How to Build an Online Sales Funnel

Posted by Tony Sova

May 3, 2017 7:23:23 AM

Online funnels seem to be the new buzzword in the internet marketing world. This terms gets thrown around a lot but what does it really mean?

An online sales funnel is a representation of the buyer journey through your website. It looks like a funnel because you will lose visitors through the nurturing process. This is actually a good thing because it automatically filters out the bad fits for you. You save time by automating the process instead of chasing down bad leads. So you start at the top with lots of people and filter it down to the best candidates.


online sales funnel

This is also called a conversion path which looks more like a table where we map out the way someone navigates through the website. This is the journey a prospective buyer experiences while researching their options. To complicate things further there are different stages a buyer may be in while navigating. These different stages of awareness, consideration, and decision, should all be taken into account when designing your paths.

Conversion Path Table - Persona A 

Buyer Stage

Page Source

Call to Action







The elements of the website design should have some basic elements when building your sales funnels and conversion paths. They are stage, persona, source, call to action (CTA), and target. Here's an example:

I'm a new visitor that fits persona A coming to your website for the first time. What does this potential conversion path look like?

  • Stage: Awareness
  • Persona: A
  • Source: Home page (top)
  • Content: Product highlights
  • CTA: Learn More
  • Target: About Our Products

With all these variables this would actually fit into a table and can get complicated very fast. So start with the basics of the buyer journey and add in the variations of the buyer persona later.


Conversion Path Table - Persona - Marketing Mary 

Buyer Stage

Page Source

Call to Action


Home page banner

 Learn More  About Us Page
Middle section of home page

 See our Portofolio  Portfolio Page
Bottom of home page

 Contact Us Contact Page (conversion form)


Once you've created the first three paths it gets easier to add more variations.  There will be more paths as more offers and landing pages are created.  These are managed by campaigns.  A campaign is a recipe that puts all of the ingredients together to encourage visitors to follow conversion paths to an end result.  The result is usually a purchase or another bottom of the funnel conversion.  

Online sales funnels are constantly changing and evolving based on visitor behavior. Once your funnels are built then you can analyze the traffic based on what users are clicking on to find out if they are working. An easy tool for this is to use the Chrome extension for Google Analytics. This shows the actual clicks on your links to see how users are navigating so you can determine if your calls to action are working properly.


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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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