Three Elements of a Successful E-Mail Funnel

E-mail funnels can be the difference between website browsers and paying customers.

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There’s a difference between having an e-mail sales funnel and having one that actually works the way you want it to. It’s a marketer’s worst nightmare: pouring time, effort, and money into crafting e-mails, setting them up to drip automatically … and hearing crickets. How can you ensure your e-mail sales funnel actually leads to conversions?

E-mail sales funnels can do a lot of work for you and even help you create some passive income. But in order to do so, they need to actually work. It doesn’t take fancy HTML or outsourced copywriting; it just takes some marketing basics implemented in a funnel format.

Here are three elements of a successful e-mail funnel.

  1. A linear message: Your e-mail sales funnel should build on itself. If you send an offer for a free opt-in about healthy eating and then try to pitch a yoga teacher training course, your followers will be understandably confused. Your opt-in should relate to your education, which should relate to your pitch. In that way, your funnel should read almost like a story with a beginning, middle, and end. You can even weave storytelling throughout your e-mails by walking through what someone’s life will look like before, during, and after using your service.
  2. Free education: If your sales funnel is simply a bunch of sales e-mails, one after the other, you’ll see quite a few unsubscribes. Your e-mails should contain information that’s informative and useful to your list. This can look like anything from blog post recaps to content upgrades, but it shouldn’t be constant sales. In fact, only about 25% of your e-mails should involve sales pitches. All of your content should serve a purpose, though. Think: What do people need to be convinced of or understand before they hit “purchase”? What type of education will help guide them along the path to becoming paying customers?
  3. Winning headlines: If someone doesn’t want to click on your headline, he or she is not going to read your e-mail, period. Many e-mail lists have open rates as low as 10%, but if you’re aiming for a number more like 50%—a worthy goal—you’re going to need effective headlines. Try and find a balance between sounding intriguing and coming off as total clickbait. Some e-mail marketing providers, like Convertkit, offer A/B headline testing so that you can try out a few different headlines and then have the majority of your e-mails sent with the most effective one.