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The website based conversion funnel

Submarine can help you to create a simple, effective communication funnel utilising your website, combined with social media, electronic direct mail (EDM) and analytics. The funnel can be used for online sales, marketing campaigns, development of contacts and even recruitment.

Basis of the funnel
In its simplest terms, a digital conversion funnel is a representation of the communication process (and strategy elements within) that you will apply from the point of open market prospect to your goal.  In the diagram below this is simplified into broad stages - each stage will have actions within including offline support where applicable.

The top of the funnel is the market place of prospects, the middle section represents your activity to generate interest and engage prospects and the bottom is the call to action / completion goal deployed through your website. Beyond fulfilling the funnel, your website can be the centre of all marketing and communications, including syndication of wider insight content and internal reporting. It's also the most cost effective option in front line comms when internally managed through a CMS.  

Target customer funnel

Tracking is a critical aspect of digital marketing and the analytics (quantitive data) will build over time to inform and refine your funnel(s) - offers, words, images and even the colours deployed can effect how prospects react. User testing (qualitative data) can improve the offer within the timeframe of the deployment. Analytics can be presented through a dashboard and defined in an executive report for ROI (return on investment i.e. the cost v effectiveness of the funnel and individual campaigns).

So, what is a marketing and sales conversion funnel anyway?

Not all funnels are the same
A simple example would be an online retailer of computer parts applying a sales funnel.  At the top, electronic direct mail advertising, website banners, Google Adwords and social media marketing campaigns would drive prospects through to the website where an eCommerce platform would qualify the product details and an ePayment system would complete the sale recording the details in a contact database on a secure server

What if the business isn't necessarily a product sell though? Every business needs to drive client prospects to an end goal through effective communication. The funnel can be adapted to fulfil any business requirement in this respect.  For example, the high net worth (HNW) financial services company Carey Group, applied a marketing based funnel through Submarine in order to develop relationships built on confidence in their capability, rather than a blunt price / spec based pitch. 

This communication funnel was focussed on brand building, qualifying market experience, historical record of success and scope of the business offer.  At the top of the funnel this was achieved through promoted insight articles (Mondaq), support of governing bodies such as STEP and input on business channels including LinkedIn.  These efforts were funnelled to the company website which presented the organisation's USP and offer directly, culminating with a contact mechanism for executives to follow up and nurture prospects one to one.

Carey Group websiteCarye Group website

The funnel can be applied to any business model and once established can serve multiple tasks within the organisation. With this in mind, stage one is to understand your business and market well and to be clear on what you are trying to achieve with the conversion, and to which prospects.  To deploy the website funnel effectively you need:

  • To establish where your digital communication should be promoted - executive, commercial or domestic channels. Pre-requisite for B to C communications are social media accounts (which ones will depend on your market although Facebook dominates). Potentially extended to wider paid marketing tactics such as Adwords.
  • A flexible, mobile optimised website with a content management system will allow you to generate landing pages in-house as required - dedicated pages are much more effective than dropping into the home page and tracking can be set through analytics to monitor the effectiveness of your links and calls to action (CTAs). SEO isn't required for this although is considered good practice in driving wider web search based on-boarding.
  • A contact database within your website (or third party plug-in). This can extend to a full CRM such as Sales Force for large organisation across multiple offices (and countries).
  • Electronic Direct Mail (EDM), which can be relatively passive and insight focussed rather than sales offers. Either way, it is an effective method of communicating an event, advertising a campaign and following up comms with a second contact point and/or incentive.

A compelling toolset in the modern sales and marketing landscape 
Considering that web based communication continues to grow and that mobile device use now accounts for over 50% of this traffic, a mobile friendly web based conversion funnel is an essential marketing tool for your organisation's broad sales and business strategy.  In addition to this, it can be deployed at more micro levels including individual campaigns and business requirements. 

Read how Submarine applied this methodology to two recent events for Kings Premier Health Club, a new member prospect (contact) campaign and an improvement to their staff recruitment process. The method is essentially the same, and once you have the infrastructure in place, it can be deployed cost effectively in short time, becoming more effective over time as you add followers, develop analytics and qualify prospects in your contact database.


Submarine improves Kings Premier Health Club recruitment approach
Kings Premier Health Club - new prospect campaign funnel


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About the author

Paul Brown

Paul Brown

Paul is a creative professional who gained his BA Hons degree in graphic design & multi-media at Bradford University in England after studying fine art under Hockney alumni, Grant Devine. An early career in television and an interest in technology led him to combine graphic design with digital media including video and animation which he applied to touch-screen kiosk applications for Zanussi and Polygram in the 1990's. This led to work with interactive CD and DVD, including a ground breaking international product in 1997, The Great Highland Bagpipes working with Scottish Heritage and the Glasgow Piping Centre.

In 1998, he developed the North of England's first desktop digital video edit suite working directly with Apple (hardware/OS) and AVID (edit software). In 2000, his web based application for social housing (which utilised kiosks for outreach communities) won 5 national technical awards including 'Best Use of Technology'. Between 1999 and 2010 he developed the successful Northern creative agency Bluemoon providing solutions for a wide range of national and international clients including Tesco, M&S, Puma, Foxes Biscuits, Sulzer and Hesco Bastion. 

In addition to his work as a professional designer, Paul has led international brand, marketing and communication teams including 5 years in offshore HNW finance at Carey Group managing PR and comm's output for 9 offices across Europe. Paul successfully directed the digital transition programme which delivered significant organisational benefits including cost reduction.  In 2015, after re-structuring the marketing function, developing the international website and delivering the group intranet, he successfully re-launched the brand. 

An appointment as Global Brand & Marketing Director for Insight Vacations followed in 2016 when he directed the launch of Luxury Gold as a stand alone premium 5 star tour brand.  Paul worked closely with the Canada based digital team developing the group website and Salesforce CRM. During the 2016 Paris terrorist attacks, he led the IV crisis management team working with Brett Tolman, Chief Executive of parent group TTC The Travel Corporation which includes Red Carnation Hotels and Contiki, a mobile centric brand targeting the under 30's through largely digital communications.

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Submarine are a technical and creative solutions provider based on the island of Guernsey near the French coast. Our field of operation is generally the Channel Islands although we do service clients with wider operations within Europe.