How to Leverage Email at Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel

Brands and publishers looking to grow, understand, and retain their audiences should have one channel at the top of their list: email. It remains the most powerful way to reach target audiences, and is the go-to platform for both customers and marketers.

Think about it. As consumers, email helps us stay up-to date with information from work, family, news outlets, and our favorite brands. We receive messages directly in our inboxes, composing a feed of information curated specifically for us, which we can consume when and where we choose. It’s no surprise, then, that 72% of people prefer to receive branded content via email while only 17% say the same about social media.

For brands and publishers, email is the new homepage – a consistent touchpoint for engagement and relationship-building. In fact, 89% of marketers say the email address is their most important piece of data. It’s a digital passport, allowing them to track and target audiences across devices and sites. Brands can then use email to reach customers with personalized content, gather feedback through surveys, and send alerts about products that are relevant to their interests.

So, how can marketers make sure they’re using email to form real connections and reach customers across every stage of the marketing funnel?

I recently did a talk at INBOUND 2019 where I talked through some of my personal experiences as a consumer of how marketers are using email at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Let’s take a look using some of the brands that I welcome into my inbox every week.

Awareness: Segment and personalize with strong branding

Awareness is all about casting a big net, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste budget and content on audiences that aren’t interested in what you have to say. That’s why it’s important to segment audiences and create personalized emails for each group.

Marketers should also let their brand shine through so customers get a strong sense of your image and values off the bat. Oral care brand Quip, for example, creates a bold and unified brand image across platforms, including in its email newsletters.

Quip also uses one of the most crucial email campaign tools: the Call to Action (CTA). After grabbing your attention with playful copy and visuals, the brand presents a clear offer at the end of the email, pointing the reader to a “Shop now” button.

Cart abandonment: Reach audiences at the right time

Over 78% of consumers abandon their shopping carts when making purchases online. Brands can stay top of mind among these audiences by sending an email within an hour of cart abandonment. In fact, customers appreciate it. Abandoned cart emails see open rates of around 45%, compared to the typical 10–20% open rate.

Just look at this email I received from sneaker retailer Flight Club, telling me “We held down your cart at Flight Club.”

They tailored the email to my customer experience, including the exact product I had in my shopping cart. The result? I bought the sneakers, of course.

Conversion: Offer discounts and a strong call to action

You already have customers interested in your message. Now you have to keep them engaged and convince them to buy. To make this happen, send emails with eye-catching colors and imagery, and include directional cues that let readers know exactly what to look for.

Home-goods retailer Wayfair does this well, with this email clearly inviting customers to get up to 70% off for the brand’s 6th birthday spectacular. The subject line even read, “A gift for you,” tapping into consumers’ inclination to open emails offering a discount.

Wayfair also includes a CTA button, making it easy for the consumer to click, head to the brand website, and convert.

Retention: Educate and up-sell with helpful content

Improving customer retention doesn’t just involve up-selling, cross-selling, and checking in every now and then. It’s about continuously providing value to your audience through educational and enjoyable content.

Men’s grooming company Bevel, for example, sent me to this email of best practices for shaving. It caught my attention with its offer of information and witty subject line, “To shave or not to shave.”

Once they offered me value, they then made a pitch for up-selling, offering 20% off a relevant package of products.

Use first-party data to build relationships through email

Brands and marketers need email to continue growing and learning about their audiences. First-party data is crucial to this process, giving marketers the freedom to target audiences with personalized campaigns and find new opportunities to drive revenue.

LiveIntent works with over 2,500 brands and publishers to do just that. We help marketers tap into a scalable, logged-in audience of over 250 million email users, reaching them with content that’s tailored to their interests and behaviors – and keeping them engaged as they move through the marketing funnel.

Discover a new advertising channel for powering profitable growth: email. Get started!