It would be nice if creating a great product or offering a valuable service would be enough to get people interested in your business up to the point where they are willing to shell out their money to purchase from you.
However, in a highly competitive market, this isn't enough. You have to do your part in guiding your customers from being prospective customers to being your happy and loyal customers.
An effective digital marketing funnel strategically targets your audience through a process of messaging that includes content, social media, content marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing. The goal is to guide your audience from seeing your products or service as a purchase benefit.
You want prospects to get exposure to your products and services without you having to be invasive.
Throughout this article, you will learn how to build a digital marketing funnel that converts and what you can do to enhance your digital marketing efforts in this area.
Let's get to it.
The Rise of the Digital Marketing Funnel
In the early 1800s, the traditional marketing funnel meant customers had to go into physical stores to purchase. People were aware of a product by magazines, newspapers, and word of mouth.
There was little to no avenue for comparison (except for different products in the same store) because of the geographic barriers. If you made it into a store, there was a high chance that you would make a purchase.
The same applied to services. You had to go to a company to inquire and consult, which was usually expensive because the alternative was further away.
The traditional marketing funnel worked for that period. It was perfect for business owners because they could sell directly to their audience without worrying about people going elsewhere .
Internet access has made it possible for us to compare products and services anytime and anywhere. We can request a quote for a service, study different companies' services, and read testimonials online before deciding because several businesses globally are competing for your business.
So many options meant companies had to devise new methods to grab buyers' attention. Consequently, it led to the rise of the digital marketing funnel, which entails educating, engaging, and embracing the knowledgeable buyer who approaches the shopping process differently.
The main difference is that the digital marketing funnel focuses on the modern shopper, who undergoes multiple touchpoints before buying a product or service.
To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you must conduct all digital interactions with potential clients in a genuine, transparent, and helpful manner and ensure that your marketing funnel is correctly working.
Anatomy of a Digital Marketing Funnel and How it Works
The digital marketing funnel comes in different forms, but for this article, we will focus on two, namely:
Top-to-Bottom (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) and
Here is a breakdown of these two funnels with the associated elements that help guide your customers throughout the buying process leading to you converting them into loyal buyers:
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
At this stage, your potential customer doesn't know about your business. Hence, your marketing efforts involve raising awareness about your business.
The TOFU focuses on effectively raising awareness about your business through blog posts, paid ads, podcasts, etc.
The goal of this stage is to inform, engage, and educate your audience.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
In the MOFU stage, you have successfully grabbed the attention of your target audience, and they are now browsing through your website.
Your job is to create value for them so that they are happy to subscribe to your newsletter.
Once you have their emails, send them ebooks, white papers, or any other personalized material that delivers value and shows the benefit they can get for patronizing your business.
You must keep your target customers interested at this stage because it will influence their decision to move to the bottom of the funnel or not .
According to Funnel Express , businesses that use defined middle-of-the-funnel (MoFu) engagement and lead-management strategies achieve a four-to-10-times higher response rate than general email blasts and outreach.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
Now, your prospects are close to becoming paying customers.
This stage aims to guide your prospects to a point where they can easily buy from you by presenting your product or service in a way that attracts them and convinces them to make the purchase.
Special offers, limited-time offers, customer testimonials are examples of factors that can give your clients the confidence to commit. You can then close the sale. The number of conversions usually determines a digital marketing funnel's overall success .
AIDA is a more traditional approach that captures prospects from a broad audience, focuses their attention on your offer, and then prompts a targeted percentage of them to become your customers.
- A - Awareness : Just like the top of the funnel, your prospects discover your brand and what you can do for them. They may not even know they need your services or products. Many people may realize they need your product only after you bring your business to their attention. Social media paid ads, Google search, etc., can help with this.
- I - Interest : A prospect in the interest stage will research to find the best solution to their problem. You need to draw them to your product or service with captivating content. Don't try to pressure them into buying your product or service . At this stage, they are still deciding, so selling to them now may be counterproductive. An overwhelming 95% of buyers choose a vendor who provides comprehensive content to guide them through the buying process. Make sure you provide potential customers with all the information they should know, that they can trust you and that you can offer assistance if they need it.
