10 Simple Steps to Engage With Your Potential Customers
If you’re creating content and trying to sell products online, chances are you’ve been told to create an email funnel.
And if you’re just starting out you might have no idea how to create that email funnel.
You might not even know what an email funnel is!
An email funnel is a path a subscriber takes to become a potential customer.
Everyone in your target market won’t buy from you but there is always a certain percentage of people that will.
By creating a strong email funnel you’ll be more effective at selling your products than just putting your products on a products page and hoping people will click on it.
That’s wishful thinking at best.
Although this topic would be worthy of a fairly long eBook I’ll try my best to digest it into 10 simple steps.
1. Set Up an Email List With an Auto-responder Functionality
An auto-responder is an email sequence that goes out automatically.
Once a subscriber signs up there’s always a predetermined set of messages that go out. It can start immediately and then be a weekly email, or it can start right away and be a daily sequence.
You can also set up email sequences that always start on a Monday, like 20x Your Potential.
See that counter on their page? I’ll bet you $20 that counter resets itself automatically on Monday to open again the following Monday for anybody that subscribes during that week.
Unfortunately, because auto-responder functionalities are so powerful to sell products they’re usually not included in the free plans of most email software. Even with the 2,000 subscriber free plan on Mailchimp you won’t be able to use their auto-responder feature. [Edit: Turns out, their free plan now does allow you to use their autoresponder feature, so now you have even less of an excuse to set one up.]
However, you could test out an email funnel as a stand-alone launch to sell your eBook/course/product. Then, if your product does well you can invest in your business by upgrading your email software.
2. Create a Landing Page for Subscribers
A landing page is a page with only a single goal: capturing email subscribers.
There are a lot of great landing page solutions out there:
Those are three popular ones but a Google search will give a lot more options. I use a combination of Thrive Architect and Leadpages for my squeeze pages and sales pages.
I get about 50 — 100 subscribers/day to my email list and my landing pages convert at 62% because I know my audience at Audio Issues really well.
How you get people to subscribe is the tricky part, and for that you need to give them a reason why they should.
3. Give People Something Valuable in Exchange for Subscribing
What’s the incentive for people to subscribe to your email list? Why should they care?
What’s In It For Them?
Solve a micro problem that you know your audience has. It doesn’t have to be a comprehensive solution (that’s what your product should be).
Give them one solution to a small but annoying problem you know they have.
This is usually called a lead magnet, or an “opt-in bribe,” which sounds way worse than it should.
If you know your market well enough you probably have a ton of ideas in mind.
Here are a few. You can mix and match or get inspiration for your own.
- 10 Easy Recipes for the food blogger.
- Interview with a productivity guru if you’re in the productivity space.
- 10 comic strip layout templates for graphic artists
- Website set-up video for entrepreneurs
- Headline hacks for copywriters
And so on and so forth…
However, if you’re an author, a musician or an artist then you might approach it a different way.
Instead of offering a solution to a problem, offer them something exclusive that your fans can’t get anywhere else.
- An exclusive live recording
- A short story not published anywhere else
- An exclusive interview
- Behind the scenes videos
Think more VIP status than Quick Solution when you’re more of a creative artist than an entrepreneur. Although, a “this is how I do it” video might be a good best of both worlds if your audience consists of people wanting to emulate your success.
4. Help Your Subscribers Out
Don’t just stop with the lead magnet. If you have a great lead magnet that solves your audience’s problem then you’ve already earned some of their trust.
At that point it’s time to solidify that trust with additional emails that solve further problems.
- Is there anything in the lead magnet you can elaborate on?
- Does your market have a tangential problem that you can help with?
Those are all ideas for further emails.
Once they know that your emails contain valuable information that will solve their problems they’re more likely to open them because you’ve earned their trust.
I have to admit, I’m guilty of my emails not always being valuable. However, my auto-responder sequence is carefully designed to offer the right amount of value and promotion.
