Email marketing remains one of the best ways to connect with customers. It’s easy, doesn’t take lots of time, and is more affordable than other forms of marketing. In fact, in 2020, email became one of the most popular digital activities in the world. Both consumers and businesses love the medium, giving you the potential to drive conversion rates through the roof.
However, just sending an email blast won’t immediately provide the results you’re looking for. Over 319 billion emails are sent and received each day, so you need to make sure your email stands out from the crowd and actually entices action from your customers.
To help you hit the ground running, this article reveals how to make your first email marketing funnel convert like crazy.
Let’s dive in!
What’s an Email Marketing Funnel?
For the uninitiated, you might be wondering what an email marketing funnel looks like and what it achieves.
An email marketing funnel is significantly different from just sending a single email blast to your customers. The critical difference is that an email marketing funnel captures the entire customer journey by acting as a helpful guide that points customers towards:
- Interesting products
- Extra information
- Welcomes them onto the journey
- Shows appreciation for continued loyalty
In short, it maps out the road from the first time your customer notices your brand to their first purchase and beyond. An optimized email funnel goes a long way to winning trust, raising brand awareness, and building loyalty by engaging customers at multiple touch points.
The Five Stages of a Successful Email Marketing Funnel
If the above sounds complicated, don’t worry; it’s simpler than it sounds. Most successful email marketing funnels stick to five distinct stages:
- Build brand awareness: The first job of your funnel is to introduce your brand. This includes your products and services but also extends to communicating your values and brand personality. This is where introduction emails come into play and where your origin story should shine.
- Stimulate curiosity: Next, your funnel should try to make customers curious. How can your products help them? What pain points do they address? How are you different from other brands?
- Conversion: Now that you’ve gotten your customers to browse, it’s time to present the right product to them at the right time. Hopefully, this will nudge them towards making their first purchase.
- Build loyalty. Reward repeat purchases, provide excellent customer service, and ensure customers don’t forget about you in the months following their first purchase.
- Win brand ambassadors. The most successful funnels don’t just secure sales – they win lifelong fans. An email marketing funnel’s long-term goal is to encourage customers to spread the word.
Now you know what an email marketing funnel is and what it can achieve, how do you ensure yours effectively drives conversions? There are many digital marketing books on the subject you could learn from. However, it can feel like an impossible task to find the best solution with so much information out there.
But worry not! The most important thing is to get started. As long as you follow some critical best practices, you might soon be driving a profitable email marketing strategy.
How to Make Your Email Marketing Funnel Convert
Here are the essential tips to heed if you want your email marketing funnel to succeed:
Before you can worry about perfecting your email funnel, it’s worth focusing your energy on lead generation using an email subscription form. But, how do you get people to sign up?
- Make sure your form is easy to find. You should have a subscription form on your website and links to your newsletter on social media. You can even install a popup that invites anyone lingering on your site to sign up.
- Generate lead magnets. No one likes giving out their email for free. Entice readers with a free digital download, a unique guide, discount codes, trial software, etc.
- Be transparent from the start. Getting customers to sign up is one thing, but keeping them subscribed is equally essential. Ensure customers know exactly what to expect from you when they sign up, so they aren’t surprised by your email funnel.
Once you have a subscriber list, it’s vital to keep it organized. Use a robust CRM to track important details about your customers so you can tailor your content to meet their needs.
You can use embedded sign-up forms on your website to grow your subscriber list. This is something that the popular women’s apparel brand UNIF did amazingly well by embedding engaging signup forms on all of its high-traffic pages.
You can embed a sign-up form in the header, footer, or in the middle of the page – it will depend on the journey the visitor takes on each page.
Personalize Your Emails
We talked about the importance of standing out from the many other emails your customers receive each day. One way to achieve this is to write eye-catching email headlines and content specifically catered to them. That said, here’s how to personalize your emails to improve customer loyalty:
- Use segmentation. Any email marketing automation tool worth its salt will come with powerful segmentation tools, where you can separate your audience into smaller niches. You can then create and send emails based on the segment’s previous shipping history, search behaviors, geolocation, demographics, and more.
- Send product recommendations. Many tools also allow you to automatically send personalized product recommendations inside your emails. This uses data to determine what customers have been looking for recently or what products might benefit from a cross-sell.
- Address customers directly by name. Personalized emails have a 6x higher transnational rate and 41% higher click rate than un-personalized emails. That’s why collecting and using details like names is imperative. Then you can use your email marketing tool’s personalization tags to include this information in your email headlines and body.
A great example would be the cart abandonment strategy that Mack Weldon uses to remind their customers that they’ve left something in their carts and incentivize them to consider other products.
When a potential buyer opts out, they get a personalized email suggesting other great products based on the contents in their cart and the browsing history on the website. This is a great way to take your cart abandonment emails to the next level.
Email marketing tools usually provide valuable statistics on the success of your email marketing funnel. For example, how many of your emails were clicked on, opened, delivered, and more.
By paying attention to these stats, you’ll get a sense of how well both your individual emails and your overall funnel are performing. For example, does customer engagement peter off after they’ve opened your first few emails? Looking at the data enables you to pinpoint where you’re losing subscribers and optimize your funnel accordingly.
