How To Build a Sales Funnel For Startup Businesses: Attract. Capture. Nurture

You have come up with a start-up idea and you went all about it. Now is the time to design your map-road so that you benefit. That is what the sales funnel for startup businesses is all about. But how to build one?

All successful startups designed a sales funnel for their businesses. That is why it is necessary to build a practical sales funnel for your startup business. But to do so, you need to get to know the journey customers go through. We call it “Customer Journey.”  

As you see in this diagram, your potential customers, first become aware of your service/product! Then search about it. And then research it.

Once they are convinced, they purchase and convert! Then based on what they experience, one way or another, they let others know of your brand.

So you should allocate a layer to each section of the customer journey.

How To Build Sales Funnel For Startup Businesses?

The sales funnel simplifies the steps your potential customers have to take in before converting. You as a startup business must accompany that person till the end of the funnel. Now, what are those steps?

  1. Aware
  2. Attract
  3. Capture
  4. Nurture
  5. Convert
  6. Retarget


In this stage, you should spread awareness. Depending upon your niche, you should generate awareness online and offline. 

Generate Awareness Online

  • Guest post
  • Referral program
  • Social presence
  • Podcast
  • Giveaways
  • Native ads

And more.

These days, social media platforms are bind to our daily life. Make sure you have accounts on every platform and stay consistent using social media posters.

Generate Awareness Offline

I believe that digital marketers are so caught up in their digital world that they almost forgot about offline advertising!

These are different ways you can spread awareness offline;

  • Billboard
  • Newspapers
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Word of mouth
  • Promotional products

And more.


The attract mode happens after you spread awareness, in the right place and at the right time. Now they start to search for the service or product your startup business has to offer. I don’t think it is necessary at all to say where!

How To Attract Your Potential customers?

  • Create informative content
  • Work on SEO of your website


You have led users to your website. Now what?

It has been proved that at least 70% of these users will visit your once and they never return again (check your analytics) 

That is why you need to capture their contact information before they leave!

You need this information in the “Nurture” stage.

You might say how do I capture their contact information. They don’t just give up their email address to me! 

You are right. You should offer your visitors something valuable in exchange for their contact information. We call it “Lead Magnet”

I recommend you just ask for the name, last name, and Email address of your visitors in exchange for the lead magnet.

Examples Of Lead Magnet

  • Sample
  • Educative videos
  • Hacks and tricks
  • Templates
  • Free trials of your startup business
  • Discount coupon
  • Webinars

And more.

To generate more leads, put icons of your social media on your website and ask visitors to follow you.


You have the email addresses of your potential customers. Now is the time to nurture. 

Keep sending valuable information via email. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and provide them with the information they most need.


Now, your potential customers are aware of your brand and interested in it. All they need is something to trigger them.

There are two driving forces behind people;

  1. Pleasure of winning
  2. Fear of losing

Mix one of them with a discount coupon to convert your leads into customers.


You have converted your lead into customers. But you are not done here yet. 

Your customer may be satisfied or not. It is up to your brand to make sure they are happy with your brand or service.

Depending upon your niche, you can convert your customer again or have them advertise your brand through word of mouth with good customer support.

This is how the sales funnel for your startup business looks like.

How to Optimize Sales Funnel For Startup Businesses?

If your potential customers do not end up at the bottom of your sales funnel, it doesn’t mean it is not working! It just means that somewhere in your sales funnel, there is a hole! Find that hole and fix it! 

This is how you can optimize the layer and fix the hole!

Optimize The Awareness Layer

If your potential customers don’t know your brand exists, it means you have not advertised your brand in the right places! 

Where are your potential customers? Write the persona of your already customers. That helps a lot.

Let’s imagine your potential customers check their Instagram daily and you feature your brand on Instagram accounts of the same niche. But it doesn’t generate any awareness.

It means those accounts have bought fake audience instead of earning organic and free Instagram followers

Optimize The Attract Layer

Potential customers might see the billboard of your startup business, but when they google it, they come up with the website of your rivals.

So work on SEO to increase your findability. Other than that, make sure the content you release is convincing enough.

Optimize The Capture Layer

Visitors of your website are reluctant to give up their email address because the lead magnet is not valuable enough for them. 

Optimize The Nurture Layer

This one is the common hole in the sales funnel. The emails you send to your potential customers are too promotional. Remember to sustain the balance between educative and promotional content (80% to 20% tops)

Other than that, double the time you spend on writing the heading of the email you send out. That will boost cold email open and conversion rates.

Optimize Convert Layer

Is your product/service cost-effective? What about your discount? Isn’t it fake? Because users smell fake values!

If everything is okay, make sure you offer the right online payment solution.

Optimize the Retarget Mode

Don’t leave your customers up in the air. What you send comes around! Give them the chance of filling the questionnaire or write a review. 

If they are not happy about your startup business, find a way to please them.

Happy customers get back to once again they need your product/service or they talk you up in their network cycle.


The sales funnel for startup businesses is designed after the diagram of the customer journey. The sales funnel has 6 layers including;  Aware, Attract, Capture, Nurture, Convert, and Retarget among which the second, third, and fourth layers are the most important ones.

To attract your potential customers, you need to increase your findability via SEO. To capture the contact information of your visitors, you should offer a valuable lead magnet. And you need to nurture them via email before you convert them. 

Author’s Bio

The writer is Zahra Zakipoor, a junior digital marketer and a travel freak who survived the quarantine during the COVID pandemic. She is working with Realtormate as a full-time writer.