15 Proven Ideas to Create a Highly Engaging Email Marketing Funnel

Any digital marketer's email marketing goal is to grow their email list with quality leads and convert them into loyal customers. Developing an email list for the email marketing campaign is crucial for cold email marketing and building brand advocates to convert them into customers. Emails are a great way of contacting prospects and converting them into customers. It's the most direct and effective marketing channel and has been popular for so long. Businesses can effectively perform lead nurturing and turn them into loyal customers consistently. 

Using effective email marketing tactics on your digital marketing strategy on B2C and B2B business will improve sales. Fact says  73% of marketers agree that email marketing is the best method to improve conversion efforts. It is proven the most reliable tactic to influence the potential prospects on every stage of their buyer's journey.  Your business needs to have a strategic plan for your lead nurturing emails. By creating an email marketing sales funnel, you can monitor other parts of your customer journey. If you fail to build a strategic plan to drive leads into the next step through email marketing, your buyer's journey will not be as effective. That's where an email marketing funnel comes into play. 

If you build an effective email list, then your business can make more online sales. In this, we shall learn the art of developing an email marketing funnel and why we need to implement email marketing. Because the email marketing funnel offers more than 4.400% ROI. Improve your chances of email opening and reading by your subscribers using an effective email marketing strategy. The email funnel helps you send subscriber emails based on the stages of their buyer's journey. In this article we shall walk through the 15 proven approaches to building a highly engaging email marketing funnel that helps your business acquire more leads and make sales 24/7. 

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the most powerful channel for direct marketing. Through email marketing campaigns, you can promote your product or services to your potential buyers. It enables customers to get to know more about your new product/services through marketing automation. Email marketing plays an important role in any marketing strategy. It enables marketers to generate new leads, engage the current customers, create brand awareness, and build relationships with potential customers through email marketing. 

Businesses can gain numerous benefits by adopting email marketing. It enables the sales and marketing team to build a relationship with your target audience and drive traffic to social media, the latest blog posts, website, and more. 

By creating and validating your email list, you can segment your email and your targeted customers by demographics, behavioral email workflow, and more. Through email list segmentation, your business can send email messages that customers want the most. This helps to improve your email responses and sales conversions.

Using email marketing software, you can test your email subject lines, calls to action (CTA) through A/B tests, and help the marketer identify the best-performing email message. Check out the b2b cold email templates to generate more leads with email marketing.

What Is an Email Marketing Funnel?

Before you develop a funnel to promote your product or services, it's more important to do research and understand your funnel's purposes. You need to understand what it is and why it's effective. An email funnel represents how a subscriber progresses from prospective lead to customer through educational and promotional email communications. The email funnel differs based on the business and its audience. 

Marketers have discussed more on email lists and converting leads for a long time. Now the question arises how to convert leads? The email marketing funnel is an answer to convert your email subscribers who haven’t bought anything from you into loyal customers. Email list management is an important aspect of marketing. 

Have you not heard about the email marketing funnel? The email marketing funnel is similar to the sales or marketing funnel. It represents the customer journey. It indicates how your email subscribers shift from the awareness to purchasing stage. With the information or data, your business can anticipate your subscribers' requirements and create email messages content accordingly at the right time. Email personalization for each subscriber alone will boost your open rates up to 26%.

Every email marketing funnel has the following five stages:

  • Building awareness
  • Engagement 
  • Consideration
  • Purchase /Conversion

Here are the graphical representations that indicate the email marketing funnel stages on the customer lifecycle.

Graphical representation of email marketing funnel
Image: Source

Benefits of Email Marketing Funnel

Even though it rises on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Still, email marketing is one of the best methods to promote your product or services. By building an email marketing funnel for your brand, your business can ensure the email marketing efforts are focused on the right potential audience at the right time. 

Here are some reasons that show why your business needs an email marketing funnel.

Simplifies the Buyer Journey

While sending emails to your subscribers, you need a clear understanding of how they will react to your email message. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting everybody's time. 

Have you ever wondered what to send on the next email for your email subscriber?  The email marketing funnel will help to find the answer for it. It offers you a clear picture of the customer's journey where you can easily map out your customer decision process at each stage of the customer journey. 

By knowing their transition, your business can target potential audiences in a better way on the buyer's journey. Businesses can access the information of the simplified customer journey, and now the marketer can build an email marketing strategy with actual information without any assumptions. So the next email will definitely nudge your subscribers from their current state of b2b sales funnel to the next level. 

Higher Conversions

Email marketing provides more conversion when compared to other techniques such as social media marketing. According to a McKinsey & Company report, email drives three times higher conversion when compared with social media posts. Crafting engaging, personalized email messages with clear calls to action (CTA’s) makes effortless conversions on the email marketing campaigns and reduces your marketing investments in the advertisement.

Enables Personalized Email Marketing

The email marketing funnel is the major element for your email personalization. The email's personalization will increase 29% of the open rate and 41% of click-through rates.  For example, suppose your prospective customer is on the brand awareness stage. In that case, your business needs to send an email to help the customer get familiar with and understand your brand and product/services offerings. If the customer is in the conversation stage, you need to send a personalized email with some discounts to encourage the customer to make more purchases. The email marketing funnel guides your marketing experts to build personalized email content based on the prospective customer stage on their buyer's journey. 

Helps to Engage Customers

To be successful, you need to engage your audience and make them continue interacting with your business. Emails are one way that you do this. A good email marketing funnel strategy will go a long way in making the emails worth their time.

If you maintain a professional tone, your emails will make more of an impact. Nurturing your audience is a great way to grow your email list and convert those prospects into customers. An email marketing funnel is a great option if you aim to generate sales. An email marketing funnel also helps you set up the appropriate lead magnet for each category of subscribers.

Helps to Measure Your ROI

Email marketing funnels make it visible for you to know how your emails will impact your ROI. Being able to measure the impact of your email marketing efforts is a good thing. This is because you'll be able to know what's working and what's not and make adjustments where necessary.

Email marketing is a key marketing strategy. The email marketing funnel helps you to measure the ROI of your emails. In other words, you can analyze how email sent impacts your ROI. An email funnel is a crucial part of any business. It's important to measure the impact of email messages on people who receive them because this will help you know what messages work and what messages don't.

With metrics, you can see what stage of the funnel you're losing customers from, and it helps to identify the problem. This way, you can improve efforts and strategically rethink your content, and improve the conversion process. For example, suppose a subscriber drops just before they get converted. In that case, it indicates that your business is not impressive enough to the customer at the conversion cycle, or your conversion stage is complex. Analyzing and working on the particular stages will help your business improve its sales.

Build Customer Relationships

Customers want to do business with brands and companies they can trust, and email marketing is a great way to build this trust. You can produce beneficial information regularly for your customers. Nurture the relationships you have with customers by showing them you're committed to their wellbeing. Email is a powerful marketing tool that will foster relationships.

Customers will interact with brands if they gain trust, and email marketing is one way to build a level of trust with your potential customers and use it to demonstrate all the benefits of doing business with you. Developing informational emails that are of value to your customers will build a mutually beneficial relationship. Crafting emails with valuable, relevant content will be a knowledge source for the prospective customer to know about your product or service. They can relate how purchasing the product/service will resolve their challenges and pain points.

How to Build An Email Marketing Funnel

Below 4 simple steps are involved in creating an email marketing funnel that provides more conversions. There are many ways to engage your email subscribers through the email marketing funnel, but the first thing you need to do is start with the four basic steps to engage and retain them.

Top of the funnel: Leads Generation

Email lists provide you control over whom you are communicating with. There are two effective methods where your business can gather the targeted customer email address through opt-in forms on landing pages and social media platforms. 

The email opt-in can be installed throughout your business website. With the opt-in form, you can often gather your website visitor's name,  contact detail, and email address, etc. You can gather email addresses and engage your subscribers with the great email newsletter with the Opt-in forms. The email opt-in will help you to grow your email subscribers.

Design the opt-in form for the landing pages to hook the reader with the main benefit of your product. This is done by providing the website visitors (warm lead) with lead magnets like a free preview of the course or trial. They are more effective because your customers can expect value from your email communications.

Middle of the Funnel:  Nurture Leads 

Once you have found the lead generation tactics work for your business. Once you have collected the lead data, it is more important to qualify the potential customers and segment them based on the buyer's persona. 

After the qualified lead, the email list has a list of leads that are the right fit for the product or service. Now your business can begin the email marketing strategy to move the leads to the purchase stage. 

Qualifying leads can be automated using the marketing and email automation software. Smartwriter unlimited LinkedIn scraping will help you find the relevant B2B leads on the niche and enable you to create personalized content for each lead for email campaigns. 

Lead nurturing emails have to provide value to the potential customer, and it has been made as customized email communications. In this step, each email your business sends is an opportunity to build a relationship with your potential buyers. Implement drip messages using automated messages. By consistent email messages, you can engage, and your business can learn more about your potential buyers based on their responses. 

Bottom of the Funnel: Converting Leads Into Customers

Once your email subscriber passes the above two stages, your lead is ready for a big conversion. So your business has developed relationships with the potential leads through value offerings and evoked an emotional response from your subscriber. At the bottom of the funnel, your business needs to send personalized nurturing campaigns continuously. The conversion emails include retargeting emails such as:


  • Abandoned Cart Email
  • Providing time-sensitive offers 
  • Offering a free trial period  

For example, AppSumo has achieved a 224% ROI from a recent retargeting campaign. Email retargeting will increase your sales and revenue. 

Repeat Funnel: Retain The customers

Even after your subscriber has converted into the customer, your job is not completed. Your business needs to retain the customer and wants to build a long-lasting relationship. Talking about your product is the best way to nurture loyal customers, and once they convert, it's important to work towards their next purchase. The message you send should be about the brand and the product, in the same way as nurturing leads, By offering a reward for the repeat purchases and referrals provided by the customers.  

15 Proven Tips for a Converting Email Marketing Funnel

Below are four simple steps involved in creating an email marketing funnel that provides more conversions.

Generating Leads

1. Create Great  Email Copy 

Writing a compelling email copy is not easy, but it's not intimidating either. Great email copy has to simplify the process instead of making it complicated. Researchers found that simplicity is often key in appealing and converting the targets. Catchy, simple messaging often increases your chances of acquiring more leads and subscribers.

To make your targeted prospects convert them into customer business, you need to start creating an appealing, compelling, simple, impactful message that grabs the receiver's attention. Instead of trying to pack in all your product features, one thing you marketer can do is focus on their benefits. The email copy clarifies how your customer can benefit from the product or services instead of sharing your product feature highlights. It will help the readers to relate and imagine how your product will benefit them. People will be much-interested if they benefit.

For example, instead of saying  "10 healthy and efficient fat-loss diets," you can convey your message like "The 10 diets that will help you get back to feeling good about yourself".  You can find the noticeable difference, and the second email context will hook the email readers' attention and provide you with a  good impact.  Good copywriting has to be in a friendly and conversational tone. The easier languages have to express the email message more efficiently and avoid using more complex terms. It will annoy the readers. It is always good to have simple, clear-to-point messages.  Below is the best short copy that provides the right point and grabs the reader's attention

2. Avoid Overcomplicating Your Email Opt-in Forms

Previously, we have discussed the tips for writing a copy. Similarly, the business also needs to make the Opt-in form design simple. It is not necessary to have so many customizable options on the opt-in forms. On top of everything, your business needs to avoid any clutter. Clutter is the thing that distracts the audience from the main message. 

Avoid choosing more than 2-3 fonts and 2-3 colors on the form, and don't be afraid to have white spaces. Have the content crisp and to the point. Ensure the colors you use are brand colors and make the opt-in forms appealing so that your business can achieve better conversion. 

Here is an example from the MakingSenseofCents. Try to utilize two fonts and two colors with a converting design. In this example, utilize two different fonts for better readability, and the CTA is given with bold colors to grab user attention. Make your opt-in form visually dominant. The goal of the opt-in form is to draw the attention of the potential audience and to convert. Avoid over coloring and A/B test your form and find the one that works well for you. 

