Mind the gap: Full-funnel word optimisation

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Okay, on a scale from 1 to “Please get away from me or I’ll call the police”, how tempted are you by this proposition?

If you’re like me and don’t particularly enjoy being accosted, then you’re most likely not going to go ahead and purchase that product. 

The lesson we’ve gleaned then from this situation is: don’t run up to and shout at people on the street. This seems like pretty obvious advice, no? 

So why then do so many marketers essentially do this to their audiences every day?

Ninety-seven percent of a business’s audience aren’t in ‘buying mode’, yet so many marketers and content creators are still making the mistake of treating everyone as if they are. 

Luckily, you’re smarter than that. And that’s exactly why that big, beautiful brain of yours made the genius decision to make use of full-funnel word optimisation… right?

Well, just in case you need a refresher, let’s dig right into the do’s and don’ts’ of funnel marketing and how full-funnel word optimisation can do wonderful things for your revenue.


It’s a well-established fact that it’s not a good idea to propose on your first date. 

First of all, it’s quite a creepy thing to do. Secondly, there is pretty much a 0% chance that person would say yes. 

“Why not?!” you might cry. “I’m an absolute catch!”

Now I’m sure that’s the case; you’re a stone-cold fox. But the even colder, harder facts are that they don’t know you, they don’t trust you and they don’t know what you have to offer. 

It’s the same when you’re dealing with potential customers. If you go full in on the first interaction, you’ll most likely scare them away. 

Just like your date, your audience needs to be wined and dined before they’re ready to take the plunge. 

If 97% of your audience aren’t in buying mode, that leaves only 3% of people who are actively looking to make a purchase. So surely it seems like a great idea to put all of your effort into that 3%. 

The only problem is that everyone else is also doing this. 

That 3% is a fiercely competitive space of the market. There are more choices, there are other companies giving their value propositions and it’s essentially a shopping mall on Black Friday or the online ticket queue for Glastonbury. 

But the real issue here is how companies are trying to sell to cold leads. The messaging marketers put out to the 97% is essentially the same content they’re giving to the 3%, i.e., they’re trying to propose on the first date. 

So how do we get around this problem?

This is where our friend funnel marketing comes into play. 

Smart marketers use funnels to attract, educate and build trust, employing value-driven content to help warm up the 97%. 

To go back to our proposal analogy, funnel marketing is the flirting, the dating, the meeting the parents, the getting a dog and loving it more than you love each other – basically the many steps you take before you pop the ultimate question. 

But if you want to effectively utilise funnel marketing and woo your audience, then it’s imperative that you understand your prospects’ five stages of awareness. 


Whoever your prospects are, they are going to fall into one of these five boxes:

  • Unaware: Your audience is unaware that they have a problem.
  • Problem-Aware: They know that they have a problem, but aren’t aware of any solutions.
  • Solution-Aware: They are aware of some solutions, but they’re not aware of YOU.
  • You-Aware: They know about your offerings, but they aren’t sure if it solves their problem.
  • Most Aware (Offer-Ready): They are fully informed on your offering and they’re on the cusp of buying.

These five stages of awareness can be seen as the journey your audience will go through before they become buying customers. It’s your job as a marketer to hold their hands and guide them through these stages.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “How on earth am I supposed to get somebody to buy something for a problem that they don’t even know exists?!” 

Good question. 

This is why marketers and copywriters are worth their weight in gold. As the owner of a copywriting agency, this is exactly the sort of problem we deal with every single day.

The answer is both simple and complicated: educate and nurture your audience with well-sculpted, value-driven content. 


Right, yes, sorry!

We all know how a funnel works: water goes in the big bit at the top and comes out of the small bit at the bottom. 

When it comes to marketing, there are three stages of a funnel: 




TOFU is where people who are unaware or problem-aware will sit. It’s the educational part of the funnel where you will want to attract the widest scope of your audience. 

So you’ll be hitting them with things like social posts, infographics and value-driven content.

Once your audience has successfully been funnelled through the top, they’ll come to the MOFU

This is where the solution-aware and you-aware sections of your audience will lie. This is where you will entice your audience with your product or service. 

So you’ll want to focus on landing pages, offers and gated lead magnets. 

Finally, we come to BOFU

This is for the section of your audience that is most aware and in buying mode. Here we will focus on reeling those leads in. We do that by focusing on lead-nurturing, case studies and closer copy. 

Now every marketer worth their salt knows about these three sections of the funnel, but most marketers will consistently ignore a crucial part…

Let me introduce you to the fourth section of the funnel: AFFU

After the funnel is just as if not more important than the funnel itself. After all, our job as marketers is ultimately revenue growth, not generating leads. 

When we focus on revenue growth, it makes quite a difference to the content we create. 


Okay let’s talk numbers. 

There are three ways that you can increase your revenue:

  1. Increase traffic
  2. Increase conversions
  3. Increase customer lifetime value

As marketers, we should be concentrating on all three of these for maximum gains. 

Marketing is a game of fine margins. Just a slight increase or decrease can lead to some pretty big consequences. 

Let’s say that you have a current marketing spend of £15,000. Through pushing your traffic, web conversion, nurturing, sales and aftersales, you’ve successfully made a profit of £15,000 with a tidy ROI of 1.0. 

Not too shabby, right?

Now let’s say that you take the time to fully optimise your funnels. Even if we only see an increase of one percentage point on the original numbers – the web conversion increasing from 10% to 11%, or the sales conversion going from 5% to 6% – you could see massive results. 

We call these ‘micro-gains’, but the outcome is anything but micro when these small tweaks are spread across the whole journey. 

That £15,000 profit can very quickly turn into £30,000. That 1.0 ROI can swiftly turn into 2.0. 

This can be nicely juxtaposed if your marketing department just focuses on traffic, web conversions and nurturing without taking AFFU and aftersales care into consideration. 

After all, not every lead is born equal. 

If your team is just focusing on gathering leads, not gathering the RIGHT leads, your ROI will suffer. That’s why you need to focus on tailoring the whole journey as well as ensuring that all of the copy and content is correct for each stage of the marketing funnel.

We like to call this ‘full-funnel word optimisation’. 


So how do we actually create content that fits into a funnel and that we know will resonate and catch attention?

There is one major rule when it comes to gathering insights: NEVER ASSUME.

We all know what happens to u and me when we assume. 

Instead, your insights should be based upon your audience’s pains, triggers, desires and perceived barriers. And overall, the full-circle buyer journey of your target prospects. 

There are a number of ways to glean these types of insights, but whether it’s through surveys, interviews, focus groups or even competitor analysis, what really matters is that you’re gaining information based on facts – not assumptions. 


If you’re enticed by the funnel and ready to go on the journey yourself (or just want some more dating tips), then be sure to check out my full webinar on funnel marketing where you can learn how to avoid the mistakes so many marketers make.  

Just remember to zig when the industry zags and boost your sales through clever copy, and marketing that actually sells. 


Download our FREE, in-depth eBook to learn the art and science of crafting a killer content strategy.



Download our FREE, in-depth eBook to learn the art and science of crafting a killer content strategy.


About the author

Konrad Sanders CEO & Lead Strategist at The Creative Copywriter
Hey you. I’m Konrad. A full-funnel content strategist and CEO with a pretty darn creative noggin on my shoulders. I run a team of word-slinging cowboys and strategists who blend science with art to help bold brands get their words right at every step of the customer journey. Which means? They sell more stuff and grow predictable revenue. Brands like AECOM, Thomson Reuters, TikTok, Panasonic, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, plus shedloads of tech scale-ups...and you? Let's connect.

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