As a business, trying to understand what your prospects are doing online, amongst a deep sea of diverse information, competitors, tons of similar products and services feels like a popular movie expression: “it’s a wild goose-chase”.

Luckily, when surfers find you and your website, marketing systems can be triggered that will guide them, and help your business through a series of steps …

The conversion funnel is basically a word used to define a process or roadmap that lets us know where the visitor is in the buying cycle, and more importantly – figure out how to better serve him/her whilst there.

Conversion Funnel: The defined path, like a series of steps or pages for a visitor to reach the final objective, like filling up a form or purchasing a product.

What are phases and steps to complete goals through a visitor’s funnel?

These are 8 identifying buying phases that a visitor may find themselves in:


  1. Generating interest
  2. Lead capture
  3. Trust/relationship/education building
  4. Lead conversion
  5. Sales processing
  6. Fulfillment
  7. Upselling
  8. Referrals and brand advocates

Each of the phases have associated goals, from initially raising awareness & driving traffic to your site to buying, repeat customers and testimonials gathering and distribution.

The good folks at infusionsoft (go there now) have perfected this model through a series of steps and expected outcomes. Follow-up marketing is only part of the future success of your business.

buying cycle explained internet marketing funnel

On the left side of this graphic, we see the ‘inbound marketing’ activities (email, SEO, PPC, banners, etc). As folks enter the funnel and move into the processing of the sale (middle), the process is still not complete. You must consider the¬†fulfillment, upsell and help to create a referrals-based engine (right side) to make new and existing customers long-term, and happy customers.

What do you think? Which portion of these phases are missing in your business today? For example, if you make one small change today, it can and will change your business tomorrow.

TIP: For example, for each and every “thank you page” – do you only have a “thanks for signing up” message? If so, you’re not optimizing your customer buying cycles. You can do so much more. Add a “you might also like, a free download, tweet this, etc”

Go make that change.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.