The right funnel questions

We sit down with Mark Collins again to understand the right questions to ask in your funnel, and how to ensure the user is engaged the entire time.

In the work that Mark Collins is a part of at Zip Co, they are constantly testing and iterating on details many wouldn’t give too much thought. The deep-dive into these details does make a considerable difference, it’s not just a small decision of the order of flow steps, rather it impacts the entire funnel process.

This is typified in a recent optimization for their funnel, especially as Zip sees their funnel as a product of its own. The optimization query was whether at the beginning of the funnel they should ask for one’s phone number or their email address. This is one of the first interactions that you have with a customer, you want it to be positive and smooth.

Image Credit @dreamsoftheoceans

Phone v Email

This is seen as a big question. Which should go first in the funnel?

When looking at the first question, your audience has experienced the least amount of friction, they’re ready to part with their information. This data collection has the highest chance of success. So which do you really want from your audience, their email or their mobile? Let’s look at the friction issues.


There will always be friction elements when trying to take a potential customer email. Many users will have multiple emails, whether personal, for their work, or maybe even a dummy account they use to avoid their inbox being spammed. Additionally, there is far more friction when the email needs to be validated. Often the app will need to be exited to go to their specified mail app to find the email to confirm the account. 

With a customer on mobile, this process is rife with friction, whether that be the validation process or just the typing out of a cumbersome email handle. The email though is the industry standard for data collection at the beginning of the acquisition funnel.

Image Credit @kaleidico


Mobile although great for a number of reasons does have some drawbacks. A strong majority of acquisition funnels do not start with mobile, it’s predominantly email, so you’re going against the grain. Mobile numbers can also change, what if someone has canceled an old number, and now this number belongs to someone else. The mobile experience is made better with instant verification and validation, always so helpful getting those ioS popups for entering in validating information.  

In the experimentation and discussion at Zip, they’re leaning towards phone over email at this stage, because it does improve the overall user experience. The tradeoff that they’re willing to make is a minor loss of data quality. The real takeaway from the experiment is the willingness to question and investigate the potential positive impacts you can make on the funnel. That first question is important, you want to make the initial experience, that first impression as fantastic as possible.

Funnel Impact & Reengagement 

The result of this contact information being mobile or email also impacts the follow-up communication that is had with a customer. When following up with a lead there is a different strategy or approach if the only primary method of communication is mobile over email. Reengaging after dropoff is quite difficult with only a mobile, the days of the cold calling companies are dwindling, and is a text message too familiar, will it be greeted with shock rather than interest? While an email re-engagement strategy is more contextually appropriate and usually more effective.

Knowing this right way to start is influenced by the device they were using at the moment they began the funnel. There are two main classes of users that Zip would be dealing with, Desktop and Mobile. 

When considering Desktop (which doesn’t usually bring in high amounts of volume) is there enough cause to improve the experience? Mark Collins found that there definitely was. 

There may not have been an abundance of leads, but the quality of the leads was quite high. When someone is on a desktop, they’re more static and in command of the process, there is higher concentration. You want to reward and encourage that behaviour to push people further down the funnel. 

These separate classes of users mean that the tech stack that you use will be different, there are different applications. You want to be appealing to the user class with the technology that will suit the experience. If you are aware of the method by which someone signed up, or was onboarded, your potential re-engagement strategy should match that. The contextual understanding and awareness of the customer will improve your likelihood of a successful re-engagement.

“Your preferred way to be reengaged is more likely the original channel where you signed up”

For mobile that would be an in-app notification or a text message

While for desktop, you’d be sending them an email. 

Image Credit @dawson2406

Lead Origin

Knowing where a lead has come from is incredibly important. Although not a eureka moment, this context is important information to have for your sales and marketing team. If a lead has come from a particular vendor or market there is contextual information there, it influences their interest.

When you’re sending a message to a lead, later on, you want them to feel understood. You’re clarifying the source of their original interest. Finding the original motivation as to why they expressed interest is the source for properly re-engaging with them and bringing them closer to being a customer.

“The more context with where they came from or what their motivation is, can be such a useful tool for understanding them as a user and how to improve their funnel experience.”

If you’re looking to improve your funnel, to offer a greater customer experience, Upflowy is here to help. As a drag and drop tool, we allow you to create a compelling experience that you can quickly iterate on for the best chances of keeping your audience engaged.

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