What IS a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is a tool by which prospects go in at the top and customers come out at the bottom. The funnel metaphor stems from the fact that you start with as many potential customers as possible, and some will drop out at each stage until you get the smaller proportion who will actually give you money. All businesses have a funnel of sorts; where they start to pay off in growth and sales is when you do it intentionally, which means following the stages laid out here.
Stage 1: Awareness
Your potential customers need to know you exist if they are even going to make it into the top of the funnel. Most people when they have a problem these days start with a Google search, so ranking well there is a start. You can boost your profile with marketing activities, social media posts, blogs, vlogs and being mentioned in the media. Get your name in front of potential customers, with a link to your site.
Stage 2: Interest
So you’ve piqued their interest with your social media posts, been recommended on a podcast or they’ve watched a handy tutorial on your YouTube channel. Now your potential customers know you exist, what their problem is and that you can help them. But they haven’t chosen you yet.
Stage 3: Consideration
At this stage, you’re an option for your target but not the only one. If you ARE the only one supplying your market, this bit gets a lot easier because you simply have to tell them. Otherwise, you need to make your case for choosing you or your product. Take what you’re most proud of about your product and shout about it. Include genuine reviews from people who are happy with it. If you have their email address or social media handle by this stage you can reach out with more useful information around the decision they are making; invitations to webinars or free/discounted service calls can show you’re aware of their needs without coming off as too pushy.
Stage 4: Conversion
Your customers know what you can do for them, and that you can solve whatever problem they have. Now you need to provide the incentive that gets them to click the buy button. That can be a free or heavily discounted trial to demonstrate your faith in your own product, or if your product or service is limited you can emphasise that urgency but this might damage your credibility if not genuine. Finally, you can make the buying experience smooth, easy and a pleasure to navigate. The conversion stage is where you can engage in upselling, without being pushy; offer useful products or services that tie in with the purchase, such as an upgrade, warranty or related items.
When you have a deliberate marketing funnel, you can make use of metrics to determine where, if anywhere, your funnel leaks. A big drop-off in interest at a specific stage indicates where you need to work on your offering. Fortunately, there are WordPress plugins that let you put together funnels that will lead your customers through the purchasing journey in a user-friendly manner.
Introduction to CartFlows
CartFlows works within WooCommerce on your WordPress install and is born from the need to solve problems inherent in the basic WooCommerce install. Namely, that there are too many steps in the buying process, with little control from the site owner as to how this is implemented. Additionally, alternate checkouts were tricky to learn and did not have an intuitive page builder.
By contrast, CartFlows offers a buyer-friendly experience that promises to reduce cart abandonment, while presenting additional products as order bumps, increasing the cart value. After the purchase is completed you can then set up additional offers and a customised thank you page, to encourage further purchases. Once installed, you can link your Google Analytics account, to track customer behaviour across specific actions, to monitor the effectiveness of your funnel.
There is an affiliate referral program with a dedicated support team, paying 20% of the purchase price to the affiliate. This program is supported with looping webinars which claim a high conversion rate. CartFlows is on 200k sites and is keen to promote its referral model.
CartFlows Pro starts at $199/year for a single site licence, with a 30 site licence coming in at $299. There is also an option to take out a lifetime subscription, letting you use the 30 site licence in perpetuity for a one-off payment of $999. Each CartFlows licence also has a 30-day money-back guarantee on licence purchases, with a full refund. Support is provided on a one-to-one basis via their ticketing system.
Features and Benefits
- Template-based functions
- Get your site up and running in 20 minutes
- Works with most major site-builders
- A/B split testing to identify best-converting pages
- Complete replacement checkout for improved abandonment rates
- Pre-checkout orders to increase cart value
- Templated lead-generation landing pages
- Dynamic linking to simplify adding or rearranging steps in the process
- Abandoned cart recovery plugin as a free addon
- Insights provides full site analytics
How to Use CartFlows
To get started, you need to have WooCommerce installed, and to have created at least one product with it prior to installing CartFlows. If this is a new installation, you will notice it does not use the WordPress editor, but a drag and drop page designer.
You can link your Google Analytics account to the Insights page to start tracking from launch, then select your funnel, or “flow”. These come in both templated or custom forms, and the basic default is a product landing page, checkout and thank-you. You can simplify this further to eliminate the landing page if you wish, linking straight to a checkout page for the product.
Next, you can define your product, any order bumps and upselling you wish to add and determine where in the sequence you want to put them. Make sure your links are named as you would like them, assign the post-checkout thank-you page and set the flow live.
CartFlows completely overhauls the WooCommerce design away from a traditional shop site into a series of funnels designed to guide customers through the buying process smoothly. You can maximise revenue with upselling and order bumps without interfering with the user-friendly checkout structure. This limits customer frustration and reduces cart abandonment, maximising revenue.
Introduction to LaunchFlows
LaunchFlows works in your WordPress site with WooCommerce and requires the Elementor site builder. It lets you put together a customised buying journey for your visitors, extending the capabilities of WooCommerce alone. The aim is to maintain customer enthusiasm and interest in the product by getting them to the checkout faster and more smoothly than WooCommerce’s shop design allows.
By default, wooCommerce offers a grid of products to choose from, then customise, add to the cart, review the order and finally buy. This adds extra steps where the customer can change their mind and abandon the purchase. By eliminating the superfluous steps, conversion rates are improved. Customers can be linked directly to a checkout page, with the product already in the cart, ready to pay. Any additional discounts or extra offers can be placed here, otherwise, the customer can stay focused on the product they were interested in that brought them there. The extra offers can serve to either up the value of the cart or give a fallback product that can save a sale that might otherwise have been abandoned.
LaunchFlows has only one pricing model, a $300/year subscription gives you access across as many sites as you need. Support is provided personally by the developer, via their dedicated Facebook user group or direct email.
Features and Benefits
- Sell multiple products direct from the checkout page
- Avoid offering something already in the cart with dynamic backup offers
- Instant registration to move customers from email subscribers to shoppers
- Compatible with any WooCommerce payment accounts
- Fully compatible with the Elementor page builder
- Integrations with WPForms, WPFusion and Teams for WooCommerce
- Personalised thank-you pages with next-step upselling
- Autobuy function for free products or where payment methods are on file
- Flat-rate licence payment for any number of sites
- No coding required
How to Use LaunchFlows
Once you have installed WordPress, WooCommerce and Elementor you can set up LaunchFlows. The initial settings page for the plugin include options to disable guest checkouts, ensuring all purchases are tracked. This will include any free gifts processed via the automatic checkout, and to save excessive communications you can choose to hide notifications for these from buyers and filter them out for admins.
Next, you can create your first product and pick a flow template; the Quick Start Guide gives you the settings to create a standard WooCommerce checkout layout, and you can then customise this through Elementor if you wish. Finally, allocate a thank-you page to the checkout; this can be universal or customised for each individual product or service. If you choose to go custom, remember to link it from within LaunchFlows. Add the checkout link to the product page and you can start selling.
Although LaunchFlows is slightly less polished than CartFlows it offers many of the same services, with the addition of instant registration and automation to allow customers to make one-click purchases, though this should be used with care. The emphasis is more on upselling after purchase, whereas CartFlows has the ability to automate recovering abandoned carts via an email chain. LaunchFlows’ documentation and tutorials are limited in number but they are detailed and easy to follow, making set up relatively simple