Digital Marketing Sales Funnel

What It Is & Why You Need One

Digital Marketing | Funnel Development | 7 min. Read

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What Are Digital Marketing Sales Funnels?

“A digital marketing sales funnel is a combination of marketing tactics utilized to generate traffic to your business and nurture them properly to become loyal customers who advocate for your business.”

Key Points in this article:

  • Funnels are extremely important for turning your web traffic into customers on automation
  • The funnel process is grouped into stages: foundation, floodgates, and the actual sales funnel
  • Use the AIDAA formula for constructing your digital marketing sales funnel

Just curious – do you still use a Windows 98 PC for your business or a new laptop/computer? Chances are, you probably chose the latter – if not, it is definitely time to upgrade!

The same concept is true for your digital marketing. Old ways of marketing for your business are not effective anymore. Traditional marketing strategies are on a fast decline and for good reason. There is no way to measure the performance or effectiveness and it’s brutally cost deficient. Can you truly measure the ROI on your traditional marketing?  

Digital marketing has changed the way large and small businesses have communicated with their customers and increased sales. With all the different platforms available for internet marketing, the opportunities are endless.

With all those opportunities though, feeling overwhelmed and stressed on how to proceed is common for many small businesses. In fact, far too often, we come across local businesses that have not even heard of a digital marketing funnel let alone implemented one.

Which brings us here.

Although we defined it in the opening quote of this article, that statement is still a little vague. A digital marketing sales funnel is essentially the process of moving someone who knows nothing about your business to a loyal customer that shares their experiences with their friends and family (advocating).

How Does a Digital Marketing Funnel Work?

If you think about the fundamental use of a funnel, you place the funnel where you want something to pour into, then you pour the substance into the funnel and it fills the container.

A digital marketing sales funnel follows the exact same concept. First, you build your sales funnel to achieve a specific objective – a customer purchasing xyz product/service from your business. Then you fill your sales funnel with traffic using digital marketing tactics to drive that traffic from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel where they convert into a paying customer and become an advocate for your local business. 

AIDAA – Digital Marketing Funnel Formula

Most digital marketers will tell you that digital marketing sales funnels utilize a 4 or 5 stage funnel following the AIDAA formula. 

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action
  • Advocacy

Each letter of the formula represents a stage throughout the digital marketing funnel. In order to convert a visitor into a customer who is an advocate for your brand, you have to nurture them from the time the enter the funnel until they become a customer.

With that said, not every person who enters your digital marketing sales funnel will turn into a customer. However, you can greatly improve your odds utilizing this formula to establish a lasting relationship with the prospect.

What Are The Components of a Digital Marketing Sales Funnels?

Obviously, this is easier said than done so let’s break down the three main components of a digital marketing funnel:

  1. Foundation – Defining your objective
  2. Floodgates – Getting traffic into your funnel
  3. Sales Funnel – Moving traffic from the top of the funnel to the bottom

1. Foundation – Defining Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel

Before you can begin to build out your digital marketing sales funnel, you first must conduct research and build a strategy to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved with your sales funnel.

Conducting a complete competitor analysis, developing SMART goals, and identifying your buyer personas are extremely important to the success of your funnelHere are some great links resources to help you conduct your research and build out your digital marketing sales funnel strategy.

Next in the digital marketing funnel strategy is creating your value ladder and mapping your funnel. For the sake of brevity, we’ve provided the following links to get you started on your value ladder and mapping your sales funnel.

2. Floodgates – Filling Your Digital Marketing Funnel With Traffic

Traffic into your funnel can come from many different places whether it be search engines, social media, advertisements, email campaigns, offline events, etc. The best performing sales funnels are those that utilize all sources as a means to generate traffic into the digital marketing sales funnel.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a great route to take to bring customers you’ve engaged with into your funnel and also keep your loyal customers up-to-date on new specials and offers.

Tips for Social Media Marketing Traffic:

  • Follow the three E’s rule of posting
    • Educate – inform your followers with content to educate them on topics relevant to your industry
    • Entertain – show your business’ culture with content they’ll enjoy and also be able to relate/learn about your business
    • Engage – always respond to messages, comments, and questions, but don’t stop there. Create polls, surveys, and questions for your followers to engage with frequently.
  • Throw multiple jabs before you ever try to land a hook
    • Post regularly following the 3-E rule without asking for anything in your posts. Deliver superb content and information to your followers > engage with them > then deliver a right hook for a striking blow to get those followers to sign up for your offer and enter your funnel.
  • Brand every post with your company
    • Include your logo in all image – subtle but well defined

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is one of the best long-term sustainable approaches to get digital marketing traffic into your funnel. The objective is to rank your website at the top of Google for designated keywords so when visitors are searching for the information you’re offering, they click your website and are now in your funnel.

