What is a Marketing Funnel

Put simply, a marketing funnel is a path that guides prospective customers to actual customers. The reason it’s called a funnel is because not every prospect continues down the path. They all start at the top of the funnel. A decreasing amount continue on further down the funnel. This continues through all stages of the funnel until you end up with a conversion, or purchase of your product or service.

Marketing Funnels are composed of four distinct stages:

Awareness (the very top)

If you’ve ever turned to google to find solutions to some sort of problem you’re experiencing (air conditioner is dripping, coffee machine is producing sludge, etc.) and landed on a blog post with some helpful information, then you’ve participated in the awareness stage of someone’s marketing funnel. If they’ve done things correctly, you’ll leave that blog post with some awareness of who the company is that created it.


Now, ideally, that blog post included some offering about the company that ties into what the post is about. If you’re searching for directions on how to turn your water off because of a leak, then you could be presented with a blog post from a plumber with instructions and a call to action (CTA) to give them a call for a free estimate to fix a busted pipe.

This stage is a critical stage because most shoppers are gonna do their homework. They might look at your competitors. They might check your reviews. They may check your social media channels. You’ll want to do all you can to preemptively address any concerns prospects might have so that they don’t start looking somewhere else.


Continuing down the path, if the prospect does in fact call for a free estimate (per our last example), then that moves them further down the funnel to the Desire stage. Here, things like friction and incentives come into play. You want to make the buying process as frictionless as possible.

Have you ever tried to buy something online and you’re required to create an account first? FRICTION. Have you tried to buy something online and your wallet is a staggering 8 feet away and you don’t have the energy to get up and get it (okay, maybe a little extreme)? FRICTION.


They’ve taken action! You’ve provided value to your prospect garnering their interest in what you’re selling. You’ve preemptively addressed any concerns they might have about buying and have created a desire to buy. Your frictionless buying process removed hurdles and your expiring discount code created an incentive and urgency to buy. Nice!

By understanding the needs of your target audience at each stage, you can create a funnel that will help convert them into customers. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not easy either.

How to Create a Marketing Funnel

Creating an effective marketing funnel requires careful planning and strategy. Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Define Your Target Audience – It’s important to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is so you can tailor your content and campaigns to them. This will help ensure that the right people are seeing your messaging increasing their likelihood to convert.

2. Set Clear Objectives – You need to decide what you want to achieve with your marketing funnel and set clear objectives for each stage of the process. This will help you stay focused and measure your success as you go along.

3. Utilize Automation – Technology can be used to automate parts of the funnel, such as email follow-up or lead scoring, so you can save time and resources while still maintaining an effective funnel. Marketing Automation tools like Pardot and Hubspot can help here.

Next Step

Having an effective marketing funnel can provide many benefits for businesses, including better targeting, improved lead quality, and higher conversion rates. However, it is important to remember that the process takes time and effort to really get it right. A good next step to begin with is to revisit your target audiences or create them if you don’t have any. If you’re gonna sell, you need to know who you’re selling to.

Good luck with creating your successful marketing funnel!

Use our Target Audience Template for help getting started: