Do conversion funnels still work?


A recent debate amongst major marketers is whether the process still works. A lot of marketers have seen data that suggest customers are no longer entering at the top of their funnels and may even enter at the last stage.

Why? because due to an increase in social sharing any link in your conversion funnel is likely to be shared. This places your prospects out of sequence and makes the other legs of your funnel obsolete.

Because prospects have become more market savvy now and unlike before they apply more scrutiny to your offers and your emails.

Gone are the days of the “numbers game” where you send out 2 million emails and see who bites, the amount of people converted this way don’t convert.

Today’s’ prospects will simply investigate your offers on Google and determine whether it’s in their interest to buy what you’re selling.

Your prospects will no longer fall in “lock step” with your funnel matrix like they did before, they now need to be engaged — and educated or they opt out.

In email marketing, the number of people lost at each funnel step is enormous, nearly 80% of you leads drop off on average. With numbers like these it’s amazing that anyone can make a profit online but many do and, many more don’t. To maintain interested subscribers we need to keep in mind that today’s shopper, jumps in and out of channels, views alternatives to your product offers, and can search for better deals simply by clicking a button. In the “Real World of Marketing” There are few if any prospects that simply follow along with your linear marketing message.

In reality the customer journey has changed dramatically, in an increasingly crowded marketplace so standing out is crucial. The current funnel model relies on narrowing the options in each step of the journey, but today’s consumers are likely to expand their list of options on their own, as they learn the pros and cons of the many different solutions available by simply clicking a button. They look for coupons, promo codes or sales for the same type or product that you’re selling. When they do decide to purchase they want a seamless process, not a redirect to another product or a link to a thousand offers , save that for the Thank You page. (LOL)

Customers are now, more than ever, actively engaged with the brands they choose and they share these brands with their friends, just like you and I. After they’ve bought the product or service they often share this information using social media and the Web. It’s now hard to predict what behaviors your customer might display but there are many solutions to providing a customer experience in your funnels that more engagement. You could try by including video links in your emails showing how the product works or provide upfront discounts or coupons.

Your prospects know their being steered through your funnel, so keep in mind, the goal isn’t to steer your prospect, the goal is to provide a solution to their problem and educate them to why your solution is the better alternative.

Is the old funnel system obsolete and no longer viable in today’s market? …Tell us your opinion.

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  1. Hi Gordie,

    You are very correct with your position on the marketing funnels. For many marketers, the sales funnel is just obsolete. It becomes necessary to try out what is working for the now.

    You are also right in stating that “In reality the customer journey has changed dramatically, in an increasingly crowded marketplace so standing out is crucial.” I couldn’t agree more with you on this.

    So, its time to ensure absolute engagement and proper conversion when it comes sales funnel that will convert!

    • It’s time to make the sales funnel more about the customer than the product.

      Ask questions, get to the root of their problem by engaging them in exercises, surveys, polls.

      Use your funnel to direct people to a Facebook group about your product and let people engage in conversation and share tips or results.

      The old funnel that steers the prospect towards purchasing your back end offer is played out, its time to get creative and ramp up those conversions.

      The more information that you share about your offer, the more likely you’ll develop trust and increase your brand.

  2. Hey Gordie,

    Its not surprising seeing that the present day customer is no longer what they used to be. Marketers must truly know that we are at the era of change that has affected the decision making process of the average customer.

    Technology, high competition, and higher expections are some of the factions that readily influences the decission of entering into thet sales funnel from the top or not!

    I agree with your submissions in this post but I think there is still some businesses that are doing great with conversion funnels.

    • I’m not saying to give up the sales funnel, that’s blasphemy in the world of online marketing. I’m saying to be more creative, don’t be linear and create engagement.

      When the market changes the marketer changes with it. Instead of emailing a sales pitch send them an honest review of your product, tell them why it’s better than XYZ and offer a coupon that’s about to expire.

      Send them only value emails with real useful information but, place a line of code in your email signature to re-Target them, and anyone who opens your email will be served your ads all over the web.

      Just do something different than everyone else and your funnel will do fine. Make your funnel a journey a customer would like to go on.

      Gordie Chase recently posted…The 4 Google myths that can hurt your SEO!My Profile

  3. Hey Gordie,

    I think conversion funnel model still works only that it now works in a new dimension. Now, it takes more to lure customers than before, There are variety of options that the customer can avail, and the customer has more choices to make.

    Already you have pointed out these but it should be noted that increased creativity on the part of the marketer should help for increased conversion.

    • Thanks Sunday, that’s exactly what I’m preaching in this article. Be Creative.

      The old model is stale because it’s played out, too much exposure. Now it’s time to think about the customer experience and engaging instead of selling.

      As I’ve said in every comment, “Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing and you will stand out”.

  4. Hey Gordie,

    My answer to your question is this: Yes, conversion funnels still work! It only gets remodeled with more competition and exceptional demands of consumers.

    Thus, while the old model may not be effective today, the process of entering the scene at the last stage may seem practical and effective today!

  5. Hey Gordie,

    The old sales funnel is still there. It only has gone a realignment. Indeed, prospects are now more market savvy and marketers must comply with this change.

    There is need to be more forwarding in providing value at every stage of the marketing funnel!

    At the moment, most prospect have many options and it is in the place of the marketer to offer persistent value at every stage where the prospect is to be convinced in the funnel!

  6. Hi Gordie,

    I would say that the old conversion funnel has been remodeled to suit the needs of the present day prospect.

    The points you have raised are timely. They revolve around the fact that “standing out” is critical for online marketing success!

    So, marketers must ensure that all steps are taken to bring out conversion with ease!

  7. Hi Gordie,

    I hate to admit it but I am a returning newbie and am a bit ignorant about funnels. I will have to check out the Neil Patel PDF.

    I do hate it though when I purchase something and then find there are upsells etc… I think you are right about saving related products for thank you pages.

    What I get out of everyone’s comments is that the consumers have changed and become more savvy so one needs to be more creative in creating funnels.

    Have a great week!