5. Be Entertaining AND Informative
You want to create a relationship with your subscribers. Show your personality and be yourself.
Nobody likes stuffy corporate marketing copy. Tell your story about how you overcame the problem they’re having and why you thought you should pay that solution forward.
Be personable and let people in. Ask them to respond to you. If you tell your audience you read every response you get, chances are they’ll email you.
Use the opportunity to ask your subscribers what they need help with. That’s all great information you can use to make your products.
6. Survey Your Audience
In the first email after the lead magnet I usually ask my audience what they’re struggling with the most.
I use the Ask survey method from Ryan Levesque, which is a book I highly recommend.
Using a simple Google survey I can collect all of the responses from my audience and analyze them later.
This helps me do two thing:
- Gives me content ideas to give to my subscribers that help them out even further.
- Helps me put together products that I know they’ll want.
Once you know what your audience’s pain points are it’s easier to create helpful content for them. It’s really as simple as that.
7. Offer a Comprehensive Solution to Their Problem
You may have a product idea already in mind before you ever start the email funnel process.
You might have created one based on the survey responses.
Or you’ve done a combination of the two where you’ve tweaked your idea to better fit with the audience that’s on your list.
Regardless of how you came up with your idea just make sure it’s a real solution to a problem they’re already having.
If you ask your market what their problems are and you create a solution to fix that problem they’ll buy your product.
There’s a bit of nuance to it but it’s really as simple as that.
8. Anticipate Objections and Address Them
Even if your subscribers want to become your customer they might still be worried about whether your product is for them.
I recommend dedicating an entire email in your email sequence to those objections.
Use a headline like “Is [Product X] Right For Me?” and write it like a frequently asked questions style email.
If you’ve received a bunch of questions from your audience about your product, there is a high likelihood that other, more silent subscribers, have those same questions as well.
Addressing those objections in an evergreen email reduces the amount of email you have to respond to and it automatically defuses and deflects the concerns of those buyers that are on the fence.
9. Use Testimonials to Add Credibility
If your product didn’t help anybody it’s perceived as worthless.
A testimonial that talks about the transformation your product helped create is worth a lot more than any promise you can make to them.
If your product is new and you don’t have any customers to give you testimonials you can do a couple things:
Testimonials About You
Use testimonials from people that are about your character, integrity and helpfulness. It doesn’t have to be directly about your product but it can be something along the lines of “[Your Name] has helped me out immensely with [whatever your industry/problem is].”
Give-Aways to Get Testimonials
If you feel that’s too shady you can run a promotion and give away a few copies of your product in exchange for a testimonial.
Giving stuff away for free might undervalue it a little bit but you are making the subscriber work for their free product. Unless you have an incredibly loyal audience you won’t get a 100% testimonial rate on your giveaway.
However, if you give away 10 copies and you get 3–5 testimonials back that’s usually enough to create a valuable story inside your email sequence.
10. Survey Your Audience After the Launch Sequence
You’ll never convert all your subscribers to customers. That’s extremely wishful thinking.
But, you can try to understand your non-buyers better after the launch is over. Knowing why they didn’t buy will help you write stronger copy. It’ll help you structure your emails better. It’ll help you understand what to add to future versions of your products, or what to focus on in the next product you create.
Non-buyer surveys are extremely helpful, but don’t neglect your actual customers. Knowing why somebody did buy is also very useful. It helps you better understand your target market, their inner reasoning and their vocabulary.
Having an email funnel in place is one of the most important business decisions you make with your online venture.
If you have traffic coming in and your landing page is converting that traffic to subscribers it’s literally an automatic sales system!
Money in your sleep. Money when you’re walking the dog. Money when you’re depressed. Money when you’re on top of the world.
I realize that there are a lot of technical things you need to do to set this sort of thing up but if this is something you’re struggling with and would like help with, let me know how I can help.
Looking forward to knowing more about you!