This website uses cookies to improve your user experience.

Manage your cookies

We use cookies, some of them are essential, others are optional. Learn more.

Strictly necessary

These cookies are necessary for the website and can’t be deactivated.

Marketing & Analytics

These cookies can be set by our advertising partners through our website.


To individualize your content, we use tools that personalize your web experience.


Customer acquisition · 

6 minutes

Cormac O'SullivanPiggy

Customer Acquisition Funnel: Stages, Strategies & Tips

10 Customer Acquisition Statistics

In today's competitive business environment, understanding key customer acquisition statistics is pivotal to the success of your products or services. Let's take a closer look at some important numbers.

1. The Power of Existing Customers

According to a Bain & Company study, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25-95%. Your existing customers can be your best allies in the customer acquisition funnel.

2. Cost of Customer Acquisition

The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times higher than retaining an existing one. Effectively managing your customer acquisition funnel can help balance these costs.

3. SEO and Search Engines

Organic search accounts for 53% of all traffic to websites. Search engines play a vital role in bringing potential customers to your doorstep.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. Blog posts and other types of content can be used effectively for customer acquisition.

5. The Role of the Sales Team

The sales team is crucial in the customer acquisition funnel. Approximately 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.

6. Importance of Lead Generation

According to Marketo, companies with well-nurtured leads generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost. Lead generation is key in driving potential customers into the customer acquisition funnel.

7. Conversion Rates

The average landing page conversion rate across industries is around 2.35%, but the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. The effectiveness of your customer acquisition funnel can significantly impact your conversion rates.

8. Importance of Long-Term Customer Value

It's also worth noting that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%. Focusing on long-term customer value is crucial for sustainable success.

9. The Value of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is very powerful, with 92% of consumers trusting referrals from people they know. Encouraging your existing customers to spread the word can effectively bring new prospects into your customer acquisition funnel.

10. Social Media Impact

Almost 40% of users will follow a brand they enjoy for updates and research. Utilizing social media platforms can boost your brand's visibility and attract potential customers.

What is the Customer Acquisition Funnel?

The customer acquisition funnel, also known as the sales or marketing funnel, is a model that illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service. It's a way of breaking down the customer journey from the first awareness of your brand, through to the ultimate goal of purchase, and even beyond to customer loyalty.

The funnel shape is used because the number of potential customers typically decreases the further they progress through the stages. At the top of the funnel, there are many potential customers who may be aware of your brand or products, but the number narrows down as some customers drop off and only a fraction move to the next stage.

What are the Customer Acquisition Funnel Stages?

Understanding the stages of the customer acquisition funnel can help a business better cater to the needs of its potential customers at each point in the journey. The exact number and naming of the stages can vary, but a simple version of the funnel might include the following stages:

1. Awareness Stage

This is the top of the funnel, where potential customers first become aware of your brand or products.

2. Interest Stage

Here, potential customers are not just aware, but they've taken some action that expresses interest in your brand or products.

3. Desire Stage

At this stage, potential customers are considering whether to purchase your product or service. They might compare your offer with those of competitors.

4. Action Stage

This is the point where the potential customer takes the final step in the customer journey and makes a purchase, becoming an acquired customer.

5. Retention Stage

After the action stage, the customer acquisition funnel doesn't just end. There's a critical fifth stage known as the retention stage. Here, efforts should be geared towards retaining the newly acquired customers and turning them into repeat buyers or brand advocates.

6. Advocacy Stage

In some models of the customer acquisition funnel, an advocacy stage is added. At this stage, satisfied customers become advocates for your brand, referring friends and family and effectively becoming part of your marketing team.

With these stages in mind, you can better shape your customer acquisition strategies to guide potential customers smoothly through the entire process.

Online VS Offline Customer Acquisition Funnel

The stages of the customer acquisition funnel apply whether your business operates online, offline, or in a combination of both. However, the strategies and tools you use at each stage can vary.

In an online customer acquisition funnel, a potential customer might become aware of your brand through search engines or social media ads. Their interest might be piqued by engaging blog posts or informative videos. They could develop a desire for your product or service after reading positive reviews or testimonials, and they might take action by making a purchase through your e-commerce platform. After-purchase, email newsletters or social media interactions could help retain these customers.

In contrast, an offline customer acquisition funnel might involve traditional advertising methods like TV, radio, or print ads to raise awareness. Interest could be generated through events or direct mail catalogs. Desire might be cultivated through personal selling or word-of-mouth, and action could be taken in a physical store. After-purchase, excellent customer service and loyalty programs could help retain customers.

Combining Online and Offline Strategies

To get the best results, businesses can strategically combine online and offline customer acquisition strategies. This multi-channel approach ensures maximum reach and effectiveness. For instance, an offline event could be promoted online, while an online coupon could drive customers to a physical store.

Digital technology can also enhance offline marketing efforts. For example, data gathered online can inform offline strategies, or QR codes in print ads can link to online content.

Strategies to Employ Per Acquisition Funnel Stage

Effectively guiding potential customers through the customer acquisition funnel requires implementing different strategies at each stage. Let's explore some of these strategies.

Awareness Stage

In this initial stage, your goal is to make your target audience aware of your brand or product. Strategies may include search engine optimization (SEO) to rank your website or blog posts higher in search results, or social media marketing to reach a wider audience.

PR efforts can also be effective in this stage. Positive media coverage can increase your brand's visibility and credibility. Participating in community events or industry trade shows can also boost awareness.

Interest Stage

Once your audience is aware of you, the goal is to spark their interest. This could be achieved through engaging, informative, or entertaining content related to your products or services.

Interactive content like quizzes or webinars can engage potential customers and deepen their interest. Similarly, offering a free ebook or guide related to your products or services can provide value and generate interest.

Desire Stage

At this stage, potential customers are considering whether to make a purchase. Your job is to convince them that your product or service is the best choice. This could involve showcasing the benefits of your product, offering a competitive price, or demonstrating the value you offer.

The power of storytelling can be leveraged at this stage. Share stories that show how your product or service has solved problems or improved lives. Use case studies or customer success stories to illustrate this.

Action Stage

Now, it's time to encourage potential customers to take the final step and make a purchase. This could involve making the purchase process as easy and seamless as possible, offering a secure payment system, or providing excellent customer service to answer any last-minute questions or concerns.

Offer incentives like discounts, free shipping, or a free gift to encourage potential customers to take the final step. Providing multiple payment options can also ease the purchase process.

Retention Stage

After a purchase, follow up with helpful information, customer service, and offers for related products or services. A customer loyalty program can also encourage repeat purchases.

Advocacy Stage

Encourage happy customers to refer others by setting up a referral program. Social proof, like testimonials and reviews, can also be used to influence potential customers.

Remember, the customer acquisition funnel is not a one-size-fits-all model. The stages may vary based on your business model, industry, and target audience. It's essential to continuously monitor, test, and adjust your strategies for each stage to optimize results. By understanding and effectively utilizing the customer acquisition funnel, businesses can increase conversion rates, boost customer loyalty, and drive sustainable growth.

Related articles