Funnel review (become the customer)

In today’s lesson, we’re going to show you how to review your funnel—essentially “becoming the customer.”

Ask yourself:

When was the last time you reviewed your entire funnel—all the way from your ads or social media posts to your thank you page?

Or perhaps you’ve never reviewed your funnel?

Don’t feel bad.

Most people don’t know what their “thank you” page looks like.

Reviewing your funnel is a critical part of understanding your visitors.

By the end of the lesson, you’ll know:

  • Your entire funnel inside and out
  • What your visitors and customers experience
  • The questions to ask to spot areas for improvements


Let’s dive in…


Next steps:

1. Review your entire funnel

  • Go through your funnel and pretend it’s the first time you’re visiting the site
  • View it in incognito
  • Begin at the top of the funnel (e.g. an ad) and stop after you’ve purchased (e.g. thank you page)

2. Document your findings


When was the last time you purchased your own product?

Don’t feel bad.

Many of my former clients and their employees never went through their funnels to purchase their products.

Funnel review

  • Go through your funnel and pretend it’s the first time you’re visiting the site.
  • View it in incognito.
  • Begin at the top of the funnel (e.g. an ad) and stop after you’ve purchased (e.g. checkout)

Ask yourself:

  • Do the CTAs make sense?
  • Does the offer make sense?
  • What are you clicking to learn more?
  • What pages do you visit?
  • What elements are missing or have too much info?
  • Does the funnel make sense?
  • What steps can be removed or skipped?

Should you review on desktop, mobile or both?

Look at Analytics to see what devices your users are using.

To view your website on mobile:

  • Right click on the desktop webpage, click “Inspect”.
  • Then, click the “Toggle device” icon.

Add all feedback in your research document, so you can reference it later.



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Video transcript:

Introduction to Funnel Review

Funnel review, becoming the customer.

Ask yourself, when was the last time that you purchased your own product? Don’t feel bad. Many of my former clients and their employees never went through their funnels to purchase their own products. They didn’t have a vision of what the customer experience really was because they didn’t go through it themselves.

Understanding the Importance of Funnel Review

So in this video, we’re going to talk about how to become the customer and why this is incredibly important for you to build empathy towards your audience and ultimately improve your website and improve your sales.

So how does a funnel review work? Well, you go through your funnel and pretend it’s the first time that you’re visiting the site. You want to view it in incognito mode or some type of private browsing. So this way your cookies aren’t involved and you watch it. In the same way that a new user would too.

You begin at the top of the funnel, which might be an ad or an organic search result in Google or a social media post and stop after you’ve purchased.

So go through the entire process and yes, actually use a credit card by the product, by the service, whatever that next step is and get a sense of what it all looks like.

How to Conduct a Funnel Review

Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself as you’re doing the funnel review.

Do the calls to action make sense? Are they clear? Are they full of benefits? Are they low commitment? Do they make sense to you?

Does the offer make sense?

What are you clicking to learn more? What parts of the funnel are you stopping to get more information?

Whereas, and what parts of the funnel are you breezing through? What pages do you visit?

What elements are missing, or maybe have too much information and it feels overwhelming?

Does the overall funnel make sense? Are there steps that could be removed or skipped? Are there steps that could be removed or skipped?

To show you how this process works, let’s take a look at two different examples. Now I’m going to walk through both of these websites and pretend that I’m becoming the customer, and I’m thinking my thoughts out loud.

Funnel Review: SaaS Example (Hotjar)

The first one is a SaaS example, and this is Hotjar, which provides a lot of research tools, many of which you can use in this course.

So like I said at the beginning, you want to start at the top of the funnel. So in this case it would be an ad. So if I type in something and I see a Hotjar ad appear in Google, I can ask myself, is this messaging clear and does it translate to the landing page? Does it make sense to me as a user? So I’d go ahead and click the ad.

And then it takes me to the landing page. Well, now that I’m here, I’m looking at the nav bar that’s at the top. And I’m thinking, well, what info is missing? Or maybe there’s too many links up here and it’s distracting because there’s so much content in here. Also, I noticed that there’s a video down there, but is it clear that that that’s actually a video or it’s just an image.

As a user looking at this with my fresh eyes, these are the things that I’d be thinking I’d also be thinking on the left hand side that there’s two calls to action. There’s start free with email and then start free with Google. Do they have to be right there?

