The 5 Stages of Organic Online Marketing Explained

By Hâfi Martinsdóttir

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes | 2532 words

I wanted to take the opportunity to dive a bit deeper into some of the online marketing areas I touched on in my previous post How to Stay Top of Mind With Your Customers. In this article I will break down the different stages of a smart organic online marketing strategy and how they can lead to:

  • an increase in people purchasing your core products
  • growing your email list of interested and engaged repeat customers
  • generating recurring revenue for your business
  • encouraging your loyal brand followers to amplify your message for you via the holy grail of word of mouth recommendations

So if you’re struggling to drive your target audience to your site, close sales, grow a tribe of repeat customers and nurture valuable relationships with your ideal clients, then stick around as this article will teach you a thing or five that you can implement immediately into your business to see an immediate improvement. Sometimes it’s just a mindset shift that needs to happen and you might already have the key components in place or perhaps you’re at square one and wondering where on earth to begin. Follow these steps outlined below because if you don’t have a smart organic marketing strategy in place already, then now is the time to get one implemented.

The 5 Stages

I want to share with you how each stage of your marketing ties together to increase your sales, from the free stuff introducing people to your business all the way to your core offer and beyond where you continue providing value convert once-off customers into repeat customers.

#1 Give away free value

So by now you already understand the incredible benefits that content marketing (blogging) can bring to your business.

If you don’t then take a look at one of my previous posts 6 Key Ways to Grow Your Business Online to learn more.

You know that your articles needs to bring value to your audience and helps teach them something, offers an insight or perhaps inspires. By offering free high quality blog content that you share on various social media platforms, you drive interested customers to your site. Rather than just sending everyone to your site, you have written, or hired someone to write, informative articles that pique the interest of your target audience. These highly targeted articles focusing on your specific niche ensures that by the time the readers are on your site they are already interested in what you are offering.

So, now that they are on your site we know that we need to be capturing their emails with an incentivised lead magnet in the form of a useful document, how-to video or something else of great value to your readers. Now that they have entrusted you with their email address, we must nurture that relationship by continuing to provide high quality information to them, still for free.

You can learn more about lead magnets and how to set them up in the following article: How to Stay Top of Mind With Your Customers.

#2 Tripwire offer

This is the point where we present a low priced entry-level offer to your new subscriber. This part is crucial. We need to ensure the price is low enough that it doesn’t scare them off but it intrigues them to try you out. It needs to be a high quality product that makes it hard for them to say no to. They want it, you know they want it, make it easy for them to purchase it by making it a low cost product. Your subscriber is now thinking, “what’s the harm?” they get to test you out with hardly any risk because the product might cost a mere $19.

Now it’s likely that you won’t make any money on selling this product, in fact you might even lose money. But the whole point of this offer is to entice people from becoming subscribers and turn them into customers. Once you have a customer and as long as you serve them well and always deliver quality, then they are 27% more likely to buy from you again and that number leaps ever upward the more they purchase from you (provided they are satisfied of course!).

So once your new customer has tried out your new product, they begin to look at your business differently. You’ve impressed them with all of your free value-add information in the articles and via your email marketing. They’ve purchased from you and you over-delivered. It’s looking good so far. Now it’s your job to continue delivering high value free content to them within their email newsletter to nurture this relationship before you take the next step up and offer them your core product.

It’s also a great idea to have several products all at different prices, some low $19 products to entice people to try you, along with some higher priced products between $49 – $297. These products all offer great value to your customer and allows them to slowly step up between the different price tiers towards your bigger product, your core offer.

In the same way you wouldn’t run a marathon without lots of training, warming up and preparing, so too we must warm up our subscribers and customers to make bigger and better purchases from us.

If you jump in with bigger offers while they’re still “cold” (ie. you haven’t grown their trust or provided enough free and helpful content of outstanding value) then you’ll likely lose their trust altogether and even worse, they’ll unsubscribe due to the disconnect they felt from where they were at in relation to your offerings. 

#3 Your Core offer

Now that your new customers trust you it’s time to present them with your core offer. It’s important that you don’t present them with your core offer before they have purchased a splinter product otherwise, as we have already discussed, they haven’t warmed up to you yet and your offer will likely fall flat or worse, irritate your subscribers.

