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  • Writer's pictureJenna Miller

Setting Up an Email Marketing Customer Journey

Updated: 14 hours ago

The email marketing customer journey is the path a potential customer takes from initial awareness of your brand to becoming a loyal advocate. It's a crucial element of any successful marketing strategy, allowing you to nurture leads, build relationships, and ultimately drive conversions.


Stages in the email marketing customer journey

A funnel graphic showing the different stages of the email marketing customer journey


This initial stage focuses on attracting new subscribers to your email list. Utilize lead magnets like ebooks or contests to entice sign-ups, ensuring a smooth and clear process. Track signup rates and identify lead sources to measure success.

Example Email: Welcome email series introducing your brand, values, and offerings.

An example of offering something of value to obtain an email address from Pulse Technology.

Best Practices:

  • Offer valuable content like ebooks or webinars in exchange for email addresses.

  • Run social media contests or promotions with email sign-up incentives.

  • Ensure a smooth and clear signup process. The less "friction" the better - this simply means you want to make signing up as easy as possible!




Once subscribed, nurture leads by educating them about your products/services through blog posts, case studies, or product demos. Segment your audience and personalize content based on their interests to address their specific needs and build trust. Monitor open rates, click-through rates, and content engagement metrics.

Example Emails:

  • Educational content like blog posts or industry insights.

  • Product/service demos or case studies showcasing their benefits.

  • Personalized recommendations based on past interactions.

An example of an exclusive offer email from WordPress

Best Practices:

  • Segment your audience based on interests and tailor content accordingly.

  • Provide valuable information that builds trust and establishes expertise.

  • Offer exclusive content or early access to deals.




Now, convert leads into paying customers. Highlight the value proposition of your offerings, create urgency with limited-time offers, and provide clear CTAs guiding them towards purchase. Track conversion rates, average order value, and customer acquisition cost to gauge effectiveness.

Example Emails:

  • Limited-time offers or discounts to incentivize purchases.

  • Abandoned cart reminders with product recommendations.

  • Personalized product recommendations based on browsing history.

An example of an abandoned cart reminder from HeadSpace

Best Practices:

  • Highlight the benefits and value proposition of your offerings.

  • Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers.

  • Offer clear calls to action (CTAs) that guide users towards purchase.



Retaining existing customers is crucial. Offer excellent customer service, loyalty programs with exclusive benefits, and personalized product recommendations based on past purchases. Track customer lifetime value, repeat purchase rate, and churn rate to measure loyalty and identify areas for improvement.

Example Emails:

  • Post-purchase follow-up emails with thank yous and usage tips.

  • Exclusive loyalty program benefits and rewards.

  • Personalized product recommendations based on past purchases.

An example of a retention email from Canva.

Best Practices:

  • Provide excellent customer service and address any concerns promptly.

  • Offer loyalty programs and exclusive benefits to incentivize repeat purchases.

  • Gather feedback and use it to improve your offerings and customer experience.




Inactive subscribers may need a nudge. Send "win-back" campaigns with special offers, re-engage them with relevant content based on past interactions, and offer an easy unsubscribe option to maintain a clean list. Analyze subscriber behavior and track re-engagement rates to identify at-risk customers and optimize your strategy.

Example Emails:

  • "Win-back" campaigns with special offers or discounts.

  • Relevancy-based content recommendations based on past interactions.

  • "We miss you" emails reminding them of the value you offer.

An email example of re-engagement from Grammerly

Best Practices:

  • Analyze subscriber behavior and identify those at risk of disengagement.

  • Offer re-engagement campaigns with personalized content and incentives.

  • Provide an easy unsubscribe option to maintain a clean list.


Best Practices for Email Marketing Customer Journey

  • Personalization: Tailor content and offers based on individual preferences and past behavior.

  • Segmentation: Group subscribers based on demographics, interests, and purchase history for targeted messaging.

  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure emails are responsive and display well on all devices.

  • Data Tracking and Analysis: Monitor key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to measure success and optimize your strategy.

  • Automation: Utilize email automation tools to send personalized and triggered emails based on subscriber actions.

  • A/B Testing: Test different subject lines, email content, and CTAs to see what resonates best with your audience.

By implementing these strategies and tailoring your email marketing to each stage of the customer journey, you can build lasting relationships, nurture leads, and drive conversions for your business.



Essential Components for Success

Crafting a compelling marketing email requires a strategic blend of elements that work together to capture attention, deliver value, and drive action. Here are the key components that make a good marketing email:

1. Attention-Grabbing Subject Line: This is your first impression. A clear, concise, and intriguing subject line piques curiosity and entices recipients to open the email. Utilize this free tool to see how your next subject line will do.

2. Preheader Text: This snippet appears alongside the subject line in many email clients, offering a preview of the email's content. Use it to further entice users to open.

3. Engaging Body Copy: Keep your content concise, scannable, and focused on providing value. Use storytelling, humor, or other engaging techniques to keep readers interested.

4. Visuals: Images, infographics, or GIFs can break up text, enhance comprehension, and make your email more visually appealing.

5. Compelling Call to Action (CTA): Clearly tell your audience what you want them to do next, whether it's visiting a website, making a purchase, or signing up for another offer.

6. Design and Formatting: Ensure your email is mobile-friendly and visually appealing with clear formatting, consistent branding, and proper spacing.

7. Personalization: Segment your audience and personalize your message based on demographics, interests, or past interactions to increase relevance and engagement.

8. Unsubscribe Option: Always include a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe option to comply with regulations and maintain a clean list.

9. Sender Information: Use a recognizable "From" name and address to build trust and avoid appearing like spam.

10. Social Proof and Testimonials: Include customer reviews, testimonials, or social media mentions to build trust and credibility.

By meticulously crafting each of these elements, you can create marketing emails that resonate with your audience, encourage action, and ultimately achieve your marketing goals.

A women flexing her arm with the words "Take your business to the next level with Emerald Strategic Marketing" and a button that says "Elevate My Marketing"


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