How to use e-books profitably.

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If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ll have seen that I often talk about low key educational strategies as an essential part of your marketing mix.

To recap, the main reason for having a strong educational strategy are:

  • to enhance your credibility as a knowledgeable expert in your industry
  • to empower your prospect to purchase by giving them the specifications they will need to make a purchasing decision
  • to give your prospects and customers valuable information which may or may not be readily available elsewhere – however your information has been gathered and presented in one, easy to digest format
  • to create customer loyalty
  • to make set the law of reciprocity in motion i.e. you give your customer something valuable and they respond by returning the favor by purchasing your product or service.

In previous posts I’ve discussed how to use articles and white papers, workshops and seminars, but I haven’t yet addressed e-books.

The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of why e-books are so important to your marketing mix and how to implement their use profitably.

This post will not deal with how to write an e-book.  I will be offering a free email course on this subject soon.  If you’d like to receive this course, please be sure to sign up for my updates in the subscription box to your right.  Once you sign-up, you’ll receive a confirmation email which will require you to click on a link to confirm your subscription.  Do this, and add me to your address book and you’ll soon receive my email course on how to write an e-book as well as other useful information in the future.

So – how do e-books fit into the marketing mix?

ALL businesses can create an e-book.  So far, I’ve never come across one that couldn’t.  If you think you have a business that couldn’t make use of an e-book, let me know, I’d love to take up the challenge!

The first step in finding an e-book opportunity within your marketing mix:

An e-book can focus on ‘how to’ do something e.g. how to use a particular product or service that you offer or it can focus on general information about a topic of interest to your prospects e.g. advances in the industry, technological break throughs, case histories e.t.c.

Think about common questions your customers and prospects ask. Think about objections and how you overcome these.  Think about how you could help your customers get the maximum value from your products and services.  Think about any area of your product development that may be unusual, advanced or simply interesting. Think about where you excel compared to your competitors.   These points can all be launching pads for your e-books.

Common  e-book opportunities:

E-books work well as free promotional items that you give away to prospects and customers to encourage sales and grow customer loyalty.  They also work well as additional profit centers.  Particularly when they have a ‘how to’ focus.

A great example of this strategy in the print world are the vast number of software manuals produced by third parties.  All the major software packages have an independently produced software manual or guide for sale in local bookstores as well as Amazon.

Your business more than likely has areas where you could produce a manual or guide that would help your prospects and customers to do something.  For instance,  if you’re selling lawnmowers, an e-book teaching purchasers how to have the greenest, lushest lawn all year round would tie in well.  If you’re selling a service – perhaps as a professional – an e-book relating to this would be valuable to your market.  For instance, a chiropractor may produce an e-book that explained the reasons for back-pain and included an exercise program to strengthen the back and stomach muscles.

The second step in implementing the e-book in your marketing mix:

If your e-book is to be used as a promotional giveaway, it can be distributed by sales people on their sales calls, given to selected prospects and customers as an incentive or reward, offered on your web-site to build your email list, given away at trade shows and events…

If your e-book is to be sold, it can be offered on your web-site.  It can be offered by sales people as an add on purchase at the time of purchase of another item. It can be advertised in print publications, sold at events in print form or even offered as an affiliate product.

The key to its success is that it should have enough valuable information to create a high level of interest and be perceived to be more valuable than the amount of money you’re asking in exchange for it.

Sit down right now and make a list of the various e-book opportunities you can see within your business right now. Think of opportunities you can see in other businesses as well – perhaps this could be your opportunity to use my upcoming email course to offer your services to another business as an e-book creator!

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