Email marketing: the unsung hero of your marketing strategy
Are you tired of hearing about how email marketing can bring you huge returns and never seeing the results? Would you love it if your customers bothered to react to your carefully worded pleas and bought something, just once?
Well, the truth is, email marketing is one of the most widely-used forms of marketing used today. Statistics tell us that the ROI on email marketing is a staggering 44 to 1!
Chances are that if you aren't seeing great results from your email marketing, you're doing it wrong.
Do you want to know how to turn your email marketing around by using email funnels? Of course, you do! Keep reading.
What Are Email Funnels?
Like a sales funnel, an email funnel involves ushering prospective customers along the buying journey until they succumb to your many charms and end up buying something from you.
It all starts with collecting as many email addresses as you can from your ideal target prospect. Once you've got your foot in the door, you can start to woo these prospective buyers with a sequence of nurturing emails that piques their interest and convinces them to they need your product. With the right sequence, you will be front of mind when your prospect is ready to buy and they will 'raise their hand' and tell you so.
Sounds simple enough, yet nothing lands your email in a spam folder faster than harassing people with emails they don't want. So what makes email funnels so successful?
Email Is Not Dead as a Marketing Tool
Email marketing may have been around for a long time, but it’s still very much alive and kicking. Although many people communicate via apps and social media nowadays, email is still the top form of business communication. And consider that your social media following is “rented real estate” and could be taken away at any time whereas your email list you own.
Every day this year almost 294 billion emails travelled around the world. That’s proof enough that email as a means of communication is far from dead.
What’s the first thing you check when you logon to your pc morning, noon or night? Your email, right? Your prospective customers do the same thing. Why? Because of curiosity or FOMO, to use a modern-day term.
It’s that same fear of missing out that persuades people to open your first email communication with them. That’s why it has to be good; good enough to get them to read the next one, and so on and so on.
Email Marketing Is Not Just for Sales
Your website is likely one of your businesses’ main sources of leads, and it’s a good one. After all, you can track which pages people have visited to figure out what they’re interested in. You can track their buying behaviour, and you can ask them for their email addresses before they leave (in return for some great content).
The more times people visit your website, the better it ranks on the search engines. The better it ranks on search engines the more people are likely to find it and visit it, and the more chance you have of getting new leads. It’s a never-ending cycle.
So, why not use email marketing to direct people to your site? The more of your existing customers visit your site regularly, the better it ranks. The better it ranks, the more new customers are likely to find it in a search.
Bottom line – email marketing can be good for SEO too.
Email Is an Excellent Top Funnel Tool
The top of the sales funnel is where you convince new customers that you’re the good guy. It’s a warm, fuzzy place where no sales jargon may ever go. It’s the perfect place to engage customers, provide some genuine value and in return, gain exposure for your company, and get them thinking about your brand.
Now as a marketer, when you think of engagement, social media is the first medium that springs to mind. Why would you want to reach out to customers on a platform that’s filled with other businesses trying to do the same, and as I said above, one that you don’t own!!
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be using social media to ‘build your tribe’ but with email, you have your customer’s undivided attention. If you continue sending them engaging and value-added content, you’ll keep it that way.
How About That ROI?
Email marketing is cheap but it’s not easy. Sending the mail itself may be almost cost-free, but the time it takes to craft it can become costly. That’s why many businesses get a marketing professional to do the work for them – because time is money. Use email automation to create a sequence of emails sent over a period of days.
While these initial set up costs can add up, you’re never going to send every customer a unique email. Once you’ve hit on an email marketing formula that works, you can use it for every first contact. That’s where the savings come in.
Personalisation Par Excellence
People can’t help notice correspondence that addresses them directly, but the other side of personalisation is customising the offers you make to your customers according to their interests.
The supermarket loyalty card has mastered this. By tracking the groceries associated with each swipe of the card, they can offer their customers only the goods they’re interested in.
This has a double benefit. Firstly, their customers look forward to their weekly emails promising savings on the things they need. Secondly, they appreciate the fact that the supermarket is treating them like an individual.
As long as the offers stay relevant, they’ll stay happily subscribed to this kind of email marketing.
What’s more, supermarkets use this kind of email to promote links to recipes which leads to another double whammy. The customers click through to the website to see the recipe and they’re enticed to buy extra ingredients to create the dish.
