Automate B2B Marketing Funnel for Optimal ROI: A Guide

Created On:
July 11, 2022
Updated On:
February 19, 2024

B2B marketing can be extremely effective; one of the best ways to maximize your ROI is to automate your marketing funnel as much as possible. In this post, we'll discuss how you can do that. Additionally, we'll share tips for creating an automated marketing funnel that works. Stay tuned.

What is a B2B Marketing Funnel?

The B2B (Business to Business) marketing funnel is a process to attract relevant visitors and turn them into qualified leads, customers, or brand advocates.

The process begins by capturing all the steps taken on this journey from lead to customer. The business process is documented for easy execution across other areas within an organization, such as sales or support services if necessary, so everyone works toward achieving similar objectives with minimal conflicts.

The stages of your marketing funnel are crucial for capturing prospective customers. Customers will generally progress through your marketing funnel are: awareness, interest, and conversion. 

Automating B2B Marketing Funnel:

Before starting your B2B business, you must first understand what motivates people to purchase from or engage with your company. If we know our goal, designing a marketing strategy will become much easier.

The following methods can be used to implement your marketing funnel.

1. Target Audience:

You need to know your audience. The type of people you are targeting will be able to help grow and expand the reach for both yourself and other businesses in this industry, so it's important not only who sees what but how they react when seeing something that interests them.

It is best to target an audience that is specific and niche. Divide those groups into smaller segments so you can reach them with targeted ads that cater to their needs.

You can build the most popular customer base and customize your messages and pieces of content to those interested in what's being offered.

2. Goals:

The goals of your business are the driving force behind everything you do. Without them, there can be no progress or success.

Always ensure that you set an attainable goal for your business. For example, if you want 50K new customers by year's end for your B2B business in its first calendar year of operation- that might seem too ambitious. Instead, consider reducing the target number so that progress seems realistic and attainable.

3. Marketing Channels:

The next aspect of your B2B marketing funnel is deciding which channels to use for advertising. This decision will mainly depend on how much fund is available and what type it would be, either print or digital.

In any business, it is important to understand how much money you're willing to put into marketing. This can range anywhere from two percent for new startups and less than five percent as your company grows with increased revenue that will allow them to invest up to 25%.

Here's a closer look at the B2B Marketing Funnel stages:

 B2B Marketing Funnel stages
Image Source

1. Awareness:

After you have strategized, it's time to take the first step. When prospects first hear about your brand, they enter the awareness stage. This could be from sources like seeing an ad on social media or getting informed through word-of-mouth, or marketing efforts. 

a. Search Engine Optimization:

SEO plays a vital part in your B2B growth strategy. With SEO, you can drive more traffic to your website by creating a plan that will help rank it high in search engine results. This way, people looking for information about products or services offered on-site find yours instead of someone else's site.

The goal of every business is to get ranked number one on Google. This will ensure greater visibility for their site and the opportunity to get more customers through organic searches, which are popular because they don't require paid advertising campaigns or other costly strategies like PPC (Pay Per Click) ads.

The Google algorithm is forever changing, but you can use some tried and true SEO strategies to put your company on the map. Long-form blog content has become popular, and mobile optimization is a must for any modern business as a major part of the population uses a mobile. Video advertising works well when added to an already successful marketing campaign.

b. Social Media Channels:

Social media can create brand awareness without a doubt. This is easily achieved by posting content on social media that other people will find valuable, including sharing posts from popular channels, responding in comments threads.

c. Paid Digital Ads:

Brand awareness is the key to success, and digital advertising can help you achieve it.

Unlike other businesses, B2B companies have a lot of expenses, so the budget must be considered when setting up paid digital ads. This can make it difficult because the amount you're willing to spend on an ad will depend largely upon your industry and size, so there's no one-size-fits-all solution here.

2. Interest:

Interest is one of the key stages in your marketing funnel. At this stage, your content can make an impression on potential customers. This means that a potential customer may search for you online and leave phone numbers or email addresses for further communications.

Interest can be generated in several ways, but here are some especially successful strategies to consider.

a. Landing Pages:

Landing pages have always been an integral part of any marketing campaign, and as such, they're still very much in demand. According to a survey, the landing page conversion rate is at  9.7 % on average.

Depending on your landing page and industry, conversion rates can be as high as 11.45 percent. 

The importance of A/B testing is to find out what works and doesn't work on your landing pages. It'll help you make changes, like changing an image or adding more text that draws attention to the CTA button for a stronger conversion rate.

b. Newsletter Signups:

To grow your email list, you must increase the number of newsletter signups. This is done by making it easy for people who land on the page and want more information. You should have an opt-in form or lead magnet somewhere to create a relationship with them, resulting in increased revenue from those prospects that join up.

With lead magnets, you can offer potential customers something valuable in exchange for their contact information. This could be anything from checklists, blog posts, or articles from your eBook library.

Engaging with your audience is crucial to maintaining their interest and keeping them on the list. You can do it through content marketing such as newsletters for regular updates or sending out emails about important events in the future, which will sound better than an automated message from some stranger.

c. Exit Intent:

Your target customer is your most valuable asset. It would be nice not to waste their time on a site they won’t be interested in visiting or engaging with; instead, provide them an experience that leaves a lasting impression and encourages engagement through email marketing campaigns.

They might come back to your site later, and the exit-intent pop-up is a way to capture your users' contact information before leaving. Launching a quiz, presenting a demo, posting a question, etc., are a few examples of exit-intent pop-ups.

Exit Intent

3. Intent:

The intent phase of your B2B marketing funnel is where you capture the interest and commitment of potential customers. This smaller stage follows closely after capturing people’s attention to better lock them down as buyers with a strong purchase intention, often leading right into making B2B purchases.

a. Email Campaign:

You have now obtained many prospective customers' email addresses, so it’s time to create a campaign. Creating an email campaign can seem daunting, but don't worry.

Smartlead email campaign

SmartLead is the perfect tool for any business looking to automate their email outreach. You can schedule emails to be sent out in bulk with AI personalization that get replies and have many other unique features like automation. You'll always be able to land your messages in the lead’s inbox without the worry of forgetting them again.

  • Drip Campaign:

The popular drip campaign process is an email marketing tool that provides a personalized experience for customers and leads alike. The automated messages are sent out at set times based on pre-set rules, but you have control over the content inside each one of these emails by creating your message tailored just to them.

  • Nurture Campaign:

This email campaign is designed to nurture your customers and prospective clients by providing them with helpful information.

Make sure you’re always professional when interacting with your audience. Inform customers about what products and services are available, and answer any questions they may have for future purchases or information on how to get started as an upcoming customer. The goal is to build trust.

b. Customer Reviews:

Reviews are the most important thing when it comes to any business, but especially so for B2B companies. Customer reviews on your sites will help prospective customers to decide whether they want to be part of your business or not.

c. Cast Studies:

The case study is a great way to share your business victories with the world. You can detail information like who you worked with, what their challenges were, how they stepped in and improved matters from the start to finish of each situation, and provide an outcome for every success story that came out because of it.

The case study is a great way to share your business's success with the world. Use verifiable numbers and statistics wherever possible so that you can back up what an awesome company/product etc., it represents.

d. Social Media Messages:

Social media plays a vital role in B2B businesses today. And it's no surprise that every platform has its form of instant messaging. If you're still not using them for business purposes, it's time to hop on. You can connect to your customers through personalized Linkedin outreach.

Smartwriter personalized Linkedin outreach

The number of Instagram DMs sent to businesses increased by 150 million in 2021. For many, it's much more comfortable to send a message than picking up the phone.

It’s important to check your social media messages frequently and respond quickly when someone sends you a message. You don't have time for long responses in the middle of a workday, but we must answer all questions soon so people know what they can expect from us.

With SmartLead, you can Multi-channel outreach to your leads across different platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp. This will help increase the chance of capturing their attention and engaging them with what's happening in their pipeline.

Multi channel outreach

You can automate your entire sales flow from connection requests to retweets. You’ll have more time for critical tasks and less stress in the meantime.

4. Action:

The action stage of your marketing funnel is among the narrowest areas. By the time your customers reach this stage, they're already aware of you and interested in what it is that you have to offer.

a. Purchase:

Your B2B customers are ready to take the next step in their journey with you. The more prospects engaged with your content, the easier it will be for them to take that next step and convert leads into customers. You want them as loyal subscribers, sign-ups, and buyers.

5. Loyalty:

The loyalty stage of B2B marketing is important because it encourages customers to take action and continue their relationship with you. Customer loyalty is key to your B2B success.

This final part comes after the lead or customer makes a purchasing decision, which means your job now relies on inspiring them, so they stay connected in the future. Sending occasional thank you gifts or upgrades are a few ways to gain loyalty.

a. Customer Retention:

Retaining customers is critical to a business's success. Many companies opt for ways to ensure their customers stay happy and return for more. Few options are like implementing customer feedback to address problems or concerns as soon as they arise. There are different ways that companies can ensure their customers stay happy and come back for more.

b. Customer Service / Support:

In the modern era, customer service has become a priority for many consumers. It should be of no surprise that 64% of consumers prioritize customer journey over prices.

Providing customers with a great experience is essential to staying competitive. This will give them an incentive to purchase from your business and share their positive word with others.

Chatbots are the future of customer service. A chatbot can provide personalized help for your customers without hiring more employees or spending money on outsourced labor costs.

c. Tracking Analytics:

The best way to keep your B2B marketing funnel effective is by constantly adapting it. You will change your strategies over time, either due to a shift in audience needs or because expanding into new markets requires different approaches.

The reports and analytics available to you will provide unlimited data on how y

our marketing funnel can be improved

B2B Marketing Funnel Stages:

B2B Marketing Funnel Stages
Image Source

Top Of Funnel (TOFU):

The purpose of the top-of-the-funnel is to capture your target audience's attention and interest in you.

  • Infographics: A successful business needs to be able to show its brand awareness. Infographics have become an increasingly popular way to share information and data. They're very shareable because people love the eye-catching designs, making them perfect for building brand awareness at the top of your funnel.
  • Video: Video marketing is a tried-and-true strategy for reaching new audiences. The most popular styles are short forms, user-generated content, and interactive stories that keep people engaged with your brand or product.
  • Webinars: Webinars are increasingly becoming popular and are a great way to promote your business and increase brand awareness. You can charge for entry into webinars or replays, sell transcripts detailing all proceedings within it, and merchandise at the post-event sale.
  • Blogs: Blogs prove to be a great way to showcase your expertise and increase traffic and followers on social media. You can use blogs as an opportunity to share information that benefits your readers, such as tips about how they could improve their lives with the latest trends in fashion or design.

Middle Of Funnel (MOFU):

You’ve found out what your B2B leads want and how best to provide it at this level. You need only get them through the next step of commitment for success.

  • White Papers: The white paper is a great way to get your business in front of potential customers who are interested but not yet ready for it. In this case, you should use MOFU tactics and focus on getting enough engagement so they will want more information about your offer.
  • Case Studies: Case studies allow your customers to review what makes the company tick. They're informative, well-written stories that put us in their shoes so we can see how they were able to do something amazing.

Bottom Of Funnel (BOFU):

Every lead and customer is a potential gold mine when you are at the bottom of your B2B marketing funnel. These BOFU tactics will help motivate them to act.

  • Nurturing and Engaging: The time to engage your leads and customers is now more than ever with personalized email recommendations and tailored newsletter content.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Reviews and testimonials are crucial for a marketing funnel as they can make or break a lead. It is an opportunity for any company to know where they stand as a company through the reviews and testimonials given by their customers.
  • Live Demos: The benefits of live demos far into the funnel are undeniable - they help your conversion and engagement rates.


By automating your B2B marketing funnel, you can improve your results while freeing time to focus on other aspects of your business. Automation is the way to go if you’re ready to start seeing better ROI from your marketing efforts.

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Cathirine Martin

A fun-loving, creative, and passionate writer. Experienced as a curriculum writer for kids at CompuSkool (Information Technology) written interactive learning materials that engaged young minds between 3 to 17 year olds across different technology areas. After a break from writing, now pursuing passion through blogging. Now a technical writer at SmartLead. Waiting for the future to reveal itself as days unfold.


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Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

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Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

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The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

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Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

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1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

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What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

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