How to Create an Email Marketing Funnel
Email, and specifically an email marketing funnel to get coaching clients, is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolbox.
So, this article specifically addresses the email funnel part of a marketing sales funnel.
If you’re interesting in how my entire funnel is put together, read How to Get Coaching Clients using a 4-Step Marketing System.
This 4 step email funnel is the same one I’ve used to generate clients inquiries on a daily basis.
If you know you need to grow your list, but not sure how it translates into sales, I can understand.
You see, I used to barely send one email per week.
I just didn’t really understand email marketing.
These days I send an email 4-5 times per week.
So, I’m going to explain how to do it.
But, before you can create an an email funnel, you have to have an email list.
The first step covers how to get email subscribers.
Steps 2 through 4 will cover the rest of the email funnel.
Email Funnel Step 1: Create a Lead Magnet
Creating a lead magnet should be the first step in your email marketing funnel.
A lead magnet is a free gift that you give in exchange for an email address.
Ideally, this lead magnet is highly valuable and something that you could even sell.
This is the entry point to your email funnel.
The best lead magnets are quickly consumable and provide highly targeted information for a specific pain point.
Here are a few examples of items you can use as your lead magnet at the start of your email funnel:
Lead Magnet Examples at start of your email funnel
- Short Video Series
- Mini Self-Led Assessment
Getting People to Go Through Your Funnel
The first few people who join your email list will likely be those you meet at an event.
After an event, send a quick follow up email from your personal account.
My email usually mentions a bit about our conversation.
Then I share a link to my lead magnet.
When they click the link to get your lead magnet, they will register.
This provides you with their email address.
Now you have a new email subscriber!
This strategy is most effective when you have spoken and you know they need your help.
You want to make sure you are only bringing potential leads in your email funnel.
You want the ones that are most likely to convert into clients.
Sidenote: Don’t automatically add email address from business cards to your email list. This is a huge no, no, and a violation of the can-spam act. It could also position you in a negative light when people begin receiving emails they didn’t request.
Other strategies to gain more clients to your lead magnet and into your email funnel include:
- Running Facebook ads to get leads
- Creating YouTube videos to get leads
- Presenting to a group of potential clients to get leads
- Partnering with a leader that has a complementary audience to get leads
How to Deliver Your Lead Magnet
Upload your lead magnet as a file into your favorite cloud software then grab the share link.
You can place that link on the thank you page or in the first email of your email funnel.
If you use ConvertKit (partner link), which is my recommended email service provider, they allow you to send an incentive email with the download included.
First you’ll create a new form, then you simply check the box that says “send incentive email.”
You are allowed to include a subject, a short message, and customize the wording on the button for the download.
When the new subscriber clicks the button, it will confirm them on to your email list.
It will also send them an automatic download of your lead magnet.
No one makes delivering a lead magnet as easy as ConvertKit.
Sidenote: In your lead magnet be sure to include details for your contact information. Many will create a great lead magnet but not share the next logical step. If your lead magnet is highly valuable, it makes sense that your reader may want to learn how to contact you. They may want to work with you, or connect with you further on social media. The lead magnet is the first handshake of your email funnel. But, you don’t want it to be the final contact.
Email Funnel Action Item: Create a Lead Magnet
Contact someone who could be your potential coaching client. Ask them, “What is the greatest frustration you have when it comes to (fill in the blank with your subject matter expertise).
Then as they talk through it, you might find common themes.
Do the research, figure out what your ideal client struggles with the most when it comes to your topic. Then deliver the lead magnet for them.
If you’re concerned about giving away too much information for free, then you’ll want to watch my video, “How Much Free Information Should I Share?”
Email Funnel Step 2: Call to Action in Footer
The second strategy helping you get coaching clients via an email funnel is so simple but often overlooked.
Each time you send an email you will be sending an invite for your subscribers to work with you.
Even though your subscribers chose to sign up for your list and receive your lead magnet, you can’t assume they’ll remember you when you send an email.
Why not reinforce who you are, how you help, and invite them to work with you?
You can do this unobtrusively by simply placing a link in the footer of every email.
This is also helpful in case the email gets forwarded to someone else.
Notice how at the bottom of the email insert above it says, “Need more clients? Let’s chat….” This link goes directly to my calendar to schedule a call.
I also have a tracking link so I can see the origin of a strategy session request.
This particular link in my email footer includes the tracking code “newsletter bio.”
In the span of one week, 3 requests came from my email funnel.
One came from Facebook, and the fifth came directly from my lead magnet.
How to Create an Email Template using ConvertKit
In ConvertKit you can create an email template so that your footer is included in each email by default.
First click on the account button and then the email templates tab.
I like to use the text only template.
Then you can customize the template to include your mini bio.
You can also link to a “work with me” signature at the bottom of each email.
ConvertKit makes this very easy to do.
