How to Build Email Marketing Funnels That Convert


We’ve recently learned more about sales funnels and the AIDA model. To get the best results, the seller should be present during the different steps or stages that lead to a purchase decision. Luckily, businesses can rely on email marketing. Email marketing has been recognized as very effective in influencing prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey. Therefore, today, let’s discover how to build effective email marketing funnels and get the desired conversions.

Develop One-to-one Communications

Many shoppers nowadays tend to ignore salesy email marketing strategies. No one really wants to receive mass send generic sales emails. And there’s no reason why companies should not develop one-to-one messages as marketing automation can make the magic happen.

Well-built email marketing funnels can deliver personalized messages at the right time. And, no, these messages do not need to look like a mass send communication. Email Service Providers will give you the tools to develop your email marketing content and automated workflows. In turn, you will be able to treat every prospect as a unique individual and follow the steps they take in their buyers’ journey.

Email marketing funnels can consistently generate new leads and maintain the existing ones all at the same time. There doesn’t need to be an “out of office” gap with automated funnels, as marketing automation allows 24/7 presence. The journeys don’t need to stop because you’re offline.

Let’s Build an Email Funnel

Remember the AIDA model? Here’s a quick reminder: the AIDA model describes four main stages of a purchasing journey: awareness, interest, desire and action. Let’s see how the AIDA model can help us build an email funnel.

Step 1: Awareness

The top of our funnel should be dedicated to lead generation: raising awareness about your company, brand or specific products. In other words, if they don’t know about you, they cannot enter your funnels. At this step, many different tactics can be used: search engine marketing, social media, blog posts, display campaigns, etc. That said, it’s imperative that however you drive the awareness, you need to start capturing those leads. And this is where email marketing can really help.

You can employ different methods to get the interaction from your prospect. Still, probably, one of the most popular choices is using lead magnets. Whether that’s a whitepaper, a discount, a downloadable resource or a free trial, your goal is to motivate your leads so that they could enter the email funnel willingly.

How does that happen? To capture a lead, you need an opt-in form. Your opt-in web forms can be used throughout your website: footer, blog posts and other pages. Usually, such forms are simple, asking for minimal information such as an email address or a name and an email. 

Dedicated landing pages also contain a web form to allow the opt-in. However, these pages are usually focused on one lead magnet, engaging the readers to enter their details. Also, the readers are willing to give more information to you in exchange for a good lead magnet. Therefore, you can have more valuable fields in the opt-in form. Remember, the more data you have about your leads, the more personalized the email funnel will be. But, please, don’t overdo it, as your leads can quickly change their minds if they find the opt-in information fields irrelevant.

Step 2: Interest and Desire. Let’s Nurture the Leads

Generating interest and desire would be the second goal in our funnel. In other words, it’s time to lead-nurture the subscribers. Let’s say you have a way of attracting subscribers and adding them into the funnel. Now you need to keep them engaged and interested and slowly build up that need.

In this step of the funnel, your automated emails should talk about the value your product brings. Share some excellent reviews, maybe offer more free resources and unique content. Luckily, we’re in the age of automation. You don’t need to write an email every time a subscriber enters the flow. What’s important here is creating the right content and correct rules for deployment and segmentation. Then, the technology will do the hard work. It will help you maintain these dynamic segments, add personalized content, use delays and triggers to make the journey unique to your subscribers.

Lead nurturing emails mustn’t look like mass send generic messages. They need to be personalized and customized and be deployed at the correct time to each subscriber. These emails will give you fantastic opportunities to be there for your leads. Remember that subscribers’ engagement with your emails can reveal a lot about them and where they are in the buyer’s journey. Thus, add in engagement triggers in the automation too.

Please don’t start selling from the first email you deploy. You’re building the value proposition and trying to earn your prospects’ trust. Take that time to build relationships with them. Be transparent, don’t aim to trick or mislead, or you can quickly lose that trust.

Step 3: Action & Conversion

The bottom of our funnel is meant for conversion. It’s time to convert our leads into customers. Let’s say some of your subscribers have now successfully made it past the first two steps in the funnel. It means that you have a segment of subscribers that are, well, ready-to-convert leads.

During this step in the funnel, you should still continue sending the personalized nurturing campaigns. However, now you have a different goal: conversion. Therefore, the positioning of the content, the call-to-action, even the reviews you might want to share in these email flows should be aiming for conversion.

For example, the calls-to-action can change from “READ MORE” or “LEARN MORE” to further encouraging ones such as “TRY NOW”, “REGISTER HERE”, “JOIN US”,  “BUY NOW”, “GET STARTED”. Your emails can contain more urgency, such as time-sensitive offers, have deadlines and exclusive discounts. Use remarketing opportunities: different marketing channels such as paid social can complement your email funnels well. 

It can be the most satisfying step in the funnel – watching these conversions happen. But the bulk of that hard work is done in the first steps of the funnel; they’re critical in getting your leads ready for these desired conversions.

Email Funnels Work – But Don’t Stop There

Once you build your email funnels, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labour. That said, don’t stop after that conversion. Build repeat funnels, aim to retain the customers and encourage brand loyalty. Strong loyalty can bring more long-term results and, of course, repeat purchases and more up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.