Imagine your business as a giant sieve, sifting through countless leads and prospects. At the bottom lies your ultimate prize – loyal customers who purchase and advocate for your brand. 

What’s the secret to turning this vision into reality? 

Sales and marketing funnels!

Funnels serve as the backbone of modern businesses. 

They are the unsung heroes, quietly working behind the scenes to streamline the customer journey. They help you nurture leads, qualify prospects, and drive conversions. 

Sales funnels are your trusty companions on the road to business success.

If you’ve ever wondered, “What are funnels, and why do they matter?” you’re in for a treat. 

Today, we’ll answer these questions and more. 

Best of all, we’ll also share insider tips on creating and managing your funnels effectively.

Ready to learn more? 

What Are Funnels?

A sales and marketing funnel visually represents the customer journey, from the first point of contact to the final purchase. It shows how prospects move through different stages until they become loyal customers and advocates of your brand.

This metaphor illustrates how the number of prospects decreases as they move closer to the bottom, where the conversions happen. 

More importantly, it also implies that you must fill the top of the funnel with enough leads to generate enough sales at the bottom.

The funnel concept is not new. 

In fact, it dates back to 1898, when American advertising advocate E. St. Elmo Lewis developed the AIDA model, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. 

These are the four stages that a consumer goes through before making a purchase decision.

But just like a modest tractor manufacturer evolved into the high-end Lamborghini brand, so too did the sales funnel change. 

Today, many variations of the funnel model reflect changes in customer behavior and technology. 

The most common one consists of five stages: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Loyalty, and Advocacy.

But what does each stage mean? 

Let’s find out!

What are the Stages of a Sales and Marketing Funnel? 

Each stage of the funnel has a different goal and requires a different approach. 

For example, 

  • The goal of the awareness stage is to generate leads with the approach to educate and inform. 
  • The goal of the decision stage is to close sales, with the approach being to persuade and convince.


The awareness stage is the top of the funnel, where prospects become aware of your brand, product, or service. 

They may find you through online or offline channels, such as social media, search engines, blogs, podcasts, ads, referrals, events, etc.

At this stage, prospects are not looking for a specific solution but rather for information, education, or entertainment. 

They may have a problem or a need, but they are not aware of it yet, or they are not ready to solve it.

During this stage, you aim to capture their attention, spark their curiosity, and generate interest in your offer. 

You can do this by creating and distributing valuable and relevant content addressing their pain points, challenges, or goals.

Some examples of content types that work well at this stage are:

  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts
  • Quizzes
  • Surveys

The key is to provide value without being too ‘salesy’ or pushy. You want to educate your prospects and build trust and credibility with them.


The consideration stage is the middle of the funnel, where prospects have identified their problem or need and are actively looking for a solution. They are aware of your brand and offer but are also considering other alternatives in the market.

At this stage, prospects compare different options, evaluate features and benefits, and seek more information and guidance. 

They may have questions or objections preventing them from moving forward.

Now, your goal is to nurture them, provide answers and solutions, and persuade them that your offer best fits their needs. 

You can do this by creating and delivering more in-depth and personalized content showcasing your value proposition and competitive advantage.

Examples of content types that work well at this stage are:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • White papers
  • Reports
  • Emails
  • Demos
  • Free trials
  • Consultations

The key is to address your prospects’ pain points, overcome their objections, and demonstrate your expertise and authority.


The decision stage is the bottom of the funnel, where prospects are ready to make a purchase. They have narrowed their choices to one or a few options and are looking for the final push to act.

At this stage, prospects seek reassurance, confidence, and incentives. 

They may have some concerns or doubts that hold them back from buying.

Your goal at this stage is to close the sale, provide reassurance and confidence, and incentivize your prospects to act fast. 

You can do this by creating and offering compelling and irresistible content that removes friction and adds urgency and value.

Examples of content types that work well at this stage are:

  • Coupons
  • Discounts
  • Offers
  • Guarantees
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • FAQs
  • Checklists
  • Comparison charts

The key is eliminating risk, creating a sense of scarcity, and providing a clear and easy call to action.


The loyalty stage is the post-purchase stage, where customers have bought your product or service and are using it. 

