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Harnessing the Marketing Funnel

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Harnessing the Marketing Funnel

Whether you’re a startup or have been doing business for years, everyone can harness the power of the marketing funnel. You’ve probably come across the term a time or two, but what does that mean for your brand? The marketing funnel, also known as the sales funnel is focused on the customer’s journey towards the purchase of a product of service. So much more than a theory, if you do track it right, you’ll gain a ton of information about your audience’s decision making and purchasing habits.

What is the marketing funnel?

Take a second to think about it. What is the ideal action you’re wanting your potential customers to make? This can be visiting your website, signing up for your email newsletter, filling out a contact form, or making a purchase. When a customer transitions from the interest stage to completing the desired action, it’s called a conversion. The marketing funnel is an illustration of the steps taken before reaching that conversion.

What are its components?

This process takes the shape of a funnel because as you market your product or services, you’ll start filtering potential customers who are merely interested versus those in the consideration stage. As your audience narrows, so does the funnel. The top portion acts as a net and the bottom, a strainer. So when you hear, “widen the funnel,” it’s advising to increase brand awareness or market to new audiences.

One of the greatest aspects of the funnel concept is that it can be used for a variety of scenarios outside of sales. It can be used to monitor how visitors travel through your website, engagement with your audience on social media, or even tracking email marketing conversions. Once you establish the specific action you’d like your audience complete, you can create actionable checkpoints of your own.

Why’s it beneficial?

You may be wondering, “This is great, but how do I use the marketing funnel to turn leads into conversions? By monitoring the funnel, you’ll be able to see exactly where you’re losing potential customers. Let’s use NatureBox, a snack box subscription service, as an example.

Here’s what their online funnel may look like:

Visit www.naturebox.com

Signed up for a free snack box trial

Consumed snack box

Upgrade to monthly subscription

If for some reason, customers were reaching the subscription upgrade, you’d be able to pinpoint where you’re losing them. Was there a notable drop off from the landing page to the offer? Did a lot of people sign up, but not upgrade? Assess what aspects may have been a roadblock for them and adapt your marketing plan from there.

These variables can also be used for segmentation purposes if you’re a service-based business. You can cater your messaging to specific lead groups depending where they might be in the funnel.


Brad Sugars started ActionCOACH in 1993 and today the company is internationally recognized as the leading global business coaching firm and one of the leading and most awarded franchises in the world. Today, ActionCOACH operates in over 70 countries and has more than 1,000 coaches around the world, coaching 15,000 businesses every week to bring them ever greater achievement and success.