You’ve been dreaming about launching a website for as long as you can remember. It was only a matter of time before you finally took the leap and made it a reality. You settled on a name for your newborn website and made the arduous process of creating a brand identity quick and painless.

You spent the next few months perfecting your online store. You tested different web hostings, different pricing plans, and the like. You’re happy with the results and plan to grow with the ever-increasing traffic.

At this point, you’ve graduated from the early stages of website development and are ready to move on to the next phase. This is the phase where you start testing your marketing strategy. You want to ensure that your site is doing everything it can to attract visitors and convert those visitors into paying customers. To do this, you need to test your funnel. What is a funnel, you ask?

Well, a funnel is the culmination of all the steps that your visitors need to take before they become paying customers. The funnel can be considered as the business’ pipeline to a paying customer. Here’s a high-level overview of the funnel.

The Discovery Funnel

When a customer lands on your site, they usually have an objective – they want to find a product and they want to find it as soon as possible. To get these products, they need to learn about your company, check your website, and determine whether or not you’re a company that they want to do business with. This is the first step in the funnel – the discovery funnel. When you have a thriving business with an established customer base, this step is a little easier because you know exactly what you’re dealing with. However, for a budding entrepreneur who just started a company and is trying to figure out how the business world functions, this step can be a daunting task.

If your visitor finds your website, reads your about page, and likes what they see, they’ll then move onto the next step in the funnel. The next step is the learn-more funnel.

The Explore & Demo Funnel

Once your visitor has discovered your product and is keen to learn more about it, they’ll go through your learn-more funnel. This is where you present more information about your product or service – what it is, why it’s good, how it works, etc. The explore & demo funnel is where you convince your visitors to purchase your product or sign up for your service. If you can get them to that point, you’ll have successfully completed the funnel.

The Purchase Funnel

When someone has seen enough of your product or service to be interested in purchasing it, you’ve successfully completed the purchase funnel. This is the step where a visitor comes back with a intent to purchase. At this point, you’ve established a business relationship and it’s time to close the sale.

You can also consider this step to be an order process, where you collect payment and ship the goods. Once the customer makes the purchase, they’ll move onto the next step – the confirmation funnel.

The Confirmation Funnel

The confirmation funnel is where you follow-up with your customers to make sure they’re happy with their purchase and to establish trust. If everything’s going well, this step is a little less involved than the purchase step. As a business owner, you’ll be glad to know that this is where you can focus your efforts on.

The Registration Funnel

After your customer has made a purchase and established a relationship with your company, it’s time to move on to the final step of the funnel. The registration funnel steps a customer to become a member of your community – your mailing list. When someone is on your mailing list, you can expect that they’ll receive regular mailings from you with offers and special deals. You can also use this step to send out notifications about important events and how to participate. This is also the place where you can engage with your customer – through email marketing, social media, and the like. When you use all the right tools from the start, this step is easy to accomplish and won’t take long at all.

With the above information, you should have a clear idea of what a funnel is and how to test it. A product funnel is basically all the steps needed to buy a product or service, while a service funnel is all the steps needed to receive a service. When you’re testing a funnel, you’re essentially testing the business’ strategy and the different stages of the marketing process. With a little effort, you can make sure your website is doing everything it needs to do to be effective and you can alter what is not serving the purpose for which you built the site.