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What Is Email Marketing Funnel and How to Use it

11 min read

More often than not, having a great product or service isn’t enough on its own to achieve your hopes for your business. People need to be aware of what you’re offering so that you can run a successful business. This all starts with increasing public awareness of your product/service and ensuring that your target audience knows that your business is out there. This is why marketing is so important, especially in the evolving digital world.

In order to run successful marketing campaigns, you need to make people aware of your product/service and state the problems that it can solve. By defining a customer need, and building your marketing campaigns off of that need, you can better relay the importance of your product/service. Now more than ever, email marketing “leads” the way in generating and converting leads.

This is why implementing an effective email marketing funnel in your campaigns is so important. So, what is an email marketing funnel?

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What Is an Email Marketing Funnel?

Before exploring the various types of email marketing funnels, how they work, and how to use them, one should first understand what an email marketing funnel is. Funnels convert web traffic into customers. Think of the shape of a funnel, and how its opening is large at the top and progressively shrinks into a smaller opening.

In business terms, your funnel will have web traffic coming through the top, qualified leads at the top, interested prospects in the middle, and customers at the bottom. The main purpose of a funnel is to determine which prospects are ideal to market to and also how successful your campaigns have been. In essence, marketing funnels help track analytics as well as convert leads into customers at the same time.

A good way to think of an email marketing funnel, in particular, is by gauging the prospect. This means judging awareness, interest, consideration, and conversion. An email marketing funnel involves sending out sequences of emails based on a predetermined target audience and schedule. The goal of an email marketing funnel is to ultimately convert more leads into customers. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how to build an effective email marketing funnel.

How Do I Create an Effective Email Marketing Funnel?

Creating a marketing funnel that works ultimately boils down to the effectiveness of the steps you take during each customer phase. As we previously discussed, the four phases are awareness, interest, consideration, and conversion. This means that during each step of the process, you can utilize your email marketing funnel correctly in order to funnel potential leads into customers. Let’s take a more detailed look at this process.

Top of the funnel — Generating interest

The very first step of the email marketing funnel process is to create brand awareness so that consumers will be interested in what you have to offer. After all, consumers can only become your loyal customers if they know you exist, right?

Be sure to highlight and emphasize the problems that your product/service can solve for your customers instead of making your marketing strictly about your business. Consumers want something they can consume that will make life easier for them.

Consider where your leads come from. In most cases, with the digital landscape ever-expanding, your leads will come from search engines, site pages, social media, etc. This is why finding the right channels to utilize during your marketing campaigns is so important. You want to be sure that you have fresh content that is applicable to the variety of channels your leads will be coming from.

One way to ensure that you generate more leads is by offering your leads something enticing. This means offering discounts, giveaways, downloadable pdf files, etc. Ultimately, you’ll want to offer value in exchange for a lead’s entry into your sales cycle.

Middle of the funnel — Nurturing leads

Now that you’ve generated some interest, it’s time to nurture your leads in order to prepare them for conversion. You’ll want to educate subscribers regarding your business, product, service, etc. by offering personalized content that improves click-through rates. In many cases, businesses rely on an automation platform to segment subscribers on the basis of what they signed up for to begin with. In the middle of the funnel, you should be interacting with leads to find out more about their interest and background. Regular follow-ups are vital during this stage in order to move leads further on down the funnel towards conversion.

Bottom of the funnel — Converting Leads

After generating interest, and nurturing your leads, hopefully, you’ve established the relevance of your product/service and how it can help make your leads’ lives easier. The next step after nurturing your leads in the email marketing funnel is to prompt an emotional response. Consumers often buy things based on emotion, how certain products/services make them feel. For you and your business, this means that you should be maintaining the personalized form of nurturing mentioned in the previous section, only more aggressively.

Your final conversion emails should consist of time-sensitive offers and retargeting customers. For example, the hottest leads for Ecommerce businesses are abandoned carts. Time-sensitive offers can help entice customers to turn their abandoned carts into purchases. This means sending time-sensitive, urgent emails to customers who have displayed high levels of interest. Make an offer that your customer(s) can’t reject and create a sense of urgency. No customer wants to miss out on a great deal!

Out of the funnel — Retaining Customers

Repeat purchases are essential for businesses. Not only do they increase your overall ROI, but it means that customers are beginning to use your product/service regularly and they love it! This means they’ll potentially tell their friends or family about you, which will generate even more leads.

In this stage of the funnel, you will have to take on a different type of approach toward lead nurturing which means talking directly about your brand. At this point, customers have determined that they like your product/service. So, what’s stopping them from getting it somewhere else? The answer is hopefully your brand! Be sure to also utilize the power of upselling and cross-selling by carefully analyzing a customer’s purchase history. The goal is to always offer the best solution at the best price.

Be sure to keep sharing useful content during your marketing campaigns in order to retain your value. You’ll also want to promote advocacy, which means offering an incentive to customers to advertise your brand. This is more relevant now more than ever given the prevalence of social media and how different channels can affect a brand’s relevance. Whatever the case, you’ll want to determine the best way to retain your customers, be it through emphasizing what makes your brand unique or by offering incentives.

What Makes an Email Marketing Funnel Great?

Making your email funnel great ultimately boils down to understanding the four stages in which leads are converted into loyal customers. Even more importantly, you’ll want to create a marketing strategy for each phase that can be implemented in order to achieve your goals for each phase.

In order to do this, you’ll want to understand the degree of awareness for each of your leads, do segmentation, include personalization, and create persuasive sales copy. You are the mastermind behind your email marketing funnel, so it’s up to you to make it great by understanding each phase and how to market to leads in each phase.

Are You Ready to Convert Your Leads?

Well, now that you have a solid understanding of email marketing funnels, it’s time to test your knowledge! Begin by creating fresh, relatable content that highlights a consumer’s need for your product or service. As web traffic trickles in through different channels, it’s time to target those who have expressed interest in your product or service.

Next, you’ll want to convert your leads through personalization, and then follow up with your new customers regularly to ensure that they return. As always, be sure to create enticing and compelling content when marketing! It really is vital to lead conversion to be persuasive. Always highlight the need that your product/service helps with!


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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