What is a Digital Marketing Funnel: Funnel Stages Explained


We may think that every customer would approach a purchase in the same manner. For instance, before going to your website and making a purchase, they may always discover your business on social media.

However, things are far more challenging. Customers will sometimes visit your website after hearing about it from a friend.

Other times, consumers visit a store to make a purchase after seeing a Facebook advertisement rather than going to your website. Additionally, a customer may discover more about you from a number of sources before deciding to buy from you.

Although it may be difficult to anticipate how customers will use all of these different channels, you must put forth an effort if you want to execute an efficient digital marketing strategy that generates leads and increases revenue for your business.

This demand is met by the digital marketing funnel. So what is a digital marketing funnel?

What is a digital marketing funnel?

A diagram illustrating the current online buyer's journey is a digital marketing funnel. It is also known as the B2C marketing funnel or customer experience funnel.

What is a Digital Marketing Funnel_ Funnel Stages Explained

It expands upon the traditional sales funnel model and adheres to a, sometimes a nonlinear, pattern that mirrors the digital buyer's journey.

The processes users take to convert from prospects to customers are outlined in a digital marketing funnel.

While there are many different marketing funnels, the majority include phases devoted to retention, funnel awareness, consideration, and purchase. Any funnel may be used by businesses to direct their marketing efforts.

A system called a "digital marketing funnel" is used to direct website visitors toward conversion into paying consumers. You may use a range of different tactics to cultivate and draw these visitors at various phases of the funnel.

One thing to keep in mind is that various visitors will be drawn to different phases of your sales funnel, and they won't all go down the same route.

Digital marketing funnel stages

Digital Marketing Funnel is represented by 6 different stages that comprises the funnel. Below are those 6 digital marketing funnel stages.


The awareness stage is the first level of a digital marketing funnel. This is the moment a person learns about your company or website for the first time.

A broad range of channels, such as natural search, social media, word-of-mouth, email, press releases, links from other websites, and more, may lead to this.

You need to capture the interest of prospective clients who haven't heard of your brand yet at this point.

This is the stage when you cultivate prospects' awareness of your brand and its goods or services. Additionally, here is where customers discover your business for the first time, often through blog posts, social media, or paid advertisements.

For instance, the individuals who encounter your advertisements may not be acquainted with your Software as a Service (SaaS) offering.

They may not even understand what SaaS is. So, the main goal of your advertising should be to inform consumers about your goods and the benefits of purchasing them.

Getting individuals past the "peak of the funnel" is the objective of the awareness stage or top of the funnel (TOFU). In other words, you want to spread the word about your product to more people.


The discovery stage is the second step of a digital marketing funnel. A visitor will begin reading a few pages on your website during this phase, absorb the material, and discover more about your business and what you have to offer.

Make sure your target audience has gotten interested in what you have to offer and has shown sufficient interest to advance to the next level during this phase.

They could be browsing your website and filling out forms that provide you with their contact details so you can keep nurturing them.

Additionally, if you're giving away a free e-book in return for email addresses, your target market has already shown enough interest to go to the next step.


The desire stage is the third step in a digital marketing funnel. At this point, your visitors will stay on your website longer, watch more of your media, and maybe even sign up for your email list.

Visitors' attention has already been piqued by this point, and they want additional details before making a choice.

Before making a choice, they could consult with customer care agents, check internet reviews, or compare the goods and services provided by other businesses. This is the time to assess if your target market will really buy what you are offering.

Getting them to sign up for a free trial or providing them with another incentive that necessitates action is the best method to do this.

You need to be certain that any strategy you decide on will pique your target market's interest in what you have to offer to the point where they will consent to take action.


Customers are in the action stage when they have acquired your product or service and are using it regularly. The conversion procedure might go quickly, or it can take a while.

This often relies on what you're offering, the price range, and the urgency of the issue your goods and services address.

Building long-term connections with your clients are the main focus of this phase. Although it's natural to conceive of this phase as occurring "after the sale," that's not quite correct.

Once someone purchases anything from you, the connection doesn't stop; in fact, that's when it starts.

An area coffee shop, for instance, emails customers each week about new goods, services, and company news.

It's clear that they took the effort to make their email personable and engaging, which contributes much to forging a close bond with the client.


The re-purchase stage is exactly what it sounds like: a stage in the funnel that motivates repeat business from current consumers.


Because returning consumers are much more likely to make a purchase than new ones, it's an important step (they tend to spend more money on each purchase, too).

You must make every effort to keep clients interested and return to make further purchases. This entails thanking them and giving them incentives and savings for being dependable clients.

