An email funnel is an automated campaign or series of emails that guides your audience from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next. Each email’s job is to nudge your readers one step closer to the final action you want them to take.
There are four stages (or five depending on who you ask) in this funnel.
The types of content you create and send should differ from one stage to the next. This is because readers at different stages are interested in different types of information. In other words, not all stages are created equal.
So, let’s start at the beginning.
New subscribers enter the buyer’s journey at the top. It’s the largest portion of the journey because it includes a wide net of readers interested in what you have to say. As we move through the stages, the net becomes smaller and smaller.
For most, joining your list is the first time they’re interacting with your brand.
So, they enter at the awareness stage. At this point, they’re not ready to buy anything from you. New subscribers aren’t interested in an inbox full of annoying and repetitive product promotion emails (you know the ones).
They want to know:
The average open rate in North America is 19.49%. But, welcome emails have an open rate closer to 50%. New subscribers expect to get a warm welcome, so this is your chance to show them why they made a smart decision in joining your list.
The goal of introductory emails is to turn new subscribers into potential customers without asking them to spend money. They’re not ready for that. They want to get to know you and develop trust in your brand.
To nurture that relationship, give them something valuable they can use right away. Help them get one step closer to their goals by offering:
Everyone loves examples, right? This one comes from Brendan Hufford at SEO For the Rest of Us. His welcome email is a real-world example of an impactful newsletter. Give it a read.
This email oozes with empathy, personality, humor, informative content, and promise of gifs. No product mentions or sales tactics for you to roll your eyes at.
This example works SO well because he outlines what you’re going to get by joining his list. If you want to learn more about SEO, you know you’re in the right place. Right away, you can tell if this is the newsletter for you.
Pro tip: Use customer personas with your emails to craft emails that are uber relevant to your target audience.
Audience segmentation and email automation flow can help identify new potential customers who’ve made their way to the consideration stage. They’re interested in your offer.
But they’re not ready to click “buy now”.
Nudging new subscribers towards your offer helps create buzz for your brand while delivering valuable content without shoving your product in their face. Which is exactly what should happen at this stage of the buyer’s journey.
According to Jeremy Noronha, “The middle of the funnel also gives you an opportunity to understand your customers goals and interests. You can then leverage this to recommend suitable solutions for them to solve their problems.”
After you identify potential customers and match them to one of your offers, you can start generating excitement around your product. These emails should introduce your offering and explain why they should care about it.
Valuable, educational content will help turn potential customers into qualified leads who are ready to buy something. You can do this using:
At the end of each email, don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action.
Visme is a visual content tool for individuals, businesses, and enterprises. Their tools allow you to create presentations, infographics, social media graphics, and more.
This email is great because it offers a high-level resource, a prerecorded tutorial, and a case study. Each one introduces the product and explains why you should care about creating visual content.
It works because you’re not slapped in the face with another promotional email deserving of the delete button. It’s short and punchy with a call-to-action to download the goods.
Qualified leads are ready to make a decision. They’re weighing the pros and cons of buying your product (and other products, too). Since 59% of consumers say that marketing emails influence their buying decisions, these emails should be top-notch.
This is your chance to prove you have the solution to their problems. They should walk away wondering how they ever lived without you.
Your approach depends on your offer and the lead. But, all successful decision stage emails display an offer in a way that’s relevant to the person receiving it.
When someone reaches this stage, you’ve already built a strong foundation for a long-term, beneficial relationship. They know who you are and they know what you have to offer.
These emails act as the last push someone needs to pull out their wallet. Get them excited, show them what they’re missing, and always fall back on giving away valuable information for free.
Grammarly is a freemium online writing assistant. Everyone using the tool gets weekly usage statistics in their inbox.
They use this as an opportunity to highlight their time-based premium offer. This email works because they present the offer surrounded by interesting stats about how you use their tool and the opportunities you’re missing out on.
Many people enjoy seeing this information. Grammarly takes advantage of this by offering you a discount without coming across as scammy.
Customers are the life-blood of your business. When someone buys something, it’s important to take a moment and celebrate the win. When you’re done, think about how you’re going to keep them around.
It costs 6-7 times more to gain new customers than it does to retain existing ones. So, turning previous customers into repeat customers and brand ambassadors should be at the top of your to-do list.
On average, 65% of business comes from existing customers. And 80% of businesses rely on email marketing to increase their retention rate. Giving away valuable and nurturing email content doesn’t stop once a consumer becomes a customer. It actually becomes more important than ever.
To help increase your customer retention rate, consider offering:
Additionally, customers are the only people who can give accurate and honest information on the flow of your business, your products, and your customer service efforts.
So, use this opportunity to:
Allbirds is a shoe manufacturer dedicated to carbon neutrality and environmentally friendly fashion. From responsibly sourced materials to mindful manufacturing, they hold themselves responsible for helping reduce environmental impact.
This email works because they showcase their fun and quirky message while suggesting the perfect pair of socks to go with your new pair of kicks. No gross sales tactics involved.
Writing the perfect email isn’t easy. Especially when you consider the different stages of the buyer’s journey. But, putting in the effort to do it right will work wonders for your business.
At HubSpot, our email marketing tool can help with this process. The tool gives you the power to brainstorm, write, automate, and send the perfect emails at the right time. You’ll have automated and data-driven email campaigns running before you know it.
Take the time to test different campaigns and types of content with each segment of your audience. What works for one may not work for others. You can use the ideas listed here to create multiple campaigns to see what works for you.
Originally published May 21, 2020 4:30:00 AM, updated May 21 2020