Conversion Criteria in Funnels

At Mixpanel, we realize what should be considered as a conversion in a Funnel can vary widely from product to product, or even feature to feature.

How long should a user have to convert in your funnel? Should they be able to re-enter the funnel and convert more than once? Do you want to measure a conversion only if the user completes all steps of a funnel with actions that have a particular property?

The Conversion Criteria section of the Funnels Query Builder allows you to customize your report's counting method, order, conversion window, and property constants so that you can build targeted and powerful Funnels to your specifications.

Uniques, Totals, or Sessions

Your selected counting method determines how many times Mixpanel will count a particular user's activity towards your conversion rates. Mixpanel Funnels can be calculated by uniques, totals, or sessions.

By default, Funnel calculations are based on uniques. To change to a different counting method, click on the word Uniques in the conversion criteria, and select between totals or sessions from the drop-down list.

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Uniques

Unique funnels count a single entry per user (determined by distinct_id). Each user enters the funnel only once, and this is on the first time they perform the Step 1 event in the date range. Even if a particular user completes the funnel multiple times in the date range, they will only be counted towards conversion once, and on the first time they entered in the span of the funnel. 

Totals

Totals funnels count multiple entries per user.  Users can re-enter the funnel and every time a user enters the funnel they are counted towards conversion. Users may re-enter a totals funnel only after they have exited their previous attempt through the funnel. Users exit a funnel in 3 ways:

  1. They complete the funnel and convert to the last step,
  2. They fail to complete the funnel in the conversion window and time out,
  3. They are excluded from conversion by an exclusion step.

Sessions

Sessions funnels count the number of sessions that contain a conversion. Like totals funnels, users will be allowed to re-enter the funnel in subsequent sessions; however, in sessions funnels users must convert through the funnel within the same session they entered the funnel to be counted as converted. If the session ends before they have converted, the user will time out and drop out of the funnel after the last step they reached. Learn more about Sessions here.

 

Specific Order or Any Order

The order control determines how much flexibility there can be to the sequence of your user's actions to be counted as a conversion.

By default, funnels are specific order. To change between order designations, click on the words specific order in the conversion criteria, and select between specific order or any order from the drop-down list.

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Specific Order

Specific Order Funnels require the user to complete each of the funnel steps in the order laid out in the query builder to be counted as a conversion from step to step. In other words, Step 1 must be completed before Step 2, which must be completed before Step 3, and so on. The user can engage in other actions in between funnel steps- including additional occurrences of the actions listed as funnels steps- but they will only be counted as converted as long as they complete all the funnel steps in order. 

To illustrate with an example, let's say a specific order funnel has steps: A, B, C, D, E 

  1. The customer does steps A -> B -> C -> D -> E in exact order. Mixpanel counts this as a conversion.
  2. The customer does steps A -> B -> F -> C -> D -> E. Mixpanel counts this as a conversion. Users can do additional actions in between funnels steps and still convert. 
  3. The customer does steps A -> B -> D -> C -> D -> E. Mixpanel counts this as a conversion. Even though the customer did an occurrence of D before the first time doing C, because they eventually did a D after C they will continue to convert. 
  4. The customer does steps A -> B -> C -> E. Mixpanel will not count this as a full conversion, and the customer will not appear in the funnel after step C. The customer's completion of step E is excluded from the funnel because step D did not occur.

 

Any Order

In Any Order Funnels, users can complete unanchored funnels steps in any particular sequence and still convert. This type of funnel is most useful in situations where a user must ultimately complete all actions to be considered converted, but the exact order is not important.

A good example of this could be a job application flow, where a user must input multiple pieces of information (their name, email address, current job title, credentials, references, cover letter, resume, etc.) in order to complete the form and convert to submit their application, but they can provide all this information in any order they'd like and still proceed towards converting. 

When you switch to any order you have the option to anchor specific steps in your funnel by clicking on the step number. 

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A step will either appear with a number beside it, indicating where it must fall in the funnel, or with an asterix (*), indicating that it can be performed in any order before the next anchored step. 

Example:

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In the above example, Steps 1, 4, and 6 must occur as the 1st, 4th, and 6th steps the user performs.

Any of the * steps can occur at any time within those boundaries.

Conversion Window

The Conversion Window determines how much time a user has to convert through all steps of the funnel after entering it.

By default, all customers have 30 days to complete a funnel from the timestamp they perform the Step 1 event. To adjust this conversion window, click on the words 30 days in the conversion criteria. You will be able to adjust both the unit of time and the amount. 

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The maximum amount of time you can choose for the conversion window is 366 days, or otherwise equivalent (12 months, 52 weeks, etc).

Keep in mind that the conversion window starts on the first instance of the Step 1 event per funnel entry, and will not be updated by later instances of the same event in the same funnel trial.

For example, let's assume a funnel with the following criteria: A → B → C, conversion window of one hour

If the user does A at 1pm and then A again at 1:30pm, before doing B at 1:45pm and C at 2:15pm, they would count as converting to B, but will not be counted as completing the entire funnel to C. This is because 1pm to 2:15pm is greater than one hour. The conversion window for a given funnel trial starts with the first instance of A and is not reset by later instances of A in the same trial. B and C need to be completed within the conversion window from the first instance of A to be counted as conversions.

Hold Property Constant

Holding a property constant in a funnel requires that a user retain the same value for a given event property for each step in order to convert. In other words, a user must not only perform the funnel events in the order you specified, but also perform these events with the same property value. 

For example, let's say your product is an e-commerce retail site, and you have a three-step funnel of Browse > Add to Cart > Purchase. If you want to examine the conversion of users through this funnel that Browse, Add to Cart, and Purchase the same item - meaning that they cannot convert if they don't complete each step with the same item- you would hold the Item Name property constant. 

The way this is calculated depends on whether you have selected a counting method that does not allow users to re-enter the funnel ("Uniques") or allows re-entry ("Totals" or "Sessions). 

  • Uniques: When you select "Uniques" and hold a property constant, because users of this counting method only enter the funnel once and on the first time they do the Step 1 event, Mixpanel will hold constant the property value from the first Step 1 event.  
  • Totals or Sessions: When you select "Totals" or "Sessions" and hold a property constant, since these counting methods allow users to re-enter the funnel, Mixpanel will hold the property constant that is set with each new re-entry at the Step 1 event.

To add a property constant to your funnel, select the + Property button at the bottom of the funnel builder.

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Some things to keep in mind are that you are only able to select event properties that apply to all of the events in your funnel. Also, you can select multiple properties, but when you do ALL must be kept constant.

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