Unlock the Secrets of the Marketing Funnel: 5 Simple Steps to Build Your Own

January 23, 2024

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What is a marketing funnel? A marketing funnel is a  powerful tool to have in your arsenal. It's a simple but effective way to drive more leads and sales, and it's the cornerstone of successful marketing. 

But what is a marketing funnel, and how do you create one? In this article, we'll break down the basics of the marketing funnel and provide an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to creating your own. Let's dive in!

What is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a graphic representation of the stages that customers move through on their journey from awareness to purchase. In other words, it's the steps a person takes from first hearing about your brand until they convert, visualized as a funnel (yeah, like, a kitchen funnel). 

There are other types of funnels you might also hear about, including: 

  • Email funnels 
  • Webinar funnels
  • Lead magnet funnels
  • Video marketing funnels
  • Home page funnels
  • And More

Despite the different names, each of these funnels tracks the same thing – the steps a person takes to get to a conversion (aka a desired action). 

A marketing funnel starts at the top of the funnel, where potential customers are exposed to your brand and product. As they move through each stage, they become more and more familiar with your product and more likely to make a purchase. Consequently, the goal of a marketing funnel is to move customers from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel – i.e., from awareness to purchase. 

Having a well-designed marketing funnel has several benefits, including: 

  • Increased leads 
  • Better engagement 
  • Higher conversions
  • Improved ROI
  • Clear Insight 
  • And More 

But to get all these benefits, you have to create an effective process that moves customers through each stage and encourages them to take action. So, what are the stages of a marketing funnel? 

The 4 Stages of a Marketing Funnel

While every marketing funnel can have different stages, every marketing funnel consists of four primary stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. 


At the top of the funnel, potential clients become aware of your product or service. This is where you capture the attention of your target market and introduce them to your brand. For example, this is when a prospective customer sees your ad or social media post or hears about you from a friend. 


During this stage, you nurture leads and build relationships by providing them with content and resources to help them learn more about your brand and product. Your goal in this stage is to move them from being aware of your brand to saying, "I like this brand, product, or service." 


In this phase, the prospect goes from "I like it" to "I want to have it." During this phase, you want to increase the intensity a bit to really tell the prospects why they should want your product or service. In other words, you give them the information they need to make an informed decision. You could do this via sales calls, promotional emails, infographics, ebooks, and more. By the end of this stage, the prospect has done their research and wants to convert.


In the Action stage, you encourage customers to take action and make a purchase. This is where you use tactics like retargeting and discounts to drive conversions. In this phase, the prospect buys your item, schedules a demo, or takes whatever other action you want them to take.

A Few Marketing Funnel Examples

Sometimes the best way to understand a marketing funnel is to see a few examples. Here are some basic examples of a prospect's journey from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Keep in mind that each of these examples has dozens of variations depending on your product, prospects, and prospect. 

Blog Post > Email List > Nurture Sequence > Conversion 

This is perhaps the most well-known type of marketing funnel. In this example, a prospect reads one of your blogs and signs up for your newsletter. Once they're signed up for your email list, you can send them a series of emails to nurture them from interest to desire until they're ready to convert. 

Podcast Ad > Free Offer Download > Nurture Sequence > Conversion 

In this example, a person hears an ad for a free trial of your product on a podcast. They go and download the free trial in exchange for their email. Then, once you have the email, you send them an email drip campaign to nurture them to convert. 

Instagram Ad > Landing Page > Nurture Sequence > Conversion 

In this funnel, a person sees your ad on LinkedIn. They click it and go to your landing page. Once there, they might immediately take action or download a free offer in exchange for their email. Then, like in the previous examples, you nurture them until they convert. 

Influencer Post > Landing Page > Conversion 

In this example, you pay for influencer marketing. An influencer posts about your product with a link to your landing page. Prospects click the link to your landing page where they can purchase your product or service. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Marketing Funnel

Building a successful marketing funnel may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to building a simple marketing funnel for your business. 

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

The first step to building a successful marketing funnel is identifying your target audience. To know how to reach people and move them through the phases, you must know how to speak to them. So get clear about who your target audience is, and let that guide your content. 

Step 2: Create the Awareness Content 

Every funnel needs awareness content or top-of-the-funnel content. Examples of awareness content include blogs, ads, videos, and social media content. Ensure your awareness content speaks directly to your target audience and has a clear call to action. (The call-to-action should be something like signing up to an email list, downloading a product, scheduling a demo, etc. It should lead to you capturing the prospect's contact details)

Step 3: Set Up Your Interest Offer (Optional) 

If you've already captured your prospects' emails in the awareness phase, you may not need to create an interest offer. However, sometimes you'll need to create a landing page with a free product, webinar, or some other enticing offer to capture your prospects' emails. In this scenario, your prospect will click from a blog, ad, or link to your interest offer landing page, where they'll download a free offer of some kind in exchange for their contact details. (You'll also need to create the free offer during this stage). 

Step 4: Create the Nurturing Content 

The most crucial part of the funnel is moving people from interest to desire. Generally, companies use an email sequence to move their prospect through the funnel. Ultimately, this part of the process aims to give people more information about your offer and communicate why they need it. You can do emails, infographics, live events, phone calls, and more. Set up a nurturing pipeline that makes sense for your business goals. 

Step 5: Get Sales Onboard (Optional) 

You need a plan for when the prospect moves out of the desire stage and into the action sequence. If everything happens online (like an ecommerce store), you may not need to take this step. However, if your prospects need to communicate with a salesperson to get started, tighten up the handoff between the bottom of the marketing funnel to the top of the sales funnel. 

Bonus Tips for Optimizing Your Marketing Funnel

Once you've built your marketing funnel, you want to optimize it for maximum effectiveness. Here are a few tips for doing that:

  • Keep your content fresh: Make sure your content is up-to-date and relevant to your target audience. Update it as needed and adjust it as your business and offers change. 
  • Track and measure your performance: Track the performance of each stage of your funnel and measure your ROI. Find the weak spots and adjust them. 
  • Respond quickly to leads: Make sure you respond quickly to leads to get the best results and ensure a positive customer experience.
  • Test different tactics: Test different tactics and measure the effects on your funnel to identify areas for improvement.
  • Use retargeting: Retargeting can be a powerful tool for driving conversions. If prospects get stuck in parts of your funnel or drop off before they reach the bottom, consider using retargeting to remind them of your product and encourage them to act.

Start Crafting Your Marketing Funnel Today 

Ultimately, a marketing funnel is a powerful tool for driving leads and sales. While it might seem overwhelming at first, it becomes a lot more manageable once you break it down. 

Take time to understand your audience and start crafting your marketing funnel today to power up your efforts and ensure no potential prospects fall through the cracks.