A book sales funnel is a powerful marketing-oriented customer journey that quickly and effectively takes your visitors from first contact to book purchase and potential upsells.
Book sales funnel can range from simple to complicated. To create the simplest type of funnel, you have to have the right mindset about what a funnel is, why it’s beneficial, and how to design it effectively.
A complicated funnel requires a comprehensive business visualisation with a clear understanding of the channels that bring traffic, the points of sale that convert traffic into paying customers, and systems of customer retention and activation.
Online sales funnels are especially important for selling books, since books are extremely competitive and don’t have high profit margins. That’s why it’s critical to be able to convert traffic at healthy and profitable rates if you want your book business to work.
Examples of Success
Take a look at the following three main types of book funnels showcasing economically profitable book funnels. Consider how you could apply a book funnel to your own book business.
1) Free Print Book Funnels
Free print book funnels offer a free print copy; readers only have to pay for shipping.
Example: Russell Brunson—DotComSecrets
Russell Brunson (Founder of Clickfunnels) has reported multiple times that his book funnels were profitable, as he was able to pay for traffic with book sales at break-even, while being able to make profits from upsell products.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://dotcomsecrets.com
Example: Sabri Suby—Sell Like Crazy
Although we don’t have reports directly from Sabri Suby about the profitability of his funnel, I suspect it works well based on the number of Amazon reviews and the ads running to the funnel for many months already.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://selllikecrazybook.com/
Example: Rob Kosberg—Publish, Promote, Profit
Rob Kosberg shares interesting insights on the performance of his funnel here: http://bestsellerpublishing.org/the-ins-outs-of-a-book-funnel/
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://www.publishpromoteprofit.com/freebook
2) Paid eBook Funnels
Paid ebook funnels charge for an eBook directly at the point of sale and normally include upsells as well.
Example: Robert Neckelius—2 Hour Agency
Robert Neckelius sold an ebook for $4.95 upfront and had high-ticket coaching later. He was able to make the funnel profitable and cover most of his advertising costs with the book.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://2houragency.com/book/
Example: Sean Vossler—7 Figure Marketing Copy
Sean Vossler successfully sold a package including an ebook for $37 total, as this campaign was running for a long time.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://app.increase.academy/most-important-skill-guide
3) Traffic-Oriented Book Funnels
Traffic-oriented book funnels have the primary target of driving traffic from online retailers, social media, or websites to other paid products, such as further books, digital courses, or affiliate products.
Example: Nick Stephenson—Reader Magnets
Nick Stephenson used a permafree book on Amazon to drive traffic to his webpage.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019): https://amzn.to/2MBKZU3
Example: Pat Flynn—Will It Fly?
Pat Flynn also used a permafree book on Amazon to drive traffic to his own products. According to Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur, 30% of Pat’s book buyers go on to access his Smart Passive Income course.
Thumbnail (January 31, 2019)
The first step in applying the funnel tactic is to keep the concept of a “funnel” itself at the front of your mind. It will change your mindset and enable you to make the right decisions. The easiest application is to add links from your book description or author bio to your webpage and to start thinking about upsells for your book.
The funnel strategy kicks in by creating a powerful, marketing-oriented book sales mechanism that quickly and effectively brings your visitors from first contact to book purchase and potential upsells.
Equally important as the definition of the funnel steps and the funnel design (lead magnet, sign up, sale 1, sale 2, retention, etc.) is the choice of appropriate software.
Choosing the right software for your funnel is vitally important. You can design an incredible funnel on paper, but when it comes to execution, you’ll be largely dependent on your software capabilities and how quickly and effectively you can execute.
I recommend exploring Clickfunnels and Thrive Themes (the latter especially if you’re using WordPress), as well as Thrivecart, if you’re primarily looking to integrate a powerful checkout process.
When it comes to book fulfillment and shipping free print books, take a look at Ship Your Books (shipyourbooks.com), Woocommerce (woocommerce.com), Amazon FBA, or local fulfilment providers.
- The Book Funnel: How to Go From Zero Audience to 6-Figure Business in One Book
- Sales Funnel Strategy – 7 Simple Hacks To Get Your Sales Funnel To Convert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip59Qbv6J_w
- Should I sell my book on Amazon or in a sales funnel? https://marketingsecrets.com/sell-book-amazon-sales-funnel/
- The Coaching/Consulting Book Sales Funnel: https://www.crazyeyemarketing.com/blog/the-coaching-consulting-book-sales-funnel-clickfunnels/
- The Ins and Outs of a Book Funnel: http://bestsellerpublishing.org/the-ins-outs-of-a-book-funnel/
- Mechanics behind free plus shipping funnels: https://www.clickfunnels.com/blog/mechanics-behind-free-plus-shipping-funnel/
Book Sales Explosion : The 25 Best Tactics For Skyrocketing Your Book Sales Today
Founder & CEO of the book publishing startup Scribando & Novelify.
Previously Albert was Head of Digital at Dorotheum and consults companies and authors in digital strategy, digital marketing and book promotion.