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7-Steps To Solid List-Building Funnel

Build a solid funnel from Day One by following my "Oh Em Gee, You Get Me" list-building funnel roadmap.

Today's episode of The Launch Playbook Podcast is a step-by-step training so you know exactly what goes in your funnel and why it matters. Tune in to learn the 7-steps to a solid funnel, how to skip a common mistake that can cost you sales, and the five emails you want to include in your welcome sequence.

 I talked about...

  • What exactly is a list-building funnel 
  • Why list-building starts with listening

  • A common mistake that hurts your sales
  • How to connect your lead magnet to your offer

  • 5 emails that belong in your welcome sequence

  • The importance of the thank you page


...and much more. 

Things mentioned in this episode

Get the whole training  inside The Launch Playbook Club & Accelerator

Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing

Sara: Welcome to this training episode, you get me list building funnel, there are so many things to do as a business owner. So why prioritize list building I kind of like to think of this building as putting all the eggs in your basket, you're in charge. And of course, because you're listening to this training, it tells me you already know that list building is important.  But let's quickly review some of the top reasons why list building deserves a top priority in your marketing effort.

One of the main reasons is that people check email daily. It's one of the most intimate things and connections we can have with people they check email in their washroom, but they check it in the bed and they wake up in the morning before they go to sleep at night. And unlike social media channels where people are often taking detoxes, people tend not to take the same kind of time away from their emails.

Another reason is that you can stop stressing about social media algorithms. So no matter how Facebook or Instagram, tick tock or any of the other social media platforms, adjust their algorithms, or you're able to access them, you still have your access to your biggest fans, the people on your list, and that won't change. So instead of worrying that all the effort you put into building your 10,000 Instagram fans will be for nothing if your reach and impressions start to tank.

When you have an active email list, your business will weather these changes, and so will your stress levels. all that to say it doesn't mean that spending time on social media is worthwhile. Rather, it means that converting people to your list should be part of your long term social media strategy.

Another great reason to build your list is that you get to build relationships. Again, email is intimate. And the more you show up in these conversations and stories, and connect with people through email, the deeper your relationship with them will go, which will then lead to loyalty and trust and purchasing.

Another favorite reason to build your list is it helps you to listen better our customers or would be customers tell us so much about themselves and their interest and how we can help them by the responses they give. When we send out an email do they hit reply? Do they tell you their feelings, even by your open rates tell you a lot, your unsubscribes and then your purchases when you send out an offer that allows us to listen and be able to react as business owners to better serve the people that we want to work with. And of course, it creates opportunities for you to exchange your knowledge for money.

What can you expect to learn in this training?

Well, first, you can expect to understand what a list building funnel is and why you want them including the seven steps. You'll learn to avoid the common mistakes business owners make before creating their funnel so that you can actually make more sales by what.

I'll also show you the number one reason you might be feeling like your lead magnet is failing. And it's likely why you're not hearing the sweet sound of stripe or PayPal pings or email replies in your inbox right now.

We'll go through tips for crafting an effective welcome sequence. So you can build the connection. Once somebody subscribes to your list and signs up for your freebie. And a few common FAQs.

First, before you get to list building, there are a few things you might need to let go of

First is worrying about unsubscribes honestly, unsubscribes are going to happen. And really what it means is the people on your list are not for you and you're not for them, you're going to see that you're going to let them go, they would not likely have bought from you. They're not the people who want what you're offering, at least at this time right now. It doesn't mean they won't come back and you're also going to learn what's working unsubscribes will likely happen almost every time you send out an email, if not every time. And in fact, the more personal you get, and the more connection you make, and the deeper you go on certain topics, the ones that you love to talk about, more likely, you're going to have more unsubscribes. But you're also going to build more loyalty and trust from the people who really need and want what you have to offer.