Paid Advertising

Advertising comes in many shapes and forms from Facebook ads to Google Adwords. No matter the medium in which your advertising on, the objective remains the same – filling your funnel with relevant traffic.

Here’s some links for great articles on advertising:

Marketing Events

Marketing events are a great source of traffic into your funnel. Events can come in many different formats from online webinars to in-person charity events. Use these events as a means to connect with your prospective customers, generate awareness for your brand, and encourage people to check out your website (preferably a page designated for the event or similar). This will drive visitors into your funnel and provide retargeting opportunities through ads via Facebook or Google.

Email marketing

Tactics used to nurture digital marketing funnel traffic can vary significantly from chatbot integrations, SMS/Voicemail campaigns, etc. however, one of the best strategies is through the utilization of email marketing automation.

Essentially, when a customer subscribes, downloads, or signs up for something on your website, you can capture at minimum their name and email address (we recommend phone number as well if applicable). Once they’ve subscribed, tools like ActiveCampaign provides and decision-tree styled automation system to send emails campaigns that you designate to those customers.

When implementing a digital marketing sales funnel, be sure to incorporate email automation campaigns to entice your prospects to move to the next stage in your funnel.

3. Sales Funnel – Move Your Digital Marketing Traffic From Top to Bottom

At last, we get to the actual funnel itself.

The physical funnel is comprised of 3 components: a lead magnet, an amplified, and a conversion event. Depending on your objectives for your funnel, you can have upsells, downsells, gated content, etc.

No matter the case, the function remains the same: enticing a visitor to give up their contact information (and/or other pertinent information with respect to your objectives) in exchange for something of value to them.

With respect to the visitors stage in the funnel, content exchanged can include a free e-book or webinar, discounts on a service or product, a contest/promotional offer, etc. The opportunities are truly endless.

The Lead Magnet for Your Sales Funnel 

To set up the lead magnet for your digital marketing sales funnel, there are several tools you can utilize. Below is a list and links to our favorite tools for building lead magnets and web pages.

  • Leadpages
  • Clickfunnels
  • Divi Builder
  • Instapage

Pro-tips for the best lead magnet designs: 

  • Eliminate all distractions on the lead magnet that aren’t correlated with the objective your trying to achieve
  • Reduce/minimize the number of links away from your lead magnet – you want to keep them on the page and convert into a lead/purchase, etc.
  • Make sure your offer is clear, competitive, and relevant to your target audience
  • Your headline should GRAB THEIR ATTENTION and encourage them to continue reading the remainder of the page

Amplify Your Digital Marketing Funnel

The lead magnet is meant to draw the visitor into your funnel and attract them to stay more. The amplifier serves the purpose of hooking the visitor to become compelled into taking action with you.

Great tools to use as an amplifier are videos, testimonials/reviews, webinars, demo’s, social proof, etc. Incorporating an amplifier into your landing pages will reaffirm the visitors interest into the offer and assist them in removing any doubt/anxiety about the conversion. Obviously, depending on the stage of the funnel, you may or may not need a more impactful amplifier.

Getting Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel to Convert

You have done a lot up to this point, you should be proud of yourself. Now, the moment of truth sets in; do you have everything set for the visitor to convert by giving you their information? 

Generally speaking, the more difficult it is for someone to get access to what they want, the more likely they’ll leave and go somewhere else. With that said, you goal should be to make information college as smooth as possible.

Here’s some tips when setting up your forms to get the visitor to convert:

  • Make it easily found. Usually, it is best to place the form or a button for a form at the top of the screen then again at the bottom of the screen.
  • Only collect the information you truly need
  • Don’t ask for too much information at the top of the funnel. A good rule of thumb is at the top of the funnel, only collect name and email and as they progress through the funnel, you can collect more personal information (ex: phone, budget, marital status, address, etc.)

The sales funnel process for lead magnet, amplifier, and conversion event are the same for each stage of the funnel and the funnel as a whole.

Wrapping Up

We set the stage for you to begin creating your first digital marketing funnel. Let’s do a quick recap, shall we.

“A digital marketing sales funnel is a combination of marketing tactics utilized to generate traffic to your business and nurture them properly to become loyal customers who advocate for your business.”

A digital marketing funnel resembles that of an actual funnel. The objective is to feed traffic into the top of the funnel to convert them into our objective (usually a sale, downloading a piece of content, signing up for a discount, etc.)

AIDAA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, Advocacy and is the formula you should to map out the stages of your funnel. Note: it’s also a great formula to use for content creation as well.

The three components of a well rounded digital marketing sales funnel are:

A sales funnel has three main parts:

  • Lead Magnet
  • Amplifier
  • Conversion Event

About The Author

Zach Williams


Zach is the founder and CEO of Luckless Digital. When he's not working to help clients create their own luck, he can be found learning, riding his motorcycles, spending time with his wife and beloved dogs, or traveling.

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