An effective and successful sales funnel, though simple in concept, can be immensely tricky to create. The key is to start small. Instead of trying to lay out what your overall sales funnel is, create a simple email marketing funnel. An email funnel is something that any brand can set up for themselves to start attracting interested customers.
An email marketing funnel is exactly what it sounds like: marketing your business via email with an end goal in mind. When you add in email automation (emails sent out by timers instead of by human action), your email marketing funnel won’t require any extra attention while you start serving your new customers.
Below are the seven steps to setting up your own automated email marketing funnel.
1. Offer something that’s valuable enough to exchange an email address for
You should be clear and upfront about exactly how your offer benefits your audience.
If you don’t already have an “elevator pitch” offer, then first thing you’ll need to do is think of one. Your pitch should be small, free, and something people want that they’re willing to give away their email address in exchange for your offer.
Provide value for your audience
Free content is always a good idea: a helpful video, a useful infographic, an eBook, anything your audience can use. It’s especially good to offer digital content since delivery can be automated.
Ensure your offer is relevant
Target the right audience and share your offer to people who most need it. For example: If you sell coffee, then obviously you want customers who like coffee. If your business is home foundation repair, then you want to target homeowners who need foundation repairs. Keep it simple.
You should be clear and upfront about exactly how your offer benefits your audience. If you sell coffee and your offer is one free cup, then it’s clear as day. But if you rent out party rental equipment and your offer is a PDF download of a party checklist, you’ll need to let them know that this checklist is designed to help them organize an event with lots of people.
Ask only for the information you need
If you’ve got an automated email with a link to download a PDF, then all you really need is an email address. Digital content that’s easy to automate should only require an email address (and maybe a name, if you really need it).
Lower-funnel customers are primed to buy larger purchases and are more willing to give details than upper-funnel customers. So, if you can effectively target lower-funnel customers you can ask for more information (like name, phone number, etc.) before giving them your offer.
2. Create a landing page specifically for your offer
Create one landing page with one offer. Do not include navigation to other pages or other offers.
You can have a website design company create a solid landing page just for you, or you can go the template route. Whichever you choose, you need to make sure that your landing page does the following:
- Communicates your offer clearly and concisely
- Communicates the benefits clearly and concisely
- Provides a reliable means for users to easily acquire this offer
- Builds trust effectively enough for users to take your offer
Some landing page best practices:
- Create one landing page with one offer. Do not include navigation to other pages or other offers.
- Make sure your call to action is clear; people sometimes need to be told what to do, or else they will simply leave the page.
- Include testimonials, awards, and other common trust builders below your signup form.
- Include a video at the top of your page. Videos engage and are easily one of the most powerful forms of communication we have.
3. Get email automation
You don’t have to spend your whole budget on a web team — there are email marketing services out there that are easy to use and easy to afford.
4. Establish your email marketing funnel
If it’s a free download you’ve offered, give your audience that free download immediately.
Build a sequence however incomplete it may be. It is immensely easier to edit an existing email sequence than it is to build a new one. Build the bare bones, then polish and perfect it later. Write out some email drafts and paste them into your chosen email platform.
Think in terms of landing pages
From your original landing page, your audience signs up; you then automatically send an email with a link to a landing page to collect their offer. With every subsequent email, think about the landing pages you’ll link to.
Go in order
If it’s a free download you’ve offered, give your audience that free download immediately. Follow up a day later to ensure they received your offer. Make any subsequent offers and upsells later. Always send your audience to the appropriate landing page based on where they are in your funnel when they receive that email.
5. Personally test your email sequence
Create and publish your sequence in your platform and test it yourself. Always test every email very thoroughly. Typos are trust-breakers for some people. Grammatical errors can cost you a sale.
6. Upsell on the backend
Once someone has your original offer, make your next offer.
If you build your list by offering something that is easy for you to give away, then you will build a list that is warmed up for greater sales. So once someone has your original offer, make your next offer.
Use thank you pages to upsell
Leads don’t get any hotter than when they’ve just bought something they want! As you make higher-ticket offers, your rate of success will go down — this is, of course, perfectly normal. You’ll make many more sales of that higher-ticket item than if you hadn’t primed your potential customers beforehand with something easy to get that provides value and builds trust.
7. As much as possible, segment your list
The more you can classify your list, the more valuable each sub-list will be.
The more you can classify your list, the more valuable each sub-list will be, because you’ll be able to make much more specifically targeted offers, and that will increase both the number of sales and the average price of each sale.
If you can do just one bit of segmenting, segment your list into “bought” and “did not yet buy.” If someone didn’t buy this time, perhaps they might the next time. You’ll need to prime your “did not yet buy” segment differently than those that already spent money with your company.
Various email platforms will offer the ability to segment with varying degrees of complexity. If you need assistance, their support staffs are all capable of helping you out with this — let them help!
Now that you’ve read through all seven steps, go back to step one and start building your own email marketing funnel today!
Have you already built a marketing funnel? What kind of offer works for your brand? Let us know in the comments below!
Rahul Alim is the CEO of Custom Creatives, a Digital Marketing Agency in Los Angeles, CA focused on effective Website Design, SEO, & Lead Generation. To find out more about Rahul Alim, connect with him on LinkedIn. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.