Something else that we need to let go of is a concern that we're bothering people. So people signed up because they needed something you have. And by you sending them emails, you are actually serving them, the other one waiting for everything to be perfect. So guilty of that at times. And I know lots of people can relate to that. So I want you to think instead that everything is an experiment in business. So it was your list, building funnel, nothing is ever perfect. You know, even if you watch something six or seven times, there's always tweaks to be made, information to be found and changes to happen. So most importantly, is you want to get something live and tested out.

What about the thinking that someone else is doing it better, we can often look at other people in our space and see what they're doing. And feeling that they're doing better than us or our idea isn't original. But I think about the fact that you bring everything a unique spin based on your life experiences and your work experiences, the people who have signed up, are connected to you and the way you're presenting yourself.

Fear of selling - Well, when we're not we're selling we're actually serving. So again, people signed up because they want your help. And when we have a clear strategy plan for selling, and then you also for nurturing between the sales, you can feel good about making regular offers.

And of course not knowing if anyone will actually sign up for what you created. But after this training, you'll have a clearer idea of how to know what to do so this won't happen.

So let's take a quick beater to what will you walk away with today. If you can take away one, two or three things that you can put into place, you're going to be so much farther ahead.

So first, what is the list building funnel? It's an offer of a valuable freebie, your lead magnet in exchange for a name and an email. It's a way to build a relationship even while you're unplugged. And it's a vehicle to get folks to your offer.

Here is what I like to call the you get me list building funnel roadmap, the way this funnel works is that people come in, and they fit by finding out about your lead magnet. So this is like likely coming from a Facebook ad from social promotion, a podcast you've been on a video creator, however, they're getting there as the top of your funnel, and you are sending them towards your landing page, which we're going to talk about today all of these pieces. And on the landing page, they're going to read it and decide whether to opt in or not.

So if they opt in, they get directed to a thank you page, where you're then getting encouraged them to go over to their inbox to get their freebie. And this is where the welcome sequence begins. And I like to have a five email welcome sequence.

So the first email is Oh my god, you get me email where you really deliver that freebie and you confirm the made a great decision.

And the second email, it's a shift of belief email, where you help them think of a new perspective and you use the freebie.

Third email, which can be optional, we'll get into that later on in the training is the Tell me about yourself email, where you ask them to segment and self identify so you can better serve them.

The fourth email is to show what's possible email so you show a future that's within their grasp.

And the fifth email is how you can help an offer email. If people purchase your offer, they get moved into a paid customer sequence. If they didn't purchase, you could move them into your newsletter list and you email them regularly. And we're going to go through all of these parts today.

Starting with step one, going on a listening tour. So one of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make is that they create lead magnets and offers In fact, without actually really listening and tuning in to what their customers and their clients or their would be clients are saying, when you go in and listening to her, you can actually uncover the words that make your clients feel seen and heard and lead to more sales.

So how do that? Well, you want to adopt what I call a listening mindset. This is where you're going to search in places that you know your customers or would be customers are hanging out. This could be in Facebook groups, if you listen to their podcast, you could be finding opportunities to be in the room with them or a virtual room with them pre reading testimonials. You could be having interviews with them. And what you're doing is you're listening to what other problems they are having right now. What are they searching for on Google right now to solve that problem. And when you adopt this listening mindset, you're actually going to be open to hearing the actual words and phrases, and objections and barriers that could be standing in the way of them making a buying decision. And so we do this by really listening to the words and starting to pull them out.

Step number two, once you have actually thought about and done that research into what your clients are feeling, or what the clients are feeling, it's time to plan your path. And this is another mistake I noticed when people are working on their list building is that they don't actually connect their freebie the lead magnet to their actual offer. And so they're wondering why things aren't leading to a sale. And that's because there hasn't actually been a direct connection to one of their offers. So let's change that.

Here's a few examples of how you can connect your freebie to your service.
So I want you to consider what your freebie is, and what your end service that you want to connect to, and map out the steps that go between them. So for myself, if I have this half day copying strategy session, that's my offer.

