A funnel report gives you information and insights about your sales conversion funnel. A sales funnel represents the steps that you've designed for your customers to take from discovering your products or services all the way to converting into a customer, known a a conversion. A conversion typically represents a sale, but it can also be an action that qualifies a potential customer (or lead).
In this article I explain the sales funnel and how to create a report that gives actionable insights into how it is performing and what you might need to do to improve your funnel performance. I have some examples of funnel reports and my focus is on web site marketing.
This diagram provides a good visualization of the sales funnel.
The funnel shape is formed by the number of potential customers that engage in each of the stages from discovery through to action. This number always decreases as customers become more qualified (more likely to buy).
The more you can target your desired audience the better your funnel will perform.
A funnel report provides a visualization of the sales funnel and gives you the information you need to optimize and improve the funnel. Some optimizations might include:
A funnel report should at minimum provide measurements for each of these optimization opportunities. A great funnel report also provides actionable insights that help guide changes to the marketing and sales strategy.
I have many Google Analytics (GA4) funnel reports setup against my site to measure my conversion funnels. There are a number of behaviours and actions on my site that I want to encourage namely:
The following image shows a simple funnel report that measures the number of visitors that navigate from the home page, to the blog listing page to a specific article.
The above example shows what a typical funnel report might looks like. The funnel moves from left to right instead of top down and you can see that the number of people moving through the funnel decreases (a lot) at each stage. This decrease is typical, and the most important measurement in a funnel report. The completion rate measures the percentage of people that moved from the preview stage to the next stage in your funnel.
This first example is quite specific to one page in the site and isn't very valuable for the goals of the site because none of the goals identified directing users to a specific article page.
Here is a more generic funnel report that could help us measure engagement with the site.
This funnel report simply measures the number of people that land on any page in the site and that go on to click an internal link. This report doesn't show funneling from page to page, but from action to action. This report gives a good high level view, but I need to create some more specific funnel reports on the more high value pages.
This Subscribe Funnel Report has some real value. It's much more specific than the other reports and focuses in on a very specific action, the email subscribe action.
One of the strengths of this funnel report is that it includes what might be considered an intermediary step. Google Analytics 4 includes the ability to measure page scrolling, and this is very valuable here. Because of the location of the subscribe action (at the bottom of the page), it's going to make a big difference to the conversion rate if users actually read through, or at least scroll to the bottom of article pages.
You can see in my email subscriber funnel report that about 55% of users actually see the subscribe form. My thinking with the placement of the subscribe form was that if a reader engaged enough with the content to read through the whole thing they were a good candidate to subscribe to the site. So while I do want to increase the size of my subscriber list, I also want to ensure I have high quality subscribers.
Based on the information from the Scroll to bottom step, I could take action to change when the subscribe form is displayed and go with something I've seen on other sites like a popup that displays when the reader starts scrolling, or maybe just move the subscribe up higher in the content.
What insights can I glean from this email signup funnel report?
A sales funnel a marketing system that a business creates to communicate their brand message to potential customers and to cultivate and refine potential customers into actual customers. When a potential customer becomes an actual customer, this is known as a conversion. Funnel reports measure the effectiveness of sales funnels and provide insights into what changes to the sales funnel might improve its performance, namely increasing the conversion rate.
Before you can create good funnel reports, you need to clearly define your customer conversions. A purchase is the simplest example of a customer conversion, but other engagement types can also count as conversions.