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Building an Effective Email Marketing Strategy: From Lead Magnet to Conversion Funnel

Kirsten Von Der Wroge

Product Marketing Manager

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Email marketing remains among the most powerful tools for a business seeking robust growth. But success in email marketing doesn't happen overnight. It requires a carefully crafted strategy that takes your customers on a journey, from first contact to conversion. Building an impactful email marketing strategy relies on a series of key steps, spanning from the creation of a captivating lead magnet to the design of a conversion-driven funnel. 

What is a Lead Magnet and How Does it Work?

A lead magnet is a valuable incentive or offer, such as a relevant PDF guide or ebook, an invitation to attend a webinar, a discount offer, et al., you give your customers in return for their email address. The goal of the lead magnet is to attract and capture leads — those who have shown interest in a product or service — and build a list of subscribers for future email marketing campaigns. Everyone likes free stuff, which makes including an incentive one of the most effective ways to quickly build your email list. 

How to craft a captivating lead magnet

A captivating lead magnet should offer real value and address a specific problem or interest within your niche. To ensure it solves a particular issue or satisfies a need, first determine your target audience’s needs and pain points. The lead magnet should be visually appealing and helpful content that offers immediate, actionable solutions or insights. Spread the word about your lead magnet through various channels, such as social media or your website. Make sure customers see its value and can easily sign up for it.

What’s a Conversion Funnel?

In email marketing, a conversion funnel is essentially a roadmap for turning curious website visitors into happy and loyal customers through a series of well-crafted steps and stages. The conversion funnel plays a crucial role in the success of your business because it helps you understand and optimize the journey your customers take.

Think of your business as one large funnel. You want to make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep the customer moving along the funnel steps. A simple example of breaking down the conversion funnel for your business can look something like this.

  1. Prospect visits your website

  2. Prospect views a product page(s)

  3. Prospect views a landing page with an offer of a 10% discount on the product

  4. Prospect adds the item to their cart

  5. Prospect enters checkout process

  6. Customer finishes checkout process and clicks “Purchase”

For many products, the funnel is much more complex: the prospect might see an ad, receive emails, and read reviews of the product before visiting the website, for example.

Let's examine the methodical, step-by-step approach to developing an effective email marketing strategy.

Create an Opt-In Form

Your landing page should include an opt-in form where visitors can easily input their information. In most cases, you'll ask for their name and email address, but consider requesting additional details that can help you personalize your email campaigns in the future. However, be careful requesting too much information, as the prospect may opt out and leave the page. Keep the form concise and user-friendly to maximize conversions.

Some best practices for email opt-in

Double opt-in requires your customers to confirm their subscription with an additional affirmative action, usually by clicking on a link sent to the email address they just submitted. This type of confirmation helps ensure that customers aren’t accidentally added to marketing email lists by someone else. It’s also the most effective way to prevent subscribing to spam traps by accident, as they do not have the capability of confirming a subscription email. While laws in some jurisdictions don’t require double opt-in, some countries like Germany do require it, so decide for yourself what level of opt-in is right for your business.

You should add explicit opt-in text to every display you have. If you are going to send out discounts or unique pieces of content with the intent to collect emails to add to marketing lists, it’s best to outline what exactly your customers are signing up for. For example, you can add text to the bottom of your pop-up: “By completing this form you are also signing up to receive our marketing emails. You can unsubscribe at any time.”

Or, add an opt-in checkbox to all your forms — similar to a double opt-in verification for your mailing list — adding a checkbox to your web forms and pop-ups will ensure your customer agrees to receive your marketing emails. Simply add a checkbox with a line saying, “By checking this box, you are agreeing to receive our newsletter, discounts, and other marketing emails.”

Welcome Email and Onboarding

As soon as subscribers opt-in, send them a welcome email. This is your opportunity to express gratitude, set expectations, and introduce your businesses’ personality. Consider including a link to download the lead magnet, so they get instant value. Follow up with a series of onboarding emails that gradually familiarize new subscribers with your business, products, or services. It’s important to remember that not all subscribers are the same. You must segment your email list based on criteria like demographics, behavior, and preferences. This will allow you to send relevant content to certain groups. You will likely send different emails to new subscribers, loyal customers, or those who abandoned their carts.

Crafting Content

Now, it's time to send valuable, engaging content to your subscribers. This content can take many forms, such as a weekly newsletter, product updates, educational articles, or promotional offers. Always prioritize quality over quantity while keeping your audience's needs and interests in mind. Personalization is a powerful tool so use subscribers' names and tailor content to their preferences. As time goes on and your subscribers are engaging with your emails, focus on building desire and trust. Share success stories, customer reviews, and testimonials. Offer exclusive promotions and limited-time deals to create a sense of urgency. Transparency and authenticity go a long way in building trust.

Encourage Action

Ultimately, your email marketing strategy should guide subscribers toward conversion (taking action). This action could be making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or downloading another resource. The journey doesn't end with the conversion. Continue to engage and nurture your customers with post-conversion follow-up emails. These emails can include product recommendations and opportunities for feedback or reviews. The goal is to turn one-time customers into loyal, repeat buyers.

Embrace the Power of Email

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can establish a strong foundation for your email campaigns. Remember that the key to a successful email marketing campaign is to provide relevant information, personalize your communications, and continuously refine your approach. Keep your commitment to these principles, adapt to evolving trends, and watch your brand flourish through the power of email marketing!

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