The 4 stages of inbound email marketing

There are four basic actions that make up the inbound email marketing model:

1. Attract

This one seems simple, right? You want to attract lots of people to your website. While partially true, it comes with a caveat: inbound has its emphasis on attracting the “right” type of traffic to your site, the people who are most likely to become leads first and satisfied customers second. The way to nail this strategy is to be very clear about your ideal customer, which is also known as a buyer persona. Once you know who they are, the trick is to start attracting them to you with things like blogging, SEO, social media and quality website content.

2. Convert

Getting eyeballs to your website can be the hardest part of this process, and the next step is to convert those visitors to leads by collecting their contact information. This information is like gold bullion to marketers, and in order to make the trade you generally need to offer people something in return. This can take the form of free content like e-books or white papers, but whatever it is must have value to your buyer persona. Forms, call-to-action and landing pages will be some of your most important tools when it comes to converting visitors.

3. Close

Once you have attracted the right type of visitors and converted them to leads the next step is to transform them into customers. You need to close the deal, like Michael Douglas in “Wall Street”. Kind of. Closing in inbound marketing is somewhat different, and involves a number of tools like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, closed loop reporting, marketing automation and email. They sound fancy but it all boils down to building trust with your prospect and helping them become ready to buy.

4. Delight

The delight stage is where inbound really comes into its own, revealing why it has had such a transformational impact on marketing in the digital age. Inbound is all about the customer, and is always striving to find novel ways to amuse, inform, entertain and delight them. Remarkable content engages your customers, and done well it can also turn clients into your best advocates as they voluntarily share your content with their social networks. This stage utilizes a number of tools, including surveys, smart calls-to-action, smart text and social monitoring.

Analysis is something that’s common to each and every stage

Beginning from Attract to Delight, each and every marketing strategy should invariably be assessed. Attract works as a scaffold for email marketing. The full-fledged role of email is in the next three stages of Convert, Close and Delight.

Emails come into picture at the finishing line of the Convert stage. Next, they are used to closed the leads into customers and finally Delight them to turn them into evangelists.

Why are businesses embracing this model?

Inbound email marketing has changed the way businesses communicate with their customers, and has been wholeheartedly embraced in the last decade. Quality, targeted content is a proven way to attract the right customers and is highly responsive when it comes to answering their questions and needs because it enables a high degree of personalisation. Being a multi-channel medium, it enables conversations to take place exactly where your customers are and integration means that content creation, publishing and analytics tools work seamlessly together in pursuit of the same goal.

Inbound marketing is very much here to stay and is a proven methodology for the digital age. Put simply, it’s the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters, and no serious business can afford to ignore it.