5 easy steps to build an email funnel

a laptop on the wooden table

From lead magnet to landing page, it is not rocket science!

Building an email funnel is something many of us online coaches and entrepreneurs do. Social media is great, but if these platforms suddenly disappear, so would your followers. So having an email list is kind of essential for growing an audience – and having their contact details. But how do you populate an email list? In this post I will talk you through how to build an email funnel.

1. Choose your email system

First of all, choose your system. I was with Mailchimp for years, but moved over to Mailerlite since, and I like this system. It is user-friendly, and gives you plenty of options. There are numerous others, however, and it really is a matter of knowing what you want, what systems come with any of your other software, and how much you want to pay. Mailerlite is free up to a certain amount of subscribers / emails per month, and that is great when you are just starting out.

2. Create a landing page when you build an email funnel

If you want to build an email funnel, you need a landing page for people to subscribe to your list. It is therefore useful if your email system gives you the opportunity to create landing pages. That way, your email system handles any new subscriber coming into your funnel. Creating a landing page may sound complicated, but it is not that bad! I am all for keeping things simple, so I suggest you choose a template, and create something quick and easy to start off with.

What goes on a landing page? A short intro / description of what it is people are receiving, and the fact that they will be automatically added to your list. Then a block where people can leave their name (having their first name is great to personalise your emails), plus their email address.

Make it clear in the footnote that they can subscribe at any time. A double opt-in covers you for any spam complaints, or privacy issues. Also, make sure you have a privacy policy on your website with a link from your landing page, in case anyone wants to know what you do with their details (this is law).

Need an example of a landing page?
3 Steps to Clarity Workbook

Example of a privacy policy when you build an email funnel:
(feel free to copy this, and change it with your own information): privacy policy


build an email funnel


3. The lead magnet: what are you offering your subscribers?

You could simply invite people to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, but most online entrepreneurs offer something called ‘a lead magnet’. This can be different things, but is usually free: a downloadable PDF, an e-book, a webinar, a video workshop, or anything else you could offer as a free gift. The idea that it is free attracts people in itself, but you do have to make sure that it is of value to people. The online sphere is crowded with lead magnets, so make sure yours stands out!

What should your lead magnet be about? Think of it as a snap shot of your work, or a sneak peek of your main offer. A taster session, an introduction to how you help people, which leaves them wanting for more. Offer enough value so that it is worth it for them to want to stay on your email list, but don’t give all your knowledge away in one go, or else they think they won’t need you.

If you need help with writing and designing a lead magnet, check out my Done-For-You services.


4. Write your automated email sequence

The first email you send out, is the one that welcomes your new subscriber to the list (or your ‘tribe’). Tell them also that they’ll be receiving a few more emails from you in the next few days.

This first email normally also contains the (download) link to your lead magnet. If it is a PDF document, this link leads them to Dropbox or Google Docs, or anywhere else you keep this file. If it is a link to a video, sound recording or webinar, the link takes them to a private file on Youtube, Soundcloud, Vimeo, or wherever you choose to host it.


crop unrecognizable freelancer typing on laptop during tea break
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Then you’ll send out 3 or 4 more emails to ‘nurture’ your new subscriber over the space of a week, and start building a relationship. Too many emails, and too often, you think? I know we don’t want to ‘bother’ people, but I find that it works well to stay front of mind when the lead is still warm.

Remember, they have come to you because they need your help right now. They subscribed because of this exact reason. So give them what they need: attention!

Write emails that are kind, welcoming, and touching on the exact problem they are dealing with. Share some more insights without being overwhelming. Something small to help them. A little bit more value. Share a case study, an example of how you’ve helped people just like them! And check in with them, whether they had a chance to look at your lead magnet yet.

Last but not least: ALWAYS include a call-to-action. A ‘PS’ at the bottom, inviting them to book a call, or a link (to a blog, web page, etc) to draw them further into your world.


5. Keep your new subscribers warm & build trust

Once the ‘nurture sequence’ is finished, your new subscriber reaches the end of the funnel, and lands on the main email subscriber list. This is when the hard work begins for you, to try and keep them there, and encourage them to buy. Send out a weekly email, and again, keep in mind what your subscriber is struggling with, what their needs are, and what tips, advice, or value you could be offering them in your email. Don’t try and sell in each and every email, or you’ll soon have them unsubscribe. Try and be of interest, and keep your subscribers warm, so they’ll trust you, and get excited to work with you.


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build an email funnel

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