- D - Decision : The prospect is ready to buy at this stage of the sales funnel. As they may be considering several options - likely including yours - it is vital to offer the most irresistible offer you can (packages, free shipping, discount) so that they will no longer hesitate and buy your product.
- A - Action : That is the bottom of the sales funnel. By purchasing your product or service, the prospect becomes a customer of your company. It's important to mention that your sales funnel might consist of additional stages. After a customer makes a purchase, you need to stay in touch with them .
You should now focus on retaining your customers by expressing appreciation, asking for feedback, and providing support.
Steps to Building a Digital Marketing Funnel
By now, you understand the workings of a digital marketing funnel. Here's how to build one for your business.
1. Raise Awareness
The first step to creating a successful marketing funnel is to raise awareness about your business to as many people as possible.
Incredibly, 79% of marketing leads never result in a sale. Hence, getting as much awareness about your business as you can is imperative.
This means creating social ads, pay-per-click ads, blog posts, industry studies, social media updates, checklists, etc.
Focus on providing objective, credible, and valuable information to the audience that will hopefully lead them to check out your business .
The kind of ads and content you put out will depend on your target audience.
For instance, a B2C audience may relate more to content on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Your approach to writing blog posts will mostly be witty and informal. Videos can be about anything, from how-tos to exciting customer stories.
If you have a B2B audience, your ads and content will be in a not so casual tone. LinkedIn is one of the best places to reach professionals, and white papers or data-driven blogs are the best tactics to showcase your knowledge and impress prospects.
2. Entice Your Prospects
The next step is to keep your prospect interested in learning about your business by providing enticing offers (lead magnets) like ebooks, white papers, case studies, templates, webinars, etc. For instance, if you have a SaaS product, offering a free trial is an excellent way to entice your prospects to use your product and continue their journey.
The objective here is to attract the interest of incoming visitors to your site by offering something genuinely valuable. This will motivate them to provide their contact information, thus signing up to receive additional marketing .
As mentioned earlier, the type of offer you make to prospects depends on the category they fall within. For instance, B2B prospects will be more interested in white papers or case studies.
In the image above, Copy.ai, a company that automates copywriting by leveraging artificial intelligence, offers a seven-day free trial in exchange for visitors' emails.
3. Set Up a Landing Page
When your target audience clicks on your ad, they will arrive at your landing page. The purpose of your website is to display your offer, prove your expertise and provide prospects with a better understanding of your services so they can decide whether to invest in them or not.
You need to create a simple but eye-catching landing page that describes your lead magnet clearly, includes a form for people to enter their contact information, trust indicators such as customer reviews and trust badges, and a call to action button .
You can build landing pages using a tool such as Leadpages .
4. Set Up Your Email Sequence
The email sequence is a series of messages sent out once someone registers for your offer and submits their contact details. Typically, you will nurture prospects via four to seven messages spread out over about three weeks to make sure they reach the bottom of the funnel.
Make sure you keep feeding them helpful content until they're ready to buy by creating an email sequence to remind them of your existence.
You can, for example, include your lead magnet in your very first email to a potential client, along with some tips on how to use it effectively.
In the second email, you can build on what you shared in the lead magnet .
You can send your subscribers a case study that highlights the benefits of doing business with you in your third email.
Until you send them an offer, you can keep building trust with them through the remaining emails.
5. Put the Pieces Together
The lead magnet and your email sequence must be connected for your digital marketing funnel to work correctly. When someone signs up for your offer, they'll receive the lead magnet, and you'll send them your email sequence.
Using Leadpages' simple interface, you can create an offer, connect your email service, and include tracking codes. After visitors sign up, lead magnets are delivered, tracking, emails are captured, and message series go out automatically.
That's about it. You have successfully created a digital marketing funnel, and now, you must track your funnel's performance.
Conversion rate is the standard metric used to measure the success of a marketing funnel. The higher the conversion rate, the more likely it is that your sales will increase.
Depending on the target audience's persona, the marketing assets needed to convert them from top to bottom of the funnel will vary greatly.
In the case of B2C customers, marketing assets could include Instagram ads or celebrity endorsements. B2B buyers require detailed tutorials and industry reports as part of their marketing assets.
If you want to impact your bottom line in a big, positive way, create something valuable, offer it via the proper channels, and nurture prospects using a marketing funnel.