To create an effective sales strategy, you’ll want to get to know your customer journey inside and out — from Top-of-funnel, Middle-of-funnel, and Bottom-of-funnel (also known as ToFu BoFu MoFu).

Using models like sales funnels and click funnels can help you build the path you want your customers to take on their way from prospect to buyer. Learn the key differences between click funnels vs sales funnels and examples of both that will help you form your sales strategy and gain more customers.

What is a click funnel?

A click funnel is a series of landing pages that lead to a conversion event. Click funnels are an important element of your lead generation strategy and overall digital marketing strategy. Prospects often enter a click funnel through a link on a social media post, a paid search ad, or an email using marketing automation. That link takes the prospect to a landing page specific to a product or service your business sells.

How does a click funnel work? 

With click funnel marketing, your leads come from the landing page, and they may click through several more pages of add-ons and upsells before finally converting. A conversion at the end of a click funnel does not necessarily mean a purchase. Some other conversion types for click funneling include downloading a whitepaper or signing up for a webinar.

What is an example of a click funnel?

Click funnels can be short or long. Short click-funnels are the most common and tend to have higher conversion rates because the prospect is able to get to the point quicker. Longer click funnels allow you to collect more data on your prospects, but they can also drive prospects away if they are too lengthy.

Some click funnel examples are:

  • Email newsletter sign up
  • Whitepaper download 
  • Blog post notification email sign up
  • Infographic download
  • eBook guide about your industry, product, or services
  • Webinar sign-up. 

For prospects that request more information or subscribe to your email list, there is a great opportunity to upsell a prospect from free content to a paid purchase. Click funnels are also particularly good tools for businesses that offer add-on or tiered products. Use click funnels in your digital marketing strategy to increase conversion rate for your company. 

What is a sales funnel?

Now that you know more about click funnels, you can also look into what is a sales funnel. The difference between click funnels vs. sales funnels is that sales funnels depict the customer journey starting from a cold prospect and ending with becoming a paying customer. Mapping your sales funnel stages is an important step to completing the sales cycle. You can help your business better understand where your potential customers become interested in speaking to your Sales team or taking steps to buy your products or services by having a thoroughly mapped-out sales funnel.

For example, businesses that offer professional services should take time to build a solid sales funnel using methods that work for marketing professional services

How does a sales funnel work?

The sales funnel is made up of five customer journey stages. The five stages of a sales funnel are

  • Awareness
  • Interest 
  • Evaluation
  • Desire
  • Action.

You can visualize a sales funnel example by picturing the five stages grouped together by ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu marketing efforts. Let’s break down each category to better understand the sales funnel and how your business can best market to an online audience and turn more prospects into loyal customers.

The five stages of the sales funnel; awareness, interest, evaluation, desire, and action.
The five stages of the sales funnel.

The sales funnel has 5 stages that your leads go through as they go from learning about your business to becoming a customer. The awareness-to-action stages can look like your lead clicking on a paid ad on social media, then interacting with a marketing email, followed by downloading a resource like an eBook, and finally making it all the way through to speaking to your Sales team or purchasing your product or service. 

ToFu efforts

A sales funnel starts with top-of-funnel (ToFu) efforts that build awareness of your company and get people interested in your products or services through marketing efforts like email and social media marketing. This is where you build and use your demand generation strategies to get your ideal audience aware of your business and offerings. 

Some ways you can create awareness and interest for your business are through social media posts, paid advertisements, word-of-mouth referrals, TV commercials, or by having a strong SEO strategy so your company shows up at the top of online search results when prospects search for keywords related to your business.

When you create ToFu content like email newsletters to send to your email list or organic social media posts for your social media business profiles, focus on content that will interest your ideal customers and get them to engage with your content and learn more about your business. The main purpose of these efforts is to acquaint your target audience with your brand and help nurture the prospects into the middle of the funnel, where the sales process truly begins. 

For example, if you know what email marketing automation is, then you can create marketing emails that share helpful tips, promotions, and thought leadership to position yourself and your business as your audience’s go-to experts.

MoFu efforts

In the middle of the sales funnel (MoFu), leads already know your brand and have shown interest in purchasing. Your prospective customers are evaluating your offerings and will hopefully continue to desire to learn more about your business. The leads may have even connected with your brand’s content through downloading a whitepaper or participating in a webinar. 

As they evaluate and engage with your business, push these leads to your sales-focused pages, like product, pricing, upsell, and order pages. Your leads are moving closer to the bottom of the sales funnel to take action on becoming a customer. As they continue to evaluate your business through connecting with your Sales team or browsing your MoFu content, time your communications with them by evaluating the touchpoints in your sales funnel. 

For example, after a lead in the evaluation and desire stages visits a pricing packages landing page on your website, you can have an automated marketing email delivered to their email address offering a promotional discount and more information about the offerings.

BoFu efforts

Finally, the lead reaches the bottom of the sales funnel (BoFu) when they (hopefully) complete a conversion. In a sales funnel, unlike in a click funnel, a conversion refers to a purchase. These conversions can be online or offline events.

For example, in a real estate sales funnel, the prospective customer converts to a customer when they make a purchase of a home or a professional service offered by the real estate company.

And remember, if your prospective customer does not convert at the bottom of the sales funnel, you can set up lead nurture email drip campaigns to continue supporting them with valuable content to help them in their buying journey.

Continuing to nurture your leads that did not convert at the BoFu stage of the sales funnel will ensure that your company is considered first when they are ready to make a purchase. Carefully evaluate where your leads take action throughout each funnel, and find ways to offer solutions that help nurture them back into your funnels and towards a conversion as a new customer for your business.

Click funnels vs. sales funnel

You can tell the differences between click and sales funnels depending on where your lead is in the customer buying journey and how you market to them. For example, you can market to cold leads using the sales funnel approach to get them aware of your business and nurture them down the funnel to become a customer.

How to get started on your sales strategy

Now that you understand the differences between click funnels vs. sales funnels, you will be better able to make use of each in your digital marketing strategy. Start by researching your ideal audience to learn about their pain points, interests, and business needs. Then, create a click funnel and sales funnel strategy to support your prospective customers’ needs throughout the ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu. Lastly, nurture leads that did not convert by continuing to share useful content to stay top of mind when they are ready to become a customer. Now you’re ready to guide your prospective customers through your funnels.