Building a Successful Digital Marketing Funnel in 7 Steps
Marketing Funnel Schematic image

Building a Successful Digital Marketing Funnel in 7 Steps

Publish date
November 28, 2023
Team Marketechy
We invite you to delve into the specifics of digital marketing funnel construction. Read on, and you’ll discover what essentials underpin prospects' transition to leads and nurturing leads into customers.
Table of contents

Perceiving the entire customer journey as a whole is a starting point for strategizing digital marketing and driving more sales with rational spending. But to meet this success repeatedly, the digital marketing strategy must be funnel-centered. Building a digital marketing funnel starts with scrutinizing its stages to grasp what can be done to address customers’ needs and pains. These differ for the top of the funnel, its middle, and bottom. 

What Is a Digital Marketing Funnel?

A digital marketing funnel is a general representation of consecutive stages that customers go through before they actually become your buyers. 

In its core, the digital marketing funnel enhances the traditional AIDA funnel concept. The latter provided a broad, less specific segmentation of the buyer’s journey into Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. The digital funnel goes deeper into the segmentation regarding the specifics of online purchasing and customer retention focus.

This way, the digital marketing funnel encompasses: 

  • Awareness and Exposure. Potential customers get to know your brand, products, and services from brand awareness campaigns.
  • Education & Engagement. Leads start to engage with your marketing content to learn more about the specific purposes and advantages of your product orservice.
  • Consideration & Justification. Prospects acknowledge your product as preferable among other purchase options they’ve considered. They can also start interacting with your sales reps, who should help them better understand all the use cases.
  • Purchase. Refers to a first-time purchase that paves the way for further retention.
  • Retention. Refers to establishing and upkeeping beneficial customer relationships that encourage customers to buy again and again.

Top, middle, and bottom stages of digital marketing funnel  - infographic

A segmented perception of the buyer’s journey deepens understanding of digital marketing as it fosters more granular audience prospecting. Marketers can define what specific needs of the audience to address to grab their attention and encourage them to take the next step towards conversion.

Granular Digital Marketing Funnel vs. AIDA Marketing Funnel

Since our guide will cover the ins and outs of a more segmented digital marketing funnel, we’d like to define how it differs from the less detailed AIDA  one. Here’s the comparative table to make it clear.

AIDA marketing funnel Granular digital marketing funnel
Fewer stages and a more general view of sales and marketing process (Awareness to Loyalty path) More stages that encompass both pre-sale and post-sale interactions with customers. Such an approach determines successful marketing by increasing customer retention and loyalty.
The linear order of customer progress towards the bottom of the funnel Non-liner view on customer journey. Online interaction with marketing messages doesn’t follow the strict order. Therefore, it demands a strong and clear value proposition at each funnel stage.
Brand-focused concept of purchase: marketers persuade customers to take actions that benefit the company. Customer-focused selling aims to fulfill and even surpass customer expectations. Putting customer experience first place boosts loyalty and retention.

Fewer stages and a more general view of sales and marketing process (Awareness to Loyalty path)

More stages that encompass both pre-sale and post-sale interactions with customers. Such an approach determines successful marketing by increasing customer retention and loyalty.

The linear order of customer progress towards the bottom of the funnel

Non-liner view on customer journey. Online interaction with marketing messages doesn’t follow the strict order. Therefore, it demands a strong and clear value proposition at each funnel stage.

Brand-focused concept of purchase: marketers persuade customers to take actions that benefit the company.

Customer-focused selling aims to fulfill and even surpass customer expectations. Putting customer experience first place boosts loyalty and retention.

Digital Marketing Funnel Breakdown: ToFu, MoFu, BoFu Overview

A genuinely successful digital marketing funnel bridges the gap between two poles of the customer relationship – initial brand awareness and becoming a brand ambassador. With that in mind, the funnel must encompass pre- and post-purchase stages. Let’s dive into more details of the Top funnel (ToFu), Middle funnel (MoFu), and Bottom funnel (BoFu) funnel stages.


Awareness & Exposure 

An initial introduction to what the company does, its mission, and core values. Here, the purpose is to let the leads get the first impression of what distinguishes you from competitors and start recognizing your brand.


Education & Engagement

Educating the target audience expands their awareness and nurtures their trust at the same time. You can bring visitors to your website and offer them useful guides, how-to tutorials, and reviews on relevant topics. By publishing and promoting your educational content consistently, you keep the audience permanently engaged with your messaging.

