How to Use Funnels to Convert More Users

Posted on April 30/04/18

Ever feel like you’re doing everything you can to convert more users, but users just aren’t buying? Before we dive into how to use funnels to convert more users, it’s important that we are on the same page about what is conversion funnel analysis.

What is Funnel Analysis?

Conversion funnel analysis helps you to visualize and understand the actions which a potential user exactly takes in your app. This process is often described as a funnel because, as a marketer, you are guiding the users towards your conversion point.

Funnel Analysis: Getting Started

It’s always important and good practice to set some goals for your app, before diving into funnel analysis.

Defining the important user conversion moments of your app. In other words, what do users want when they download, install and launch your app.

Step 1:Identify the metrics that are important for your app

Each app is unique in different ways. For social media apps, new sign-ups and daily active users(DAU) and Engagement in apps, is the important one for better advertising opportunities.

For health and fitness apps, it could be weekly active users, and in-app purchases matter the most.

For e-commerce apps, it's transactions. And the list goes on,

Step 2:Identify and nurture your leads

What goals do users have when they come to your app, and how might they navigate the app to achieve those goals?

Some retail app users might browse new product pages, while others search for a specific item or item type. Some media app users may create an account during the onboarding process. Others may opt out, browse in-app content, and return to create an account after several sessions.

App marketers can set up marketing funnels, that can provide you with a wealth of information such as which channel brings in more leads and signup for your app.

Step 3:Get Deeper Insights by Segmenting your app users

Not all users are equal, which clearly indicates that you need to consider every user as a unique one(both converted user and not converted users).

Do users in Australia follow different paths to conversion than users in Americas? Do male users convert faster than female users? Which particular user journey path has highest conversion rates?

Linear vs Non-Linear Funnels

When setting up your funnels, consider whether you want to use linear or non-linear funnels.

Linear funnels measure users who follow an exact path. Non-linear funnels allow users to complete other actions between funnel steps, as long as they complete the steps in order.

When should you use Linear or Non-linear funnels? Well, it depends on what you’re measuring. The checkout and payment process, for instance, would require a strict funnel. Users have to follow that process exactly in order.

Step 4:Setting your conversion window time frame

Discovering how long it takes users to flow through your funnel can give you critical information about your app such as UI fixes, opportunities for in-app messaging that can increase your conversions.

How do you know how long to set your conversion window for? To start, you can use historical data: how long is it currently taking your users to move through each step of the funnel?

Some funnels will naturally take more time: a funnel with several steps may take multiple sessions or days to complete. Shorter funnels, like the onboarding process, should ideally be completed in a single session.

The checkout process, for instance, should move users through pretty quickly. If the time between steps is unusually long, there could be an issue with submitting payment or delivery information that’s slowing users down, causing frustration and drop-offs.

Step 5:Fixing Drop-offs

Launch your app and pretend you know nothing about it. Move through the funnel by yourself.

What annoys you or slows you down? An overly long registration process, bugs in the UI, confusing instructions, too many links — even seemingly small issues can have a big impact on user experience. Remove all distractions at critical points in your funnel, and make the desired action easy to take.

Funnel analysis shows you where people are dropping off, but not why.

So, how do I find out why people are dropping off?

User hinderance: Find your “aha moment”

You’re always going to see users drop out during the step where they enter their credit card details. But if you’re seeing a big drop in the step where users enter their shipping info, there could be a problem.

Maybe the format for entering their phone number or address is confusing or buggy, preventing them from moving on to the next step.

User Segments

Finding user segments that are more successful at certain steps gives you important insights about who to target in the future — and why other users got stuck.

Use cohort analysis to go deeper into the reasons users aren’t converting.

Are they all on an older version of the app that’s crashing? How long have they been using the app? What about users who do convert — do they search for products rather than browse? Do they rate or review products?

For instance, say you’re focusing on upsell opportunities. If someone adds an item to their cart, your app suggests related products add.

But doing so also creates some friction, and some users are abandoning their carts. By running tests against segments, you might see that most of the people abandoning are first-time buyers, and exclude them from upsells.

Funnel Analysis: A key to your mobile growth success

It’s not about just measuring or analyzing user drop-offs. It’s about discovering what users eventually want from your app.

Marketers can compare funnels by date range, acquisition channel, and user attribute.

For funnels to be meaningful, you need to look at them in the context of user behavior. Pay attention to where both converted and lost users are going.

About the Author


Shiva, User Growth and Customer Success at Walinns. I write introspective things I hope people can relate to.

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