How to Make Your First Email Marketing Funnel

Congratulations, you’ve just launched your first 10-week online class: “How to Argue Without Crying.”

And the best part: everyone who has heard of it loves it! You’ve been getting some really great interaction with potential customers, and it seems like your marketing for the class is paying off.

However, you notice that while your socials and your website are getting a lot of interest, you’re not really seeing too many people taking the plunge and buying your course.

“How strange!” you say. “I’m getting a lot of initial interest but where are my buyers?”

Well, a situation like this could be the perfect chance to bust out an email marketing funnel!

An email marketing funnel is an awesome way to give your audience unique content as they journey their way to your product.

Instead of having a bunch of would-be fans who show interest and then forget about you, you can guide them through the different stages of the buying journey.

Not everyone who has expressed initial interest in your product is easily convinced of its value. Some people need a bit more information before they’re convinced you can actually help them hold their tears back in a debate.

The answer? Target your email content to address those pain points or questions.

You may already have an email newsletter to connect with your audience on a regular basis. If so, great! If not, this is the perfect place to start.

Email marketing funnels can be one of the best ways to individualize the buyer’s experience and answer most of their questions without having to speak with them one-on-one.

It’ll keep them intrigued in your product until they’re (ideally) all the way through your funnel. 

Then, you won’t just have a would-be customer. You’ll have an ACTUAL customer!

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we start writing a bunch of different emails, let’s look at the different moving parts that make up an email funnel.

What is an Email Funnel?

An email funnel is a series of strategically crafted emails that help nurture a prospect from an intrigued member of your audience to a paying customer.

Good email marketing funnels typically have well-constructed sections that help guide your prospects down the funnel itself.

The “funnel” of an email marketing funnel is broken up into several sections:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
  • Retention
  • Advocacy (and beyond!)

Each of these stages might not just be a single email. You could have backup emails in case your prospect doesn’t engage with your content, and you may even have to loop them back to a previous stage before you get them hooked on your product.

These funnels can become pretty complex depending on your audience and how well they’re engaging with your funnel, but before we get into the nitty gritty of each stage, let’s talk about why these funnels are so valuable.

The Importance of Having an Email Marketing Funnel

At the very top of our handy email funnel is the Awareness stage.

This stage may just be the most vital part of your email campaign because it does the majority of the heavy lifting by getting your product in front of people’s eyes.

Getting people into your funnel starts by making them aware of your actual product. You’ll need an audience before you can start teaching people how to argue and not cry!

Building your audience also has the added bonus of being very encouraging. You can easily track direct results via clicks and other metrics to see if people are seeing your product.

If this is your first time trying your hand at launching a product, you’ll be over the moon knowing people everywhere are at least taking the time to investigate it!

That can all start with an email marketing funnel, which is a great way to let people know that your product is great, helpful, and worth the price.

Your funnel will not only get people initially interested, but it’ll also keep them interested!

With handy resources and content to back up your product coming into their inbox every few days or so, your audience will enjoy the free info you’re sending  and  learn more about your product, as well as some other fun facts.

Finally, an email funnel helps you accurately and easily track growth!

You’ll see up close if people are opening the emails you’re sending them, how long they’re taking to read through each one, and if they’re converting off those emails, whether that means a link clicked or an actual purchase!

Email marketing funnels can be a fair bit of work, don’t get us wrong.

But the work itself is so worth it! Even something as simple as a different email for each stage of the journey can prove incredibly valuable.

Before You Get Started…

“Okay! I’m convinced! I’ve already got, like, 100 different emails planned out in my head. Let’s go!”

Woah, woah, woah! As much as we appreciate the enthusiasm for advanced marketing techniques, an email funnel still requires a bit of planning.

You’ll need a way to measure your success, an understanding of your customer’s journey, and some well-built landing pages.

Choose an automation software

Running a successful email marketing funnel means having something that works for you and your company’s needs.

If you’re a small business, MailChimp can be a great pick. However, if you’re running the marketing for a company with 500+ employees, you might need something a bit bigger, like Pardot.

That being said, there are many, many options out there in terms of email automation software, so go out and do some research!

The key takeaway, however, is you’ll need software that can track metrics involved with an email campaign.

But what are those metrics, anyway? Well, email metrics can include (but are not limited to):

  • Open rates
  • Click through rates
  • Conversion rate
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • And much, much more!

Obviously, your company’s needs will determine which metrics apply most to you. Get familiar with whichever software you’ve chosen and learn the metrics it tracks.