3. Include Social Proof

If you have a large subscriber base, it's a good idea to emphasize that. This will help you to expand your subscriber count. Your existing customers have already invested in you and will be encouraging others to do the same.

Suppose a business has more positive reviews, there will be a higher chance of attracting new customers. To make people feel like they are making a decision that many others have made before them, we recommend you include an opt-in form with an information box that details how many other subscribers have made this same choice. For example, adding information like "Join our 30,000 followers". It will attract the customer and induce them to become part of the community. It will create a win-win situation for both the customer and the brand.

4. Highlight the Benefits

Most of the inboxes are crowded with unread or untouched emails. For this reason, the customer will hesitate to provide personal information. People will think twice before giving out their email addresses on the Email opt-in on the website. To improve your email subscription to your business you need to provide great valuable tips and offers to them. The opt-in message highlights what the subscriber can benefit from the subscription so that the website visitor will instantly share their data without hesitation. 

For example: Instead of having "Subscribe to our newsletter," your business can provide a context on the opt-in like "Subscribe to get the latest news & get exclusive discounts". This will indicate what customers can benefit from email subscriptions. 

Awareness Stage

5. Blog Post 

Sharing blog posts as emails at the awareness stages is the more ideal tactic. The blog article targets the pain points, customer problems, and how the product/services will solve their current challenges that will impact your email reader. The target audience will be willing to discover your blog content on your website and want to read the particular blog article. Using this technique, your business can create brand awareness by sharing the blog post across various channels like emails and social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. This will create brand awareness among potential buyers and improve your website traffic. 

6. Social Media Post

Social media is a popular platform that can be used to promote your other content, and you can also create relevant content specifically for the channel. According to Pew Research, 72% of the public uses social media. Smartwriter AI social media content generator helps you to create engaging content. Personalized context on the social media campaigns will help you to reach your audience more quickly. Using analytical data helps your business to maximize the efficiency of your campaigns.

Unlike blog articles, social media posts are shorter forms where you can share video content. Today people's usage of video consumption is also on the rise every day. According to Yokel Local, sharing attractive customer purchasing tips on the LinkedIn platform is a great way to build brand awareness. Creating concise content with short-form takeaways. LinkedIn carousel post formats are popular on the LinkedIn platform.

Educational Webinar 

Sending educational email webinar invites on email and educating your potential buyers through educational webinars will build trust about your brand and enable the potential buyer to know more about the product.  Webinars provide information through the combined use of audio and video content. Webinars can be prerecorded or streamed live, giving you more options for disseminating your knowledge to an audience who wants to learn more about your product/services.

Create a short copy webinar invitation made using invitation maker, through email, accurate CTA with eye-grabbing email subject. The webinar details such as topic, time, and presenter will offer the email receiver a clear idea. Don't forget to follow up on the email or series of emails on the webinar and try to have additional information for the customer on the sales funnel email sequence. Your business can also perform A/B testing and find a good fit message for your business. You can also share the upcoming webinar email reminders for your existing email subscriber. Below is an example of a webinar invite from asana.

8. Whitepaper 

A white paper is an organization’s report or comprehensive guide on a particular topic. In other words, the organizational report or guide that focused on a particular topic. Whitepages can be downloaded by readers who are more interested in a particular subject they are reading about to go more in-depth. 

These research reports or guides help to resolve the problem. The white paper aims to educate the readers and make them think from a new perspective. Nearly 76% of individuals use whitepapers as part of their decision-making process. 

A key element in the whitepaper - it's important to provide information that can't be found elsewhere in order to push the reader to take the next step. Your whitepaper has to show the report's value and needs to compel your reader to get it.

HubSpot publishes an annual report on the state of marketing. Inside, readers find statistics from a survey with industry experts’ opinions on what they mean and how to use them. A stat-based survey has been published by HubSpot, which provides marketing guidance to readers. Providing in-depth information, the survey also features expert opinions on what this means in terms of marketing in the future.

