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Eric Haskell

Acquisition Conversion Funnel: The Front-End Optimization Pipeline for New Business Websites

Eric Haskell
Acquisition Conversion Funnel: The Front-End Optimization Pipeline for New Business Websites

Every online business has a well-drained conversion funnel fitted within their marketing model. However, most of these funnels are not designed to be customer-centric.  

A customer-centric conversion funnel is not an advanced marketing funnel. It is the adoption of an optimized approach that is based on the customer behavior cycle.

A customer might be interested to know what you are trying to sell, but that does not mean he or she will convert. Meaning, there is a possibility for a conversion to happen and again, it might not happen.

The entire process works depending on how a business is tailored to fit into the hour of need.

No business funnel can be made of the same shape (an absolute cone that is). To begin converting new prospects, you have got to begin designing the unseen – the right conversion funnel type for your business.

Understanding the Dynamics of a Customer Centric Conversion Funnel 

Most of the times, a conversion funnel is often thought of as a simple cone that features a broad front end and a narrow back end, with the middle portion comprising of the different stages taking a lead down the pipe to conversion.

The diagram below is a conversion funnel that many believe is what they need for their business conversion.

1ab59b1afc849af35d7180b473680240.pngSource: https://modassicmarketing.com/seo-and-conversion-landing-pages

But the thing is that, this type of conic funnel is the complete stage and is applicable only for businesses that have been generating desired conversions successfully for years. The model however, won’t work for a new startup that is trying to find new business prospects right from the scratch – the toughest part of a business conversion process.  

Generating prospects is a series of work and this is the stage when companies will have to depend a lot on key tactics like SEO, content marketing, inbound and social media, for the expansion of their customer base. It is different from lead retention and therefore one need to pick out the right funnel that will help to get a particular service tailor fitted according to the business hour of need.

Types of Conversion Funnel in Web Development

A web development conversion funnel, when segmented, falls into three distinct pipelines. Here is how the three parts are labeled as by marketing experts -

  1. Acquisition Funnel
  2. Activation Funnel
  3. Monetization Funnel

Every conversion funnel type has a specific line of purpose. An acquisition funnel cannot do the job of either an activation funnel or a monetization funnel.  It requires different optimization strategy and a separate plan of attack. This is why it’s best to take a closer look at the structure and function of each of these funnels individually. Hence, in this article, let’s just focus all our attention on the top part of the pipeline – the Acquisition Funnel.

The Fantastic Thing about an Acquisition Conversion Funnel

The purpose of an acquisition funnel is to help businesses get new customers and prospects in the loop. It’s not supposed to give you any conversion.

Keep in mind that you are trying to fish out new prospects that you think fits within your interest of target audience. And yes, building the perfect web design layout integrated with the right SEO tactics is not going to work out here. That does not mean you are not going to invest your money on building an SEO friendly web design with the best user experience.

All I am trying to say is that convincing your new customers to take their first Call to Action is time processing. They are not aware of you or the kind of quality service you provide. What makes your Unique Selling Point anyway better than others?

This is where your acquisition funnel structure will define the hour of need in the buyer’s decision cycle. Imagine yourself walking to a nearby retail shop with nothing particular in mind.

You are probably there just for browsing around when you are approached by a hungry salesperson. Too much attention at the wrong time can spoil the show and can even annoy a customer. You might prefer to leave the shop right away.

Now imagine it this way – you are in search of a turtle neck sweater and walk to the retail shop. The hungry salesperson comes forward and you are glad to be approached by someone whom you can ask. You get what you want, purchase it and walk out of the store happily. What if the salesperson was not there to attend you? You would have been highly irritated by the lack of attention.

Time of Need Therefore is an Important Factor in Customer Acquisition  

Acquisition Conversion Funnel helps to clear out the way in a customer’s buying cycle. It gives them a reason to step right to your business pipeline, from where the sales team can take them through further nurturing and establishment of a good customer relationship.

Source: http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/buying-cycle-and-triggers/

An early stage customer needs to be left alone to browse around in order to educate themselves about a particular business service. A highly responsive sales approach at this stage is inappropriate. Quite interestingly, customers can self-identify their path to conversion when you give them the right option – by placing the right need of the hour.

Nurturing in the Acquisition Stage of a Conversion Funnel

This is the primary stage of a lead nurturing process and is a combination of the prospect nurturing and lead nurturing.

Note: When your business moves on to the next stage in the conversion funnel, the prospect nurturing does not have any role to play anymore.

An acquisition funnel is also called the social nurturing stage, because online and social media promotion needs to be paid more attention now.

Here are the stages of the Acquisition Conversion Funnel:

  1. Awareness

    Every investment that a business makes is focused on drawing a prospect’s attention towards the brand identity. The attention is drawn more towards social connections, PR, media coverage and contents with focused questions like, “Have you heard?” and “Did you know?”.

  1. Curiosity

When people are aware of a brand name, they will be curious to know what your business does. This is when businesses need to focus more on continued and intriguing promotional marketing methods.

Based on the requirement of a business, an acquisition funnel gets subdivided into a number of funnels, each with a unique purpose. Some of the funnels that are commonly used for customer acquisition:

  • The Trial Upgrade Funnel
  • The Free Book Funnel
  • The Value In Advance Funnel
  • The Football Phone Funnel

However, none of these are as versatile as the splinter offer funnel. Why? It pulls out the core offer straight from the inventory of assets and places it at the heart of your acquisition conversion funnel. Another great thing about the splinter offer funnel is how it combines all the other types of acquisition funnel to form a single pipeline with a value added to it.

This helps to keep both the customer (who is getting newly acquainted with the service) and the business owner (who is new to the trade of online business) pleased.

The splinter offer funnel is the most effective acquisition funnel. This is how the system works and how you can use it for the successful conversion of your prospects.

Suppose you have set up a beginners tutorial guide that offers people a step-by-step instruction on how to launch an e-commerce site for $39.60. It would be tough to convince cold prospects to convert. So, you decide to use the splinter marketing approach. As the name goes, what you have to do is take out a chunk (the core) out of your crash course and put it in the front end of the funnel at a lower price. For example like $7.  

It is important to note that this kind of offer made, is not intended for profit. It is simply a strategy used to turn your prospects into buyers – after all that is what your business needs – lots and lots of customers in order to survive in the long run. In fact, a splinter offer is said to convert better than a bulk offer. Here are some benefits that you want to know about the use of splinter offer in customer acquisition.

  • It gives new customers, who are not yet sure whether they can rely on your service, a chance to try out your service at a low price before they agree to go for the bulk service offer.
  • You don’t have to give away your service free of cost.
  • It gives customers a reason to share their information details with you in exchange of a valuable service.

Once the acquisition channel has successfully managed to get the leads cross the threshold, it’s time for the other elements of customer engagement on your website design layout to come forward into play.

However, you should note that an acquisition funnel is only meant for the nurturing of new prospects into leads. It won’t help you around in the long run, for which, you would have to upgrade your conversion funnel to the other stages of the pipeline – this is, when you have managed to acquire a pool of leads that you would like to retain.

Eric Haskell has over 15 years of experience in web development, programming, e-commerce, and business strategy experience. He also contributes articles for Palmetto Web Design. He focuses on solutions that merge current technologies, applications, and concepts together to help each client meet their goals with success.

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