Here's all the steps to get down to my freebie that happened in between to my offers a strategy session, my freebie is email swipes. And the reason that is is because on my half day coffee session, I'm writing emails people, so they get my freebie. They go through welcome sequence. There's a booking link, not last email, there's a checkout page, I send them a welcome email and questionnaires, a reminder, email the shop on that day. And then we have our session. And that is the path for my offer.

Let's take a look at a course this could be the client here who scaled their one to one service to an evergreen course. So there's an online course evergreen, and that was about landing your dream job. And then the freebie is an interview prep kit. Because upon research, we realized a lot of people who are coming to this client were nervous about interviews, were not doing well, interviews, were over preparing or under preparing for interviews. And that was something that they were looking for solutions to was how to nail that interview.

So that's one way that we decided to invite them in and then take them along the path through welcome sequence. Invite your free webinar, sales, emails sales page and checkout to the online course. And this is the path we went to take from that freebie right to the course.

Let's take a look at one more. This is from membership. So this membership is one I've been part of for years. And it's mumbles in go. And it's a mom, entrepreneur group, one of mom's biggest issues that come up is not having enough time. And so the freebie was a time saving checklist for mom entrepreneurs. There's a welcome sequence, there's invitation for a trial to actually experience the membership, some sales emails to join a sales page, and then the membership. And so you can see how very directly the freebie the lead magnet connected to the offer.

If you want your new subscribers to use your lead magnet, as well as experience results working with you, then you need to set them up to achieve a quick win. Consider everything you've learned about your clients when doing all that listening to her, aka the research and think about what off you could offer them that will lead to a quick win. And that's connected to your offer. What would make their life better right now? What would give them more time, money or better health right now? What would be so generous, they can't believe you're giving away for free, and what would solve a very specific issue they're having right now. And of course, if you've done the research or olje have a really good idea of what's on their mind.

So there's a few ways to validate your lead magnet idea to know that it's not going to end in crickets. One is to do the research, which we've already talked about. And the second is to actually test it. To get out there and test your idea and your messaging with your audience to how to do that. Well. You could create some polls on Instagram stories to ask if they are feeling certain ways and how they agree with it. You could offer your help on social media around the topic that you're thinking about creating a lead magnet for and then respond to people who reply with a video or voice next build connection. You could collaborate with strategic partners to try to get in front of other audiences in order to talk about this idea around your lead magnet. And then through social media and your newsletter you could tell stories, address objections include calls to action to start seeing what kind of response you get to the idea you have in mind what you've discovered through your research.

Another great way to get some inspiration for your lead magnet is to Think about what's in your inbox, you've probably as a business owner, collected many things over the years. And going through that download file. And what you've collected in there will give you some inspiration about what feels right for you. Let's talk about a few lead magnet ideas.

First, think about what would be an easy Yes. Easy yes for you to create, but also an easy yes for your would be clients would be subscriber, what would be easy for them to access? What would be easy for them to consume? And what would give them a quick win so that when they go through your lead magnet, they think to themselves, wow, if this freebie was so powerful, and so helpful, what would it be like to work with that. And that's the feeling you want to really give the people who come to our list, so that we position put that offer in front of them. It's a really easy, gimme, gimme.

So the other question is, what do you already have that might be able to be repackaged? Or what do you already have that sells easily that you could rework in order for a lead magnet, so a few ones that I love a video. So you could do a webinar or workshop to teach something very specific. But you could also do a short 10 minute video talking about something that you have learned that your client used to hear about, you could create a quiz. quizzes are really amazing because they deliver really personal results, you can segment so which means you can learn about the different types of people in the way they identify on your list. So you can actually tailor offers, create a swipe file, so you could use examples and fill in the blank templates. It's really good if you're someone like me, the copywriter, or if you're any kind of marketing business or even journals or or meal planners, people like to fill in blanks and use templates of things that have worked, you create a mini course, which is a step by step course at leats are really quick when to create a how to guide you could also think of inviting them to your free community if you have a Facebook group or any other kind of group. So they can be around like minded group of people, you could teach something through tutorial could provide access to yourself through a mini free coaching session, a video review, or through tips you provide to your voicemail or a video or screen share, you could get feedback so action steps for specific problem, you could share a roadmap which is a pathway to get specific results. Or you could create a workbook with activities to plan a strategy or create something.

