What is a marketing funnel and how does it work?

What is a marketing funnel work? Does it have an impact on online sales? Does an e-commerce site need one?

If you want to grow your e-commerce business and take it to the next level, a marketing funnel might be the thing for you.

Marketing funnels (a.k.a sales funnel) guide your customer from the first touchpoint with your business, to closing a sale, to generating repeat customers. Even though you might not be fully aware of what a marketing funnel is, chances are you already have one.


What is a marketing funnel?

This is a marketing term that shows the stages customers go through during the sales process. You get to identify and determine the actions that customers are taking during the buying cycle stages. The important thing to note here is that even though many funnels look similar, every funnel is different. You should always aim to have a funnel that is unique from your competitors, but that is generic enough that your leads don't get confused.


How does a marketing funnel work?

Typically, there are 4 main stages to a marketing funnel; Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. With that said, some funnels include additional steps and some outright skip steps. To give a few examples;

A 2-step funnel might be; Interest -> Action;
Where the marketer creates an engaging advert, generating enough buzz that people might be inclined to make impulse purchases.

A 6-step funnel be; Awareness -> Interest -> Desire -> Hype -> Desire -> Action;
These kind of longer funnels are great if you're trying to build up your brand name, and typically use some sort of invitation system before a customer can make a purchase. This allows the business to create the necessary logistics whilst creating product buzz. One caveat here; These types of funnels tend to have a very bad effect on the overall reputation of the brand if the delivered product doesn't match the "expected hype".


The most common marketing funnel follows the AIDA model.

This is where you create a landing page, sign up form and start running Google, Facebook and Instagram ads so people get to know more about your brand and what you are offering.

Here people are expressing interest in what you have to offer. This where you should have an exceptional sales team ready to capture leads, as a good salesperson might be to close a deal at this stage. For the rest of your audience that doesn't directly reach out, it's important to capture them through your digital marketing systems such as Facebook pixel, to ensure you can re-target them later.

Desire is the third stage, and during this stage, you want to segment the contact list and group contacts showing who will buy your service and products, which is extremely important to take into consideration. This is where you want to encourage people to take action. Don't be shy to be a bit pushier in this step, the person has clearly shown interest in you after all.

Action / Activation
This is the step where your lead eventually becomes a paying customer. If you're having trouble transitioning people from Desire to Action phases, you might consider; Email marketing, and ad re-targeting as 2 of the best channels to close the gap.



By now you've probably realised that you already have some form of a marketing funnel. And if you don't take this article as inspiration to create one today. Marketing funnels are essential in the digital growth of your business, and if implemented right, they can generate a steady stream of growing revenue.

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