At this time, you should also be on the lookout for indications that potential new consumers are poised to convert to recurring business.

You can tell when they're ready by monitoring their online behavior, and when they are, making an effort to personally contact them may assist them in advancing to the subsequent step of their customer journey.


Advocacy is the sixth and last step of a digital marketing funnel.

When consumers have a favorable experience with your brand and products, you want to transform them into brand advocates who are eager to suggest them to other people.

I found that word-of-mouth is effective. Thus it is trusted.

When compared to anything they've seen on television or read about in a press release, people are significantly more inclined to purchase from a company that a friend or family member has suggested.

It might be challenging to transform clients into passionate fans, but below are several straightforward strategies you can do to improve your chances.

  • Request comments - Asking your clients what they think of your goods or services is not anything to be frightened of. Many of them will probably share their great experiences, but others may provide recommendations for improvements. This knowledge can help you grow your company and attract new clients with positive reviews.
  • Honor brand evangelists - Give someone a discount voucher or gift card as a token of your gratitude if they go above and above to suggest your product or service.

Maintaining pleased and engaged consumers is crucial since every new customer begins the full sales cycle. Because of the role that advocacy plays – the happier they are, the more likely they are to recommend your company to others.

Digital marketing funnel benefits

Today, companies that sell things must create funnels since they are the foundation of any successful retailer. The advantages of creating a digital marketing funnel for your company are listed below.

Maximizing resources

Small companies have limited marketing and sales resources, so they need every edge they can get. Digital Marketing funnels assist them optimize their resources by channeling their efforts towards the most productive techniques.

Simplify the customer journey 

Digital marketing funnels streamline the customer journey and make it simpler for businesses to manage. These solutions outline each stage of their client's decision-making process and the measures they intend to take in each.

It is an excellent technique to examine how your firm interacts with its consumers. Whether you want to increase online sales, drive visitors to your physical business, or collect clicks as an affiliate, a digital marketing funnel may assist.


Digital Marketing Funnel tells you where you're losing consumers and where your approach might be improved. If a buyer doesn't take the next step in your funnel after clicking on an ad or email, alter your approach.

Generating fresh leads

The potential to "generate high-quality leads" is a significant advantage of including sales funnels in your digital marketing plan. Businesses will inevitably attract new leads with funnels that have the proper content.

The best kind of material to use relies on your company, your sector, and the kinds of leads you want to draw in. Learn more about the many forms of digital marketing.

Additionally, the information should provide clients with answers to their difficulties in order to solve their concerns.

Its format should be condensed, such as an eBook, download guide, online quiz, etc. Obtaining a list of everyone's email addresses is essential when distributing the information. 

The prospects then join the funnel, allowing you to begin nurturing them and developing a connection with them.

Concentrating on the correct leads 

The leads worth pursuing will be identified by your marketing funnel, even if not all leads will turn into customers.

You may spend your time and resources more effectively by dealing with leads who have potential rather than focusing on prospects who are not likely to convert. 

To contact the prospects and assess their level of seriousness about the purchasing process, you may choose to use an email survey or a phone call.

Not all leads have the potential to become customers, as was previously indicated.

For instance, if your email marketing campaign targets 40,000 leads, it is quite probable that just 4,000 of those leads will read the email, 800 of them will click the link, and only 300 of them will actually sign up for the webinar. 

Only 100 leads are anticipated to sign up for the webinar, of whom ten will ask for a demo. Only two leads will ultimately purchase the merchandise. Consequently, it's crucial to concentrate on the proper possibilities.

Increase in conversion rates 

The increase in conversion rates is another advantage of adopting a marketing funnel. Increased focused marketing as a consequence of clear funnels helps to improve the introduction of new prospects.

The more prospects you have, the more interest people are showing in your company.

Having a thorough understanding of each lead's journey through the marketing funnel also helps firms increase their conversion rates.

They thus get knowledge about the time it takes for prospects to become customers. The personalization of their sales presentation made possible by this knowledge raises conversion rates.

On average, 3% is the conversion rate for a funnel. Even if it doesn't seem like much, the conversion rate with a funnel is still greater than without one. 3% conversion rate is an excellent starting point since your company may raise it over time.

Better forecasts for sales volume 

Being able to predict sales volumes more accurately is another reason why companies utilize marketing funnels.

Better forecasts for sales volume

You may more correctly predict your sales volume by tracking how many leads enter the marketing funnel and how many of those convert. Forecasting the number of sales requires an understanding of your conversion rate.

Businesses may estimate future sales accurately with the use of marketing funnels. In order to plan sales for the future quarter, these forecasts are useful. Making more of an effort to reach the goal requires a strategy.

