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I recently answered a couple of questions that came up in a live class with the MECLABS SuperFunnel research cohort (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa). We are sharing them on the blog today as well in case they help you with your own efforts using content to help drive leads into your funnel.
How do you balance talking about the book (as a lead magnet) and highlighting the company behind it and the CTA?
I think it’s important to remember each other’s role. The book is the product you are “selling” (whether they buy it with money or just your time, trust, and information), so the focus should be on the book. That gets most of the micro-yeses.
The micro-yes(es) for the company behind it (and as I often mentioned, the author), are part of “Yes, I do” and “Yes, I want this from you.” It is the credibility of the book.
And then the CTA, of course, is the final micro-yes. The main focus here is to make clear what they have to trade to get the book, and to emphasize how the perceived value is greater than the perceived cost (which is why “get” may be a better button than “sign up”).
As for “balance”, I don’t have an exact formula. It’s probably something like 80 percent on the book, 15 percent on the author and company, and 5 percent on the CTA. That’s just a rough ballpark.
But I want to encourage you and remind you how books are sold: authors tend to offer information, value, to people who will never buy or open the book. They are not necessarily selling for the sake of selling (it sure happens on the book jacket or in advertisements), they are mostly sell serving.
That’s the fundamental question to ask yourself if you’re trying to get people to download a book: how can I “sell” serving?
And that means your landing page doesn’t even have to be a landing page. What if it was an article? Or an interview? To stimulate your thinking, here is an article from an interview I did with some Wharton professors about their book: Customer-Centric Mobile Marketing: Interview with Wharton’s Peter Fader and Sarah Toms. What if you test that against a traditional “selling” landing page? Or did you at least have some of the value they pull from your book in this article on your own landing page?
By the way, this book is a perfect example of why it’s so hard to tell the exact balance on the page. If you just put “by The Wharton School professor Peter Fader and Wharton Interactive co-founder Sarah Toms” on a landing page, that would provide credibility right there. That doesn’t take up much space at all. But Wharton is such a powerful brand in the business world that it provides instant credibility.
In general, are the principles on VP (value proposition) in the book the same for a simpler lead generation offer? Infographic etc?
The basis of the MECLABS methodology and the well-known conversion heuristics is quite simple and straightforward: for someone to say “yes”, they must perceive more value than cost. Everything else is commentary.
So yes, although the principles are the same, the scope of work on each side of the fulcrum can vary. And it also raises a fundamental question that you will need to answer for your unique audience. Is a 109-page book on the cost side of the spectrum, the value side, or both?
Testing is the best way to answer that. My best guess, though, is this: If your offer is to save people 10 hours a week with simple automation tips, my guess is that a 109-page book is considered more of a cost than a value. You are selling fast. You are selling time savings. An entire book goes against that message. Here, some quick checklists might be a better lead generation magnet.
However, if you’re selling the best way to find the right person to hire, that 109-page book might be more valuable. Hiring is complex, finding the right people is hard, there are legal issues and corporate dictates to follow, and so on. In that case, the ideal client may not want a simple checklist, but rather want to understand the topic in depth.
You mention “principles”, so I thought it might be helpful to mention a few principles that Flint McGlaughlin, CEO, MECLABS and MarketingSherpa, taught in the past about lead management:
- Leads are people, not targets – that is why we want to create Customer Service Goals
- People are not falling into the funnel, they are falling That’s why we need that powerful value support to propel them through the funnel.
- We are not optimizing web pages or call scripts, we are optimizing thought sequences This is why there can be differences between a book offer and a simple lead generation offer, and as I mentioned earlier, even different trains of thought between book offers in different industries for different ideal customers.
- To optimize the sequences of thought, we must engage in a conversation and guide it towards an exchange of value – which is what our funnels are for.
You can read a good, quick synopsis of these principles in this old blog post: Managing Leads: 4 Principles to Follow.
Classes: main technology name to motion, worth proposition
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Lead Generation: Generating business from an ebook, infographic, etc.