eBooks are a great lead magnet. They’re comprehensive, giving your leads something tangible, beyond a simple cheatsheet or checklist, and they’re also cheaper and more likely to hit a wide audience than a webinar.
The catch is, as Max says, they have one big drawback. They can take forever to produce. If you want to sit down and write an eBook from scratch then you are going to be at your desk for a very long time.
But there is a way to build an eBook in less than 1 hour, making it comprehensive, well-produced, and exactly what is needed to drive leads to your site and product.
The trick is to use your previously published content and re-package it into a single entity, your eBook. You can then use this eBook all over the web, either on your site, other people’s sites, or on social media to capture 10,000+ emails and grow your subscriber list.
With all your content already produced, you just need to take the time to publish and package the final eBook well, then you can concentrate on marketing in the book and using it as the ultimate lead magnet.
How to Make an eBook
If you are ready to go, it’s not difficult. All you need to do is follow the 4 Ps — Pick, Produce, Publish, and Package. With those 4 Ps you will be a published eBook author.
The 4 Ps
This is the secret to turning an eBook around quickly and using it as your winning lead magnet. You already have everything needed to produce this book. If you have been writing on your industry for a while, then you will definitely have enough content for a comprehensive eBook.
All you have to do is pick the right articles or posts from your site and you have already done 90% of the work to get an eBook online. Here’s how.
- A good length for an eBook is 10k+ words. This means that you only need about 10 medium-length blog posts to make an eBook.
- Choose related articles. If you have already covered a topic in depth in multiple posts on your site then these make excellent copy.
- Sort through your content based on page views or conversion rate. This will show what has really struck a chord with your audience and therefore is the best quality content into the book.
Google Analytics is a simple tool that you can use to pinpoint your top performing blog posts.
You can run analytics to get key information on each top post including the number of page views, unique page views, the average time spent on a page, entrances, and more.
From here you can select your top performing posts that fall under a unified theme and then gear up for the next step.
There are a number of tools that you can use to choose your best content:
Once you’ve picked your blog posts, you need to produce the eBook.
You are going to have two versions of your eBook — an HTML version that’s meant to drive views with SEO, and a PDF version that you’ll offer to customers as a valuable, packaged product as your lead. The latter will be produced from the former.
Each of your chosen articles is going to form the basis of a chapter in your new eBook. Your blog posts will be subsections. Combine those subsections on a similar topic into the same section. Finally, put like sections into chapters. Then, all you need to do is write a few sentences to make the transitions smooth.
It will take less than an hour and you’ll have a valuable, packed eBook.
Now comes the fun part. There are two ways to publish you eBook. You can do it really easily via free tools and extensions available on the web, or you can do it the really, really easy way and get some one else to do it for you.
First, publishing yourself. Print Friendly & PDF is an easily-used Chrome extension (there is also a bookmarket). Even if you have no literary eBook allusions you will still find this service helpful at some point.
Everyone has tried, and failed to print out a web page before. It doesn’t work. They simply weren’t meant to be printed. There are hidden elements, places were the design gets ruined, and none of the links work. Print Friendly & PDF fixes all of that. It allows you to remove, element by element anything that you don’t want printed, like ads or images.
For instance this page, can become this:
with Print Friendly & PDF. Or you can delete smaller parts and subsections separately that are necessary on the page, but not in the eBook:
Once you’re done, just click on ‘PDF’, and your eBook will magically appear.
This works great if you have awesome artists on staff like AdEspresso, so your eBook will be well-designed by default. But what if your artistic skills are a little lacking?
Then you can get someone else to design your eBook for you. Services like SketchDeck will take your content and build an eBook around it for a modest fee (~$300). For that, you get a professional book that will rival anything a full-on publishing house could produce:
You provide the content, and just a week later you have an eBook.
To put the finishing touch on your eBook, as for artwork from your designer or SketchDeck that shows the cover of your eBook as it would appear if it were a physical book.
For low-priced, fast design work, use these services:
You have just produced and published an eBook in at most an hour. With almost no extra effort.
Cheatsheets, checklists, or templates can work as lead magnets on their own, but they are even more powerful when packaged with an eBook.
A cheatsheet is an extracted and condensed document of the main points of your article. Try and put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What information has the most important takeaway? These points should be actionable and concise, and should read lie an advice manual.