Developing trust 

Building trust and improving relationships with your leads is another advantage of employing marketing funnels.

Prospects are unlikely to decide to buy anything right away since they need time to develop a connection with the sellers and gain their confidence. 

Fortunately, marketing funnels make it possible for sellers to establish connections with potential customers.

These marketing pipelines also include a lot of points of contact throughout time, which is important for conversions.

Businesses may gradually develop connections with their prospects and wait for them to be ready to buy by frequently offering educational information. One of the most important factors in convincing people to buy products from a certain brand is trust.

These models also provide you with plenty of opportunities to win your audience's confidence. A key objective of funnel construction is to establish trust with clients so that firms may present themselves to them

An email autoresponder, often known as a sequence of automatic emails that are sent to new subscribers, is one of the fundamental elements used by the majority of marketing funnels.

Your chances of having good contact with prospects rise if you introduce yourself to them on your own terms.

Converting email subscribers 

For a good reason, email is regarded as the center of marketing funnels. In comparison to the other marketing methods, it offers a larger return on investment.

Compared to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, it is believed to be more successful in attracting new customers.

Additionally, the conversion rate for email subscribers is a startlingly high 20%. For other mediums, a conversion rate this high is unusual. Therefore, it is advised that businesses create such pipelines with email marketing at their heart. 

They stand to benefit from emails' ability to increase sales. No matter what kind of company you operate, it will increase your sales dramatically.

Digital marketing funnel importance

Businesses require a digital marketing funnel because it helps them promote their products and services more successfully.

Businesses have a chance to interact with their target market and establish enduring bonds with members of the local community during the whole process.

Additionally, this method enables marketers to keep an eye on consumer behavior, concentrate on what works, and enhance unsuccessful strategies. This funnel may be used by marketers as a structure for communicating with their target market.

For instance, individuals are often quite busy with their daily tasks and don't have time to read extensive stuff online.

Here's where a digital funnel really gets going. Marketers write a piece about a new product, and people who are interested in that sort of merchandise.

This enables businesses to create lasting bonds with members of the community and other users who could turn out to be future buyers of their goods

Marketers enhance their overall performance by using data gathered across the digital marketing funnel based on consumer behavior.

In other words, by analyzing client demands and behavior at each step of the marketing campaign, a digital marketing funnel helps marketers to generate traffic, build brand recognition, and improve overall company performance.

After that, they develop a connection with them over time and eventually assist in their conversion to sales.

Marketers aim to identify the ideal target market and track customer behavior at each level of the sales funnel by gathering vast amounts of data.

Digital marketing funnel examples

Now you have understood what a digital marketing funnel is, here are some known companies and their digital marketing funnel strategies to get you inspired.


Without a question, this entertainment company is the most well-known when it comes to TV shows and movies.


Their success was a result of the effective marketing funnel they set up, not by chance. In other words, they draw you unknowingly into the funnel.

Netflix is an expert at using social media to raise awareness. Short, entrancing snippets that make you wish the movie was out right now are posted on social media in order to generate enthusiasm for impending events.

After that, you discover yourself heading into Netflix to find out when the episode will air. You are unknowingly already in their marketing funnel.

Additionally, they have a significant Instagram following of around 27 million users. They utilize IGTV to interact with their viewers via their favorite Netflix characters.

That's not all, however. With a free 30-day trial and a 3-day notice before the trial expires, their site is excellent. This guarantees that you won't be charged as a result of forgetting to cancel your free trial.

Users may also download content so they can view it offline without using data. They also provide new visitors with clarifications in their FAQ area. In conclusion, they provide a sense of involvement, trust, clarity, and usability.


For email marketing, blogs may use ConvertKit. The firm is the ideal illustration of how webinars may support small companies' sales and marketing funnels.


Only client recommendations and testimonials, particularly from bloggers, were the company's main sources of growth, and it only made approximately USD 80,000 each month.

However, the business afterward chose to organize webinars in collaboration with Convertkit affiliates and began earning over USD 600,000 per month.

ConvertKit's founder, Nathan Barry, hosted webinars that attracted thousands of additional bloggers by using the company's existing clients, who were predominantly bloggers.

At each webinar, he made sure to present material that was pertinent, assisting bloggers in expanding their companies

Instead of putting his goods first, he was assisting his target market by doing this. His product, ConvertKit, was more likely to be used by the audience as a result. Additionally, the program was available for a free trial by anybody.


With Basecamp, a company's employees may collaborate remotely on projects while using a project management tool.


