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Campaigns vs. Funnels - Which One Do You Need?

You hear them all over online marketing: campaigns and funnels grow your business. You know you need a campaign, but you also hear you need funnels.

Well, what is it? And what do they each do?

We're going to sift through the marketing jargon and get you the answers you need that are basically guaranteed to clear up the haze of marketing campaigns and funnels.

What's The Difference Between Campaigns & Funnels


Let's go to the real definition, not what various marketing experts say the definition is (no shame to marketing experts, I am one, but there doesn't seem to be a consistent, clear distinction between campaigns and funnels.

Campaign (noun) a connected series of operations designed to bring about a particular result.

Funnel (noun...but we also use it as a verb in marketing) to move to a focal point or into a conduit or central channel. Okay, that doesn't seem very "marketing" but that's what a funnel is, it is the path that you move people to one goal.

Those sounds really similar don't they.

What Really Is The Difference?

Well, they are essentially the same thing. They are the flow, pattern, system that you take someone from one action to another.

Take a look at one of the funnels in our Funnel Library below.

This funnel shows a typical free download sequence. But it also shows a campaign to achieve a singular goal, whether that goal is in the autoresponder or the goal is to collect more emails using a free download.

Once again showcasing a funnel and campaign can be the same thing!

But Is There A Difference...?

While campaigns and funnels are often used interchangeably, an unofficial differentiation in the marketing world is all around a timeframe.

Typically campaigns are referred to when the actions revolve around a specific timeframe, while funnels tend to be evergreen.

This is by no means a hard and fast rule, there's always someone out there breaking the "rules", but when referring to a funnel, you won't see someone saying when this funnel will end (even if there are countdown clocks in the funnel!).

If you really want to use the two terms properly, refer to funnels for evergreen flows and campaigns for ones running for a certain time period.

Have you seen bigger differences between campaigns and funnels? Let me know in the comments below!


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