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The Stages of a Digital Marketing Funnel


“If you want to scale your business, you need a digital marketing funnel!” 

If you’ve listened to any business podcast or attended any marketing webinar, you’ve likely heard this phrase. It probably left you scratching your head. What in the world is a digital marketing funnel?

In this article, we’re going to demystify creating a digital marketing funnel. We’ll also get into the different stages of a digital marketing funnel. By the end of this article, you’ll know why they work so well—and how you can get them to work for your business.

What Is A Digital Marketing Funnel?

Agreeing on the stages of a marketing funnel propsal

Simply put, a digital marketing funnel is the journey from prospect to client.

The funnel builds a relationship with people as they engage with your business. It lets you reach more people and convert more of them to paying clients.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Functional Website
  2. Lead Generators
  3. Email Campaigns

You’re probably thinking, “Is creating a digital marketing funnel that simple?” Yes! Let’s get into the details so you can see for yourself.

A Website That Works

Creating a website that works

You need a website that works. That doesn’t just mean that all the buttons are functioning correctly or that the page looks good.

A website that really works generates leads for you 24/7.

Could your website use a little help? Here are a couple of pointers to get your website in tip-top shape. 

  • Don’t use any jargon or insider words. If your audience doesn’t use them, then don’t use them. 
  • Use less than 6 words in your header. The shorter (and clearer), the better!
  • Choose strong Calls To Action. Think “Buy Now” or “Schedule a Call”. Clear—so your audience knows what to do. 
  • Aim for clear language. Cute and clever is okay sometimes, but clarity will win every time. 
  • Repeat your Call To Action multiple times on the page. 

Lead Generators

A man who is happy with the progress of his lead generators.

Your prospects wake up every day as the hero in their own story. Throughout their day they overcome obstacles and emerge victoriously. 

But sometimes, they need a guide to help them through the difficulties.  

When your prospects are facing problems, they don’t want to listen to just anyone. They need a guide they can trust. 

The best way to establish yourself as an authoritative guide in your prospect’s story is to offer a free asset. This free asset could be:

  • A PDF on your site
  • A video series
  • A free sample
  • A live event or webinar

While this asset is free, you still want it to help you grow your business.

A great way to do that is to exchange your asset for a prospect’s email address. That gives you a great way to follow up with them. And since your free asset adds big value, prospects will be happy to exchange their email address for it.

Pro Tip: People are willing to exchange their email addresses for something that has a perceived value of $15-$20. Be sure your free resource adds BIG perceived value, or they won’t download it!

Email Campaigns

Creating email campaigns for a Digital Marketing Funnel

You have a powerful website that works, and you have some potential clients’ email addresses. Now what? 

It’s time to follow through and email them.

But what do you send them? Your weekly newsletter? A message all about the history of your company? A list of all the awards that you’ve won in the past? 

You could do that, but you probably won’t see many results.

Instead, place the captured email addresses into an automated nurture email campaign. Then, funnel them right into a sales email campaign.

Pro Tip: Automate this step in your CRM so you can reel in leads without doing any extra work!

Here are some ideas for good nurture email campaigns:

  • Calendar events for the week
  • Special offers
  • Weekly how-to-videos
  • Weekly specials for a restaurant
  • Weekly recipes
  • Blog posts
  • Latest podcast episode
  • Free resources

What Are The Stages Of A Digital Marketing Funnel?

Now you know what a digital marketing funnel is and how powerful it is for your business, but why does it work? 

You’ve heard it said a million times—“People don’t buy products, they buy people.” 

Digital marketing funnels work because they nurture relationships.

A good digital marketing funnel takes your prospect through 3 different relationship stages:

  1. Curiosity 
  2. Enlightenment 
  3. Commitment 

The Curiosity Stage

Here is where your prospect is searching for a product or service that can help them survive. This stage is full of snap judgments.

Think of it like sorting through the mail. You have a keep pile and a throw-away pile.

Your prospect is served thousands of pieces of marketing collateral every day. If they were to take in every piece of marketing collateral, their brain would be so full of campaigns, they wouldn’t have room for their own name!

That’s why people have a curiosity filter. This filter is constantly on and it’s very selective about what gets through.

Donald Miller, CEO of Business Made Simple University, says it best, “You must associate your products with something that will help them survive.” 

Use words on your website that speak to your prospects’ problems. Do this well and, before you know it, you’ll carry your prospects to the enlightenment Stage.

Pro tip: Your website is what guides your prospect through the curiosity stage into the enlightenment stage.

The Enlightenment Stage

In this stage, your prospect begins to establish trust in you. They’re discovering how you can solve their problems and help them survive. 

Clients will never purposefully move into a fog. They will always say no to confusion. Remove confusion by showing them your process of solving their problems. 

When confusion is replaced with clarity, your prospects are then ready to move to the commitment stage.

Pro Tip: Your lead generator and nurture email campaign guide your prospect through the enlightenment stage into the commitment stage.

The Commitment Stage

In this stage your prospect faces a risky decision: Do they commit to your business and place an order? Or do they keep browsing? 

When prospects don’t place an order it can be because of two reasons:

  1. They were never asked to.
  2. They were asked too early.

Most businesses are pretty good about asking for the sale. Sometimes too good. Pushy sales tactics can make a prospect feel threatened. No one buys from a pushy salesperson. 

This is the beauty of a digital marketing funnel! If executed correctly, it controls the pace of the relationship and never makes the prospect feel rushed. 

Rushed relationships are never healthy. They usually don’t last long — or even get started!

Pro Tip: Your sales email campaign guides your prospect through the commitment stage and turns them into a paying client.

To Sum It All Up

There you have it! 

You now know what a digital marketing funnel is. You can describe the different stages. Most importantly, you know why it works. 

And when it comes to marketing, you deserve a funnel that actually works!

A digital marketing funnel guides your prospect through the different relationship stages: Curiosity, Enlightenment, and Commitment. It does this at a healthy pace, making it easy for your prospects to fully commit to your business!

If you would like to get more guidance on how to execute a powerful digital marketing funnel you can schedule a call with our team by clicking here.

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