During the awareness stage, Bootcamp's grateful and devoted customers advocate for the company's services. By doing this, Bootcamp spreads to an increasing number of businesses.

Furthermore, the team members' approachable personalities and mindsets play a big part in drawing customers to the business.

When you go to the Bootcamp website, you are immediately sucked into the funnel. You are absolutely hooked by the homepage's content. As soon as you arrive, you are fully aware of what they provide and how it simplifies your job.

Their Click-Through-Rate (CTA) is quite obvious, and their legitimacy is supported by data showing how many businesses joined up the prior week.

You quickly think, "It appears I'm the only one left," when you see the enormous number. It's imperative that I join the crowd.

You notice a sentence as you turn to glance around that seems to have been penned by a coworker. This keeps you interested and forces you to keep reading.

The material is then very well-written, convincing, and supported by recommendations.

At that point, you begin to believe it. The growth curve you can see at the bottom of the page is special and serves to highlight just how far they've come.


CoSchedule is another fantastic illustration of a marketing funnel. Software called CoSchedule analyzes headlines. Copywriters seeking tips on how to make their headlines more attention-grabbing and click-through-friendly are its target market.


To pique consumers' interest in the pricey Headline Studio Pro, the CoSchedule offers the Headline Analyzer Studio product for free. Of course, copywriters and bloggers strive to have a catchy title.

They may test their headlines using this program, which will assess them according to several criteria and provide tips on how to raise their scores. This encourages the user to improve the headline in order to get a better score.

You may use the free tool without entering your credit card information. Debits thus pose no threat to you whatsoever. When you use the free studio for a while, the value you get is great and makes you wish the Pro version had even more features.

One of the proven best practices for marketing funnels is the free trial, which is the sales funnel method applied here. CoSchedule, on the other hand, takes it a step further by making it totally free. 

You may use it for free indefinitely, but you can no longer utilize certain premium services. It is no longer strictly a trial where you have to pay or opt out after a month.

This sales funnel illustration mostly applies to goods or services that need extensive testing. There are, of course, many analyzers available, but CoSchedule wants the user to see the value in what they provide.

The consumer may then freely choose to upgrade to Pro if they desire additional value.


Groupon is an internet retailer with thousands of customers each month. When a new visitor accesses the website, a clear email grabber appears. One of their most effective sales funnel techniques is this pop.


They get website visitors via advertisements, recommendations, affiliates, etc. The pop-up on the site persuades users to provide their email addresses

Users may save up to 70% on their purchases by joining up. Additionally, Groupon offers a customized follow-up to entice clients to make additional purchases.

How to build a digital marketing funnel

There are 8 common steps on how to build a digital marketing funnel. 

Increase brand recognition

No one can dispute Google's passion for branding. A powerful brand is influenced by many different aspects, including the presence of branded searches, brand mentions, and more. A brand is not precisely defined.

Increase brand recognition

Brand mentions, which may also include nofollow links, are an important component. It might include things like online brand references that don't include links

This shows Google that your business has a strong brand and is featured in reputable online directories. A brand is normally of high quality when it is specifically stated.

Carefully marketing segmenting your audience allows you to tailor your messaging based on their interests and needs.

A strong brand often exudes credibility. People are more inclined to click on and read the material on a search result if it is from a brand they are acquainted with and follow.

We now come to trademarked search phrases. These keywords include a brand name; examples include "business name + blog," "what is the company name," and other variations.

If terms like these have a respectable volume, Google may infer that your brand is powerful.

This stage is often known as the top of the funnel (TOFU), as your goal is to begin generating as much traffic as you can.

To discover what converts and which audience segments react to you better, you want to cast a broad net, get these individuals to your website, and funnel them through your sales process.

Choose your target market for each level of the funnel

Your funnel's many phases will target various facets of your target market. Your targeting will get more precise the deeper your funnel your audience progresses.

If you run a website in the pet industry, for instance, your top-of-the-funnel will draw in pet owners or maybe even just animal enthusiasts in general.

This will get more precise as they descend the funnel.

Perhaps they first read about dog grooming on your website, which then focuses on their particular breed, before moving on to grooming equipment made just for their dog and the issue they're having.

Create a marketing strategy

Prior to creating your marketing funnels, you need to establish your marketing objectives. You may design a variety of different funnels for a variety of objectives.

A sales funnel for an eCommerce business that wants to increase product sales via paid advertising will vary from one for a course maker who wants to use long-form material to draw in email subscribers and make a sale later on.

The details will change, but the approach will stay the same overall.

Create distinct conversion channels for every objective

You probably have many conversion funnels set up unless you just have one product and a straightforward one-product sales page. Different conversion funnels will be put up to assist you in achieving your goals if you have various objectives.

