Marketing: Attract, Engage, Convert

I’m still dispensing wisdom I sucked out of Randy Ingermanson‘s class on marketing last week. I can’t give away all of it, but I’m sharing the basics. I already discussed writing a vision statement for your career. Once you know where you’re going, you can plan your strategy and your tactics. But what’s a successful strategy?

(photo courtesy of
Here are the steps to your strategy:
1) Attract
2) Engage
3) Convert
First, you attract a buyer’s attention. Then you engage with them. When they see you have something worth buying, they buy it. It’s that simple. You can’t skip steps, you can’t do them out of order, and you can’t force them on anyone. But they work. And every marketing tactic you use must perform at least one of these, or it’s a waste of your time.
Here’s one of the examples Randy used in his class: Goldilocks had wanted to write a novel all her life. One day, she decided to do it. But she had no idea how to get started. She typed “how do you write a novel” into Google. The first Google result was a long article about the “snowflake method.” The more Goldilocks read, the more excited she got. This gave her exactly the strategy she needed! At the end of the article, she read that the author was an award-winning novelist and he had software to help walk her through the process. She clicked through to read about the software. The more she read, the more she wanted it. But it was expensive. Could she afford it? Hey look! The author of the software also had a book out–and buying the book would give her a massive 50% discount on the software. Goldilocks clicked through to Amazon, bought the book, and then came back and bought the software. 
Here’s how that worked;
1) Attract: Google brought Goldilocks to the web site. Tactics used: Web site with good search engine optimization.
2) Engage: Goldilocks read the article and loved it. Tactics used: Web site with strong writing.
3) Convert: Goldilocks read a sales page with strong copy and a Call to Action with a high incentive. Tactics used: Web site sales page with good copywriting, plus a link to Amazon to close the sale.
Granted, this example was for a non-fiction product, but the principles apply to selling works of fiction. A good website or a blog with excellent content will attract readers. They become intrigued with the writer’s voice, or descriptions of the characters, or photos of places that appear in the book, and they want to know more. A link to Amazon or a discount will entice them to purchase the book.
There are other tactics you could use, like Facebook, Pinterest, Book Launches, and things like those. Choose tactics that work for you to move through the three steps listed above. If the tactics you’re using don’t attract, engage, or convert, then stop using it.
Randy’s class went in-depth on all these concepts, but I don’t feel I should share it all with you when he earns part of his living teaching these things. If you need to know more, take one of his classes. It’s worth the time and money. If you have questions about any of these concepts I’ve covered in the past three posts, put them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer.

2 thoughts on “Marketing: Attract, Engage, Convert

  1. Mr. I makes it sound so easy, but it’s not… especially for writers of fiction. Let’s start with the fact that readers don’t randomly search for something to read. They know what they like, which is why Amazon has a system to feed each person a page of titles similar to something s/he already purchased. But that system re-enforces the current publishing model to the disadvantage of newcomers, especially if they self-publish. Even smaller publishers are having a hard time getting visibility for their authors. So, unless you can attract a sufficiently larger pool of potential buyers, how we’ll your engagement and closing techniques are doesn’t matter. You’ll never sell enough copies to pay you more than you’d make per hour bagging groceries.

    • Excellent point, Peter: it’s NOT easy. That’s why Randy stresses only using those tactics that actually work for you. Many of the experts say “do everything” (speaking of social media), but if Pinterest doesn’t attract, engage, or convert, there’s no sense doing it (from a marketing standpoint).

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