How to build a marketing funnel to increase leads and sales
Chris Taylor - Content Strategy and Content Marketing

Chris Taylor

How to build a marketing funnel to increase leads and sales

If you're looking to increase leads and sales, one of the best things you can do is build a marketing funnel. By creating a series of targeted content pieces that lead prospects down a path from awareness to purchase, you can dramatically increase the likelihood that they'll take the desired action. 

There are a few key things to keep in mind when creating your marketing funnel:

  • What's the problem or need that your target market has that your product or service can solve?
  • What kind of content will educate them and help them understand your solution?
  • And finally, what kind of offer will entice them to take the final step and buy?


Answering these questions will help you create a successful marketing funnel.

What is a marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel (also known as a sales funnel) is a multi-step process where leads are first identified, then converted into prospective customers, then into customers, and then into long-term clients. 


It’s usually helpful to visualise the funnel. This helps to focus your marketing activities and align them to the various stages of the customer journey, from awareness to interest to purchase. 


Remember, the goal of the funnel is to optimise your sales and marketing activities. 


Your marketing team will identify your ideal client or the audience they want to attract. 

This informs the initial stage. Their needs and wants form the basis for the marketing funnel. 


Any funnel needs marketing content to drive it. Marketers can create marketing campaigns (content) that build awareness, move customers from interest to desire, and trigger the purchase decision. Marketing professionals will know that any piece of content they create must address the needs and wants of its target audience at every stage of the customer journey.


These campaigns could employ various tactics to promote the content. For example, you could start with search engine optimised blog posts on your website. This would garner attention through search intent. You could publish social media posts to further develop relationships with existing followers. I would also recommend investing in digital ads to help you reach those customers who aren’t aware of your brand, product or service. You can use remarketing techniques to nudge them along the various stages.

Why is a marketing funnel important?

Marketing funnels are one of the most important aspects of marketing, yet they are often misunderstood. A marketing funnel is simply a process that leads a potential customer from awareness of your product or service, to interest in what you have to offer, to finally making a purchase. 


By mapping out this journey, you can more effectively market to your target audience and guide them down the path to becoming paying customers. Most importantly, a marketing funnel is important because it helps you spend your time and marketing budget more efficiently. 


All of your marketing activities should be aligned to your business goals. Understanding the funnel will help to keep you in check. Marketing funnels also play an important role in the implementation of your content strategy.


Creating a marketing funnel doesn't have to be complicated. If you’re struggling to develop one, ask Highly.Digital to create one for you.

What is a funnel marketing strategy?

A funnel marketing strategy is a plan for directing prospects through a sales process, from initial contact to conversion. The strategy is designed to nurture prospects and guide them through each stage of the buyer's journey, so that they eventually make a purchase. Traditionally referred to as Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) the modern day funnel has expanded into the Customer Value Journey (CVJ) see below.


The funnel marketing strategy is an effective way to nurture prospects and guide them through the sales process.

How do you create a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a process that businesses use to identify and target potential customers. It focuses on directing prospective customers to a specific webpage, where potential customers are presented with relevant and engaging content. 


The funnel begins with a wide audience, and then narrows down to a smaller group of people who are more likely to be interested in what the business has to offer.

What are the 5 stages of a marketing funnel?

At the most basic level, a marketing funnel is divided into five stages.

1. Start with awareness.

The first step in the marketing funnel is creating awareness of your product or service. This is where potential customers learn about what you're offering and what solution it provides. During the awareness stage, you need to get your message in front of your target audience through marketing channels like paid advertising, content marketing, public relations, social media posts or search engine optimization.

2. Build interest.

Once potential customers are aware of your product or service, you need to build interest in what you're offering. This is where you give them more information about your product or service and why it's the right solution for their needs. You can do this through things like social media posts, case studies, blog posts, demo videos, or infographics that educate potential customers on the benefits of your product or service.

3. Create desire.

The next step is to create desire for your product or service. This is where you show potential customers how your product or service can solve their specific problem. You can do this through things like free trials, coupons, interactive content or money-back guarantees.

4. Take action.

This stage in the marketing funnel will persuade your target customers to take action. This is where prospective customers actually make a purchase or sign up for your service. You can accomplish this with copywriting, strong calls to action, effective pricing strategies, or customer testimonials. The idea is to make it easy for potential customers to complete your desired action.

5. Advocacy

Finally, it is important to keep potential customers engaged after they’ve made a purchase. This can be done through email marketing or providing excellent customer service.


The most important thing to remember when building a funnel in marketing is to make sure that each step of the funnel is optimised to increase the number of leads and sales. This means that every element of the funnel, from the initial ad campaign to the final sales pitch, should be designed with the goal of converting prospects into customers. You can optimise this by monitoring your conversion rate. 


By following this simple rule, you can ensure that your marketing funnel is as effective as possible.

How do you visualise a marketing funnel?

The Marketing Funnel Visualised

A marketing funnel is a diagram that shows the steps your ideal customer goes through as they move towards making a purchase. It's traditionally represented by a funnel. 


