Ultimate guide to digital marketing funnel

Ultimate guide to digital marketing funnel

It is crucial to be informed about the primary concepts and methods that are part of these communication actions in online media in as much as it is important for businesses to reap the numerous benefits that digital marketing offers in terms of impacting the consumer. Everyone has access to the materials and tools, but the only people who will benefit from their utilization are the ones who take the time to learn how to apply them properly.

The idea of a digital marketing funnel is a good illustration of this phenomenon. The funnel first looked to be a tool for sales teams, but over time it also began to be used for the purposes of communication strategies. In order to make more informed decisions about how to invest your resources, it is essential to have a solid understanding of what this concept entails and the role it plays. Are you interested in gaining further insight into the digital marketing funnel, due to your natural inquisitiveness? If you want to learn more, you should continue reading the article.

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What steps are involved in the traditional marketing funnel?

An advertiser by the name of Elias St. Elmo Lewis developed a model to chart the client journey all the way back in 1898. This was referred to as the AIDA model, which is an acronym that stands for awareness (of a company or brand), interest (in a product), desire (to acquire that thing), and action (buying the product). The first marketing funnel was created as a result of this.

The original AIDA model has now been adapted in a great number of different ways. Despite the fact that they can diverge quite a bit from one another, eventually, they can all be broken down into three or four main stages:

  • The first stage of the sales funnel is called the Top of the Funnel (ToFu) or the Awareness Stage. This stage is concerned with a customer’s awareness of a product, service, and/or brand.
  • The Middle of the Funnel (MoFu), also known as the Consideration Stage, is when a customer starts to think about the various possibilities they have available to them that they might be interested in.
  • The bottom of the Funnel (BoFu), also known as the Decision Stage, is the point at which a buyer decides which of your products they want to buy.

The After Purchase Stage examines a customer’s behavior after a purchase has been made, such as advocacy for the brand and loyalty to the company. Although the specific actions taken within each of these categories can vary depending on the model, we have detailed some of the most frequently encountered ones in this piece.

However, regardless of the architecture, the objective of all traditional marketing funnels is to segment the trip that a consumer takes through the company into a series of separate steps. When marketing professionals do this, they are able to better segment and target their marketing operations, which results in better delivered and more cost-effective content that guides buyers toward making the best decision.

Having said that, the traditional digital marketing funnel isn’t always capable of capturing the entire depth and complexity of the contemporary media ecosystem. User journeys are rarely traveled in a linear fashion. Because of this factor, many kinds of marketing funnels have started to come into existence. This encompasses the many stages of the digital marketing funnel.

What exactly is the digital marketing funnel?

The original AIDA model was introduced at a time when the customer journey was considerably less complicated. In addition, we did not have the knowledge that we have now regarding the routines and actions of customers. Although traditional marketing funnels can be useful in certain circumstances, their use in the context of current marketing is not necessarily as great. 

When compared to the original AIDA model and its many iterations, the digital marketing funnel is more complex, has a greater number of processes, and follows a less linear progression. It has arisen in part to solve the following issues that have arisen:

  • In the 21st century, the sales process is significantly more complicated. Around the middle of the 20th century, the vast majority of marketing initiatives were restricted to print media, television advertising, and billboard advertising. That completed the exercise! Today, there are thousands upon thousands of web channels. The path that a consumer takes through a company is no longer linear and has become significantly more convoluted over the years.
  • There is now a greater degree of competitiveness. Even while there has always been a healthy level of competition amongst businesses, the world of startups in today’s day and age is continuously seeing the emergence of new products, services, and competitors. In order to maintain their place in the market, brands are dividing and perfecting their products and services into an increasing number of specialized categories. This is not something that the usual marketing funnel takes into account.
  • More information than ever before is available to us regarding our patrons. While the internet has made the marketing landscape more challenging, it has also made it possible for us to follow, collect, and analyze client data in ways that were inconceivable when Lewis initially developed the AIDA model. Because we are now able to categorize customers to an incredible degree, we need to adopt a more nuanced strategy.

Therefore, the purpose of the digital marketing funnel is to alleviate these challenges by providing contemporary marketers with more targeted tools that assist them in delivering their campaigns.

How does a digital marketing funnel serve you?

With their paid social media marketing campaigns, many marketers experience a loss, while others see a 3X to 4X return on their investment. Exists a secret component?

No. Without a solid foundation, you cannot just allocate funds carelessly and toss them at paid advertisements or any other form of marketing and expect to see results. Every business that spends money on marketing aims to get a solid, worthwhile return on its investment by being fully aware of what they are doing. 

With the aid of a digital marketing funnel, you may better understand your target market. As a result, you’ll have more chances to connect with potential customers on their preferred platforms and at their preferred times, making it possible for you to engage them in direct conversation and impress them with your brand message.

Investing in SEO for lawyers, for instance, can be a great method to draw in clients who are looking for legal assistance. With the help of SEO, you can ensure that your website appears on the top page of search engine results and concentrate on local SEO to increase the likelihood that local residents will find you. You can also produce legal content that will inform potential customers about the services you provide. By doing this, you will be more likely to receive inquiries from people who need legal counsel.

When you are familiar with your audience, it is simple to develop content that is tailored to each individual’s stage of the customer journey. There is no denying the popularity of personalization in the world. You may improve customization by using a good digital marketing funnel, which will make it simple to write material that is targeted at your audience. It is clear that you would be creating a larger return on investment for each and every dollar invested if you allocated a budget for various digital marketing platforms.

