What is Inbound Marketing and Its 3 Core Elements?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
by Karen Cioffi

Inbound marketing is a collection of marketing strategies and tools that is focused on visibility and attention. Its purpose is to bring readers and potential customers to you and your website.

Sounds great, right? No more hunting them down. They come right to you.

This is the idea behind inbound marketing.

But, how do you do this?

It’s pretty straight forward and there are three core elements to this process.

1. Visibility

The first and most important element to inbound marketing is to generate attention to you and what you’re offering. This is done through:

  • A website
  • Blogging
  • Simple SEO strategies
  • Social media

2. Turn visitors into potential customers / clients.

You need to have certain things in place to turn that visitor into something more.

This is where your call-to-action (CTA) comes in.

You need to have an email service provider. This service will provide you with the opt-in box code that will allow the visitor to input her email address and get onto your mailing list. It’s this list that is key to conversion (the process of a visitor going from reading to buying or some other desired action).

Usually, to motivate the visitor to become a subscriber, you need to offer a great ‘freebie.’ This is your ethical bribe.

To determine what gift your audience would appreciate, think of what you would want. Or, you might ask on your social networks. The freebie needs to be valuable enough and worded right to get people to give you their email addresses.

Just be sure that the new subscriber can quickly and easily get the gift you promised for signing up. This entails creating a Thank You landing page that has the link to the download.

3. Email marketing

Getting subscribers is pretty much the whole purpose of numbers one and two above.

But, once you get subscribers, how do you convert them into customers?

You’ve got to provide ongoing ‘actionable’ content that the subscribers can use in their own journey. It’s this content along with CTAs to your services or products that will eventually motivate conversion.

One of the best ways to take advantage of email marketing is to create an autoresponder of eight to 10 emails that will go out automatically once someone signs up to your mailing list.

These emails should be highly focused on the type of content the subscriber signed up for. Each one should have a CTA, even if it’s to connect on social networks.

There you have it, the three core elements of inbound marketing.


Karen Cioffi is a former accountant who is now a multi-award-winning author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, editor, and author-writer online platform marketing instructor. She founded and manages Writers on the Move (a marketing group), and presents online writing and marketing workshops and webinars.

Karen has published 12 writing and marketing eBooks, the most recent, Article Marketing: Increase Website Traffic with Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized Content.

In addition to this, Karen’s website, Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing, was named Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012.

Want to get more traffic to you and your website? Check out Karen's online class, GIVE YOUR AUTHOR/WRITER BUSINESS A BOOST WITH INBOUND MARKETINGVisit our classroom page for details and enrollment.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Karen--Thanks for the post. I am not at this point yet--I have no published books--but I will file these tips away for future reference.

Margo Dill said...

I love this and need to do it! Bookmarking this!

Karen Cioffi said...

Sioux, according to all the biggies, like Jane Friedman and Chuck Sambuchino, you need to have your author platform up and running before you submit your work to publishers or agents. Just a heads up! :)

Karen Cioffi said...

Margo, glad you found the article helpful. I just read an article from an acquisitions editor for a NY publishing company and he's telling authors that they're now responsible for about 80% of their book marketing. Another reason to get started early.
It's important to have your platform in place and build a following before you're behind the eight-ball.

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