Effective digital campaigns are all about driving supporters to take actions like donating, volunteering, sharing on social media, and, ultimately, voting. But fundamentally, how do we make that happen?
A conversion funnel is a framework for understanding how people move through a series of steps towards a desired action, that digital marketers refer to as a “conversion.” Not only does the conversion funnel outline a supporter’s journey, but it can also help your campaign identify where potential supporters drop off.
How A Conversion Funnel Works
The shape of a funnel – broad at the top and narrow at the bottom – is the most overlooked aspect of a conversion funnel when I hear it discussed in campaigns.
At the top of the funnel, you have a large number of people who are aware of your campaign but have not yet taken any action. This is where you need to focus on building awareness and reaching potential supporters through social media advertising, email marketing, and other forms of digital outreach.
Below that layer are supporters who have shown some level of interest in your campaign, like visiting your website or engaging with your social media platforms. They may sign up for campaign updates or add their name to a petition or complete a survey during the interest phase.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel are supporters who are ready to take action, whether that means making a donation, volunteering, or voting. This is where you need to focus on providing a clear call to action that completes the journey from awareness to interest.
How Most Campaigns Do Conversion “Funnels”
But this isn’t how we see most campaigns build their digital outreach. Instead of narrowing down the audience, the targeting is overly broad and there’s no opportunity to develop interest.
This approach used to work well when platforms like Facebook allowed very precise targeting and there wasn’t as much competition in the campaign fundraising space, but times have changed.
Having a well-designed conversion funnel for your digital campaign is now more critical than ever. The old playbook of hyper-focused targeting doesn’t work anymore and campaigns need to build functional conversion funnels to channel voters to becoming supporters. Conversion funnels are how you build relationships online at scale.