel, based on a blend of AIDA and less restrictive techniques.

1. Determine Your Ideal Buyer Journey and Map It Out as a Funnel

The point of a conversion funnel is to build an effective buyer’s journey and increase your conversions. To increase your conversions, you must first identify your starting point and your end goal. In other words, you must identify three things:

  • what your typical buyer’s journey looks like right now
  • what your end goal is, or what action you want a prospect to take
  • how you can improve your existing buyer’s journey in order to increase the likelihood of leads becoming paying customers

Once you’ve identified what your end goal is, you can map it out as a conversion funnel. Visualizing or mapping out your funnel can help you stay on track further down the line.

2. Set Goals for Each Stage in Your Funnel

Think of your funnel in three separate parts: the top, middle, and bottom.

Decide what you want from each stage of the funnel; for example, maybe you want to increase your traffic at the top of the funnel, boost your engagement rate in the middle, and increase your conversions at the end.

Once you’ve set some concrete goals, consider using tools to track your progress and ensure you’re meeting those objectives. For example, you might use Google Analytics or email automation software to measure your success rates.

Unless you’re clear on what you need from each stage in your funnel, it’s impossible to know if you’re meeting your targets. Spend some time reflecting on your overall goal before you build a conversion funnel.

3. Make a Content Plan for Each Stage in the Funnel

Each part of the funnel (top, middle, bottom) requires its own marketing plan to keep prospects moving from one stage to the next.

Top

The first stage is all about building brand and product awareness. You’re trying to generate some buzz and encourage prospects to learn more about your company and how your products can help them.

At this early stage, use visually engaging content such as videos, short blog posts, and social media posts to introduce your company and emphasize your brand story.

Middle

You have a person’s attention, so now it’s time to gain their trust and show them why they need your product.

A prospect could ultimately be in this stage for a while, so the focus should be on creating valuable, informative, and reliable content such as case studies, video tutorials, and downloads.

Bottom

The final stage should be focused on giving prospects a reason to buy your product, sign up for your service, or take any other action you desire. Marketing strategies at this stage could include free trials, actionable emails, and CTAs, or calls to action.

4. Implement Strategies and Create Content to Generate Awareness

At this first stage in your funnel, you’re trying to build hype around your brand and product. Why should a customer care about your company? How do your products solve the problems they have? Answer these questions to help build a content strategy for this stage.

Do some competitor research, too. Consider what you can learn from their landing pages, social media channels, and blogs. How are they reeling in potential customers?

With all these questions in mind, here are some examples of ways you might generate awareness and create appropriate content for the first stage of a conversion funnel.

  • Consider using PPC ads to increase traffic in the first instance.
  • Optimize your content for SEO so it ranks high in the search engine results. This way, people are more likely to find you online.
  • Get on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Post regularly and interact with followers to build some engagement.
  • Set up a referral program to reward people for recommending your products and services to their social network.

Other ways you might build interest in your brand include, for example, trying influencer marketing, hosting interviews, creating informational guides, and designing printable checklists.

5. Generate Interest and Desire

While the AIDA model labels “interest” and “desire” as two separate outcomes, in real terms, they’re the same thing.

Generating interest, or building desire, comes down to one key thing: creating compelling content. You build some awareness around your brand, you show people why they “need” what you’re selling, and as a result they decide they “want” your product.

How do you create great content to nudge people along this stage of your funnel? Here are some ideas.

  • Craft authoritative blog posts to educate your audience. If a user finds your content valuable, they’re more likely to trust you enough to spend money on your products.
  • Show your product in action by creating a YouTube video. Video content helps people visualize how the product could benefit them, which in turn makes them feel like they “need” the item.
  • If you have a prospect’s contact details, send them curated email content such as roundups of your top blog posts, customer testimonials, or and hints and tips that could benefit your reader.

There are some other ways you can generate interest, too, such as starting a podcast, creating some product guides, running a free trial program, or offering product samples.

6. Encourage Users to Take Action

At the end of the funnel, your goal is to convert a lead into a customer by encouraging the required action. While you could skip this step in the funnel if it works for your business, here are some ways you might optimize your strategy for this stage.

Create a PDF Download

Put together some valuable content in a PDF download and offer it in exchange for their contact details. Make sure your document promises to answer common questions your customers have, to encourage them to actually download it.

Here’s an example from LegalSuite, a legal services provider. Their customers typically want help with streamlining their operational efficiency. To help their customers, LegalSuite offers a free eBook with ways to make their legal operations run more efficiently.