The process begins with activation, the moment when the person becomes aware of your brand. This is known as Top of Funnel. At the top, people aren’t ready to buy. However, they are interested in learning more about your product. This is where you, as a marketer, can inform them about your product, and pique their interest. 


The bottom of the funnel is closest to your customers. At the bottom, people are more receptive to your marketing message because they are confident they have enough information. A typical funnel will end with a conversion. However, nowadays we're also interested in what happens after the sale. More on that below.

What is the difference between a marketing funnel and sales funnel?

While these two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a key difference.


The term "marketing funnel" refers to a set of steps that are used in marketing. These steps will guide the prospect along the Customer Value Journey (CVJ). From awareness, to purchase and beyond. 


The term "sales funnel" refers to the process of selling products or services. A sales funnel will follow similar steps in the CVJ, but the outcome is focused on sales or revenue. 


Because of this, many experts now prefer using the term conversion funnel. This is because everyone wants more people to fall into their conversion funnel than out of it.

What is the customer value journey?

The customer value journey is a process that businesses use to identify and track the stages that a customer goes through when interacting with their brand. By understanding the customer value journey, businesses can create more targeted and effective marketing and sales campaigns that address the needs of each stage in the journey. Additionally, businesses can use the customer value journey to improve the overall customer experience by ensuring that each touchpoint along the journey is optimised for the customer.

How do you generate leads with a marketing funnel?

The funnel is designed to take potential customers through a journey from awareness to purchase, and can be adapted to various marketing strategies. At the top of the funnel, businesses typically focus on generating awareness of their product or service. This can be done through various marketing channels, such as paid advertising, social media, and content marketing. However, awareness alone doesn’t give your sales team much to work with. That’s because they will want qualified leads.

Create a Lead Magnet

Once potential customers are aware of the product or service, they can be moved into the next stage of the funnel, where they are encouraged to consider making a purchase. This is typically achieved by creating a lead magnet that gets people interested in what you have to offer by providing more information about your product or service in return for contact details. You can then follow up and nurture them through the sales process until they become customers.

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a tool that is used to generate leads via an opt-in form. It is a piece of valuable content that is offered in exchange for an individual's contact information. This content can take many forms, such as an ebook, a white paper, or a helpful guide.


Lead magnets are an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy, as they provide a way to turn website visitors into leads. The lead magnet is used to generate leads by providing value to the individual in exchange for their contact information. By offering something of value in exchange for an email address, companies can build their list of leads and begin developing relationships with them. This is the first step in the inbound marketing process, and it is essential for generating new business.

Build trust

By persuading your prospect to exchange their contact details in return for a lead magnet you should be in a position to build trust. This is essential in any relationship. If people do not trust you, they will not buy from you. Use the opportunity of a lead magnet to position yourself as an authority. People are more likely to buy from an expert.

How can you optimise your marketing funnel?

There are a few ways that you can optimise your marketing funnel.

Do you know who your target audience is?

You need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your marketing efforts? Once you have a good grasp on your target audience, you can then start to create content that is tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Targeted advertising

Another way is to create targeted marketing campaigns. These can run on social media platforms and are designed to specifically reach your target audience. You can also take advantage of remarketing opportunities with Facebook Ads and Google Ads etc. Advertising is a good way to reach your ideal audience and convert leads into customers. 

Segment your audience

Additionally, you can use customer data to segment your audience and create customised messages that are more likely to resonate with them.

User friendly website

A user friendly website is one that is designed to be easy to use and navigate. It should be intuitive and easy to find the information you are looking for. It will be responsive and load quickly and be visually appealing and easy on the eyes.

Track your results

Another important aspect of optimising your marketing funnel is to track your results. Keep an eye on your website traffic and engagement metrics to see how your content is performing. If you see that certain pieces of content are not getting as much attention as you would like, consider revising or changing them.


You’ll be particularly interested in your conversion rates. If these aren’t satisfactory, you may have to revisit your conversion goals. Maybe they are too ambitious or simply not set up correctly. You should be trying to identify pain points in the customer journey. These act as a conversion barrier. Find these and you will be able to boost your conversion rates.

Test, test and test again!

I’d be amazed if you get this right the first time. While you can make assumptions about your ideal customer, it’s hard to create marketing content that appeals to everyone. You should be trying to create content that appeals to relevant audiences at each of the stages. This is potentially a lot of work and may involve repackaging your content for different channels.


Don’t be alarmed if you don’t find initial success. Instead, make sure to test different marketing tactics to see what works best for your business.

Create your marketing funnel today

Building a marketing funnel is an essential part of any marketing strategy. By mapping out the customer journey from awareness to purchase, you can more effectively market to your target audience and guide them down the path to becoming paying customers. 


A funnel is especially helpful for managing the high-level, consumer-facing aspects of a business’s marketing efforts. It’s also a helpful tool for analysing your business’s effectiveness by funnel metrics such as funnel conversions, funnel cost-per-acquisition, funnel cost-per-lead, etc.


If you need help building an effective marketing funnel that will increase your leads and sales, contact Highly.Digital today.