What is a conversion funnel?

A conversion funnel (also called a sales funnel or marketing funnel) is a metaphor used in ecommerce marketing to describe the customer journey prior to making a purchase of a product or service. Typically, businesses categorize the levels of the funnel as follows, from the top (largest group) to the bottom (smallest group) of the funnel: the awareness stage, the interest stage, the desire stage, and the action stage. As a group of potential customers moves through the funnel, it becomes smaller and smaller. When optimizing your conversion funnel, the ultimate goal is to get more of your target audience through the action stage.

Sales funnel categories: top, middle, and bottom of the funnel

In conversion funnel optimization, different marketing tactics are used to reach your potential customer base at different levels of the funnel. Another way businesses organize the conversion path is by the terms “top of the funnel” (also known as TOFU or upper funnel), “middle of the funnel” (also known as MOFU or middle funnel), and “bottom of the funnel” (also known as BOFU or lower funnel). These categories all reference the amount of familiarity and knowledge a potential customer has with your products or services and how far along they are in the sales process, with top of funnel users being the least far along and lower funnel users being the farthest along.