The catch? Prospects must provide some contact details, which means that LegalSuite can follow up with them:

How to Create a Conversion Funnel - Create a PDF Download

This is a great example of how to encourage an action without being pushy.

Add a Call to Action (CTA) to Relevant Resources

CTAs clarify the action you want people to take, so don’t forget to add them to the content you create.

At this stage of the funnel, you’re trying to entice customers to take a final step to complete the cycle, so give your CTAs a sense of urgency. Emphasize how your product can solve their problem and why they should act now.

Make it easy for customers to act by displaying the CTA somewhere prominent, like the top of a landing page, the end of a guide post, or in a colorful, clickable button at a strategic point in a YouTube video.

Finally, remember to test your CTAs to identify which strategy resonates most with your audience.

Send Actionable Emails

In many ways, great marketing is all about helping people help themselves.

Send them clear, concise, actionable emails emphasizing how they can solve their problems through buying your products or using your services.

Again, ensure there’s an obvious CTA so potential customers know what action you expect them to take.

Incorporate Customer Testimonials

Did you know that 72 percent of customers won’t make a purchase until they’ve read some reviews? Give those customers the reassurance they need to take the final step by adding some testimonials to your page.

You can either just ask customers for reviews, or you can take a look at your existing reviews on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn and ask for permission to share them in your content.

Where should you display testimonials?

It all depends on your audience, brand goals, and marketing strategy. You could, for example:

  • include some quotes from positive reviews on your landing page
  • embed a widget from a website like Trustpilot on your page so prospects can read your reviews before they buy
  • link to videos of happy customers using your products (remember to thank them for trying out your product, too!)

Other Ideas

Finally, you might offer other incentives like free trials, competitor comparison guides, demo videos, and product samples to nurture leads into becoming paying customers.

7. Keep Customers

Great marketing is not just about finding customers. It’s about retaining them, too. Here’s why.

Sounds great, right? Here are some strategies for retaining those all-important loyal customers.

Next-sell

Next-selling is when you follow up with a customer after a purchase and offer them a similar product with, perhaps, an attractive discount attached. Not only does this allow you to communicate with your customer and make them feel valued, but it’s a way to potentially increase revenue.

Say you want to know whether customers who buy coffee machines are more likely to buy a discounted toaster. You can send the customers who bought a coffee machine a discount code for toasters, and send a control group a full price ad on toasters.

Next-selling can provide you with helpful data to build effective funnels.

Create Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are crucial to any customer retention strategy, with 81 percent of millennials spending more money when they’re a member of a loyalty scheme. However, since loyalty schemes are nothing new, you need to get creative if you plan on building a winning program.

When you’re creating your own program, consider:

  • using high levels of personalization
  • giving customers flexibility around how to use their reward points
  • offering extra perks and benefits to loyalty scheme members

Amazon Prime, for example, stands out because customers enjoy benefits like free same-day delivery, exclusive savings, and access to members-only shopping events.

With the Starbucks Rewards program, members pay through the Starbucks app, and they earn points towards perks like free food and drink. What’s really great about this scheme, though, is how it’s centralized through the app, meaning Starbucks can access large volumes of data about user behavior to inform their marketing strategy:

How to Create a Conversion Funnel - Create Loyalty Programs

Make your loyalty program work for you by using it to monitor customer preferences and buyer behavior.

Product Updates

When you update your products, you’re keeping up with evolving customer demands and changing expectations. You’re showing your loyal customers that you value their continued loyalty.

For example, maybe you can update an app glitch, based on user feedback. Or, you could launch an add-on to improve a software download.

In short, product updates are a great way to improve the user experience.

Other Techniques

How else can you keep those all-important customers? Well, you can try marketing strategies such as:

  • introducing member-only events
  • sending out exclusive emails
  • running contests or prize draws
  • starting a customer service RSS feed

8. Grow Customers

Finally, don’t forget to capitalize on your existing customers by encouraging them to make more purchases. There are a few strategies you can try, so here’s a rundown of your best options.

Cross-sell

With cross-selling, you look at a customer’s most recent purchase and show them similar products they might be interested in. Or, during the sales process, you offer them other items which complement the item they’re currently buying.

For example, say someone buys a laptop from your website. As part of your sales funnel, you might also recommend a charger or laptop case to go along with their purchase.

