How to shift from web analytics to funnel analytics

Most marketers spend ages mastering website analytics such as GA, learning all the different variables, terms and metrics. It’s great for measuring website interactions and how visitors behave. 

But, it’s weak for analyzing your whole funnel. The single-purchase attribution often disagrees with advertising platforms disagreeing, while limited data is shared between funnel steps.

Web AnalayticsFunnel Analytics
Visitor BasedContact Based
Siloed DataContext Between Touchpoints
Compare Visitor TypesCompare Customer Types
Data is “Black Boxed”Traceable Data

As a funnel analytics tool, SegMetrics gives you the ability to look at how customers progress through the whole marketing journey, not just website interactions.

This “contact-based” analytics is a powerful new way to understand your marketing, especially compared to traditional “visitor-based” web analytics. Let’s look at how a slight change in viewpoint helps bring all your marketing together.

The Four Principles of Funnel Analytics

1. Data is associated with contacts, not visitors

Traditional web analytics stores data against the visitor ID in someone’s cookie. This is good at measuring website interactions such as page visits and button clicks. 

But there are some major issues to visitor-centric tracking:

  • Tracking cookies are vulnerable to expiring
  • It’s unreliable for cross-device tracking
  • Tracking information is limited to what the user’s browser sends in — making it limited in the data it can collect from tools like your email platform and payment processor.

With people-first analytics, SegMetrics instead saves information against someone’s contact ID. That includes data from your ad platform, website, email system and payment provider, all connected together.

The consistent contact ID means the marketing data for a customer can be joined together over months or years, with multi-purchase attribution connecting their LTV back to every touchpoint. And because the core of SegMetrics’ data is that contact ID, you can match those page views and ad clicks together with off-site interactions such phone calls, subscription revenue and more.

While web analytics will be better at analyzing website interactions and how people navigate your site, SegMetrics will let you see key behavior through their entire journey as they interact with different touchpoints from attraction to retention.

Example: An Accidental (and Unwanted) Remarketing Campaign

One of our users was running ads on Facebook. The campaigns looked successful, with visitors downloading the lead magnet for a CPA of $3.

But there wasn’t a corresponding boost in sales.

The business used SegMetrics to analyze these new leads and discovered they weren’t actually new! They had forgotten to exclude existing subscribers from their custom audience, so all the new conversions were actually existing leads.

Facebook’s reporting only knew that visitors had converted, so missed the context that these people had an existing history with the company.

Their ad budget was being wasted on people who were already on their list.

2. Data must include context to provide helpful answers

The information in traditional web analytics is “siloed.” Each tool takes in data with minimal sharing between them:

Web tracking can show you who’s visiting the site…
BUT, not if they’re already on your list.

Sales reports show your revenue per product…
BUT, not the sources that bought in customers

You can see who attended your webinar…but not their lifetime revenue

Your marketing reports become an isolated snapshot of each funnel step, with minimal context for how they acted before or after. 

To make matters worse, the silos then often conflict, with each marketing platform claiming credit for as many conversions as possible. Facebook and Google might both say they bought you 100 customers…but your order numbers only show a total of 160 sales.

With people-first funnel analytics, you gain a single source of truth to see how all the pieces work together. Data is gathered from every stage, then recorded against a single customer’s journey. This makes it simple to: 

  • see how people at one funnel stage behaved at a later step
  • measure success in terms of changing the LTV
  • avoid any double counting or misattributed sales
  • Verify the figures and fault find mistakes (see principle #4)

Example: Finding the Source of Our Fraudulent Signups

At SegMetrics, we noticed we had a sudden jump in people submitting dodgy credit card details. Thankfully our data had the funnel history of all these unwanted trial signups.

The funnel analytics revealed that they were coming from a particular Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook’s 7-day attribution had been measuring these people as desirable because they had signed up to a trial. So, their AI sent us more and more visitors that matched the profile.

What their attribution couldn’t measure was that none of them paid for a subscription after the 14-day free trial ended. It was only because our contact-based analytics showed the source of these signups that we were able to track down the issue and stop the wasted ad spend.

Facebook’s AI had learned to send us dodgy signups due to the 7-day attribution limitation.

3. See how each customer segment reacts to touchpoints

We’ve become familiar with the options for manipulating data in website analytics. It can divide visitors up based on how they arrived at or interacted with your website. You can then compare how each group has behaved, such as abandonment rates for people on each device.

