The Conversion Funnel: Explained for Digital Marketers

  ●   June 18, 2024 | Business
Written by
June 18, 2024 | Business

Understanding the customer journey is paramount to achieving success in marketing. The conversion funnel is a powerful framework that, when used correctly, guides potential customers from the awareness stage, all the way to the all-important  decision-making. As such, it is a concept that should underpin your marketing strategies. 

Imagine having a roadmap that not only charts the path your prospects take but also provides strategies to influence their decisions at each stage. The conversion funnel does just that. By breaking down the journey into manageable phases, it allows marketers to craft targeted campaigns, optimise interactions, and ultimately convert prospects into loyal customers.

Need some help getting your conversion funnel started? 

We’ll take a closer look at the conversion funnel, covering the types of marketing activity you should consider at each stage and provide our top tips for funnel optimisation.

What is the conversion funnel?

The conversion funnel is a model that is commonly used in the marketing world to represent the customer journey. This is from initial awareness of a product or service to the final action of making a purchase or completing any other desired goal. It is called a funnel because it narrows at each stage, with fewer customers making it through the complete journey.

What are the three phases of the conversion funnel?

There are three parts to the conversion funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Awareness is at the top of the funnel, consideration is at the middle, and conversion is at the bottom. Let’s explore each phase in more detail…

Top of the funnel – awareness

The top of the funnel (TOFU) is the awareness stage and represents the very first contact a user has with your brand, product, or service. At this stage, you want to focus on capturing your target audience’s attention. Here, you’ll be working with a wide audience who are just starting to learn about what you offer.

Middle of the funnel – consideration 

At the middle of the funnel (MOFU), the user is aware of your product or service, and the benefits it can provide, however, they need a little bit more convincing before they are ready to consider a purchase. At the MOFU stage, you need to demonstrate the value of your offering and differentiate it from what else is on the market. 

Bottom of the funnel – conversion

At the bottom of the funnel, your goal is to convince the user to perform the desired objective, such as making a purchase from you, speaking to a sales representative, or booking a demo. You want to take them from a lead to a customer.

StageStageObjectiveContent TypesGoal
AwarenessTop of Funnel (TOFU)Attract a broad audience and generate awarenessBlog posts, social media updates, infographics, educational videos, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, whitepapersInform and engage a wide audience, drawing in potential customers who are just starting to learn about what you offer
ConsiderationMiddle of Funnel (MOFU)Nurture and educate prospects who are evaluating optionsCase studies, detailed guides, product comparison charts, webinars, email newsletters, in-depth articlesProvide detailed information and demonstrate value, helping prospects consider and prefer your offerings over others
ConversionBottom of Funnel (BOFU)Convert prospects into customers by convincing them to purchaseFree trials, demos, consultations, product reviews, testimonials, pricing pages, special offers, discountsAddress final objections or questions, provide a clear path to purchase, facilitating conversion of leads into paying customers

Alternatively, the conversion funnel can be looked at through four stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. This is also known as the AIDA model.

What’s the difference between the conversion funnel and the sales funnel?

While they are similar, the key difference between the conversion funnel and the sales funnel is the end objective. The conversion funnel follows the path of a user from first contact to a desired action, not necessarily a sale. Meanwhile, the sales funnel follows the user from first contact to a purchase, meaning the goal is always a sale.

What’s the difference between a B2B and B2B conversion funnel in marketing?

The key difference between a B2B and B2C conversion funnel is the added level of complexity that comes in the B2B funnel. B2B sales cycles are much longer than B2C sales, which means more mid-funnel stages are involved to complete a B2B sale, such as more case studies, whitepapers, educational materials, and demos. 

10-Step guide to creating a conversion funnel

Here’s our easy 10-step guide to creating a conversion funnel. Follow these steps are you’ll be on your way to optimising your digital marketing strategy and improving the customer experience at every touch point:

Step 1: Define your goal

  • Identify the desired conversion: Determine what specific action you want visitors to take (e.g. making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a resource).
  • Set clear objectives: Establish measurable goals to track the success of your funnel (e.g. increase sales by 20% in 6 months). Use the SMART goal model to help you do so.

Step 2: Understand your audience

  • Create buyer personas: Develop detailed profiles of your target audience, including demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behaviour. Your funnel must be tailored to your target customers.
  • Conduct market research: Use surveys, interviews, and analytics to gather data on your audience’s needs and preferences.

Step 3: Map out the customer journey

  • Identify touchpoints: Determine all the points where potential customers interact with your brand (e.g. social media, website, and email).
  • Define funnel stages: Break down the journey into the three or four stages outlined above.

Step 4: Create relevant content for each stage

  • TOFU (Top of Funnel): Create content to attract a broad audience.
    • Examples: Blog posts, social media updates, infographics, and educational videos.
  • MOFU (Middle of Funnel): Develop content to nurture and educate prospects.
    • Examples: Case studies, detailed guides, webinars, and email newsletters.
  • BOFU (Bottom of Funnel): Produce content to convert prospects into customers.
    • Examples: Free trials, demos, consultations, product reviews, and testimonials.

See the table above for more information.

Step 5: Optimise your website and landing pages

  • User-friendly design: Ensure your website is easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.
  • Compelling CTAs: Use clear and persuasive calls-to-action to guide visitors towards the next step.
  • Landing page optimisation: Create dedicated landing pages for specific campaigns or offers, with focused messaging and minimal distractions.

Step 6: Implement lead capture mechanisms

  • Forms and pop-ups: Use sign-up forms, pop-ups, and lead magnets (e.g, free eBooks or discounts) to capture contact information.
  • Chatbots: Employ chatbots to engage visitors and collect leads in real-time.

Step 7: Nurture leads with email marketing

  • Segmentation: Segment your email list based on behaviour, interests, and demographics.
  • Automated email sequences: Set up automated email campaigns to nurture leads with personalised content and offers.

Step 8: Use retargeting and remarketing

  • Retargeting ads: Use retargeting ads to re-engage visitors who didn’t convert on their first visit.
  • Remarketing campaigns: Implement email remarketing campaigns to reach out to abandoned cart users or inactive subscribers.

Step 9: Analyse and optimise

  • Track metrics: Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), such as conversion rates, click-through rates (CTR), and bounce rates.
  • A/B testing: Conduct A/B tests on different elements (e.g. headlines, CTAs, images) to identify what works best.
  • Iterate and improve: Use insights from analytics to continuously refine and improve your funnel.

Step 10: Foster customer loyalty and advocacy

  • Post-purchase engagement: Follow up with customers after purchase to ensure satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
  • Loyalty programmes: Implement loyalty programmes to reward repeat customers.
  • Encourage reviews and referrals: Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews and refer others, turning them into advocates for your brand.

Why does every marketer need to be familiar with the conversion funnel?

The conversion funnel is a concept that every marketer needs to understand as it is fundamental to driving successful marketing strategies. It enables marketers to effectively guide potential customers through their journey to purchase and beyond.

Still don’t have a conversion funnel for your business? Don’t wait another day! Get in touch to find out how Semetrical can help you refine your marketing strategy into a conversion-machine.

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