When marketers talk about funnels, we’re talking about the process that takes a person from not ever having heard about our brand to becoming a paying customer. You’ll often hear it referred to as a sales funnel, and it has a number of steps.
It can take many forms, depending on your business and industry, but generally it looks like this:
- Unqualified prospects make up the largest group, this is your target market, all those people you might turn into customers.
- Awareness is the second level down, where some percentage of that top group has now heard about your brand or product somehow.
- Interest comes one step further, where some group of those in the awareness bucket have now taken an action to investigate your offers.
- Consideration is next. Here, not only are they interested, but they are actively weighing your brand against your competitors.
- Intent is the next level down the funnel, where they have chosen you as the company they wish to purchase from.
- Purchase is the final level at the very bottom of the funnel. There, the final sale has been made.
I would argue that marketers take the funnel a step further, adding loyalty as a stage when those who make a first purchase come back and make another.
Regardless whether or not your funnel matches the one described above, the important first step is outlining it. Once you know your funnel, you can start to fill in the numbers necessary to do a full funnel analysis. How many people are at each stage, what are your conversion rates, and where can you make changes to get more people further down the funnel.