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Define Your WIN PATHS: The Flow of Customer Success

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This is a top-of-the-funnel post, about how we determine a “win” for our customers and how they get there. Knowing this information can inform all of our online marketing efforts.

We’ve got to Get Beyond Buy in our definition of success in online business marketing. Let’s have a look at what a WIN looks like, online.

We’ve got all these tactics and strategies for wooing and winning online customers with social media. BUT… Do you know exactly what you want from your customer? And can you pinpoint the most effective methods of attraction? Then, for extra credit, show how those various attracted customers find their way into your WIN buckets, and which method then is BEST for achieving the WIN.

We used to talk about “purchase path” analysis back at the bigger companies. This was a fancy way of saying, figure out how easy it is to BUY the product or service you are selling. Today I think we need to look at WIN PATHS. There is more to online marketing than e-commerce. While often the R in ROI gets pegged to sales, there are two other very important WINS in your online box of tricks.

It’s not all that easy, but it can be done.

The first thing you need to know, however, is WHAT WINS will sustain the growth and success of the company.

In working with a startup, the WIN buckets may change. The focus of the business may change. But generally speaking, the buckets will remain the same.

1. Buy – MAKE MONEY: the customer gives you money and you give them a service or product

2. Support – SAVE MONEY: offsetting costs for support and service by driving your customer to the web to solve problems

3. Register – OPT-IN: give us the right to market to you in the future, as our business model changes we might find ourselves focused as much on reach as direct commerce

online customer flow chart - full - john mcelhenney -


And with these goals in mind, which platform (Website, Blog, Facebook) performs the best? Your blog and Facebook pages might do a great job driving people to support themselves using FAQs and tech support email forms. But those properties might not be very good at driving downloads and sales of your product.

If you can’t track the thin red line of success from the top of the funnel to the WIN, you should be able to do a pretty good job of understanding which of the web destinations are performing at driving visitors to the various WINS.

You do know what your WINS are, right? We used to say, Social Media is either about MAKING MONEY or SAVING MONEY. Well, silly, that’s what ALL BUSINESS is about. So let’s refine that a bit. Here’s my new simple tagline for social media and its role in business development.

Social Media is about accelerating and enhancing your online business success.

And just like in business, you have to get the basics of e-commerce, web design, and content development in place before the “social” side of online marketing is going to do you much good.

User Experience/User Interface Design: Know your WINS, and understand what’s successful at helping your customers find their way to the WIN that THEY are looking for. That’s how you enhance success, by understanding how to fuel the WIN PATHS you already have in place.

Refined definition of social media: Fuel the WIN PATHS you already have in place.

Let’s heat up the sales funnels out there.

John McElhenney — let’s connect online

Please check out some of my books on AMAZON. Like this one.

MGMT HELLo from John Oakley McElhenney, first edition

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