Email Funnel Action Item: Update the Email Footer
Decide on your one sentence elevator pitch and your one sentence call to action. Update your email footer and include that mini call to action.
A call to action (CTA) is simply you requesting an action.
Now when you send out emails, you will always have a call to action.
This repetition not only reinforces you as the expert but also serves as a reminder that you’re offering your services!
Email Funnel Step 3: Create a Nurture Sequence
So many coaches and consultants complete the first and second step of the strategy.
But once they have email subscribers and potential leads, they neglect to continue the conversation after a subscriber has requested information.
Sidenote: I personally believe this is primarily because most coaches don’t know what they should say next. “Should I ask them to book a call? Didn’t I already tell them to do that? Do I just say hi? How often should I email? What if they unsubscribe???”
The fear of sending emails and seeing people unsubscribe is a valid one.
But that fear doesn’t have to stop you from getting coaching clients with an email funnel.
Creating a nurture sequence that continues to build the relationship is at the heart of a highly-converting email funnel.
What is an email nurture sequence?
An email nurture sequence is simply a series of emails that allow the potential coaching client to get to know you.
This is one of my favorite ways to get coaching clients.
I can simply send an email, open my calendar, and suddenly I’m booked with potential clients.
Each email tells a piece of the story and is intended to create an emotional response.
Each email has the call to action in the footer.
The final email in this 5 part email funnel nurture sequence contains the direct call to action. I’ve included a sample of a 5 part nurture sequence in the download for this post.
In your nurture sequence you can tell stories, share information about yourself, or ask questions.
All you really want is the opportunity to start a conversation.
Psst! Would you like this post as a PDF plus a sample email funnel nurture sequence to go along with it?
Download this blog post plus the swipe file of emails used to book coaching clients.
How to Set Up a Nurture Email Sequence in Convert Kit
In ConvertKit, you can edit all of the emails in your sequence on one page.
Email #1: Recap how they got on to your list. Include the link to your download once again, just in case they lost it. Let them know you’ll be in touch again with more valuable content.
This is your chance to immediately invite them to a call with you. They just met you and a call is one of the highest value offers you can make right away.
Email #2: Break down a common misconception that you hear often from your audience. This is the time to shock and awe.
Email #3 & 4: You have a few options for these emails. You can do a mini-rant, break down another common misconception, or include a client case study.
Email #5: This email should be a direct call to action to book a call with you. You can also include some details from a client success.
Emails #6 – infinity: The remainder of your emails will essentially follow the same pattern of emails 2 through 5. Continue sharing stories, busting myths, doing a mini-rant, etc.
Your goal is to get a phone call or an unsubscribe.
The last thing you want is lukewarm email subscribers.
Trust me, if someone unsubscribes but they really wanted to work with you, they will find their way back.
Most likely because you said something memorable. Don’t blend in.
Email Funnel Step 4: Connect and Book a Coaching Client!
Finally it’s time to connect and engage. Here are a few advanced strategies to create a more effective email funnel.
1) Continue to provide relevant content
You don’t have to “teach” or give away all of your methods in order to provide relevant content.
In my opinion, the best emails are “edutaining” meaning they are educational and entertaining at the same time.
Even the seemingly most mundane parts of your day could be entertaining.
I once shared a story of how I kept finding dead bugs on my back porch.
That specific email drove a sale into my on going monthly mastermind program.
2) Position yourself and your offer
Create emails that position you as the expert. Share your wins, share your client wins, include recent speaking engagements or press hits as well.
3) Share your vulnerabilities
This is not about sharing every detail of your personal life.
This is about sharing glimpses that allow the potential client to relate to you at a deeper level.
It’s important to show that you are relatable while at the same time very competent in your area of expertise.
4) Share your unique selling proposition
You can work this in at any point in time and even in the first 3 examples.
Every time the potential coaching client is opening your email they are thinking, “Why should I work with you?”
“Why is it different to work with you?”
“Why should I trust you to be my life coach?”
“Why should I trust you to be my fitness coach?”
That was a lot!
A few final words on email funnels…
Ultimately, “asking” is the best way to get coaching clients. You have to speak to people, you have to make an offer, you have to be able to close sales.
The email funnel is a passive way to ask for the sale because you are not face to face.
While meeting someone in person at a networking event may be a stronger way to ask for the sale; it’s not possible to be at every event.
It’s not time efficient to attend many events, nor is it fun when going to those events drains your introvert energy.
That’s why I prefer a webinar sales funnel. It is the best of both worlds.
Webinar sales funnels combine the passive nature of an email funnel with the strong relationship building nature of an in person networking event.
I’ll admit, I’m a little biased because I teach webinar sales funnels.
That’s just because they work, and are perfect for introverts.
To see more details on the process, visit YouveGotClients.com/anti-webinar and register for the training. You won’t regret it.