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Use a Marketing Funnel for Results

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Use a Marketing Funnel to guide people to a purchase

Regardless of whether your organization is selling a product or asking for donations, your customer will be going through a marketing funnel. Your marketing communication efforts will have a big impact on getting people into and pulling them through, but what is a marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel has six stages: 

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
  • Customer Relationship/Retention
  • Evangelism

Some of your customers will go through the funnel slowly while others will go through quickly. Many will exit at certain points in the funnel. This is normal but we want to work to minimize the number of people leaving your funnel.

In the last article, I talked about the PESO model. If you need to review, I’ll wait. Caught up? Good. Since we are trying to push people to owned media, this content should take into account each step of the marketing funnel.


The first step in the marketing funnel is awareness. If people don’t know who your organization is, they won’t can’t consider becoming a customer. They can be exposed to a product or organization a variety of ways such as ads, the media, word of mouth, social media, or search. Your marketing communication efforts will impact all of this. 

You need to know the best to reach your potential customers. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to create messaging to reach them.


Your customer now knows about your product or service and something has piqued their interest. At this point, they are looking for more information about you so they will visit your website or a physical location.

They are going to want information about how your product will solve their particular problem. They will likely want to know something about your organization as well. You want to provide as much information as needed to pull them through to the next step.


If they found what they are looking for in the previous step, they will start looking even closer. They will want more detailed information and make product comparisons. Reviews will become important as will recommendations so they can make a determination whether they will buy or work with your organization.


Congratulations. You converted a lead into a sale. Whether it was a purchase, a donation, or a contract won, the goal to convert to a customer has been achieved, but it doesn’t end here.

If you are forward-thinking you realize that a sale isn’t an end but a beginning of a relationship with your customer. Just because you made a sale once doesn’t mean they will come back.

Customer Relationship/Retention

Too many times organizations are so focused on making new customers and current customers are forgotten. However, it takes more time and money to convert a new customer than to retain a customer.

Something such as a poor customer service experience can be enough for your customer to evaluate other options or just choose to stop being a leave altogether. The worst-case scenario is that not only would they leave you but they will tell everybody they know on and offline about their poor experience.

You certainly can’t please everybody but you need to be aware of the worst scenarios so they can be addressed properly. If your focus is on making your customers feel value they might stay with you for a long time.


This is the holy grail. These are the customers who have a great experience and love what you do so much that they sing your praises. They will tell everybody how your product/organization is the best out there. In a way, they will l become an unofficial salesperson.

Don’t forget about these people. They are vocal about everything you do but that doesn’t mean that they will always overlook any problems. They may give you the benefit of the doubt and defend you but they can also be some of your toughest critics. This can make these customers a double-edged sword at times. You need to know how to engage them in both the good and the bad times.

Final Thoughts

A marketing funnel is really just a guide that you create to help somebody become a lead and ultimately a continuing customer. Marketing funnels can be as simple or complex as you want but the bottom line is that if you pay attention to and develop content for each step, you will find that you are making more new and continuing sales conversions.

Questions? Sound off in the comments below.

Shane Carpenter
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