Think of the path that you want your subscribers to take before and after joining your list as a trip that they’re taking with a goal destination in mind.
That is what a funnel helps you create. The funnel guides your audience to become subscribers, then it helps you nurture them, and finally, it helps them become customers and hopefully loyal fans and advocates.
First, a funnel looks just like you think. It’s a tube with a wide part at the top that makes it simple to pour things in, with a smaller opening at the bottom which makes it easier to get whatever you’re pouring into it into a container without making a mess. The top of the funnel is the widest part, the bottom is the narrowest part.
We’ll go over the funnel starting with the top. Keep in mind that there are numerous types of funnels and people use different labels for each portion but they’re essentially the same thing with different labels. These are just ideas that you can use for your own funnel.
At the top of the funnel is the widest part and where you’re working on getting people to be aware that you exist. To do this you may post blog posts, social media posts, host a webinar, give away a freebie of some sort like a checklist, email course, or cheat sheet. This makes your audience aware that you exist and hopefully it entices them to sign up for your email list. Ensure that you make it easy for them to sign up and ask them to sign up.
At this point, they’re already on your email list. Now it’s your job to send content that is tailored to their specific problems with your solutions. The information you send to the people on your list at this place in their buying cycle should be specific. It should be educational, informational, and engaging. It should be based on where they signed up for your list, how they have responded and which segment they’re on.
Some content ideas are videos, webinars, live events, inviting them to a closed Facebook group or another type of exclusive community. This is also when you start making offers to them. If you have a product or service that solves their problem you want to tell them about it in multiple ways in multiple emails.
This is part of your list where they have converted. This can mean that they downloaded another freebie, or that they purchased your product or used your service. Once they convert, they need to be segmented to a part of your list that already bought that product or used that service so that you can now send them other types of messages including selling them more products and more services either yours or someone else’s as an affiliate.
Once someone is a customer that means they’re much more likely to buy from you again. But, you need to instill loyalty by continuing to send targeted content to the subscribers that you know they’ll believe is very valuable. When they buy something (or download a freebie) you should send them a thank you and show them that they’re appreciated. Ask for advice, ask for a testimonial, invite them to your inner circle. Be helpful and they’ll become very loyal to you.
The next step for your loyal customers is to become advocates, and in the online world, that means affiliates. If you don’t have an affiliate program you should create one if you have your own products or services. Your loyal customers will love telling people about you regardless but you can incentivize them to tell others by sending them messages to share your content with people they know will enjoy it or who need it.
When you plan the content, you’ll send to your audience at each stage of the funnel you create for your email list you’ll find it a lot easier to not only build your list but nurture it. Today there are numerous ways that you can nurture your list above and beyond content that stays in the autoresponder. You can also incorporate live events (both online and offline) open to the public and exclusive to your subscribers.