You may, for instance, have a funnel for increasing email subscribers, one for increasing sales, one for selling high-ticket items through email, and more. As you can see, conversion funnels may be constructed in a variety of ways. 

These depend on the kind of content assets you already have or intend to develop and your final objective.

Typically, you'll test several funnels to discover which converts best while running numerous funnels concurrently.

For each level of the funnel, provide tailored content

Let's look at how various pieces of content will go into your funnel now that you have a better knowledge of how digital marketing sales funnels operate and the various audience types you are targeting.

  • Top of the funnel (TOFU) - It is the attraction phase. You'll be inviting others into your world here. During this stage, creating brand awareness is a major focus of content creation. The majority of individuals entering your funnel at this point will be hearing about your brand for the first time. People are starting to interact and engage with your brand at this point.
  • Middle of the funnel (MOFU) - It is the stage of engagement. People are beginning to truly interact with your brand at this point. This often entails consuming a lot of your emails, information, and other media, like videos. Additionally, the attraction stage and the engagement stage overlap. For instance, you may drive traffic to your website by having your blog entries rank well in the search engines. However, blog postings will also provide a ton of content and solve issues for your visitors.
  • Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) - It is the decision-making stage. Your visitors will already be aware of who you are at this point and be considering whether or not to buy your goods or services. The first sale may not come straight away, depending on your specialty. A subscriber may sign up for your email list, read your daily or weekly emails, and then become a client six months later.

In the end, building a long-term connection is more important than closing a deal.

You may provide a free trial, free sample, or a live demo of your product whether you sell physical goods or even have a SaaS product. One of the last conversion process phases will be this.

They either purchase after the free trial, sample, or demo, or they don't.

The development of relationships is the last step. It's ideal if you already have a strong connection with them before they decide to purchase, but now is the opportunity to strengthen it.

Use many marketing tools to reach your market

There are several strategies you may use to connect with your target market. Your chosen strategies will be determined by your target market's characteristics, the websites they frequent, and your available funds.

Here are some examples of the many marketing avenues you may utilize to connect with your target market:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) -  To attract more visitors, increase the visibility of your website in search results.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Create advertisements that are shown above search results and direct visitors to a landing page.
  • Paid Social Media Ads - Promote on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other sites.
  • Natural Social Media Share - Add original material on your social media platforms and include a link to your website in your profile.

Analyze the outcomes and improve your funnels

Your sales will change over time. You'll need a way to track the effectiveness of your sales funnels.

Analyze the outcomes and improve your funnels

For instance, the number of people that subscribe to your email list after a click on an Instagram ad.

Alternatively, the duration of the stay of your customers on your email list before they make a purchase. The only way to discover the answers to these and other questions is to analyze your data.

You may tweak your funnels to convert more effectively as you review your statistics

Beginning from the top and moving down is the best sales funnel method. When producing material, such as sponsored advertisements, videos, or blog articles, for instance, you may experiment to discover what works until you start receiving visitors.

After that, you may test various components of your landing pages or opt-in pages, such as headline, images, body copy, and Click-Through-Rate (CTA).

Small changes may result in significant income increases. Your funnel will ultimately achieve its peak performance, but in the meanwhile, you'll be doing a lot of testing and experimenting.

To close any gaps in your funnel, you should assess each step and determine which ones convert best and worst.

Pay close attention to client loyalty

Your client retention rate is one crucial statistic to monitor. It is the proportion of customers that stick around over the long haul and keep using your goods and services. Even if you just make one sale, the funnel is still active.

You'll need to continually produce fresh leads if your retention rate is poor in order to keep your firm solvent.

With a strong retention rate, however, you can put more of your attention into providing excellent customer service and less into generating new leads.

Your consumers are more likely to make a second, third, or fourth purchase from you if you keep them satisfied. Additionally, you may encourage clients to spread the word about your company to others.


You now fully comprehend how to construct a digital marketing sales funnel from the ground up. The awareness stage is when visitors initially enter your funnel, often via social media, blog articles, or paid advertising.

They will learn more about your services when they read your content or subscribe to your email list. Once they have finished their study and gained your confidence, these prospects will become clients.

The burden is then on you to strengthen this bond and satisfy your clients enough so that they remain with you over the long term.

Although developing a digital marketing funnel is a continuous effort, doing so may ultimately change the course of your company.

Remember that depending on the precise requirements of your organization, there is a lot of flexibility in how these steps are handled in the real world.

You run the danger of straining your marketing efforts if you attempt to push any one of these phases too far or hold them too tight.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}