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Today, marketing funnels are talked about a lot in the online business world. But what are they? And how do you build an effective sales funnel using emails to win more business?
Wonder no more my friend, here is all you need to build your email funnels.
What is an email funnel?
In a nutshell, an email funnel is an automated series of emails designed to funnel subscribers towards an end goal, usually to buy your product or service.
It is called a funnel because of the shape. At the top is where everyone who decided to join your email list enters. As you send more emails nurturing them towards your goal, people will drop out as they decide whether or not they are a fit for your offer.
Don’t be surprised or take it personally if people unsubscribe from your list during the course of your funnel – you only want people who buy into you and your products/services in the funnel.
Disinterested and unengaged email subscribers will cost you money in the long term. The bigger the email list, the more your subscription to an email marketing provider will cost you. So always be aware that a bigger list doesn’t necessarily mean better.
What do you need to build an email funnel?
An email marketing platform
Email marketing platforms provide you with the tools needed to create an automated sales funnel. This includes storing your subscribers, the ability to create forms for people to sign up to your list, tracking statistics and more.
A personal favourite is MailerLite. It’s easy to use especially when it comes to setting up your funnel and is free for up to 1000 subscribers.
MailChimp is another popular choice but since they made some big updates in 2019, I’ve found it to be very clunky to use when it comes to setting up sequences of emails.
A lead magnet
A lead magnet, also known as an opt-in or opt-in freebie is something that you offer people in return for them giving you their email address.
Strictly speaking, it’s not 100% necessary to build an email funnel, but you’ll find that people are a lot more willing to hand over their email address if they feel like they’re getting something in return.
Most people offer cheat sheets, email challenges or even access to videos as their lead magnets. What you choose depends entirely on your ideal client. It should be something that offers a quick solution to one of their problems.
For example, one of my lead magnets is a workbook that helps people structure their landing page to attract more sign-ups, it also helps with deciding on what lead magnet to offer.
A landing page
This is where you’ll send people to join your email list and where your sign-up form will be.
You can either create a standalone page on your website for this, or some email marketing platforms will let you create landing pages within their software too.
My preference is to create a page on my own site because I get more control over the layout and the look and feel. But if you don’t have a website yet, don’t let it stop you from collecting leads. Use a landing page from your email marketing platform.
On the landing page, talk about how your lead magnet is the solution to that one problem your ideal client has in order to convince them to part with their email address.
Your email sequence
This is where the magic happens! The only thing left to do is to get sending those emails.
Your email marketing platform will allow you set up triggers relating to your form. In this case you’ll want to start sending emails as soon as someone signs up. The first email should have a link to your lead magnet, or instructions on how to access it so that clients can see how awesome you are at solving their problems asap.
How many emails the funnel should have will ultimately depend on what it is you’re nurturing your subscribers towards. People will need more contact and nurturing from you for higher ticket products and services.
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So how do you build an email funnel that wins more business?
For an email funnel to be effective, you’ve got to get people into it in the first place. Once you’ve got everything set up and ready to go, you need to shout about your lead magnet from the rooftops.
Here are a few places to promote it:
- Your homepage
- Your website menu
- Social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and all the other social networks
- Social media ads
- A popup on your website
- A blog post about the topic and link to it throughout
- Your email signature
- Guest blog posts
- Podcast interviews
Writing your email sequence
So when it comes to writing your email sequence you need to keep your end goal in mind. You need to send emails in a sequence that give your clients all the information they need to be in a position to click your buy button when you send the final email.
There is no right or wrong answer on how often you should send your emails, it depends on your content. Usually I tend to add a day between emails, but keep an eye on your funnel stats and tweak as time goes on.
My first email is sent immediately, the second the following day, the third 2 days later, the fourth, 3 days later etc. Remember that if you send time sensitive offers in your emails, aim to send reminders before the deadline.
Be mindful of these 3 phases when it comes to the content of your email funnel.
Awareness, consideration and conversion.
Awareness is all about making the people who’ve entered your funnel aware of you, your brand and what you do.
Your goal during this phase is to educate your subscribers and position yourself as an expert.
So for example, if I’m trying to funnel people towards buying my mailing list set up services, in the awareness phase I could send the following emails:
Email 1 – send freebie and introduce myself
Email 2 – educate about the importance of having an email list
Email 3 – educate about the importance of having a lead magnet to increase sign ups
This is the phase where you start sending content to get them to consider buying your products/services. Think about the kind of content that would get people interested in your offer. Testimonials, case studies, portfolios all of this kind of stuff will help.
Continuing my example of funnelling people towards my mailing list set up service I could include the following emails:
Email 4 – A case study from working with a previous client
Email 5 – A handful of testimonials from previous clients
This is the business end of the funnel. Here is where you make a case for the benefits of using your product/service. You’ll need to really tap into their pain points to persuade them that your offering is the answer to their problems.
Really think about any objections that they might have to working with you. Make sure you address them within the emails that you send.
Consider adding some urgency to your offer by offering a fast-action bonus or discount if they sign up within a certain time frame. Remember that if you give people forever to make a decision, that’s how long they’ll take to make it, so give them an incentive to make it sooner rather than later.
Make it easy for them to buy your offer, include links and buttons to buy your products/services throughout your emails.
Example emails for mailing list set up service:
Email 6 – Introduce my service and include a fast-action bonus offer
Email 7 – Remind them that the fast action bonus is ending soon
Once the funnel has ended…
The last email of your funnel is not the end of the story when it comes to nurturing your subscriber list. You need to make sure that you continue sending your subscribers valuable content to cement your position as a go-to person in your field.
Keep popping up in their inboxes regularly, whether it be weekly or monthly. Consistency is key, so that they get used to seeing your name. Being consistent will build the know, like and trust factor for you and your business.
Now go build your email funnel
In this post we’ve talked about why and how to build an effective email funnel to win more business. Email funnels are a great tool to help nurture subscribers towards your end goal.
To achieve this you’ll need an email marketing platform as a minimum, but ideally your own website to send prospective subscribers to.
You’ll then need to think about the content of the emails that you want to send to your subscribers that will help push them towards your end goal. Unsubscribes will happen during the course of the funnel, and it’s a good thing – you don’t want disinterested people on your list.
Once the funnel has ended, keep sending your subscribers valuable content on a regular basis to position yourself as a reliable expert in your field.
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Kim is a web designer who builds websites and email funnels that convert visitors into leads and subscribers for ambitious female entrepreneurs. Her mission is to help other women succeed in their businesses so that they become role models for the next generation of girls.