Email Marketing Funnels: Why You Need Them and How To Use Them

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How to use email marketing funnels

I talk to a lot of online business owners who aren’t using email marketing funnels. And they know it’s costing them a lot of money. They feel bad about it. But they still don’t do it. Does that sound like you? I totally understand. 

Using email marketing effectively gets amazing results.

You might have heard that the average return on investment for email marketing is 44x.

In this post, you’ll get to grips with the different types of email marketing funnel. You’ll also get access to some email funnel templates. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • The different types of email marketing funnel.
  • You’ll also get access to some email funnel templates.
  • The most frequently asked questions about email marketing funnels

Let’s get it!

What Is An Email Funnel?

An email funnel represents the potential customer journey from the moment they sign up to your email list, including all the following email communications they receive and engage with.  A great email funnel informs and engages leads and drives them to action. It builds trust with your subscribers and inspires them to move from a warm lead to paying customer.

How Much Money Can You Make with Email Marketing Funnels? 

If you have an email list and you’re currently not emailing them about any other offers, then let’s see how much money you could make. 

15,000 x 1% buying x $50 average sale 


30,000 x 2% buying x $50 average sale


50,000 x 4% buying x $200 average sale

$400,000 (4% is very high, but it can happen!) 

So what’s stopping you from setting up your email funnel properly? 

Comments I hear include:

  • “I don’t know where to start”
  • ” That’s not my specialty” 
  • “I don’t have time to do this”⏱️

So instead, you stick with what you know, whether that’s SEO, JVs, content creation, or whatever. You don’t send enough emails to your existing list, and you lose all that lovely money.

I get that. It makes sense. There’s a real benefit to sticking to what you know. You don’t have time to learn email marketing. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

But . . . what if you knew just enough about email marketing to figure out the possible results and to ask someone to do the work for you? Then you wouldn’t have to do it yourself, you wouldn’t have to learn it yourself, and you could still make all that money.

I’m going to help.

Email Marketing Funnel Strategy

Before you get started with setting up your email funnels, you need to do some strategy work. Start by: 

  • Figuring out how much money email marketing could make you
  • Figuring out what kind of email sequence(s) you need
To understand the type of email funnel you need, you should know: 

  • The four most important email sequences
  • The benefit of each email sequence
  • How to tell whether you need it or not
  • When to send it
  • What kind of content is in it
  • How many emails are in the sequence

Once you have this figured out, you can ask someone else to write your email marketing funnel template for you.

In the briefing you need to tell them:

  • The kind of email sequence you need
  • What it’s trying to achieve
  • Which existing content should be in it

They’ll be able to put something great together for you which will save you a lot of pain and back and forth trying to figure out what it is that you need.

If you want to know more about funnels that will draw people into your email funnel, check out this post

Four email marketing sequences online business need

  • Segmentation
  • Engagement
  • Promotions
  • Upsell

There are other types of email sequences you can use to engage your subscribers. But to make things as simple as possible, let’s focus on these.

1. Segmentation email funnels

This allows you to figure out who is interested in a particular topic – before you send your emails to everyone.

With segmentation, the point is to figure out who’s interested in a specific topic, so we can communicate with just them about that topic, and not bother everyone else.

You need these if

What you’re going to be promoting is only relevant to a specific segment of your list. 

Email funnel examples for segmentation 

Say that you sell courses for teaching people about learning English grammar. You have teachers and students buying from you. You’ve now got a new high-priced course specifically for teachers.

You could promote it to your whole email list – but the downside is that you’ll be promoting it to students who aren’t teachers themselves. 

Those people will become less engaged because you’re promoting a paid course to them that they’re not interested in. That will reduce your trust in those people who weren’t interested. The conversation in their head is “Why the fuck are you telling me about this shit I’m not interested in” (though they might swear less than me, so it could be nicer than that.)

When to send these?

When you need to learn who is interested in this topic (e.g. teaching English) you send this out manually.

What’s the content?

A segmentation email can take a few forms – but a very simple one is useful to free content about the topic (in this case teaching English).

You promote an article (or a few articles) about teaching English to your email list – and then you tag those people who click on the links as being interested in teaching English.

Another option is a survey.

Number of emails 

1-3 emails

2. Emails for engagement

Engagement email funnels are all about nurturing to get people thinking about the specific problem your course solves, and therefore more ready to buy. 