This is the kind of personalisation that works. Simply adding someone’s name to the subject line of an email won’t win you any friends. So consider what info you need to get when someone signs up to your list (for example, when you join my email list I will ask you how big your agency is or are you a 1-man band/freelancer – and that helps me personalise some of the emails I send (e.g. no point sending an email about managing staff if you are a 1-man band!)
Do You Want in on the Email Funnel Action?
You can carry on letting customers drift away, or you can learn how to use email funnels to get results.
Once you’ve mastered the art of the email funnel, your marketing efforts will become the most anticipated thing in your customers’ inboxes.
Next, I’ll show you just how to do that.
How to Change up Your Email Marketing With Email Funnels
Now that you’ve come around to the idea that email funnels could work for you, there are a few ways you can use them to maximum effect. But first, the basics.
Every email sales funnel has three stages:
Value Stage - To Nurture a Relationship with Your Email Contacts
In this first stage, you want to welcome them to the fold.
You can thank them for signing up or for downloading something from you. You can offer them something further for free – either a free download, a video series or some useful and interesting information.
It’s all about building trust.
Authority Stage - To Educate Potential Customers About Your Products and Services
Next, you want to convince them that you know your stuff. You can do this with some examples of how you’ve helped customers, a few positive reviews, or articles and case studies. All sprinkled with a little low-key self-promotion.
Call-To-Action Stage – To Persuade Subscribers to Buy Something or Do Something
Now, it’s time for some action. Here’s where you start to introduce your products and services.
If you’ve done your job properly in the first two stages, your customers will trust that you’ve got their best interests at heart.
Apart from these three key steps, you can get a lot more creative with your email marketing and here’s how.
Types of Email Marketing Funnels
Take a look at these examples of the ways you can use email funnels to win customers and get sales.
To coin a phrase, ”curiosity catches the customer”. When you’re launching a new product, it pays to build up anticipation before the event.
Don’t be vague, go all out to get them guessing.
You can tell your readers that there’s a new product coming and it’s something they’ll all love.
Back up your mail with links to social media posts with images of the new product that don’t fully reveal what it is. Invite them to try and guess.
Finally, tell them to keep an eye on their inboxes on a specific date to hear all about the big news. When you finally announce your new product, drive it home with information about the benefits it has for them.
The Option to Opt-Out
Amazon has an unusual way of getting their workers more committed to their jobs. Every year, they offer them $5,000 to quit. The catch is if they take the package, they can never work at Amazon again.
Would you take that deal? Nobody does.
When presented with an option with finite consequences like this, it’s human nature to think long term. Suddenly, all the benefits of staying employed come to mind.
You can use this principle in your email funnels to keep customers engaged. You do this by being honest. Tell them how often you’ll be emailing. Tell them you’ll be sending special offers now and again, then tell them they can opt-out right now and never know what they’re missing.
Another approach to this kind of message is telling them why they should opt-out upfront if they aren’t interested in saving, improving their business, or winning at life – depending on your niche.
Sure, you might lose some subscribers, but the vast majority would rather stay subscribed for fear of missing out. For the same reason, they’ll also check every mail you send them.
Rewarding Good Behavior
It’s a no-brainer that people love to feel special and you can use this to your advantage in email funnels. This type of funnel hinges on the concept of giving only customers who do one thing exclusive access to another.
This may seem like you’re turning business away, but niching your business like this can bring huge rewards.
How it works is by providing a link to something in your initial email. This could be a product page, a video, or a blog post. When the customer clicks your link, they receive a reward that they weren’t expecting.
For example, you can email them straight away and offer them an exclusive and related reward if they take another action. Here’s an example:
Ian Stanley, a master of email marketing, started his email funnel by commiserating with his readers about how busy they were. Then he invited them to watch a short video about how time is unmanageable.
Those who clicked through to the video received a follow-up from ‘Time’ to say they needed to talk, with another video about how to improve their relationship with time.
Finally, those subscribers who watched the second video received an invitation to take part in a time-management workshop at a discounted price.
Now, these workshops weren’t cheap, but Stanley managed to grow his business to seven figures using tactics like these.
With a little imagination, you could do the same. How do you get started?
Putting Email Marketing Into Action
Are you overflowing with ideas about how to use email funnels to boost your customer engagement and sales yet?
Now, all you need is a mailing list…
Unless you know how to find awesome qualified leads on your own, fill in the form below and download my eBook about creating an automated lead generation system and let’s get started.
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