The 411 on Book Funnels
Curious about book funnels and whether you need one? This post explains their purpose, advantages, and elements.
Table of Contents
What are book funnels?
A book funnel is a marketing strategy used to increase book sales. It consists of a series of steps that guide potential readers from discovering your book to purchasing it.
People enter the top of the funnel, and either take the action you’re requesting in the middle, or they don’t take it. If they don’t take action, they remain in the middle.
If they take action, they move farther into the funnel.
And if they take the final desired action – purchasing a product, registering for an event, etc. – they come out of the funnel at the end.
Many people enter the top, but not everybody takes all the steps that lead them out at the end.
Why you need a book funnel
Now that you know what a book funnel is and isn’t, the big question is: Why do you need one?
Book funnels are a great way to gain visibility and generate more sales for your books. Here’s why.
A book funnel and its marketing activities boost your book’s visibility and author brand. It will also help generate more traffic to your website.
More sales: Targeting potential readers who are interested in your book and guiding them toward making a purchase helps you sell more books.
Using a book funnel can enhance reader engagement on social media and email. You can use your email list to promote, notify about new releases, and engage in conversations.
Saves time: Book funnels automate the marketing process and reduce the time you spend manually promoting your book.
Affordable: It’s a cost-effective way to market your book.
Once it’s set up, it keeps working for you all day and all night. What’s not to like about that?
Book funnel process flow
If you’re new to the funnel concept, it helps to break down how readers flow from top to bottom. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: At the top of your book funnel
Book funnels typically begin when you or your publisher create awareness of your book. This might involve social media campaigns, advertising, blog posts, and email marketing.
You’re attracting readers to the top of your funnel.
Step 2: Drawing the right readers into your funnel
You want to draw readers in by helping them learn more about your book. Reviews, interviews, and videos provide insight into the book’s themes and what readers can expect to learn from it.
That information will help them decide if they want to move further into your funnel to continue learning more.
Step 3: Pulling readers further into your funnel
To pull those at the top even further into your funnel, you offer them a free digital gift, aka “reader or lead magnet” that’s related to the book.
They must provide their email address to receive this gift.
Step 4: Convert readers in your book funnels from “interested” to “buyers”
The process you use to capture their email takes them to a “thank you” page on your site. This page not only tells you how to download the lead magnet but also gives more details about the book, including where to buy it.
Step 5: Continue to encourage a purchase by staying in touch
You have the email address of everybody in the middle of your funnel who added themselves to your email list – they “opted in.” This is whether they bought the book and came out at the end or not.
Send them regular emails with helpful and interesting information so they keep you and your book on top of their minds.
The people at this stage of the funnel are most likely to purchase from you.
5 Key elements of a book funnel
- Email service provider
- Landing page
- A Call to Action
- The Lead Magnet
- Thank you page
Email service provider
I hope you’re already collecting email addresses that you use to stay in touch with readers. If you aren’t, here is an email service we recommend to authors.
A landing page is a single web page designed to encourage a single action. It has no toolbars. There are no links to other pages on your site.
The goal of your book funnel landing page is to get people to join your email list. This is where you offer your lead magnet.
This means there should be a clear call to action that encourages readers to do that. Include these elements:
Text that describes your lead magnet.
An image of the lead magnet or something that represents it.
A call to action
An email signup form, either on the landing page or on a form or page that pops up when people click on the call-to-action button
Here’s an example of the landing page for my newest lead magnet, a cheat sheet that lists the “6 services that help journalists find authors”.
A lead magnet is a digital gift you give away in exchange for collecting readers’ email addresses. The gift must be relevant to your book, such as a sample chapter.
As soon as readers submit their email addresses, technology will take them to a thank-you page. That page can either provide the download link for your lead magnet, thank them for requesting your “gift” and instruct them to check their email for a message with the download link, or both.
Use this page to sell your book.
In addition to text that thanks people and instructs on the next steps involved in downloading the lead magnet, include:
Your book cover
Your best influencer endorsements/ blurbs
A few reader reviews if available
Purchase links to online retailers selling your book
An email sequence is an automated series of messages.
In this case, the first message thanks readers for requesting your gift and provides instructions on how and where to download it.
Follow that with an email with more information about your book and purchase links.
Maintain the interest of these readers by sending regular emails with updates, related content, and useful information about your book.
View your landing page as an alternative home page
The idea behind a book funnel is to create a series of steps that use information to turn readers from browsers to buyers. This is why I want you to use your landing page as an alternative home page for much of your book marketing.
Add the URL to your social media profiles. Share it on social media regularly. Include it in your speaker bio if you speak at conferences or author events.
Repetition can lead to purchasing
Here’s why: People will not buy your book the first time they hear about it on social media, in a guest post, or a YouTube video.
They need more information and they need it more than once. A lot more.
You can do all of this with email marketing. And that’s why you want to capture their email addresses.
Email marketing allows you to connect with the right readers which helps keep your book top of mind now and later.
There are situations where you’ll send people to your book’s sales page on Amazon or elsewhere. Email marketing through a book funnel is great for attracting new readers.
Start building your book funnel today!
Liked this post? Share it with other writers and authors.