The stages of the digital marketing funnel

High-level strategies can still be developed using the conventional marketing funnel. But in the online world, we require a more sophisticated strategy for jobs that can be carried out. The digital marketing funnel’s stages can change, just like the traditional funnel’s. However, compared to their conventional equivalents, digital marketing funnels are typically less linear (and more customer-focused). 

The digital marketing funnel can be divided into pre- and post-purchase phases. It resembles an hourglass more than a typical funnel:

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  • Engagement
  • Education
  • Research
  • Evaluation
  • Justification
  • Purchase
  • Adoption
  • Retention
  • Expansion
  • Advocacy


In order to increase brand recognition, potential customers are engaged in this phase of digital marketing funnel. This entails maintaining your online identity and reputation using the most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Think of this phase as your brand’s introduction. If you want to keep people entertained, you might comment on customer evaluations on websites like TrustPilot or make popular memes. 

At this point, you most likely won’t be advertising your products; instead, you’ll be giving potential buyers a taste of your brand. Are you entertaining? Serious? Respected? Luxurious? How can you display yourself such that you can uphold your key principles and make sure that potential clients remember you and are willing to contact your business in the future?


The internet is always being used by people to discover new things. Brands now have a rare chance to produce useful, high-quality content that accomplishes two goals. The first benefit is that it attracts your target audience to your website (good for you!). Additionally, it gives them the details they require (excellent for them!). Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, for example, your clients thought highly of you as a horticultural expert if you owned a gardening business? 

You might launch a blog with beginner gardener tips to accomplish this. You may increase traffic to your website by choosing the appropriate keywords and themes to target. They’ll pick up gardening knowledge from you, and eventually, they’ll start to look to you as an authority. These actions will increase their awareness of and respect for your brand, whether consciously or unconsciously.


They’ll begin to read more about the good or service you’re offering as prospective customers get more knowledgeable about it. At this point, you should start checking out the information that your competitors’ websites and social media platforms are offering. Are they using clear campaigns? Well-targeted? What data are they lacking, exactly?

With the aid of all this information, you can come up with a plan that fills in any holes left by your competitors’ strategy and encourages prospective clients to consider you as well. Here, you want to be one of the top choices customers consider when making a decision to buy your good or service.


Consumers are going to be interested in buying a product during the evaluation stage. After doing their due diligence and considering all of their options, they will (hopefully) have decided to consider you as a potential provider. In order to ensure that people choose you over your rivals throughout the evaluation phase, you must discreetly reaffirm your credibility. 

You must continue to establish credibility and provide incentives at this point, perhaps by providing a free trial of a product or an online course. Transparency is crucial in this situation; avoid being pushy and avoid trying to be evasive at all costs to avoid alienating others.


Even if you are able to persuade a consumer that you are the finest supplier of the product they have chosen, this does not guarantee they will become a paying customer. Not all of these factors are directly within your area of influence, but many do influence decision-making processes. 

You can directly influence the development of a reliable brand. Other elements, though, are ones that you are unaware of. Customers may like and desire, for instance, your upscale clothing line, but they may also be setting aside money for a vacation. Or, maybe they merely don’t feel that they need it that urgently while liking your goods. During the justification phase, you should work to dispel any hesitation or answer any last-minute concerns a customer may have.


The digital marketing funnel’s purchase stage is the last stop for us. While crucial, revenue in the digital arena also contributes to the whole consumer experience. Due to the abundance of sales and e-commerce possibilities, you must ensure that your purchasing procedure is clear-cut, user-friendly, secure, and transparent. Don’t attempt to conceal, say, shipping charges or other expenditures. The majority of customers will be glad to pay them, but if they believe you tried to defraud them of their money, it could damage their perception of your company.


Businesses often struggle when post-sale service disappoints customers who were impressed by sales and marketing. This is often unintentional but a result of business structure. Adoption is the initial post-purchase step, thus it’s like onboarding for new clients. Meet customer expectations, satisfy their wants, and provide them with a great brand experience. 

Your marketing team may cooperate with project or product teams to ensure that consumers’ experiences are consistent when they are “handed over.” This is where you must deliver on your promises, whether you sold take-home goods, software, or a service.


While estimates vary, most well-established companies get roughly a third of their revenue from recurring consumers. This requires retention. Retention is the post-sales phase of providing a high-quality client experience, even through complaints or difficulties. 

Depending on your service, you may wish to write user guides, provide helpdesk and email support, or offer training seminars. Delivering them can be difficult, especially when a consumer complains. However, immediately and transparently resolving issues can improve customer retention.


Enhance your offering in the digital marketing funnel’s expansion stage. After the purchase and customer support, build customer trust. Your products, brand, and customer service will make you an authority. You can up- or cross-sell products that meet their demands here.

This helps you (more revenue) and the consumer (solves their issue). Beware: many brands rush into expansion before building trust. Most clients will find this pushy and unappealing. This stage is a gentle burn, not a hard sell!


The digital marketing funnel ends with advocacy. This is when devoted customers who trust your brand and appreciate your products become brand champions. If they have a good experience with your firm, loyal consumers will tell their friends and family. Positive recommendations and word-of-mouth are the best PR for brands, according to much research. 

Provide plenty of opportunities for satisfied customers to share their experiences. This might be as easy as a “share” button on an emailed purchase receipt, urging customers to submit an online review, or offering loyalty discounts and other prizes to people who proactively promote your company on social media.


A digital marketing funnel is a graphical representation of the various steps that comprise a customer’s journey via an organization’s website. The most important part of the customer journey is learning about the challenges faced by your target demographic, determining how to best assist those customers, and effectively conveying the benefits of your offering to them. When you have a good understanding of your client, it is simple and straightforward to produce individualized content and advertisement copies that you can distribute to them in the most effective ways.

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