Is this the right time for this as a user? I’m thinking maybe they’re asking me a little too much without really showing me what’s on offer. And then also it’s, it says at the bottom that there it’s free forever and I can upgrade any time. Could that be highlighted somewhere else?

Or could there be more social proof? Like who else uses this product? I don’t know. And because of that lack of social proof, maybe I’m not incentivized to take the next step.

Again, this is a very different mindset than you’re probably used to looking at your own company’s pages. You have to look at it through the eyes of the visitor. So let’s go further.

Let’s say I click one of those main calls to action, and now it’s asking me to sign up. So, I need to create my own account, and I see that there’s steps that are listed in the top left. Should they be listed, or is that just more information for me as a user that might be overwhelming?

Similarly, is there too much blank space that’s over here on the right hand side?

And also the main call to action, it’s here on the left, but maybe that should just be in the very center of the page, because, you know, really that’s what the page wants me to do. So maybe that’s something that, as a user, I would rather they just make that very simple.

So I’ll stop here with this example, but I hope you can see the importance of going through the entire funnel.

From here, if this were in fact your company and you were going through it, you’d probably want to create the account. Look at all the emails that are sent to you after the fact, look at the onboarding experience, look at the pricing page, look at how the offers are presented, go through the checkout process, include your credit card details, sign up, and actually pay for the service.

And of course, be jotting down your notes as you do all of this.

But since this is an example, I’ll pull up and we can switch gears and take a look at an e- commerce example.

Funnel Review: E-commerce Example (REI)

So now let’s take a look at REI, which sells outdoor wear.

Similar to the previous example, we’ll start at the top of the funnel.

This is a search result that pops up in Google. So if I’m looking at the title, REI, a life outdoors is a life well lived. Is the message clear? And does it also translate to the landing page? So when I click this, is it going to take me to something that is relevant to me and also matches what I read here?

So I land on this page, and there’s a lot going on, which, again, as a user, not as an employee, but just as a user, if I’m looking at this, I’m thinking, wow, this sign in box on the right hand side, it pops up, and is this interfering with my experience? Like, do I really feel like signing in just yet?

Probably not. Also, the main call to action right in the center is to shop for discounted products. And as a user, I wasn’t really thinking about 40 percent off when I was going to buy some outdoor wear. So as a user, this doesn’t really feel in line with what I wanted. Again, I’d be writing down all of these notes as I was going through the funnel.

Okay, let’s take the next step.

I click on the men’s section and here’s the drop down menu. Now as a user, I might feel this is overwhelming. There’s so much content here that it’s hard for me to really focus and choose the right one for me. So maybe this is a little too complicated and I could think about simplifying it further.

Then as I click through to a product page, I have this overlay that appears as soon as the page loads. And does this get in my way? Does this affect the shopping experience?

So now let’s take a look at the product page. When I go to the product page, immediately this pop up appears. And as a user, is this really what I was looking for at this moment? Again, when I put on my user hat and I’m starting to think about this, I really wanted to look at the products. In particular, the sandals that I was interested in.

But now I’m getting an offer for the latest deals, news, and more from REI. This doesn’t really feel in line with what I was doing as a user. So I would note that as well. So let’s say that I close out of that and I continue on my journey. This is what I wanted to be doing, which is looking at the different sandals.

As a user, I really like all the filters that are on the left hand side. For example, I’m a size 12, so maybe I need to look at that. There’s different types of sandals I may be interested in. So the filters are going to be a nice feature. I would write that down as well. Now that I look at this sandal, Immediately, a couple of things pop up.

I like the price. I like the color options. I also noticed that it says low inventory and I need to order soon. So that’s a sense of urgency that as a user I can feel that because I’m like, wow, I like the sandal. I like the price. I like it. Now I need to really think about making a buying decision because there’s not too much left in stock.

So, then I go ahead and add it to my cart and this is what appears. Again, as a user, I like that there’s these easy buttons. I can simply add it to my cart and check out or I can continue shopping. Maybe I do want something besides the sandals. I also like the people also bought section. It’s a nice use of social proof and cross sells.

Now, again, I’m not putting my marketing hat on here. I’m thinking of it as a user. This is something that I want. I bought sandals. Maybe I’d be interested in some other sandals. Probably not, but these other things like the towel or the sweatshirt or the socks, these may tie in, especially because I’m so fashion forward.

