Before we talk about eBooks, let’s introduce our real topic today.
Sales Funnels: How They Work, and Why Free Stuff Makes Money
Picture a funnel for a moment. It’s wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. For sales, that means capturing your widest possible audience in the beginning, and they’ll naturally sort themselves out into the not interested and your new devotees. The goal of the funnel is to cultivate a customer base that is willing to follow you from the freebie all the way down to your most expensive products or services.
The first step is getting them into your funnel in the first place. How do you do that?
Entry-level products in your funnel need to be fast, easy, and free or cheap. That’s why successful companies include freebies, giveaways, informative blog posts and eBooks in their content marketing. By downloading a free piece of content, the viewer has suddenly become a customer. Knowing the stages of your buyers' journey helps tremendously when brainstorming what kind of content marketing you want to produce. EBooks are great for the awareness stage!
Here's an example of one of our freebies. Our objectives are clear- to provide our visitors with valuable information while presenting the opportunity to convert them from a lead into a client.
It’s a lot easier to sell your product to existing customers than it is to convert new customers (that’s why loyalty programs are so prevalent). Here is what publishing an eBook can do for your business.
- They provide a lot of value up front by giving away tricks of the trade. But at the same time, they establish a relationship between you and your customer and build desire for your products, services and expertise. You might be giving your content away for free, but it will increase sales for your other products down the funnel.
- Use an eBook as an incentive for Liking your Facebook page or signing up for your e-newsletter, thereby building your database. That way, not only do you start potential paying customers on their way down the funnel, but also you get their contact information for future follow-ups.
- Build trust with your potential clients by not turning your eBook into blatant sales copy. If you run a consulting company, don’t end every paragraph with “and that’s why you should hire a professional consultant.” It’s annoying and will turn them off. Write like you’re telling them how to do it themselves, and when it comes time to actually do it, they’ll come to you.
- Traditional lead generation sources are providing less and less ROI – consumers are tired of the barrage of advertising. When done right, eBooks don’t feel like advertising, but do tell your target audience about your services.
- Don’t just stop with one – build a library. Assuming your business offers more than one product or service (or different levels of service), you can use multiple eBooks to boost your sales in every sector.
There are a billion people searching the Internet for information that will answer their questions and solve their problems. Before you start pumping out content, make sure you know what your prospective customers are looking for. A great way to start is by defining your Buyer Personas. With a well-written, informative eBook as part of your content marketing plan, you’ll have the ability to attract hundreds, maybe thousands of people looking for exactly what you do. Compare that to the reach of traditional advertising!
Let's get you started on building the content for your eBooks with a... Wait for it... Free download! This template will help you create your marketing goals and content for visitors, leads, and conversion rates. Enjoy.