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What is a Digital Marketing Funnel? Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Post by
Sonu Kalwar
What is a Digital Marketing Funnel? Everything You Need to Know in 2023

Are you tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks in your digital marketing efforts? It's time to stop playing a messy game of guess and check and start utilizing the power of the digital marketing funnel. And guess what? Companies that implement a well-structured funnel see a 10% increase in revenue within six months!

So, what exactly is it? It's a process that takes potential customers on a journey from awareness of your brand to becoming loyal advocates. And with the right strategies in place for each stage, you can increase your chances of converting them into paying customers.

But where do you start? In this article, we'll explore each stage of the marketing funnel and share strategies and real-world examples of successful implementation. We'll also discuss the importance of analyzing and optimizing your funnel to ensure it's working at its full potential.

So, if you're ready to take your digital marketing game to the next level and start seeing real results, buckle up and get ready to learn how companies are leveraging it to their advantage!

Demystifying the Digital Marketing Funnel and its Types

Imagine you're a traveler on a journey to discover the perfect product or service. You start your expedition with just a vague idea of what you need, but as you travel further, you become more aware of the options available to you. The digital marketing funnel is the map that guides you on this journey.

At the top of the funnel, you become aware of a brand or product, and your interest is piqued. You're curious and want to learn more. As you move further down the funnel, you begin to evaluate your options and make a decision about which product or service best fits your needs. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, you take action and make your purchase.

A marketing funnel is a vital tool for businesses, as it helps them understand the journey their potential customers take and how to guide them toward making a purchase. 

Purchase Funnel

The first step in the purchase funnel is awareness, where you're trying to get people's attention and make them aware of your brand or product. The next step is a consideration, where they become interested in what you have to offer and start looking into it more closely. After that comes desire: once they know what they want and why they need it, they start deciding whether or not they can afford it (or how much). Finally comes action--they make their decision and go all-in!

Advertising Funnel

An advertising funnel is a process of acquiring new customers. It's used by businesses to attract new customers and generate leads. An advertising funnel can be divided into three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision-making. These stages represent the journey that your prospects take before they become customers or clients. A business can use this model to help them understand how people interact with their brand at every stage of their journey toward purchasing something from them.

Conversion Funnel

The conversion funnel is the process that takes your customers from the first time they visit your website to the point where they purchase. It's also known as a customer journey, but we will use the term "conversion funnel" throughout this article for simplicity's sake. The conversion funnel is one of the most important parts of digital marketing because it determines whether or not you're getting enough traffic, leads and sales from each channel.

Explore deeper

Navigating the Stages of the Digital Marketing Funnel

We've talked about digital marketing funnel and how it can help you at each stage of sales. But what does this process look like, really? Each stage is distinct and accomplishes something unique during the buyer journey—and we are here to break them down for you. 

Let's take an example of Monday.com.

Monday is a project management software that helps teams manage and organize their work. They use this framework to break down the user’s experience into five stages: Awareness - top of the funnel (ToFu), Consideration - middle of the funnel (MoFu), Conversion - bottom of the funnel (BoFu), Loyalty and advocacy.

Awareness - Top of the Funnel

Your customer may know they have a problem, though they may not be actively looking for a solution. They know they have an issue. It's just not necessarily clear to them that it needs to be solved, or that there is anything that can be done about it.

Perhaps there's something you could do to help bring the problem to their attention or offer a solution that isn't immediately apparent to them. 

For example, Monday is a project management software that helps teams manage and organize their work. Their target audience may find that managing a project is annoying, but they may not be aware that project management platform such as Monday exists to solve it, so they likely won't even be thinking of looking for a solution. 

However, if they see or hear an advertisement of a project management tool designed for project managers, agencies, they might have an “aha!” moment and do some further research on the subject.

Therefore, If you're trying to get potential users' attention, you'll want to target them at the "awareness" stage. This is when people are just becoming aware of and beginning to think about your industry or your product. At this point, they're probably not consuming much content about it, so you'll need to reach out to them directly. Here are some of the most common channels for reaching out:

  • Paid Ads (Facebook, YouTube, Google, etc.)
  • Podcast advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Attending webinars
  • As you can see from the channels listed above, there are many ways to get your content in front of potential customers. Some channels will drive direct conversions (such as paid ads and influencer marketing).

