Marketing Funnel Definition: What Is A Marketing Funnel?

Marketing Funnel Definition


What Is A Marketing Funnel?

If you are in the business of increasing your conversion rate and generating leads, then you have probably come across the term ‘Funnels.’

Or perhaps it was referred to as a ‘sales funnel’, ‘click funnel,’ or ‘content funnel’. Whatever the terminology, it’s the same concept.

If you are curious about what they are and what they can do for your business, this post is for you.

Marketing has evolved in recent years. No longer can you put up a website and expect it to bring in the customers. It just doesn’t work like that. The competition is fierce. Google’s algorithms are all over the place, and you need to expect the unexpected.

The solution is to have a controlled revenue stream in the form of a marketing funnel.

The marketing funnel definition explained.

What does a funnel mean in marketing?

The marketing funnel definition is a system that helps you track the stages of decision-making a customer goes through when making a purchase. You can see where they drop off without converting, and what encourages them to hit the buy button.

There are a number of marketing funnel stages. The probability of people continuing down your funnel decreases at each stage. Not every lead that signs up to your email list will convert into a paying customer. Not every paying customer will return to your business. You need to be prepared for every possible eventuality.

The funnel structure boils down to the probability, but the success at each stage is something you can control.

The older funnel model (one that goes in with a big sale) overlooks the importance of brand trust and loyalty.

Typically people have to see your brand mentioned around seven times before making a purchase. This highlights the importance of focusing on the user journey, from the first interaction with your brand to return as a loyal customer.

The best practice is to entice your audience in with a free resource or product. They tap in their email address and your offering lands in their inbox, just like that. The beauty of this step is data capture.

You have their details, and you are free to remarket to them, as you wish. Think of it as offering your customers additional value. You’ve handed over a resource packed with information that gives your brand instant credibility. You clearly know your stuff.

From there, people will be more inclined to purchase from your business. A simple concept, but one that is often neglected when it comes to marketing. Companies get too caught up in the final sale. Your audience needs to trust you before they part with their hard-earned cash.

The three layers of a marketing funnel…


The prospecting system is what hooks people to learn more about your business. That could be an email sign up, blog post or by following you on social media. The more communication channels are available to your audience, the greater your chance of securing a sale.


It comes down to legitimacy. Like Google, your customers like to see that you are active online. It gives them a sense of security. Your brand is offering value and building relationships with customers. That’s important.

The golden grail of this marketing funnel stage is to get people to become regular subscribers of your content. Whether that’s through an email newsletter, social media group or blogging network. They are giving you permission to contact them. Your messages don’t come across as spam, as they are expected.

marketing funnel definition prospecting

As a marketer, this gives you the power to:

Reach them at any point.

Monitor your progress through analytics.

Adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

However, as soon as we start talking about traffic, people get nervous and ask:

“But our competitors have a big budget, we’re just starting out. How do I get all that traffic without having to pay a fortune?”

You can absolutely get traffic without paying for it.

LOTS, in fact. You just have to earn it, which comes from persistence.

Locate your audience, offer them a ton of value, and the rest will come.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t give up before you pass the starting line.

marketing funnel definition stage two

Sales Process

marketing funnel definition sales process

So, you have traffic coming in. Well done, that’s the hard part over. Now, the fun really begins. It’s time to consider your offer. What are you going to offer that will encourage people to purchase? It should be something so irresistible, they can’t say no.

As you are continually providing value to your customers by way of a free weekly newsletter, reports and resources, and so on and so forth, you have the power to drop in a product sale every now and again.

Of course, not everyone is going to be ready to buy.

They may want to join your coaching programme, but don’t have the money to pay for it. An effective marketing funnel will allow you to monitor this and retarget people with a discounted offer to hold their interest.

You can find subtle ways of reminding people on a regular basis that your offer is still on the table. The idea is to set up your offers with every possible outcome in mind. Basically, cover all bases.

marketing funnel definition stage three

Planning your offer

Let’s say you’re in the marketing business. You want people to inquire about your online marketing services. That’s the end goal, anyway.

But, you don’t want to come on too strong.

Your offer could start with a simple website squeeze page giving people the option to enter their details in exchange for a ‘Free Marketing Guide’.

Follow in the footsteps of funnel marketing professionals who have designed million dollar funnels. You literally can’t fail. Plus, you stand to make some dollar in the process.

Marketing funnel to sell ebook.

The landing page above has an impressive 84% conversion rate, and we can see why!

Clickfunnels is an industry-leading funnel marketing software that enables you to create high converting landing pages using their tried and tested marketing funnel template. This is one of their more successful funnels. You can bet that every element was carefully considered, from the font colours and positioning of the text to the buttons and book design.

The page starts with a hook “The Marketing Secrets Blackbook.” It sounds official and leaves prospects curious.

Then comes the story “99 Marketing Secrets That Will Change Your Business… And Change Your Life.” Notice how the story directly relates to the audience? It’s an emotional trigger that draws on the interests of the audience.

Finally, we have the offer and the lead capture “Want To Know How We Took Clickfunnels From Zero To $100,000,000 In Just Three Short Years? Then Get Your Free Digital Copy Of The Marketing Secrets Blackbook.” The choice of wording is clever. Think about it; they are not making a promise to make you millions. But, an example is enough to draw you in.

The content is limited, but the offer is strong. People don’t tend to read reams of content. They need order, structure, and simplicity. Keep these in mind, and you’ll find your conversion rates reach a record high.

Your funnel doesn’t end there…

Maximise customer retention

People who have already bought from you (see above) are incredibly valuable to your business. If they are happy with the experience, they are likely to return to you time and time again for more of the same.

So, you need a system that caters for people that have already purchased one or more products from you.

Let’s say Dave has just bought your marketing book. At the end of the book, he finds a listing of products you offer. He may not be ready to purchase at this point.

Perhaps he has money troubles. Perhaps he has health problems. Perhaps he simply needs time to consume your content before enquiring.

All of the above is fine.

But Dave’s situation may change. There may be a time when he desperately needs your help. And yet, he’s forgotten about you altogether because you didn’t keep in contact.

That’s where a funnel comes into play. Occasionally, you can send out an offer to Dave to remind him that your product is still available should he want it.

Obviously, you can’t keep track of every single customer purchase yourself. A marketing funnel will automate the process for you sending people down a unique sales journey based on their actions.

Learn more about the ‘Marketing Funnel Definition’…

We hope this has given you a clear picture of a marketing funnel definition. This funnel marketing process provides the right solution at every step of the customer journey. The better it keeps track of the data and the more automated it is, the greater your conversion rate.

Looking for a marketing tool that keeps everything in one place? Check out Clickfunnels. They have an extensive list of professional funnel templates that enable you to create a landing page that not only looks fantastic but converts like crazy.

What’s more, they offer a free 14 day trial for everyone, so you can try out a range of their features before having to part with any cash!

Kick-start your free Clickfunnels trial now!

Disclaimer: We are big advocates of Clickfunnels and use it ourselves for a number of projects, both for Bigfoot Digital and for our clients. We have therefore used a few affiliate links throughout this post, which, if you use them, we will receive a small amount of commission! This by no means affects our opinion of the software, we simply just want everyone to use it to reach their full potential!