Tips and Tricks · 6 min read

3 ways to boost conversion rates in complex funnels

Melanie Crissey
Posted January 13, 2020
3 ways to boost conversion rates in complex funnels

See top opportunities to improve completion rates for any user flow.

In online marketing, a conversion rate represents the proportion of people who experience a campaign and then take a desired action. For example, you might measure the conversion rate of people who view a display ad and then purchase a product (i.e. a "view-through conversion").

Marketers aren’t the only ones with conversion rates to report. If you look close enough, you'll find that conversions really are all around. For example, when you roll out a new product feature, you likely have some goal for engagement that requires a user or customer to complete one or more actions. This user flow—or journey—has a conversion rate that can be measured from step to step. You can think of each step in a multi-step process as a conversion.

Every business-critical conversion is associated with a large number of these micro-conversion moments, and these moments lead up to an eventual transaction. Improving the digital experience—and your overall conversion rate—at these critical moments in the customer's journey can lead to increased revenue, better retention, and improved customer loyalty, overall.

Connecting the (Conversion) Dots

Higher revenue, retention, and loyalty? Not so fast! In order to move the needle, you need to know the current conversion rate and what to optimize next.

That’s where Conversions by FullStory comes in. If you're not familiar, Conversions is designed to help product teams:

  1. Measure conversion rates or completion rates for any multi-step user journey, and

  2. See exactly which issues or experiences are causing drag and drop-off from step to step.

In this blog post, I’ll explore three ways you can optimize conversion paths that are more complex than your traditional "advertisement → add-to-cart" with the help of Conversions by FullStory.

1. Measure the Completion Rate of a Dynamic, Multi-Step Form

Example: A loan application or very complex survey

As digital becomes the new norm for customer-brand interactions, businesses and service providers are moving lengthy application processes from paper-and-clipboards to self-service online.

Think about the new patient form you might complete before seeing a doctor for the first time, or the paperwork required for a home loan.

When you move a critical form or survey online, it's usually not "set it and forget it." Entire product teams may be assigned to manage the usability and ensure that users are able to successfully, safely, and accurately provide required information.

Using FullStory, your product team can quickly analyze user interactions with complex forms.

How to get started in FullStory:

  1. Navigate to the Conversions tab and click "Select a Conversion Funnel" to reveal the "+ Create Conversion Funnel" option

  2. Name your Conversion Funnel something you'll remember, such as "Loan application form"

  3. Build your Conversion Funnel event by event; there should be one unique event filter for each key field or button you'd like to measure along the way

  4. Click "Save"

Funnels can include combinations of steps to measure key onboarding flows.

Notice that before you even hit "Save," FullStory will show you the drop-off from step to step. Once you save this Conversion Funnel, FullStory will show you not only the completion rate for the form, but exactly which errors and issues impact drop-off.

Tip: With a highly complex form, a user's sense of cognitive ease can diminish quickly. The mental effort required to complete a task becomes too high, and users switch to a state of cognitive strain. This can lead them to become more vigilant and suspicious, resulting in a decrease in confidence, trust, and pleasure. Next thing you know, they've abandoned your form.

Look for drop-offs related to user fatigue and think about whether that information could be collected later or whether you could use a method that requires less user engagement.

2. Analyze Critical Onboarding Forms on Desktop and Mobile

Example: Sign up, create account flows

Every new, active user will log into their account for the first time, at some point in time.

Whether you manage a SaaS application or a customer portal for an e-commerce site, your customer's first experience logging in is more than a first impression—it sets the stage for future success.

Your customer's first experience logging in is more important than a first impression—it sets the stage for future success.

What is the first action a user wants to complete when they sign in as a customer? What other steps do they need to complete in order to achieve their first "magic moment?"

Use Conversions to understand the points of friction in this critical flow. Build your onboarding flow in Conversions, referencing individual URL paths, text from key links and buttons, or CSS selectors for each required step. For example, see the steps in this screenshot below:

Funnels can include combinations of steps to measure key onboarding flows.

Save your Conversion Funnel and scroll down to see top opportunities to improve.

Conversions by FullStory automatically surfaces the top opportunities for improvement for any configured funnel.

As you can see when you look under the "Lost Conversions" column, for this onboarding funnel, Conversions detected that a slow First Meaningful Paint time. The impact? 13 Lost Conversions.

Note: Akamai reports that a 100 millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7% and a 2-second delay can increase the bounce rate by 103%.

Because FullStory detects both page speed metrics and conversion rates, it can detect whether performance anomalies directly impact completion rates for key user flows.

3. Understand Interactions With Modals and Carousels

Example: A product carousel or in-app walkthrough tutorial modal

I sometimes joke, "If you have a very important secret message that must be hidden from everyone and never seen, put it on the second page of a carousel." (It’s quite possible that only I think this is funny.)

In all seriousness, though, there are often situations where a carousel or walk-through modal is the best way to guide users through important steps while maximizing your digital real estate.

If you're on a mission to prove that your carousel works (or to understand where it doesn't work!), you can use a Conversion Funnel to measure the number of customers who make it from view to view.

Build your Conversion Funnel with the right CSS selectors to measure click by click:

A look at a mock Conversion Funnel for Carousel Pages.

You can also easily track subsequent micro-conversions. For example, how many visitors click through on a product image or call-to-action after clicking to move the carousel forward.

To do this, simply add additional steps to your funnel until you're measuring the ideal "happy path" for visitors through a specific part of your site.

Using Opportunities, you can easily analyze lost conversions. In this example, it's clear that many visitors never reach the third featurette within the carousel.

Tip: With carousels and modals, you'll want to pay special attention to Dead Clicks. Dead Clicks can represent areas where users expected an interaction that didn't happen. This could indicate that the user expected text to work like a link or expected an image or element to take them further into a user flow.

Bonus Round!

Once you have your favorite multi-step flow built out in Conversions, start playing with the “Performed by” filter to see results specific to any pre-defined Segment of customers.

This company might compare conversion results across two geographic segments for new users: New users - Australia and New user - US.

Compare results based on geography, buyer stage, or any other custom attribute you're passing to your FullStory account.

Which user journeys does your product team manage? Can you think of a multi-step flow you'd like to understand more deeply?

Click on over to the Conversions tab and start building your funnels today.

Melanie CrisseyFormer Product Marketing Manager

About the author

Melanie Crissey was previously a Product Marketing Manager at FullStory.

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