This is also interruption marketing which means inserting your message into content that the listener or viewer isn't actively seeking out. So if you're interrupting, you're hoping that your message will resonate with a pain point that they're currently experiencing.

Digital marketing strategies for awareness stage

  • You sell a SaaS product and Advertise on a podcast that has an audience interested in your SaaS product.
  • Partner with a beauty blogger for a free product in exchange for a blog post about the product.
  • Pay for Facebook or Google ads to promote your plastic surgery services only to people who live within your geography.

Consideration - Middle of the funnel

Consideration or MoFu is the second stage of a buyer's journey (the first being awareness, and third choice), and it is where a prospect has realized they have a problem and are looking for options to solve it. In this stage, you want to provide enough information so that your prospect can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

It’s also important not to overwhelm them with too much detail about any one specific solution too soon, so use this time in their journey to educate them on what solutions exist and which ones are best suited for their needs.

Example of Monday.com, after someone clicks on the advertisement, they are then directed to MoFu. Here, they have an opportunity to convert users into free trial users. The MoFu has a number of different strategies that help with this.

They include retargeting ads, remarketing ads, email marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, social media advertising, and email marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing strategies for consideration stage

If you want to reach this stage with your content, make sure that it:

  • Is educational—helps the prospect understand their problem and the potential solutions.
  • Is easily accessible—since prospects are starting to research, they’re likely to prefer resources like whitepapers, ebooks, and infographics.
  • Helps the prospect learn about your company—they can trust what they’ve read because it came from a credible source.
  • Connects with them in some way—the prospect should feel like you “get” them and that you can help them solve their problem.

Blogs and articles

Blogs are a great way to attract and educate leads. They're easy to write, share on social media, and update (which helps your SEO). You can also use blogs to build authority by becoming a thought leader in your industry. Basically: people will be more likely to trust you if they read something you wrote and found it helpful or interesting.

So how do blogs attract leads? It's simple: with the right keywords and links, visitors will discover your blog post through Google search results or social media feeds, which encourages them to click on the link that takes them directly to your site.

If they like what they see once they get there, chances are good that their next step will be giving you their contact information for something like a free consultation or an e-book offer.

Videos

Videos also offer a fantastic opportunity to show how your product can help your customers. If you're trying to sell marketing tools, for example, you could create videos that showcase how you used the tools yourself to achieve success with other clients. These videos should be both entertaining and informative while illustrating the value of your products or services.

Finally, remember to always include a call-to-action at the end of every video: "If you have any problems with this service or would like to learn more about it, please contact us," or "For an estimate tailored to your specific needs, email us at [email address]."

Webinars

  • Webinars are one of the best ways to move your leads through the middle of the funnel. They're a powerful tool for explaining your product or service in more depth and demonstrating your expertise.
  • Content webinars are a great way to nurture leads and generate new ones—even if you give them away for free.

Testimonials and case studies

Testimonials and case studies can be powerful tools in your library of marketing materials—it's a great way to show how you've helped others, but it also builds trust and credibility, which is important in the middle of the funnel when prospects are trying to make a decision.

If you have a satisfied customer who's willing to write about their experience with your brand, use it! Testimonials and case studies can be used in different ways depending on your goals:

  • Increase brand awareness by sharing them on social media networks or through word of mouth
  • Demonstrate ROI with statistics and testimonials from customers
  • Build trust by including reviews from happy customers

Infographics, e-books, and whitepapers

Infographics, e-books, and whitepapers are powerful forms of marketing that work well at the middle of the funnel. The most obvious way they work is by grabbing the attention of potential customers and bringing them to a decision point at which they can decide whether or not to become a customer.

In this case, it's easier for potential customers to evaluate your product or service when you provide them with an image than with words. They can also be used as a form of education that helps potential customers understand exactly what your business does.

Conversion - Bottom of the funnel

Once someone has signed up for a free trial account with Monday, they move into conversion/BoFu where they can begin using the product in earnest while also giving feedback on it so Monday knows what features are working well and which ones need improvement or removal altogether.

The bottom of the funnel (BoFu) is the most important stage of the marketing funnel. It's where you're trying to convert leads into customers. What's a lead? A lead is someone who has expressed interest in your product or service but isn't ready to buy yet.

