How to Professionally Use an Email Marketing Funnel to Gain More Subscribers & Sales
Have you started building a list of subscribers from your website but have yet to realize a steady income from your work?
I’ll help you become more focused with your email marketing campaign, and turn your efforts into higher business profits.
First, remember why you’re engaging in email marketing.
Yes, the point is to gain more trust with your subscribers. However, don’t be afraid to think through your funnel in a way that not only builds trust, but also converts more subscribers into paying customers.
What is an email marketing funnel?
In simple terms, your funnel is a process you bring your subscribers through that builds trust and encourages a purchase.
Your funnel should include:
- Opt-in form (on your site pages and on a dedicated newsletter sign-up page)
- Lead magnet
- Thank You page
- Retargeting campaign
- Intro priced product offering
- Auto-responder series leading to medium and larger priced product offerings
The goal of your funnel is to transform your site visitors into subscribers. Going deeper, you want to move your subscribers from the “I don’t know you” phase into the “I want to buy from you” phase.
Most people know how to place an opt-in form on their site.
It’s imperative that you think through your auto-responder series. Specifically, think through in detail…
- Why a person would feel motivated to enter their information into your opt-in form,
- What happens after your subscriber enters their information into your form, and
- Wow you’re going to position your product offerings to your subscriber.
Like all things in life, first impressions are important. This is why you must plan out the first impression your new subscriber experiences with you.
Two tools help provide a great first impression:
- Your lead magnet
- Your Thank You page
How to create an efficient lead magnet
Many marketers today talk about using a lead magnet. Other terms you’ll hear are “free offer” or “ethical bribe.”
A lead magnet is the reason your potential prospect is going to fill in your auto-responder form and give you their name/email address.
Lead magnets can be:
- Cheat sheets
- Video series
- Webinar registrations
- Local and educational events
- Short eBooks
- Free software demos or trials
- Coupon or discount (this might be a local business buy-one-get-one-free offer)
You’ve most likely heard about using some or all of the above as the basis for getting subscribers into your email marketing sales funnel. However, there’s a missing link many people don’t know about: Relevancy is key.
It’s not enough to create one general checklist or video training that you offer across your entire site. You’ll see higher site-visitor-to-subscriber conversions if you get more specific on a “per page” basis.
For example, if your site is about aloe vera and one of your pages is: 9 Little-Known Uses for Aloe Vera, which of these two cheat sheet lead magnet offers will most likely get more response?
- 27 additional uses for aloe vera
- 27 interesting aloe vera facts
Imagine that your site visitor just finished reading an article about the nine uses for aloe vera. It’s more likely they’ll be willing to give you their email address if you’re going to “upgrade your content” by giving away 27 more uses as opposed to moving them in a different direction with general facts.
Yes, there’s a chance your visitor will be interested in facts about aloe vera.
But, online marketing is always about seeking higher conversion rates. One way to help increase conversions is to get more specific. If each page offers a specific, logical, and helpful continuation of the story, you’re more likely to convert visitors to subscribers.
Monetizing a page works best if your offer matches the page your reader is digesting. Building your email list works the same way.
Page specific lead magnets result in higher visitor-to-subscriber conversions.
Focus on matching your lead magnet to each specific page. Turn this idea into a part of your page writing formula. For example:
- Writing a list-focused page? Give away a more lengthy list at the end
- Writing a step-by-step page? Give away a one-page pdf that condenses your steps
You can also incorporate infographics, how-to videos, templates, cheat sheets, or additional resources/links into this idea.
Focus on whether your free giveaway (lead magnet) adds additional and meaningful value to the page your visitor just read on your site.
How to create an efficient thank you page
A Thank You page is the page your subscriber lands on immediately after giving you their name and email address. It’s a critical page in your email marketing funnel.
This page allows you to begin delivering value immediately. It’s what we call “prime” Internet real estate.
Why? Because your subscriber just made the first step in the sales process: he or she trusted you with their email address.
Your Thank You page is “prime” Internet real estate. Use it wisely and your income will grow.
The first thing you want to do is thank your subscriber for subscribing. Let them know you value their decision.
The next thing to say on your Thank You page is that your subscriber should check their email to find the free gift (lead magnet) you promised them. This starts training them to open your emails.
Next, this is an excellent time to provide them a five, 10, or 15 minute video that teaches them something powerful and relevant to your niche.
Your subscriber was excited enough to move beyond acting only as a website visitor. They want to get more information from you. They want to know more about you.
Why not start by teaching them something that will get them to see how helpful you are? Why not start fostering trust in your business relationship immediately?
Ultimately, you want to decide on the precise action you want your subscriber to take after digesting your Thank You page.
