Digital Marketing

What is a Sales Funnel? A Complete Guide on How to Create One

Social media marketing may seem simple, which it is if engagement is the only thing you’re looking for. But there’s much more to it when you want conversions because your marketing campaigns must take into consideration your digital marketing sales funnel.

sales funnel

The increasing popularity of digital media has changed the way the buying process and overall customer journey looks. Consumers are leaning more and more towards shopping online rather than in-store. But that doesn’t mean it’s easier to sell your products online. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Oftentimes, your sales funnel does not tend to stay in the boundaries of the inverse triangle.

Although the different stages reflect that of a sales funnel, the process of digital marketing has to be able to swim through all the distractions on social media, the high competition and drive potential customers through all the steps of a shopping experience without actually having an actual product in their face.

How do you stop users from scrolling past your content on Facebook, and drive them to your website so they stay long enough to make a purchase? The sales process doesn’t end after a purchase is made.

sales funnel

1. Awareness

Even though social media is a fast-paced environment, going through the digital marketing funnel is a much slower process than you may think. It takes time to build a fanbase, a reputation, a following. It’s about more than just giving a big discount or a free item. That’s why the top of the funnel focuses on creating lead magnets and building relationships with past, current, and future customers.

Page Likes

Social media and advertising features have evolved enough to the point that no one has to like a Facebook page to see its content, especially when it comes to boosting posts.

Even as advanced as technology is, the digital marketing sales funnel is still a numbers game that relies on bringing in the masses to be able to convert a small portion. So social media comes down to a popularity contest. Which is why most business owners continuously run Page Like Ads for their companies. Even industry leading brands regularly participate in the hunt for a ‘thumbs up’.

Growing the number of your social media followers isn’t crucial to generating sales, but it’s very helpful. Since these people are opting into your content, those who like your page are a lot more likely to respond and engage with your posts and promotions.

Being able to maintain a relationship with your consumers and deliver value with or without a transaction, is what drives repeat customers and brand loyalty.

Social media platforms have been under increasing pressure to keep content more authentic. So paying to gain more page likes on Facebook may no longer be an option in the future. But for now, it drives more people to your business, and therefore through your sales funnel stages.

A social media giveaway is one of the more popular aspects of digital marketing and there’s no question as to why. It’s an easy way to get attention for your profiles and your products while making your followers feel excited and appreciated.

Market Force discovered that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase an item based on suggestions made by their friends and family. Social media accelerates how fast and far word of mouth can travel, so it’s crucial to know how to take advantage of it.

sales funnel

Giveaways usually instruct participants to tag friends, like a social media page and share a post in order to be entered. The purpose of all these steps is to catalyze word of mouth to increase brand awareness. Now, you’re gaining more followers and your post is shown to people outside of your follower circle which keeps people engaged.

The goal of giveaways is not to generate sales, but to increase engagement, product interest, and brand awareness – all of which is necessary to be able to make sales and move people through your sales funnel.

So now you’ve got a bigger audience, how do you keep them? One of the perks of social media is how quickly information can spread, bringing more people into your digital marketing sales funnel without additional sales force.  

78% of 12,000 respondents in a Market Force survey revealed that the social media posts of companies and brands they follow do affect their purchases.

Social media posts and others types of content are great outlets for lead generation and sales advertising. But beating your followers over the head with your sales pitches may not work the way you want it to. Remember, working your customers through your sales funnel is a slow process. But the process works. Pushy sales tactics won’t work out in your favor.

Make sure your content generates value without steering off brand. You want to keep interested viewers following your sales pipeline. The point in this step of the funnel is to create buzz and desire.

Sharing informative blog articles or customer testimonials can help round out your products and services. It will make them more relevant to your audience and their needs. It may seem logical to impose the “Buy it now, you need this!” kinds of posts to drive action. But you are much more likely to gain sales if you can help your audience come to that conclusion on their own.

Talk to our skilled social media specialists to see how we can help improve your content marketing efforts and expand your customer base!

2. Interest

As we’ve mentioned, it’s about more than just getting purchases. Facebook Ads offer plenty of metrics that help you analyze how well your ads are performing and how well your audience is responding. 

Don’t solely focus on reach when you want to see how your ads are doing. Reach includes how many people have seen your ad, which is not nearly as important as how many people have acted on that ad.

Link clicks are the number of people who clicked on your ad to your website. It’s a good indicator of how many of your target customers are entering your digital marketing sales funnel.

Facebook allows you to create audiences of people who have engaged in your ads. So even if most of your link clicks don’t turn into sales, you will have the ability to resell to these people later on. But don’t get too excited, this is just the beginning.

No matter what your business goals are, you want to drive people to your website. Website traffic is important to every industry, not only for ecommerce. Your site is the promised land of your brand, the place for customers to learn about your business, your story, and your products and services.

Before you run any ads, you should ensure your Facebook pixel is installed correctly so your ads are able to track who goes to your website. Link clicks give you a good idea of who is interested in your ads, but landing page views tell you how many of those people are actually sincere.

Link clicks can be inaccurate of how many people actually visited your web pages because the pixel is designed to count the action of each click. It could include those who clicked by accident and closed the page right away or someone who decided not to wait for your website to load.

But landing page views are the number of people who actually waited for your website to load and viewed it. Your ads have driven people to your website, now your website will either drive people to purchase, or drive them away.