Here’s a real example from REI Co-op. Say, for example, a lead decides to view a set of strength trainers. Under the product listing, there’s a “people also viewed” list, which highlights similar products the lead might be interested in:

How to Create a Conversion Funnel - Grow Customers

It’s not a pushy strategy, but it nurtures leads in the right direction.

Upsell

Upselling means offering a customer a more expensive alternative to the item or service they’re interested in.

For example, if someone selects a free subscription to your service, you might highlight the cheapest paid subscription option to them.

  • When you’re upselling, it’s helpful to compare products or services side-by-side.
  • However, don’t try to upsell a product if it’s substantially more expensive than what the potential customer wants to buy. Otherwise, the strategy could backfire!

Just remember, though, to avoid being too pushy at all times when you’re upselling.

Here’s a good example from Best Buy. The customer views an entry-level MacBook Air. Above the product, they see other more expensive products from the MacBook range, one of which also has an enticing discount attached to it:

How to Create a Conversion Funnel - Upsell

The products advertised aren’t massively different in price from the viewed product, and it’s a good, subtle example of upselling.

Other Strategies

There are a few other strategies you can try to grow your customer base and build your business, including:

  • sending out discounts to loyal customers
  • personalizing your marketing emails
  • issuing more voucher codes

Test out a few strategies and identify which ones resonate best with your customers.

9. Address Funnel Problems

In reality, there’s no such thing as a perfect funnel. However, if your funnel is underperforming, it could be due to common errors such as:

  • leaving out a strong CTA
  • forgetting to start with a clear brand message
  • using too many steps in your funnel
  • misreading your funnel analytics data
  • failing to follow up with leads

To find out why your funnel isn’t working optimally, you need to run some A/B testing or use an analytics tracking tool like Google Analytics (GA) or Hotjar.

Alternatively, you can perform some lead outreach. Send out surveys or ask for feedback about the website user experience, and always take negative comments on board when you’re refining your funnel. They’ll give you very clear insight on what your audience does or doesn’t want.

Conversion Funnel Tracking With Optimizely

Want to experiment with different funnel variations and track their performance? Give Optimizely a try.

It’s easy enough to use. Once you’ve registered, simply head to your “Experiments” dashboard, select “Create New,” and choose whichever experiment you want to run, such as A/B testing or a personalization campaign:

Conversion Funnel Tracking With Optimizely

After you create your experiments, you can track them from your dashboard and make whatever changes best suit your marketing strategy. For example, you might refine your CTA or emphasize a new product. You can run multiple variations simultaneously, too, and track which one works best.

Whatever your conversion goal, Optimizely can help you realize it. Sign up for a free version, or choose a paid subscription with more advanced features if your marketing budget can stretch to it.

How to Track Your Conversion Funnel With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another handy tool for funnel tracking. With GA, you can easily track customers from the moment they visit your page to whenever they decide to either abandon their journey or complete the purchase.

  1. Once you’ve set up which website you want to track, set up some conversion goals.

  2. From the “Admin” menu, go to “Views” then click “Goals:”

    How to Track Your Conversion Funnel With Google Analytics

  3. Click “New Goal” and work through the steps to generate the desired goal.

    Since we’re trying to visualize a funnel, you want to set a “Destination” goal such as registering for a newsletter.

  4. You can view your funnel by going back to the “View” menu in the “Admin” section, choosing “Reports,” then selecting “Goal Flow” from the “Conversions” menu.

    From here, you can identify where people leave your funnel or where they loop back to different stages.

Conversion Funnel Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four stages of the AIDA model?

The four stages are “Attention,” “Interest,” “Desire,” and “Action.” You’re trying to attract attention, generate interest, encourage the customer to want the product, and have them take the desired action.

What’s the difference between goals and funnels?

The goal is the objective you’re trying to achieve e.g., a customer completing a sale. The funnel is the journey the prospect takes to reach this goal.

How do you visualize a funnel?

Start by checking out funnel visualization tools like Google Analytics.

What is the purpose of a funnel?

A conversion funnel shows you the paths people take on their journey from visiting your website to becoming paying customers.

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Conversion Funnel: Conclusion

Think of your conversion funnel as an evolving process. Just as your customers want and need change over time, so should you adapt your goals and funnel strategy to match.

When you strive to give your customers the user experience they’re hoping for, you won’t just build a loyal client base: you’ll stand out from your competitors, too.

Have you built your first conversion funnel yet?


Ishrat Pasha 2021