stock image showing chess pieces surrounding a customer journey funnel

As a marketer, you’re always looking for ways to grow your business.

We’ve previously discussed growth strategies, marketing programs, and even strategic marketing services.

But if you’re only focusing on acquiring new customers, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

By understanding and optimizing the customer journey funnel, you can achieve sustainable growth that benefits both your company and your customers.

So what is the customer journey funnel, and how can you optimize it?

Read on to find out.

The Basics of Customer Funnels

Before we dive in too deep, let us first discuss the basics of customer funnels.

What is a Customer Funnel?

A customer funnel, also known as a purchase funnel, is a visualization of the steps a customer takes from being aware of a product or service to becoming a paying customer.

There are a variety of different customer funnel models, but most have the same basic structure.

The funnel typically has several stages, starting with the widest part at the top and getting narrower as customers move down the funnel.

The top of the funnel is where potential customers are located, and the bottom of the funnel is where customers become paying customers.

What is the Customer Journey Funnel?

A customer journey funnel is similar to a customer funnel, but specifically focuses on the path that customers take from initial awareness to final purchase of a product.

The funnel can help businesses track how they’re doing at acquiring customers and converting them into paying customers.

It can also help identify where potential problems are in the sales process and where improvements can be made.

Is the Customer Journey the Same as a Sales Funnel?

No, the customer journey is not the exact same as a funnel.

A customer journey funnel is focused on the customer’s experience, while a sales funnel is focused on the steps that a customer takes to become a customer.

A customer journey funnel also includes the loyalty stage, while a sales funnel does not.

Marketing Funnel vs Customer Journey

The marketing funnel is a subset of the customer journey funnel, and it focuses on the steps that a customer takes to become a customer.

A marketing funnel is focused on acquiring new customers, while a customer journey funnel is focused on retaining and growing current customers.

And just like a sales funnel, a marketing funnel does not include the loyalty stage, while a customer journey funnel does.

What are the 4 Stages of a Customer Journey?

Now that we have a basic understanding of customer funnels, let’s take a look at how they work.

vector graphic showing a man presenting a sales funnel in a meeting with 3 coworkers

A customer journey can be divided into four stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty.

Each stage is important in the customer’s journey, and you should take steps to encourage customers to move through the stages.

A customer enters the funnel at the awareness stage, where they become aware of your product or service.

They then move on to the consideration stage, where they evaluate your product or service and decide whether or not to purchase it.

Finally, they reach the purchase stage, where they make a purchase and become a customer.

After a purchase is made, the end goal is to turn consumers into repeat customers and brand advocates, meaning repeated business and organic referrals to your product or service.

The key to optimizing the customer journey funnel is understanding what happens at each stage and taking steps to encourage customers to move through the funnel.

How to Correctly Set Up a Customer Journey Funnel

Now that you understand the basics of customer journey funnels, it’s time to set one up for your business.

There are seven steps to correctly setting up a customer journey funnel.

stock image showing a man in front of a laptop thinking about why a good marketing strategy takes time

Step One: Define Your Goals

Before you can create a customer journey funnel, you need to define your goals.

  • What do you want the strategy to achieve?
  • What do you want the funnel to achieve?
  • What is the final outcome that you would consider a success?
  • Do you want to increase customer loyalty, encourage more repeat purchases, or attract new customers?

This is an important step to think through before moving on.

After all, the “why” drives the entire strategy that eventually determines every step below.

Once you know your goals, you can start developing your strategy by creating a customer journey map.

Step Two: Map the Customer’s Journey

Once you know your goals, you need to map the customer’s existing journey.

This involves understanding what happens at each stage of the funnel and taking steps to encourage customers to move through the entire funnel.

Step Three: Identify Drop-Off Points

Next, you need to identify where customers are dropping out of the funnel.

This can be done by looking at your conversion rates and customer feedback.

As you map your existing funnel, find out where you think you can improve, then cross reference those thoughts with where customers are actually dropping off.

If they align, they are prime candidates for improvement.

Step Four: Create a Strategy to Address Drop-offs

Once you know where customers are dropping out, you need to create a strategy to address these drop-offs.

You can use this information to identify opportunities to improve the customer experience and boost your bottom line.

This could involve creating new content, improving your customer service, or redesigning your website.

For example, if you notice that many customers are dropping out of the purchase process midway through, you can work to improve your checkout process to make it easier and more user-friendly.

Alternatively, if you find that many customers are abandoning their shopping carts, you might need to work on your marketing campaigns to generate more interest in your products.

Step Five: Test and Optimize

Once you have a strategy in place, you need to test and optimize it.

This involves putting your strategy into action and seeing how it performs.

Step Six: Measure Results

Finally, you need to measure the results of your funnel and make changes as needed.

This involves tracking conversion rates, customer feedback, and other metrics.

Pro Tip: This is a great time to implement a marketing scorecard to measure results and keep your team accountable.

Step Seven: Repeat

The best way to improve your customer journey funnel is to keep track of results and make changes as needed.

Once you go through the steps of mapping your customer journey funnel, then taking steps to optimize it, the process gets much easier as time goes on.

Remember to not take funnel inefficiencies personally.

There is always room for improvement, and you’ll never get it perfect.

However, the best results come with continued effort, and with enough time, you’ll likely see dramatic results.

Save Time With a Customer Journey Funnel Template

stock image showing hands on the left and right side of a customer journey funnel

We know that generating brand awareness is hard work. It’s even more difficult to convert those customers into paying clients.

This is why it’s important for marketers and business owners to evaluate their customer journey funnel on a regular basis, using the four steps of the customer journey funnel as a guide.

Next Steps

If you don’t have the time to create a customer journey funnel from scratch, you can save time with a customer journey funnel template that includes all the steps needed.

If figuring all of that out seems a big undertaking, yorCMO is here to help take the hard work off you and your team. Our CMOs have access to a range of customer journey templates, as well as a wealth of other templates and existing systems. A dedicated, experienced CMO will guide you and your team through set up a customer journey funnel for your organization.

If this sounds like the marketing solution you’ve been looking for, an introductory call is the place to start. We’ll match you with a fractional CMO from our team who can help you get the results you need.