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How to create an automated funnel to grow your email list


Having an automated funnel to grow your email list is the first automated system that you should introduce in your business.

Although this system is automated after its set-up, it is important to revisit it time and again to make sure it aligns with your goals as well as to analyze the data, based on conversions, email opens etc. and optimize the emails for your audience.

RELATED: The Ultimate Email Marketing Strategy to grow your business and blog in 2019

Let’s look at the different steps in this process.

This is the exact process I used to get 500+ subscribers in the first 45 days of my business.

Step 1: What is the end goal

Let’s face it. The aim or end goal to build an email list and a funnel is to provide a lot of value, and then sell something.

So what are you looking to sell?

It is important to answer this question before you begin the process of setting up an automated funnel, because you lead magnet, and your entire email sequence will be based on the answer to this question.

You could be selling your own product, an affiliate product, or if you are just starting out, you could be building your list to sell something in the future.

Even if you have no idea about what you are going to sell, you should at least have an idea about the kind of audience you would want to sell.

This will help you build your email list with the right kind of people in it.

grow your email list

Step 2: Decide on a lead magnet

The next step, after deciding the end result, is to decide on the topic and format of your lead magnet, AKA freebie.

After someone goes through your lead magnet, your paid offer should be the logical next step for them.

Your lead magnet should either give your audience a quick win, leading to a complete transformation if you buy your paid product, or it should be one step before the paid product.

For example, if your paid product is a 28 Keto challenge, your freebie could be a 3 day keto diet plan, or something like “getting ready for keto”.

If you are selling a course on using Instagram to get more sales, your freebie could be something like a video on the best hashtag research strategy.

Check out this blog post by Melyssa Griffin where she talks about building an email list from zero.

The format of your lead magnet would generally depend on the cost of your paid offer.

For example, if your paid offer is $47, you could create a workbook, PDF, or checklist as a freebie.

But if your paid offer is $997, your lead magnet would likely be a 45 minute training, a 5 day mini course or a webinar.

Step 3: Decide on the tool/ platform

Convertkit is my choice of email marketing platform.

If you are just starting out, a simple Convertkit landing page might be a good option to get started with your funnel.

If you are using your blog as a traffic platform, and your content upgrade as your lead magnet, you can create a Convertkit form and then integrate it with your WordPress website using the Convertkit plug-in.

If you are looking to eventually convert this lead generation funnel into a sales funnel, you might want to look at a tool like Clickfunnels that helps you build complex sales funnels with tripwires, upsells and downsells.

Clickfunnels starts at $97 per month, and provides you with several templates that you can use to build different types of funnels including webinar funnels, launch funnels, book funnels, etc.

Clickfunnels also easily integrates with Convertkit, so you can connect your Clickfunnels landing page to your Convertkit email sequence.

Clickfunnels integrates with Stripe to collect payments for sale of products/ services, in case of a sales funnel.

Step 4: Creating a landing/form page

The next step is to create a landing page or form on your chosen platform.

I use Convertkit to create a form, and Clickfunnels to build my landing page.

You can check out how to create a form or landing page in Convertkit, in the video below.

Convertkit tutorial to create a form/ landing page

Step 5: Email sequence

An email sequence is an automated email setup, that your audience goes through once they have opted-in to your email list.

The email sequence is the most important part of this automated funnel, since you want to make sure that once people opt-in, they stay engaged and actually enjoy reading your emails.

This email sequence typically consists of 5-7 emails, spread over 10-12 days.

You want to connect with your audience first by telling your story, then lead with a lot of value around the same topic as the lead magnet.

If you are selling something at the end of this sequence, in the 4th email, you would introduce the offer and provide a case study or testimonial.

IN the 5th and 6th email, you would talk about your offer, and how that would help your audience on their journey.

The 7th email could be a last chance email where you would provide bonuses or a discount if people were to sign up within 24 hours.

This is a general outline of the email sequence, you can add or remove emails depending on your end goal.

Step 6: Integrations

Once your form and email sequence is ready, you will integrate all the tools to make sure everything connects smoothly.

IF you are using your lead magnet as a content upgrade on your blog, you will download the Convertkit plugin for WordPress and use the Converkit form on relevant blog posts.

Step 7: Driving traffic

The last step, and the most important one, is to drive traffic to your lead magnet.

The type of traffic depends on your content headquarters, AKA the platform you use to create good quality, long form content on a weekly basis.

In order to drive traffic to your lead magnet, you will need to create content pieces around the topic of your lead magnet, which essentially works as the first step in this funnel.

So your content piece, let’s call it the READ magnet is the first asset that your audience will come across. This will then lead them into the lead magnet and into your email list.

If you use a blog as your content headquarters, you probably use SEO and Pinterest for traffic. You could create SEO optimized content pieces around the lead magnet’s topic, and share them on Pinterest, or you could create pins directing your audience to the landing page for the lead magnet.

Either way, the end goal is to get people on your email list.

Similarly, for Youtube, you could create videos around the topic of the lead magnet, and then share the link to the landing page where your audience can opt-in.

If you are using Instagram, you would share posts in your feed around your lead magnet and then direct them to the link in your bio.

This link would be the link to your landing page where they would opt-in, in order to receive the lead magnet.

If you are building your audience with a Facebook group, you would ask your audience to share their email address when they request to join your group in exchange for the lead magnet.

Do you have an automated email funnel yet?

What tools do you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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