This builds trust with your audience, which will lead to more sales. 

According to studies companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

You need these if 

You’re going to be promoting something and you need to get them thinking about the problem this solves and the fact that they need a solution. 

Providing helpful content will help you build authority in your niche and gain the trust of your audience about this topic. This is the build-up to your promotion. It will increase the conversion rate of your promotional emails when they go out.

When to send these?

This should go out automatically to everyone who clicked on the segmentation email. It will go out over 2-3 days (depending if you have 2 or 3 emails).

What’s the content?

Useful content that talks about the problem your offer solves. Everything in this should set up the sale.

Things you can talk about here include:

  • the nuances of the problem itself
  • a few key secrets showing them that it’s possible to solve this problem
  • case studies
  • the journey you went through to solve it 
  • the benefits of solving this problem
Number of emails


3. Email promotions

This is where you make money! Everything else was the build-up to this point.

You need these if

You have something to sell!

When to send these?

This should go out automatically after the engagement sequence.

What’s the content?

Details of your offer and a link to your sales page.

You’ve already found who’s interested in this topic. You’ve provided value to them about this topic. 

But the information you’ve provided is only solving one little bit of the overall problem. You’ve got them thinking about the problem that your bigger course solves.

Number of emails


Upsell campaigns

This is when you get your subscribers to buy a more expensive version of your product or service.

You need these if

You have something more expensive than what they just bought (which you 100% should have).

When to send these?

This should go out automatically to everyone who buys the initial product.

What’s the content? 

Promotion of the more expensive version, with details of the benefits (this could be personal coaching sessions, templates to go with the training, etc.) 

Number of emails 


What Does This Look Like?

Here’s an email marketing funnel template you can use: email marketing funnel example

Or a simpler version might be like this.simple email funnel

How Do You Schedule Your Email Marketing Funnels?

The best way to map out your email marketing promotions over the year is by using a promotional calendar. 

This doesn’t have to look complicated. Most people I know who are really good at this use a spreadsheet or just do it on their calendars.promotions calendarAn example of last year’s promotional calendar from a company I run

How to Write Your Marketing Emails

First of all, don’t write anything from scratch. Don’t do that.

And anything that needs writing – don’t write it yourself.

Two things:

  1. Reuse existing content
  2. Get someone else to do it

Get someone to start with your own copy that’s working, and copy some from competitors too.

Most campaigns should be based on previous campaigns that worked. And once you run a successful promotion you can then repeat that promotion year after year with minimal tweaking. 

The first time you do this will be the hardest, and then each subsequent year will be easier and easier.

For example – if you already ran a Black Friday promotion, then you can use some of that content to plan your Easter and Christmas promotions.

How to get people into your email funnel

If you want to drive more people into your email funnel, you will need to do more work on building out your email list. 

There are several simple ways to do this, which include webinar funnels where someone signs up to your email list because they join one of your webinars. 

Another great way to get people onto your email list is with an enticing offer, also known as a tripwire funnel.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How does an email marketing funnel benefit customer retention?

Email marketing funnels play a vital role in customer retention by keeping your existing customers engaged and informed. By sending tailored content, exclusive offers, and updates, you can nurture the relationship with your customers, encouraging them to remain loyal to your brand and make repeat purchases.

  1. Can email marketing funnels help in creating loyal customers?

Absolutely! Email marketing funnels are a powerful tool for building a loyal customer base. Through consistent and personalized communication, you can deepen the connection with your audience. By continuously providing value, addressing their needs, and offering exclusive deals, you can turn satisfied customers into loyal advocates who not only keep coming back but also refer others to your business.

  1. Why do I need email marketing funnels?

Email marketing funnels are essential because they help you systematically convert leads into paying customers and retain existing customers. By collecting email addresses through opt-in forms and delivering valuable content via email campaigns, you can build relationships, establish trust, and encourage repeat purchases from your loyal customers.

Start driving sales with your email funnel 

I hope that helps. You now have an overview of the email marketing funnels which you can start to put into action so you can make more money!

If you need any more help with planning or writing your emails,  get in touch

Or if you need help with automating the sequences so the right emails go to the right people at the right time – then get in touch too.

Please ask any questions you have about email marketing below, or mention what’s stopping you right now and I’ll do my best to help here.


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