The process of converting interested Web visitors into a paying customers is a path of several steps, and it's up to us to guide prospective customers along that path.
Web analytics consultants frequently talk about using the conversion funnel to measure the last few steps of going through the shopping cart payment process. However, there are additional steps in the purchase process where the conversion funnel tool can be used.
For many years marketers have used various models to describe the changes that occur as a prospect becomes more likely to buy a product. One model is AIDA:
- Attention - Recognition of a problem or need
- Interest - Curiosity about a product's features and benefits that can meet the need
- Desire - Emotional belief that buying the product will improve life
- Action - Making the purchase (calling the 800 number, clicking the Add to Cart button, etc),
Each of these states requires the prospect to accept additional information and update their attitude toward your product. These changes represent a "conversion" to a new purchase belief.
You can increase overall performance by monitoring and improving how well these individual conversion points affect sales.
First, identify the pages where you want visitors to change their attitude from skeptical visitor to interested prospect. Then, use conversion tracking to measure the effect they have on close rates, order size, and other key performance indicators.
If these pages help increase sales, guide more visitors through them. If they don't help, have your best direct marketing copywriter update them until they do increase your site's performance.
When customers are making the decision to purchase, make sure you have whetted their interest and peaked their desire so they're ready for action.