What’s the Simple Secret to More Effective Email Marketing Funnels?

If you want to grow your brand, drive performance, and convert leads, mastering email marketing should be the first place you look. It’s affordable, and it has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel when you do it right. An essential part of “getting it right” is formalizing your approach with email marketing funnels.

We’ve put together this guide to help you do that. And we’ll share the secret to ensuring that your funnels are the best they can be.

What’s a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a map you create to visualize the path your customers take to make a purchase. Whether you formalize the flow of the customer journey or not, everyone will go through one of a few similar paths as they decide whether to make a purchase.

But mapping out the structure of that journey helps get more out of your campaigns because:

  • You can see what’s working and what’s not.
  • You can identify areas where potential customers are abandoning the journey.
  • Can identify bottlenecks that hurt sales velocity.

Marketers generally conceptualize the funnel as having three sections:

  • The top of the funnel, before a prospect is in-market.
  • Then comes the middle of the funnel, when they’re in the market for a solution to the problem you solve.
  • At the bottom of the funnel, they’re ready to make a purchase.

But once you convert a lead into a customer, your job still isn’t done. You need to continue engaging with them and build long-term trust and loyalty.

A marketing funnel maps out what happens at each stage of the funnel. For example:

  • What emails will customers receive at each stage of the funnel?
  • What offers will you send them?
  • How will you move them into the next stage of the funnel?

What is an Email Marketing Funnel?

An email marketing funnel takes the funnel concept and applies it to email campaigns.

It will map out what emails to send, who to send them to, and when. It will also cover what offers to share at each stage of the funnel. Email marketing automation platforms like Klavyo and Mailchimp allow you to automate and scale the process.

What are the Different Stages of the Email Marketing Funnel?

The three main stages of the funnel are:

  1. The Awareness stage. In the Awareness stage, the customer is aware they have a problem, but they haven’t decided to do anything about it yet.
  2. The Consideration stage. In the Consideration stage, the customer begins to research potential solutions.
  3. The Decision stage. In the Decision stage, the customer compares different solutions on their shortlist to make a final decision.

Now, let’s look into each stage and what you need to do to lead your subscribers to the next stage.


In the first stage, you should start with educational content that builds trust and raises brand awareness. Customers in this stage are highly unlikely to be ready to make a purchase, so focus on providing value to establish your credibility.

For example, for a new subscriber to your email list who’s in the Awareness stage, you might welcome them to your list, explain why your company is an authority in the space, and let them know what they can expect from your emails and your business.

Then, you’ll use marketing automation and behavioral targeting to deliver further lead nurturing emails to move your subscribers through the funnel.

Remember to focus on email engagement. Customer engagement, according to Gallup, is one of the best predictors of organic growth.


In this stage, the customer begins to consider different solutions to their problem. These emails should share information that will be helpful to customers as they research their options. And they should be triggered based on each visitor’s website activity. For example, visitors to your features or pricing pages are probably in the Consideration stage.

If you’ve done a good job in the Awareness, you should have the data you need to personalize your emails using audience segmentation. The more relevant and personal the emails are, the more successful they will be.


At this point, it’s time to convert your leads into paying customers. Social proof like reviews and testimonials are very effective in the Decision stage. So are special offers.

Try offering an exclusive, limited-time deal to your subscribers. That could be a discount, free shipping, or anything your customers will value.


It’s easier to keep a customer than acquire a new one. So don’t go radio silent after a customer makes their first purchase. Now is your chance to increase customer loyalty and purchase frequency.

Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Create a loyalty program
  2. Provide a stellar customer experience
  3. Be mindful of negative experiences and feedback and respond with empathy

What’s the Secret to More Successful Email Marketing Funnels?

The secret to maximizing the potential of your email marketing funnels is to fill your funnels with as much targeted traffic as you can. That way, you will have more data to optimize your campaigns. You will also increase revenue because, theoretically, the more people you put into the top of your funnel, the more will come out of the other end having made a purchase.

But that is only practical if you can generate leads cost-efficiently.

How to Get More Leads Affordably

The most scalable and affordable way to fill your funnel is website visitor identification. This email list building tool captures the email addresses of website visitors who don’t convert and sends them through your email marketing funnel.

Most of your website visitors will bounce, but visitor identification technology collects contact information for up to 40 percent of your anonymous website visitors.

You can collect data such as:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Mailing address
  • Household income range
  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Education level
  • Homeowner status
  • Net worth range
  • Marital status
  • Presence of children.

Then that information can be sent right to your email marketing platform through a one-click integration. For example, if you use Salesforce Journey Builder, website visitor identification can send the data right into Salesforce to trigger emails and other marketing campaigns. (See other available integrations here.)

And don’t worry. Website visitor identification software is CAN-SPAM compliant, as long as you follow the same CAN-SPAM guidelines you follow when sending other commercial emails.

Fill Your Email Marketing Funnel Faster

If problems with email acquisition are standing in your way, try website visitor identification to help you optimize your email marketing funnels. You can get 100 leads for free when you sign up here.