I’m always rocking socks with my sandals.

All right, so I’ve added to the cart.

Analyzing the Checkout Process

Now it’s time to check out. And this is where the login box appears and it expands on load. Does this interfere with my ability to go through checkout? I understand that they want me to do this, but again, as a user, is this, is this really the right way to show it?

Because it’s like a pop up, but there’s all this other stuff going on in the page. As a user, I’d probably rather just eliminate everything but that box, and just say, hey, you can sign in if you want, or just go ahead and, and move on.

I also realize that there’s not a guest checkout. I don’t want to have to create an account.

And even if I did use REI, maybe I didn’t feel like signing in. So give me the option to do a guest checkout. Again, these are things just as a user, it would occur to you that probably wouldn’t occur to you if you were an employee or if you were working with this company.

Also, kind of looking through this checkout process, there’s a lot of info on here.

Is there anything that could be removed, or changed? I would write down all those things that I liked, all those things that I didn’t like. For example, the shipping information is over here, and maybe I’d rather just deal with that later. I’m still focused on the product itself.

All right. I think you get the point looking at these examples, so I’ll stop here.

But again, if you were an actual employee of this company, if this was your site, you’d want to proceed to checkout, enter your credit card details, buy the product, experience how long you had to wait for shipping, get the product, open the product, try it on.

What type of marketing materials come along with the product? Is there anything in there that’s interesting? Did you have any questions that occurred to you once you receive the product?

All of this stuff is really important for you to empathize with your users because you have gone through the entire journey from A to Z.

And that’s incredibly important.

You’ll also want to look out for any additional emails that are sent to you. Perhaps there’s some emails telling you when it’s going to arrive. Maybe there’s a follow up email after it’s arrived with an additional discount or a special offer. Are those things that you’d be interested in as a user?

Or is there something about the offer that falls flat? Or maybe there’s no offer at all, and there should be. I hope you can see how valuable an experience this is to go through the entire funnel.

Desktop vs Mobile: Which Platform to Review?

Now you notice in these two examples that we were going through it on desktop. A common question is, well, should I look at it on desktop, mobile, or both?

The answer is you should look in analytics. See what percentage of your users are on desktop versus mobile. If 95 percent of people are using desktop, you should go through this experience on desktop. If 95 percent are on mobile, do mobile.

Is it a split between the two? Then you’ll want to go through both and make sure that you’re taking notes, screenshots along the way.

If you want to view it on mobile, just on your computer, here’s an easy way to do it. If you’re using Chrome or a lot of other browsers will do this as well, but with Chrome, you can just right click on the desktop web page, click inspect, like you see here on my screen, and then click the toggle device icon.

Icon. So once you click that, you can see here on the right hand side, it then shows you what it looks like on a mobile device.

You can also go through it on your phone. That’s probably best because that’s a true experience on a mobile device. But at the same time, if you’re just doing this for like as an exercise and you want to be able to quickly switch back and forth and add your notes to ,a doc, this is an easy way to do it as well, because you can just have a separate tab for your notes and a tab here to look at on desktop and on mobile.

Of course, as you’re going through all this, like I said, take screenshots, take screenshots of the ad, take screenshots of the landing page, take screenshots of every subsequent page in the funnel, and include your notes next to each of them.

The Value of Funnel Review and Recap

You’d be amazed at the amount of opportunities that you’re going to spot just going through this process. And if that wasn’t valuable enough, you’ll find that after you do this, you’ll be able to empathize with people that much more. You’ll have felt the pain that they’ve experienced, and maybe they haven’t said it to you.

You’ll be able to truly understand your audience because you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

So to quickly recap, a funnel review, where you become the customer, is probably the fastest, easiest way for you to understand how your audience experiences your site, your business, your offer, your funnel.

You should go through it on desktop or mobile or both, depending on what your audience uses. You can find that out in Google analytics.

As you’re going through the funnel, you should take screenshots and leave notes of everything that you notice. This way you can refer to it down the road as well as share it with the rest of your team.

And lastly, be sure to see what happens after you buy. You actually have to go through the whole process. I mean, granted, if you go through the first few pages, that’s better than nothing, but actually paying for it and receiving the product or receiving the service is the best way for you to build empathy with your prospects and your customers.

On this page: 

  1. Video
  2. Next steps
  3. Notes
  4. Transcript

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