It’s frustrating for e-commerce marketers like you to blast emails regularly and still get low to zero conversions. No matter how much effort you exert, it doesn’t seem to work. What’s wrong?

Let’s look at the numbers first. A Statista report showed that e-commerce made up to $2.3 trillion in sales and is predicted to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021. It also represents almost 10% of U.S. retail sales and is expected to grow by nearly 15% annually. E-commerce also influences up to 56% of in-store purchases.

It should go without saying that e-commerce is taking the Internet by storm. This also means that the competition is becoming stiff, and a sound strategy is a must. Sending out generic emails to your contacts doesn’t work anymore. First, you must understand where your customers are coming. From here, you can use an e-commerce marketing funnel to help you map out your email strategies in a way that you’re targeting the right customers with the right message and at the right time.

What Is an E-commerce Marketing Funnel and Why Is It Important?

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A marketing funnel illustrates the journey customers go through as they interact with your business, from the first time they learn about your brand to the exact moment they become paying customers. The different stages of the customer journey distinguish the problems customers are trying to solve at that point in time. By adopting this model, you can craft targeted email marketing strategies for your e-commerce business to keep customers engaged and moving in their journey until they take your desired action.

Read on to know how each stage of the customer journey differs and how you can use your email marketing automation software to create a successful e-commerce marketing funnel.

Top Funnel: The Awareness Stage

It begins with the top funnel where potential customers become aware of your e-commerce business and how you’re relevant to their problems. It’s your first contact. At this point, the goal is not to sell your products or promote your business but to ‘attract’ them with relevant information. Here, you are identifying potential customers who have problems you can address. Potential customers, on the other hand, become aware of their needs by showing interest in your e-commerce business.

To meet this objective, use these email marketing strategies for your top funnel:

  • Capture contact information, including email address, through sign-up forms on your website.
  • Offer free content such as guides, cheat sheet, and checklists which potential customers can download in exchange for their email address.
  • Invite your website visitors to subscribe to your newsletters, weekly updates or daily deals.

Once you have their contact information saved in your email marketing automation software, it’s time to educate them and tell more about your e-commerce business.

  • Create a welcome series where you can introduce your e-commerce business and your service, but try not to sell hard.
  • Educate them with helpful blog posts to make them realize the need for your products. It can be tips, hacks or guides. Explore your options.
  • Familiarize them with your brand story as well as your mission and vision. Make them know that you can offer solutions to their pain points.

Middle Funnel: The Consideration Stage

At this point, potential customers are already aware of their problem and are looking for ways on how to solve it. In short, they are considering their options, and you want to be on top of their list without being too pushy. This is where you take your nurturing game a notch higher.

Do this with the following strategies:

  • Teach them tips or ways they can solve their problem.
  • Use their email and website activities to give proper recommendations.
  • Show them testimonials from happy customers to solidify your credibility further.
  • Provide comparison guides to highlight your best features.

Bottom Funnel: The Decision Stage

Now that it’s clear to potential customers that a purchase has to be done, they move to the decision stage. What they need here is a more compelling reason to make a purchase. So it’s time to put your best foot forward and give them some push to finally take action and convert into paying customers.

Implement these strategies to motivate them to click on your Buy Now button:

  • Give special discounts on their desired item to make them feel that they are getting more value from their money.
  • Offer freebies or free shipping to entice them.
  • Use a countdown timer to give a sense of urgency on your expiring promo.
  • Provide more detailed product descriptions highlighting the specs so they can appreciate the fact that they are getting more.
  • Write and design a compelling CTA and make sure that the placement in your email is easily noticeable so they won’t miss it.
  • Use different psychological triggers such as loss aversion, reciprocity, and authority.

Understanding the marketing funnel and knowing how to apply it to your e-commerce business can help you come up with targeted strategies. Again, customers are at different stages of the buyer journey, so use your email marketing to design an efficient e-commerce marketing funnel. Many advanced email marketing automation software today are built with features you can use to set up workflows and strategies for each funnel stage. Use them wisely!

Kimberly Maceda

Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation. ActiveTrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses.

Posted by Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized marketing plans depending on the industry and competition.

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