The next step in your funnel is your landing pages. Here, you really want to focus on creating a seamless user experience. So you want to think about the whole path. So when someone learns about your lead magnet, your freebie on social media, and then they click on that image, and they go over to this landing page to sign up for it. You want to be sure that there is cohesiveness between the copy and the visuals not only the photographs, the graphics, but including the branding colors, so that people feel like it's part of the same experience.

So the landing page is one of your first opportunities to show someone you truly get them. Here's where you're able to actually start using the words you found during that listening to where you took and reflecting them on your landing page. You want to use some of those phrasings on your headers and in your description of your freebie, so that when people land here, they think they get me they know exactly what I need. And that's how we start building that oh my god, you got me feeling. And that's when people sign up, because they feel heard and seen.

Now after the lead magnet landing page, you want to be sure that you create a thank you page. a thank you page is where people get redirected to after filling out that form. On your OPT in page. the thank you page, I don't want you to skip the step and give people their freebie or lead magnet right away. You really want to start teaching folks to head right to their inbox and expect your emails and learn and open them up.

Also, if you're running Facebook ads down the road to your lead magnet, this is a page that you're going to use to actually show an ad is successful that a conversion has happened because unless someone's opted in to the form on your freebie landing page, they actually can't get to this thank you page. And that's how we know the conversion happened. So don't skip this step.

All right on to the welcome sequence. This is of course one of my favorite parts as a copywriter. So your welcome sequence is to help people connect with you further to build the relationship and to lead into an offer. First impressions matter. So make sure that you show up and serve them rocky road, not vanilla, state your stance and send your welcome sequence over a period of about a week.

And the first email. This is the oh my god you get the email. You're going to kick off your new relationship by making an impression, make sure you love on them. But also call out the worry concern wish that they have right now, shine a light on it, and let them know that their future is promising with the help of your freebie.

And email number two, you're going to encourage people to use your freebie because we want them to have a win from what they signed up for. So they can experience what using your expertise and working with you is like, and you also want to introduce them to a new perspective. So we're shifting a belief. So we want to think about something in a new way to for example, in my emails, my email, welcome sequence, I want people to consider thinking about using emails to make offers and the importance of building their list as a way to build consistency, again, to get off that feast or famine rollercoaster of revenue in your business, as opposed to needing to go to scour free Facebook groups for clients, that they have more predictability when they're actually sending emails.

So for yourself, what is the belief that you really want them to shift to come on board with, it's important for them to get success with your freebie. And this is where you're really thinking about your stance, like, what do you believe in your area of expertise.

Email number three, is, I want to say it's a little bit of an optional email, if you can have it, I really encourage it. So basically, email number three is where you deepen the connection, and you learn more about your subscribers. So you can tailor offers to their needs. So what that means is you actually want to do some segmentation here, segmentation is where we find out how your subscriber identifies. So in my case, I want to know if their service provider who works with one on one clients, if they already have online courses, or their service provider who wants to launch a course, those are the three types of people that I'm working with. And when they click and identify, I can actually tailor the offers they get for me. And also certain newsletters they get for me, so that they speak to their needs, as opposed to sending the same thing to everyone and not really serving them.

So when you think about your subscribers who's come on to your list, could they be segmenting into different areas, I had one client who was a holistic nutritionist, and she had people who were on their fertility journey, who were pregnant and postpartum. And we wanted to know where they were. So that we made sure that we weren't sending people who are trying to get pregnant, something that was geared to new moms, right. So think about your subscriber base.

Now, if you do not really have different types of subscribers, then you couldn't use this email, just sort of tell them about you and build your credibility and tell them about your experience. But if you do do the segmentation email, I want to be sure that when someone clicks their option, that you actually acknowledge it. So make sure you send them to a really simple landing page would work.

