Do you want to build your email list and rank for highly desirable keywords with content that generates leads automatically?
In this post I want to let you in on the best way I’ve found to get hundreds of targeted leads on our email with just one piece of content.
I want you to be able to read this post, then go away and start doing the exact same thing as me. I’m going to start with the creation of the ebook, and then move through to promotion.
Writing the ebook
The ebook — a guide to business process automation — was written casually over the course of a couple of months. It consisted of all of our blog posts on the topic, tied together with an intro and outro, structured so it developed like you’d expect a book to.
So, while we were building our blog and posting like usual, we were also creating an ebook in the background. This means we can rank for all of the chapters individually plus the ebook page, and it’s much less work.
Essentially, it’s one giant content repurposing project, allowing both the posts and ebook to generate leads.
The way to start is to do a little keyword research. Once you’ve found a great keyword (high volume, low difficulty, well targeted at your audience), start to brainstorm 5-10 blog posts on the topic, all going after the long tail keywords related to it.
Note the structure using a tool like Evernote or Trello, then start turning keywords into titles. Once you’ve got the titles down, blog away as normal until the book’s written.
The blog posts were all sent as links along with our graphical assets (icons, gradients, etc.) to a freelance designer hired through Upwork. She came back with a PDF and ePub version within the week, and then it was time to prepare to promote it.
Before promoting the ebook
Next up, we needed to find as many people as possible that we thought would like the ebook. To do this, I used BuzzSumo to scrape the names and Twitter handles of 250 people that talk and write about business process automation. We also gathered everyone who had been mentioned in the book because they’re more likely to have a vested interest in its promotion.
Handing it off to a VA to scrape the emails, I went about writing the landing page copy.
The landing page copy for all of our ebooks follows the same structure:
- Problem (you’re doing too much in your business manually)
- Solution (you can harness automation, if you know how)
- Call to action
- Who’s this book for?
- What’s in the book?
- Call to action
We have a template of this in WordPress, so it’s easy to duplicate it and work off of it to make sure you’re not missing anything out.
With the emails loaded up in Close.io, our CRM, and the landing page ready to go, I wrote an email template informing the outreach contacts I found earlier that we’re launching a book they might be interested in, like this:
Launch day: ebook marketing in action
On the day of the launch, we posted the ebook on Product Hunt, sent emails to the list of influencers, and watched the email subscribers roll in. By some bizarre stroke of luck, we hit #1 in Books on Product Hunt despite the narrow audience of the subject.
We also posted it up on reddit and inbound.org, which, as you can see, brought a comparatively small slice of traffic when checked against Product Hunt:
After launch day
To make sure we were capturing as many leads as possible, we went back to every relevant blog post and added a call to action to get the ebook. Since some of the posts had already started to rank in Google, it meant that we were able to capture some of that success and make it stick.
We still find a few hundred leads coming in every month from the ebook, even after the launch day buzz has long gone. For a side project, it’s well worth investing your time.
5 extra tips for success
There are a few things to know about this tactic before getting stuck in:
- Make sure your landing page copy is long. Short copy and gated content doesn’t rank at all well in Google
- Write an announcement blog post and link your ebook’s landing page in it to help it rank
- Send the PDF file to everyone who’s already on your list so they don’t have to put their email in again
- Use SumoMe’s click triggers for creating call to action buttons anywhere on your site
- Make sure your ebook is super relevant to your business, so the leads you get are the best quality
Have you had success with ebook launches in the past? Let’s chat in the comments.