What Is the Buyer’s Journey, and Why Should You Care?

When leads go from identifying their needs to deciding which of your services will fill them, we often refer to this as the buyer’s journey. Understanding this process is important, because it can help you design your digital marketing to be relevant to all types of leads, from those who are at the very top of the funnel, all the way down to market or sales qualified. Let’s talk about the stages of the buyer’s journey, then discuss which tools can be used to address them.

Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

According to HubSpot, the buyer’s journey can be viewed generally as a three-stage process. First is the awareness stage, where a company is deciding what challenges or opportunities they should prioritize. Next comes the consideration stage, where the company has established its list of challenges or opportunities, and is determining what types of solutions are ideal for solving them. Finally, the decision stage is when the company has chosen a type of solution, and has begun evaluating vendors who offer it.

Now let’s consider how these stages influence the different aspects of your digital marketing, starting with the ways that leads first learn about you. This usually happens when they either receive a prospecting email from you, they come across your website, or they find your business on social media.

Your Email Marketing

If the first point of contact that a new lead has with your brand is through email, it’s likely a prospecting email. That also means that they probably didn’t opt in to hear from you. Either you’re using their contact data from a lead list or an event (like a tradeshow), or you found them using prospecting automation. This means that if you want to get their attention and not look like spam, you need to keep your messaging brief, conventional, and relevant.

What would that look like? Four sentences, give or take. Subject matter that focuses on your leads, like pain points and market shifts. No more than three questions between the subject line and message body of the email, so that you don’t confuse your audience or make them feel like they’re filling out an unsolicited survey. Finally, have your last question or sentence include a call to action, telling each lead what you’d like them to do. Ideally, a prospecting email’s CTA is to ask for a phone call.

Regardless of whether a lead is actively looking for services like yours or just learning that they have a need, they still have to trust you. That’s why asking them about their business using non-salesy questions is the best approach.

Those leads that say yes to a phone call can then be passed over to Sales for further vetting, or put on your regular email marketing until they’re ready to buy. Both Sales and Marketing should continue to use calls to action in their respective emails. Some examples include directing leads to your main website or to specific landing pages, offering special promotions or downloadable pieces of targeted content (more on that below), or inviting them to follow-up phone calls.

Your Website

Because emails are good at funneling traffic to your website, it’s important to create content that you want those leads to see when they arrive.

Leads in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey are more likely to stick to your home page. This means that yours should allow them to learn about who you are, what you offer, where you’re located, and maybe a brief history of your company. Those in the consideration or decision stages will want to look deeper, so you should link to pages that elaborate on your services, offer examples or case studies of your work, provide blog posts that educate your audience, and offer transparent pricing (if applicable).

Similar to email, make sure that all of your web pages prompt your leads to take some sort of action, whether it’s navigating to a specific page to watch a video, check out your portfolio, fill out a contact form to request a conversation, or download a lead magnet.

Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are downloadable content that you offer to web visitors in exchange for their contact info, including their permission to market to them. Common examples are checklists, ebooks, and white papers — essentially, any educational material that leads can use to do their jobs better.

Not only does this grow your contact database with new visitors, it strengthens relationships with those you’ve already vetted.


If leads don’t receive your prospecting emails, how else can they find your website? Ideally, it’s from a Google search, which is more effective the closer your name is to the top of those results. Doing so requires strong SEO tactics and the use of relevant, long-tail keywords, which allow search engines to verify your trustworthiness when they crawl your website.


While you’re putting in the time and effort to rank your content, you may also choose to leverage pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to get your name in front of leads sooner. This involves featuring your company in ad space on search engines and social media platforms, and paying for it every time someone clicks through to your website. While effective, PPC can also become expensive, so it’s best to budget accordingly. PPC should never be seen as a substitute for SEO, as the latter establishes long-term credibility for your brand.

Your Social Media

Similar to email and advertisements, social media can resonate with your leads at all stages of their buyer’s journeys. LinkedIn is often touted as the go-to app for businesses, but you shouldn’t be surprised if leads you want to meet are also found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

When done well, the content you produce will keep your leads engaged, encourage them to check back and follow your brand, and ultimately push them to your website when they’re ready to buy. Social promotions are a great tool for showcasing your current and past clients, business successes, and available solutions — not to mention powerful user-generated content.

Additional Resources

Potential customers may differ in how they approach your brand, but they’re fairly uniform when it comes to the stages of the buyer’s journey. As long as you arrange your marketing tools to address these stages and funnel leads appropriately through CTAs, you should see an improvement in website traffic, email responses, and social media engagement. Because some leads will need more time than others before they’re ready to make a purchase decision, you’ll want to maintain consistency and convenience in all forms of your digital marketing.

If you’d like additional resources for understanding the buyer’s journeys of your leads and how to plan for them, let’s schedule some time for a call. Click the link below when you’re ready to get started.

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