Then, personalize it based on what helps you adjust your funnel and what doesn’t.

Understand your ideal customer’s journey

Every audience is different and unique, and because your audience is unique, you’ll need to work on understanding who your ideal customer is.

Market research is a big part of this. For someone who’s interested in buying a 10-week class that helps them navigate the turbulent emotions of an argument, they probably have some unique paint points!

Identifying those pain points and addressing them in your email funnel can help you craft better content aimed at your target audience.

It’s not just pain points either. Take the time to think about who would realistically be interested in your product. What is their age range, their occupation, their personality, etc?

This information can give you a great starting point for crafting the messaging that’ll go inside your emails.

Create landing pages/opt-in forms/lead magnets

Stylish landing pages, irresistible opt-in forms, and lead magnets that have people going “Wow!” should be the cherry on top to your beautiful emails.

These free resources should lure your prospects deeper into your email funnel and help them sign up for future emails or download resources on your website.

This will involve some more work on your part by crafting engaging and interesting content on your website so you can actually get more people into your email funnel.

And you’ll have to give it away for free!? AAAAAHHHH!!

But that’s okay! This free content will let your audience know that you want them to be educated and informed on your product, and it’ll help them make a more educated decision.

It’ll also make your more memorable by giving them something more than just a sales page when they’re frantically googling how to ”I can’t stop crying when I’m arguing even if I know I’m right, please help!”

So make sure you have those additional resources! You’ll get more people signed up for your newsletter, drive product awareness, and nurture your audience.

Stages of an Email Funnel

So now that you know why email funnels are essential for your business, we’ll teach you all about the different stages of these amazing marketing contraptions.

As we mentioned earlier, email funnels can be broken down into five essential stages.

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention
  5. Advocacy (and beyond!!)

So let’s dive into our first stage: Awareness!

Awareness Stage

This stage arguably begins before you ever send an email.

Crazy! And yet, true. Awareness is at the very tip-top of the funnel, and it can involve anything from getting people to actually see your product to putting their email info into an opt-in form.

Regardless of the methods used during the awareness stage, the messaging stays the same.

Right now, your audience knows pretty much nothing about your product. A class about not crying during an argument? Never heard of ‘em!

You’ll need to show your potential prospects who you are and why you’re so great. Inform them of your company’s mission and values, as well as where they can learn more about your product, such as your website, blog, or social media.

You’ll also want to show them that you’re valuable! Free resources, tips, advice, educational articles, and so much more should be available for them to take a look at.

Sure you can tell them you know how to stop the tears flowing when the harsh words start going, but your free list of breathing techniques will show them you understand their struggle.

This will convey that your product first and foremost will give them what they’re looking for. You don’t just want to make some money; you want to make sure your customers are happy with their purchase!

By giving them a set of free resources through your website or social media, they’ll  learn more about you and form a better opinion of who you are.

Finally, make sure you target those pain points!

Someone who gets a little teary-eyed during an online debate might wish deep down they could steel themselves against the turbulence of arguing which season of Friends is the best.

Whatever the pain points are, address those! It’ll make your audience feel seen and heard and convince them that your product can help them soothe those pains.

Consideration Stage

Okay, your audience knows about your product, and they think you’re pretty cool.

But what makes you unique?

After all, there are hundreds of online courses out there: “How to Not Sob Uncontrollably During a Tiff,” “Weep No More: Avoiding Tears While Squabbling,” and “So You Think You Can Quarrel? Cry No More with These 5 Lessons!” (just to name a few).

Even if your product is pretty darn unique, you’ll still need to show your audience why their purchase will change their life for the better.

Right now, though, you’re not trying too hard sell them on your product.

You just want to show them why your course is so great! This can be done with reviews, case studies, and so on.

Basically, you’re trying to prove that your product works. Others have tested it before, and the consensus is that it’s great!

If your product is fairly new and you don’t have a range of testimonials to pull from, rely instead on proof points of your product.

Once again, pain points can help with this! If your research showed you that people who’ve looked for classes like yours have been let down by how shallow your competition is, craft your messaging around how in-depth your class is.

By this point, your audience has signed on to your email list, so hitting them with some resources that go beyond the articles on your website (such as some downloadable content) will let them know your product is the real deal.

Conversion Stage

Alright, time to sell!

You’ve shown your value and why you’re the best choice. You’ve been giving your audience awesome resources to learn about your product, and now you gotta see if they’re gonna convert.

To buy, or not to buy? That’s the question!

