The marketing funnel is a tool designed to illustrate the consumer journey, or the path a prospective customer follows as they familiarise themselves with a brand from introduction to conversion and beyond.
While a large part of brand awareness and customer acquisition involves winning mailing-list sign-ups, successful email marketing is about more than collecting email addresses. It is an opportunity to build quality relationships between brand and subscriber.
The subscription process is just the start.
The ultimate aim in email marketing is customer retention. After all, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%, and an increase in customer retention of as little as 2% can lower costs by as much as 10%.
It’s also important to note that 68% of people will leave a business because of perceived indifference.
The role of the email marketer therefore becomes a personal one: To look after subscribers, help them move through the stages of their journey, make sure that they are engaged, entertained and get what they need from your brand.
This is where the email-marketing funnel, a graphic representation of the subscription process, comes in handy. As with any model, it can be adapted to the needs of your business and used to plan email campaigns, directing the customer on the most beneficial journey possible.
Subscription is Not the End Goal
When a customer or prospect signs up to a brand’s mailing list, this triggers the beginning of a relationship. Even though the contact has been virtual, today’s customers expect a personalised experience. In order to engage with the customer it is important to recognise and address different subscriber’s needs at different stages.
Once marketing converts to sales and prospects become customers, the focus should be on customer retention, building brand advocates and a solid customer base.
Who is the email for?
In order to begin planning an email marketing funnel, it is essential to know who will be reading the emails. A CRM system like that offered by Rezcomm can help develop a holistic view of the customer, and create buyer personas. These detailed, semi-fictional representations of ideal customers based on market research and real data about existing customers are built using rich data including customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals.
Think about customer motivation and engagement:
Why should a prospect subscribe?
What will they get out of their subscription?
How can the brand engage the customer in the communication?
The Perks of Exclusivity
Why does a customer sign up to a mailing list? It’s all about what they get in return for providing their email address. In order to optimise the value received by the customer, email marketing content should offer something more than the content promoted on social media sites. It should be relevant, targeted and interesting to the person who receives it.
Unique content and special offers provide an incentive to sign up. People on the mailing list will expect to receive something that can’t be found elsewhere. They want a VIP experience that will keep them interested, build trust and brand loyalty and provide them with a reason to recommend a business to their friends.
Don’t Spam the Customer
A recent study by Fractl and Buzzstream found that people unsubscribe from emails for two reasons: too many emails with not enough in them. 28% of respondents said they received too many emails and their inbox was becoming cluttered, 33% said they found marketing emails were sent too frequently, and 24% said that they had unsubscribed because of boring, repetitive content.
A well-thought-out funnel enables a business to see the specific needs of the customer at each stage of the subscription, making it possible to communicate the right message at the right time. Relevant, targeted, timely emails are an effective way to build customer relations and convert to sales.
Be Clear About Business Goals
The role of an email marketing strategy is to meet business goals. In order to effectively plan and implement a marketing campaign it is important to have a clear aim in sight: A precise view of where the business is and where it needs to go. Campaigns will differ depending on business model, stage of growth, industry and business goals, and the email marketing funnel needs to align with the needs of the business.
Once business goals are clearly understood, success can be evaluated using KPIs.
A KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving its business objectives. By collecting and analysing data, the results of each campaign can be assessed. This data can be used to improve campaign performance and push towards business goals, but it is important to know which bits of data are relevant.
Here the email marketing funnel can be used to assess which KPIs are meaningful to the campaign. The clear structure of a funnel makes it possible to align KPIs with each funnel segment. For an email marketing campaign, KPIs could include number of subscribers, number of downloads, click-through rate, conversion rate or return on investment.
Design the Perfect Funnel
Customer relationships are different for every business. Some buyer journeys are really quite short with a simple marketing funnel, while others are long and complicated with a more detailed plan required.
Collect and analyse as much data as possible, develop clear business models and objectives and align the marketing strategy with as definite a picture of the brand and customer as possible. With this clear idea of the end goal, an email funnel can help build a successful business and develop long-term, positive and rewarding relationships with happy customers.
If you would like to know more about how Rezcomm can help with your email marketing strategy contact us today.
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