River flowing downstream in funnel-like shape, with mountains and trees on either side of the valley

The psychology behind an e-mail funnel

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An e-mail funnel is a series of e-mails that you send to a list of people over a period of time. The funnel starts out wide, with many recipients, and often narrows down to the few people that are good leads for your company. At the end of a funnel, people are prompted to choose whether to take a certain action or not (like signing up for a webinar or buying a product).

The energy level of an e-mail funnel

One characteristic of e-mails is that you can reach hundreds or even thousands of people with a single message. This message is copied again and again, but unlike the days of carbon paper, e-mail allows you adapt the content for each recipient. You can write “Hello Tom or Hello Sam” at the start of your message, while keeping the body the same.

By contacting many people at once, you multiply the energy level behind your message. And the larger your e-mail list, the more powerful your message becomes.

The energy level of your message also increases with every e-mail you send. Each touchpoint in your e-mail funnel builds on the energy of previous touchpoints, especially when they’re on the same topic.

Multiple e-mails are therefore a great way to invest in the relationship with your audience. They build up energy and strengthen the bond between you and the people reading your message.

So, aside from your content, you have two main levers to raise the energy as you approach the decision point at the end of the funnel: the size of the list and the number of e-mails per recipient.

If the energy level is high enough (and the energy is targeted in the right direction), it will spill over into the decision that you prompted through your funnel. For example, you might see that a certain number of people buy your product and this generates sales for your business.

Here’s how this might look visually:

Diagram showing how the energy level of an email funnel increases with every email. The more emails you send to more people, the higher the energy level of the message. if the energy level is high enough at the decision point, you cross the threshold for a sale.

The higher the energy level, the higher the chance that the energy threshold is reached and the intended decisions are made by prospects.

Leakage: letting go in marketing funnels

Every time you e-mail people, they can choose to open and read your message, ignore and delete it, or unsubscribe from your list altogether. Once you reach a certain list size, you’ll see at least one or two people, if not tens or hundreds, unsubscribe after every e-mail you send. In a funnel, this is known as leakage.

Marketers typically want to reduce leakage in their funnels, so they send out the most valuable content to subscribers. This keeps the value flow going and deepens relationships with prospects.

Leakage in a marketing funnel

But leakage isn’t always as bad as it sounds. Unlike a leaking water pipe, an e-mail with 1% leakage might just send away leads who wouldn’t be a good long-term fit for your business.

Letting go of these subscribers along the away might even make it easier for you to reach your goals. You can focus your energy on relationships that are mutually beneficial, instead of keeping energy (resources, computing power, etc.) trapped in connections that aren’t a great fit.

From a spiritual perspective, letting go of old connections and bonds like this is a precursor to success. After all, you need free space and energy for new business relationships to manifest.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is commonly used in e-mail funnels to value or rank leads based on their behaviour. Actions such as opening an e-mail, clicking on a link and signing up for a webinar can add to the lead’s score. The higher a particular score, the higher the leads’ future revenue potential is expected to be.

The idea behind this is the following: the more a person invests in the relationship (by opening e-mails or clicks on links), the more likely it is that the company can deepen the relationship with them.

Behaviours like opening an e-mail or scrolling suggest that the recipient is getting value from the e-mails the receive. This value may ultimately come back to you as the sender in the form of a purchase or other benefit, as leads buy your product in expectation of more value.

What does this mean for you?

You can drive sales and increase earnings from your e-mail funnel by:

  • Adding more people your e-mail list
  • Sending multiple e-mails to build and deepen relationships
  • Increasing the perceived value of each message

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