Your educational content creates entry points for your digital marketing funnel. By carrying out purposeful content marketing, you encourage the audience to explore your website and prove yourself as an industry expert.

Consideration & Justification

The Consideration process here can be viewed as a combination of the Research and Evaluation components.

While their research, prospects recognize their need and seek solutions. At this stage, prospects seek specific solutions and compare the companies offering them, so you must detect customer pain points overlooked by competitors. Running the competitor analysis can help you get ahead of your competitors and become the most favorable solution option.

To help prospects with their evaluation, offer them free trials, affordable custom subscription plans, and similar options. Customers universally endorse vendors’ transparency, so let it contribute to your credibility.

But even after you’ve convinced the prospect to try out your product or service, their purchase decision typically takes additional consideration. Learning about the possible doubts and concerns and then addressing them in advance prevents funnel drop-offs in your digital marketing funnel.

Social approval can also immensely assist positive purchase decisions. Regarding that, it's vital to leverage the power of referrals and case studies showcasing customer success stories.



Even though purchase seems to be a finish line of previous marketing and sales efforts, there are a lot of nuances to account for. Make sure that the purchase process flows transparently, seamlessly, and without friction. 

Ensuring fast and easy onboarding helps with a lasting positive experience for a post-sale period. But onboarding is just the first educational stage for a new customer. One of the most common reasons for churn is that customers – both new and those you consider your long-term strategic partners – don’t know how to fully utilize your platform or tool to its best advantage. So be sure to keep communicating, demonstrating how the new (and trusted old) features work, offering best-use practices, and a prompt connection to customer support if needed.


Customer experience is paramount for achieving higher retention and maximizing revenue from increased customer lifetime value. Financesonline.com outlines that a 5% increase in retention rate yields more than doubled revenue.

Post-sale retention practices are diverse. They can include email win-back campaigns,  personalized secondary onboarding, and offering reward programs for loyal customers. Make sure you collect and assess feedback as you nurture retained customers into loyal ones.

Sales expansion is a crucial phase of the retention period, allowing you to extend your offering. To recognize it, you must thoroughly monitor the behavior of clients that already purchased your product or service. Leverage web analytics tools to source intent signals and retarget your digital ads to make customers re-enter the sales cycle.

As customer satisfaction and loyalty strengthen, people are willing to spread the word about your brand and share their positive experiences with their friends and business partners. This is the moment they become active brand advocates.

This is where Marketechy steps in to develop a plan of work tailored to your growth marketing, metrics, and budget.
Talk to Us
White word balloon icon

KPIs and Indicators at Each Stage of Your Digital Marketing Funnel

Digital marketers simply can’t do without quantifiable metrics indicating the efficiency of funnel stages. These are insightful for continuous improvements and experiments that help companies attain a truly effective digital marketing funnel that drives revenue and maximizes conversion rate.

What Defines the Efficiency of a Funnel?

The prime consideration in funnel efficiency assessment is to think of conversions not as the end goal but rather as a waypoint. Therefore, the lesser top- and mid-funnel drop-off you have, the higher the bottom-funnel ROI.

The typical misstep for top-funnel activities like SEO, paid social, and blogging is when companies strive to maximize ROI through broad audience reach. That’s mainly a spray-and-pray approach that blows up massive funds on unqualified lead generation but doesn’t let you gain prospects with strong buying intent. Quality over quantity is crucial here, so instead of chasing after tons of traffic, you need to pay more attention to engagement metrics: scroll depth, the number of clicks per user session, and bounce rates.

While monitoring mid-funnel and bottom-funnel leakages, you should ensure that user flow is seamless and they don’t encounter conversion blockers. You can easily investigate drop-off culprits by tracking custom events with Google Analytics 4 and eliminate them to grant users the top-notch experience they deserve. To calculate event-specific conversions, simply divide the number of form submissions or sign-ups by the total number of page visits.

