While a few professionals in the marketing industry can be heard saying, “Email is dead!”, this is far from the case.
In fact,email marketing is still one of the highest-performing marketing strategies a business can employ in our modern era.
When designed correctly, an email marketing campaign can provide you significant ROI.
But, in order to take the best advantage of this strategy, you need to have a well-planned email funnel. This will help you to generate more leads and increase sales for your business.
In this guide you will see:
Email marketing is far from dead, and email funnels are very much alive. Let’s dive into all of the details you need to help grow your business!
What Is An Email Marketing Funnel?
An email funnel campaign is more than sending out random emails in hopes of converting a lead into a lifelong customer.
This type of marketing is designed to nurture leads over a period of time. The period of time will depend entirely on the customer lifecycle of your business.
In order to create an effective email marketing funnel, you must understand and anticipate your customers’ needs.
You will have more than one type of customer that you are selling to, which we will get into later in this guide. Each of these customers will go into their own type of funnel.
Your email marketing funnel needs to accomplish three goals:
- Capture the attention of your subscriber/lead.
- Entice the lead enough to bring them to your website.
- Provide enough information for the lead to contact you directly if they have questions.
An email funnel is not a sales promotion. It is a series of emails that are sent out at strategically planned points in time. These can be time sequences or based on certain trigger actions on your website.
Why Buyer Personas Are Important In Marketing Email Funnels
Your customers will fit into a different type of buyer persona. These completely differ from one business to another.
However, they are important to identify because each buyer person needs a different marketing email copy in order to convert.
Let’s paint an example to better describe buyer personas. Our fictional business is a book store. We have three distinct customers:
- College students;
Even without digging into these buyer personas, you can quickly see each of these individuals will have very different buying needs.
Identifying buyer personas for email funnel marketing is not always as easy. However, once these groups are identified, you can quickly determine how to speak to each buyer persona you have.
By appropriately placing these buyer personas into email funnels, you have a greater chance of converting these individuals into customers.
How To Create An Email Funnel For Your Business
How you create an email funnel for your business can be broken into four stages.
Each of the stages represents unique points during the customer journey that require different types of marketing copy.
If you do not provide the right copy at the appropriate stage, you may lose out on customers. An email funnel does take time to develop, but the ROI is significant.
Generate Leads On The Top Of The Funnel
At the top of the funnel, you want to acquire the leads that are most likely to purchase from your business.
Your email list is going to be the difference between having an okay quarter and exceeding your sales goals. There are numerous ways you can generate leads for the top of the funnel.
The first and best way is to create an email opt-in. Typically, you create a free offer that lures your lead in and makes them want to provide their name and email address.
Once they provide it, you are free to send them all of your email offers and place them on appropriate funnels.
Another way is to create a dedicated landing page. Here, you would create a single page that captures all of the leads for a particular marketing campaign. All of the leads you capture here will receive the same type of email.
Nurture Leads In The Middle Of The Funnel
Now that you have leads, you need to nurture them into sales. You do not want to over or under-nurture your leads.
You want to create enough touchpoints that keep your brand top of mind, but you do not want to seem overbearing. All of the emails you send in your funnel need to be appropriately timed.
Lead nurturing can be completed on a time sequence (i.e. week one, week two, week three, etc) or based on value proposition triggers. These triggers would automatically place certain leads into different lists.
For example, a lead that is looking for interactive content and a lead that is looking for a host for WordPress would be on two separate lists.
These emails would have different communication that pertains to the type of service the leads clicked on the website.
A few examples of nurturing emails include:
- Custom communications;
- Case studies;
- Customer success stories;
- User-generated content;
- Free webinars.
Some companies will nurture leads for a few days while others will nurture subscribers for months.
The length of your sales cycle will determine how often and how long you need to nurture leads for your organization.
Convert Leads In The Bottom Of The Funnel
As your leads approach the bottom of the funnel, they should be nearly ready to convert into a paying customer.
You’ve attracted them to your site, turned them into subscribing leads and nurture them into potential customers. Now, you need to seal the deal.
Your warmest leads will be most likely to convert. These are individuals who abandoned their e-commerce cart or didn’t finish filling out an opt-in form. You can retarget these leads with an email that encourages them to return where they left off.
In addition, you can finish your email funnel by adding time sensitive emails. This will encourage any of your leads that are close to making a purchase to finally swipe their card and/or place their order with your brand. No one wants to miss out on a good deal.
These final emails need to have enough urgency to create a positive outcome. You don’t want to make the deal sound too good to be true.
Simply nurture the lead one last time to remind them of the value they are receiving by purchasing from your band right now.
Retain Customers By Repeating The Funnel
It will always be cheaper to retain an existing customer than it will be to convert a new one.
That is not to say you shouldn’t continue to grow your email list and begin new subscribers on your email funnel. However, you do not want to forget the customer that already made a purchase.
You can continue to grow your business by retaining customers. To do so, simply repeat the funnel.
Identify a new trigger or preference they will wish to see emails about. Continue to nurture them until they are at the bottom of the funnel. From there, convert them into paying customers once again.
Email Marketing Best Practices To Keep In Mind
When it comes to email marketing, there are a few best practices that need to be employed in order to ensure you retain high-quality subscribers.
If you do not follow these best practices, your domain may be reported for spam. Your domain integrity is incredibly important because that determines if you show up in your subscriber’s inbox or spam folder.
Personalize the email greeting
This is one of the easiest and most important ways to convert leads into sales. A personal greeting makes it sound like you are sending your lead an individual email. It feels natural and puts them in a positive mood to read the rest of your message.
Stay above the fold
The most important information should stay above the fold. By that, we mean the area above where the message is cut off.
Anything below that must be scrolled/swiped to is considered below the fold. Your leads are most likely to follow a call-to-action that is above the fold.
Never buy contact lists
You should never purchase a contact list. It can be tempting to do so, but you should not email individuals who have not requested to receive your email. This can quickly have you marked for spam.
Use three or fewer typefaces
Your email funnel should not be cluttered and difficult to read. You want to ensure your email is legible and only contains necessary information.
You will want the appropriate copy for your email written in one to three typefaces. The additional typefaces should be used for headlines and to break up the text.
Optimize the email’s preview text
With so many individuals checking their email on the go, you must have your email preview nailed down.
This small snippet will be what determines if you have a good open rate or a poor one. You can include emoji in your headline and preview text if that is appropriate for your audience.
Take the time to create an enticing preview text as this is the only few seconds you will have to convince your lead to open your email.
Include an email signature
If your leads want to contact you, they are going to look for an email signature. Make sure you provide a way for them to email or call you.
Additionally, make sure they know who they are speaking to and will be calling. This builds a more personal relationship, which makes it easier to nurture the relationship until the lead becomes a sale.
As you can see, an email funnel is vital for growing your business through the modern era. With the right strategy in hand, you can see significant ROI.
To increase your results, you can use an email marketing calendar, to organize your nurture flows and guarantee your strategy’s consistency. Download now our free calendar marketing template!