On Noah Kagan’s blog, he has a link to his free cheatsheet for producing viral content.
Once you click all you do is give your email, and then you automatically have access to this pdf:
If your book has actionable advice at the end of each section, you can produce a short checklist to help readers remember each item by providing them with actionable next steps to take.
For example, at the end of one of their posts, Buffer includes a social media checklist for building your profiles on various sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Templates of data are another useful tool to package with your eBook. Another social media package from a Hootsuite blog article includes a template for a calendar so that you can track your social media presence.
Again, these are simple and quick to produce and you can add it to a zip file for your leads to download.
This extra sugar is very powerful in enticing someone to give you their email address. More than just an eBook, they get a condensed cheatsheet of the major points, a checklist of actionable advice, or anything else you think can help them – infographics, templates, spreadsheets. Every extra addition will make them value your content more, and increase your value in their eyes.
Boom! You’re done. One hand-picked, professionally produced, published and packaged eBook ready to get you leads by the bucket load.
Make Your eBook Landing Page
Whether people are coming direct to your site, or visiting via Facebook or Twitter, you’ll need a home for your eBook and all-important lead generation form. There are three things this page needs:
Keep it simple. Landing pages work best when they are kept on point. Use simple, clear call-to-action language with an image of your eBook. Tell the readers what they are going to learn from this eBook, and how they will benefit.
Creating this type of page might seem difficult, but there are some great services out there that can help you create a great landing page, and also help you collect data and analytics of where your downloaders come from:
One study showed that having testimonials by other customers can increase the effectiveness of your content marketing by 89%.
Testimonials are about social proof. People are worried about being wrong or looking stupid. A lot. This may sound odd when you are just talking about downloading an eBook, but people still want to be sure that this is something they should read, that their peers are reading, and that they are not going to do something stupid and waste their own time.
Craig Morrison at Usability Hour has a great post on what makes for a good testimonial. They are best when they come from real influential people and are more than just “Awesome Book”. If you can show what a major name in your industry learned from your eBook, others will be desperate to download it.
Have a pre-release of your eBook to key individuals in your field and ask for their thoughts and feedback. If you give them a copy to read 2 weeks before your general release, this will give them enough time to have a good read and decide whether they want to endorse. They can also give feedback which you can incorporate into the main edition.
If you want to make it even easier for your influencers to offer a testimonial quote, then you can give them some potential quotes in advance. If you give them some options they they are relieved of the hassle to come up with a quote on their own. You have quotes ready to go and you can put these on your landing page to maximize your lead generation.
One of the reasons that an eBook should always be at the top of your list as a lead magnet is the information that it can generate.
If your lead magnet is something simple, such as a newsletter, then its perceived value is low. Your users won’t necessarily see it as worth much. They may enter their email address on your download form to get it, but they won’t bother filling out any survey questions.
The perceived value of a eBook is high, however. You can ask for more information. Check out our download form for ‘500+ amazing Facebook Ads examples to get inspired’
Not only are we getting their email address and name, we also feel confident about asking for their advertising budget, their business type, and even their phone number. We’re practically dating.
This information is incredibly valuable in segmenting, prioritizing and pursuing your leads. For the example above, we’ll be able to get on the phone with customers who have the biggest advertising budgets that fit our customer persona first, before we try customers with smaller budgets, which we might pursue via email where we can contact more of them.
One last thing to consider is if you are targeting mobile, it can be difficult to fill out a full download form. Try to shorten the form as much as possible to ease the user experience for the reader while still capturing the essential lead information.
You can ask for all this if you are giving your readers something valuable. That eBook is valuable, containing great examples and inspiration, so we can ask for all that information.
7 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your eBook
Using an eBook as a lead magnet for your Facebook ads works because you’re offering immediate value to the prospect for free without asking for anything in return.
This is the one closest to our hearts and they way we think will get you the highest engagement rates, the most leads and the lowest cost per leads. Max has an excellent breakdown on how to use Facebook ads for lead generation, but I am going to go over them quickly and how they relate to the case of eBooks.
With Facebook ads, it all starts with the conversion pixel. You need to know who came to your website from where, and whether the download leads them to other pages or to sample your product. By using AdEspresso, you can get the code for the conversion pixel easily. All you have to do is paste it into the header of your Thank You page.
