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Why Some Internet Marketing Strategies Are Losing Lead Conversions

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 1/20/10 1:44 PM

"Conversion optimization, what is that and what is the point?" was a question recently posed to me. I love it when people want to get down to the basics and find out not just the what, but the why. A simple question deserves a simple answer. So first, let's answer the what.

All businesses have a sales funnel. A sales funnel is simply a graphical representation of the process of acquiring interest in your product/service and then ‘funneling' those interested people into actual customers.

sales funnelThe funnel has steps in it to represent your business selling process. At each step it can be expected that a certain percentage of those who were first interested will drop off. Not everyone is going to be your customer.

What this funnel, and most sales funnels like it, does not show you is why your potential customers are falling out, or jumping out, of the sales process.

Imagine instead the colander, and that is closer to what most sales funnel actually ACT like. Somewhere in this funnel people have dropped off- where and why? The goal of conversion optimization is to identify those places where people are falling out of the funnel (or colander) and not making it to the bottom, the part where they become loyal paying customers. (The part that matters the most to any business of any size.) Knowing where they drop off is half the battle, figuring out why is where you can start plugging up the holes to retain more of your potential customers.  Conversion optimization should be able to identify your customer's buying processes and match that to your selling process.

So back to the second part of the question, "Conversion optimization, what is that and what is the point?" The what is turning more interested people into actual customers. The why is just as simple.

You have 2 basic choices to increase your sales; you can either pump more money into acquiring that initial interest and therefore increase your chances of acquiring more customers. In other words, pouring more water into the colander in hopes that more of the water (customers) will end up at the bottom and not spilled out somewhere else.


Plug up the holes in the colander and ensure that you will get more water where you want it. Conservation is becoming more and more popular, and in business it can apply to those sparse marketing dollars turning more people into customers.

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Topics: sales funnel, Turning Traffic into Customers, website conversion optimization