How to Build Your First Email Funnel: Your Beginner’s Guide

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Creating your very first email funnel for your website visitors is a big step in the right direction for your blog.

Honestly, I wish I had done it sooner - but I got stuck in the "I don't want to learn how to do that" vortex and, because of that stubbornness, I left a lot of money on the table. ​

Avoid making that same mistake - jump on the list building bandwagon sooner rather than later... it will only help your cause, especially if you're looking to monetize your site.

What is an Email Funnel?

An Email funnel is a component of the marketing funnel (the journey your blog readers will take as they go from introduction to purchase).

Your goal for the marketing funnel is to nurture leads from the top of the funnel right down to the bottom. If you fail to nurture them well enough (or if they have no interest in what you’re telling them), they’ll exit the funnel without making a purchase.

email-funnel

Think about it: do you make a purchase for a product when you know nothing about the product or the company that is selling it?

Probably not.

That’s why building your first email funnel will be hugely instrumental for you.

The email funnel is a portion of the marketing funnel - the portion in which you attract leads with a lead magnet and entice them to subscribe to your email list.

Why Create an Email Funnel?

Building an email funnel for your readers creates a win/win situation for everyone involved:

  • For you: You get more subscribers on your email list, which allows you to grow your blog and make more money.
  • For the reader: The reader gets something they WANT from you. They wouldn’t be giving you their email address if they didn’t want whatever it is that you’re advertising.

Email funnels allow you to:

  • ​Build brand awareness
  • Convert warm leads into buyers
  • Develop your persona
  • Increase your authority
  • Provide value to your audience
  • Make more money

There’s literally no downside to building your first email funnel… so let’s talk logistics.

how to build your first email funnel

How to Build Your First Email Funnel

My recommendation is to use ConvertKit to build your email funnel and manage your subscribers.

I’ve used MailChimp and Aweber in the past and I do not recommend going those routes for a number of different reasons.

I didn’t like MailChimp because it didn’t have the basic automation functionality I wanted without me having to pay a boat load of money each month (something I wasn’t willing to do).

Aweber was okay for a little while, but I quickly grew to dislike their pricing structure and the way they define “a subscriber”. Also, the system itself is a bit antiquated. Aweber hasn’t aged well and, compared to other email service providers, it’s not up-to-par with current standards.

So off to ConvertKit I went. And I have no qualms about it either. I’m paying $30 per month and it does just about everything I need it to do and more.

I’m not the only one who thinks so… lots of top bloggers trust their email lists with ConvertKit.

Click here to learn more about ConvertKit’s services.

Once you’ve secured a ConvertKit account, follow these steps to build your first email funnel. 

Step One: Create an Enticing Lead Magnet

A lead magnet (also known as a freebie or opt-in) is something that will entice your readers to give you their email address in exchange for the lead magnet. 

For example: Bloggers always want to know how to monetize their site quickly. A good lead magnet for them might be a free ebook called, "How to make $500 within your first 3 months as a blogger". 

In order to decide on a lead magnet, go through these steps:

  1. ​Identify your target audience. Who are they? 
  2. List a few problems your target audience has
  3. Figure out a way to solve one of those problems
  4. Convey that resolution into a lead magnet (a video, a tutorial, an ebook, a free consult)

Example: 

  1. My target audience is bloggers - usually men and women between the ages of 18 - 45 (I'm estimating here)
  2. ​These people usually want to make more money (they either want to quit their job and blog full time or they want to use blogging as a supplemental income source). But they aren't sure how to monetize
  3.  I can solve this problem by sharing key strategies to monetize a site effectively and quickly
  4.  I can explain these strategies in a 30 page ebook 

Step Two: Create a Form​

Now that you know what your lead magnet is going to be, you'll need to create a form in order to advertise your lead magnet and collect email addresses throughout your site.

In ConvertKit, a form can look like this: 

email-funnel

To create your own form:

Click on "forms" in the top left of the banner​

email-funnel

Then scroll down and click "create form"

email-funnel

You'll need to choose between creating a "landing page" and creating a "form"... Click "form".  

email-funnel

Now, watch this video, which will walk you through customizing your ConvertKit form

Step Three: Create a Landing Page

For every freebie you create, I highly suggest you create it's own landing page. 

Landing pages are beneficial because:

  • ​They are easy to share (you can link to them on Pinterest, and other social media accounts)
  • You have room to describe your freebie in greater detail (forms are small and restricting)
  • You can add them to your menu on your website

Landing pages are incredibly easy to create in ConvertKit. Instead of clicking on "form", click on "landing page".​

Editing a landing page is the same as editing a form (watch the above video). 

Step Four: Create an Email Sequence

An email sequence is a series of emails that your subscribers will automatically receive in their inbox after joining your list.

The point of an email list is to nurture your subscribers by providing them with value. This will make them more likely to trust you and make a purchase from you somewhere down the line. 

Here is ​how you create an email sequence in ConvertKit.

How to Link Your Form to Your Email Sequence

Now that you have a form and an email sequence, you need to link the two together so that ConvertKit knows when someone signs up through a specific form, that they should also be sent all of the emails in the sequence you created.

Congrats - you created your very first email funnel... now what?

Now that you completed your email funnel, it's time to get started blogging! The more you blog and promote your blog, the more readers will land on your site, and the larger your email list will grow.

If you have any questions about using ConvertKit to build your email and marketing funnel, please leave them in the comments below! ​

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Eden Fried
 

Freelance writer, blogger, WordPress web designer.

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