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A funnel in marketing is a model that represents the journey potential customers go through, from initial awareness of a product or service to the final decision to purchase.

A marketing funnel, often visualized as an inverted pyramid, is a conceptual framework that maps out the stages a potential customer goes through, from first learning about a brand or product (awareness) to considering its value (interest and evaluation), deciding to engage (decision), and finally making a purchase (action).

These actions can be broken into the top of the funnel (TOFU) or awareness stage, middle of the funnel (MOFU) or interest and evaluation stage and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) or the decision and action stage.

This model helps marketers understand and strategize the various touchpoints and messages needed at each stage to effectively guide prospects through the buying process, optimizing for conversion at each step. The funnel approach is crucial for designing targeted marketing campaigns, improving customer engagement, and ultimately increasing sales and customer loyalty.

Within the marketing funnel framework, several key components work together to attract, engage, and convert prospects into customers. At the top of the funnel, lead magnets—such as ebooks, whitepapers, or free trials—serve as incentives for potential customers to provide their contact information. Running paid ads on platforms like Google or social media helps to drive awareness and capture leads by directing traffic to these lead magnets.

As prospects move into the middle of the funnel, engagement intensifies through strategies like email campaigns and automation, which nurture leads with targeted content and offers. Webinars and Video Sales Letters (VSLs) are effective tools for providing valuable information while showcasing products or services, building trust and authority.

Finally, at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), personalized sales calls or demos are employed to address any remaining questions or objections, guiding the prospect toward making a purchase decision. This orchestrated use of various marketing tactics ensures a seamless journey for the prospect through the funnel, maximizing the chances of conversion.

AbbreviationMeaningUsing byYear coined
N/AMarketing funnelAdvertisersLate 2000’s

Example 1:

E-commerce Product Launch Funnel: An online store launching a new line of eco-friendly activewear uses a multi-step funnel to drive sales. Initially, they run targeted social media ads to attract interest, using engaging visuals and messaging about sustainability. Interested visitors are directed to a landing page where they can sign up for an exclusive launch discount in exchange for their email address, serving as a lead magnet. Once signed up, the store sends a series of emails detailing the benefits of the products, customer testimonials, and a limited-time offer to create urgency. The funnel culminates with a prompt for the lead to make a purchase through a personalized discount code sent via email, converting them into customers.

Example 2:

B2B Service Consultation Funnel: A digital marketing agency looking to acquire new clients for its SEO services starts by offering a free SEO audit report as a lead magnet through LinkedIn ads targeted at small business owners. Interested business owners fill out a form on the agency’s website to receive their free report, entering the agency’s funnel. Following the audit, the agency initiates an email campaign providing insights on SEO improvements and case studies of past successes, gradually building credibility and trust. The funnel progresses as the agency invites these leads to a free consultation call to discuss their specific needs in detail, effectively moving leads closer to signing up for the service.

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Matt McAuliffe

Matt McAuliffe

Co-Founder of Hyper Digital

As the co-founder of Hyper Digital, a leading digital marketing agency in New Zealand, Matt McAuliffe has established himself as a prominent digital marketing analyst and consultant. With years experience and thorough knowledge of the digital marketing industry, Matt is the driving force behind Hyper Digital’s ongoing success. Matt’s innovative marketing tactics and creative concepts is the reason why so many businesses across New Zealand have achieve success in the online space.

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