Email Funnel BasicsWhat Is An Email Funnel?

At the most basic level, an Email Funnel can consist of a simple email capture form, an email list and an automated email responder.

Prospects “opt in” to your email list by entering their email address in an opt-in form on your website, social media page, ebook, etc.  They typically sign up in exchange for something of value like a newsletter, educational video, coupon, event invitation, product sample or free PDF guide. These “lead magnets” or “ethical bribes” provide something of value to your prospect in exchange for their contact information.

Main Functions of Email Funnels

An Email Funnel has three main functions:

1) It automatically builds a list of targeted sales leads and customers.

2) It allows you to engage your customers repeatedly using email to deliver valuable information, education, product offers and more.

3) It helps segment your potential customers so you can deliver information and offers most suitable for their needs.

Designing Effective Email Funnels

Gone are the days of being able to simply add a “Sign Up For Our Newsletter” form on your website and building a large list of eager customers.

Social media and a mountain of online marketing information has made prospects wary of joining email lists.  More than 50% of online time is spent on social media sites, not traditional websites.  Many of these people never use a desktop email program.  You must now consider where your subscribers might come from, what offers make sense for them and what actions are feasible for them to take.

Prospects now spend far more time doing research and checking your credibility before they will join your email list.  It is not enough to have a free PDF guide lead magnet — you must also have strong mobile-responsive design, offers that reflect how your customers like to receive information and social media integration within your Email Funnel.

This does not mean time-tested methods no longer work.  It simply means you must spend more time designing and integrating your Email Funnel with other communication channels.

The good news is doing this will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your marketing.  This will give your business a distinct competitive advantage.

Why Are Email Funnels So Important?

An Email Funnel is the basic foundation for creating and interacting with your customer list.

Email helps you build lists of qualified sales leads, engage them with useful information and convert them into new buyers.

Email can also be used to convert one-time buyers into repeat customers. This can dramatically increase their lifetime value to your business.  You can grow your revenues using email without spending money to acquire new customers.

Once you have somebody on your email list, you own their contact information unless they opt out of your list.  Your email list can become a major asset of your company.  You do not own your social media accounts or followers, visitors to your website (unless they are subscribers), people who walk into your business, or prospects that see your advertisements. Only email lists and physical mailing lists are true assets that belong to you.

Converting Your Email List Into Sales

A large email list of qualified leads and buyers can have a strong effect on your business success by increasing the number of customer touch points.

Most businesses neglect (or even abuse) their email subscribers.  After the lead signup, they immediately send subscribers a short sequence of sales pitches.  These campaigns are rarely effective, and often cause subscribers to unsubscribe or flag your emails as SPAM.

It’s critically important to treat your list subscribers well by delivering true value.  If you only send them sales offers, SPAM or senseless low quality information, your subscribers will simply leave, never to return.  This not only loses a prospect or customer, but can reduce your email deliverability to the rest of your subscriber list.

Converting your email list into new sales is possible, but only if you deliver well-designed email campaigns.  Emails should assist your prospect or customer to move to a “higher state of value” in their lives or businesses.  For example:

  • Learn something new and useful
  • Offer something valuable to them
  • Obtain their opinion
  • Remind them of a benefit or event they might be missing
  • Save money, time or hassle
  • Solve a problem they have

Once your campaigns are in place, you can then optimize your email subject lines, frequency, time of day, links, design, etc. This optimization process can increase your open, click-through and conversion rates by 50-300% or more.

The Bottom Line

Email isn’t dead.  It is still the most popular digital marketing tool.  It can be combined with social media, video and direct sales campaigns to form an integrated and automated marketing machine.

With a properly designed and managed email funnel you will acquire many new highly qualified sales leads at a low cost. You will convert a large portion of them into passionate and profitable clients. It is even possible to double or even triple your business in a short time with a properly designed email marketing funnel.