Customer Acquisition Funnel. It is the terms that you’ve probably heard before if your business is internet related.

Did you think you were not affected? Think again!

Whether you market goods or services on your site or your business is based on building a contact base through email collection, the customer acquisition funnel concerns you directly.

Moreover, it is even very likely that your site does not have one, but several acquisition funnels.

Indeed, your prospects and customers will not all display the same maturity with your offer and may proceed differently to achieve the same result or conversion.

More than a straight line leading to sale or subscription, the customer acquisition funnel is, above all, an indicator of your visitors’ purchase journey and habits.

In this guide, we go back to the essence of the customer acquisition funnel and the stages that traditionally compose it.

Of course, we’re saving the best for last with nine proven recommendations by the Mountainise teams to optimize your funnel.

Please turn on your headlights; we’re entering the funnel.

customer acquisition funnel example

Read more about: Everything you need to know about Customer Acquisition in 2020 and beyond


What is the customer acquisition funnel?

The customer acquisition funnel according to your BtoB and BtoC sector

Why adopt the customer acquisition funnel in your marketing strategy?

The stages of the customer acquisition funnel

  1. Attract the Internet user
  2. Transform the Internet user into a prospect
  3. Convert prospect to customer
  4. Building loyalty: from customer to ambassador

Optimizing your customer acquisition funnel in 9 key steps

  1. Clarify your offer
  2. Define your goals
  3. Personas are good. The mindset is better.
  4. Deploy a real content strategy
  5. Fine-tune the user experience
  6. Boost the performance of your site
  7. Reassure the Internet user
  8. Define the source of contacts
  9. Test, test, test

What is the customer acquisition funnel?

The customer acquisition funnel is the user’s path to get to a website from an advertisement or a search, for example, until the sale.

The “Funnel” metaphor conveys that visitors are taken from point A to point B with reduced navigation possibilities at each stage.

Note that the more advanced the navigation in the funnel, the fewer internet users will be and that not all will convert at the end of the course.

Thus, the appearance of an acquisition funnel will depend, above all, on your objectives. And they can be multiple:

  • Sale of a product or service,
  • Request for quotation,
  • Subscribe to a newsletter,
  • Download a white paper,
  • etc.

Customer acquisition funnel according to your sector: BtoB or BtoC

If the funnel lends itself as BtoB or as BtoC, its physiognomy will differ depending on whether you address professionals or the general public.

  • The funnel will generally be shorter and easier to understand in BtoC. Since the purchase or subscription will often carry out with a “pleasure” or subjective perspective.
  • Conversely, a conversion to BtoB will respond more to a pragmatic and business approach.

Finally, forging long-term relationships of trust between the various service providers will be particularly crucial in BtoB.

Why adopt the customer acquisition funnel in your digital strategy?

However, before carrying out any conversion, the acquisition of funnel’s objective is to determine the customer journey’s successive stages.

Once these steps are highlight, it is possible:

  • Analyze the points of friction leading to abandonment on the part of internet users (bounce rate on a landing page, cart abandonment, etc.),
  • Precisely qualify visitors at each stage of the journey (curious, prospect, customer, etc.),
  • To optimize your funnel (s) to boost conversions ultimately.

The stages of the customer acquisition funnel

customer acquisition funnel

Read more: Customer Acquisition Strategies for All Business Types including Startups

Retail, tourism, banking, insurance, online games, so many business sectors with radically different sales channels.

However, it is possible to develop a first framework common to many companies and built on four key stages.

Furthermore, keep in mind that, depending on their level of maturity concerning your business, an internet user may very well skip one or more steps.

For instance, he can directly purchase without going through an information-gathering phase because he is already familiar with your brand and its products.

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1.Attract the Internet user

For this first step, it is, above all, a question of answering the questions that your visitors ask themselves to educate them.

It’s up to you to offer content from the home page that sets out your product or service issues.

Clearly, show pedagogy!

2.Transform the Internet user into a prospect

This second step is that of building confidence.

Your goal is both simple and very complex: to obtain your visitors’ contact details to maintain contact, then or personalize their experience.

It is known as lead nurturing.

A preferred avenue for building your database is the free provision of resources with an added value higher than what already exists with the competition:

  • Weekly curation or tips newsletter,
  • A study was drawn from your sector experience and compiled in a white paper,
  • Free tool or application,
  • A trial version of your service,
  • etc.

3.Convert the prospect into a customer

This third step is decisive.

While your prospect was searching on the web for the most advantageous offer and adapted to his needs, it is up to you to make the difference compared to your competitors’ proposals.

For that :

  • Simplify the customer acquisition funnel as much as possible,
  • Eliminate friction points as much as possible,
  • Reduce the duration of the navigation route.

4.Build loyalty: from customer to ambassador

Did you think that conversion was the last step in your funnel? Think again.

