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What Is A Sales Funnel In Marketing?

What Is A Sales Funnel In Marketing?

Sales Funnels: What They Are, How to Make One, and Several Examples of Them

So What Is A Sales Funnel?

Each stage of a sales funnel influences consumer behavior. Therefore, you must be intimately familiar with them.

sales funnel

By understanding every step, you’ll be able to use strategies to increase the amount of potential customers that move from one designated step to another.

This can impact your company in crazy ways.

If you multiply the amount of people by two at every other step of the funnel, you’ll be able to not only double your leads, but double the amount of new customer percentages.

That will provide you with four times the amount of brand-new customers you get each month.

Establishing a sales funnel and managing it accordingly is a powerful concept in business.

This article will endeavor to explore it further.

Sales Funnels: What Are They?

Sales funnels involve steps that people take on the journey to becoming a customer of yours.

Let’s assess a brick/mortar type of sales funnel.

Individuals at the very top notice your store. Some enter it, which is the subsequent step of your funnel.

Someone might notice an article of clothing on the clearance rack. They start sifting through selections on that rack, pushing these shoppers even further through the funnel.

After a bit of time passes, the customer ends up picking a few shirts before heading to the cashier. Now they have reached the final step.

Assuming things go as planned, they’ll be able to complete the purchase before reaching the very bottom of your funnel.

This very same process will play out for all businesses in some capacity. A sales funnel can exist for:

  • Personal consultations
  • Emails
  • Websites
  • Sales teams.
  • Retail stores

All marketing channels can be an aspect of your existing sales funnel. You have the ability to spread your funnel across multiple channels.

Why Are Sales Funnels so Important?

The sales funnel that you create will push prospects towards a route that you want them to take.

Being familiar with your sales funnel will help you determine where the flaws in it are – areas where prospects potentially exit the funnel without converting.

If you are not familiar with your own sales funnel, then you won’t be able to optimize it. This article will go over the particulars of sales funnels.

We’ll start off by saying that you do have the ability to influence the way visitors move from one part of the funnel to another. You can also gauge whether they convert or not by the time they’ve reached the end of it.

How Sales Funnels Work

sales funnel

We will go through the most common stages of a sales funnel and explain how they work. You will learn how a consumer becomes a visitor, then a prospect, and eventually, a buyer.

Visitors get to your site through social links or a search engine query. At this point, they will be considered prospects. A visitor might have a look at your blog articles or go through your product inventory.

They should be given an opportunity to subscribe to your email newsletter at a certain point.

If visitors complete your sign up form, then they will turn into leads. You’ll then be able to market to those customers – even if they are not on your website – either by text, email, or phone.

Leads generally return to your site after you get in touch with them with blog article information updates, special offers, or some type of intriguing message.

You should consider offering them a promotional code of some sort they can redeem.

Sales funnels get more narrow as a visitor moves further through it. That’s because you will have several prospects lingering at the very top, a stark contrast to the amount of people at the funnel’s bottom end.

The way your messaging is targeted will filter the prospects.

Understanding the Stages of the Sales Funnel

What is a sales funnel in marketing

AIDA is an acronym that stands for Awareness, Interest, Decisions, and Action. Those are the four stages involved with a sales funnel. Each of them represent the mindset of a prospective customer.

Every stage will warrant a unique technique from the marketer – a.k.a. you. Refrain from sending out an improper message at an improper time.

It would be like if a waiter asked you what sort of dessert you wanted before you ordered your meal.

Let’s go through each stage of the funnel in greater detail.


When the attention of the consumer is first caught, you have created awareness about your business for them. Awareness might come about through a social media post, search engine query, or something completely different.

Your prospect will learn that your business exists, as well as what it offers.

If the chemistry seems right, consumers will feel inclined to buy something almost right away. This is particularly true if the timing and setting are in sync.

Consumers probably have already conducted research and understand that you are offering something they want at a price that is reasonable.

More often than not, this stage involves a courtship. You are essentially attempting to “woo” a prospect into coming to your website and interacting more with it.


After a consumer reaches this stage, they will, as previously mentioned, probably have already conducted research, did some comparison-shopping, or considered their options.

At this time, you should provide them with content that can influence their mindset without being too pushy.

If a service or product is being shoved down the consumer’s throat from the get-go, they’ll end up being turned off. You’ll probably never hear from them again.

