Marketing tips

Marketing Funnel Tips, Tricks & Guide for 2021

Michael Costin

Whether you’re offering a product or a service, your customer goes on a journey. This journey begins the first time they make contact with your business. Ideally, the journey continues even after they’ve made a purchase.But how do you map out that customer’s journey? And how do you make it as easy and painless as possible for them? The answer lies in an effective marketing funnel.Below, we’ll go through what a marketing funnel is, and how you can structure yours to get the best results for you and your customers.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

The phrase marketing funnel has been around for over a century, originally and often still called a sales funnel. The idea of the funnel is that there are different stages in your marketing strategy, all corresponding to a stage in the customer’s journey.If you imagine pouring something through a funnel, you can put a lot in the top, and not much comes out of the bottom. There’s a restrictive point in the funnel that allows you to pour whatever you want to pour into a smaller, more contained glass or box or whatever it may be.This exact principal is what is at play with a marketing funnel. You get a lot of potential customers in at the top. However, not every customer buys your product or service. So, you add various layers to your funnel to guide them towards the sale.

Building Awareness to Drive Sales

Employing a marketing funnel allows you to put your product on a lot of people’s radars all at once. Then, you can use various marketing techniques and platforms to guide some of those people towards buying your product.These marketing techniques include things like SEO and social media, along with email marketing and direct outreach as well. You use all of these techniques to build a relationship with your potential customers across their journey towards making a purchase.You need to build trust at every stage, rather than simply forcing your product down their throats. The ideal approach results in a pool of returning buyers, who in turn stock up the funnel with positive feedback and referrals.But how do you put all of this together to create a successful marketing funnel?

What Makes a Successful Marketing Funnel?

Obviously, the goal of your marketing funnel is to get more sales. However, you should also measure the success of your marketing funnel from the point of view of your customers. It’s not all about getting as many sales as fast as you possibly can.Instead, your goal is to improve the customer experience along the way to encourage your customers to buy more from you and become repeat customers.So, contrary to your funnel for pouring something from one container to another, you should design your marketing funnel to entice customers that make it to the bottom to stay there and continue buying from you!

Taking the Right Approach

There are different ways you can approach the marketing funnel. Many brands prefer to split it up into the top of the funnel, the middle and the bottom, or ToFu, MoFu and BoFu for short.However, we prefer to take a closer look at all of the individual stages of the marketing funnel instead. This allows you to really fine-tune and understand which parts of your funnel are working and what needs to evolve.We’ve split our marketing funnel into 6 stages: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation and Purchase. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.


The awareness stage is the very first stage in your marketing funnel. It sits right at the top, and you can imagine it as the widest part of your funnel. This stage is the one in which you really put your feelers out and try to get on as many of your potential customers’ radars as you can.This stage involves a lot of research on your part, and you use marketing campaigns to try and draw people towards your business. You might use social media advertising or in-person events. It also includes things like blog posts to try and attract visitors to your website, or perhaps you prefer to email potential customers directly.

Focus on Quality

You need to create high-value content here. This is your initial chance to gain your potential customers’ trust, so you want to make the most of it.Think of this stage as getting customers through the door of your shop. You haven’t shown them everything you have to offer quite yet, but you’re ready to tell them why they should choose your product or service.This is the real lead generation phase, and so you can use this to gather data and use a lead management system to gain a good understanding of your potential customer base. This stage involves the highest number of potential leads in the entire funnel. From here, it’s all about convincing those customers to move further down the funnel.


After you establish brand awareness, it’s all about creating interest. You have the leads, now you need to show them why they should buy your product. You need to create interest, so that they want to learn more about what you have to offer.This stage is where your customers learn more about your business. So, you want to provide them with everything they want to know. This is the first stage where you can really start to foster relationships between your brand and your customers.

Nurturing the Relationship

The way you do this depends on your business and industry. Perhaps you’re speaking directly with your customers in store, or maybe you’re sending out emails every so often. You want to nurture the relationship, guiding them further along their journey down your marketing funnel.Targeting your marketing is essential in this phase. You need to learn quickly what your customers want to hear and see. If you start turning them away at this stage, they’re unlikely to come back.So, you want to try and quickly generate interest. You also don’t want to bombard them with marketing material that might make them walk away. So, it’s all about finding the balance, so that you can eventually turn them into qualified leads.


Consideration is the next stage. You now have qualified leads and are ready to convince them to make the purchase. By this stage, your potential customer base has probably shrunk significantly since the awareness phase.While on the surface this sounds bad, it usually means the ones that have hung around this long are serious about buying from you. So, this is your chance to really do everything but seal the deal.

Automated Email Campaigns

Use this stage to send those potential customers more information about what it is you have to offer. By this stage they should be on your email list, and so automated email campaigns are a great way to really get the most value out of this stage for the least time investment.Once again you need to be very targeted in your approach here. Send your customers offers and free trials, and anything else you think might help guide them towards saying “Yes.”


