7 Essential Conversion Funnels For Mobile Product Managers

Some would say being a successful product manager comes down to how well you optimize your product experience and address your users’ needs. If you’re the product manager of a mobile app, your product is basically defined as a collection of experiences, so UX is going to need a lot of your attention.

Many of our behaviors in life follow a sequential path, it’s this which underpins our habit forming nature. Your task as a product manager is to understand both the triggers prompting your users to turn to your app, then guide them along your product journey in a seamless fashion. This is best achieved by building strategic conversion funnels. From onboarding, to measuring loyalty and maximizing your customer lifetime value, conversion funnels are your key to simplifying your in-app experience and delighting your users.

To help you out, we’ve assembled 7 mobile app conversion funnels you need to have configured (depending on the type of app you have).

Onboarding Funnels

Brilliant! Your users have heard about your app, they’ve downloaded it to their phone and they’re excited to see what you have to offer. You should be nervous. This is a first date and these initial moments of interaction with your product matter a lot. When it comes to first use, you have about 20 seconds to get things right and approximately 3–7 days to get your users hooked on the experience you’re providing. We outline two of the most important onboarding conversion funnels in more detail below.

1. Registration & Login Funnels

Swiftkey’s onboarding process reduces abandonment by enabling users to opt out of logging in or signing up. Image Source: SwiftKey

The key to a good registration funnel is to identify and track each and every required interaction. If you require a login/registration form to be completed, add each text entry field to your funnel so that you can see both where people have started to complete an entry, and also when they completed it. This will give you immediate insight into which steps are taking much longer than they should, and which fields are causing so much friction that your users gave up — if your conversion funnel analysis tool provides drop-off videos, all the better. This will allow you to view problematic steps in more detail and identify any issues your users were grappling with.

Common points of frustration here tend to be a lack of autocomplete functionality, no progress indicator, no social login option and over fussy security protocols.

An additional note — if your app isn’t sensitive and doesn’t provide a ‘skip’ registration process, consider adding one. Unnecessary login walls continue to be one of the leading causes of quick abandonment.

2. The Tutorial Funnel

Image Source: Trace Byrd — Dribbble

There’s no point adding bells and whistles to your product if most of your users don’t know your features even exist. If you suspect a number of your screens are rarely visited, a funnel tracking your tutorial screens is a great place to start investigating this.

This funnel will tell you how many are skipping the tutorial altogether and highlight common abandonment points. By diving into the related session recordings you’ll be able to gauge if users are becoming confused, bored, or if there is a performance issue.

It could be that you’re frontloading your users with too much information at the start or that you need to cut down on text and add in more interactivity. We recommend running a few tests over time to see how changes affect the numbers in your tutorial funnel.

Monetization & Growth Funnels

When it comes to monetization and growth, poor UX can cause a huge dent in potential revenue. You need to be obsessing over any product journey that results in a transaction. By 2021, mobile is expected to account for 54% of total e-commerce sales and this trend is only set to increase as app stores begin to permit in-app purchase gifting.

3. The In-App Purchase Funnel

An example of Amazon’s final checkout screen, which enables users to view and edit any detail about their order. Image Source: Amazon app

The purpose of this funnel is to highlight where you’re losing real money. When building this funnel, be sure to identify all your important checkout stages (screens and actions) and add them in as specific steps.

If your users are abandoning your checkout screen to let’s say, view the ‘Help’ section, you’re probably missing crucial information on your checkout screen, for example, shipping information, payment methods and returns policy. There may also be a large group of users that would prefer to pay as a guest than login so if you haven’t provided this option, you’re sure to lose a few spenders.

Rigid sign-in requirements, a lack of payment options and additional costs that are presented too late in the funnel are all additional reasons for purchase abandonment that you’ll want to pay attention to.

4. The Upgrade To Pro Funnel

Image Source: Zaheer Abbas — Dribbble

Users that choose to upgrade to a premium version of your app are a vote of confidence for your product — these customers are prepared to spend a bit more because they think it’s worth it.

