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Case Study: The Automated Content Funnel that Earned My Cash

(Edited in June 2021 — KDP Rocket is now Publisher Rocket.)

Yesterday I spent $87 on a piece of software (Publisher Rocket from Kindlepreneur), all because of an automated content funnel.

It was perfect, taking me from mildly curious bystander to excited customer in the course of a week. One minute I was unaware of the product, and next I was grabbing my wallet and yelling Hey guys, guys, take my money!

How, you ask?

Well, it’s time for an automated content funnel case study.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Step 1: Getting to know Kindlepreneur

As an author, I’ve known about Kindlepreneur for a while. I’d even say I was in the billboard stage for a few years.

(Learn more about the “billboard stage” here: A Roadtrip Guide to the Customer Journey.)

I’d heard Dave Chesson talk about Amazon keywords on podcasts, and heard other authors mention using Publisher Rocket. “Hmm, that’s interesting,” I’d thought. “But it’s not really for me. At least not now.”

I’d even had the pleasure of having dinner with Dave at a self-publishing conference where he was speaking. “Super nice guy,” I thought. “Super smart, too! Maybe I’ll look into that Publisher Rocket thing.”

But I still wasn’t in the right place in my business to shell out for the software.

Image is screenshot of Kindlepreneur blog headerI did read the Kindlepreneur blog regularly, though, because the content is fabulously useful. I even added it to my Feedly reader so I wouldn’t miss a post.

Conversion Point 1 — check.

Jessie knows about Kindlepreneur and considers it a go-to source for good information.

Step 2: The great email heist

Last week, Dave snagged me onto his email list with a can’t-miss freebie.

What did he do that day to convert me into an email subscriber after all these years of me consuming his content for free?

Absolutely nothing.

The thing that changed was that I had a need.

And that need lined up with his perfectly executed automated content funnel. 

I had a new book out (Get More Leads), and no idea how to market non-fiction. With my fiction books, I had a system that more or less worked, and a newsletter filled with people interested in hearing about my newest sci fi novel.

But nonfiction?

I was venturing into unknown territory.

While Googling “marketing nonfiction,” I came across this post on Kindlepreneur.

It’s an exhaustive list of all the free and paid promotion sites out there, and like a typical Kindlepreneur post, it’s PACKED with information.

I read through the list of promotion sites with excitement and despair. I could spend hours (and $$$$) researching which ones were the most effective — and it was starting to sound like a massive time-suck.

That’s when I ran across this sentence:

Image reads: Also, if you want to see which ones are most worth your time and give you the best ROI, check out my list here.


That is absolutely what I want.

Click on the link, and you’re prompted to enter your email. which I quickly did.

After all, everything else on Kindlepreneur is solid gold. Surely this list was well worth getting a few emails!

Conversion point 2 — check! 

Jessie is now an email subscriber.

Step 3: The can’t-miss deal

Dave got my email in exchange for a ridiculously helpful piece of content about how to sell more non-fiction books.

If he’d then started emailing me about the craft of writing, I would have unsubscribed. After all, I clearly am in the market for more content on how to sell books, not how to write them.

Dave *knows* where I’m at in the buyer’s journey based on what I just downloaded.

That’s why the welcome autoresponder series I was automatically plugged into is, of course, packed with great information about how to market a book.

I read every word.

The first few emails were mostly informational. But by the end of the week, I got this one:

Subject line reads: You + this one step = more book sales

“You + this one step = more book sales.”

Yeah! YES. More book sales.

Tell me how.

It was another super-informative email, with a link to two separate comprehensive posts (for fiction and non-fiction) on how to do keyword research in order to get your books in the best category.

I scheduled time in my calendar that same day to tackle these steps.

It would take a lot of time, but it was excellent advice, and I was ready to put in the elbow grease.

Then I got to the end, where he had a pitch about Publisher Rocket, his keyword search tool that does basically hours of work in minutes.

The bonus? As an email subscriber, he was giving me a limited-time $10 discount.

Conversion Point 3 — check!

Jessie forked over her cash.

The Experience

After I bought Publisher Rocket, the content funnel didn’t just disappear.

(Learn more about that: Mapping Your Content Marketing to Your Customers’ Journey)

  • I’ve been invited to a Secret VIP Page with free tutorials, courses, guides, and discounts on software like Scrivener.
  • Dave’s continuing to email me with awesome tips on how to use the software.
  • And, of course, it’s done just what he said it would.

Conversion point 4 — check! 

Jessie’s telling her friends they need to check out this software.

3 Takeaways: Building your own automated content funnel

Here’s what I want you to take away from this case study:

1. Play the long game.

Dave Chesson has been creating content for a while — but he’s also done it with a deliberate eye toward moving people deeper into his sales funnel, without having to nurture them each individually.

This content funnel is completely automated, meaning that when an event in my life triggered my need for his product and information, his content funnel was standing by to catch me.

  1. I stumble across his content, which he’s constantly producing –>
  2. I sign up for an email list in order to get a particularly valuable piece of information –>
  3. I get a 3-4 email sequence that proves Dave knows his stuff and sells me on a killer time-saving tool that solves my main problem –>
  4. I spend $$.

2. Make it easier to say “yes” to your offer than “no.”

Notice that for conversion points 2 and 3, I took the leap because of a very deliberate technique:

Dave gave me his exact, step-by-step recipe for success — then offered me an easy button. 

Both times, he outlined exactly what I needed to do to see great results, holding nothing back. Of course, like anything that gets amazing results, it requires a ton of work. He could have left me to do that work myself (which I was prepared to do!), but instead he offered me a way to save hours of time in my busy day.

And because he’d exhaustively outlined his process, I trusted him.

That last sentence is important.

Many experts want to hold their information back, thinking that people won’t sign up for their email list or read their book or hire them if they give everything away.

But, instead of promising me some mysterious solution based on proprietary secrets, Dave got me to trust him by showing me exactly how he works.

So easy to say yes to that!

3. Strike when the iron’s hot

When I signed up for the newsletter, I was ready to buy.

I didn’t know it at the time. But when the email that led me to Publisher Rocket showed up in my inbox, I pounced on it.

If Dave’s automated sequence hadn’t included that email until six weeks later, the need wouldn’t have been as pressing. I might be drafting my next novel rather than thinking about marketing, meaning I might be more likely to purchase a writing software rather than a marketing tool.

If I was even still opening emails about book marketing!

That’s why the moment an email subscriber joins your list is the best time to convert them to the next stage of the customer journey.

They’re still searching for a solution, and therefore more likely to read your emails and respond to your offer than later on in their journey.

Whew! I hope you found that helpful. Questions or thoughts? I’d love to hear from you! Leave them in the comment section below.

Want to learn how to create automated content marketing funnels for your own business?

Check out my new book:

Get More Leads: How to Create a Constant Flow of Inbound Leads with Content Marketing

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