How To Use Email Marketing Across the Sales Funnel

Momina Ayaz
Momina Ayaz

Last updated on

March 19, 2024

Despite being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing still remains popular for its effectiveness. This isn't surprising; for every $1 spent on email marketing, companies enjoy a staggering $42 return. So it's safe to say that it plays a key role in driving profits for businesses.

While email marketing does convert, any email that you’re sending out needs to deliver on the promise of value. An estimated 293.6 billion emails were sent every day in 2019. What will make prospects open yours?

This guide will discuss how to effectively use 5 key email marketing campaigns across the sales funnel. Here are the campaigns we’ll explore to drive sales:

  1. Lead magnet delivery
  2. Product recommendations
  3. Loyalty programs
  4. Cart abandonment
  5. Customer winbacks
    In addition, we’ll explore examples for each of these like welcome emails, broadcast emails and automated emails so you can draw inspiration and quickly get started.

Campaigns for implementing email marketing across the sales funnel

In this technological boom, data is truly driving business success. Any piece of information about your prospects helps you align your marketing efforts with their persona, making them more likely to convert.

In the same vein, every single email address is a piece of data that can drive revenue and get your sales rolling. It gives you an opportunity to market and make a sale. But bagging email addresses is not easy. With every company vying for customer attention, your lead magnets will face cut-throat competition.

If you’ve managed to grow your email list, you deserve a pat on the back. By using email marketing across the sales funnel, you'll makes these hard-earned leads count and offer value to prospects every step of the way.

1. Top of the funnel: Lead magnet delivery

With every blog asking them for their email address, internet users no longer give it away so easily. There’s enough spam flooding their inboxes and no one wants to add to theirs.

Your subscription request needs to stand out and pass the litmus test for your prospects. Be ready to answer their one question: What’s in it for me?

This is where lead magnets come in. These are exclusive resources sent to an email lead once they join your list. Companies use them as hooks to pull in subscribers and grow their email lists, enabling them to market to them in the future.  

So, what does a good offer look like? Here are the five key features of effective lead magnets:

  1. Exclusive content that isn’t openly available on your website: piques reader interest.
  2. Speaks to a common problem faced by your target readers; compels them to give up their email address.
  3. Relevant to the problems your company solves; promotes the original function of your company.
  4. Features actionable solutions; offers useful tips and steers clear of general advice.
  5. Easy to consume and implement; designed in an engaging, concise manner like cheat sheets and videos.

In addition to this, promotions and exclusive offers for new subscribers are also popular with e-commerce companies.

Once you have the lead magnet fleshed out, use these kickback email examples that deliver on the promise of value and do it fast! Timely delivery makes your brand more likable and trust-worthy. And a little appreciation for signing up goes a long way!

1.1. Welcome emails with promo codes

E-commerce companies are always looking to get that first sale fast. Here's how Ralph Lauren pushes their new leads to a sale.

ralph lauren coupon

1.2. Personalized data emailed to you

Experts in their respective niches go up a notch and offer data personalized for each individual company. These insights are extremely hard to resist since they offer data correlating with each business.

1.3. Personalized data doubled up with cheatsheets

Neil Patel's lead magnet does two things at once: provides you with personalized website traffic insights and an SEO cheat sheet.

neil patel's lead magnet

If you take Neil Patel’s traffic quiz, you’ll not only learn how likely you are to increase traffic for your company, but also receive an SEO cheat sheet and additional resources in the future.

Here’s the kickback email packed with information. It also promises periodic resources in the future so you can keep upgrading your marketing efforts.

neil patel's lead delivery

2. All stages of the funnel: Product recommendations

Any time that you simplify the buying experience for customers, they’ll be more likely to convert. Often, the overwhelming options on a website can confuse and discourage prospects. Get to them with personalized product recommendations.

Product recommendations are well-appreciated by customers and are quick to boost sales. Jewelry retailer Heirloom noticed a 9% bump in their open rates and 3% lift in conversions once they started recommending products to their customers.

Leverage your site analytics for this purpose. They’ll help you understand visitor behavior so you can design personalized product recommendations for each customer.

If they’re eying certain categories, you can email them popular items from that section. Moreover, certain customers will only view promotions so recommend them ongoing deals.

Get greater revenue from each individual sale by pitching upsells or cross-sells. Every time you receive an order, email customers related items or upgrades so they too can get greater value from you. Product recommendations can be used at various touchpoints as you use email marketing across the sales funnel.

2.1. Welcome emails with product recommendations

A welcome email is a great way to recommend popular items to get orders rolling. At this point, you might not have enough data on the customer for personalized recommendations. Use your bestsellers!

Here’s how Barnes & Noble does it:

barnes and noble welcome email

2.2. Broadcast emails with product recommendations

Broadcast emails work great for promotions and seasonal campaigns. Here’s L'Occitane's take on gift recommendations for the holiday season:

L'Occitane's promotions

2.3. Automated emails with product recommendations

Based on your browsing history, companies will send helpful recommendations the way of prospects. This is a great way to periodically engage with customers when you're implementing email marketing for small businesses across the sales funnel.

LinkedIn will analyze the jobs you've been viewing and send similar suggestions your way.

3. Bottom of the funnel: Loyalty programs

Repeat customers are extremely vital to your marketing strategy. They’ve used and experienced your services first hand. This has enabled them to develop trust in your brand, making them more receptive to your marketing efforts.

Not only this, but keeping existing customers engaged is also more rewarding. Repeat customers spend 3 to 7 times more per order than a first-timer on your website. Consequently, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits from anywhere between 25% to a whopping 95%.

This is where loyalty programs truly shine. Loyalty programs are a great way to make customers feel special and tie them closer to your brand. Again, these can be used throughout the buyer's journey, as you use email marketing across the sales funnel.

Loyalty programs serve two major purposes:

  1. Nudge customers towards future purchases.
  2. Prevent competitors from stealing your hard-earned customers.

Anyone can create a loyalty program. But not all of these will keep loyal customers coming back. It’s important to really think through the system and make sure your program is personalized, flexible, and simple!

Tick the briefs by following these rules:

  • Clearly mention the number of loyalty points in the customers account. This helps them see where they’re at and whether a new purchase is necessary to get to a milestone.
  • Explain how they can redeem more points by explaining the point system in the email (for example, $1 spent earns you 1 point).
  • Include referrals as a way of earning points so your customers can serve as affiliates.
  • Send an update if they’re close to redeeming points for an item!

Let’s explore some stellar loyalty program emails that integrate well with email marketing across the sales funnel.

3.1. Welcome emails to a loyalty program

Welcome emails will serve to introduce your loyalty program to a new lead. Ensure it’s inline with your brand's feel and image, and stays simple by explaining the points system to new leads. Here’s Starbucks take on a Loyalty program welcome email:

starbucks loyalty program

3.2. Broadcast emails for a loyalty program

Broadcast emails help announce any updates to the loyalty program or changes in the terms. Here’s Sephora announcing their 2019 loyalty points to its members.

Sephora's loyalty program updates

3.3. Automated Emails for a loyalty program

As customers near a goal in your loyalty program, an automated email can push them to a new sale. ASOS’s reward program does this well while also plugging in timely product recommendations so customers can quickly hit their next milestone.

ASOS rewards

3.4. Seasonal promotions with codes

Seasonal lead magnets can be sent out to everyone on your email list. Promo codes are a quick and easy way to welcome new sign-ups or pamper existing ones.

EyeBuyDirect’s clean graphic offers an exclusive code for their leads.

EyeBuyDirect's cyber monday sale email

4. Bottom of the funnel: Cart abandonment emails

No online business is safe from the curse of cart abandonment. While it varies from industry to industry, about 70% of carts don’t make it to the checkout stage.

That’s nearly 7 out of every 10 visitors leaving without paying. This means that a big chunk of your revenue is simply slipping through your fingers. Recover it with cart abandonment emails.

Why do these work? While many of your missed prospects weren’t serious about making a purchase, a sizable fraction had complete buying intent. Crashing or buggy websites might make them abandon the cart or a simple distraction like a pop-up work email might have taken them away from your website.  

Win them back with cart abandonment emails. Cart abandonment emails retrieve 10.7% of lost revenue and are great at ensuring customer retention. The perfect email to reel customers back should be sent right after an abandoned cart is detected and should include

  1. Cart contents with complete charges. Don’t hide costs!
  2. A list of related product recommendations in case they couldn’t find what they needed.
  3. A clear CTA to bring them back to their cart

Here’s a good example from Vans:

Vans cart abandonment email

5. Feeding back into the funnel: Customer winbacks

Churn is the cold hard truth of running any business. No matter what you do, you will lose some customers every month. But if you’re losing old leads fast, it’s going to put a dent in your hard-earned revenue. New leads cost 5x more to acquire as compared to keeping old ones.

So, why not try winning them back? You’ve already nurtured a relationship with them in the past, so it’s time to water it with some TLC again. It’s very important to occupy some space in the minds of your leads at all times. It’s easier when you know the way to their inbox!

A customer winback strategy is an email sequence designed to re-engage inactive leads. Most companies will see a month’s worth of inactivity as a red flag and will try targeting the disengaged prospect.

Each email in the sequence is typically sent a week after the previous one. The most commonly used emailing sequence follows this pattern:

  1. Offer
  2. Company pitch
  3. Goodbye

Let’s explore each of these.

5.1. An offer that brings them back

Promotional codes and sales help pivot inactive leads to make a new purchase or simply come back to your website. The Bakerista keeps an affectionate tone and plugs in two different offers for the added convenience of their customers.

The Bakerista winback email

5.2. The final pitch

Once you’ve sent in your offer, follow it up with your final pitch in a week or two. This should remind subscribers of the value your emails offer or the features of your product. If they still need these services, this reminder will re-engage them with your content.

Here’s Spy’s power-packed email that offers both the benefits of staying on the email list and a promo code.

Spy's winback email

5.3. The goodbye email

If your first two emails didn’t receive any engagement from a dying prospect, it’s time to let go. Inactive members lower down your open rates, putting you at a risk of turning into email spam for other prospects. Prune your email list and bring your focus back to your existing leads.

DSW cleverly puts inactive leads off their email list in their final email but asks them in case they’d still like to stay. It’s short, clean, and very easy to navigate. There's only one button!

DSW's goodbye email


With that said, email marketing is extremely versatile and these campaigns might just be the tip of the iceberg. It has the power to weave engagement at every stage of the sales funnel. This is why it’s important to continually re-evaluate your email marketing across the sales funnel. Zero in on each stage and consider fine-tuning your efforts. In this pursuit, going over email templates to make your emails both inviting and beneficial for readers will also be a game-changer.

Lastly, remember that at the core of every email campaign, you should be offering value. Every individual goes through dozens of emails every day. Don’t waste their time. Only those that truly speak to their problems and empathize bring conversions for businesses.

Author Bio

Momina Ayaz

Momina Ayaz is a Content Marketer at Mailmunch. She loves reading during lunch breaks and witnessing technology reshaping the corporate sphere.


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