You can track follow-up conversions as well, if you are using your Thank You page to promote another download or sign up to your service (which you absolutely should be doing!)
Highlight Benefits in Ad Text:
Whenever you are building your Facebook ad, remember the call-to-action, remember to highlight the problem, and remember to tell them it’s free. But the most important thing is to highlight the benefits. Tell them why they need to download the eBook, what it is going to do for them.
This isn’t about you, it’s about helping your users. The benefits to them should be the top piece of information they see in the ad. For instance, ‘Get our Free eBooks to learn the pros’ secrets’.
This is also where your awesome design pays for itself. If you have a great cover design for your eBook it will stand out in the Facebook ad against all the other dull design. AdEspresso Facebook ads are always on brand. You can tell immediately where the eBooks are from, and that AdEspresso has gone to the extra effort to make them a good read.
You should also consider targeting with website custom audiences. If you target only people who have visited your top competitor in the last 60 days, then you will know that your eBook is focused to exactly the leads you want. You should also make sure to exclude existing leads with a custom audience (or even better, retarget them – see below).
Targeting is where is comes in very helpful to already have a good idea of the buyer personas of your prospective leads. There are a wealth of possible targeting possibilities. This is why it’s really good to know who you are targeting. If you don’t then there are two AdEspresso tools that can really help you.
- First, split tests. Don’t know whether you should target your eBook to men or women? Over 30s or millenials? Then run a split test to see what will drive the lowest cost per conversion.
- Secondly, interests. This will be the best element to target with your Facebook ads. Your eBook will be of natural interest to a certain section of your audience. Target your audience explicitly by their interest in the topic of your book. If you don’t do this, you will be wasting a ton of advertising on people who are obviously disinterested in what you have to offer. This may sound obvious, but people miss this simple step.
Facebook allows you to target any interests. AdEspresso makes it easy to target people who have all the interests you specify.
Once all this is done, you can start to test and optimize your campaign. You should be testing different images, headlines and copy in your ad, along with targeting different ages, genders, and other demographics. This means you might start with dozens of different tests to run.
It is tempting to start narrowing down your selection as soon as the results start to come in.
Don’t. You need a good amount of data before you can really see what is happening. Max suggests waiting “at least a couple of days or until you’ve 10 leads generated for each experiment that you’re running.”
eBook signup using Twitter leadgen cards
Like Facebook, Twitter is an excellent marketing tool. The recent addition of Lead Generation Cards for Twitter means that getting leads via Twitter is easier than ever.
Lead Generation cards are kind of like Facebook ads, but with a couple of subtle differences. You write copy (obviously only 140 characters long), add images, and add a call-to-action just like Facebook ads.
But the main difference is that you’ll capture the user’s email address directly from Twitter with a single click. Once you’ve captured their email, you can email the eBook to them and redirect them to the eBook PDF.
You can make them through the ‘Creatives’ tab in Twitter Ads. Chose ‘Cards’ and you’ll get the basic layout to fill in with your eBook information.
A great way to use lead generation cards with an eBook is to get a testimonial from a Key Influencer and then targeting his followers. The card gets their email without causing the lead to even have to leave the site, immediately sending them a link to the download.
They are ridiculously easy to set up. Add text, an image, and a call-to-action and you are good to go.
You can then target your card to key demographics or to followers of particular influencers.
As with Facebook, Twitter engagement rates can be massive so the cost per lead is much lower than more traditional avenues.
Use eBook to get press
The trade journals in your own field are a great place to launch your eBook. If you are a big gun in your area, then these media outlets would definitely want the exclusive of your new eBook. You can use their email lists to generate leads for your own.
Consider how iDoneThis offered an exclusive on their eBook on remote working to Remotive.io, a newsletter targeted to remote workers. The 8,000+ readers of Remotive.io were definitely going to be interested in their book on remote working, and this link drove completely new traffic to the iDoneThis blog.
Use eBook to guest post
Guest posting on other sites in your field is one of the easiest ways to generate new leads and new traffic.
What’s awesome about this is that you can get an article placed in a top site without having to write any new content. The content already exists in your eBook—just repurpose a section of it and turn it into a freestanding article.
Pitch topics based on your chapters to different top blogs in your area. Most will be interested in having some easy, top-quality content for their blog as this is a win-win. They can drive traffic and leads to your eBook, and you are giving them something for nothing. You can do this for multiple blogs.
