3 Steps to Creating a Profitable Email Marketing Funnel

For about 2 years in my affiliate marketing career, I generated about $20,000 in sales, and they all came from doing email marketing. The way I was able to make this work was by following the very same 3 step funnel I’ll be showing you today.

steps to creating a profitable email marketing funnel 01


A preview of the 3 steps to creating a profitable email marketing funnel:

  1. Funnel niche traffic to a squeeze page.
  2. Collect the emails from the visitors.
  3. Promote the offer to the people who opted in.

These 3 stages of the email marketing funnel work, but they require better explanation so you can personally do it yourself and that’s what I’m going to be doing below. Before, I do, let me dive into how these 3 steps have helped me generate the $20,000 in affiliate sales:

2 case studies that generated the $20,000 for me from email marketing:

Case study 1:

  1. I wrote a few articles on losing weight with a specific dieting method.
  2. These articles were getting me about 200 views a day.
  3. I was linking all the articles to 1 specific squeeze page (funneling them there)
  4. On the squeeze page, I was giving visitors a free eBook (only if they gave me their email).
  5. The free eBook talked about 5 ways to use the specific dieting method.
  6. One of those ways was using a Clickbank product I was promoting and I pushed that the most out of the 5 methods.
  7. I would get about 3-5 sales a day from this email marketing funnel, each paying me about $30+.
  8. As a result, through this online sales funnel, I passively generated $50-$200 a day for about 2 years.

This is where the bulk of my email marketing profits came from (about $15,000).

Case study 2:

I actually used the above method further, and continued to collect a large email list over the 2 years I was running this funnel. I gathered over 20,000 subscribers over the 2 years I was doing this. And eventually this is what happened:

  1. I promoted a new diet program (from Clickbank called Strip That Fat) to my existing list from case study 1.
  2. I basically provided a short email to my subscribers talking about how awesome it was.
  3. After the email blast was sent out to the 20,000 subscribers, in 3 days I made about $2,000.
  4. This email funnel eventually led to me making about $5,000 in affiliate sales.

Bonus case study 3:

This is an email marketing funnel I ran about a year ago, but I didn’t take it far enough to make money. What I did do was retest the same 3 steps I’ll be showing you today to reinforce that they work.

  1. I targeted a major niche which involved solving a specific pain problem.
  2. I made a simple squeeze page basically saying “Sign up and I’ll give you the solution”.
  3. I used Bing Ads to find people with that pain problem to see my ad.
  4. I got about 30% of people signing up to my email list.
  5. I didn’t promote anything major, I was just testing how well the funnel works, and it really did.

The only major problem was that I was occupied with building my affiliate business using other things that I just didn’t have enough time to focus on this one, but I had enough evidence to see that it works. And thus it didn’t make me money.

What is important about is that:

These case studies show proof this email marketing funnel works:

In all 3 of these case studies, I followed the 3 steps well and this is why they worked (with the exception of the last one which I didn’t really concentrate on enough).

Now these things happened awhile back, so the income reports generated from it aren’t things I can really show, but I do provide updated income reports on affiliate sales page here.

Not to mention I also provide income reports on articles like:

I’m just giving you these references so you see that I am experienced. When I was doing email marketing, I never though I’d be writing this article today showing you how I do it, but times have changed. In hindsight I wish I saved the screenshots, but the other references above do have them (the income proof).

Anyway, let’s dive into each step of the email marketing funnel:

Step 1: Funnel niche traffic to a squeeze page.

There are 2 parts to this step:

1) First you need to target a really specific niche:

I recommend going for people who have immediate problems, such as skin issues, pain and of the specific sort. Here are some examples:

best niches for email marketing 02

2) You need to get those visitors to your squeeze page and there are at least 4 methods to doing it:

Blogging is a great option. You can write articles on the niche you chose and get free traffic. The only problem is that blogging will take months to take off, so you have to understand the blogging process is a time investment (but it works and I use it more than any other method to drive traffic).

YouTube is probably your fastest and freest option. You can make videos on the chosen niche, and link to the squeeze page in your video’s description. The more videos you make on the niche subject, the more free views you’d get and naturally more people coming to your squeeze page.

Pinterest is another great option. Say I have a diet I want to promote to brides to be. I can set up a pin or pins on Pinterest, and use Canva to find photos of a bride to be and link the pins to the squeeze page (then eventually promote the product through email marketing).

Pay per click would be the riskiest but it is also very profitable (I used it in case study 3 above). You can create ads to find those niche audiences quickly, get that traffic quickly, and get those opt ins quickly too.

Regardless if you use 1 or all of the methods, your goal is still the same: Find the niche audience and get them to the squeeze page. If you do this right, your email marketing funnel is already on it’s way to being profitable.

Step 2: Collect the emails (do this so they opt in).

There are 3 simple rules I’ve found that get people to opt in to your email list, and they are:

  1. Keep the squeeze page very simple (do not make a complicated or long page).
  2. Make it clear that you offer the solution to the problem the niche audience is looking for.
  3. Make the sign up button easy to see and offer bonuses if they do sign up (also say it’s free, because it should be).

Bonuses can be the following types of things:

  • An eBook you wrote up yourself (and inserted affiliate links into like I did with case study 1).
  • A free course on something related to the niche.
  • A step by step guide to solving a problem the niche is interested in.