They may be satisfied or dissatisfied with their purchase, depending on their expectations and experience.

At this stage, customers seek support, guidance, and value. 

They may have questions or issues that need to be resolved or want to learn more about using your product or service effectively.

In this arena, your goal is to retain your customers, provide support and guidance, and deliver value. 

You can do this by creating and offering helpful and engaging content that improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Examples of content types that work well at this stage are:

  • Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • E-books
  • Guides
  • Tutorials
  • Tips
  • FAQs
  • Surveys
  • Feedback forms

The key is to provide ongoing communication, education, and assistance, making your customers feel valued and appreciated.


The advocacy stage is the final stage, where loyal customers become advocates of your brand, product, or service. 

They are satisfied with their purchase, delighted, and impressed by your value and service.

At this stage, customers seek recognition, rewards, and community. 

They may want to share their positive experience with others or connect with like-minded customers.

Now, your goal is to leverage your customers, provide recognition and rewards, and build a community. 

You can create and encourage user-generated content, referrals, and word-of-mouth marketing.

  • Examples of content types that work well at this stage are:
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Stories
  • Social media posts
  • Hashtags
  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • Loyalty programs
  • Referral programs
  • Ambassador programs
  • Forums
  • Groups
  • Events

The key is to empower your customers, incentivize them to spread the word and create a sense of belonging and identity.

Each stage of the funnel is a carefully planned step in building a lasting connection with your customers, just like nurturing a seed into a flourishing tree.

Why Are Funnels Important?

Simply put, funnels are important because they help you understand your customers better and tailor your sales and marketing strategies accordingly. 

By knowing where your prospects are in the funnel, you can:

  • Create relevant and engaging content that matches their needs, interests, and pain points at each funnel stage. 
  • Deliver personalized and timely messages that resonate with and motivate them to act. 
  • Optimize your conversion rates by testing and improving your landing pages, forms, CTAs, headlines, copy, images, etc. You can also use analytics and feedback tools to measure and improve your performance. 

By using funnels, you can create a seamless and satisfying customer experience and increase your chances of turning prospects into customers and customers into advocates.

How to Build a Funnel?

Building funnels is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process that requires planning, execution, and optimization. 

Here are some steps to help you build your sales and marketing funnels:

Define Your Target Audience

As with most things marketing-related, you need to define your target audience or ideal customer profile. 

You should know who they are, what they want, what they need, what they struggle with, and how they behave. 

If you feel stuck, use tools like buyer personas, customer interviews, or surveys to get a clear picture of your audience.

Map Out Your Customer Journey

Determine what steps a prospect should take from the awareness stage to the advocacy stage. 

This will help you identify the touchpoints, or contact points, they have with your brand, like your website, email, social media, etc. 

Also, identify the triggers or events that move your prospects from one stage to another, such as downloading a lead magnet (free content in exchange for their contact info), requesting a demo, or making a purchase.

Create Your Funnel Content and Messages

Create and develop the content and messages you use to attract, engage, and convert your prospects at each funnel stage. 

These engagements should be relevant, valuable, and compelling for your audience. 

Also, remember that everything you create must be consistent, coherent, and aligned with your brand voice and tone.

Set Up Your Funnel Tools and Systems

Now that you have all your components ready, it’s time to assemble them and set everything up.

As important as it is to create the correct messaging, just so you need to choose the right tools and systems for your business. These can include landing page builders, email marketing platforms, CRM software, etc. 

They must also be set up in such a way to integrate with each other, e.g., connecting your landing page with your email service provider or your CRM with your analytics tool.

Test and Optimize Your Funnel 

Finally, it’s testing time! 

You need to test your funnel’s: 

  • Content and messages—headlines, copy, images, CTAs, etc. 
  • Tools and systems—landing page speed, email deliverability, CRM functionality, etc. 

Testing provides data and feedback, enabling you to spot and fix any errors, gaps, and new opportunities to improve your funnel. 

Let’s explore a few of these aspects in a bit more detail!

The Significance of Touchpoints in a Marketing Funnel 

One of the most important aspects of building and managing your funnels is strategically placing touchpoints along the funnel.

