Marketing funnels are one of the best ways to grow your business and increase your revenue. If you don’t have a marketing funnel yet, it’s important to build one out as soon as possible to set yourself up for future growth.
Whether you’re building a marketing funnel for the first time or refreshing the model you already have, we’ve got the guide for you. Read on for everything you need to know about creating a digital marketing funnel and how to build one.
What Is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a framework that describes the journey your customers will take from when they first become aware of your brand to when they convert into paying customers. This journey can be mapped and optimized to help grow your business.
The framework is based on the idea that the number of people you attract to your business is much larger than the amount that will actually become qualified leads and eventually, customers. There are a few types of funnels that can be applied depending on whether you run a (B2B) business-to-business business or (B2C) business-to-consumer business.
The AIDA Model
When building a marketing funnel, most businesses today use the AIDA Model. AIDA stands for attention/awareness, interest, desire, and action. These are the four stages a consumer goes through on their buying journey. Identifying each of these stages allows you to craft specific marketing messages to target audiences in each stage.
- Attention/Awareness: In this first stage, you are catching the attention of your prospective clients and making them aware of your brand and business. Your goal in this stage is to get your audience to want to know more.
- Interest: In this stage, your audience is aware of your product or service and interested in learning more. You’ve captured their attention — now you need to hold it. You can do this through persuasive, engaging content that features something to keep them hooked.
- Desire: In this phase, the goal is to take the customer from simply being interested to actually wanting your product or service. To do this, you need to create trust. Continue to serve them interesting content so they have the maximum number of opportunities to interact with your brand.
- Action: In the last stage, the customer decides to purchase your product or service. Something needs to make them decide that they need what you’re offering.
The TOFU-MOFU-BOFU Strategy
While no single model will work for everyone, a good rule of thumb is to keep the model simple using the “TOFU-MOFU-BOFU” strategy. This refers to separating the top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU), and bottom of funnel (BOFU) into distinct marketing funnel stages.
The top of the funnel is where you attract new targeted visitors and increase the visibility of your business. Your audience here may read a blog post you wrote or view a YouTube or TikTok video. The people at the TOFU aren’t ready to buy from you yet.
For the audience in the middle of the funnel, your goal is to capture and nurture leads. This is where you want to build trust and where people start to show interest in what you’re offering. In MOFU, the focus should be on providing some value so that visitors to your website or landing page are willing to give you their contact information so you can market to them.
At the bottom of the funnel, you’re turning leads into customers, then building loyalty through repeat customers and creating advocates through customers that share your information. In BOFU you’ve already built brand awareness, social proof, and trust with your qualified leads so that when they’re presented with your product or service, they purchase.
Keeping these stages distinct allows your business to focus on each part of the funnel and the journey to maximize its effectiveness.
The Benefits of Marketing Funnels
Marketing funnels help businesses understand the customer journey and how their customers are making decisions. These funnels also help you create solutions for each stage of the customer journey and optimize the steps you want your customers to take when you engage with them.
Funnels apply to almost every interaction you have with your audience. Whether you’re trying to generate online sales, traffic for your brick-and-mortar store, or pre-orders for your book or album, or you’re collecting clicks as an affiliate, you need a marketing funnel.
The biggest benefit of marketing funnels is they can measure them with metrics and use that information to pivot your strategy, your content, and your call-to-action based on how well the funnel stages and your marketing tactics are performing.
Strategies for Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
Though it's important to break down your digital marketing funnel into TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU, your funnel still needs to work beautifully as a whole to take the customer on a seamless, cohesive journey. Here are a few strategies to think about when creating your funnel.
The aim for the tip-top of the funnel is to create content that relates to your industry, educates, inspires, or is a trending topic or sound. Think about creating accessible and easily digestible content like:
- Blog posts
- Carousels or Reels
- Catchy infographics
- Social media posts
- Videos for Youtube or TikTok
This content provides value to your target audience for free, which helps generate interest.
In the middle of the funnel, your goal should be to develop enticing content or digital activations to capture leads— names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.— from visitors to your website or landing page. Norby’s simplified and easy-to-use signups and forms enable you to customize and capture all the right information to start building your list and nurturing your leads.
Capturing leads gives you the opportunity to nurture relationships and build trust in you or your company.
Try creating a lead magnet with a simple PDF, digital goodie, or short e-book. You can create these using free design tools from Canva or similar design solutions. Then, use these tools to expand and connect content from the top of your funnel.