The objective is to demonstrate your knowledge, help consumers make educated choices, and make them aware of your availability in the event that they need you.


At this stage, a consumer is on their way to becoming a customer. They may be going over a few of their options, one of which is hopefully your business.

Your absolute best offer should be made now. That may come in the form of free shipping (which could be a highlight if your competition doesn’t offer it).

It may also come in the form of some kind of bonus product or promotional code. Whatever it is, your offering should be irresistible, to the point where a lead won’t be able to say no to it.


The end of the funnel is where the consumer takes action. Your service or product is purchased, and they become an aspect of your company’s ecosystem.

The consumer might’ve reached the end of the sales funnel, but that does not mean that your job is done. You will need to do everything that you can to convince them to buy more of whatever they bought.

To put it another way, you need to concentrate on the retention of your customers. Gratitude should be expressed for their purchase. Encourage them to leave you feedback. Make yourself readily available if they are in need of customer support.

An Example of an Impactful Sales Funnel

Let’s say you are the owner of an online business selling vintage signs. The audience that you are targeting spends a lot of time on Facebook. This demographic is a mix of females and males that are as young as 25 and old as 65.

You decide to run an ad on Facebook, and it is successful enough to drive traffic to your landing page. When a prospect gets to that page, encourage them to subscribe to an email list you manage. By doing so, they will become one of your newest leads.

At this point, you will have leads rather than prospects. They are the ones that are navigating through your sales funnel.

Throughout the next several weeks, you will be sending out content educating subscribers about the vintage signs you sell. You will share some of your design inspirations, as well as explain how to put up a sign after it arrives.

Once the email blitz you’ve sent out comes to an end, you can provide leads with a promotion of some sort that gives them a discount off their very first order.

Just like that, people will have an incentive to buy something they were on the fence about.

Those customers will then be transferred to another version of your email list. The same process will be repeated for this email blitz, except this time, you’ll be using different content.

People who receive this email will be given ideas for signs to hang on their walls. They will learn how to take care of their signs.

You can even encourage them to buy a sign as a birthday or Christmas gift. Basically, you’ll be encouraging people on this email list to return for more.

  • Awareness – an ad is created and run on Facebook, which encourages people to check out your site.
  • Interest – you provide something valuable in return for a lead capture.
  • Decisions – content tells your audience what they need to know, then gets them ready to buy something.
  • Action – a promotion should be offered to your leads that they cannot say no to. You can then start marketing to these people once again for the sake of boosting retention.

Building a Funnel Quickly

At this point, you are probably eager to create your first sales funnel. Fortunately, the process is a lot easier than you think.

Analyze the Behavior of Your Audience

When you are familiar with your audience, you’ll be able to make your funnel more effective. There is no need to market to everyone. You only need to market to individuals that are an ideal fit for the things that you are selling.

Open up an account on “Hubspot” and begin developing snapshots. These reports will tell you about user behavior, as well as help you track website activity.

You can use this data to determine how people are interacting with your website.

What are they clicking on? At what point do they start scrolling? How much of their time is spent on a specific page? Such data points can go a long way towards helping you refine buyer personals.

Capture the Attention of Your Audience

One way of making a sales funnel effective is by alluring people toward it. That could involve placing your content directly in the eyes of your targeted audience.

Be as organic as possible and post a slew of content all over your platforms. Use videos, infographics, and other kinds of media to diversify your content.

If you are able to, run several ads. The best place to have those ads is where your targeted audience spends the most time in. If you are running a B2B-based company, then ads on LinkedIn might be just the thing you need.

Landing Page Building

Your content must bring prospects to a specific place. You should be directing these people to some sort of landing page that contains an offer – one that people will have a difficult time turning down.

Because these individuals are fairly low on the funnel, concentrate on lead capturing rather than pushing sales.

The landing page you create should steer visitors towards the subsequent steps they need to take.

An assertive CTA (call to action) will tell people precisely what steps to take, whether that entails watching a video of some sort or downloading an e-book for free.

Create a Drip Campaign for Emails

Leads should be marketed to via email. All you have to do is offer outstanding content to them. You should be doing this on a regular basis, just not too much. A couple of emails each week will be enough.

Your sale is something you should build up towards by attempting to educate your target market first. Is there something specific they are interested in learning?

