Optimizing Your Sales Funnel with Email Marketing
Email marketing continues to be a popular and effective type of digital marketing.
In a report by Litmus, 78% of marketers said email is important to overall company success.
The Content Marketing Institute found in a survey that 81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is email newsletters.
There is a good reason for this. Email can offer high open rates. GetResponse found in a report that nearly 22% of all email campaigns are opened within the first hour of sending. This is because they are easily personalized, scheduled, and combined with other marketing methods.
Email marketing can help to optimize each stage of your sales funnel. From establishing a line of communication right through to conversion and customer retention. It’s a multi-functional marketing tool that can help to focus your efforts and maximize success.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a great asset throughout the sales funnel because:
It’s permission-based: You aren’t spamming people. They would have already agreed to receive messages from you. This can make it much more likely that recipients will open your emails and engage with them and less likely that they will unsubscribe/send you to the spam folder.
Lead nurturing takes time: Moving leads through the sales funnel can take time. Email can be an effective way to build a relationship over time, drip feeding content straight into leads’ inboxes throughout a campaign.
Personalization. It’s easy to personalize emails for each recipient. In addition to the simple things such as using first names in greetings or subject lines, you can segment your email list based on certain interests or characteristics of subscribers. This helps you deliver relevant content that is highly focused on each reader.
Direct communication: Emails give you a way to connect to leads individually, straight into their inbox, helping you build a relationship and increasing your marketing efforts’ chances of reaching your audience.
Optimizing the Awareness Phase with Email
Pairing email with other digital marketing methods such as PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing can be a great way to optimize the awareness stage of your sales funnels.
Social media, content marketing, paid ad campaigns, etc., can be used to get on leads’ radars and pique their interest, then you can collect email addresses to nurture them further.
Once subscribers join your list, you can send personalized emails directly to their inboxes. This, coupled with the ability to schedule messages over a period of time, can make them a great way to build a relationship and move them along the funnel towards conversion.
This can be done alongside and in conjunction with campaigns on other platforms, increasing touchpoints and interaction with leads.
What kind of emails should I send in this phase?
At this stage in the funnel, you want to figure out what leads will get from your list and how you can help them. Next, you want to build a relationship and give a stellar first impression of your company, sharing your values and personality as a brand. However, it’s important not to be very, if at all, salesy. Think of it like the first time you meet a new person. You need to build a connection before you can start trying to sell.
Here are some types of emails and content ideas that can help you to optimize your awareness stage and set off on the right foot:
Welcome email: Arguably one of the most important emails you will ever send. Welcome emails set the tone for your relationship with leads and future correspondence. It’s an excellent opportunity to show readers what to expect from being on your list, how you can help their business, and your brand’s personality. Welcome emails can have a high open and engagement rate, Get Response found in a report that more than 8 out of 10 people will open a welcome email and that they generated 4x as many opens and 10x as many clicks as other email types, so make sure you make the most of this opportunity.
Adding value: Emails that give free information to help your target audience with their pain points can be a great way to build trust in your brand. They show that you know what you are talking about and that you can help subscribers. ‘How-To’ blog articles and e-books can help here. You can unify your strategy by mirroring content in social channels, ads, etc., or make the channels work together by offering connected but not carbon-copy content. E.g., You could include a snippet from an ebook in a social post, a larger excerpt in an email, and then a link to download the complete book on your website.
Newsletters: These can be a great way to build brand awareness and foster a connection with leads. The Content Marketing Institute found in a survey that 31% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads. Company news, latest offers, articles that show your brand personality, etc., can work well.
Segmentation: The awareness phase is a great time to segment your list so that subscribers’ emails are super targeted in the future. Similar to meeting a new person in real life, it’s acceptable at this stage to get to know more about their interests and how you can help them.
Optimizing the Consideration Phase with Email
You want to show customers that your product is the best choice at this stage of the funnel. You can do this with personalized content that shows that your product solves its specific problem. But, again, it’s important to keep selling to a minimum at this stage; relationships are still being built.
As well as educating leads about your product, you can get to know them better in this phase, helping you deliver more and more focused content as they move through the funnel.
Lead nurturing takes time, and approaching this from multiple platforms can be a great way to maximize your chances of success.
Again, you can mirror the content used in emails and other platforms and use them to work together. E.g., You could post a testimonial from a case study on social media and send the full article in an email or a link to the full blog post on your website.
