How Marketing Funnels Work (and How You Can Create One)

Marketing funnels map a buyer’s journey with your brand. From the moment that they first hear about your brand to actually making a purchase, a buyer goes through many interactions with a brand.

And, marketing funnels identify and define the different stages of the buyer’s journey to help you target them the right way. Think of it as a road map that leads from point A to point B. Only, point A is the first interaction and point B is making a purchase.

It is called a funnel because the number of people gets smaller as they move through this path. So, there are a lot more people who know of your brand, but only a small portion of them move on to make a purchase. 

Once you understand the different consumer touchpoints, you’ll know when and how to target people at different stages in the funnel.

How Marketing Funnels Work and How You Can Create One:

Understanding the Basic Marketing Funnel - AIDA

The most basic marketing funnel, which is often used to explain the concept, is the AIDA model. It divides the customer journey into four different stages—Awareness, Interest, Desire,and Action.

Let’s first understand what these stages are before diving into how marketing funnels work.


This is the stage where a consumer hears about your brand for the first time through social media, advertising, word-of-mouth, or any other source.

 At this stage, the purchase intent is not yet there and the consumer needs to be lured further down the funnel.


At this stage in a buyer’s journey, they start taking an interest in your products and try to find more information about them. This is the best time to engage your prospective customers and inform them about what makes you better than competitors.


This is the stage where the consumer actually develops purchase intent and is almost at the decision-making stage. During the desire stage is the perfect time for you to provide a final nudge to these prospects and turn them into customers.


As the name suggests, this is the final stage in a buyer’s journey where people actually make a purchase. 

While this is the final stage in the AIDA model, some marketers believe that marketing funnels should include a post-purchase stage as well.

How to Leverage Marketing Funnels for Your Business

Marketing funnels are very useful in helping you organize your marketing efforts. You can use different marketing tactics for people at different stages in the funnel.

Marketing Strategies for Each Stage of the Funnel

Here are some of the strategies that you can use at different stages of the marketing funnel.


Run marketing campaigns that are aimed at maximizing your brand reach and awareness. They may include:

  • Paid advertising campaigns targeted at a broad audience
  • Leveraging influencers with a large follower base and asking them to mention your brand
  • Social media hashtag campaigns
  • SEO tactics to get more organic traffic
  • Hosting webinars or podcasts
  • Creating and posting YouTube videos


The marketing tactics at this stage are aimed at engaging the customers and grabbing their attention and may include:

  • Trying to get people to follow you on social media by running giveaways and contests
  • Using influencer marketing to gain more followers
  • Engaging your website visitors with interesting content like informative blog posts
  • Creating content that introduces your products


At this stage, you need to provide important details about your products and help consumers make a decision to purchase it.
This is when they compare your product with alternatives and you need to ensure that you stand out. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Product reviews are the best type of content for this stage as these explain the features and benefits of your products.
  • For service companies, the alternative is to get people to take a free trial or a demo of the service.
  • For high-ticket, B2B products, people might need to do a bit more research. This is where ebooks and case studies come into the picture.


This is the final stage where you need to push your prospects to become customers by making a purchase. All marketing tactics at this point should create a sense of urgency and provide enough motivation to make a purchase.

Some of the most effective techniques during this stage include:

  • A limited-time offer or discount is a good way to lure customers into buying.
  • For website visitors, CRO techniques should be used to lead them to a product or service page or get them to request a quote.
  • You can also create scarcity by emphasising that a product is available only in limited quantity, to encourage people to make a quick purchase.

How to Create Marketing Funnels for Your Brand

Now that you understand how marketing funnels work, it’s time to actually start creating one for your business. 

While the general stages remain more or less the same for every buyer’s journey, the actual steps in a funnel might differ from business to business.

For example, an ecommerce marketing funnel could be as short as two steps, first being an ad with an offer and the second step being a purchase. 

On the other hand, a high-ticket B2B product might have a much longer marketing funnel that might take even months to get a sales conversion.

So, each business should understand their audience, product, and market in order to create a customised funnel. Moreover, it doesn’t always have to be a single funnel as a business can have multiple marketing funnels. But, more on that later.


Here are some things that you need to do to create marketing funnels for your brand.

Understand Your Customers’ Journey

To understand the journey of your customers, you need to do thorough research and analyse how you actually gain customers. 

Where are you getting your website traffic from? What are the different lead-generation sources for your business? What are the various customer touch-points? And, a lot more!

The best place to start understanding this is to look into the Google Analytics data for your website. This will show you all the traffic sources where you are getting your website visitors from. It would also tell you what share of your website traffic comes from social, organic, referral, or other sources.

Then, you need to track each and see what made those people visit your website. Was it a social media promotion, a guest post on a popular website, or something else? 

Also, analyse the user behaviour once they enter your website. Do they leave right off the landing page? Do they move on to check out other pages on your website? What are the highest-converting pages on your website?

This research will lay the groundwork for your marketing funnels.

Create Multiple Marketing Funnels

By now, you must have noticed that you are acquiring leads from different sources and they are interacting with your business in different ways. 

This means that there is not just one path that prospects take before becoming a customer. There are multiple buyer journeys and paths and each requires a separate marketing funnel.

This means that you need to map out all possible buyer journeys and paths that could lead from awareness to conversion. 

Determine Marketing and Content for Each Stage of Your Funnel

The final step in creating your marketing funnel is to decide how you will target consumers at different stages of their journey. 

So, your final marketing funnel should include the various customer touchpoints and how you will target them at each. This needs to be done for each of the different marketing funnels that you have.

Here’s an example of a marketing funnel at work:

1. Reach new prospects via an influencer post that mentions your brand and gets people to your social media profile.

2. Direct them from your social media page to your website using a shoppable post.

3. Optimise your product description, add testimonials, etc. to help make the purchase decision easier.

4. If a prospect tries to leave, then use a pop-up to give a one-time-only discount to encourage them to make a purchase.

5. Optimise your checkout page to ensure a smooth payment and checkout process.

This basically drives a prospect from an influencer’s social media profile to your profile, then your website, and then gets them to make a purchase.

As a business, you could have multiple marketing funnels for different products and sources.

What Next?

As mentioned earlier, your marketing funnel doesn’t need to end with a purchase. You can retarget your existing customers or people who didn’t convert by using remarketing strategies. 

In fact, you could create a separate remarketing funnel that aims to target people who have had an interaction with your business in the past.

There’s a lot that can be achieved using marketing funnels and the possibilities are limitless. All you need is a clear understanding of how marketing funnels work and how you can use them to your advantage.

Use this post as your reference guide and start creating successful marketing funnels that convert.

About the Author
With over 15 years in content marketing, Werner founded Influencer Marketing Hub in 2016. He successfully grew the platform to attract 5 million monthly visitors, making it a key site for brand marketers globally. His efforts led to the company's acquisition in 2020. Additionally, Werner's expertise has been recognized by major marketing and tech publications, including Forbes, TechCrunch, BBC and Wired.