Automating your marketing funnel involves deciding in advance how you will interact with leads at different stages of the marketing process. This means considering your audience’s needs from the first moment they become aware of your solution to their problem and then setting up your communications to address those needs. Automate marketing touchpoints and create data-driven customer journeys from initial contact through conversion.

Let’s dive into automating the process of moving a prospect through your marketing funnel.

Quick takeaways: 

  • Choose the right tools to automate your marketing funnel
  • Plan the automation process before you decide on where and when to best use it
  • Automate each stage of the marketing funnel to reduce friction in making the sale

Tools for Automating the Marketing Funnel 

Before automating your marketing funnel, you must choose the right tools. Technology enables you to automate key touchpoints as you move a prospect through your startup’s marketing process. It’s more effective, saves more time, and produces more consistent results than manually moving prospects through your marketing funnel. 

You can use either a customer relationship manager (CRM) or an email marketing system to automate your marketing funnel. There is some overlap in their functionality, but you can use both together to take advantage of all their features.

Customer Relationship Manager

A customer relationship manager (CRM), such as Hubspot or Salesforce, enables you to: 

  • Collect information on leads and customers
  • Manage and score leads
  • Personalize marketing campaigns

Email Marketing System

An email marketing system, such as Klaviyo or Mailchimp, enables you to:

  • Create customized email marketing campaigns
  • Segment your marketing efforts
  • Collect customer data from your marketing campaigns 

Planning the Automation Process

Consider the following when planning automation for your marketing funnel:

  • Segmentation: Decide on where you want to send different categories of leads when they enter your marketing funnel. Leads with different wants, needs, and interests might take different paths toward the sale. Integrating segmentation into the automation process will take leads to the right paths and increase conversion rates.
  • Channels: Identify which channels you will use for your marketing funnel. This will enable you to determine how to use automation to support your efforts in those channels. In some cases, automation might not work with a specific channel, so you might have to change your process or avoid that channel.
  • Navigation: Make sure leads know exactly what step they will take next at each step in their journey. Automation enables you to provide positive alternatives when a lead decides to leave a stage. Leads should always be able to easily make a purchase or provide their email address for more information.

Automating Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

Use marketing funnel automation to move leads efficiently from one stage of the marketing funnel to the next.


Focus on activities that help you reach leads and introduce them to what you do. The key to success is segmentation so you can target and attract the right leads. This will ensure you do not waste your time or marketing budget. 

Automate your marketing funnel by:

  • Collecting as many targeted leads as possible through your marketing efforts
  • Creating a gated content offer to collect visitors’ email addresses in exchange for the content
  • Setting up your CRM to automatically trigger the next step in the conversion process


You have the lead’s attention and want them to ask for more information about your offerings. Use automated email campaigns to build the lead’s interest in your products or services. 

Automate your marketing funnel by:

  • Using segmentation to send customized offers and promotions
  • A/B testing campaigns to improve your conversion rates
  • Setting up drip campaigns that gradually educate leads on your business and your products or services


At this point, the lead is ready to make a decision — they could make a purchase, sign up for a mailing list, or decide to not become a customer. Your sales team will likely get involved and take action to help convert the lead into a customer. Automation can help to reduce friction in the purchasing process.

Automate your marketing funnel by:

  • Using an automated email workflow to send out a meeting link or scheduling email
  • Sending out incentives (e.g., discount, coupon, webinar invite)  to encourage the lead to convert 
  • Sending “abandoned cart” emails to entice the lead to complete their purchase
  • Highlighting the benefits other customers have received from purchasing your product or service 


Once a lead has converted and become a customer, you must ensure that you maintain their satisfaction going forward. The goal is to turn a one-time customer into a long-term customer. Automation can help you keep in touch with the customer over time and maintain their satisfaction with your company.

Automate your marketing funnel by:

  • Sending thank-you emails with useful information (e.g., shipping information)
  • Following up with onboarding information (e.g., user guides, help desk contacts)
  • Sending upsell and cross-sell offers

Automate Your Startup’s Marketing Funnel 

Automating your marketing funnel should be part of your startup’s overall marketing strategy. Using technology to automate your marketing processes will make your marketing efforts more efficient and effective. Hubspot’s CRM is one option for automating your marketing funnel. 

Need help creating an automated marketing funnel that will help your startup attract and convert leads? Sellerant can guide the way.