The Digital Sales Funnel

Also named as purchasing funnel (wikipedia included), digital marketers usually  call it “marketing funnel”, “sales funnel” or “sales & marketing funnel”.

It does not matter so much how you call it, but this is a “must have” tool at any marketing plan to define user journeys and to connect marketing and sales activities

According to YourBusiness, a marketing funnel is defined as system that tracks the stages consumers/users travel through to a buying (or target) decision, in other words, a user/client/customer journey along your marketing & sales process

Different Industries, different funnels

Funnels are directly linked to the purchase decision process each product. Every industry and market has its general funnel depending on the total value, distribution system and market location. In digital marketing, it is essential to understand these funnels to link your traffic to specific actions, monitor its performance and define optimization processes

Each industry and market have different costs CPI, CPC, CPA and different conversion rates as long as we advance through the funnel

Lets see some digital marketing funnels across different industries

  1. Education, construction, automobile, health & care and other high value services or products that requires consulting tend to use this funnel, where “leads generation” is the key step.
    1. The digital marketing goals is usually to generate registrations by driving traffic (impressions + clicks) to specific landing pages
    2. The leads database is transferred to the sales departments, generally via CRM or ERP
    3. Telesales dept. will try to arrange consultation meetings (can be online but offline are more popular). CRM-ERP should be used to track the number of calls, lead status, etc
    4. Afterwards, users can be re-approached with re-targeting campaigns through different channels: SMS or E-Mail marketing, etc..
    5. Example: The education industry in Thailand and Vietnam has an average CPL – cost per lead (user registration) of 8 – 6 USD and an average CR of 3% to 10% depending of the channels. (ILA – Hoc Tieng Anh source)

      funnel 1
      Common in companies that need personal consultation: Real State – visit the showroom, Education – visit school or university, etc..
  2. Most of FMCG and brand awareness plans in general are mostly focused in impressions (and clicks/engagement eventually) only.
    1. Marketing plans are based mostly on communication plans to introduce products, trends or promotions
    2. On-line communication materials are focused on providing phone numbers or distributors information to convert engagement into Sales, usually off-line
    3. Is also possible to connect this funnel with e-commerce platforms (3 case)

      Funnel 2
      FMCG Funnel – Companies like Unilever, Nestle or L’Oreal tend to use this funnel on their branding campaigns
  3. Airlines, E-commerce product sales, NGO’s, crowdfunding, retailers and Tourist packages can have a 100% direct sales oriented funnel.
    1. Digital Marketing plans can be focused on driving traffic to purchase product pages (Ex: Lazada Thailand), distributors contact page  (EX: Alibaba Thailand) or to custom researches focus on drive traffic to landing pages where where people move from seeing to buying.
    2. Leads (or users generation) can also be introduced as a part of the funnels
    3. Example: USD crowdfunding  pages have an average CR of 1.5% (Wedidit source)

      Amazon, Lazada and big E-commer portals hold a 100% online funnel
  4. Mobile marketing plans focused on impressions apps, Music  Services which distribution channel is an app tend to focus their plans on app instals + maintain active customers
      1. Digital activities focused on drive traffic to specific landing pages or straight ahead to App’s stores pages (iTunes or Google Play install page
      2. This funnel is longer than usually as you have an extra step: Keep your users active. For this channel is extremely important to provide constant value through Inbound Marketing to keep your community active

        mobile funnel
        Mobile Funnels are the largest and hardest to maintain funnels


  5. Need to monitor very closely the average cost per Install. Whitin this industry, location and segments offer very different perforances. The e-commerce industry in Thailand and Vietnam is around 1 USD and the CR is around 10%, whereas in developing countries, that prices rises to 40 to 50% more Memeapp cho Phien source

A good example of good mobile funnels is Trip Advisor.

Trip advisor follow their users based on their GPS location and recent researches. When they see that users have moved to other city and have looked for restaurants on the app, they re-approach requesting for reviews. Moreover, they deliver custom reports of how many people viewed their reviews

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.29.46 PM
Trip Advisor actively encourage users to icrease the weekly / monthly open rates with dedicated E-Mail Marketing Campaigns


Overall, the marketing funnel is one of these concepts that every marketer should understand, not only within their industry but also on other third industries. This knowledge can bring marketers to better partnerships, variants and combinations to optimize each level of the user journey



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