Email marketing can be the biggest source of leads and sales, along with repeat sales, if you take the time to set it up the right way and provide offers that stand out in your niche.

Putting together a successful email marketing campaign requires that you fully understand how conversion funnels and goals work. The same concept applies to online as offline. It doesn’t matter if you are setting up an email marketing campaign for your online business, or trying to do business offline in the real world. The process is:

  • Attract and acquire high quality leads and prospects
  • Convert them into sales and dollars
  • Get them to continue to buy as repeat customers

It’s a very simple concept. A lot of IMers will get intimidated when trying to figure out email marketing and online sales funnels. The same principles that have been used for 100 years offline need to be applied online, that’s all.

There are three main types of email marketing funnels, and I’m going to explain each one and dive into how you can create a winning campaign, no matter what niche you are in. Once you can identify which one of the three will benefit your business the most, you need to focus on that one, and not try to juggle multiple campaigns. If your business model requires that you convert prospects ASAP, you really aren’t going to have a need to also run a lead nurturing campaign.

So, read through these three examples and decide which one will fit your business goals and then dive in, putting all of your email marketing efforts into one mega campaign.

Let’s do this…

Tip: There are a lot of email options. Personally, I always suggest MailChimp to noobs because they have a good free option. AWeber also has a free month trial and then starts at $19. Their deliverability rate is usually really good. If you are making piles of cash and want the very BEST email option (and have huge lists) look into Infusionsoft. If you pay attention, all the guru info product people use it because of its deliverability rate and also all of the automation customization. It’s not cheap, but if you are making a lot of money the cost is justified.

Email marketing automated strategies..


1. Lead Attraction & Acquisition

Main Goal: This is for those of you that want to build a huge list of leads and prospects to market to at a later date. These are leads that will need to be nurtured for a period of time, through a series of informational and educational emails, before they are ready to take out their wallet and spend money with you.


Simple Offer Example: A common example of this would be a free eBook download. While it seems everyone has a free download, they work well and you will generate a lot of leads, both good and bad. For example, if I were to offer a free eBook about link building on my blog, I would generate a lot of leads, but a high percentage of them would be other SEO companies and link builders. So, even though my leads might be high, the number of qualified leads will be much lower.


How to Present the Offer: If you are just trying to collect email addresses, the best way is with a simple form. If you can get away with only asking for the email address, do that. The less information you ask for, the more you will collect. If you MUST have their name also, ask for that, but definitely don’t go beyond two form fields when building your email lead list.


Use the following options to collect emails. This will work on blogs and even e-commerce websites.

  • Exit Popup: Exit popups are great if you don’t want to totally annoy your visitors. If you have repeat visitors and want to keep them coming back, use an exit popup. If they are leaving anyway it won’t interrupt their browsing. They will either close it out or if your offer is enticing enough they will enter their email.
  • Timed Popup: If you are just pushing a huge amount of traffic to your site and don’t care too much about repeat visitors, because that traffic source will continue to pump hard, use a timed popup that goes off after a specific time on your website. This is where split testing will come into play. Try 5, 10, 15 and even 60 seconds to see what converts the best. If you aren’t concerned with annoying people and just want to force the offer, this works well.
  • Sidebar Offer: This is a good location because you aren’t being intrusive with a popup, but so many people ignore the sidebar because they automatically associate it with advertisements. You have to make sure you really make this stand out with a strong headline and image to draw attention.
  • Slide-Out: Just like with the timed popup, you will need to test to see what is the best time. Experiment with both right and left sides at different times.
  • End of Post: If you are posting solid content on your blog, include an offer at the end of each post. If the reader loves what you wrote they will be more willing to give you their email address because they feel obligated to give you something in return for the information you gave them for free.
  • Top Bar: These are good because it stays in front of your visitor even as they scroll down. They can’t ignore it. Spilt test multiple text variations and button colors to find your sweet spot.
  • Footer: If you used a heat map tool you would see that so many visitors head down to the footer area when they are searching for contact information. They naturally go there, so why not include your offer there as well.

Examples of Email Sequences:

1. Your first email should be double opt in confirmation. This helps you only attract useful subscribers that actually want to read your messages.

2. After 2-3 days you should touch them again, but just thank them for joining your list and set the expectations. If you are going to give them free info, tell them. If you are going to send them occasional coupon codes, let them know. Don’t try to sell in this email. Just let them know that you appreciate them joining.

3. After 5 days, send them a soft offer. Give them value and free info, but slide in a subtle offer to buy.

4. After 7 days, send another follow up email with only information and then a link back to your blog. Often times they will go back to your site to absorb more free info, but end up making a purchase without you even pressuring for a sale.

