If you’ve spent any time learning about marketing analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “funnels.” What exactly are marketing funnels and why do they matter?
Marketing funnels are a useful tool to help you visualize the path customers take from first finding out about your brand to converting. Understanding them provides useful insight into why some customers convert — and some don’t.
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert. The most common type of marketing funnel is four steps:
Attention: A prospective customer sees your ad, social media post, or hear about you from a friend.
Interest: They think you can solve a problem and wants to learn more.
Desire: The prospect has done their research and wants to convert.
Action: The prospect takes action — they buy your item, schedule a demo, or take whatever other action you want them to take.
The action can vary based on customer and industry — maybe you want them to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out a form. When someone does something you want them to do, it’s known as a conversion. The visitor converts from browsing to taking the action you want them to take.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel. There are several steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product. Here’s how it looks:
They visit Amazon.com
They view a product
They decide to add a product to the cart
They complete the purchase
There are additional steps/actions that can be taken in between each of these steps, but they don’t matter in the marketing funnel unless they contribute to the final action. For example, a visitor may view Amazon’s Careers page, but we don’t need to count these in the funnel because they aren’t necessary steps.
Why is the set of steps to conversion called a “funnel”? Because at the beginning of the process, there are a lot of people who take the first step.
As the people continue along and take the next steps, some of them drop out, and the size of the crowd thins or narrows. (Even further along in the process, your sales team gets involved to help close the deal.)