Main Metrics to Monitor Your Digital Marketing Funnel Efficiency

These are KPIs that most digital marketers find useful when they assess how successful a digital marketing funnel is:

  • Awareness and Exposure KPIs. When analyzing your paid social campaigns and organic SEO efforts, look into audience reach, number of impressions, and such engagement indicators as click-throughs. 
  • Education & Engagement KPIs. Track the number of leads collected through lead magnets like free e-books and reports. You can also estimate the number of users interested in your educational materials by tracking time spent on a page, increase in targeted traffic, and low bounce rate at relevant landing pages. 
  • Consideration and Justification KPIs. Estimate the conversion rate by the number of submitted demo requests and sign-ups to trial products. It’s also worth estimating the cost per lead to gauge the efficiency of lead nurturing efforts. To assess your efficiency in the Justification phase, you should gauge the CPL of sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and monitor their funnel drop-offs.
  • Purchase stage KPIs. There’s plenty of data to analyze, but cost per acquisition and average contract value will be the most insightful metrics. On top of that, marketers greatly benefit from attributing received revenue to particular advertising channels. Therefore, they can identify the top-performing marketing tactics and allocate future budgets purposefully.
  • Retention stage KPIs. The core post-sale KPIs for you to track are Retention/Churn rate, Repeat Purchase Rate, and Customer Lifetime Value.

Revision of post-purchase KPIs is also vital for sustaining growth and enhancing customer satisfaction. In particular, you can calculate and consistently track Net Promoter Score to have a complete picture of customer satisfaction level, predict churn, and strengthen loyalty in advance.

How to Create a Successful Digital Marketing Funnel for Your Website: 7 Steps

The following 7 steps map the necessary milestones for building your digital marketing funnel from scratch. Following this  guide ensures the implementation of must-haves that help target the right ICPs and nurture them properly. 

But remember that maintaining healthy and robust funnel stages will require systematic audits and troubleshooting. We’ll suggest some tested funnel optimization practices further in this article.

1. Define the Target Audience

You have to recognize customers' pains and preferences and address them through targeted content. That’s why audience profiling is a must. On top of that, understanding how your audience behaves online can inform you on what pool of advertising media will perform best in targeted campaigns.

Analyze industry trends, gather relevant search requests, and source customer data with marketing intelligence tools. Then, generalize collected data into a single holistic view of your target customer.

2. Run Competitor Analysis

Understanding your competitor's strategy is essential for developing your own. For instance, you can find out that they don’t invest much in SEO and double down on it to take advantage of them.

Thorough consideration of their brand positioning will tip you on how to emphasize your unique strengths and get those across in your messaging.

3. Identify Realistic Goals for Marketing Funnel

The balanced goal setting is not that challenging when creating a digital marketing funnel. You can bring it to life by practicing SMART criteria: 

  • Specific: You wish to grow your email list
  • Measurable: You wish to bring in 200 new subscribers
  • Achievable: You can achieve that by offering exclusive participation in new beta tests
  • Realistic: You plan to spend 30$ on the design of CTA banners and 100$ on the mail automation tool.
  • Time-bound: You estimate this growth sprint to take 2 months.

This determination provides clear objectives to the marketing team and makes them operate as a whole toward definite results.  

4. Develop a Content Strategy for Inbound Nurturing

Relevant content at every funnel stage creates consistency in user experience. Ideally, your goal is to keep customers thinking, “Wow, how did they find out that I was looking for this?”

Five-segment digital marketing sales funnel - infographic

The stage-specific types of content encompass:

  • Blog posts, infographics, podcasts, and video tutorials for top-funnel prospects
  • Reviews and product comparisons, webinar invitations, free downloads, and emails for qualified leads
  • Customer testimonials, demos, playbooks, and proposal letters work best for bottom-funnel users.

5. Build a Site that Converts

The well-known rule of thumb – the more they need to click, the lower chance they’ll proceed –  means that your landing pages should be both straightforwardness and convenient. Therefore, you must build your website pages with a specific user flow in mind:

  1. Group navigational links contextually in navigation bars and drop-down menus.
  2. Make sure that essential CTA buttons always are in plain sight. Allow users to return to the previous page and navigate to the homepage when they visit the form submission pages.
  3. Diversify plain text with graphic elements, tables, and video content. Use those elements reasonably to emphasize particular points and reinforce your messages.

Pro-tip: Reuse and repurpose the existing content formats for later funnel stages. For instance, your blog articles can be as good for Education as they are for Retention purposes. Or you can transform outtakes from written content into video scripts and make brief tutorials for the Evaluation stage.

Besides, you can enhance your underperforming pages by following tried-and-true suggestions from our SEO checklist for best content performance.

6. Monitor the Performance and Run A/B Tests for Landing Pages

A/B testing will prove which messaging and content format performs better. Whereas putting down and publishing 2 different pieces of content is a bit time-consuming, we definitely recommend doing so.