Also, email marketing is a great way to collect insights into your target audience that can be used to create more effective social media, content, and ad campaigns overall.
What kind of emails should I send in this phase?
Emails in this phase should contain highly personalized content for the recipient, add value, and show that your product gets results. You want to show how your product solves the specific problem a lead has, but without putting a ‘Buy Now’ button in front of them all the time.
Type of content you can include:
Case studies: These are perfect consideration phase content as they show exactly how your product has already solved a specific problem. Pair this with segmentation, so that leads receive content super targeted for their problems, and you can be onto a winner.
Testimonials: Like case studies, these show that your product has helped people with the same problems as the lead and helps to build trust with social proof.
Adding value / solving problems for free: Giving customers value helps move them along the funnel in several ways. It can show that you are an authority in your niche, know what you are talking about, and get results.
Webinar links: Another great way to show knowledge and add value. Plus, webinars have a pretty healthy engagement rate, holding viewers’ attention for long periods, so you know your efforts aren’t wasted.
Segmentation: As well as teaching leads about your company, you want to learn more about them in this phase. Segment them down further to optimize the content you deliver.
In the decision stage, you want to get leads to take action and purchase your product/service.
Email can be a great place to ace this stage. By now, you should have built a good relationship with subscribers, which can make it more likely they will open your messages, and thanks to the knowledge you’ve gathered so far, you can send personalized offers that are an excellent fit for their needs. Plus, it’s easy to schedule follow-ups and reminders about your offers. Finally, when leads do get to the purchase stage, you can reduce sales lost from abandoned carts on your website with abandoned cart emails.
What kind of emails should I send in this phase?
It’s time to sell. Time-sensitive offers, free trials, demos, or consultations can all help get leads to make a purchase. While abandoned cart emails can help convert those who leave their carts at the last minute for many different reasons.
Types of content you can include:
A time-sensitive, personalized offer: An offer targeted at the recipient with a limited amount of time to use can be an effective way to secure a purchase.
Free-trial invitation: A free trial allows leads to see the benefits your product provides firsthand. Follow this up with a time-sensitive offer to enhance conversion.
Product demo invitations: These give a chance for your sales experts to show leads in person why your product is the choice for them and leads to asking any last questions that stop them from deciding.
FAQs: Another great way to answer final questions that may be stopping leads from purchasing.
Abandoned cart emails: Leads may get as far as the purchase page, but something stops them from buying. This could be for some reasons: maybe shipping was too high, the checkout page was confusing, they had more questions about your product, or they got disconnected or distracted. Abandoned cart emails can help to optimize the checkout process by reaching out to customers after they abandon their cart. These emails aim to find out why they didn’t finish their purchase, solve any issues, and remind them of unfinished purchases.
Optimizing your sales funnel with MailOptin
MaiOptin helps generate high-quality leads and increase sign-ups and conversions all within WordPress.
Your email marketing funnel begins with getting subscribers on your mailing list. The more effective this funnel stage is, the more people you can bring into your funnel and move towards conversion. MailOptin’s fully customizable lead generation app helps optimize your funnel from the beginning.
With an intuitive and powerful form builder, it’s simple to build customized, eye-catching, and high-converting opt-in forms to capture leads’ contact info. In addition, you can choose from multiple display options, including pop-ups, slide-ins, and notification bars. There are many other features, including sound and display effects to capture visitors’ attention and many more.
Exit-intent technology can help to increase your conversion rate by sensing when visitors are about to leave your site and displaying a pop-up, opt-in form. While advanced analytics, actionable reporting, and an AB split testing tool can help optimize conversion.
Mailoptin also offers email automation. Send segmented emails as part of a campaign, one-off newsletters, or set up new post email notifications whenever you post a new blog post on your WordPress site.
Create eye-catching emails optimized for conversion, all within WordPress.
MailOptin integrates with popular email marketing platforms, including Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Active Campaign, and many more.
Wrapping it Up
Email can help to optimize your sales funnel in many ways. It can be used alongside and in conjunction with social media, ad, and content marketing campaigns to build relationships with leads, increase touchpoints and deliver highly focused content to drive conversion.
For a lead generation solution that optimizes email opt-ins and automation in one place, get MailOptin today.
This post was written by Nick Stephens, a freelance writer specializing in digital marketing. He is a massive geek when it comes to learning how to drive business online, and he loves crafting word magic. Check out more of his work at njstephens.com.