Leads can come from various sources, such as web traffic and referral partners, but once they've expressed an interest in your product or service, it becomes your job to guide them along their customer journey so that they become a customer. Here's how you can do it;

Educate your audience and convert them into customers

The main purpose of BoFu content is to help your audience make a final decision on whether to buy your product or service. To do this, it tends to focus more on the specific features and benefits of your product or service.

BoFu content also acts as a point of contact between you and your potential customer. Whether that’s by offering:

  • Case studies. These give prospective customers a solid look at what you can do for them by showing examples of success stories in their industry or niche.
  • Product demos. Seeing is believing! A product demo allows your lead to get an inside look at how your product works and what it can do for them.
  • Personalized demos. This is a more customized form of a product demo that focuses on addressing specific pain points or needs this buyer has. By speaking directly to these, you can show that your solution is right for them.
  • Free trials. Sometimes the only way to know if something will work is to try it out! Free trials are also great in place of demos because it lets your prospect test out the full experience of using your solution for themselves by letting them use some features free of charge (or with a free trial period).
  • Consultations. Whether over live chat, phone or video, consultations allow you to have a 1:1 conversation with someone interested in learning more about your solution's benefits and pricing options before they commit to purchasing anything from you.
  • Webinars are an excellent way to introduce potential clients to your offerings and the chance for them to engage with you. It gives you the opportunity to speak with customers directly and answer any questions they may have.

 

Retention

It's not enough to just get people interested in your brand - you need to keep them engaged and coming back for more. According to a study by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.

Monday.com offers a variety of retention strategies to keep its customers engaged. It offers a personalized onboarding experience and provides extensive training materials to help new users get started.

The company also offers regular product updates and enhancements to keep its software relevant and up-to-date. Additionally, Monday.com has a robust customer support system that offers round-the-clock assistance to its customers.

Sephora is another brand that has effectively used retention strategies to build a strong customer base. The company's Beauty Insider program offers members access to exclusive events, discounts, and free products. 

Retention strategies

Exclusive offers 

One effective strategy is to offer exclusive offers and promotions to your existing customers. This not only makes them feel valued, but it also incentivizes them to continue doing business with you. Personalization is another important strategy, as it allows you to tailor your messaging and offers to each individual customer based on their preferences and past behavior.

Social media engagement is also a powerful tool for retention, as it allows you to build a community around your brand and keep customers engaged with regular updates and interactions.

Customer Service

Another effective retention strategy is to offer excellent customer service. This includes responding to customer inquiries and complaints promptly and efficiently, as well as going above and beyond to make sure they are satisfied with their experience.

Finally, creating user-generated content and encouraging customers to leave reviews and testimonials can be a powerful way to build trust and loyalty among your customer base.

Upselling

Upsell is offering customers a more expensive version of whatever they are already buying. For example, Monday.com offers an early bird discounts to convert their free users to paid users with more advance features and options.

Upsell often increases average order value because it gives customers the opportunity to buy something they may not have considered purchasing before. However, it can also turn off potential buyers because they don't want to spend extra money on that product.

Upselling strategies

Upselling can be a tricky business because you don't want to make your product look so bad that the customer feels they shouldn't buy it. So how do you use upselling to grow your business? Here are some smart strategies:

  • Make sure the upsell is relevant. If someone is buying an iPhone, you don't want to offer them an Xbox and tell them it's better (and more expensive). That's the opposite of relevant and won't encourage sales. Instead, be smart with your sales pitch. For example, if someone is buying an iPhone 6 and you have a new iPhone 8 in stock, then tell them about the features of the iPhone 8 that are better than their choice but also explain why those features might not be worth paying for. You're offering them something better without saying that what they're buying isn't good enough.
  • Offering additional features is a tried-and-true method of upselling.
  • Creating a sense of urgency using scarcity
  • Bundling Products
  • Using discounts as an incentive

 

Building Brand Advocacy

User-generated content and customer testimonials are two effective strategies for businesses to create brand advocates.

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created by customers, such as reviews, social media posts, videos, and images. UGC is valuable because it is authentic, and customers trust other customers more than they trust businesses. When businesses encourage customers to share their experiences, they can amplify their message and reach a wider audience.

One way businesses can encourage UGC is by creating contests or challenges that ask customers to share their experiences or create content related to the brand. For example, Monday.com regularly features customer success stories and testimonials on its website and social media channels. The company also has a dedicated community forum where customers can ask questions, share insights, and connect with other users.

