Email marketing is ironic: it is one of the most powerful tools in generating leads and improving conversion rates, yet it is nearly passive-aggressive in terms of selling. Being pushy is counter-productive.
How to develop a marketing funnel
There are five stages in a marketing funnel, according to AWeber, and these affect how we approach email marketing. These are: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy.
- Brand awareness means getting the word out. This stage includes Facebook, PPC, or other advertising efforts, landing page utilization, and working to build your email list as a whole. This is an ongoing stage, to continue to generate new leads. Let people know you exist, what benefits your services and products can offer, and why you’re worth it.
- Now, we want to show consideration to the leads in our email list by not being too pushy. We need to provide value by providing great content and other resources to build our reputation in their eyes. It may seem a little odd to want to offer free tips regarding services you offer, but doing so proves your qualifications to leads. These tips say, “Yes, we know what we’re talking about! We have experience. And we want you to succeed!” Further implied messages include: “Call us, ask us questions, and recommend us to your friends!” Brand awareness therefore continues to expand.
- Conversion, or converting leads into sales, is our aim all along, but patience is the key. Conversion is when we convince our leads to buy our product or use our services. It’s okay to come on a bit stronger at this stage—but conversion emails must take up a very small percentage of our email campaign. That’s why, whether emails are “sales” emails or not, each must contain a clear call to action–a simple step the reader is recommended to take. This action often is clicking a link–which may lead to a relevant blog article or video.
- Loyalty is similar to the consideration stage, because we continue to provide valuable content that builds upon your already-established reputation and brings back return customers. Show your appreciation by giving out rewards and send anniversary messages. And, still, make a call to action in each email. Remember, you need to continuously provide value to all your potential leads!
- Loyalty leads to advocacy, which you may have a great amount of already—customers who love you, who are willing to recommend you to their friends, and who gratefully provide positive reviews of your services. Thus, your email list grows as their faith in you does.
Other email marketing tips
- Blog like crazy. The more blog posts the better, to work at steps 1, 2, and 4 simultaneously. Read my article about how to get past writers block and keep publishing regularly. If I can do it, you can too!
- Speaking of advocates, try reaching out to these loyal clients and customers. Request testimonials to include on your website (especially your opt-in landing page). Client testimonials are by far the most convincing pieces of content to include on any persuasive web page!
- Include links to your social media pages. Why not work at building a larger following on all your channels? If you want more followers on a particular network, you could include a follow button as a call to action in your next email.
- Test different opt-in pages and email formats by using A/B testing to compare conversion rates and click rates. MailChimp includes this feature in their free subscription version.