Why would a #1 New York Times best-selling author like Tony Robbins give away his new book for free, when he could sell the very same book on Amazon for $13.06?
If you aren’t familiar with how book funnels work, you may wonder how authors can make a profit by sending out books for free.
The secret is in the funnel.
In essence, any customer who buys Tony Robbins’ book from Amazon goes into Amazon’s marketing funnel.
A customer who gets the book from Tony Robbins for free (plus $7.95 for shipping & handling) goes into his marketing funnel.
That’s why one of the hottest trends in marketing right now is the “free-plus-shipping” book funnel.
And over the last few years, I’ve seen more and more of the top marketers taking advantage of it.
The strategy is simple:
Give your away book for free and then upsell with “back-end” products like courses, seminars, conferences, coaching programs, software, mastermind groups, etc.
As Tony Robbins says at the 6:30 mark in this marketing video,
“My hope is to add so much value to you that maybe you’ll become a client of something else I do — that’s the back-end benefit for me…”
Book funnels work great for B2B lead generation, for reasons which I’ll explain in a minute.
What if you don’t have a book to give away?
(We’re talking physical hardcover and paperback books here, not digital e-books.)
Enter the “No-Book” Book Funnel
In essence, you take someone else’s book, bundle it with your own related marketing materials, and offer it to prospects for free + shipping & handling.
Here’s an example from Todd Brown at MarketingFunnelAutomation.com.
He teamed up with best-selling author Dr. Robert Cialdini (who wrote arguably the best book on the science of persuasion) to offer:
- A physical copy of Dr. Cialdini’s new book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
- A copy of Todd’s personal notes and ideas on the book
- An audio recording of a phone conversation between Todd and Dr. Cialdini to discuss marketing applications of the book
- A transcript of the phone call
Plus — and here’s the kicker — a free trial of Todd’s $49 dollar-a-month newsletter.
The price of the bundle: Free + 16.95 shipping & handling.
Now that may look pretty salesy to you, but the No-Book Funnel offers a number compelling advantages to B2B marketers.
Perhaps the biggest one is this:
Separates Active Prospects from Passive Leads
The reality is, in any given market, only a small percentage (< 10%) of prospects are looking to “buy now”.
Yet for obvious reasons, this is the most valuable and coveted segment of the market, because that’s where the money is.
So job one in B2B lead generation is to identify these people and attract them into your sales funnel.
Anyone who is interested enough — and willing enough — to pull out a credit card and pay for information is, by definition, a better quality lead than someone who’s just surfing the internet and downloading free stuff they will probably forget about and never read.
This funnel automatically separates the prime segment of the market — those who are actively seeking solutions versus the large majority of passive buyers who might be interested in the topic but are not currently in a buying mode.
In addition, here are eight more benefits of the “No-Book” Book Funnel for B2B lead generation.
1. Tap into Other People’s Authority, Popularity and Appeal
Every market niche has a short list of books that everyone considers to be “must-reads”. By teaming up with one of these authors, you can tap into a large market of buyers that already exists.
Also, when you connect your company or personal brand to a bestselling author / expert, your credibility in the marketplace automatically takes a step up.
2. Add Perceived Value
It’s one thing to offer a free white paper or e-book.
It’s a whole other thing to offer a free book + personal study notes + audio + video + transcripts of an interview with the author.
That takes it to another level of perceived value.
And that makes it…
3. Easy to Sell
OK, so nothing is easy to sell.
However, a book bundle doesn’t require a lot of explanation; people know exactly what it is and can instantly recognize the value.
4. Get Complete Prospect Information
Since you’re shipping a physical product, and charging for it, you capture all the prospect’s key contact information — ship-to address, bill-to address, phone, email, credit card — not just a Gmail address they use to receive junk mail.
And that sets the foundation for an effective marketing follow-up sequence.
5. Easy to Assemble
Authors want to get as much exposure for their book as possible.
So they’re almost always excited about contributing to a bundle that promotes their book.
6. The Four Most Powerful Letters in Marketing
Free is still the most persuasive four-letter word in marketing and never loses its power.
You just need to state clearly that there’s a charge for S&H (at least that’s the case here in the U.S.)
7. Marketing that Pays for Itself
When was the last time you saw B2B marketers produce marketing collateral that customers will actually pay for?
With the No-Book Book Funnel, marketers can literally “make the first sale” — and prove it with an invoice.
8. Higher Sales Conversion Rate
Finally, the easiest customer to sell to is someone who has already bought something from you — and received value from the experience.
So, leads that come in through a book funnel are expected to convert at a higher rate than leads from other channels.
For these reasons and others, I believe this is one of the best lead generation funnels that B2B marketers can deploy.
It’s a fast way to build relationships with “ready to buy” leads and develop goodwill in the marketplace.
And once you have it set up, it runs totally on auto-pilot.
It’s not difficult, if you follow the steps.
To get the complete step-by-step blueprint to building and implementing the No-Book Book Funnel, plus additional case studies and examples, simply click on the following link.
This is a publication from the new B2B Sales Funnel Library — an online collection of top sales funnels for Lead Generation, Sales Conversion and Customer Success.
Join the library for full access to the sales funnel archives, including blueprints and step-by-step implementation guides.
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