Essential Tools for Managing the Digital Marketing Funnel

Digital First

Digital First AI is an AI based marketing platform that has been used by over 15k+ marketers and entrepreneurs. It helps you create digital marketing funnels that drive results by providing a custom-made marketing strategy with AI, access to 1000+ battle-proven marketing tactics, defining your customer journey with the tactical flow, team collaboration, and an AI copywriter and design generator. 

All in one place, making it easier to manage your funnel, optimize for maximum conversion, and create high-quality content that captivates your audience.

Hotjar

Hotjar is a powerful tool for building and optimizing your funnel. It allows you to track user behavior on your website, including where users click, how far they scroll, and how long they spend on each page.

This information can help you identify areas of your funnel that need improvement, such as pages with high bounce rates or low conversion rates. Hotjar also allows you to conduct user surveys and collect feedback from your audience, which can help you make data-driven decisions about your marketing strategy.

Unbounce 

Unbounce is a landing page builder that allows you to create high-converting landing pages for your funnel. It offers a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to design and test landing pages without any coding knowledge.

Unbounce also offers A/B testing and analytics tools that allow you to optimize your landing pages for maximum conversion rates. By using Unbounce to create high-converting landing pages, you can improve your overall funnel performance and drive more leads and sales.

Zapier

Zapier is a powerful marketing automation tool that allows you to connect different apps and tools in your funnel. For example, you can use Zapier to automatically send leads from your landing pages to your email marketing tool, or to trigger a follow-up email when a lead completes a certain action on your website. By automating different steps in your funnel, you can save time and improve your overall efficiency.

GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing tool that allows you to automate your email campaigns and nurture leads through your marketing funnel. It offers a drag-and-drop email builder that makes it easy to create beautiful and engaging emails, as well as automation workflows that allow you to send targeted messages based on user behavior. By using GetResponse to automate your email campaigns, you can keep leads engaged and move them through your funnel toward conversion.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful analytics tool that allows you to track user behavior on your website and measure the performance of your marketing funnel. It provides insights into metrics such as traffic sources, bounce rates, and conversion rates, which can help you identify areas of your funnel that need improvement.

By using Google Analytics to track your funnel performance, you can make data-driven decisions about your marketing strategy and optimize your funnel for maximum conversion rates.

Key Metrics to Track for Success in the Digital Marketing Funnel

Impressions

The number of times your ad is shown to a user.

  1. Monitor impressions to ensure your ad is being seen by your target audience.
  2. If impressions are low, consider adjusting your targeting or ad placement for higher visibility.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who click on your ad after seeing it.

  1. Improve your ad's copy and visuals to increase CTR.
  2. Test different versions of your ad to see which performs best.

Formula: (Clicks / Impressions) x 100.

Conversion rate (CR)

The percentage of users who complete a desired action (such as making a purchase or filling out a form) after clicking on your ad.

  1. Optimize your landing page for higher conversion rates
  2. Test different landing page designs and copy to see what resonates with your audience.

Formula: (Conversions / Clicks) x 100.

Cost per click (CPC)

The amount you pay for each click on your ad.

  1. Monitor CPC to ensure you're getting the most out of your ad spend.
  2. Consider adjusting your targeting or ad placement to reduce CPC if it's too high.

Formula: Cost / Clicks.

Return on ad spend (ROAS)

The amount of revenue you generate for every dollar spent on advertising. Formula: Revenue / Ad Spend.

  1. Monitor ROAS closely to ensure you're getting a positive return on investment.
  2. Adjust your ad spend or targeting if ROAS is too low

Formula: Revenue / Ad Spend

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

The cost of acquiring a new customer.

  1. Monitor CAC to ensure you're acquiring customers at a reasonable cost.
  2. Try to reduce CAC by improving your targeting or ad performance.

Formula: Total Acquisition Cost / Total New Customers.

Lifetime value (LTV)

The total revenue a customer will generate over the course of their relationship with your business.

  1. Increase LTV by offering upsells, cross-sells, and bundles to encourage repeat purchases.
  2. Provide excellent customer service to retain customers.

Formula: Average Order Value x Number of Repeat Purchases x Average Customer Lifespan.

Churn rate

The percentage of customers who stop doing business with your company during a given period.