It’s helpful, but teaches us to think in terms of sessions instead of customers. 

With funnel analytics you instead get to group people based on meaningful business interactions and see how they behaved at any funnel step whether it’s on or off the website.

You will delve into your data using tables based on:

Customer Segment

The rows in your table will be broken down by customer segment. These can be UTM details, product purchases, past touchpoint behavior or any other action you have tagged them with.

You can start comparing data based on how people have responded at each funnel stage, not just on how they’ve interacted with your website.

Touchpoint Interactions

Compare how these customer segments performed at any touchpoint, real actions with big impacts on your funnel and revenue.

It can be anything including lifetime revenue, conversion rate, orders received, webinar signups or subscription cancellations. You can see how your chosen segments performed in terms of any other funnel step, not just an immediate action.

Putting these together lets you break away from comparing short term results and proxy metrics. You can see how much people from each traffic source spent over the following months, or whether webinar attendees later purchased your upsell.

Example: Webinar Attendees Were Actually LESS Likely to Buy

A SegMetrics user was running a webinar as a key funnel step for their online course. According to the top-level metrics it was a success! The webinar reporting showed a bunch of leads attending and a good amount of those making a purchase.

But the funnel analytics revealed a vital secret on how the webinar performed with different customer segments…

Turns out, the webinar was compelling for leads who had come from their YouTube content, but not from Facebook Ads. In fact the only buyers they got from Facebook Ads were people who had skipped the webinar.

The YouTube content was aimed at beginners while the Facebook Ad copy was addressed to more advanced users. It then made sense that the beginner-focused webinar was unappealing to the Facebook leads.

Running separate webinars for different campaigns and experience levels then became an obvious solution to take their sales from good to great.

The top level metric looked ok, but breaking performance down per lead source revealed an opportunity to double their sales!

4. Data can be verified, not just blindly trusted

Would you trust an accountant who refused to show you how she calculated your tax return? It would feel shady, yet we’ve been trained by black box data sources like GoogleAds, Facebook and others to accept just that — trusting their numbers without access to the details.

From 2014 to 2016, Facebook overstated the number of video ad views on its platform by 80%, causing thousands of businesses to shift their marketing to a failing strategy.


We have learned to reluctantly accept marketing reports. We can’t tell if is greedily taking credit for excess sales, so we take the data with a big pinch of salt.

Recording data based on a contact ID ensures that people stay as people. 

Every purchase or signup is listed once and only once. You will be able to see how they have interacted with your various marketing platforms, or if there are customers with an unexpected gap in their data.

That means when numbers disagree SegMetrics makes it possible to hunt down the issue. You can see if the first touchpoint really was with facebook, or why there’s somehow more sales than webinar attendees. 

Example: Great Funnel Stats Yet Low Sales

One user came to us saying that SegMetrics was reporting the wrong numbers.

They were getting around 100 attendees to each of their webinars, yet SegMetrics only showed around 20 contacts with the webinar tag.

In SegMetrics they were able to easily view the list of webinar attendees and compare that to their webinar software…which revealed a giant hole in their funnel.

They discovered that the webinar software was only sending a fraction of their attendees into their email platform. In fact, for months, hard-won leads had been left out of their marketing funnel without them realizing! 

It was only by having transparent data that they were able to pinpoint the leak.

Start Analyzing your Full Funnel Today

You have just read the four principles of Funnel Analytics:

  1. Data is associated with people, not visitors – Analyzing a funnel requires LTV data and touchpoint interactions to be tied to a single person.
  2. Data must include context to provide helpful answers – The best insights require context of how the funnel stages are interacting, not working in isolation.
  3. See how each customer segment reacts to touchpoints – A change is required from thinking in terms of how visitors are interacting with website elements.
  4. Data can be verified, not just blindly trusted – You shouldn’t have to trust a black box, all stats should tie back to a list of actual customers.

If you want to apply this approach to your own funnel then grab your Free 14 Day Trial of Segmetrics. We’ll import your historic data instantly, so you can get instant insights without having to wait for numbers to flow in.

Our trials also come with a complimentary Kickoff Call, where one of our consultants will walk through your funnel with you to show you instant answers and help you get to grips with this new style of analytics.