Google discovered that it takes less than 0.05 of a second for people to decide if they like your website or not, and ultimately if they stay or leave. Which is why it’s important to evaluate how your website looks and improve your site speed.

First impressions matter. A 2016 Forrester report found that a better UX design increases conversion rates by up to 400%. Your website is the storefront of your business. So how it looks plays a major part in the user experience and your business volume.

Click through rate is calculated by the amount of people who venture to your website over the total number of impressions generated. A high click through rate, along with a high relevance score, indicates that your ads are resonating with your audience. It’s an important ratio to measure the extent of interest your ads are generating, but it doesn’t guarantee conversions.

It’s one of the key statistics to focus on for ad optimization. A CTR consistently below 2% means most likely the interests of your target audience need an adjustment. If your relevance score is consistently below 4, your ad graphics and text are most likely to blame.

3. Decision


This next stage is not available in most forms of traditional marketing, which is one of the main differences between the digital marketing sales funnel and the normal sales funnel. It’s meant to recapture those that have exited the sales funnel before buying and bring them back in.

sales funnel

In our experience, retargeting has proven again and again to be very effective in driving better results. But in order to have a quality audience to retarget, your ads need time to run and amass data.

Facebook’s pixel allows you to track specific actions of your website visitors so you can remarket to them specifically. Remind your customers that they don’t want to miss out on the sale or lose the items they added to their cart! Give them a reason to come back.

Most customers don’t buy on the first visit. Often it’s because they want to do additional research, especially when it’s a small business and/or a new brand. Other times, such as for bigger, more expensive purchases, they want to think it over, or just simply weren’t ready to buy.

Whatever the reason, if those viewers are willing to navigate through your ad to your website and shop, they’re definitely interested in your product, you just need to give them a little extra nudge.  

Even after customers have shopped, it’s beneficial to remind them of all the good things you still have to offer. But be sure to use new ad graphics for remarketing. Showing the same ad too many times comes off as too pushy or spammy. Besides, it never hurts to have more than one sales pitch.

4. Conversions

Finally, we come to the bottom of the funnel, the purchase stage. According to We Are Social, in October 2017, one out of every five of the world’s population shopped online in the last 30 days.

A 2014 Microsoft survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 65% of consumers will cut ties with a brand over just a single bad encounter. It’s now more important than ever to create that amazing experience. By 2020, consumer experience will trump the product or service offered.

Ensuring a better shopping process is not just for the sake of making money. Your main motive should be to retain those customers to be able to generate brand loyalty and positive customer reviews to drive more purchases and word of mouth.

online shopping frequency statistics

After all this work to bring in customers, the most efficient step towards business growth and greater profit is to retain these shoppers. 

Ad Refresh

Even near the end of the digital marketing sales funnel, it’s not a straight shot to green fields. No matter how successful your ads become, you should not leave them untouched. If your customers continue to see the same ads, they will quickly get tired of your brand and your products.

There is no timeline for when your campaign is due for a few new ads. There are a lot of factors that impact how slowly or quickly ads are overused. Such as the size of your target market, budget, and delivery platform.

Fortunately, there are a few metrics that indicate red flags after your ads have had at least 3 months to really optimize and generate accurate data. The first giveaway is the frequency, which is the average number of times your audience has seen an ad.

At LYFE Marketing, we throw new graphics into the mix when frequency gets close to three. Imagine if you saw the same picture pop up in your feed over 3 times. Would it drive you to click it and shop? Exactly.  

Email Marketing

It may be the end of the transaction, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of your sales funnel. Building an email list is not only solid data for your social media ads, but there’s an added value in that these subscribers have already shopped from you before. They are interested in your products enough to see it in their inbox, so they are already your prime target market.

Fun fact: Did you know that new leads are more likely to be converted if you send a follow up email within the first 5 minutes after expressing an interest in your brand? 

And if you wait for more than 30 minutes, that lead will be 21x less likely to convert. That’s how quickly you need to act. Luckily, you can automate emails so that you and your customers don’t have to wait. Another thing, consumers who purchase through emails tend to spend 138% more than those that don’t receive emails.

But email marketing is an art that’s even harder to master than social media. No one likes receiving spam mail. So how do you distinguish yours from the clutter to make sure it gets read?

It’s one of the easiest ways to remain relevant to people who’ve purchased from you and attempt to bring them back into the sales funnel. But be careful not to overdo it. It’s not just about keeping your customers in the loop about sales and promotions.

Talk to our expert email marketing specialists on the best ways to keep your subscribers informed and engaged.

Repeat the Sales Funnel

Although we may all continue to call it a funnel, the digital sales process more closely resembles a loop. It takes time to pull potential consumers through each stage of the sales funnel and be able to filter out which ones will actually be prospective customers.

Growing a business is like cultivating a garden. It will take a lot of patience, work, and ad dollars because the internet is a tough battlefield to be in. And even after gaining purchases, you then need to be able to hold on to these customers for more future purchases. The sales cycle keeps going, and your marketing strategy has to as well.

Ask our digital advertising specialists how we can help your business reach more qualified leads, generate new customers, and produce sales through your digital marketing sales funnel.

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About EagleView Consulting

EagleView Consulting is a full-service consulting agency that helps brands, retailers, and manufacturers launch, grow, and scale on Amazon. We create beautiful brands and help Amazon Sellers to dominate on the Marketplace.

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