You can also utilize A/B testing to compare the impact of different email campaign elements. A/B tests empower you to send slightly varied emails to a segment to see which variation performs best. You can use this technique to optimize your email’s subject lines, headlines, and content.
For example, Blenders Eyewear did an A/B test for their personalized emails and saw a 33% increase in clicks and a +48% lift in revenue because image A had a distinctly more engaging visual design along with more appealing content formatting. You can use the same approach to gather invaluable user data to craft more impactful email campaigns.
Read and Answer Replies
If you get responses to your newsletters, congratulations! Customers that engage with your emails and want to start a conversation with you are far more likely to become loyal brand ambassadors.
Conversational emails often function better than purely transactional ones. Customers today look for authentic brands they can relate to. The more they feel they know the personality behind your business, the more they’re inspired to loyalty. That’s why it’s crucial to take the time to read and respond to any replies you get and keep conversations rolling.
One of the best things you can do to keep the conversation going would be to simply speak the language of your audience. This is something that Wool and the Gang have mastered over the years through their laid-back tone of voice and a very grounded approach to their vocabulary.
Don’t think you need to dazzle your email recipient with fancy five-dollar words. Keep it casual and speak the way they talk to their peers.
Provide Value with Every Email
We’ll take a guess and say no customer has ever complained about getting too few emails from a brand. They might, however, have a few words to say about receiving too many. Quality over quantity is a rule you should take to heart when it comes to email marketing.
Customers should never feel spammed with unwanted information, promotions, or sales pitches. Instead, every email you send should fulfill a purpose and provide value.
How can you create value in your emails?
- Research your customers’ needs and interests. You can do this by finding relevant topics on Google, browsing consumer forums, or directly asking your audience. With this info, you can then create articles that answer their questions and provide solutions.
- Coupons and discounts in the occasional email are a great reason for customers to stay subscribed.
- Provide essential updates and announcements that actually affect the customer experience.
- Only send product information to customers with a proven interest in similar products.
Adding value to your emails is about great copy, marketing psychology, and amazing visuals, and of course, you need to solve a problem for your customers as well. To do this, a company named Greetings that makes greeting cards had a great announcement email that sparked attention and generated leads and conversions, simply by:
· Stating what the email is all about in the first sentence.
· Being very specific about what the new product does.
· Using powerful and engaging visuals.
· Wrapping it up with different CTAs for different platforms.
Great Copy Matters
While we’re talking about quality over quantity, we can’t ignore the actual formulation of your emails. Your copy should invoke trust and entice action. Here are a few pointers on achieving exactly that:
- Write professionally. Double-check your punctuation and spelling to create credible, trustworthy copy.
- Add humor to your writing. Try to write as though you’re talking to a friend. You wouldn’t respond well to corporate robots, and neither will your customers. If you can make your customers laugh, this alone provides them with a reason to read on.
- Start with an enticing hook. A strong introduction helps catch your reader’s attention. It could be the beginning of a story, an interesting question, a relatable scenario, etc.
- End with a CTA. If customers get to the end of your email, don’t forget to reel in the line. Propose an explicit action you want readers to take, like visiting your website or browsing a new range of products.
Readdle, a software company that makes productivity apps for Apple devices, is a great example of how amazing copy coupled with the right content hierarchy and visuals can transform the user experience in an email.
This email regarding the release of iOS 13 boasts a conversational tone with beautiful visuals and a clear reading hierarchy and structure that makes the email enjoyable to go through without losing interest. It closes with a powerful statement that further drives engagement and inspires the reader to take action.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a successful email marketing funnel can’t be created from a single email. When you’ve made a connection, it’s essential to follow up. Follow-up emails are some of the best-converting emails in your funnel, so ensure your customer journey doesn’t stop after the first purchase.
Here’s how to follow up with customers in a way that benefits you both:
- Thank customers for their loyalty. Appreciation goes a long way, and you can easily automate follow-ups like this.
- Check in with the shipping progress and provide updates about when your customer’s parcel is expected to arrive.
- Requests reviews or feedback once your customer has had a chance to use your product.
- Offer customers an incentive to come back for more. For example, you could prompt them to sign up for a loyalty scheme that rewards customers with points for repeat purchases.
- Follow-up on customer service tickets. If there’s been an issue or a negative review, follow up to ensure it was resolved to your customer’s satisfaction.
- 5 Email Marketing Mistakes that Affect your Conversion Rate
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Are You Ready to Nail Your First Email Marketing Funnel?
In the end, it’s important to implement all of these practices to create a high-converting email marketing funnel. So, always make sure to:
- Generate leads
- Personalize your emails
- Leverage user data
- Provide value with every email
- Create engaging email copy
- and follow up with your customers
Use the same structure for all your future email campaigns as well, but don’t forget to keep optimizing and refining your approach according to customer data and feedback!
And remember, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways of driving conversions and growing profits. While there’s lots to learn about email marketing, your first funnel could be a massive success if you do it right.
You don’t have to leave this up to beginner’s luck! Follow our best practices to ensure your email marketing campaign is professional, engaging, and value-driven.
And finally: Keep learning! There’s lots of info out there to help you perfect your business email marketing funnels.
Written by our guest writer Rosie Greaves
Rosie Greaves is a professional blogger and copywriter with over two years in the field. She specializes in digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle topics.