This could include:
- Good: Click through to additional website content
- Better: Following you on social media (pick one only: Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Best: Buy an intro product (priced at $7, $10, etc…something small to start)
Additional thank you page tips:
Keep most of this page “above the fold” (before a reader must start scrolling down the page).
Especially if you’re using a video, be sure your visitor can watch without needing to scroll down the page. If you are using a video, include an enticing headline above the video that ensures your subscriber will want to stick around to watch your video content.
A quality strategy is to have a small sub-headline at the top of the page that provides your language about going to their email inbox for your free gift. Include the main video headline and video next.
Include a call-to-action after the video that helps your subscriber know where to go next.
While it’s not always possible to include all this information above the fold, do your best to do so. At the very least, work to get the sub-headline, main video headline and part (optimally, all) of the video above the fold.
For example, let’s say that you’re providing a free training video but have a goal to move your subscriber to an intro priced product after the video. Make sure that:
- Your training video ends with call to action language encouraging your subscriber to click the button below the video
- You include a button with a call to action (such as “Click Here to Take Your Next Step”)
How to use Facebook retargeting to increase your profits
This is a more advanced strategy but learning and implementing it will allow you to optimize your email marketing funnel to its fullest potential.
Facebook allows you to place what’s called a “pixel” on your site pages. When a person visits your site or certain pages on your site, Facebook will track them so you can advertise to your visitors at a later date.
This is especially important if you’re selling a product on your Thank You page. Since we know that you’ll never see 100 percent of your subscribers buy the first time they see your Thank You page, you can use a Facebook retargeting campaign to deliver an ad that will encourage them to take action at a later date.
Placing your Facebook retargeting pixel is simple.
Inside your Facebook ad account, Click on Tools, then Pixels:
Then, click on Actions/View Pixel to see your pixel and copy to your clipboard:
Next, paste the pixel in the Head area of any page on your website.
You can now place an ad that only your subscribers see by telling Facebook to show your ad only to people who landed on your Thank You page.
Your Facebook ad will encourage your current subscribers to buy your product(s).
A word about retargeting: Have you ever been to a site such as Amazon and then viewed an ad later on another site for the same Amazon product? That’s retargeting in action. You can do the same thing on Facebook inside your business.
Here’s another excellent way to use retargeting: Ask Facebook to deliver an ad to all your site visitors who did NOT visit your Thank You page.
This means that only your site visitors who are NOT subscribers to your email list will see the ad. Your ad provides you another opportunity to encourage people who know you (they were once on your site) to become an email subscriber at a later date.
To recap these two basic ways to use retargeting:
- Use it to re-target subscribers (goal is to move them into becoming buyers of your product)
- Use it to target site visitors who are not subscribers (goal is to move them into becoming subscribers)
How to write a great first follow-up email
The first follow-up email in your auto-responder series should be simple and direct.
Thank them again for subscribing.
Deliver the free gift you promised. If it was a checklist or cheat sheet, for example, make sure you provide quick and easy access to it.
Next, consider providing your subscriber a link to your original Thank You page.
This allows them the opportunity to view your training video if they didn’t have a chance to finish it the first time. It also allows you to place your product offering in front of them again.
Wrapping up: The gigger picture
We started out discussing the overall goal of your email marketing funnel: to earn income from your site traffic.
It’s important to have a logical plan in place regarding your product offerings. Start with a small buying decision. Consider a product in the $7-$50 range for your first offering.
From there, consider a medium priced product ($100 to $500) and also a large product offering ($500, $1000-plus).
Think through this process before starting your email campaign so that your “funnel” follows a logical series of follow-ups.
Your site’s content (and lead magnet offer) develops the small trust necessary to gain a subscriber. Your immediate follow-up information works to gain a bit more trust that leads to a small sale.
Your intro product should deliver plenty of value so that as you offer higher priced products throughout your follow-up, your subscribers are more inclined to continue buying from you over time.
Email marketing is far more than creating an opt-in box, placing it on your site and sending a few follow-up emails in an auto-responder series.
It’s critical that you think through how you’ll entice your site visitors to willingly use your opt-in box.
Each page on your site was developed around a specific keyword and answers a specific question related to that keyword search. Think in the same specific manner when it comes to optimizing each page for the purpose of converting visitors to subscribers.
Through the proper use of page specific lead magnets and a Thank You page that offers high value content leading to a product offering, you’ll present a quality first impression for your business.
Presenting this fine first impression will lead to better email open rates and ultimately, more sales. Adding in retargeting will bring your business into a state of professionalism and results that will help you touch/help more people and realize higher long-term profits.
This article was written by Matt Zavadil from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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