If all goes well in the consideration phase, your potential customers should now intend to buy from you. All they need is a little push in the right direction, or perhaps to have a few of their burning questions answered before they click the buy button.If your approach is in person, the prospective customer might have just seen a product demo. Or perhaps they’ve answered a survey you sent out. If you’re in the digital space, they might have just added your product to their basket.Whatever the sign of intent is, now is your time to shine. You need to seal the deal here, by showing them exactly why they’re making the right decision. If they ask a question, answer it straight away. If their item is in a shopping basket, prompt them one last time about why your brand is the one to go for.Once you’ve made your case, the potential customer then moves on to the penultimate stage of the marketing funnel.


Your customers are nearly there. They now just need to finalise their decision. You should have used the intent phase to convince them to buy your product, so this stage may be out of your hands.However, over time you can formulate this stage to improve the customer experience at the tail end of the funnel. Streamlining your user interface for example can help make it easier for your customer to make their decision.

Make It as Easy as Possible

When they’ve added your product to their basket, make sure there’s nothing else on the page to distract them from hitting “Buy.” This means no adverts, no options to go to other parts of the website and ideally as little text as possible.Once the buyer has evaluated whether or not your product is the right one for them, it’s time for the purchase phase.


The final stage of your marketing funnel is probably your favourite. This is when your customer has made their mind up and says yes or presses the buy button. But you’re not done yet!This stage requires the same approach as the evaluation phase, in that it should be as easy as possible for your customers to buy your product. Nobody wants to click through 10 confirm messages or answer 20 questions about their purchase when they’re ready to leave your shop.

Make It Efficient

It could be as simple as making sure your webpages load quickly. Expect your conversion rate to drop by more than 4% for every second your customers have to wait after the first five. So, make sure nobody needs to hang around before they can press buy, or they might never do it!Instead, your sales team should take care of the purchase efficiently, making it as pleasant for the customer as possible. This is the final point of contact for this specific transaction, so you want to make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons, and not the wrong ones.

The Funnel Continues

But the sales funnel doesn’t actually stop there. The purchase phase is also often not the final point of contact for individual transactions. You can follow up with your customers via email to ask them about their experience or to leave a review.Ideally, your customers will become repeat buyers. So, while they don’t go back to the top of the funnel, they might simply come back to the purchase phase from time to time. This helps boost the overall efficiency of your marketing funnel.But they don’t need to buy more from you to help you get more out of your marketing funnel. You can ask customers to review their purchase or tell their friends about how great your products are.

Offer Them Incentives

You can offer them incentives to do this, with special offers and discounts. If you’ve convinced a customer to buy from you, it’s often far easier to do so again. So, even if they do end up back at the awareness stage in future, they should make their way through the funnel much faster, provided you offer a great product!While your goal is to attract potential buyers into your sales funnel with the awareness phase, using existing customers to fill up the funnel directly is obviously welcomed as well.So, that’s how to construct an effective marketing funnel from top to bottom. But what techniques should you use to get the most out of it?

Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Techniques

Having each of these stages in place isn’t just a case of telling someone to be ready to guide people in the door, or to create a purchase page on your website when you notice your first visitors appearing.Instead, you need to have each approach and strategy in place from the start. Below, we outline some of the best approaches you can employ for each stage of your marketing funnel.

1. Creating Valuable Content

One of the easiest ways you can make your marketing funnel more efficient is to create valuable content. You should employ this technique at several of the stages of your funnel, but most importantly in the awareness and interest phases.This can consist of blog posts that go into detail about aspects of your products, or the pain points that they solve. Use these posts to guide users to your website by providing value that builds trust and authority.Later down the line, your quality content comes in the form of the emails you send or the other points of contact you have with your customers. Use it to answer any questions they have and tell them why your product is the right one to choose.

2. Targeted Advertising

The next thing to employ is targeted advertising. This is the best way to show up on your potential customer’s radar after the initial awareness phase.For example, in the first stage of your marketing funnel, they might find your website. Then, they might check out another website the next day and see an advert for your website on that page.This is simple remarketing, and it’s one of the most effective ways to remind your customer about your business. A third of marketers use advertising to boost their business, and so it’s one of the most popular and rewarding ways of driving brand awareness.

3. Follow-up Emails

In the later stages of your marketing funnel, it’s all about maintaining the relationship between you and your customers. Perhaps they’ve come close to buying, with your item in their basket, but then they left the checkout page suddenly and never came back.This is where you come in and email them to say that you noticed they forgot to finish the transaction. This little reminder can be all that’s needed to prompt them to go back and hit buy.But follow-up emails are important after they’ve made their purchase too. Use follow-up emails to encourage them to tell their friends. Use them to ask for feedback to use internally as well, so you can improve the experience for your future customers.

4. Discounts and Offers

Finally, discounts and other offers are great ways to drive more sales. You can use these throughout your funnel to try and encourage customers to make a purchase or indeed to buy more than they might have at first.Offering discounts and other rewards after the customer makes a purchase is useful too. Not only can you use them to encourage them to come back for a discount themselves, but you can tie in a rewards system too.The more people they refer to your business the bigger the discount they get for example. The possibilities are endless, and so are the potential rewards!So, now you know how to structure an efficient marketing funnel. By employing some of our top strategies, you can boost your sales and increase the quality of your customer experience.

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Michael Costin
Michael is the co-founder at Local Digital. He has a decade of experience in the digital marketing space, and is a big enough nerd that he's well practised in all the common digital marketing channels, from SEO to copywriting, paid social to analytics and tracking.

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