A/B testing fosters digital marketing funnel performance, especially at ToFu stages when you have enough room for experimenting. Go for it, and you’ll find the most impactful messaging that resonates with your audience.

7. Don't Overdo It on Social Media

A strong social media presence still matters a lot. It is great for 1:1 communication with customers, resolving their complaints quickly, and informing them on promotional campaigns and events.

That said, you don’t have to punch above your weight with SMM activities. Distribute content and run paid advertising on the platforms used by your target audience, and always evaluate your abilities to cut through the noise with your unique brand voice.

How to Optimize Your Digital Marketing Funnel: CRO Tips from the Marketechy Team

The funnel drop-offs and poor conversions are alarming signs nudging you to look under the hood of your digital marketing funnel. Let’s take a better look at how you can troubleshoot conversion blockers and deliver a better user experience while accomplishing your business goals.

How to Build Robust CRO Framework

CRO is a set of testing practices that help digital marketers plug conversion leaks and obtain the best version of the digital marketing funnel. The peculiarity of CRO testing is that it can be deliberately focused on micro-conversions. The devil is in the details. Thus, you can and must pinpoint what minor interactions impact the downstream flow-through.

1. Map the CRO Process

With a well-laid roadmap for CRO activities, you can precisely hit the pages and disparate UI objects that cause decreased conversions. Such a targeted approach can save lots of time and resources. It is very specific, so you won’t get distracted by non-essential data.

When road mapping your CRO:

  • Determine your business objectives (for instance, cheaper lead acquisition)
  • Choose indicative metrics and viable strategies (targeting high-intent audiences and measuring CPL)
  • Establish the baseline figures
  • Create a test hypothesis (for example, 'including rich firmographic data brings in more leads') and see if the test results cofirm it.

2. Measure Micro-Conversions

You can identify weak spots in the current marketing funnel by looking at micro-conversion events. Search CTR, CTA clicks, and page scroll depth – all these micro conversions contribute revenue metrics. The CRO goal is to specify the correlation between the uplifts of revenue metrics and the ups and downs of micro-conversions.

3. Identify Funnel Leaks

Track user behavior metrics like session duration, number of clicks, scroll depth, and bounce rate. These indicators and insights from heatmaps will help you find out what UI gaps need to be filled.

4. Run the Experiment Without on-the-go Tweaks

Don’t make minor adjustments prematurely in order not to skew the results of your test. Even though automated CRO testing tools allow you to adopt new settings, you can get meaningful and statistically significant results only when the estimated time will run to the end.

5. Document and Implement

If your hypothesis was confirmed, then it is worth implementing. At the same time, you must acknowledge the specific conditions and note them down to see if the same results will re-occur in different circumstances.

Marketechy CRO Cases with Improved Metrics

At Marketechy, we prefer to go beyond one-sided thinking, whether it is content marketing, PPC campaigns, or redesign of UI/UX that clients need. Each of these marketing activities underlies the digital marketing funnel performance and builds up a result of the user journey, which is conversion. 

In this regard, we investigate the marketing funnel from top to bottom to map optimization tasks strategically and set prime KPIs to evaluate efficiency on different steps.

Case #1 More than 5X Organic Traffic Gains

Organic traffic growth means more visitors that are likely to convert into leads. Plus, it’s an SEO digital marketing tactic to address the audience’s request for information, both educational and commercial.  

The direct mail automation service Inkit grew its organic traffic by 582% within a year, enhancing its brand awareness and search engine discoverability and, as a result, tripled the number of its website leads. The well-laid content marketing strategy increased Inkit’s organic traffic share by 60%, bringing in an intent-driven audience without investing in sponsored search ads and paid social.

Case #2 CPL/CPA Optimization

A thrifty PPC strategy is a lifesaver for small startups when they need to capture highly-targeted leads without overspending. Such was the PPC case with testing pricing policy and special offers in order to attain better returns from paid advertising and reach optimal CPL/CPA cost.

Reach an Excellent Funnel Performance with Marketechy’s Aid

If you struggle with winning more leads and can't tackle the customer churn, entrust your digital marketing funnel to Marketechy for overhaul. Our team will run an audit, determine the funnel leaks, and elaborate on the roadmap for building a coherent and result-oriented marketing funnel.

Let Marketechy’s seasoned specialists boost your digital marketing and business growth – request a call right now!

Ready to grow your online presence and quality leads? Drop us a line!