Awareness: The First Touchpoint in the Conversion Funnel

Awareness in E-Commerce Conversion Funnel
Author: Haydar Yuece // 8min

Turning unknown visitors into customers – that is undoubtedly the goal of every company. The conversion funnel is an effective tool for increasing traffic on the website, making the online shop known and subsequently winning customers. This describes the buying process as well as the various points of contact with the company, known as touch points. At the same time, the funnel maps the customer journey, which aims to accompany unknowns on their way to the customer with targeted measures.

The conversion funnel is divided into different phases. The first phase and thus the first point of contact between the unknown and the company is “awareness”. In this article, we want to devote ourselves to this first, exciting phase in the conversion funnel. In doing so, we will look at the question: What exactly happens in the so-called awareness phase and which measures bring about desired effects?

Awareness: Raising Awareness in the Conversion Funnel

“People don’t buy based on logical reasons. They buy based on emotional reasons.” – Zig Ziglar

We are all often on the internet looking for something specific. Usually this revolves around a solution to a problem. Often, however, we don’t even know specifically what need lies behind it. The first phase within the conversion funnel has the task of awakening this need, creating a need and drawing attention to one’s own product. So it’s about creating awareness among unknowns. An awareness of the problem and the solution that he gets delivered with the product. This is why this first contact is also called the awareness phase.

Methods for the First Phase of the Conversion Funnel

In order to create a need and arouse interest in a product, advertisements or posts that are presented to the target group on different platforms and in different environments or methods that address users directly are particularly suitable. These include the following:


  • Display ads
  • Social media posts
  • SEO
  • SEA
  • PR measures
  • Guest posts
  • Newsletter


The first action to be achieved is to arouse the interest of the unknown user so that he or she clicks on the ad, post or link and is directed to a landing page or directly to the online shop. In this way, the first phase converts an unknown user into a prospective customer who now has a need and can check whether his problem is solved with the offered product. Convincing him of this is the task of the next phases in the conversion funnel.

The goal behind awareness is to convert as many unknowns as possible into interested parties, so that the traffic on the page is generally increased and the awareness of the online shop rises. The shape of a funnel gives it away – a lot has to go in at the top first so that the essence remains at the end.

awareness conversion funnel

How do Online Shops create “Awareness” in the Conversion Funnel?

In concrete terms, this means for online retailers to draw attention to the product or the website within a broad target group with targeted marketing measures during the awareness phase.

awareness display ads

Display Ads

Display ads are one of the classic measures and are suitable as a graphic advertising medium in the first phase to specifically address the target group in the appropriate environment with suitable formats and content. Display ads can be created as banners, pop-ups or content ads. The contents are usually images, videos and animations. With display ads, the main aim is to attract the user’s attention with the visual character of the ads so that the user clicks on the ad. According to forecasts, worldwide sales of banner ads are expected to rise to 38 billion by 2021 – so this is a popular measure for awareness.

awareness social media marketing

Social Media Marketing

Another important measure for awareness is social media marketing. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or XING – the intensively used environment is ideally suited as the first point of contact between companies and the target group in the conversion funnel and thus the attention of users can be attracted with targeted posts or advertising. The advantage of social media advertising is the tight settings regarding the playout to the appropriate target group. With the right settings, you can ensure that only certain target groups see the advertising – without major wastage.

awareness seo sea


Furthermore, search engine optimisation (SEO) also plays a decisive role in increasing the traffic of a page. Unknown people who have a problem but do not yet know the concrete need usually start a general search query in search engines. In order to draw the need and attention to one’s own product, websites should rank in the top positions for the appropriate keyword. Why? Around 99% of all clicks in organic search fall on positions 1 to 10. Google Ads (SEA) can help here. The text ads are placed directly at the beginning of the Google search and are visually embedded in the search query.

conversion funnel awareness

Further Awareness Measures

Further measures for the first phase can be guest articles, press releases or newsletter campaigns. Partnerships that online shops enter into, for example, with online magazines that are popular with the target group, can develop into a sustainable and inexpensive awareness tool.

Push and Pull Marketing for Awareness

The first phase of the conversion funnel is sometimes a planning-intensive phase, because only those who align themselves correctly here can ensure enough potential, i.e. traffic, to turn unknowns into interested parties and, in the further course, into customers. Building trust is an important factor that should be taken into account in marketing measures, because ultimately it should always be kept in mind that users may never have come into contact with the brand before.

Marketing measures that make an online shop known can either focus on the product or be directly oriented towards individual customer benefits. A push strategy always addresses a large and unspecific target group, while a pull strategy focuses on potential customers who are very likely to identify with the product.

push strategy marketing

The Push Strategy

If you focus on increasing brand or product awareness, you pursue the so-called push strategy. This attracts attention with price reductions, limited product amounts and discount campaigns. In order to attract attention in the short term and gain quantitative leads, a push strategy can be useful.

pull strategy marketing

The Pull Strategy

With the pull strategy, on the other hand, the goal is to create added value for the user so that he or she emotionally evaluates a brand as positive and specifically requests the product. In the long term, a pull strategy generates qualitative traffic and a more sustainable customer acquisition. Those who already build trust here with a personal approach and relevant content as well as information lay the basis for a long-term customer relationship as soon as the need arises. According to a survey, more than 50% of users have already noticed personalised advertising. Another study shows that around 46% of German consumers actively request personalised messages.

However, this phase usually requires several touchpoints. A user who lands on the landing page or the online shop is far from ready to slide further through the conversion funnel. Thus, the personalised newsletter popups from uptain turn visitors into valuable prospects whose attention and demand is increased and awakened with the help of personalised and content-relevant newsletters.

Above all, added value creates trust. The first touch point of a company’s conversion funnel should aim to awaken the need and at the same time offer the solution in such a way that the user does not perceive it as an advertisement, but can derive a real benefit from this first touch and actively asks for the product.

If the unknown person becomes interested by clicking on the advertisement or a link, this does not mean that he or she is ready to make a purchase. The first phase of the conversion funnel is intended to increase traffic to a website. Usually, several touch points are needed here. With suitable measures, such as banner advertising and personalised newsletter slide-ins, you not only create demand, attract attention and increase traffic, but also lay the foundation for a lasting customer relationship.

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