Email number four is to show what's possible email. So this is where you're going to use a story or social proof testimonials are Facebook comments. I've even used comments from a Google Doc screencaptures from LinkedIn testimonials, or case study to show what was in your readers grass. So you want to show them that I know that the thing you want the thing that you signed up for this really big prompt you signed up for I know it's within your grasp. And I'm going to show you how it's happened for other people. And it's close for you. And you're letting other people do a lot of the heavy lifting here to show them what's possible.

And then email number five, you're into the offer. So this is where you can move them into a one time invite you an offer or the first email and then you're going to move them into a longer sales sequence. So some options for you, it could be signing up for a webinar, free or paid, could be just booking a sales call, that's a really good place to start. If you haven't built out further offers at this time, you could be sending them to a low ticket offer. So something let's say under $200, you could again move to a specific sales sequence and maybe you're gonna move into a longer sale sequence like four or five emails that are leading up to a bigger ticket item combined into a free Facebook group. Really, the possibilities are endless, but you want to make an offer of some kind for them to take the next step with you.

Now we're on to Step number six. So here we're talking about a clear opt in form. So clear is kind let people know exactly what to expect in exchange. And I want you to think about what makes you want to give your email. So let's look at some that are working and the footer of the website. What's one of the common ones that you see along every blog, every website it's calling attention to its for, its addressing a Right now problem, it's really simple. They're asking for first name and email address. In fact, if you don't even need that first name only asked for the email address, you want to remove as many barriers as possible. And then there's also this active checkbox, which means someone has to check here, if they want to stay on your list for more emails. And now you'll have to look into the rules where you live.

But good email etiquette dictates generally that you want to ask people to stay on your email list. Beyond this freebie, another option is a pop up. And problems kind of get a bad rap. But there's a lot of ways to make them more playable. One, make sure on your page, if your pop up that the X the way to close is really clear and easy, especially on mobile to don't have that pop up, hit them, as soon as they land on your website, give them some time, don't let it just like slap in your face. And then also you can turn your pop up on so it's not showing up every single time that people are coming. So that there's a little bit of time between them showing up to your website, they may need to see it several times before they decide to sign up. So how do all these steps connected?

Now that you know that you need to have a landing page, a thank you page, emails an opt in form, how do they all work together and delivering the lead magnet Of course. So the magic happens with automations. So automations are set up in your email service provider, and they tell your provider what to do.

Now step number seven, make sure there are plenty of opportunities to opt in. You want to maximize the opportunities for people to sign up for your lead magnet by optimizing your website and beyond. So be sure that you promote your lead magnet. Some spots that work really well is under the hero image on your homepage. In a Hello bar, an A which is at the top of your hero image, a pop up and your footer, you can sprinkle it on really key pages like your about page is a really great one. If you blog within your blog and definitely look at Google Analytics to see the pages that are giving you the most traffic and include your freebies your lead magnet on there. You can also share on social and and videos. And if you have your own podcast, you can let your podcast be sponsored by our lead magnet. But when your own podcast, you can also promote if it's allowed your lead magnet and direct people to the landing page to sign up.

And that's where you can share via collaborations and speaking opportunities. And you can also set up conversion Facebook ads for a really low cost daily rate in order to have a steady number of leads coming in another way is to create your own custom landing page. So you may be using something like link tree. And that totally works great. But if you have the capability to create your own custom landing page, I highly recommend that that way it can be really well branded.

So let's recap. This is a you get me list building funnel roadmap, we've gone through all the pieces, we've talked about plenty of opportunities to opt in. We've talked about the importance of building a landing page, and it being a seamless, cohesive experience from where people came in from and as well as ways to really call it and call attention and speak to the people who want what you have in that lead magnet and also to make your lead magnet relevant to what their need. And what's right now problem. We've talked about the importance of having a thank you page and that thank you page to direct people to their emails, once to get their emails to deliver the emails. And through a series of five emails, you get to know you let your your new readers get to know you. You try to find out more about them yourself as well. You help shift to believe you help them get out when and see what's possible for them. And then you make an offer. And again, that's when you purchase you go into paid customer sequence to not covering in this training, but that's where you want to support them through their purchase. And if they didn't purchase you want to move them into your newsletter list and be in touch regularly. Don't spend all this time building your this list building funnel and not being in touch with your list. So let's talk about a few FAQs. Before we wrap up what email provider would work for me.

