What Is A Marketing Funnel?

What Is A Marketing Funnel?

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Mar 16, 2023 17:21 IST

Marketing Funnel is a concept used in Digital Marketing that defines the phases a business has to carry out to meet a specific objective. The article covers the concept of a marketing funnel and how it can be used to convert visits into leads.


A marketing funnel is the defined process that a marketing team within an organization follows to map a consumer’s journey with their business. It involves launching a marketing action until a lead converts into a customer, in simpler words, grabbing a business opportunity. It is called a funnel since you lose customers as you move through different stages of marketing.

The lead or contact is then delivered to the sales department. 


In a marketing funnel, the business opportunity trickles down through several steps before reaching sales.

Once you have done all the advertising and marketing actions to capture possible business opportunities, the marketing funnel allows you to carry out processes to qualify those leads and classify them from more to less propensity to buy our service or product. This information is invaluable to the sales team. It can save them hours of useless work.

To measure the performance of the marketing strategies, you would need to assign some metrics to each stage of the funnel.

Awareness: Number of visitors coming to the site

Interest: Number of people signing up for the email list

Consideration: Click-through-rate (CTR) for the email sequence

Conversion: Number of people purchasing their products

Must Read – What is Digital Marketing?

Comparing Marketing and Sales Funnels

Although the marketing and sales funnel are not the same, they complement each other very well.

  • Similarity: the common characteristic of the marketing funnel with the commercial one is that to fill the upper part of the funnel, a wide range of combined marketing and advertising techniques are also used.
  • Difference: On the other hand, when you only have one marketing funnel, the type of leads that reach you are not well qualified. Depending on your method, they can reach you at different levels of qualification (leads very willing to buy or less willing).

Marketing Funnel Example

If you have an online business, you are probably working your marketing funnel even if you don’t realize it. Some linear and traditional examples of funnel marketing can be:

  • Articles of your blog that the user finds in search engines > CTA > ebook download landing page > conversion
  • Influencer post > landing page > conversion
  • Ad on social platforms > landing page > conversion

Although it may seem that the marketing funnel is linear, in reality, not all users follow the same process and may end up having completely different shopping experiences. A user may have met you through your articles positioned on Google and it may take months for him to decide to purchase your product or service. Another may have entered through an online advertising campaign and converted to a customer directly at that time. 

Generally, the ultimate goal of a marketing funnel is for the user to become a customer and retain them.

This marketing technique determines what steps the user must follow until they become a customer. The marketing funnel aims to achieve the same objective pursued in offline marketing in the digital world with the AIDA (Attraction, Interest, Desire, and Action) model. It is the process that describes the stages of making the purchase decision of the customers.

Related Read – Inbound Marketing: All You Need To Know

In addition, the marketing funnel tries to determine the percentage of users that advance through each phase; from initiating the consumer activity on your website to capturing them as a Lead or Client. And in this way, by visualizing the complete panorama, we can take corrective measures to optimize with more excellent knowledge the phases in which more contacts are lost within the marketing funnel and achieve fewer losses of Leads or Clients.

Marketing Funnel Stages

Generally, the Marketing Funnel has 5 phases/stages/processes. However, they may have more or fewer phases, depending on the company’s strategy, needs, or the complexity of its product or service.


TOFU – Top of Funnel

MOFU – Middle of Funnel

BOFU – Bottom of Funnel

1st Phase: Awareness (TOFU)

This phase is critical since we want to make your product or service known and capture your potential customer’s attention. This phase resembles the Attraction phase of the AIDA model. 

The first phase aims to have a presence in spaces outside your website to achieve the most significant amount of exposure and visibility. These spaces can be other web pages, social networks, search engines such as Google, mobile apps, and any other place where you can position your brand.

Some of the techniques to attract potential clients are:

  • Generation and publication of content (Text and video)
  • SEO  
  • Participation in forums and social networks
  • Link building
  • Publication of content on other web pages
  • Performance or PPC campaigns

The first phase can be complemented with offline campaigns. When a user enters any of the pages of your website, consider he is through the awareness phase. He stops being just a spectator and enters your web space.

Related: On-Page SEO

2nd Phase: Interest (TOFU)

This phase aims to convert web visitors into contacts. A user has passed the awareness stage when he gives his contact information through a form. At this time, the user is no longer an unknown visitor, and you begin to learn more about him – name, surname, email, location, interests, etc.

This step can be compared to the Interest stage of the AIDA model.

To have better results, optimize the user experience within the web and ensure you have an optimal, simple, and intuitive web infrastructure so that navigation is comfortable for users.

In this phase:

  • The user investigates different websites to obtain information on the marketed products or services.
  • The web page’s content will be decisive in obtaining interest and trust from the users
  • The user must be allowed to act naturally, without pressure, to make it a pleasant experience and consider our company in the subsequent phases.
  • Once we have the visitor’s contact information, we proceed to the next stage. 

Related: What is Brand Management?

3rd Phase: Consideration (MOFU)

The Consideration phase will determine the transition from contacts to leads. The third phase is the purchase decision phase. In this, users determine if the company meets expectations. If the previous phases have been carried out correctly, the users’ visits should have become contacts we can call or write to “nurture the relationship” with them and thus keep us as their first purchase option. 

In this phase:

  • A regular contact relationship must be maintained through email, SMS, telephone, or mobile notifications.
  • Users consume content and found the website to be useful 
  • They start filling out more forms in exchange for more information
  • The users contact you to request more personalized information

As throughout all the other stages, allow the leads to perform the actions themselves. The best way is to attract the users using advanced digital marketing tools, without pressure and excessive bombardment of your products and services.

For this reason, the third phase of the funnel exclusively requests the information necessary to make the sale, thus preventing the customer from giving up or abandoning the purchase due to the difficulty of the steps in the orders or any intrusion.

Keep in mind that the nurturing stage never ends, not even when the user decides to contact the sales department or makes a purchase. Aim to maintain a constant relationship with the user even after the purchase.

Related: Difference between content marketing and content strategy

4th: Conversion (BOFU)

This phase will determine if the previous phases have been carried out correctly. The amount of sales is what determines the success of the entire funnel. This phase is similar to the Action phase of the AIDA model.

This stage will determine if the lead buys your products or services.

Related: Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing

5th Phase: Loyalty

This stage will determine that existing customers become fans and recommend our products or services. The best ambassadors of our company will always be our clients if their level of satisfaction is high.

You must establish touchpoints with your customer. Explore businesses that target your specific group of customers. You have data about their locations, the products they are interested in, their names, and reasons they could buy your products. Start targeting them more specifically through email and social media with content relevant only to your type of customer.

Some other types of funnels are – 

  • Sales funnels
  • Email funnels
  • Video marketing funnels
  • Lead magnet funnels
  • Home page funnels
  • Webinar funnels

The aim of these funnels is the same – tracking the steps a prospective customer takes to conversion. 

Within the marketing funnel, each phase occurs at a relatively slow pace since purchase decisions are more rational and meditated. Many considerations need to be taken into account.

If the marketing funnel is not converting the contacts in the desired percentage, review the previous phases and take corrective measures.

About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio