If you have been wondering what an email marketing funnel is, you are in the right place.

In this blog post we are going to talk all about how to create an email marketing funnel from scratch and the best tools you can use for creating one.

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a journey your audience goes through after they first interact with your business.

Let’s say someone visits your blog post, they then decide to follow you on Instagram.

Maybe you go live on Instagram and announce a discount on your ebook. This person, then visits the link in your Instagram bio and purchases the ebook.

The marketing funnel that this person went through would look like this:

marketing funnel

Having said that, it is important to note that a marketing funnel is hardly ever linear.

The person in the example above may not buy your ebook from Instagram even though they watched your live.

They might instead join your email list when they visit your blog for the fifth time. Maybe you send them an email about the ebook but they then remember that you were offering a discount on the ebook on that Instagram live. They might decide to find that Instagram live on your highlights and then go ahead and purchase the book from there.

This funnel would look something like this:

email marketing funnel

What is an email marketing funnel?

In simple terms, an email marketing funnel involves the use of email marketing as part of your funnel.

Though an email marketing funnel is the simplest form of a funnel, it can become really powerful when combined with other marketing channels such as Retargeting ads.

Let’s look at the different components of an email marketing funnel.

Also check out this post on Email marketing strategy for beginners.

  1. Traffic
  2. Lead Magnet
  3. Lead generation funnel/ signup forms
  4. Email nurture sequence
  5. Sale


There are different ways you could drive traffic to your lead generation funnel or signup forms.

For example, maybe you are optimizing your blog for SEO, and have signup forms all over your website for website visitors to sign up for your lead magnet.

Or maybe you are running Facebook ads directly to a lead generation funnel.

Maybe you are using Pinterest to drive traffic to your landing page.

The traffic part of this funnel includes anything and everything that gets people to the page where they give you their email address.

Lead magnet

A lead magnet, also known as an opt-in freebie is an incentive that you are offering to your email subscriber in exchange for their email.

This incentive motivates your website visitors, or those clicking on your Facebook ads or Pinterest pin to sign up for your email list.

There are several different lead magnets that you can use to get people to sign up for your email list.

A few things to remember when creating a lead magnet are:

  1. The lead magnet should be in sync with the paid offer you are going to make at the end of the funnel
  2. The lead magnet should not be super complicated to understand
  3. It should be able to give your audience a quick win.

Lead generation funnel/ Signup forms

A lead generation funnel generally consists of 2 pages, the landing page where you collect emails, and the thank you page.

You can also add a low-cost offer on the thank you page, known as a tripwire offer.

This is generally used when you decide to run ads to build your email list to make up for the ad cost.

You can also use sign up forms directly on your website pages to build your email list.

Email nurture sequence

An email nurture sequence is a journey that you take your new subscriber on, to help them get to know you, trust you and eventually buy from you.

Let’s say you visit my website for the first time today. You find a lead magnet on my website that you are interested in and you decide to sign up for it.

Now if I try to sell you a $1000 offer through email immediately after you sign up, you are not going to buy it, in fact you will most likely unsubscribe from my list.

But if I spend 10-12 days sending you emails to build a relationship with you, showing you social proof and testimonials, inviting you to my facebook group and more, you are much more likely to buy if I made that same offer on the 12th day.

This journey of someone going from not knowing you or your business at all to liking you and trusting you by using an email sequence, is known as an email marketing funnel.

How to create an email marketing funnel

Almost all marketing funnels are built backwards.

Which means that you should first be thinking about what offer do you want to make at the end of this funnel.

Based on that, you will write out the email nurture sequence and create the lead magnet.

The funnel should flow naturally from the lead magnet to the final offer.

Let’s say I have a course called “Google Analytics in a weekend”.

In order to sell this course, I have to create a lead magnet that is related to Google Analytics. It could be a workbook, PDF or a 10 minute training.

I then have to create a bridge in the form of an email marketing funnel for those who just downloaded the lead magnet and build trust and authority with them.

This could be a 5-8 email sequence, depending on the cost of my course.

The best email nurture sequences tell a story, share testimonials, and build trust with the audience.

Now whenever someone signs up for my Google analytics lead magnet, they will automatically be added to my email nurture sequence, and go through the entire journey.

Tools used to create an email marketing funnel

Since an email marketing funnel is the easiest funnel to create in terms of tech, you don’t really need a bunch of tools.

Just an email marketing platform that gives you the ability to create landing pages.

If you are only using your website to build your email list, you don’t even need a platform for landing pages.

If you are looking for an all-in-one platform, check out this comparison between Kajabi and Clickfunnels.

The 2 email marketing tools I recommend are Convertkit and Activecampaign.

I have personally used both for myself and my clients and both work well, especially when you are just getting started.

If you want to go for a more complex and sophisticated tool that you can use even when you are in the scaling phase of your business, I would highly recommend Active campaign.

Active campaign is also cheaper than Converkit, starting at $9/month for your first 500 subscribers.

Convertkit has recently added a free plan but that does not give you the ability to create sequences, which means you won’t be able to build an email marketing funnel on the free plan.

Do you have an email marketing funnel in your business or looking to create your first?

Let me know in the comments.