Consideration Stage

9. Product Comparison Guide

In the consideration stage, the buyer persona will be considering your product or service as one of their solutions for their challenges or problems. This is a key stage in the buyer's journey, and if you are focused on providing the best product comparisons, they can make an informed decision. 

Product comparison will help the buyer know how your product or services are distinct and why they need to consider your brand as a solution. The comparison charts will enable the customer to understand the product feature and price comparison, and they can analyze the specifications and features in detail. This will help the ideal customer to find the one that is best to buy. 

Comparing Smartwriter features

10. Send Customer Stories and Case Study

Case studies for better understanding

A case study can be used for the consideration and decision stages. Businesses can convince the reader that the provider has achieved positive results by demonstrating their results for other clients.  Give a clear idea of how effective results are achieved on other businesses through your solution. A compelling case study should appeal to both their emotions and logic. This helps the customer relationship with the business and understand how it would help their business if they buy your product/services. 

Case studies are a marketing strategy where businesses can show how their product/service has been implemented successfully by other customers and how they benefited from your brand. Instead of having marketing content, the case studies will tell how your product can be used in real-time. It will create more impact among the buyer persona. 

Case studies have to be like storytelling, where your business needs to focus more on the customer’s perspective instead of talking more about yourself.  It proves your success to your potential buyers. It shows the success of your business with real results on real stories. So using case studies on the email marketing funnel gives your company more credibility and trust among your targeted customers.

It also leverages your brand power among your clients. For example, showing your business has worked with the brand's top brands like Facebook, IBM, Hp, etc., and presenting the results archives for big brands as case studies will build trust. Instead of marketing yourself, the case studies will be a kind of word-of-mouth marketing. It will show other brands how your current customer benefited from your company. 

Decision Stage

11. Provide Free Trial or Live Demo 

Offering the free demo or trials will help the customer get a chance to use your application completely and get more detailed answers about your product before they make a purchase decision. This enables them to make an informed decision on their needs. The sales and marketing and sales team have to handle lots of objections before making the close.  But if your business offers a free trial and demo to the end-users, they use the product and can understand how much they benefit from your product before investing in your business. The product demo allows clarifying all your end customer queries before sales close. It eliminates objections to sales and customer dissatisfaction after-sales. This will provide customers confidence before they invest. 

Software Demo is the most important part of the purchase process in the sales cycle. The product demos and the free trials are the first impressions of your product or services. Demo and free trials mean a lot to the business. Product demos are an integral part of the software purchasing process. It provides an opportunity for buyers to learn how products will solve their pain points. It increases a product’s value and attracts more customers. A demo lets users know about the product's better prospects. It enables the prospects to understand how a business solution truly solves buyers' pain points and empowers them to succeed. Here is an example free trial offering by Smartwriter. The key to success for the business is to offer a free trial upfront

12. Offer Free Consultation

Offering consultation will increase trust and remove friction.  Meeting and getting to know your customer is one of the first steps of a successful business. A consultation is an excellent way to show your client you care about them and the entire experience with your business.

You can create a satisfying experience for your customers by concrete on the solutions in exchange for their time. Trust is the key factor for sales conversion. If the customer doesn't trust your brand, there will arise friction in the b2b sales process. To increase the trust of your potential buyer, you can implement several tactics such as updating the website content regularly, offering money-back guarantees, removing and avoiding spammy links, and making your business website easy to use. 

For instance, if your business has lots of broken links and your website has not posted any blog content for more than 2 years, the customer who visits your page will create distrust of your brands. So it is essential to have updated content on your website. Your business can also include the team Bio so that your potential buyer can reach the concerned person to get consultation and resolve their doubts before making a purchase decision. 

Here is the best example of scheduling a consultation from Blk Bld & Co.’s free consultation to reduce friction on the sales cycle. By removing the objections on the stages of the sales cycle will increase the chances of conversion. Offering free virtual consultation with your ideal customer will increase the chances of more conversion. 