You can also put together a digital event or Instagram Live with a lead capture registration for reminders, then follow up afterward with a thank you and a recap of the event or a take-home digital good. Through Norby’s event suite, you can organize and run digital events that include customer registrations, reminders, and referrals.
Once you’ve secured your leads, nurture them with email or SMS marketing campaigns. These are great ways to communicate and encourage your audience to take action. Using email or SMS marketing allows you to reach your leads directly, hit them with brand and product storytelling, and let them take the next step in your funnel.
For email and SMS, we suggest setting up a welcome series and then moving on to weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletters and text campaigns that work in tandem. You can delve into the world of SMS marketing in our guide here. There are many platforms out there for email marketing and SMS marketing. Choose a platform like Norby that has both those marketing mediums built in, which simplifies your operation, cuts down on platform hopping and gives you a single view of the customer.
All the tactics for the bottom of the funnel are aimed at converting your leads into customers and making sales.
Scarcity is a super powerful tactic that drives results as you build your business and acquire more customers. It creates a sense of urgency through exclusives or time, with things like limited time to buy, limited discounts, early bird offers, or limited quality.
Bundles are another great tactic because it allows you to drive up units in a shopping cart. Let your customers mix and match single products or create bundles for them that you sell at a discount. You can do this for physical goods, digital goods, courses, and more.
How to Build Your Own Marketing Funnel Template
Below, we’ll walk you through four steps to create your own digital marketing funnel.
Step 1: Choose Which Full-Funnel Marketing Strategy Stage to Start With
The first step is to choose whether you want to start with the bottom, middle, or top of the funnel. If you’re a relatively new business and are generating a low volume of sales, we recommend starting with your Top of Funnel. Focusing here will allow you to build an audience to whom you can sell your product or services to later.
Step 2: Pick a Tactic or Two for Each Funnel Stage
There are many tactics — including the ones above — that you can use depending on the stage of your funnel. Select one or two tactics to really focus on. Using laser-sharp focus will enable better results than spreading your tactics thin and allows for excellent execution.
Step 3: Create Content for Each Tactic
Once you pick your tactics, you need to create the content or assets to implement the tactics. Try to aim for a few pieces of stellar content versus a volume play of mediocre content.
Keep an eye on the metrics for this content. This will give you an idea of how well each stage of the funnel is performing.
For the top of the funnel, look for:
- Sessions: Sessions are the number of visits to your content or site. You also want to look at how many of those are new sessions to see how many people are new visitors and how many are returning.
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the number of people who visit your website or landing page or who view your content without taking action. A high bounce rate may mean your content isn’t engaging enough or there is an issue with the site loading speed.
- Traffic per channel: This metric tells you exactly how much traffic each type of channel, like email or social media, is bringing in.
For the middle of the funnel, keep an eye on:
- Visitor-to-lead conversion rate: This rate tells you how many visitors to your site eventually become leads. This tells you how attractive your offer is.
- Lead growth: Lead growth is the metric that tells you how many leads you’re capturing over time.
- Email open and click rates: If email marketing is one of your strategies, you can use this metric to learn how many people on your list are opening their emails and of those, how many are clicking on a link within the email.
At the bottom of the funnel, watch for:
- Number of new customers: This tells you how many of your customers are purchasing from you for the first time.
- Total revenue. This is a record of all your sales.
- Revenue per customer: This number gives you an idea of how much each customer is spending.
- Conversion rate: This number is perhaps the most important metric. It tells you how many of your leads became customers.
Step 4: Connect and Build Continuity
Once you’ve implemented at least two stages of your funnel, it’s time to connect and build continuity between each stage. Think about anything and everything you can do to help your qualified leads move from one stage to another. What kind of content will bring them from one stage to the next and keep them continually engaged?
A good way to understand how your funnel looks and feels is to run through it yourself. Look objectively at what you can improve. Do you need to include a call to action or add a pop-up to capture information? Do you need a sign-up for an event or lead magnet? Is there an opportunity to upsell a product, service, etc.?
Create a Digital Marketing Funnel With Norby
Digital marketing funnels are an important tool for growing your business. They create a framework that allows you to specifically market to each customer, no matter what stage of the journey they’re in. This allows you to guide them from new visitor to loyal customer.
Norby’s integrated platform enables you to quickly set up high-performing marketing funnels using sign-ups and hosting events to collect emails and SMS. With this, you can send email and text message campaigns to those in all parts of your digital marketing funnel, from top to bottom.
Norby is here to help you curate an effective digital marketing funnel throughout your creative journey. Join Norby to upskill your digital marketing skills and successfully convert new audiences into loyal lifelong advocates for your brand.