Customer journeys can feel scary, my friend. Throw in something like email marketing and it can appear downright terrifying. I get it.
But I’m Liz Wilcox. And I say to hell with that. Why do anything if it isn’t fun? In fact, the fantastic truth about the email marketing customer journey is that each subscriber has given us permission to develop a real relationship with them.
(Gosh, I love email. Marketing that’s consent-based? We stan.)
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ve probably already heard me refer to the customer journey as the email staircase, where followers become friends, and ultimately customers.
(Buh-bye to a list of half interested strangers who click trash when your email arrives.✌🏼✌🏽✌🏾)
First things first…
What is the Customer Journey?
I like keeping things simple so here it is. The customer journey is the experience of your customers from their first interaction with your brand all the way through to purchase… and beyond. It’s important for businesses (that’s you!) to understand why subscribers interact with them in order to create an effective email marketing strategy that builds relationships and encourages engagement.
Let’s climb that Email Staircase, baby!
Side note: I freaking love calling it the customer journey because (smiles while clutching chest) it assumes all these new email subscribers will one day be customers. Love a good manifestation technique, ya know.
By understanding who your ideal customer is, why they’re interested in buying from you, and which emails will best resonate with them — you can craft incredibly engaging emails that convert readers into friends.
And guess what? When you have a list of friends, it’s way easier to have a list of customers. (Mine is over 50% customers, just FYI.)
Take the time to guide them through your customer journey or Email Staircase.
Send emails at least once a week. Share value in those emails. Ask for feedback. Give them a peek into what you are like and what the business is like behind-the-scenes. Your subscribers will get accustomed to having an open line of communication with you
This opens up the opportunity for you to identify what improvements need to be made and what products to create so you can give customers exactly what they want.
Creating a Customer Journey That's Fun
The customer journey is a winding road of discovery, one that can take customers from the initial spark of interest all the way to becoming brand advocates. Crafting this path with care and thoughtfulness can unlock new possibilities for customers — and when done right, it’s an experience that’s nothing short of fantastic.
Picture a roller coaster ride in your mind: twists, turns, highs and lows that are designed to bring out exhilaration and joy. That same type of excitement can be applied to the customer journey.
(Side bar: I’m an Orlando Disney Adult, so I’m naturally picturing the new Guardian of the Galaxy ride…)
By creating experiences along their journey that surprise, intrigue, and engage them at every step, we open up opportunities both for our business as well as our customers’ emotional connection to us. It’s through these unique moments where they feel seen, heard, and valued by our brand that loyalty truly blossoms.
And with each meaningful interaction comes a chance for us to build trust over time — something that is highly valued both for revenue and the warm fuzzies.
The Customer Journey Through Email Marketing
The entire process starts with them opting into your email list, giving you that 1st party permission. This is just a fancy way to say the subscriber gave us the green light to communicate directly with them in their inbox. AKA: They consented to you emailing them so don’t be afraid to email them.
When they opt-in, you’ve gained a follower, that’s the first step in the Email Staircase. Check out Optins, Freebies and Lead Magnets, OH MY! to learn more about growing your email list. The right lead magnet will filter in the right subscriber.
But, how do we build that friendship in the first place? It’s all about starting out with a rockstar welcome sequence – showcasing your personality, vision, and values.
Your personality can be very surface level. For example, I love the 90s and you can see that theme throughout my branding and tone. That’s enough to give people a glimpse into my personality.
Have you ever thought about what your vision is for your potential customers? What do you want for them beyond just them buying your product or service? For me, I want you to make money with email marketing. That’s my big vision for you.
It’s also important to have certain principles and values that drive the way you do business. This doesn’t mean you have to get political. The values I share cover inclusivity and accessibility. In my welcome sequence, I cover these by explaining why my main offer is a $9/month template membership and how it helps me serve nearly 30 countries and thousands of businesses.
Once you have those things in mind, it’s time to connect with your customers and keep the conversation going. The simplest way to move your followers through the email customer journey, is through consistent newsletters, often called broadcasts. Not only do they allow for establishing expertise and giving value, but they also create a real connection with your audience.
And connection is key in moving them out of the “follower” stage and into “friend” stage of the Email Staircase.
From there, sprinkle in sales emails that solidify your friendship with your subscribers and move them into the final stage of the customer journey. It’s also important as your business grows to create a launch schedule and make sure you’re actively promoting your products with launches throughout the year.
Don’t worry though. If you hate launching, you can also set up evergreen emails for email subscribers to move through after a certain point of time, as an effort to move them from friend to customer.
When it comes to sales emails, be sure to vary the content length, which offers you’re sharing and why…and when in doubt about what to send? Simply add a super signature to make each email feel unique and valuable.
Better yet? Join the Email Marketing Membership for templates galore that help you with your newsletters, sales emails, and more! Only $9/month so I’m pretty shameless about promoting it.
^^take note. Your offers solve problems for your customer. Don’t be afraid to talk about them, okay?^^
How Long Should the Customer Journey Be?
When it comes to email marketing and the customer journey, there’s no blanket answer. The length depends on your business and your audience. But there are three key elements that you need to focus on if you want to make lifelong connections with your subscribers….and turn them into customers, of course.
You need to show them that you are invested in them. Let your audience know that you’re invested in their success and the vision you have for them.
Yes, tell people how much money you spent on a computer or that you took two hours to watch a webinar within your industry. That shows them that you are invested. And gives them the greenlight to invest back into you.
Be relatable. Notice I didn’t say interesting. Being interesting is really hard. Leave that up to copywriters and celebrities. Remember, people want to connect with someone who understands them, someone who is like them. So don’t skip over the little updates about your puppy growing up or how your fridge just broke for the 3rd time this year. That stuff is relatable!
Stay top of mind. Your customers cannot climb the Email Staircase or progress through that customer journey if you don’t stay top of mind. If you’re not consistently dropping value in their inbox, they may never take that final step to becoming a customer. Luckily, doing those first two things (investing + relatability) really well? That helps you stay top of mind, even when you forget to email for a week or two.
This whole email marketing and customer journey thing doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, let’s make it fun.
Remember to just climb the Email Staircase:
Follower → Friend → Customer
Get people on your email list and turn them into friends by sharing
- a little personality
- your vision for customers
- the values that drive the way you do business
And writing emails that
- show you’re invested in your business and your customers
- make you relatable
- Keep you top of mind
When in doubt, just be a person. Or join my email list for more tips! I’ve got an entire welcome sequence ready for you to plug and play, newsletter samples to show you what I mean in this article, and subject lines for a year full of prompts. All free by clicking here, boo bear.