During the Conversion stage, your emails shouldn’t just be pushing the product itself; you should also be running time-sensitive special offers.

Urgency is the emphasis here. You want your potential customers to feel as though right now is the time to buy.

Discounts, free trials, and bonuses on top of their purchase can help drive sales during the Conversion stage.

Urgency pushes your would-be buyers out of the Consideration stage, where they can stay indefinitely.

Retention Stage

Yippee! You made a sale!

You’ve successfully gotten your audience through the funnel and across the finish line.

“Wait!” you say. “We’re only at stage four!”

That’s correct! Having a customer is great, but what about a loyal customer?

Keeping your audience engaged and around past a purchase can lead to future purchases, but it can also help you split your funnel.

If you have a launch-based product, you can split your following into people who purchased during the launch and those who didn’t.

For non-purchasers, you can run surveys to help you understand why they chose not to buy.

This info can help improve your sales pitch or the product itself for future launches so you can continue driving up sales.

You can also downsell your product if you’re comfortable going that route!

For some people, the issue is simply cost. Having an option for something smaller, such as a pared-down version of your course for less money, may lead them to convert.

Ideally, the customer who purchases this will be more likely to purchase the more expensive product the next time it’s offered because they’ve experienced the value of a smaller paid product. So, it’s a win-win!

For those who did purchase up front, you can still run more surveys to learn what about it they liked so much!

You can also upsell! If they liked your product, they may just want even more of it.

The main purpose of this stage is to avoid going silent.

Just because you made a sale doesn’t mean you should kick your customer to the curb. 

Continue sending them resources, checking in, and nurturing that relationship! It could lead to future sales, and ideally, advocacy.

Advocacy (and Beyond!!!)

The great beyond: Advocacy!

Now your course is the  talk of the town! Your pupils aren’t crying during arguments anymore, and debates can be handled without a single tear being shed. Incredible!

Word of mouth is some of the best advertising there is. Asking your customers to leave a review can seriously help your product’s image. 

A key part of the Consideration stage is having reviews to reference, so definitely try to secure those.

Reviews aren’t always guaranteed, so using referral offers as a way to incentivize promoting your product to a friend can also help during this stage.

Advocacy depends on a solid relationship between you and your customers, so keep in contact with them as they near the end of the funnel. 

If you’ve done your job, they’ll go back through the funnel again (and bring friends with them)!

How to Measure Results

Remember when we talked about software that tracks metrics?

Well, time to analyze those metrics!

What does your audience engage with the most? Do people tend to leave during the Consideration stage, or the Awareness stage?

Analyzing individual email performance as well as overall campaign performance will help you recognize patterns in your audience’s behavior and how you can adjust your strategies to meet those patterns.

Setting goals for you and your company can also help you track growth. If you met your goals/exceeded them, congratulations! Keep building on that momentum.

If not, it’s time to go to the drawing board and work on getting the most out of your email marketing funnel.

Improving Your Funnel

There are plenty of different ways to improve your funnel if you’re still struggling to meet your marketing goals.

To begin, it’s crucial to prioritize high-quality copy and content.

If the content on your website or in your emails is shallow and boring, nobody’s gonna want to see it! Keep things interesting and take the time to craft smart, well-written content.

If your content isn’t the problem, you can try alternate forms of copy in your emails.

Sometimes, it all comes down to the language used. A/B testing (or sending out two different emails to see which one performs better) can give you the information needed to craft stronger emails.

You can also experiment with email frequency! Spamming your email list with two emails a day may not be the best call, so try seeing if different frequencies encourage better conversions.

Managing your list can also be an easy way to see if your conversion rate is actually higher or lower than it says. Cleaning up duplicates and inactive subscribers is a simple but effective way to do so.

Segmentation (or dividing subscribers into smaller categories so you can provide more relevant and personalized content) can make your email funnel stronger as well.

These categories could include:

  • Geographical location
  • Purchase history
  • Engagement level
  • Or whatever else you can think of!

Finally, troubleshooting any tech issues you have is essential  to make sure your emails are going out properly and being seen.

Make Use of Email Marketing Funnels

A good email marketing funnel is one of the best ways to convert an interested person into a purchaser !

While they can be a bit of work, they can also be one of the best ways to nurture your audience and make sure they think about your product.

From the Awareness to the Advocacy stage, each moving part is important and will give you tons of valuable information about those interested in your company and what they’re looking for.

Take the time to build a marketing funnel and try it out! It can make all the difference.