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What is a marketing funnel? #AskAlison
September 3, 2020

What is a marketing funnel? If you’re new to the world of marketing, it’s one of those terms you hear thrown around in discussions with little explanations of what the term means.

Every student of marketing should know about the marketing funnel. It’s the purpose and foundation of all marketing efforts, both digital and print. 

Let’s dive into the concept of the marketing funnel, including the stages of the funnel, how to nail each stage, and the difference between ClickFunnels and DropFunnels.

What is a marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel is a handy mental tool for visualizing the marketing process of turning leads into sales. It describes your customer’s journey from the moment they first hear of you to the moment they make a purchase.

It’s based on Elias St. Elmo Lewis’s “AIDA” model of the consumer journey:

  • Awareness: The prospect is aware of their problem and potential solutions.
  • Interest: The prospect develops an interest in certain services or products.
  • Desire: The prospect evaluates a particular brand.
  • Action: The prospect makes the decision to purchase or not.

On the sales or marketing side of the coin, the marketer casts a wide net to collect prospects (hence the wide top of the funnel), then nurture those leads through a process of interest, consideration, intent, and evaluation all the way to the end goal: purchase!

There’s no one set formula for the marketing funnel; you’ll see all different kinds with various stages and end goals. The beauty of the marketing funnel is that it is adaptable for your business or organization’s unique needs and marketing capabilities.

The stages of the marketing funnel

As mentioned above, there are many possible configurations of the marketing funnel. We’ll go through the five that you need to know.


There are many ways to start the process of feeding leads into your funnel. As seen in the graphic above, you can use any or all of the following:

Pro tip: Tailor your marketing strategy to your target customer. How you market will vary depending on whether your business is business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). 


At this point, the prospect knows they’re interested in a certain product or service. Your job is to convince them to pick you. That’s called nurturing your leads.

Pro tip: Use content marketing and email marketing to send the prospect targeted content, free trials, or discounts in order to make your brand name stand out from the rest.


Once you’ve caught the lead’s attention, they’ll develop an interest in your particular brand. They’ll start researching your business, your products, and any sales or offers you have going on.

Continue using the power of content marketing to convince them of your brand’s authority and expertise. Use email marketing to remind them of your brand and develop a relationship with the prospect.

Pro tip: Influencer marketing is a great way to convince potential customers to go with your brand.


The Action stage is where the prospective customer makes a purchase from you or not. Don’t think your work is done here! The buyer experience, positive or negative, has a big impact on whether or not they choose to buy again or recommend your product or services to someone else.

Pro tip: Ask your customers for feedback on making your buying experience as enjoyable and straightforward as possible.


The final and oft-forgotten stage of the marketing funnel is the Loyalty and/or Advocacy stage. This stage is how you build a small but mighty base of loyal customers who will advocate for your brand.

Pro tip: A loyalty program with regular discounts helps retain customers and build customer loyalty and advocacy.

Then what are ClickFunnels?

I’m so glad you asked! ClickFunnels is a software that was built to help you create successful marketing funnels without having to know a lot about building a website. For a monthly fee you get access to all the tools you would need to create a landing page, implement purchasing features, and even host entire courses. Many people have built successful businesses by building successful funnels that convert. However, the same principles apply whether you are using a program like ClickFunnels or your own website built in WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.

Want to build killer marketing funnels for your brand, but not sure how? 

We can help! Start by scheduling a discovery call. We’ll walk through where you need help and how we can grow your business and reach your sales goals. We might even have some fun in the process!

About the Author
<a href="https://cromiecreativeconsultants.com/author/alisonalisoncromie-com/" target="_self">Alison Cromie</a>

Alison Cromie

Alison is the owner of Cromie Creative Consultants and loves to help educate business owners on websites, search engine optimization, and creative storytelling.


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