The Free Ebook Marketing Funnel

If you have ever wondered how to deliver a free ebook, or wondered why you should, this article is for you!

I’m going to take you through the ins and outs and lay down some of the sage advice I’ve gained over the past 15 years. While I’m not going to go into my mistakes and how I learned all of this exactly, I’m going to point you in the right direction and turbo-charge your results.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What’s An Ebook Used For?

In today’s economy, you need to stand out from your competitors. “Duh, Mike,” you say, “I already know that!”

Good. Because your competition is all over the world and comes in all shapes and sizes. If you don’t hustle and make a name for yourself, you can lose everything quickly.

An e-book, a guide, a white paper – whatever you want to call it – gives you an opportunity to stand apart from the crowd, get your message out to a wider audience, frame the conversation going on in the mind of the consumer, build mindshare (brand), and build a list of qualified prospects.

This is pure marketing.

You use the e-book as a magnet for prospects/leads to exchange their contact information with you so you can follow up with them. When you follow up, you can find out more about their needs and identify whether your products/services are a solution to their problem.

An e-book is unintrusive and, if well written, persuades without being forceful or overly salesy. It’s the perfect introduction to your business and the products/services you offer.

That said, don’t get it confused with a brochure. It’s not a brochure. Simply stated, write your e-book to solve one problem your target market is having. Some good e-book examples are:

  • The right way to brush your teeth
  • Choosing the best garage door opener
  • How to choose the right pair of shoes
  • How to protect your family and secure your future with Life Insurance
  • The top ten treadmills compared
  • The 5 easy steps to better health and longer life
  • How to overcome the top 5 marketing challenges with marketing automation

The Ebook Funnel

In order to deliver an e-book to a prospect/lead, you need to set up a small marketing funnel.

This marketing funnel consists of a landing page that you drive traffic to, a thank you page, an email marketing service that allows you to send follow-up emails, a opt in sequence, and a framing sequence of at least 5 emails.

The e-book funnel is one of the easiest, most straightforward marketing funnels to create and every business should utilize it.

The Landing Page

The landing page is a very important piece in the e-book marketing funnel because it has to get the attention of the prospect, clearly state the benefits and sell the prospect on the e-book

It all starts with traffic. This traffic can come from many different places, but the idea is to drive targeted traffic to a specific landing page with a specific offer on it. That offer, in this case, is an e-book.

The landing page will sell the e-book using text and/or video.

Remember, the purpose of this marketing funnel is to frame your company’s products/services as the solution to their problem, and also to get their contact information.

In order to get their contact information you will need a form that, once submitted, starts a sequence of emails that are delivered by your email marketing service provider. The best email marketing solution providers are AWeber and Mailchimp.

These email marketing companies will allow you to create a list and build a form that you can put on your website. This form will add anyone who submits their information to the list. We will discuss the email marketing side of this funnel in a minute, but for now let’s move on.

The Thank You Page

The thank you page simply thanks the prospect for submitting their contact information. It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Recently, marketers have started putting videos and offers on these thank you pages. The idea is that if someone is already interested enough in your business to request a free guide, then they may want to purchase a product or schedule an appointment now as well.

Using a thank you page in this way essentially makes the thank you page a landing page for a more targeted, more segmented marketing funnel.

Whether you choose to use the thank you page as a landing page for another funnel, or you simply want to deliver the e-book, make sure the prospect knows that they will receive an email with a link to download the e-book in it.

In this way, the thank you page forms a bridge between the website and the email marketing service which delivers the link to the e-book and follows up with the prospect automatically over time and continues to market to them.

The Double Opt in Process

When you use an email marketing service and build out your list and your form, they will give you an option for a single opt in, or a double opt in process to get on your list.

A single opt in process is easier for the prospect, and will build your email list faster. However, there is a downside. Since it is so easy to get onto your list, you will have a lot of junk email addresses in the form of people who just want the free guide, and spam-bots signing up.

These junk email addresses will cause problems over time in the form of increased spam complaints and lack of engagement with your emails.

It’s better to use a double opt in process because you can be sure that the people who go through the extra step of validating their contact information will be more engaged and are more likely to purchase from you in the future.

The process for the double opt in consists of two emails.

The first email is a confirmation request. It simply asks the prospect if they want to be added to your email list. If they confirm, they are sent the second email. The second email welcomes them to the list and gives them the link to download the e-book.

The Framing Sequence

Once a prospect has added themselves to your mailing list and they have received the free e-book, they should continue to get a sequence of emails automatically. This continued sequence of emails is frequently called an auto responder, but I break the term auto responder into several different labels – each with their own purpose.

I have labeled the first sequence of auto responders, “the framing sequence.”

The framing sequence sets the frame the conversation exists within. Like an orientation in a training class, the framing sequence orients the prospect to the benefits of using your products/services and to the vision of your company.

You can use as many emails as you want in the framing sequence as long as you realize that the goal is simply to set the frame around all of the content that will be coming.