  1. Monitor churn rate to identify reasons why customers are leaving.
  2. Use customer feedback and surveys to improve the customer experience and reduce churn rate.


Formula: Number of customers lost / Total number of customers.

Average order value (AOV)


The average amount spent per order.

  1. Increase AOV by offering upsells, cross-sells, and bundles to encourage customers to spend more.


Formula: Total Revenue / Total number of orders.

Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Optimizing the Funnel

Define your target audience & value proposition

Understand who your ideal customer is and what their pain points are. Create buyer personas to guide your marketing efforts.

  1. Conduct market research to identify your target audience.
  2. Use data analytics tools to gather insights about your audience.
  3. Create buyer personas based on your research.
  4. Clearly articulate how your product or service solves your customer's pain points and provides unique value.
  5. Highlight your value proposition across all marketing channels.

Optimize your website and landing pages

Ensure your website and landing pages are user-friendly and designed for maximum conversion.

  1. Use A/B testing to optimize landing page design and copy.
  2. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
  3. Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs) on every page.
  4. Optimize loading times for faster user experience.

Use targeted advertising campaigns

Reach your target audience with targeted advertising campaigns that are designed to drive conversions.

  1. Use data analytics tools to identify high-performing keywords and target demographics.
  2. Use retargeting campaigns to reach users who have interacted with your website or social media pages.
  3. Use lookalike targeting to reach users who are similar to your existing customers.
  4. Use ad copy and visuals that are tailored to your target audience.

Nurture leads with email marketing

Use email marketing to build relationships with leads and move them through the funnel.

  1. Develop a lead magnet to encourage sign-ups for your email list.
  2. Segment your email list based on user behavior and interests.
  3. Use personalized and targeted email campaigns to nurture leads.
  4. Use A/B testing to optimize email subject lines, copy, and CTAs.

Measure and optimize

Continuously monitor your funnel metrics and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  1. Set up conversion tracking and goal tracking to monitor funnel metrics.
  2. Use data analytics tools to gather insights about user behavior.
  3. Use A/B testing to optimize your marketing strategy for better performance.
  4. Continuously analyze and adjust your funnel based on performance data.

Real-world Examples of Digital Marketing Funnel Implementation

eCommerce Website - Harry's

Harry's is a men's grooming brand that sells razors, shaving cream, and other grooming products. Their ecommerce marketing strategies are designed to drive traffic to their website, convert visitors into customers, and nurture them into repeat buyers.

Digital marketing strategies of Harry

  1. Targeted advertising campaigns to reach potential customers.
  2. User-friendly website and landing pages with clear calls-to-action.
  3. Offered a free trial of their products to encourage sign-ups.
  4. Personalized email campaigns to nurture leads and drive repeat purchases.

SaaS Company - HubSpot

HubSpot is a marketing and sales software company that provides tools for inbound marketing, social media marketing, and customer relationship management. Their digital marketing funnel is designed to attract potential customers, convert them into leads, and nurture them into paying customers.

Digital marketing Strategies of Hubspot

  1. Educational content marketing to attract potential customers.
  2. Landing pages to capture leads and offer free trials of their software.
  3. Personalized email campaigns to nurture leads and drive conversions.
  4. Upselling and cross-selling strategies to encourage customers to upgrade their subscriptions.

Service-Based Business - Airbnb

Airbnb is a global online marketplace for short-term lodging and vacation rentals. Their digital marketing funnel is designed to attract potential hosts and guests, convert them into platform users, and retain them as loyal customers.

Digital marketing strategies

  1. Targeted advertising campaigns to reach potential hosts and guests.
  2. Landing pages to capture leads and offer incentives for signing up.
  3. Personalized email campaigns to nurture leads and drive conversions.
  4. Referral programs to encourage existing users to refer new hosts and guests to the platform.

It's a wrap

In conclusion, creating a successful digital marketing funnel is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error to get it right.

However, with the help of our AI-powered tool, you can create a digital marketing funnel from scratch in a matter of minutes. Whether you're just starting out or looking to optimize your existing funnel, our tool can help you achieve your marketing goals faster and more efficiently.

Don't take our word for it, try it out for yourself and see the difference it can make in your marketing efforts. Sign up today and start creating your own digital marketing funnel that drives conversions and revenue for your business.

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