I see you, coaching friend/pro. I know you’re hard at work changing the world one person (or group) at a time. You’re busy helping your customers set big goals and work towards crushing them in their work life, love life, and life life. I also know you can’t do any of this important work if customers can’t find you.
That’s why successfully marketing yourself is key to building a thriving coaching business. And if part of your marketing strategy is creating an email marketing funnel for your coaching business, today we’re going to learn how!
(Oh, and if you’re just getting started as a coach, big congrats. You can snag my guide on how to start an online coaching business here.)
How To Create An Email Marketing Funnel For Your Coaching Business
Email marketing is truly the most reliable and effective way to reach potential customers. While social media is a wonderful tool, you don’t have any control over the platforms at the end of the day. Plus, the algorithms are constantly changing, and sometimes infuriatingly mysterious. When you build an email list, you can communicate directly with each and every subscriber, straight to their inbox. Plus, click-through-rates are significantly higher in emails than in Facebook ads.
In your emails, you’ll provide meaningful content that sounds like you—not some weird marketing robot. (Trust me, nobody cares what the marketing robot has to say, but people really want to hear from you.) A great email marketing strategy will get you fangirls and fanboys who can’t wait to read/watch/scroll everything you do, and nab your latest group offer, one-on-one online coaching session, or mastermind. In other words, you’ll turn potential customers into actual customers.
A sales funnel is marketing lingo for the journey a customer goes on when making a purchase. A funnel is a great analogy because a large number of potential customers usually start out at the beginning of the sales process. This group narrows, and only a fraction of these people—your tried-and-true, ideal customers—actually end up making a purchase. The goal is to turn interested followers into paying, satisfied coaching customers.
The four stages of a sales funnel are:
- Action (working with you!)
People don’t sign up to work with coaches that they don’t know and trust, and your welcome sequence is your chance to help establish an actual relationship. When someone raises their hand and says they want to opt into your emails and learn about you, or maybe they signed up for a freebie you offer, the welcome sequence comes next. It moves the needle along the stages above, serving your customers so that signing up for your coaching services becomes a true no-brainer. They get great service, you get more customers, and everyone lives happily ever after.
How To Create An Email Marketing Funnel For Your Coaching Business
If you’re panicking, take a deep breath. I’ve got you! Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up a marketing funnel that works serious magic:
Step One: Create a freebie that aligns with your business
The best way to grow your email list is by offering something of value to your audience that they’re already interested in. Maybe it’s a virtual self-coaching course, a step-by-step action planner, or a template. A great giveaway/freebie builds your credibility, drives people to your website, and nurtures trust.
Make sure that at the end of your freebie, you give your potential customer a logical next baby step: getting another more in-depth freebie, joining your Facebook group, engaging with you somehow, etc.
Step Two: Set up an opt-in form or a landing page
Next, you’re ready to start building your list of email addresses from the exact people who are hungry to learn more about you. Opt-in forms are an awesome way to lead traffic to your marketing funnels because you can embed them just about anywhere on your website.
You want to make sure you’re legally adding people to your email list, too. You didn’t think I’d let you forget this crucial step, did you? To make sure you’re only adding the people you’re legally allowed to to your email list, learn how to legally build your email marketing funnel.
Another option is to build a dedicated landing page, also sometimes called a sales page, that leads to your coaching sales funnel. You’ll have room there to include additional copy and a preview of your offer. Don’t forget a call to action…best practice is one clear call to action for each landing page.
I use ConvertKit (affiliate link) for all of my opt-in forms, landing pages and freebie delivery. ConvertKit allows you to do all that AND it’s an awesome email marketing tool. That’s what I use to send out my weekly emails to my email list, automatically send sequences after someone opts in to my freebies or watches my free legal workshop, and communicate with my Ultimate Bundle members.
Step Three: Write those emails…gently
“BUY RIGHT NOW! DON’T DELAY!”
Don’t do that!
These hard sales are total turn-offs, especially for new subscribers. It’s like proposing on the first date: too much, too soon. Like dating, your subscribers want to get to know you a bit. Woo them and charm their socks off with your special sauce, whether it’s your wacky sense of humor, your nerdy fan fiction references, your wonderfully inspiring energy, your encyclopedic knowledge about gardening…whatever it is that you do to charm people irl.
Another idea is to include a message in your footer about how to join, register, or get more engaged. This isn’t pressure to sign up, it is just another way of gaining interest with free information that people can come back to later when they are ready to commit.
By the time you are ready to sell, the readers who really jive with you will be super eager to schedule a call and dive in. A bonus is that these customers are highly likely to be a great fit, as they’re already psyched about your unique point-of-view, philosophy, and coaching awesomeness. (Or weird jokes, or mad gardening skills…)
Step four: Intro call or webinar, and signing up!
Invite your prospects into a sales presentation like a live webinar or one-on-one conversation. You’ll deliver plenty of value. You’ll also share more information about your coaching program and the even bigger transformation your customers get when they decide to work with you. Then go ahead and sell. Answer any questions and make sure you are a good fit and vice versa.
Woo hoo! Now you can do a happy dance.
Step five: Be consistent
Don’t go radio silent between launches, only to pop in when you’re ready to sell. The best email marketers have readers who are genuinely excited to see their inbox ping, because the emails are truly insightful and useful (or just silly and fun works, too!).
Don’t have time to write emails constantly? I get that. Think about repurposing old content, like past blog posts or case studies, by giving them a little TLC. Good as new! If you have the means, hiring a copywriter who specializes in emails is a great bet and gives you more time to focus on what people are lining up to pay you to do: coach!
Phew! I know that was a lot, but I hope this helps you learn how to create an email marketing funnel for your online coaching business.
Of course we want to make sure that your email marketing funnel is legally legit, too! (DUH) Good thing I taught you how to legally build your email marketing list right here.
PS: ConvertKit (affiliate link) is my go-to tool for all things email marketing and funnels. I’ve been a customer since 2016 and there’s a reason I’ve stayed with them as my business has grown. (In fact, ConvertKit has helped my business grow!).
Got questions? I’m ready to answer! Just drop it in the comments below! 👇