What this means is, your emails will never stop. Once someone is on your list, they will receive an email from you on a regular basis. It’s up to you as to how many emails you want to send, but never make the mistake of sending three emails and then never sending another one. It’s much better to send one email a month every month forever than it is to send 10 over 10 consecutive days and stop.

A basic framing sequence consists of five emails. Those emails discuss the offer you make in your e-book and on your thank you page. I’m going to briefly cover each of these, but it’s important for you to tailor these ideas to your individual situation.

Email One – Why It’s Important to Start Now

The first email uses their motivation to learn more and pushes them toward your product or service. It sets the frame around the cost of inaction.

First, this email tells the prospect that you are glad they downloaded the book, then tells them the things that they can achieve easily when they use your product/service.

Next, you illustrate the price of inaction. Inaction, or the status quo is the most powerful force in your prospects decision-making process. They may have a problem they want to solve, but do they have the willpower and the desire to achieve their goal? You have to make a case for your products/service that will move them to take action.

Finally, you discuss how you have solved their problem and discuss the results they can achieve with your product/service. This is a great place for testimonials. Then, tell them where they can purchase or learn more.

Email Two – What You Receive

In the last email we talked about what the product/service offers and why they should take action on it. Now, we start expounding upon what they will learn and tie the benefits to their motivations.

You explain what your product or service offers and then talk about the major benefits they will receive as a result of purchasing. It can be written out in longform paragraphs or as bullet points.

Essentially, you want to say, “If you want to achieve X, we cover it on page 47.”

Now the example above is obviously for a book, but you could adapt that to any product or service you sell. For instance, “you get it in the second month,” or “you’ll learn it in the second session,” or “you receive it immediately, and get updates every month.” The possibilities are endless.

Email Three – What Are You Interested in? (Survey)

In the first two emails we touched upon the most powerful features and benefits of our product /service. If they haven’t purchased yet, it could be that they don’t have the money, or we might not have hit their specific hot button.

In the third email, since we might not have used the words that drive them to purchase, we want to ask them what they’re looking for in an informal survey.

It does two things: 1) it helps us to know what our visitors are looking for and we get to hear it in their language; 2) it gives us the opportunity to respond to them personally outside the flow of the automated emails which builds credibility and persuades.

Obviously there several ways to achieve this and it depends upon your specific business as to how you will frame this email. As you can be extremely friendly, extremely professional, or anything in between. The goal, however, is to get them to respond and tell you what they are looking for, and what they assume to be the solution to their problem.

Email Four – The Secret to…

This is an email that hits their major hot button directly. What’s the number one thing that your customers want to achieve that your product/service delivers?

If it’s losing weight, then this email is: “the secret to losing weight.”

If it’s getting rich, then this email is: “the secret to getting rich.”

See how that works?

Tell them how they are going to learn “how to” or “achieve” losing weight, or getting rich, or whatever your product/service provides.

If it’s losing weight, then you would tell them they are going to learn how to lose weight without dieting, without hours of strenuous exercise, and without starving.

Just tell them how they are going to achieve their goals and frame your product/service as the secret to achieving it.

Email Five – Have You Seen?

The odds they have read all, or any, of your emails is small. So you need to recap what you have discussed over the last four emails and in the e-book.

Really, this is your last ditch attempt to get them to actually read the book.

In this email you pull out all the stops and do what you think you need to do to get them to read the e-book. This is important because if they don’t read the e-book they won’t be sold, and if they aren’t sold they won’t buy.

You will want to use a really attractive subject line on this email. It needs to hit them between the eyes in some way. It could be edgy, borderline insulting, or downright odd. Whatever you use, it needs to jump out at them when they look through their email.

Some good examples are:

  • Buy customers like groceries
  • You’ll never have a car like this …
  • My dog told me to send this to you

Putting It Together and Testing

Once you have everything together:

  • Your landing page
  • Your thank you page
  • Your email marketing service
  • Your email marketing list
  • The form associated with your email list
  • Your double opt in process
  • Your framing sequence of five emails

You are ready to start driving traffic.

But don’t think you’re done. You are never done. You need to test.

Sometimes small changes completely change the result. Changing a download button from blue to green once increased sales by 20%. Strange, I know. Nonetheless, true.

So give it your best guess and test. Test everything. Test the traffic source. Test the headline on the landing page. Test the title of the e-book. Test single opt in versus double opt in. Test different emails in the framing sequence.

As you test, you will find some things work better than others, and some things work much better than anything else you’ve ever tried.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me, and while you’re at it, leave a message in the comments section below.

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller is the owner of Mindwhirl.com, a sales and marketing coaching and training company in Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow.

Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs.

If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (404) 858-3105, or email me at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

Comments

  1. thats just great and perfect timing for the article
    i ‘m just confused about the last email which is offering the product
    i mean why they would need a product since they have a free ebook to learn from ?

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