A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating an Email Funnel

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If you landed on this post, chances are, you’ve been thinking about getting more customers to your business through email.

I’m here to tell you that you’re making the best decision by investing in email marketing because email delivers a high ROI. (Campaign Monitor’s survey reveals that 59% of their respondents generate the most ROI through email.)

What we’re going to talk about today is not just about attracting subscribers and growing a big email list, but also nurturing that list until such time that people are ready to become customers.

This entire journey is called the email marketing sales funnel.

What is the Email Sales Funnel?

Now maybe your first time to hear about the email funnel… or not. Either way, we’re going to explain it to you.

The email funnel takes people from being a subscriber to a loyal customer through a series of email messages. Thus it has three parts (like the regular marketing funnel) — top, middle, and bottom.

Here’s an email funnel sequence example:

A visitor ends up on your webinar landing page. He signs up for your webinar about how to become a DIY landlord. Since you already have him on your list, you send high-value emails that include how-to tips and a few case studies of successful DIY landlords under your mentorship. One day, you emailed him the link to your course. He hit the purchase button.

If any of this sounds confusing, don’t worry. I’ve broken down each process to help you understand the funnel better and apply it to your own business.

Sounds good?

Step 1: Generate top-of-funnel traffic

When it comes to acquiring leads to the top of the funnel, I admire is Sam Ovens. He’s focused on running Facebook ads that entice his ideal audience to his webinar, and he’s built an 8-figure business from his strategy.

But don’t get me wrong; advertising a free webinar is just one of the strategies that make your brand gain recognition. Here are more top-of-funnel lead magnets to attract new prospects:


Quizzes are effective top-of-funnel weapons since they appeal to people’s desire to know themselves better. 

What winter animal are you? What career should you have? What Game of Thrones character are you? What’s your superpower as a business owner?

Create quizzes based on your target audience’s interests. Craft questions that help you gather useful data which you can use to segment your email list later.

Let your quiz takers opt-in to get their results. Making your quizzes shareable to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. by adding those share buttons helps you reach the masses quicker.

BuzzFeed-style quizzes work so well. They leverage popular subjects or characters, are personal, and use compelling images.

Blog Content Upgrades

If you don’t know what content upgrades are, these are opt-in bribes that specifically relate to a blog post. The word “upgrade” means that your free offer is a bonus to what the reader is already consuming.

For instance, a post that talks about how to write headlines could include an amazing content upgrade that’s a PDF of 100 headline formulas.

Or if your post is about SEO on-page optimization, your content upgrade could be a PDF checklist of all essential optimization tasks.

Free Consultation

One-on-one consultations attract more qualified leads especially if you require visitors to fill out personal details. Those who make an effort to do so are more likely to convert into customers towards the end of your funnel.

(Here are 41 lead magnet ideas that work)!

Remember: Not everyone who comes across you is willing to hand out his personal information, which is why your offer must create interest and excitement.    

Step 2: Build middle-of-funnel engagement

Now that people are aware of who you are, the next step is to make them realize the value of your product or service. Earn their trust.

Here’s a scenario. Let’s say you met a person on Facebook. Now he asks you to go on a dinner date with him. You had a good time getting to know each other better. He drops you home. As you head out of the car, he tries to stop you and asks for a kiss.

No way!!!

The middle of the email funnel is NOT the time to be all salesy to your subscribers. Don’t make the call YET. Instead, introduce more targeted content in your emails.

Let’s imagine that you’re a keto nutrition specialist. You would consider sending your subscribers the following middle-of-funnel email content:

  • An awesome blog post entitled, “30 Yummy Keto Diet Recipes”
  • A case study about your best client’s weight loss journey
  • An invitation to a free keto diet workshop
  • An in-depth ebook about “How to Achieve Weight Loss Fast on a Keto Diet”

Offer free resources that are focused on solving your audience’s problems. Set specific email triggers for these resources so that each resource that goes out would be something they’d love to consume.

For example, going back to keto, if a reader spent time on your blog, “How to Start a Keto Diet,” you may email him the link to your free keto diet workshop.

Step 3: Convert bottom-of-funnel leads

The bottom-of-the-funnel is the conversion stage. At this point, your email sales funnel subscribers are ready to become your customers.

Your job now is to convince them to make a purchase. I know a lot of businesses fail to convert their leads and that’s because they overwhelm them with CTAs like “BUY NOW!!!” or “HURRY UP AND GET IT!!!”

Major turn-off.

Here are better tactics to close the sale:

Sales Webinars

Webinars aren’t just means of growing your email list. You may use them strategically to convert customers.

Invite bottom-of-funnel leads to a webinar where you demonstrate how your product works and its benefits. Anticipate and address common objections in the webinar.

At the end of the webinar, send them to the checkout page.

Discount Offer for a Limited Time

On Cyber Monday, I emailed my prospects a special offer to get my two products ConnectExplore and UpViral at 50% off (and linked to them).

My strategy worked for the following reasons:

  • People, in general, are in the mindset of buying on Cyber Monday. Offering discounts on special occasions such as this encourage shoppers.
  • I communicated the duration of the discount with the words TODAY ONLY. This created a sense of urgency especially that I backed it up with a countdown timer on the sales page.
  • My headline “Cyber Monday… WHY?!” immediately conveyed that readers would be getting a discount treat.
Free Trial

Don’t underestimate the power of free trials to get customers. There’s no better way to give them a taste of your product or service.

You don’t need to ask why supermarkets are staffed with people enticing you with free samples… free always works!

How Connectio Helps with All Stages of Your Email Funnel

The next time you think of an email strategy, recall the email marketing sales funnel. If you want to take your email sales funnel to the next level, consider Connectio’s Facebook marketing tools.

Our tools help you launch Facebook ads that aid in all stages of the email funnel. The result is an email funnel that attracts paying customers.

Here’s how each Connectio tool fits in all email funnel stages:

1. ConnectExplore (top of email funnel) – This tool will show you hyper-targeted Facebook ads interests (regardless your niche) that your competitors normally won’t have access to. Learn more about ConnectExplore.

2. ConnectLeads (top of email funnel) – If you’re already running Facebook ads, using ConnectLeads automates the entire process of adding your new subscribers to your email list. This tool eliminates the manual work of downloading CSV files and uploading them to your autoresponder. Learn more about ConnectLeads.

3. ConnectAudience (middle and bottom of email funnel) – Retarget your email subscribers with Facebook ads based on whether they opened your email, clicked on your link, and more. Email retargeting through ConnectAudience is an effective way to keep your prospects hooked. Learn more about ConnectAudience.

Got any questions about the email funnel? Comment your thoughts below!