5. After 10 days I like to get more aggressive. This email goes for the sale, without any other information.

6. After the first “hard sale” I hit them every 5 to 7 days with offers. At this point I am ready for them to buy or unsubscribe.


2. Real Time Conversions

Main Goal: While you always want to generate leads to market to, it’s always nice to convert some traffic into sales right away. Cash rules everything; remember that! Even if you can figure out how to generate a small percentage of instant sales and the rest turn into leads, you are able to generate the money needed to keep the business running and inject into other forms of marketing. Even if you become the best email marketer on the planet you need to have your hands in several marketing campaigns.


Simple Offer Example: A simple real time example to understand would be a discount coupon offer or even a pre-launch “hot” list. A “enter your email to receive an instant 10% off coupon code” is going to generate a lot of email leads. Some of them are entering their email to get the code because they want to buy right now, which is ideal. Then, you still have their email address to market to them at later dates and get them to be repeat buyers. Pre-launch lists are good because once you mail them a large percent should buy. Those that don’t can be marketed to over and over until they do buy or leave your list.


How to Present the Offer: If you want to push sales, you need to get the offer in front of your visitors almost as soon as they land on your website. This ensures they all see it, even if they decide to leave early. A timed popup works very well. Something that fired after 3 seconds and says, “Enter your email now to INSTANTLY receive a 10% off coupon code” will help you collect a pile of emails. Also, use a 2-step popup for this. As soon as they enter it you need to display the coupon code. DO NOT make them have to check their email to get the code. This will completely kill the “now” sales. If you give up the coupon code right there you will see some of those recipients utilize the code during that session. Even if they don’t, you now have their email and can try to get them to buy at a later date.


Examples of Email Sequences:

1. Your first email should be a thank you email. I don’t usually force the double opt in for this. If they are entering their email for an instant discount code I assume they are serious about spending money. Rather then risk losing some that don’t double opt in I push them all straight to the list.

2. The very next day I send them to discount code again. A simple “Here is the discount code for your records” will often convert some instant sales and also prime the pipeline for future sales.

3. After 3 days, send them a teaser email saying that in 48 hours you are saving a sale and they have been pre-selected to receive the limited offer. This prepares them for the next email, which will be your highest converting.

4. As promised, in 2 days send them a special discount code and give them a time window. “This limited offer was sent to just a handful of our valuable customers and it expires in 24 hours from now.” A strong offer will see a huge conversion rate.

6. Then, mail them every 7 to 10 days with offers.


3. Cash Cow: Show Me The Money!

Main Goal: The goal here is to generate as much cold hard cash as possible, with little to no regard of leads and future marketing.


Simple Offer Example: If you look to the IM industry you will see this approach all over the place. From webinars that require you r email address to enter and then try to sell you something at the end, to aggressive offers, like the classic WSO type: “Regular price is $10,000 but today only, for the next 12 hours it’s only $197!”


How to Present the Offer: You want to make it as simple as possible for the person to access your special offer. So, using the same example as above, if you were selling an online course that was usually $10,000 for $197, you would want to have something dramatic like a large countdown timer to cause a sense of urgency and require them to enter an email address to reveal the “BUY NOW” button for the discounted rate.


Remember, the goal is to generate sales right then and there. Collecting emails is really your second priority, but doing so will still give you a list to market to at a alter date and sell other products to. You can also use the aggressive email sequence tips below to convert those that might have gotten cold feet before completing the purchase the first time.


Examples of Email Sequences:

Since this is for “now” money, I fire off emails that push hard for the sale.

1. One day after they submit, I send the offer again. Hard and aggressive ask.

2. Two days later, another hard sell.

3. After 5 days total, I send another hard push for the offer but also include a discounted price. This is the last ditch effort to squeeze money out of as many prospects as possible. (Note: You MUST remember to remove the emails of those that buy and put them into a new “customer” list. The last thing you want to do is have someone that bought it get offered a cheaper price only days later. That will just piss them off and lead to refunds.)



It’s not as easy as just collecting email addresses. Think about how many websites that you see all using the same exact email capture system with no clear of what the person submitting their email gets in return. I know a lot of people love plug-ins like SumoMe, but you can’t just slap that email sidebar slide-in and pop up form on your website and think you are doing email marketing.

You must first identify what your main goals is, which is either to grow a large list of leads to market to in the future, convert sales much faster, or not even care about long term lead potential and just try to generate as much cash as quickly as possible. If you try to do it all you will fail. Pick one, master it, and watch your business increase.

Leave any feedback or questions below and I will do my best to get back to you and answer any questions you might have. I’d also like to hear any tips and tricks you use to build your lists and convert sales using your funnels.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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