These 3 examples basically offer value and a “bribe” to get the opt in to happen. Do not underestimate the value of offering bonuses and free stuff. They really do work and will get people to sign up.

Here is an example of a simple looking but very effective squeeze page you can use for reference:

step 2 to creating a profitable email marketing funnel

This will probably get you high sign up rates (provided you get the right niche traffic to the squeeze page). From here, we are moving into the realm of email marketing.

Step 3: Promote the offer to the people who opted in.

So first of all, you need an autoresponder if you’re going to do email marketing (and create a sign up button on your squeeze page anyway).

I know of a few options, but I’ve always used Aweber as it’s pricing is good in my opinion and offers what I need. I don’t like using fancy email marketing tools and this simple autoresponder will do just fine.

Urgency determines how quickly you go for the sales pitch:

Once people opt in, depending on the level of urgency they have, determines how quickly you’ll want to pitch your offer. If my niche audience needs a solution NOW, I will give them the pitch right away.

So if someone who has a pain problem opts into my email list, they don’t care about waiting for the solution, they only care about getting that solution NOW, and so I’ll give them that solution, but I’ll also make sure to offer tremendous value. For example:

Like I did with the first case study above, when people opted in, I didn’t just throw the affiliate offer to them right away. It was in the eBook but it was further down in the reading. I offered free content first which gave value and earned trust before pitching the offer. This is something you’ll want to do as well.

When selling quickly via email is not a good idea:

And the other thing to note is that I advised going for specific niches where people have problems, because they are more likely to buy quicker.

There’s nothing wrong with targeting niches that don’t have immediate problems, or are looking for info, but do note if you target these, you won’t want to pitch your offer immediately, because it’ll seem too promotional. In those cases, pitch the offer on about email 7 and offer tremendous value and bonuses in the first 6 emails you send (once every 2 days is fine).

Promoting affiliate offers or something else:

It doesn’t matter if you’re an affiliate marketer like me, or someone who has their own product. These 3 steps work because the niche needs the solution so whether it’s a promotion or your product, it will still sell if it does solve the problem.

How to use the 3 step funnel to successfully profit from email marketing:

This is an example of what you can do:

1) I target a niche where people have a specific pain (this is the niche).

2) I use one or more of the traffic generation methods above to find those niche audiences.

3) I will funnel the niche to the squeeze page and basically say “Hey if you have this problem (the specific pain issue), opt in and I’ll give you 5 solutions to it, free”.

4) Once they opt in, I’ll give them an eBook, give them great value and truly great ways to solve the problem, but make my 5th solution to the problem the affiliate product I’m pitching. And I’ll certainly dress it up and say how awesome it is to entice people to buy it.

For example. I can say something like: The above 4 things work, but the quickest way to get rid of so and so problem is to use this product (the 5th one which is why promotion). Here are the benefits, click here to get them (this is the call to action and will get clicks and sales).

Before you try these 3 steps, know that ethics is important!

A lot of what makes this formula work is targeting the niches where problems are major and you need to know that while this works, do not prey on people with problems and give them false promotions/hope. Actually promote things that will work for solving their problems and also give them good, free value alongside this to really make a difference.

Don’t be an unethical affiliate or shameless seller who tries to screw people over with expensive products. Give them good value, a fair product and most importantly, the solution to the problem they opted in to get from you, and that is ultimately how you’ll be able to use the 3 step email marketing funnel to it’s fullest (and for future promotions as well).

4 thoughts on “3 Steps to Creating a Profitable Email Marketing Funnel”

  1. Great article! I planned to build a landing page that collects emails and then sends them straight to the landing page (Clickbank VSL). But maybe I will first give value and then I will sell.

    • Hi Simcha, so I’d advise AGAINST direct linking to an affiliate offer. This is a commonly preached technique by people claiming to be gurus in online marketing that honestly just parrot each other. Making money online through the method you indicated takes paid ads to work and the rarity of the strategy itself working, plus wasting money on paid ads at the same time is a bad formula.

      I’d strongly advise you get fundamental training on making money online first before engaging in this so you can build a business that offers real value, gets trust and then makes sales. You can get this at Wealthy Affiliate.

  2. Hi Vitaliy

    1) What is your opinion on the bridge page funnel? Some people recommend using this funnel when promoting affiliate products because it increases the conversion rate.

    2) When do you recommend using it?

    3) When do you recommend avoiding it?

    • 1) It can work but it depends on the context, in this case what is being promoted, to what niche audience. And this is what’s most commonly taught in IM programs. The problem is that it’s not beginner friendly, even though on the surface it sounds like it is.

      The whole “increases conversion rate” idea technically works only when you know how to promote something very well and build trust with an email list, all of which takes skills, time and experience to develop.

      2) Only for hungry or high ticket niches and promotions meaning people who either have immediate problems to solve (like getting rid of pain in a specific place), or a high ticket product where even 1 sale is enough to make you get a profit even if 1,000 people on your email list don’t buy it.

      And on which networks you can use it on, I’d say Bing Ads, blogging (when you have a good blog getting visitors), Pinterest potentially.

      3) You need to get traffic to the email funnel, so here’s places I wouldn’t use it on:

      Google Ads.
      YouTube Ads.
      Possibly FB ads unless you know how to go around their red tape.


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