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Emotion to Action: 7 Ways to Craft a Funnel That Connects and Converts

This is the first part in a two-part series on transforming your approach to funnel optimization. Keep an eye out for the second installment, covering Google’s decision to retire cookies and its impact on marketing measurement and innovation. 


Imagine every visitor on your site moving seamlessly from first touch to conversion, not by chance, but through meticulous funnel optimization. This doesn’t have to be a fantasy – when you blend data-backed approaches with emotion-driven messaging, magic can happen.


In this post, we share seven tips and lessons on transforming your funnel from 621 consultant Ben Rose, honed from 20+ years of leadership experience in growth, performance marketing and analytics.


1. Start by understanding your funnel 

If your team struggles to answer the question ‘How does our website convert?’ or ‘Where’s the weakest point in our funnel?’ then it’s likely time for an audit. "The purpose of a funnel audit is to identify at what points you are losing potential customers more than you would expect,” says Rose. “Whether your business is B2B or B2C, it’s inevitable that there are high value prospects getting stuck somewhere in your conversion process.” 


He recommends approaching this assessment focused on a few key steps: 


A. Define conversion events: Understand and clearly define the actions you want your customers to take. (For example, clicking “schedule a demo” on the homepage.) 


B. Analyze customer pathways: Using a tool like Google Analytics or Heap, map out the journey customers are taking and identify where they bounce or drop off. 


C. Hypothesize improvements: “Based on your analysis, make educated guesses on why certain stages see drop-offs or where you can implement better practices,” says Rose. Outline potential improvements and predict their impact on the funnel. Defining a clear, measurable hypothesis before an experiment is critical to ensure disciplined experimentation and iteration.


D. Start with low-hanging fruit: Before making large-scale changes, start with the basics, such as bringing a CTA above the fold or reducing the length of the landing page. “You'd be surprised how much momentum you can generate by harvesting some quick wins.” Rose says, “Over time, the benefits of these small gains compound.”


And, says Rose, don’t forget you may have the need for multiple funnels. “There may be a distinct funnel for educational resources and another for product trials. Establish and track different conversion events to help you more clearly understand the different paths people take,” he says.


2. Emphasize real emotion 

"Lead with the real emotional insight driving the purchase," advises Rose. Whether it's the joy of convenience or the fear of missing out, tapping into these emotions, coupled with clear CTAs, can powerfully propel customers through the funnel. “Businesses often highlight features first,” Rose says. “But understanding and addressing the fundamental emotional motive is key.”


Structure your approach by sparking emotion first prominently at the top of the page, then layering in logical reasons and timely motivations like discounts or limited availability. 


3. Optimize close to the money 

“Optimizing the final stages of your funnel, like the checkout or lead form process, offers more bang for your buck,” says Rose, “especially if those stages currently have lower conversion rates.”  For B2C brands, this might include looking at adding convenient payment options like Affirm or PayPal, while for B2B brands, this may mean optimizing down-stream funnel nurture flow. 


”The higher the purchase price, the longer it takes someone to go through a funnel – you may have a multiple week or month cycle there,” says Rose. “Don’t neglect those later stages.” 


4. Make time for mobile 

“For most businesses, the majority of your traffic is mobile,” says Rose. “It’s normal for your conversion rate or average order value to be a bit lower on mobile, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore this channel.” 


Mobile shouldn’t be treated as a scaled-down version of desktop but rather its own fully functional, conversion-optimized pathway. Start by spending time on your site on your own mobile device – you may quickly detect obvious hiccups or issues.


5. Provide additional value, not additional burden

"Make sure every step offers value, especially when it comes to those lead forms," Rose advises. Your landing pages should clearly talk about the benefits of what you're offering. Being front and center with value (versus features) can ramp up your conversion rates and create more loyalty among customers who know their time spent with you is worthwhile. 


6. Regularly measure and adapt

Optimizing your sales funnel is an ongoing journey of understanding, testing, and adapting. “Too often, I’ll see companies change their funnel without testing – making sure that you have some type of platform in place to track A/B tests is good practice. You need to understand if the change you’re seeing is a result of your action or some external factor.  


Measurement is an ongoing process, sometimes thwarted by changes in the marketplace. This January, Google began deprecating first-party cookies. (Stay tuned for our post later this month exploring the impact of this decision on businesses.)


“Nothing lasts forever, but what’s critical is that businesses keep innovating on how they measure their funnel’s effectiveness,” says Rose. “It’s the only way to make  meaningful improvements.” 

 

7. Bring in experts when needed 

In lean times, it’s common to have skill set gaps on marketing teams. That’s where external experts can step in,  to not only fill gaps but to provide a holistic perspective. “At 621 Consulting, we weigh the impact of funnel optimization against other potential areas of investment within your business. Then, our multi-disciplinary team of marketers can augment your team as needed, with specialized skills —from performance marketing to brand positioning to content — that help the work get done.” External partners can also help you quickly adapt to market changes (such as Google’s cookie deprecation) when resource constraints make quick pivots challenging. 


Bottom line: Funnel optimization maximizes ROI

Ultimately, emphasizing real emotion, optimizing critical transaction points, and giving due attention to mobile pathways are not just tactics, but transformative steps that amplify your ROI. 


“Funnel optimization is one of the best investments you can make,” says Rose. “It's more cost-effective than continuous media spending and small changes deliver big outcomes.” 




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