As I continue to wind my way through Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, I find myself delighted each time he takes an old, hackneyed business concept and strategically modernizes it so as to appeal to both traditionalists and innovators alike.
Take for instance, his use of “funnel metrics”.
The author discusses this measure as a tool to gather data for new online businesses, but oddly glosses over some fundamental elements that could use a bit of updating when taken from a classic brick-and-mortar setting to one focused on ecommerce.
That said, we will offer the following three updates to this classic marketing concept:
1. FLIP the funnel: Big ad agencies no longer dictate what the masses consume. So, why start at the top when you can start at the bottom and target a niche market? Thus, consider placing your company in the path of oncoming traffic with targeted SEO tactics, narrow email lists, tasteful PPC advertising, and other ‘customer-centric’ marketing techniques.
2. DESIGN for collection: Once you identify your target customer (again, in the long tail), take the time to do the research around the question, where do you want me to click? Use focus groups and beta tests to design with the end in mind (conversion) and via the path of least resistance. Be willing to iterate and make the landing pages beautiful, sticky, and productive. This is how you create an effective online sales funnel.
3. CONVERT the tail: Measure performance at each of the tollgates while keeping the long-term ROI in mind. Be willing to pivot if your efforts are unproductive, but only after a thorough (and honest) postmortem of the current strategy. It boils down to measuring and making adjustments to determine how to optimize your performance.
Bottom-line: Don’t wait to qualify an array of customers. Instead, flip the funnel, design for a narrow market, and convert clicks to real dollars in fewer steps. If you follow these guidelines, you will see tremendous results in your online sales funnel.
Please contact us for more strategies on growing your business online through a myriad of marketing activities.