I have been passionate about conversion optimization for years and have had a hand in testing thousands of variations ever since my love affair with testing began.
I’ve referred to optimization in terms of a funnel for as long as I can remember: top of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, getting more users deeper in the funnel, and so on.
I’ve thought of each page type as a piece of the funnel.
And the ultimate goal? The receipt or confirmation—the sign of a successful conversion.
I’ve used this approach time and time again, seeing results that continue to surprise and amaze me.
It’s one of the reasons I love this industry—I can use my creativity to problem solve, measure performance of those solutions, and then use those learnings to do it better the next time around.
It’s a process that is relatively quick, and you walk away smarter each time (if you do it right). Bliss.
But it’s not so simple
It began to occur to me that, though it drives a ton of impact, my approach to testing was incomplete. The conversion funnel represents only a tiny piece of the interactions online customers have with companies.
This realization began to occupy my thoughts. It was a topic of conversation at Brooks Bell and a subject thrown around at industry meetups.
However, I was lacking that lightbulb moment that made it all … well, click.
At Click, a revelation
I was in a group conversation at Click Summit called Discovering Customer Intent Through True Journey Mapping, led by Scott Calise from Viacom.
One of the attendees mentioned the “continuous funnel.”
It’s the idea that a conversion funnel isn’t a straight shot to purchase confirmation. In fact, it repeats over and over, reflective of your customers’ relationship with you.
This resonated with me in a very meaningful way.
It reshaped the way I view the conversion funnel. No longer is it a linear path to driving conversion.
It’s about this conversion and the next one, and the next.
Dismantling the traditional funnel
The idea of a continuous funnel to me is the bridge between where we are now and where we are going.
For companies just getting their optimization program running, the conversion-focused strategy works and is a great place to start.
But for companies that are further along with their optimization program, expanding to optimizing the user journey is the future.
And it’s one I am very excited about.
Suzi Tripp the senior director of experimentation strategy, leading testing strategy for clients such as Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, and Comcast Xfinity. Since joining Brooks Bell, Suzi has helped deepen the company’s strategic methodology, applying it across industries to develop winning tests for clients.