The ultimate sales funnel for your online business

the ultimate sales funnel for your online business

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Podcast by Eddie Eastman
CEO Startup Streams

“We are here to kickstart your ecommerce ambitions by providing you with a range of ecommerce stores in the most popular niches whilst providing you with a fully functioning business complete with products to sell saving you time, money and effort in the process."

Podcast by Eddie Eastman
CEO Startup Streams

“We are here to kickstart your ecommerce ambitions by providing you with a range of ecommerce stores in the most popular niches whilst providing you with a fully functioning business complete with products to sell saving you time, money and effort in the process."

What is a sales funnel and why is it important to make money online?

A marketing funnel is a customer journey; from finding out about your business, to wanting your product, then deciding to buy. Traditionally, a marketing funnel has 4 stages: Awareness, interest, desire and action. But I am here to argue that there are in fact 8 levels to a modern marketing funnel which you need to acknowledge to make the most out of your online marketing campaigns. What are they? Well listen to this episode of the Startup Stream Serial Entrepreneur Podcast to find out…

Let’s begin…


What is a marketing funnel?

So, what exactly is a marketing funnel? A marketing funnel is typically used in ecommerce to help track conversions. It is a figurative way to monitor how well your marketing campaigns perform and where improvements can be made. There are a number of layers to a marketing funnel, with customer drop off at each stage of the funnel. If you were to analyse this funnel visually, you will see it creates an inverted triangle shape - hence the name marketing funnel.

Taking the traditional 4 layer marketing funnel as an example, as mentioned in the intro, you may have 100 people who enter your funnel in the awareness layer. These are people you have made aware of your business or services, which could be achieved through paid ads, social media or the many other different types of marketing. 

Next, not everyone will like what you have to sell, so lets say only 50 people are interested in your services, so make it (figuratively of course) to the interest layer. Next is the desire layer, which is where your prospects exist. Lets say 10% make it here. Lastly is the action layer where customers have decided to convert - or buy from your website. You can see that as each layer you go down, you lose potential customers until you end up with a final conversion rate. I’ll let you know what is a good conversion rate to aspire to later in this podcast… 


Ignore your marketing funnel at your peril

The use of marketing funnels is now one of the key ways to study which marking campaigns are working and which are not. You may have heard of phrases such as ‘top of the funnel marketing’, or ‘bottom of the funnel’. This refers to the different types of marketing you’ll use as each potential customer throughout the funnel will need to be approached differently. 

What I mean by this is that if you were to use imagery and copy to sell, sell, sell; this may be off-putting to customers and will dramatically affect conversions. You need to acknowledge that there is a learning curve involved. Customers need to be aware of you - the top funnel. Be interested and want to know more - the middle of the funnel. And then decide that your solution is the best fit for their problem - the bottom of the funnel. 

As I say, you’ll need to approach each phase of the funnel differently. You’ll need concise, interesting and attention grabbing imagery and copy for the top of the funnel. This is designed to garner views and clicks. Don’t expect people to buy from you the second they learn about you. There is usually going to be a time lag between online traffic and sales. In the middle of the funnel, you’ll want to focus on educating your customer. Think about providing case studies, reviews and articles to help them learn more. Then when they are ready, and feel comfortable that they can trust your business, go for the sale and get that conversion. 


What is a good conversion rate for my ecommerce store?

To help set expectations, it’s interesting to note that ecommerce conversions rates typically lie between 2-4%; meaning you need to send at least 25-50 targeted customers to your store per conversion. What’s more, you may need to send between 100-300 targeted customers to your online store if you are selling a higher priced item in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range.

Furthermore, I know that Shopify state that the average Shopify store has 360 sessions before their first sale. This can be for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because the traffic isn’t targeted enough, the imagery and copy doesn’t relate to the customer or the product just doesn’t solve a problem. 

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The updated 8 layer marketing funnel

So, you came here to learn why the 4 layer marketing funnel is outdated. So here is the updated 8 layer marketing funnel for you to consider moving forward, to help increase your sales and conversions:

  1. The very first layer is the same: Awareness. You need to be able to show the world that you have the solution to their problem using attention grabbing ad copy and images.
  2. After this is the engagement layer. You need to show that you understand that you know and fully understand your customer’s pain points to help solve their problems. 
  3. Next is the consideration phase. You now need to show that you ARE that solution to their problem. Here is where you make the point that you are better than your competition by focusing on your key benefits and differences from competitors. The customer needs to consider you before buying after all.
  4. And the 4th layer is purchase. This is when the customer decides to buy, which may come as a bit of a shock as we have another 4 layers to go and the customer has already bought from you. This is because that even though you have a new customer, your work isn’t over yet…
  5. Layer 5 is the adoption phase. You don’t want customers to feel they parted with their hard earned cash to feel that you have now forgotten all about them. Now is when you can truly help your customer. Why not provide onboarding tools, guides, educational articles and videos to set your customer up for success. Go above and beyond to provide value.
  6. Retention is the 6th layer in the marketing funnel. You need to make sure that your product is used regularly by your customer. You don’t want them now to go to a competitor and adopt a different product for their problem - no. You need to make sure they are using your product as much as possible - make it a part of their daily lives. 
  7. Next is expansion. The customer is always right. The closest you are to your customers, the better you are at providing value to them, and the better and stronger your business will be as a result. 
  8. And the last layer is the advocacy phase. Once your customer is happy, set up for success and delighted with your product, they are in a position to rave about your company via word-of-mouth. Advocates are one of the strongest assets your marketing campaigns can possess. Why? Because it can result in free marketing. I am sure that you have found a product you love and have told your friends or family about it, then they have gone and bought the same. Likewise, when someone asks your for a product recommendation - a business has made sure they have kept you as a happy customer to keep their brand at the forefront of your mind so that you may recommend them. And this is what the marketing funnel is all about in the end - happy customers. 



I have a few frequently asked questions for you now…

Q1. How can I optimise my marketing funnel?

You can do a number of things from dramatically changing your branding, colour scheme and messaging if you are receiving a very low conversion rate, to small changes such as changing the colour of a single call to action button to help increase conversions by a fraction of a percentage at a time.

Q2. What is an example of a marketing funnel?

Your marketing funnel can look like this: You can go from using a blog post in your top funnel, to getting people on your mailing list. You can then educate them using a drip feed email campaign in your middle funnel. You can then send retargeting ads on Facebook to equal conversions. Then jump on a quick 15mins Zoom call with customers to make sure they are happy using the product and ask if they have any feedback or improvements. If all is well, ask them to leave a review on TrustPilot (or similar) and ask for referrals. 

Q3. Do marketing funnels bring in traffic?

No they don’t, you still have to make sure you create content and post ads, to then entice people to your website to then join your mailing list etc… You can measure the numbers of drop offs using tools like Google Analytics which can show you where your web traffic is disappearing. You can then set out to improve each stage of your marketing funnel to produce a very well oiled marketing funnel machine. 

Remember that the better and more highly converting your marketing funnel is, the more revenue you’ll generate and the more profit you’ll receive. 


Key takeaways

And here is this podcast’s key takeaways for you today:

Make sure that you make use of the 8 layer marketing funnel for best results to make more sales with your online store. To recap, the layers are: Awareness, engagement, consideration, purchase, adoption, retention, expansion and then advocacy. 

If you wish to see the 8 layer marketing funnel visually, you can download the full Buyer’s Info Pack at, and turn to the marketing section in said book, to get a better understanding of how to use marketing funnels. Remember that without a marketing funnel, your promotion is firing blind.


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