sly : marketing

The Sales Funnel Explained

Everything you do, when it comes to marketing, should start with a sales funnel. What I’m saying is that you should create your sales funnel before you start promoting your product.

The sales funnel is more or less a visualization of the actual sales process.

What is a sales funnel?

The reason it’s called a funnel, is that, like any funnel, a lot comes in at the top, and very little comes out at the bottom.

When it comes to sales, we are talking about people/customers.

Imagine that at the top of the funnel you have all the people that might have a slight interest in your product or service. At the bottom, you have only the people buying your product – your actual customers.

You should have a sales funnel, with at least four layers, before you do anything when it comes to promotion. There are several types of sales funnels, with different amount of layers and different types of layers.

The one I find easy to remember and use is AIDA.

AIDA explained

I’ll start at the top, the wide part, where all the people will enter the funnel, and end at the bottom with only a few people left (compared to how many people that actually entered the funnel). On every level of the funnel we’ll be losing people. The reason we have a funnel is because we’re trying to keep as many people as possible, we want them to buy our products.

This is AIDA.


You need to use many types of marketing techniques in order for people to become aware of you and your product. For instance, you could blog, use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Article Marketing, Discussion Forums etc.. simultaneously.


Now, people are aware of you and your product. You need them to become interested. Usually, the way you do it is be showing them advantages and benefits of using your product. Many companies only focus on features, but focusing on advantages and benefits are more powerful.


You need to convince them that they really need your product. They should want it, desire it, urge for it. Explain the benefit they’ll receive by accepting your offer. It usually includes testimonials, guarantees, warranties. This way, people will visualize how life will be with your product.


People will become customers when they buy your product. It should be as easy as possible to buy (or become a member). There are many reasons why people will take action, scarcity is one of the most powerful reasons. When you’re only selling limited products or for a limited time, more people will buy.

A final layer of AIDA

You could add a final layer to the sales funnel; satisfaction.

If you want people to become repeat customers, you need them to be satisfied with you and your product. If they are, they’ll return, and buy more from you.

6 responses to “The Sales Funnel Explained”

  1. Johnny Bravo says:

    I like your AIDA(S) acronym. I don’t know if I’ve heard it before but it makes perfect sense. I’ve always broken a sales funnel down by the temperature gauge, Cold, Warm, Hot, Nuclear :-).

    Thanks for sharing and breaking this down.

  2. Rick says:

    Nice post! It turns out I am using a sales funnel, but this post finally gave it a name (AIDA). I just got this post as my Sunday letter from you. I now see you wrote it back in Nov 2009, but its still relevant. Evergreen content:-)

    • Hi Rick,

      I’m glad you enjoyed both the post and the newsletter. I decided that I was going to write about aida, and then I remembered that I had already written about it in the past. And I thought why do it again? 🙂

      Thanks a lot for the feedback.

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