There are lots of different concepts of how a basic sales funnel is structured.

When companies are putting together their online marketing strategies it is key for everyone to agree how their conversion funnel looks.

Here at Reflect & Reshape we agreed very early on how our consumer decision making process looks and we have implemented our digital marketing strategy based on just that.

So let us have a look at the Reflect & Reshape sales funnel.

inbound marketing funnel

1.1 Inbound Marketing Funnel

A quick glossary of a generic marketing funnel


A ‘prospect’ is someone who fits your ideal customer demographic but doesn’t realise they have a problem that you can solve or that you even exist.

Cold Lead

A ‘cold lead’ is someone who fits your ideal customer demographic and realises they have a problem that you can solve but doesn’t know you exist

Warm Lead

A ‘warm lead’ is someone who fits your ideal customer demographic and realises they have a problem that you can solve and also knows that you exist

New Customer

A ‘New Customer’ is someone who fits your ideal customer demographic and has purchased one or two of your products or services.

Retained Customer

A ‘Retained Customer’ is someone who fits your ideal customer demographic, has purchased numerous products or services, and is happy to refer your products and services to other people.

Outbound Marketing

‘Outbound marketing’ is where businesses push their message out to the market through advertising. These methods include trade shows, seminar series, email blasts to purchased lists, internal cold calling, outsourced telemarketing etc.

Inbound Marketing

‘Inbound marketing’ is where businesses share helpful information to people who are already interested in a solution that you are able to provide.


Basic Sales Funnel

Let’s take a look at each stage of the funnel and the content needed at each of the stages…


Top Of The Funnel (TOFU)

The prospects entering the top of your funnel are completely unaware of your solution and, often, completely unaware of their problem.

The goal of the TOFU is to convert prospects into cold leads.

As a result, you need content with a low barrier to entry — because they have no reason to share anything with you, let alone hand over and money.

You need freely available content at the top of the funnel (TOFU) that…

  • Entertains
  • Educates
  • Inspires

… and you need to make it easily available using content types like:

  • Blog posts
  • Social Media Updates
  • Audio/Video Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Microsites
  • Photographs
  • Digital Magazines/Books
  • Print Magazines/Newsletters (You’ll need a bigger budget here)
  • Primary Research

However, don’t worry, you don’t need to use all these channels at once.

Most businesses will post content to a blog and to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Once you’ve mastered these two content types, you’ll want to add more TOFU content to the mix like a podcast or a newsletter.

Remember, the big goal at the TOFU is to make prospects aware of the problems they have and that there are solutions out there.

Unfortunately, the TOFU is where most businesses focus all their marketing and never actually market further down the funnel.

By marketing further down the funnel, you can move prospects from becoming aware of the problems and solutions to actually considering which solution is best for them.


Middle Of The Funnel (MOFU)

The focus in the MOFU is to convert “problem aware” and “solution aware” prospects into warm leads. In other words your focus is to convert cold leads into warm leads.

You need to use free content to incentivize prospects to submit their contact information and opt-in to receive future marketing.

This type of content a Lead Magnet or Lead Bait.

Lead Magnets can be…

  • Webinars/Events
  • Quizzes/Surveys
  • Useful Resources (Swipe File, Checklist, etc)
  • Software Downloads
  • Educational Resources (Case Study, White Paper, etc)
  • Discount/Coupon Clubs


Bottom Of The Funnel (BOFU)

The focus of the BOFU is to convert warm leads into new customers.

What types of content will your warm lead need to make an informed purchase decision?

Here are a few…

  • Webinars/Events
  • Customer Stories
  • Mini-Classes
  • Comparison/Spec Sheets
  • Demos/Free Trials

Your warm lead may be reading your blog and downloading Lead, but you’ll need content that helps them decide between you and your competitors to buy with you.


The focus of the Retention element is to extend the life of a customer to the maximum as well as recommend you to other prospects and leads. Therefore, you to help a customer to buy from you repeatedly.

The types of strategies for retention are:

  • Creating a strong and meaningful WHY
  • Build a following
  • Make the customer feel empowered
  • Continue to solve their problems
  • Continue to educate

Here is a graph showing the impacts that you can have on your customers if you implement good retention strategies.


In summary, if you can take your prospects on a journey to retention it will be a win win situation for both them and your business. Your customers will win because you will be solving all their problems and helping them to grow,  your business will win as you will no longer need to market to your customers and they may also market for you.


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