A new work of building customer loyalty begins with two main challenges insight:

  • Get your customers to reorder in the future. Good news: it’s much easier to convert a customer who has already made a purchase on your site than a prospect. Interesting, isn’t it?
  • Encourage them to review your products or services if they are satisfied. These recommendations will be of great help in converting your prospects into new customers. And the circle is complete!

Optimizing your Customer Acquisition Funnel in 9 key steps

We have put together nine tips to optimize your customer acquisition funnel and apply it to almost all activity sectors.

1.Clarify your offer

It seems essential and yet.

Certainly whether free or paid, your offer is THE BASIS of your website’s customer acquisition funnel(s).

With Prime, Amazon, for example, offers a program with advantages for its most loyal customers (faster delivery, access to more products in the catalog, etc.). per

Defining your offer also means determining its highlights, such as organizing private sales only for members before the launch of Christmas offers for the general public.

2.Define your goals for the customer acquisition funnel

Without a final objective, it is impossible to establish an entire journey, from the entry point to the post-conversion thank-you message.

It’s up to you to define the main objective of the purchase funnel you are working on to break it down into different stages.

It can be a sale, a download, a subscription, a sharing, or even a donation.

3. Personas are good. The mindset is better

More than creating the profile of one or more typical prospects for your company (personas). It is now a question of having a detailed knowledge of your visitors’ “state of mind” at each stage of the funnel.

Why do they go to your site (information, purchase, comparison)? In what browsing context (mobile, office, in the metro, in-store)?

Understanding the mindset of internet users maximizes satisfaction and, therefore, conversion rate. 

4.Deploy a real content strategy to boost the customer acquisition funnel

No need to procrastinate. Without the right content, your plan is nothing.

Offering resources that provide concrete solutions to your visitors’ problems allows you to:

  • Strengthen the brand image of your company,
  • Position yourself as a leader in your industry and therefore, as a reference,
  • Build up a database using the content available for download (webinars, ebooks, videos, etc.),
  • Clarify the needs of Internet users.

The travel industry, for example, is particularly fond of so-called inspirational content.

Therefore, it can be suggested itineraries by destination, ideas for destinations by theme, or advice on the best time.

Moreover, 40% of page views * on tailor-made accommodation sites now correspond to inspirational content.

5.Fine-tune the user experience

You can have the most attractive offer and the most exciting content on the market. Your efforts will be a blow in water if the content offered on your site does not meet your visitors’ expectations.

Here are some UX sticking points to address as a priority:

  • Registration: simplify the procedure for creating an account,
  • Checkout: drastically reduce the number of steps,
  • CTA: in all humility, here’s how to create the perfect CTA,
  • Navigation: deploy a structured menu showing the main categories present on your site,
  • Product sheets: take care of the text of descriptions, visuals, CTAs and limit the elements that can distract,
  • Forms: get straight to the point!
  • Mobile: 39 seconds are enough for the user to leave a page on mobile. 
  • Experience: activate the suggestion of similar products at each stage of the journey and create and share wishlists for retail easily.

Discover the UX international map to adapt the digital marketing experience of your visitors all over the world:

6.Boost the performance of your site

The impact of load times on conversions is well establishing.

A Google study published in February 2018 tells us that an internet user immediately leaves a website increases by 32% if the page takes between 1 and 3 seconds to load.

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7.Reassure the Internet user

Do you operate in a competitive sector? Your offer and your prices are very similar to those of the competition?

On a level playing field, the reinsurance elements can make a difference, especially during the decision-making stage:

  • Make an Offer and readable prices,
  • Display transparent delivery costs,
  • Offer different payment and delivery methods,
  • Publish reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers,
  • etc.

8.Define the sources of contacts

Suppose your objectives and targets are decisive in the development of your content. In that case, the origin (or points of contact) of your visitors’ origin must also fully integrate into your strategy.

These points of contact are multiple and must mention in each draft purchase funnel:

  • Adwords,
  • Retargeting,
  • Social networks,
  • Natural reference,
  • Emailing,
  • Influencers,
  • etc.

9.Test, test, test

Your customer acquisition funnel is ready, your online content and user experience well thought out.

But why stop there when you can multiply your funnel’s potential?

Monitor your website traffic, bounce rate, click-through rate, session duration, conversions, and abandonments at each stage of the funnel to detect possible friction points that you would not have anticipated.

Test different versions of your funnel by modifying specific texts, images, or placement of CTAs, menus, or customer reviews.


As you can see, whatever you offer your customers on the internet, the presence of one or more customer acquisition funnel on your site is essential to maximizing your conversion rate.

But just implementing a funnel is not enough.

It must be supported by a relevant segmentation of users and a detailed analysis of behavior.

It is the whole point of the research that we have been carrying out for almost many years.

The customer Acquisition funnel allows your teams to act on every element of the buying journey, make the customer experience smoother, and earn conversion points.