Below is a guest post written by Janet Choi from Customer.io. For her eBook “The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List,” she did a guest post for Behance and plugged her book at the bottom of the post.
Include links back to your eBook page, like Janet did above, and you now have multiple outlets for spreading the word about your new book.
Blog posts on your own blog with eBook content
In the same use-reuse vein, you can put the eBook content back on your own site. You can either repackage the original posts, adding an update at the top and bottom about the eBook, or you can produce an entirely new post with the content, perhaps adding updated and new information.
Content Marketing Institute do exactly this. They originally built an eBook of content marketing examples:
But they use the same content for a Facebook post:
Once you have great content, look for every avenue to get it out there. Your original content not only helps you produce a book, but also helped you publish more on your blog, on Facebook, and on other sites.
Call to action on site itself
Not everything on your site is going to be 100% related to your eBook. Hopefully you have enough content and wide-ranging ideas that you could publish different books on multiple topics eventually. On pages where the topic is unrelated, you can use a call-to-action box on the side, or as a pop-up when users reach a point on the page.
If you have interesting content, people will definitely want to sign up for more.
Content Upgrade on Your Own Blog
A content upgrade is a specific type of CTA that you absolutely should have at the bottom of any post related to the eBook.
Posts related to your eBook can include a content upgrade box at the end, asking for their email, or directing them to the elaborate download form on the eBook’s landing page. These content upgrade boxes can be easily implemented on almost any blog with apps such as SumoMe.
Brian Dean from Backlinko tried this and saw a 785% increase in his subscribers in one single day.
This is also a great way to repurpose not only your eBook, but also all of the packaged extras you produced — your cheatsheet, checklist, or template. Each can be reused as a lead magnet as part of your content upgrade.
Nurture the Lead and Close the Deal
All this is only the beginning. Getting leads is awesome, but it’s the customers that count. Your lead magnet eBook is only there to pull the leads your way — you still have to turn them into customers.
Once you have established the connection, you need to build a relationship.
Email is going to be the biggest winner. Whenever a lead downloads your eBook, you need to get right in there and use that email address straight away. Send them a thank you email with a link for the download (so they can re-download later easily if they need to). Consider this email 0 of your campaign. You then need to follow up in the coming days to build a relationship with the lead, offering them more, and pulling them into your product.
You’ll need to play with this lifecycle for maximum impact. A sudden barrage of emails directly after you have given away your email address seems like an intrusion. Here at AdEspresso, a follow-up email is sent after 3 days pointing the user to other eBooks that might be useful, then a further email 3 days later suggesting that they try out some tools to better understand their Facebook ad campaign.
It is only after these emails with all this advice and free downloads, that AdEspresso brings up the product and how it can help. By this point the relationship and trust has been built and the lead is positive about AdEspresso.
This all might sound like a challenge, but there are tools available, such as Customer.io, that can automate this process and make it a lot easier.
Another way to use email to build a relationship your leads is to offer your next eBook as an email course. Instead of publishing the entire book in one go, you can drip feed your leads over the course of six-ten weeks, with a chapter a week. At the end, your eBook then becomes the extra sugar to the course, and you have satisfied your customers even more, but still with no extra work.
With Flow English you get an eBook AND an email course. For Free! Awesome. If you are learning English, reading the eBook, taking the course, then you are going to feel far more comfortable signing up to Flow English paid courses in the future.
If you are initially targeting Facebook users with your eBook download, then retargeting them once they have downloaded is going to be one of your most productive avenues. By keeping the conversation inside Facebook, you can use all the data you already collected from your advertising campaign and drill down to the users you already know.
This will only reach a small audience, but it is an audience you already know are willing to listen. You can use Custom Audiences to target users that left you their emails in Facebook, or use Website Customer Audiences to retarget those that visited your Thank You page or website. The greatest part of this is that you can make these retargeted ads super-personal, selecting information that you already know about your leads and making sure it is important to them.
It’s Your Turn
eBooks really work as lead magnets, and creating them is easier than you think.
Users love eBooks for the in-depth analysis they contain, so going to the extra mile and producing one for your audience will always lead to great feedback.
We’d love to hear from you about how you’ve used eBooks, or what your plans are for your next world-beating publication!