So there's a range of popular services with a range of fees and they all have good knowledge databases to help you with the setup. A few of the popular ones one is MailChimp. A lot of business owners like to start here. It's drag and drop email editor. There's design templates, it uses lists to organize people. And why that matters is because as you start to grow, and you may have multiple options in the road, let's say you have five opt ins. If I was to sign in, sign up for all five of your opt ins, I would actually take up five seats on your email list. And that matters when you start paying.

The other thing about MailChimp is in the free option. You can only send one automated emails so you wouldn't actually be able to send a series of five automated emails without Being up to pay, I actually prefer ConvertKit I find MailChimp a bit clunky and can be through unwieldy and hard to work with, as do a lot of other system providers that I've worked with over the years. ConvertKit is my favorite for the few reasons. So when the segmentation and tagging that visual automation I find very, overall easy to work with.

Also, simple emails tend to do better. So ConvertKit is not all really fancy and heavily visuals, it looks like you're ready to a friend, you can add in a gift, you can add in some photos, and you can make it a little bit branded with adding a logo or image on top. But the simpler the better. Because people open emails that look like they're from a friend as opposed to from you know, a store more often. Plus, it's more likely in plain text email not to land in someone's promotion side of their email service provider of their email. Another one that's been gaining popularity is flow desk, it's new ish, and their features are coming out.

So I expect to see a rollout of more robust features soon. This email would be for you, if you wanted to really design and publish email or more product based is because they want to make that more of a modern newsletter flyer style. I don't recommend over all because it's segmentation. And the tagging is not there at this time. And you cannot really start personalizing your emails and the offers you send in the same way. Plus, going back to ConvertKit. I know that these plainer text emails overall do better, what other tools might you need when you're building list building funnel, something to build your landing pages in. So if you are in WordPress, you could use a plugin called Elementor.

For creating your landing pages, and there are plenty of places you can go find pre built landing pages that you could upload to WordPress and customize. You may use lead page templates to grade or insert pages. I'm in kajabi. And I just design all my landing pages in there. You might want videos so zoom or loom, which are screen sharing or demio for your webinars. And those could be for thank you page videos, workshops, or webinars and for design. If you want some easy to use templates for putting like a PDF or booklet together, or even a webinar slide deck, definitely check out Canva or creative market. And our last question here is what happens after the welcome sequence. So you've put all this time into building your list for the funnel, you've spent effort to invite people to your list what next? Well, one, you want to nurture people on your list.

And what that means is don't go through list. Aim for consistency. I've often heard from my mentors, the more and more and more your email, the better. So that means like two to three times a week, it's totally okay. But my recommendation is for you to aim for at least once a week. You might be wondering how long but between sales. So I'm gonna say that you want to nurture between sales. No one wants to be sold to all the time. You know this yourself to think what feels good in your gut, you know, but all that said people always have the choice when you're making offers to unsubscribe. But if you want a really rule to think about, I've heard from my mentors that three nurture emails to one sales email is a good rule to follow.

Next, you want to think about connecting with the people on your list. How can you connect more with the folks in your list, I'm going to suggest that at times you ask them to hit reply and tell you what they think you might consider putting some videos in making your own gifts, adding photos of yourself ways for them to get to know you and just change it up. And then you want to plan a sales campaign. So once you've built up this list building funnel, and you've made your first offer, look at your calendar, and plan regular sales campaigns to offers. This could be a series of three five to seven emails to something larger, or it could be one or two emails, even inviting them to a sales call with you or to a new offer that you have. But as the more you spend time with your list, the more that you're gonna develop those relationships and they are going to be primed to buy from you and want to support you.

Thanks for tuning in to the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes you'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just a thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review in iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you

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