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13. How to Get Customers Closer to Making a Purchase + Grow Your Email List

So your customer has a problem to solve, but how do you let them know YOUR product is the one to solve it? This is where you start moving your customer from the awareness stage to the interest stage of the eCommerce sales funnel. 

In the interest stage of the simple 4-step eCommerce funnel, you’ll introduce YOUR product to your potential customer in a way that doesn’t feel sleazy or too salesy. The tactics we’re going to talk about today will also help you build your email list + YOU KNOW how much I love email. 

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THE SALES FUNNEL STEPS

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Purchase
  4. Repeat purchase 

In the awareness stage, the focus is on answering your customer’s questions and educating them on what they might be missing. Since these people don’t even necessarily know they need your product yet the content you create is about educating them on their need for a product like yours. You’ll also want to make sure you include a call to action in any and all awareness content that encourages your potential customer to move to the next step, such as signing up for your email list

Once that potential customer takes the action you wanted them to take in the awareness stage, they enter the interest stage of the funnel. This means they’ve likely realized that they have a problem that needs solving and consider your product as the solution. 

How to go from awareness to interest

When I started my business, I built awareness by educating people on the value of email marketing for eCommerce. Sharing my success using email, I talked about how I generated 20% of a seven-figure eCommerce revenue through email marketing and shared statistics like the fact that email has an average ROI of 40:1. I also talked about how my systems allowed me to make more revenue with email marketing while spending less time on the platform. All these things built awareness. 

Once eCommerce entrepreneurs started understanding how valuable email was, they needed to know how to do it. By creating a freebie, The Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them, I was able to move them from the awareness stage to the interest stage. Signing up for my freebie tells me they’re interested in learning more about how to do email marketing. 

At this point in the funnel, I’m educating them more on the power of email and giving them quick tips and tricks so they can see immediate results. Once they start implementing the strategies that I outlined in that freebie and they see those quick wins, they start to wonder what else email can do and want to dive even deeper.

With many of my podcast episodes, I include freebies or content upgrades to support the episode. Episode 7 talked about the number one reason you’re not able to pay yourself from your eCommerce business. The episode builds awareness around the fact that many eCommerce entrepreneurs are not paying close enough attention to their metrics. Once my listeners heard that and realize how important it was for them to keep track of their numbers, they took action and downloaded my freebie, which moved them into the interest stage of the funnel.

Use content upgrades to promote your product 

Time for a product example, since most of you are selling a product. Let’s say you’re selling an all-natural cleaning product and your ideal customer is a mother with young children. At the awareness stage, you might be talking about how to create a healthy environment at home for your kids. At this point, you will be talking pretty generally so you might mention things like child safety locks on windows, gates at stairs, locks on toilet seats, so they don’t bang their teeny little fingers and of course, avoiding toxins in the home. 

To get them from the awareness stage to the interest stage you‘ll want to give them a call to action, which is where your content upgrade comes in. You’ve already mentioned avoiding toxins in the home and one of the culprits is traditional cleaning products. You can start talking about your product as one of the solutions by creating a freebie or a content upgrade. For example, The Top 10 Products You Need to Lead A More Natural, Healthy Life, which, of course, includes your product as one of the top 10. 

If you’re a boutique owner selling clothing and jewelry, it can be a bit harder to wrap your head around how to position this content. Consider your ideal customer and why they would buy your products. If your ideal customer is a busy mom, then you can take the angle of how to look put together while being comfortable enough to run after your toddler. 

If you sell workwear, maybe you want to talk about how to command more attention in meetings. Think about who she is:

  • Why does she decide to buy specific styles or types of clothes or jewelry over others?
  • What does getting dressed and putting on that outfit mean to her? 
  • How does it make her feel? 
  • How does she want to feel? 

Then speak to the women in those answers. 

Using Product Recommendation Quizzes in Your eCommerce Funnel

Another content upgrade idea is creating a quiz to uncover their personal style, which leads them to the items in your assortment that would fit them best. A cool feature of Klaviyo is the ability to create a quiz in Typeform and integrate your customers’ answers into Klaviyo. The results will be recorded on the customer profile, which you can use later for segmentation and filtering. It’s super fancy, super cool, and really helpful. 

There are tons of product recommendation quiz apps you can use as well that integrate with both Shopify and Klaviyo.

A simpler version of this is a wardrobe checklist that includes product recommendations from your own assortment. The goal of the content upgrade is to get them to start considering your product and ultimately move from the awareness stage to the interest stage. 

Use email to nurture your audience as they move down the funnel

Once you’ve got them in the interest stage, it’s time to continue educating them and nudging them toward a purchase. Email marketing is a great way to do this. Continue to talk about your products and why they’ll want them. The best part is you’re going directly into their email inbox. Email is a really great way to get more personal with your customers. Don’t forget to introduce yourself and your company. Explain to them why they should buy from you and what makes you special.

The email inbox is a sacred space and email platforms have features that make it easy to personalize the experience. Use placeholders for their first name. Show them recommended products based on what you’ve learned through their process.

Be mindful of the content you are sending them after they opt-in to your content upgrade. You’ll want to make sure the content of your emails aligns with the content they received. This is especially true if the person who signed up for content upgrade wouldn’t necessarily sign up for the other.

Move potential customers from social media to your email list

So far, we’ve been talking about content upgrades through email but what if the call to action is engaging with you on social?

First of all, go ahead and engage back with them by replying to their comments or DMS or visiting their profile and engaging with their content through likes and comments. Nudging them down the funnel through social media is going to take a little bit longer, but remember that your goal is to get them on your email list because that’s a platform you own. If social media goes away tomorrow, you still have their email address, which is worth way more than a gigantic social media following, I promise you that. If you can’t get them to sign up to your email list right away, at least get them to go to your website so you can pixel them and retarget them with ads later. 

To get potential customers from social media to your email list or website, you need to be intentional with the content you’re crafting. Include calls to action which encourage actually joining your list. When you tease them about new product launches or sales let them know if they want to be the first to know when your latest product drops, they need to sign up for your email list. You can even offer them a first-time discount trick. 

When to use a content upgrade versus a discount offer

When I’m talking about content upgrades, these are for the most part going to be included in your awareness content. Awareness content is ideal for SEO to build organic traffic. If you’re using Pinterest in your marketing mix, definitely promote this content there as well. Content lives on for a long time on Pinterest and it’s a search engine. Consumers go there to find solutions to their problems, inspiration, and more.

Content upgrades are also great for the awareness stage because consumers don’t know they need your product yet. If you offer them a discount too soon it might not be valuable to them. Once they’re in the interest stage and almost ready to buy, a discount can push them over the edge.

Discount codes will also work well for those who have followed you on social media for a while.

How to Use Discounts in the Interest Stage of the eCommerce Sales Funnel

Using discounts on your pop-up form can work really well. If someone comes directly to your website or clicks through an ad, it’s likely they’re already in the interest stage. Unlike the customer who found you through a blog post, this customer is further down the funnel. The further down the funnel, the more likely they are to convert.

You also don’t always have to offer a discount. Sometimes just the promise of free shipping or easy returns is enough to reduce the risk for first-time purchasers.

You don’t have to be afraid of first-time discounts though. Remember, this customer doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t fully trust you yet. It’s just a little gift from you to them.

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Jessica Totillo Coster of eCommerce Badassery eating gelato on stairs in Rome Italy

Hey, I'm Jessica eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry I love working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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ABOUT OUR AUDIENCE

  • eCommerce business owners selling a physical product on their own website (Shopify + Klaviyo users)
  • Soloprenuers or less than 25 on their team
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