Thoughts, stories and ideas.

Publishers generally use paywalls to get more paid subscriptions. This is how publishers find themselves entering the field of online sales and marketing. This is where the marketing funnel comes in. A marketing funnel helps publishers generate ideas around how to increase the number of subscriptions.

By using a funnel design, a publisher can follow a potential subscriber from their first visit until they become a paying reader. Professional marketers have used this method since the dawn of internet and it has proven to generate great results.

The main objective of this guide is to help publishers to get started with optimizing their sales funnel for paid subscriptions. Inbound marketing has proven itself as an effective strategy to make these this successful as well as help advertisers find the most qualified leads possible.

Without the right tools and systems in place, this can be a difficult task. For each of the stages in the marketing funnel, consider implementing the following to aide your efforts:

blog-1-1

Top of the funnel tools

At the top of the funnel (TOFU), a user is trying to find a solution to a problem, and they need information to help them with the process. As far as leads go, this group may be large, but they’re usually less valuable and unqualified as you are unaware about their purchase decisions. These user may not even make a decision at all. It’s too early to worry about selling, rather you need to help them understand their problem or identify their needs first.

• Content Management System (CMS)

When developing content for your sponsored campaign, having a website to house it on that is fully maximized for any audience is extremely necessary. By using a powerful CMS that not only makes it easy to publish content, but also makes sure it’s mobile responsive, you’re ensuring that readers can easily engage with it on any platform.

By selecting a fully integrated CMS that connects your individual web pages to the actions your contacts take, you’re able to quickly see which areas of your site are helping people move from merely viewing, to eventually making a purchase decision.

• Social Media Management

Social media is a great way to drive traffic and leads to your website or sponsored content. Social Media tools help you analyze and filter social conversations to better understand where the relevant audience is. With this you’re able to cut through social noise to engage with your most valuable readers, and then drive them to your site where they will hopefully convert to buy your book.

blog-3

Middle of the funnel tools

The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is exactly what it sounds like. When people have discovered that they definitely have a problem and that it needs to be solved, they’re eager to find a solution. This is the most crucial part of the conversion process. This is simply because you as a publisher, wants to help your advertisers be the ones chosen to fill that hole. Your main focus in this stage is lead conversion.

• Call-To-Actions (CTA)

You can create all the leads and sponsored content you want, but without a way to connect the two, what good are these efforts? Make the most of the traffic you've driven to your site by building an easy and evident path for readers to follow towards your offers.

Unique calls-to-action should be placed on each and every page of your site as well as within your email communication. The language on the CTA should match with the type of content the reader is currently engaging in. It should be relevant when the viewer clicks through.

• Landing Pages

Once a viewer clicks on a CTA to download a piece of sponsored content, you need a place to exchange your offer for a little more information about that reader. This is where your landing pages come in.

A good landing page will target relevant audience. Therefore, it’s important to create landing pages that are tailored as specifically as possible to the different types of incoming users.

The landing page showcases your offer, which is gated behind a form. The reader needs to fill this out to get access to your writings. The fields used on that form need to capture the right information. This ensures that you have the required details of your lead to connect with them as the need arises in the future.

• Automated Emails

Once a reader makes an initial conversion i.e. they fill out the form on your landing page, you can use their email address and personal information to send highly personalized content straight to their inbox.

Your email automation software should be integrated with all of your user data (fulfillment, CRM, email, events, etc.) so as to more effectively segment the leads. The sponsored content is then targeted to readers who would find it most relevant, and therefore most likely to move down the marketing funnel.

Create email lists based on previous downloads, subscription renewal date, contact information, etc. This will help to dial in on readers with the highest potential purchase intent.

Bottom of the funnel tools

At the point when users get to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), they are likely make a decision. At this level of the marketing funnel, the right offer could do the trick. Your aim is to drive sales qualified leads. BOFU tools can help you manage and measure which of those sales qualified leads actually convert to become your customer, adding to your fan base.

• Analytics Software

Once readers get on your site and make an initial conversion, you have the capabilities to track their movements and actions. This helps you to better understand what content they’re most interested in and what specific content actually got them there.

Look at how many leads you drove as a direct result of the various pieces of your campaign (website, emails, calls-to-action, offers, etc.) and compare these numbers to whether the advertisers closed the deal when you passed the leads off to them.

Tracking numbers like visitor-to-lead rate, leads, Market Qualified Leads (MQLs), sales pipeline generated, and net new customers, tells you how well your campaign performed, and what ROI you were able to achieve for your advertiser.

• CRM System

It’s beneficial to have a CRM system to hand off leads or a sales team that reaches out to leads directly. This system should have the capabilities to track exactly what happens with the leads i.e. if they actually become your customer.

You should have a CRM that fully integrates with your marketing software and uses one contact profile across all of your systems.

Conclusion

blog-2

Reach

It measures the methods you use to attract traffic to your website or online presence. It is basically how people find your writings.

Engage

It helps you analyze all the places that customers or prospects might interact with you. It includes what you want your readers to do, when you want them to do it and why.

Activate

It is a measure of the effectiveness of visitors that have taken an action on your website, preferably one that you had a pre-defined and wanted them to take.

Nurture

It is a measure of the effectiveness of the way of encouraging your visitors to come back and consume more of your website content.

Once you have the tools in place to lead people through each stage of the marketing funnel, it makes the process a lot more streamlined and effective.