What objections and obstacles will you have to get through in order to convince these people to buy something?

By the time the drip campaign is over, an offer should be made that is incredible. This is the content that inspires leads to take action.

A great email marketing program I use is GetResponse. They offer a free 30-day trail that you can get here.

Remain in Contact

Always remember your current customers. Continue to reach out to these people. Be appreciative of their business by offering them exclusive coupon codes. Get them involved whenever you launch a new social media event.

Measuring Your Sales Funnels’ Success

measuring success

Your funnel may need a few adjustments as your company grows. This will happen after you find more useful information about the customers you have targeted. That data can be used to diversify your services and products.

One great approach to defining a sales funnel’s effectiveness involves tracking conversion rates. For instance, what amount of people subscribed to the email list you run after they clicked a social media ad?

Be mindful of the following stages of your sales funnel:

  • Have you captured your customers’ attention with the content you put out?
  • Do prospects have enough faith in you to submit their personal info to you?
  • Have purchases from an email drip campaign been secured? What about other types of marketing endeavors?
  • Are existing customers returning and making more purchases from you?

Once you know what the answers are to the questions above, you’ll know exactly what tweaks to make to your existing sales funnel.

Always Optimize the Sales Funnel

You aren’t the only game in town. As such, you’ll need to convince prospective customers to select your services and products over the ones offered by your competition. This isn’t something you can force, though.

If your sales funnel isn’t optimized tightly, then you’ll just be making guesses about the things that your prospects are looking for. You will lose sales if you aren’t optimizing your sales funnel.

A product like HubSpot can be used to observe the way people are interacting with your website. What are they clicking on? Is there anything that comes across as confusing to them?

Have they been concentrating on things that you want them to focus on?

This is especially important for landing pages. If they aren’t optimized to convert, then a majority of people will end up leaving the site.

Optimizing a Sales Funnel

A sales funnel can be optimized in all sorts of ways. The key areas that you should be focusing on are ones that help consumers navigate from one point to another in your funnel.

We discussed Facebook Ads earlier. You shouldn’t just be running a single ad. Run between ten and twenty. Similar as they may be, they should be directed to various buyer personas.

Utilize the targeting features offered by Facebook to ensure that as are appearing before the eyes of specific audiences you have targeted.

A/B testing should be done for every landing page you create. It will take some time to get the results you need, but you’ll ultimately end up reaching much more people. Subsequently, you’ll be able to convert prospects much more reliably.

A/B testing can also be done for email campaigns. Alter layouts, offers, imagery, and languages to determine what audiences are responding to most.

The most optimal approach to optimizing a sales funnel is to keep a close eye on results. Begin with the funnel’s top portion. You are creating content – organic or paid – that gets fresh eyes on your products and services.

You are encouraging prospects to go ahead and click on whatever your CTA entails. If a certain form of content is ineffective, then you should be trying something else.

The landing pages should then be focused on urgently. Be sure that the CTA and offer correspond with content in either your social media ad or blog articles (or another type of asset that you utilized to direct traffic that way).

Evaluate your imagery, body copy, and headline to determine what is most effective.

When asking people who are in the funnel’s Action stage (a.k.a. the last stage) to make a purchase from you, some A/B testing should be performed for your offer.

Is a free shipping offer more effective than a discount of 5%? Small things like this will make a big difference, as far as your revenue is concerned.

Lastly, consumer retention rates should be closely tracked. Are people returning and repeatedly buying from you? Are they referring friends your way?

Your objective will be to keep your company, and therefore your brand, on the top of people’s minds. If you don’t disappoint your existing audience, then you won’t give them any incentive to look at the competition.

In Closing

Creation and optimization of an effective sales funnel will take some time. A lot of work will be involved, however, this is what you need to do to thrive in marketplaces that are competitive.

Small details like the choice of fonts you use can actually affect conversion rates. If people are asked to make purchases from you way too fast, you’ll end up chasing them away.

Put some time into building an effective sales funnel – one that is representative of the things that you want, as well as what your target audience is looking for.

This sales funnel shall be cultivated gradually. Your approaches should be adjusted through each stage in order to determine what is working and what isn’t.

If you want a tool that can help you with building a sales funnel and provides you with a 30-day free “boot camp” that teaching you how to use it effectively consider ClickFunnels. You can get a FREE 30-day trail here.

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