ROI driven content marketing is all about driving organic traffic to your website and converting that traffic into customers or leads.

If you’re not seeing that conversion from traffic into leads or customers take place, you’re either missing a key piece of your content marketing funnel – or you just don’t have one in place at all!

Let me show you a simple 5-step content marketing funnel you can implement to get the process rolling.


Step 1: Set Up Your Fundamentals


You can create opt-in points on your blog or website through resources like Opt In Monster or Sumo Me. The three types of opt-in points listed below will allow you to seamlessly generate more activity and interest in your company.

Welcome Mat Opt-ins

Welcome mats take over the full page to give you one specific, lucrative offer.

For example, here’s the one we use for Easy Automated Sales


You want to make the best offer possible in order to get the highest possible conversion from traffic into email. Welcome mats are one of the higher conversion options with an average conversion rate of 5%, all the way up to 20% depending on how lucrative your offer is.

Exit Intent Opt-ins

Exit intent pop-ups are a great way to pitch a last-ditch offer to visitors who are about to leave your website.

For example, if they’re viewing a pricing page, extend an exclusive, limited-time discount.

Or if they’re exiting an article regarding content marketing, nudge them with a link to a video titled, “5 Steps Toward Achieving your Content Marketing Goals.”

Incidentally, we use the welcome mat opt-in as our exit intent offer for Easy Automated Sales. It really captures attention.

Sidebar Opt-ins

Sidebar opt-ins generally display on every page of the website—typically on a blog. They typically advertise some captivating offer relevant to anybody who would visit your website. Webinars and training videos are often a great option.

For example, here’s the sidebar we use for Easy Automated Sales to offer up our content marketing training:


The idea is to greet the visitor with something simple, yet appealing to your entire audience.



Content upgrades are in-article opt-in offers specific to the article someone is viewing.

If they’re viewing an article on 125 content marketing tips your content upgrade would be, “Click here for a free PDF of 150 content marketing tips (25 bonus tips included EXCLUSIVELY in the PDF”.

Here’s a great example From Dan Martell’s blog:


Content upgrades are directed towards someone who is already reading and enjoying the free content, but would like more.



Installing tracking is the key to understanding the performance of your content. Depending on the tool, it can tell you what content is driving the most organic traffic down to the content which is driving the most paying customers.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to monitor traffic and page-based data, including the number of people who have come to your website, which specific pages are the most popular on your website, and how long visitors spend on each page.


Hotjar tracks behavior based analytics through heat mapping, and it even captures video of what people are doing while visiting your website. Therefore, if you have a form or a specific opt-in that isn’t performing well, you can see what people are doing on those pages and why they’re dropping off.

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel provides insight and tools to allow you to re-target the extra 70% to 80% of people who have visited your site but have not yet converted into anything.


Step Two: Create Content


It is important to always consider the mindset of your target audience. Many people direct their content toward beginners who don’t understand the market or don’t understand the service being offered. That’s a great market, because these people will likely constitute 80% of your customers.

However, there is a small segment of about 5-10% of the population who already recognize they have a problem, understand what you are offering, but need further explanation of why your service is the best fit for their needs.

By creating content focusing on this particular market segment, you will more easily yield a better conversion rate.

Connect with them through a story – case studies are especially good here. They allow you to explain why you are the right choice and how you’ve helped others in similar situations solve their problems and exceed their expectations.


Step Three: Send Paid Traffic to the Content that You’ve Created

Publish Facebook advertisements through simple interest targeting, focusing on the audience network and mobile as your source. This strategy will generate extremely cheap traffic in volumes.

Here’s two campaigns we kicked off for our last article:


As you can see we’re getting clicks between $0.17 and $0.28 Canadian.

You shouldn’t pay more than $0.50 per click using the audience network and mobile. Cast a wide net; the people who click through are the ones who are interested in your content and potentially your service or product as well.


Step Four: Build an Audience

Build an audience on Facebook of the people who hit the specific article page. You can do this in the audience section by creating a new audience based on website traffic. Re-target those people that didn’t end up converting into an opt-in or a sale for your main product.

Here’s an audience we created for one of our article targeting the people who viewed it in the last 14 days:


Offer a content upgrade specific to that article or with an opt-in that relates directly to the service or product that you have on offer. This strategy will get those visitors onto your email list at a high conversion rate with a really low cost per email (think < $1.50 on the high end).


Step Five: Indoctrinate, Activate and Sell

By this time, you have brought them onto your on-boarding sequence through content upgrades, opt-in points, and re-targeting. Now, you want to indoctrinate your audience, activate them and sell your product or service.


Tell them about yourself, your company, your service(s) offered, and what they should expect from you over e-mail. Make sure you outline exactly what you will deliver.


Activate them by simply following through with what you’ve said you’d deliver. Be sure to deliver value in your emails. Story telling helps in building an engaged audience if you have the stories to tell. Outlining case studies and success stories is a great alternative.


After indoctrination and activation, start mixing in sales-directed emails. These work well every three or four emails out of a sequence.

For example, if your indoctrination, activation and sales sequence is 12 emails, you should really only have 3 sales focused emails. Be sure to deliver great value in between to keep the audience engaged.

These sales-focused emails should be entirely concentrated on trying to sell them your service or product without it being a “hard” sell. You only need to hard sell if you’ve done a horrid job of establishing the value proposition of what you have to offer. You can also try to move them into a sales call if that strategy works better for your process.

Over time (after about ten or twenty emails), you will begin to compile data on people who have opened, clicked, and unsubscribed from your emails. From here, pull segmented lists of people who are highly engaged, the type of people who have opened more than four or five emails, clicked on multiple links, and demonstrated they are actively engaged with your content. Use these lists in conjunction with your specific Facebook advertisements and to direct them to your offer.

That’s the simple 5-step content marketing funnel. Once you have each of these elements in place you’ll be driving leads into your funnel like a machine and seeing the dollars roll in.

Have questions? Comment below!