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5 Stages of the Digital Marketing Funnel Explained

Are you struggling to convert your website visitors into paying customers? Or maybe you're wondering why your social media campaigns aren't bringing in the leads you hoped for? If so, it's time to take a closer look at the digital marketing funnel.

According to Startup Bonsai, 61 percent of business marketers say generating leads is one of their biggest obstacles. Understanding the funnel process is crucial for any business looking to succeed online.

Digital marketing funnel.
5 Stages of the Digital Marketing Funnel Explained

Read on and we'll break down the five stages of the digital marketing funnel and explain how each one can help you achieve your business goals. So buckle up and get ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level!

What is a digital marketing funnel?

A digital marketing funnel is a sales process that businesses use to identify and target potential customers.

Graphic of the 5 stages of the digital marketing funnel.
Digital Marketing Funnel

Essentially, the funnel is made up of five stages - the awareness stage, interest stage, consideration stage, conversion stage and retention stage.

Each stage accounts for different levels of commitment from the consumer and requires different digital marketing channels and tactics to keep them moving through the funnel to becoming a long-term loyal customer. Mastering and implementing these channels and tactics is critical to competing in the digital marketing space.

1. Awareness Stage

The first stage of the digital marketing funnel is awareness. In this stage, potential customers are introduced to your brand or product. They may not be familiar with your company or what you offer, but they are aware that they have a problem or need that needs to be met.

Your goal in the awareness stage is to introduce your brand and educate your audience about what you have to offer. You want to make them aware of your product or service and how it can help them solve their problem. Content in this stage should be educational and informative, not salesy.

In the awareness stage, use channels like content marketing, display and video advertising marketing, and social media marketing to create brand awareness.

Also, think about the questions your audience might have at this stage and answer them in the content you create. Use your persona profile to make sure your messages are on track to attract the right target audience.

Some examples of content you could create and use in the awareness stage include:

  • Images

  • Short-form videos

  • Blog articles

  • Social ads

The goal in this stage of the digital marketing funnel is to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your market niche. By providing valuable information, you can help potential customers make informed decisions about whether your products or services are right for them.

2. Interest Stage

The interest stage is the second stage of the digital marketing funnel. This is when a potential customer becomes aware of your brand or product and begins to research it. They may do this by visiting your website, reading blog posts or articles about your product, or watching videos about it.

At this stage, customers are not yet ready to buy but are interested in learning more about your product. Once again, using channels like content marketing, social media marketing, and video and display ad marketing are the best digital marketing mediums to use to attract your ideal audience. It's important to provide them with content that will help them make an informed decision later on.

Some examples of content you could create and use in the interest stage include:

  • Infographics

  • Long-form videos

  • Podcasts

  • eBooks

  • Blog articles

  • White papers

The goal in this stage of the digital marketing funnel is to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. By providing valuable information, you can help potential customers make informed decisions about whether your products or services are right for them.

3. Consideration Stage

The consideration stage is the third stage of the digital marketing funnel and is when your potential customer is fully aware of their problem and is actively searching for a solution online. They may come across your brand during their research and start to develop an trust in your brand messages.

This is the time to really start building your relationship with the customer. You want to position yourself as a trusted resource that can provide them with the information they need. Using digital channels like website search engine optimization marketing and paid search (PPC) are best for attracting potential customers in this stage. Creating more influential content is key here.

Some examples of content you could create and use in the consideration stage of the digital marketing funnel include:

  • Case studies

  • FAQ

  • Webinars

  • Testimonials

  • Social displays

Also, make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides all the information they need to know about your product or service. Once they’ve done their research and are ready to make a purchase, you want to make sure they can easily find your product or service and complete the purchase process.

4. Conversion Stage

The fourth stage of the digital marketing funnel is the conversion stage. In this stage the prospect takes a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form. The goal of the conversion stage is to get prospects to take action that moves them closer to becoming customers.

Again, using SEO optimization and paid search advertising are great channels for moving these prospects deeper into the marketing funnel. You can also email marketing to influence prospects who have joined your email list but not yet made the leap of faith to become a customer.

Some examples of content you could create and use in the conversion stage include:

  • Imagery

  • Social displays

  • Retargeting messages

  • Cards

  • Carousels

To increase conversions in this stage of the digital marketing funnel, businesses need to create compelling offers that address the needs and wants of their target audience. If they've made it this far in your digital marketing funnel, you have a good chance of converting them to a custom. You need to make it easy for prospects to take action by providing clear calls-to-action and using persuasive language.

5. Retention Stage

At this stage of the digital marketing funnel, your goal is to keep your customer coming back for more products or services. As a result, it's important to create content that helps customers learn more about your brand and what you have to offer, adding additional value to what they already have learned about your business.

This can be done through a variety of content formats, including:

  • Retargeting

  • Special offers

  • Discounts

  • Rewards programs

  • Reviews

  • Click to buy

  • User generated content

The retention stage is all about keeping customers engaged with your brand so that they don't go elsewhere. This can be done through a variety of means, such as email marketing, automations and loyalty programs with exclusive offers and discounts.


The digital marketing funnel is an important concept to understand if you want to be successful in your online marketing efforts. By understanding the five stages of the digital marketing funnel, you can better optimize your content and the types of campaigns you use for each stage.

If you can effectively engage customers at each stage of the funnel, this will help ensure that you are able to convert more of your visitors into customers in the long run. With a clear strategy and some creativity, the digital marketing funnel can become your most powerful tool for growing your business.

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Digital Marketing Resources From LDZ Digital

If you're ready to take your online digital marketing efforts to the next level, don't hesitate, connect with LDZ Digital and get started today with some of our digital resources.

LDZ Digital provides internet marketing services, education and consulting for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for assistance with their digital marketing strategy.

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