What is an email marketing funnel?

Email marketing is one of the most effective options for promotion. Through email marketing, you can appeal to a wider target audience, expand your reach and nurture potential prospects as your business continues to grow. Nearly 30% of marketers rate email marketing as the most powerful channel beating options like social media as well as SEO. However, for your email marketing to be successful, you need to ensure that you understand the key elements. This includes the email marketing funnel.

What is meant by a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel refers to the journey that a visitor, user, or client will take with your brand. This begins with learning about your brand to the final point of conversion. An email marketing funnel is a series of email campaign strategies that are designed to nurture any leads and push them towards a conversion. It is also a representation of how a subscriber goes from being a lead to a customer through different email communications. For email marketing funnels to be successful and effective, you need to know the needs of subscribers and send an email at the perfect time. 

Why are email marketing funnels critical?

Email marketing funnels are important as they ensure that you are providing leads with the right information at the right time. This in turn will guarantee that they continue to move through the different stages towards a conversion. Without a marketing funnel in place, it’s all too easy for leads to forget your brand or disengage. This can cause you to lose a lot of potential conversions and lead to a largely inefficient marketing strategy. With a marketing funnel, you can ensure that you are providing leads with the right information at a specific time. Once you have the right marketing funnel in place that leads to a high number of conversions, you can continue using it throughout your campaign, making slight adjustments as you proceed. 

What are the stages of an email marketing funnel?

There are four stages of an email marketing funnel that you should be aware of. These include: 

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration 
  • Conversion

The first stage is based on introducing your brand to your prospects. You can do this through blog pages, social media or search engines. Once a lead is aware of your business, they might be inclined to learn what you can offer. As such, this is the ideal time to send emails relating to your product or service and how you can help them. You can send links to content that provides valuable information such as a PDF file, whitepaper or various informatory articles. 

The next step is interest which can also be referred to as engagement. Engagement will help you discover the pain point of your potential prospect. It should provide you with an idea or understanding of how you can solve an issue that they are experiencing. During this stage, you can build up a relationship with the prospect that is based on delivering value through key actions. That could include email nurturing content as well as opt-in forms that will allow you to gather the key information you need. 

After prospects have shown interest, they move onto the consideration stage. During this stage, buyers will be ready to learn about any solutions you have available for the problems that they are facing. This is when you can begin to highlight specific products or services that they might be interested in. 

The final stage is conversion. At this point, a subscriber to your emails will transform into a customer. You need to focus on ensuring that your emails now include the right CTA. A strong CTA that appeals to a prospect can help ensure that a transaction will take place. 

Again, the right email marketing funnel will ensure that there is a high level of engagement at each of these stages and that you do achieve a conversion. 

Best strategies for an email marketing funnel

Key strategies will help ensure that your email marketing funnel is successful and delivers real value for your brand. For instance, you should focus on shortening the sales cycle as much as possible. This can be achieved by personalizing your emails as much as possible. And using an e-signature. Any subscribers will also always appreciate the level of individualisation on display here. 

You need to focus on building a great email subscriber list too. Using poor emails will always negatively impact your marketing strategy. Over time, it can lead to email blacklisting. You need to use the best tools to find current email addresses and potential prospects before you start building your funnel. 

Finally, it’s worth using an automated email system to build up and adapt your sales funnel. You can choose different email template options and design your emails to match your audience before sending them automatically when key triggers occur. Automated email systems will also allow you to track your open and click-through rates over time so you can constantly optimize your funnel. 

5 examples of an email marketing funnel

There are different email marketing sales funnel models that you can use in your business. 


The AIDA sales funnel template is a particularly popular model. Each letter refers to a step that is included in the funnel. 

  • Awareness – You should send personalized offers in an email that will increase interest and curiosity. The offer should be included in the subject line. 
  • Interest – Ensure that you keep your audience interested through different jokes, facts and stories. 
  • Desires – Let your subscribers understand the big benefits of your service or products 
  • Action – Introduce a clear call to action 

Saas Sales Funnel

The SaaS sales funnel is useful if you are aiming to convert B2B customers who are interested in a SaaS product. This can include:

  • Introducing awareness of the SaaS product
  • Emails to help users learn about features
  • Introduce a SaaS demo
  • Set out a business proposal
  • Standard consideration emails 
  • Purchasing decision
  • Client renewal 

While this funnel takes a considerable amount of time, it helps ensure that customers are satisfied and happy with their purchase. 

Three Email Funnel 

The three email funnels are short and simple. It ensures that prospects don’t feel as though they are being overwhelmed by too much information. The three emails include:

  • Value – The first email needs to immediately highlight why a prospect signed up. 
  • Authority – The second email must explain why you are an expert and introduce your business.
  • CTA – The third email is your pitch of a product or service that addresses the pain point of your audience. 

Product-Based Sales Email Funnel 

If you are selling products, then you can use a product-based sales email funnel. This will include:

  • A welcome email – let prospects know you are happy they signed up 
  • Interest – understand what customers are searching for and teach them about the benefits. 
  • Confidence – use testimonials and answer key questions to build levels of confidence 
  • Remind to buy – Remind customers about a product they have added to their cart 
  • Confirmation – send a confirmation email immediately after a customer completes a purchase. 

Lead Magnet Funnel 

The lead magnet funnel is based on the fact that customers know companies want their email. So you need to encourage them to provide it with a lead magnet. 

Customers are encouraged to sign up for a product or free service directly through the website. They then receive the freebie which automatically triggers the email sequence. This includes information on:

  • What you do
  • What you sell
  • How it will help
  • Clear CTA 

Creating an email marketing funnel with Instiller?

Using Instiller, it’s easier to create an email marketing funnel that is effective and efficient, delivering the level of conversions you need. 

The software allows you to create responsive emails with an easy drag-and-drop solution in a matter of minutes. You don’t need experience coding and you can personalize the emails to match highly specific needs. You can also optimise your funnel to ensure that it always generates the best engagement rates. 

Your leads may be getting stuck somewhere along your email marketing funnel. Through Instiller, you can set up automatic email workflows. This will allow you to nurture your prospect and ensure that emails are triggered based on any behavior and information that you have about individuals. This means that you can always send the right email at the right time which is a critical part of building an effective email sales funnel. 


Building an email marketing funnel is always going to be a critical component of your overall marketing strategy. In doing so, you can make sure that you are always guaranteeing high levels of engagement and providing prospects with key information at the best possible time. There are various sales funnel strategies so it’s important to find the one that works for your brand and fits your business model. You may want to test a few different funnels before settling on the ideal choice while continuing to change and adapt your funnel based on the data received. At Instiller, it’s easy to create powerful funnels that will deliver the high conversion rates you want. Sign up for a free trial, or get in touch today to learn more.

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