Optimize your funnels in Optimizely Web Experimentation

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This topic describes how to generate ideas for optimizing your funnels and implementing your hypotheses for funnel experiments.

With its support for multi-page experiments, Optimizely Web Experimentation is an ideal platform for experimenting with and improving the funnels that provide valuable, qualified leads to your site. If your organization is not currently using funnels, Optimizely Web Experimentation can help you develop an effective funnel process through experimentation and iteration.

Types of funnels

  • Acquisition. This funnel type is designed to bring in new leads and convert them to customers. These often use special offers or giveaways to persuade prospects to provide an email address or other contact information.

  • Activation. This type of funnel is aimed at new customers who have not actually started using your product. Tech companies often use activation funnels during onboarding as a way of getting new customers to understand the capabilities of the product.

  • Monetization. A monetization funnel is intended to increase the CLV of existing customers.

Use Optimizely Web Experimentation to run experiments on your funnel to improve the conversion rate and track the impact across the visitor's entire journey.

If you are struggling to come up with ideas for experimentation, see Optimizely's article on designing hypotheses or the article describing ten common experiments for Optimizely Web Experimentation to get started.

Where to optimize the funnel process

Optimizing any step of the funnel has the potential to improve your overall results. If you are new to funnel optimization, here are a few good places to start:

  • Calls to action (CTAs). The whole point of a funnel is to get your prospects or visitors to do something. How you ask for that action can greatly impact whether they actually do it or not. Experiment with copy length, tone, word choice, and even placement of the CTAs on the page itself.

    For example, many people find that shorter, more direct CTAs work better than wordier ones. If you wanted to test a shorter CTA, you would first create a new variation in your experiment, in which you’ll test a tighter CTA. Add the page where your CTA lives and use the Visual Editor to quickly edit the text. See the article on using the Visual Editor in Optimizely Web Experimentation for more details.

  • Landing pages. Landing pages are standalone pages that serve one specific purpose, typically lead generation or to promote product-specific offers. Organizations will often have several landing pages live at any given time, each targeted to a specific offer or customer segment.

    Because a landing page is a visitor’s first touchpoint with your offer, optimizing the experience for them is vital. Any component of the page - content, tone, navigation, layout, visuals - could be the difference between getting visitors to click through to your offer and having them click away from it. As with your CTAs, optimizing your landing pages will involve working in the Visual Editor to test ideas and hypotheses that could help drive traffic through your landing pages and encourage the user behavior you want to see. Experiment with as many different ideas and combinations as you feel comfortable with because Optimizely Web Experimentation users who run more variations per experiment tend to see statistically significant results more quickly and more often.

  • The offers themselves, especially in an acquisition funnel. Are you offering something of value in exchange for your visitor’s information? Is it relevant to them? Does it relate to the product or service you offer? Have you considered splintering - breaking off smaller pieces of your core product and presenting them as standalone offers?

    Optimizely Web Experimentation makes it easy to experiment with different offers and find a winner quickly. Remember, the more offers you test, the more likely you are to find a statistically significant winner. So use your deep knowledge and understanding of your customers and get creative with your offers.

  • Optimizely Web Experimentation Pages. In Optimizely Web Experimentation, reusable templates are called Pages. You will add Optimizely Web Experimentation Pages to any multi-page experiment; they are where your experiment’s content lives. You might consider experimenting with different approaches for the pages further along in your funnel process, especially if you have noticed your existing funnel is experiencing high rates of drop-off at specific stages. See working with Pages in Optimizely Web Experimentation

See the article on how multi-page funnel experiments work.

Optimizely Web Personalization

After you achieve proficiency with basic funnel optimization techniques, you may want to optimize your funnels further, personalizing your content - especially your CTAs and offers - to your visitors. 

  • Retail and ecommerce can use personalization to connect offers and CTAs to previous products or product categories the user has viewed or otherwise expressed an interest in.

  • Media sites could use it to drive users to content similar to content a user has previously consumed.

  • Tech companies can personalize funnel content to relate directly to the visitor’s specific business vertical.

  • Travel sites could personalize based on prior destinations or on the specifics of prior trips (offering discounts at a hotel they have stayed at before, or on car rentals, and so on).

See Optimizely Web Personalization.