A freemium-to-premium funnel is crucial for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t want to risk frustrating these users if things have been pretty smooth until now — remember, they can back out any time. Secondly, this funnel provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about your most engaged group and their behavioral patterns. Simply configure the broad steps required for progressing from initial registration to subscription, then drill into these loyal user session recordings to observe their habits at different points of the journey. You should also pay close attention to the average time taken between steps.

With these time-based insights, you’ll have invaluable data to refer back to when planning the timing and placement of any upgrade related marketing campaigns and/or messaging.

5. Level Completion Funnel

Image Source: ILYA Denisenko — Behance

If you’re an educational or gaming app, you’ll want to track how your users are moving along your level completion journey — your success here can have a huge impact on eventual retention and LTV. Products which incorporate levels can be tricky to get right when it comes to the level of difficulty — you don’t want to make it too easy or repetitive as users will lose interest in the long term. However, make it too hard and many will simply kill the app.

Pro tip: Hone in on the average time taken between steps and confirm whether or not users are progressing much faster or slower than expected.

Your level completion funnel will also help you identify troublesome moments as well as the impact of any interstitial ads you have running between levels. If users are dropping off regularly after seeing these, there’s a chance you’re showing them too regularly or that the messaging is off.

Missing Content Funnels

It doesn’t matter how great and engaging your content is if it’s impossible for your users to find the content they’re looking for when they want it. In our experience, some of the biggest UX hiccups occur due to poor in-app search functionality or because important information has been forgotten in a critical place.

6. The Search Funnel

Airbnb’s search function helps avoid funnel drop-offs by autocorrecting difficult-to-spell destination names. Image Source: Airbnb

With the search funnel, you’ve got an immediate “content gap” analysis tool — watch recordings to see where users expected to find particular content and make adjustments accordingly. It’s a nice quick win. For example, if your product is a travel app offering users the chance to search and book journeys, there’s a strong probability some city names, station names or airports aren’t going to be written out correctly all the time. If you’re failing to deliver results for these searches, most users will likely assume you don’t serve the areas.

In addition to highlighting missed content, the recordings associated with dropped off sessions can help you discover any issues with the quality of your search technology itself. It could be that you’ve got content in your app but that your facility isn’t delivering results for misspelled phrases or that it simply takes too long to deliver results and stops responding.

Reverse Engineered Funnels

When it comes to conversion funnels, we’re usually focused on tracking our success towards goals that we want to happen. However, your overall product performance will also be impacted by how well you deal with the experience of customers who want to leave and cancel their account with you. A sure-fire way to encourage negative reviews is to make the process of canceling a subscription really difficult and confusing. The best thing you can do is create a new opportunity for win-back.

7. The Cancel Subscription ‘Winback’ Funnel

Image Source: Duolingo Support Centre

In configuring a cancel subscription ‘winback’ funnel, you’re essentially dealing with a reverse engineered flow — the more drop-offs you get, the better your win back campaign is doing. Add and track the mandatory stages of your cancellation process, remind your users what they’ll be missing, and test the success of your re-engagement messaging and promotions over time.

A business productivity app is a good example here. If your app provides enough value, your paid users should want to stay. It could be that they haven’t had enough time yet to properly explore the product’s benefits so they’re spending money for no reason. In this case, an additional month to explore the full features for free could be what you need to retain this customer.

Remember, this is a sensitive moment that you should be tracking anyway for product reputation purposes. For those users that do decide to leave, the next best step to optimize for is the feedback stage — a churned user that describes their experience directly is still valuable when it comes to your product roadmap.

Becoming A Conversion Star

As an app product manager, your app is your product baby and you’ll want it to deliver the best experience it can for your audience. With high-caliber conversion funnels like Appsee’s, you’ll be armed with a plethora of actionable insights to take back to your colleagues. We anticipate you’ll be having coffees with your marketing, design, support and engineering teams on a very regular basis!


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