How To Build Sales Funnel For Small Business: Attract. Capture. Nurture

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While eCommerce is one niche that’s really strengthened its positions and proven its worth under the weirdest of circumstances of 2020, SMB has been hit hard. Many of the shops, cafes, and venues have taken a hit during the bizarre year. Nimble decided to answer the burning question of thousands of SME owners: How to build a sales funnel for small businesses going into 2021.

Do I need to read this article?

Even though Google wouldn’t have directed you here unless you do need to read this, let’s recap who needs to be in the know of the insights set out below:

  • You own a small business that has a service or product [digital or physical] to sell or subscribe to.
  • You know there is a market for what you are trying to sell, but don’t know exactly how to set about getting a piece of that pie.
  • Your product or service is on par or better in some way to what is on the market and you know people are paying more or your asking price for competitive inferior products.
  • You have a website, but there is not much traffic going on there and you don’t know how to get people there.
  • You are happy to invest some reasonable amount of resources, inclusive financial investment, if you know, you will get this business off its standstill.

Does this resonate with your story? Have you ticked a mental “Yes” to at least a couple of these statements? Then the next 5 minutes will not be wasted, we promise.

Creating a sales funnel is as fun as it is technical, tedious, and risky. So all the fainthearted people may as well stop right here, as this is not a get-rich-overnight scheme, but a lot of work, calculations, and testing.

What is a Sales Funnel? The Simple Explanation

Sales Funnel [AKA conversion funnel or marketing funnel] is a succession of actions elaborated by a business owner in order to attract users, get them interested in their product, get their personal data and ultimately convert them into loyal clients.

Have you ever clicked on an ad out of curiosity, to find out about a brand you never knew existed before? – You have just gotten yourself to the very top of the funnel, AKA TOF. 

If the targeting was right and you really fancied the product you were offered, you might have followed the further steps and fallen for the lead magnet – like a checklist of sorts. Of course, you had to provide your email address. Later you may have gotten an email with the offer too good to resist from the company. By that time, you have checked out their site, YouTube, and even Facebook page, so you felt like you were ready to trust them and bite for that lucrative limited time offer.

This, my friends, was the algorithm of the sales funnel in real life – the one, that you must have been the “victim” of yourself on more than one occasion.

Want to see how this works for yourself and learn from the most current examples of conversion funnels?

  1. Read this article.
  2. Go in and type on Facebook “make money on the internet” or “how to make money in an internet course”. This will make you a target of the bunch of people, who sell digital products – like courses and webinars. Now you have entered the funnel, my friend. Enjoy the ride and learn from the best. Indeed, the guys selling courses in affiliate marketing and similar niches know a thing or two about converting users into buyers. If there are teachers whose steps you want to follow, this will be them.

Stages of User Awareness in Marketing

With every product a person is exposed to in their lives from birth till last days, a person goes from the stage of complete unawareness about the product, thorough knowledge of the problem that needs addressing, then going to finding out the solution to the problem, getting to find out about the product and later on finding out every detail about the model, brand, T&C of the purchasing, etc.

So awareness stages follow this transition:

  • Complete unawareness
  • Problem aware
  • Solution aware
  • Product aware
  • Most aware

If we reverse engineer this path, we can then end up with the customer journey along the marketing funnel stages:

Awareness stage

At this stage, a user becomes aware of your product and brand. They may have seen an article, YouTube video, heard a podcast, or otherwise exposed to your service or product.


Later on, they start showing interest in the product overall and start considering ways how it could enhance their life.


When they get used to the idea that it may be a handy thing to have in their life, they start deep-diving into the subject, comparing prices, brands, models, etc. At this stage, a potential buyer is still considering the brands and studies refund policies, shipment terms, etc.


At this point, the intent to purchase the product is formed. People may start considering their budgets and the urgency of the purchase – if they can fit it in this month’s budget or start saving for it.


At the evaluation stage, a buyer will stop comparing between the brands but start deciding on the model in one specific preselected store. They may review YouTube videos of users of a few models and look for other manifestations of social proof, like reviews.


With budgets, all allocated and planned and the most suitable model selected, a customer goes on to purchase.


After the purchase, a customer may be satisfied or not. It is up to the brand to ensure the post-purchase activities, like upsell, post-purchase email sequence with a review request, customer support quality, loyalty bonuses for next purchases, etc.

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How to Build Sales Funnel for small business: step-by-step algorithm

Build a website or set up a social media page

So you have done your market research, know it all about the demand, supply, competitors, seasonality of the product, or service you want to start selling.  

You will need to set up a website, Etsy shop, or at least a social media business page where you are going to be taking payments for your product. If you are not too technically advanced, you can use platforms like GetResponse that help beginners create a landing page and further promote it.

Obtain traffic

You have your product or service all set up and ready to be delivered or shipped, now you need people to find out about it. You need traffic.

These are some popular means of getting traffic to your landing page:


It takes a long time for Google to start recognizing your site authority, but eventually, it’s a great source of traffic, as it accumulates over time. Once written article works towards your domain popularity all the time.


Paying Google for advertising worked like magic for many entrepreneurs out there, but the CPC and CTR do depend on how saturated your niche is. Some trial and error will give you an indication of the efficiency of this method and the ROI.

Organic social media

Social media activities like challenges, contests, and shutouts are often used to drive brand awareness and get traffic to the squeeze page.

Social media advertising

Paying Facebook, Instagram, Linked In and TikTok is an effective way of bringing a highly relevant audience to your website.

Affiliate & influencer marketing

Affiliate marketing is a universe in its own right. There are affiliate software solutions that allow creating a campaign for your partners. If this sounds too scary: why not start with influencer marketing? The rule of thumb here will be to work with micro-influencers.

influencer marketing for small business

influencer marketing for small business


YouTube is one of the most efficient drivers to your digital products like courses and webinars. You create your content once and it keeps bringing visitors to your landing page. Moreover, you can also capitalize on YouTube traffic.

Being a guest [on a podcast, vlog, blog article]

Get your hands on somebody else’s audience. Cross-pollination is extremely fruitful. You just need to make sure you are talking to an audience highly relevant to your product.

Lead generation stage: convert visitors into an email database

Get visitor’s contact data, convert them into prospects.

You want to have a channel to continue the conversation with the people who ended up on your website due to ads or otherwise.

Lead magnets used to be huge, but now the web is saturated with long guides of all sorts, so these are some of the most effective survivors of lead generation:

  • Workshop
  • Checklist
  • eBook
  • Challenge

Email drop campaigns: nurture sequence

If your webinars and workshops in the stage above were highly relevant to your product [as they should be], at this stage you are working with a warm audience.

There are 2 main methods of how to convert such people into buyers: to inform, persuade, and offer discounts they cannot refuse via:

  • Automated email drip campaigns
  • Advertising retargeting and remarketing strategies

Example of a sales funnel created for small business

There is a myriad of great articles on sales funnel examples of the big players like Netflix and Groupon and Crazy Egg.

We wanted to share this quick video with you about how a sales funnel was created and the results they gained from 1500 emails sent to XX conversions.

The trick we loved in this example is that they used a survey to find out more about their customers.

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Are you looking to create a sales funnel that works for your small business, helping it to grow? 

Nimble has been helping over 140 thousand professionals the world over to drive more business by creating new efficiencies in everyday routine processes. Capterra, G2Crowd, and other independent app review sites have placed this CRM solution in their TOP lists.

Integration with your email list is easy and the user-friendliness is akin to that of social media platforms. Try Nimble for free for 2 weeks to see how much time you can save with this top Customer Relationship management system!