14. Offering Coupon

Discounts and offers will attract many buyers. And digital coupons also help the business to grow its social media followers and email list. Many businesses encourage their users to use mobile apps and website usage for their shopping's by offering coupons. Moreover, the customer accepts the cold email that contains the product promotional message along with coupons. According to the marketing research 2021 report says that nearly, 90% of consumers utilize coupons

Customers love to receive deals with a positive feel while they receive discounts for their purchases. Customers are happy to purchase if they receive some discounts or incentives to apply before completing their sales transaction. Offering coupons or discounts will create urgency and move the leads towards the completion of the sale. It also reduces the sales cycle and abundant carts. 

Research says that emails with coupons have a 48% increase in revenue per email. Email is a highly effective method for delivering personalized content promptly. The email marketing strategy personalization for each potential customer is made through their behavior today. Start sending behavior-based emails to your potential buyers. For example, the business can now send emails by offering the product or content suggestions based on their past browsing or using their purchase history. It is the most effective way to send personalized cold emails instead of crafting basic email personalization. Similarly, offering personalized coupons also improves sales. For example, if the customer purchases more than $ 500, they can redeem 10% discounts using the code. Similarly, using discount offers, you can make the customer make a mixed purchase to redeem the offer, etc. 

Retention stage 

If you move your prospects to the bottom of the funnel, then the process of customer retention and making them buy again begins. With an effective customer retention strategy, you can make sales from repeat customers and drive more revenue from them. The study states that repeat customers are 9x more likely to convert when compared to first-time shoppers. And the returning customer is spending more per transaction than the first-time buyers. 

14. Implement Referral Marketing To Acquire More Customers

Inviting your potential client to your website and making them purchase again and again is a great way to increase revenue. As we have seen earlier, the returning customers are spending more on each transaction when compared to first-time buyers. So it is more important for a business to increase your existing customers purchase than acquiring new customers. 

Your existing satisfied customer always brings new clients to your business. For example, let's take an e-commerce website. The customer automatically refers to someone if they have got a good customer experience with the brand. A study shows that 84% of new consumers stated they got trusted recommendations from the people they know, such as family, friends, peers, etc. 

Your happy customer will automatically drive others or new users to your business through referral marketing in your business. It will increase your sales. It is a great way to autopilot your sales through customer referral programs. Similarly, offer something for the new buyers too. And business can also increase customer lifetime value with a powerful loyalty program.

The best example of the customer referral program is by the brand Away. They have provided a section for friend referrals on their website. The business provides $20 credits for every friend who purchases through the referral link, and the referred individual also receives $20. The business offers both the reference and the person purchasing through the referral link.  

The brand offers to share referrals on the different channels with pre template messages on channels such as email, Facebook, Twitter, or a Link sharing, and it also offers a follow-up after three days. The brand offers a preselected setting for the following, and the company doesn't want to miss your email on the referral program. 

There are many referral program tools available in the market, such as Friendbuy. The tool can be smoothly integrated, and your business easily tracks and manages your referrals. 

15. Engage Your Buyers

We want to ensure that your customer has the best experience possible with your brand. One way you can achieve this is through a top-notch customer service team. Shape your B2B sales funnel stage and make your customer loyal to your brand. The study says that first-time buyers have a 32% chance to make their 2nd purchase if they receive the best experience with the brands. 

Email marketing is the ideal tool to engage with your existing customers by sending email campaigns to celebrate the milestone, customer birthday celebration, seasonal greetings message, and more. Sending these kinds of emails is a great technique to re-engage with your customer base. The  Allbirds brand re-engages with the buyer an animated warm thank-you message to their customers after purchase. Like the image below. 

Thank you message template suggestion

Along with the thank you messages, the brand includes some social proof. It helps your brand to be on the top of the mind of the customer. By sharing discounts and offers to your email list, you can re-engage the customer and make their purchase with your brand again. By offering exclusive discounts and offers on a special day will build an emotional connection with your brand.  


One of the first steps to succeeding with email marketing is to build a funnel. And it would be best if you were strategic about what exactly goes into your funnel to be successful. By building an email marketing sales funnel, your business can improve the conversion rate. By following the above tips and ideas, your business can generate more leads and convert them.

Every business has a different email marketing funnel, tailored and designed to suit their buyer's journey. 

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