These are any contact points or interactions between your brand and your prospects or customers. They can be online or offline, direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional.

Touchpoints facilitate meaningful interactions with your prospects and customers at each funnel stage. They help you:

  • Attract and capture attention.
  • Generate and nurture interest.
  • Provide and deliver value.
  • Persuade and influence action.
  • Support and guide usage.
  • Improve and enhance satisfaction.
  • Retain and increase loyalty.
  • Leverage and encourage advocacy.

In other words, touchpoints help you move your prospects and customers along the funnel from awareness to advocacy and, ultimately, to conversions and revenue.

Yet, not all touchpoints are created equal. 

Some are more effective and relevant than others, depending on the funnel stage and the interaction’s goal.

For example: 

  • A blog post may be a great touchpoint at the awareness stage but not so much at the decision stage. 
  • A coupon may be a great touchpoint at the decision stage but not really at the loyalty stage.

So, be careful when selecting and aligning your touchpoints with your funnel stages and your prospects’ and customers’ needs and expectations.

Important to note: 

Touchpoints are not about bombarding prospects with information. It’s about providing value and guiding them on their journey.

It’s not just about pushing your product but building relationships.

How to Use Data to Optimize Your Funnels

Now, let’s talk about data – the lifeblood of effective marketing. 

Funnels aren’t just about guiding prospects; they are data goldmines. Every interaction, click, and conversion is a piece of the puzzle.

By analyzing and leveraging your funnel data, you can:

  • Understand your target audience better.
  • Segment your prospects and customers based on their characteristics and behavior.
  • Personalize your content and offers to match their needs and interests.
  • Test and experiment with different strategies.
  • Identify and fix any bugs in your funnel.
  • Improve your conversion rates and revenue.

This wealth of information empowers you to refine your marketing strategies. 

It’s like having a crystal ball into your customers’ minds.

The beauty of it all? It’s not rocket science. 

With the right tools and platforms, you can effortlessly harness data for optimal results.

You’ll want a tool to help you gather, integrate, and visualize your funnel data in one place and give actionable insights and recommendations.

One such tool is Propel IQ, an all-in-one sales and marketing intelligence platform that helps you optimize your funnels with data-driven insights.

Propel IQ enables you to:

  • Connect and sync your data sources, such as your website, CRM, email, social media, ads, etc.
  • Track and measure your funnel performance across different channels and campaigns, from traffic to revenue.
  • Analyze and understand your funnel data using interactive dashboards, reports, and charts.
  • Optimize and improve your funnel strategies using AI-powered insights and suggestions.
  • Automate and streamline your funnel workflows using triggers, actions, and integrations.

With Propel IQ, you can turn your data into insights and your insights into action.

How to Manage and Control Your Funnels with Ease

Controlling your funnels means having the ability to create, edit, and update your touchpoints, content, and offers, as well as to monitor and adjust your funnel performance in real-time and with minimal effort.

However, controlling your funnels can be complex if you have multiple tools and platforms to use and manage.

That’s why you need a tool that can help you create, edit, and update your funnels in one place and provide you with full control and flexibility.

One such tool is Wishpond, an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that helps you easily manage and control your funnels.

Wishpond enables you to:

  • Create and launch your touchpoints, content, and offers using drag-and-drop editors, templates, and integrations.
  • Edit and update your touchpoints, content, and offers using live previews, revisions, and undo/redo options.
  • Monitor and adjust your funnel performance using real-time analytics, alerts, and notifications.
  • Control and customize your funnel settings using advanced options, such as targeting, segmentation, scheduling, automation, etc.

With Wishpond, you can create and control your funnels in minutes–no coding needed.

Funnels are the backbone of your sales and marketing success. 

They help you attract, nurture, and convert your prospects into customers and your customers into advocates.

However, building and managing your funnels can be challenging and daunting, especially if you don’t have the right tools and strategies.

That’s why we recommend using all-in-one platforms like Wishpond and Propel IQ, which can help you:

  • Build and optimize your funnels with data-driven insights.
  • Manage and control your funnels with ease and flexibility.
  • Grow your business and revenue with funnels.


Marcela Quezada

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