Move Prospects Down the Sales Funnel with Email

It’s been a crazy busy summer, and now everyone is staring down at the final quarter of 2008.  So, the questions are coming into FulcrumTech about how to get prospects down the sales funnel with email newsletters, promotional email, and other forms of email marketing.  MarketingSherpa has a great chart that mirrors what we typically describe, and it provides a number of great metrics to measure at every stage.

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Looking at email marketing against these categories, we typically recommend the following:

Awareness – An email newsletter is a great awareness-building tool.  If you integrate it within the fabric of your company’s interactions with prospects, your list will grow faster than you can imagine.  Invite people at every interaction point to subscribe.  If the newsletter is relevant and has great content, they won’t be doing you a favor by signing up.  You’ll certainly be the one doing the favor. 

Consideration – At this stage, they’re thinking about your services.  Your awareness building efforts in the email newsletters have made them see you or your company as an expert in your field.  They have an idea of what you do, and they have a need.  Now, they’re thinking about buying your products or services.  This is when you can use promotional emails triggered off of their click activity in the newsletters or other promotional emails.  For example, if someone clicks on an ad in your email newsletter for a product, you can have an email automatically sent that provides more information about the need that product meets or more about the product, along with a clear call to action to call you.  These emails can be setup once, and then they just run. And, don’t forget to build single purpose landing pages and optimize them for search engines or for any promotions you may be running. 

Favorability – This stage really refers to the growing buzz and interest in your products and services.  People begin to blog about you, rate you, compare you, etc.  This is where we recommend to clients that they add valuable, information-based comments on other blogs (which always link back to your site).  This is great for search engine optimization (SEO). 

Purchase intent – So, now you know they want to talk.  Get on the phone, meet them, etc.  You know the drill.  Use email at this stage to provide specific, factual content that is highly relevant to their needs.  Some may be custom, but some may be standard emails that include links to additional information that will help your prospect make the right decision. 

Purchase – Once someone purchases, there are many transactional email opportunities to keep them learning and increasing their interest in perhaps other products and services you sell.  As you know, it’s a lot cheaper to sell to customers than to strangers. 

Loyalty – Loyalty building efforts are back to email newsletters.  Ask them what you can provide to help them further.  Use surveys to continually learn from your customers, and be sure they know you’re listening.

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