At this point your customers like what you offer and are keen to do business with you again. Now is the time to present your core offer. This will typically be the main service that you offer and you’ll likely make some profit on it. But even in the case of the core offer, it might not actually be the product that brings in the most profit. But it really pulls the customer into your sphere, into your inner circle. This is your opportunity to really impress them, over-deliver, listen to them, what is it they need, how can you help. Really get to know your customers, once they have purchased your product and utilised it etc. follow up with an email asking how they liked it, perhaps a survey asking what they think you can do better. Really show them that their opinions matter to you, because they should.

#4 Add-ons

Often people will purchase your core offer, but that’s not where it stops. It’s likely you offer additional products that can help them even further. These add-ons can now be marketed to your core offer customers to further improve their lives. This is often where your main profit is made. Continue nurturing your customers through email marketing by offering regular and free high value content. It’s important to not be constantly selling within these emails. Nobody likes to feel they’re constantly being pitched to. In fact, you want to aim to deliver at least 3 or 4 high value non-sale emails before you present another product. If your customer doesn’t opt for this particular product, continue delivering free content for another 3 -4 emails before presenting another different product.

We have to be smart when doing this, consider each customer’s own personal journey within your business. Look at what they have expressed interest in, which lead magnet did they sign up for? Which splinter product did they first purchase? Did they purchase any more splinter products before they opted for your core offer? Have they expressed any interest in your add-on products? If so, which ones? Which ones didn’t they purchase, which ones did they? This should give you a clear indication of where your customer is at and which offers are most likely to be successful when presented to them. For example, if they have never shown interest in X product, then don’t continue presenting other products related to X when this whole time they have been showing interest in, and purchasing, Y.

#5 Subscription

To really move your business to the next level, you need to be generating recurring revenue. This ensures that your business has a set amount of revenue each month, each quarter, each year, that it can rely on having. So what is it that your customers need that you can offer them on a subscription basis?

Almost every single industry is able to sell in this manner, in fact you’d be hard pressed to find a service that can’t be sold as a subscription. It can often take some creative thought and lots of research but it will be a game changer for your business. It removes the stresses and uncertainty that comes from a feast and famine style business model. Where you constantly have to drive sales otherwise you won’t meet your quarterly sales targets. With a subscription business model in place (don’t worry, you can still sell one-off products and services too), you can forecast your earnings and profits and because of this you’re able to free up your focus from the day to day minutia and instead focus on the growth and scaling of your business. It essentially gives your business room to breathe and focus on the bigger picture rather than getting lost in the trivial stuff.

Recurring revenue, by way of a subscription business model, is the future. Our customers want more flexibility and control over their purchases, they want to receive the benefits of your services immediately without having to wait for X amount of money to invest a huge sum into your once-off product.

This is also the best way to increase your ultimate organic marketing asset of all, word of mouth. Word of mouth marketing results in 5 times more sales than paid advertising! Because you are providing an ongoing service to your subscribers, they are constantly reminded of your business and the good work you do for them, the value you add to their lives. This makes it easier for them to refer you to others. The close relationship and trust that is built between you and your subscribers over time ensures that you are serving them in the best way possible and making sure their needs are met. So with all of these happy subscribers out there recommending you, and the fact that people are 90% more likely to trust and purchase from a brand that was recommended by a friend, you’re business’ message will be amplified ever louder without you needing to do a thing. Your job is to keep looking after your subscribers and customers and they’ll do the hard work for you.

I am currently reading some fantastic books on the subscription business model for generating recurring revenue and I’ll be sharing my learnings on these within my blog posts soon, so stay tuned!

What's the next step?

So, how does your website fit in with all of this? Well, your website is your virtual storefront. This is where your target audience will end up when looking for your services, whether they find you thanks to paid SEO and advertising or thanks to your blogging efforts (organic SEO), your website needs to be ready to receive them. Your website is not just a pretty little thing to visually enjoy, it has to be smart too.

Your website has to be set up correctly and in such a way that makes it easy for your audience to follow your bread crumbs through your marketing funnel.

Your website will hold all of your incredibly high value free content in the form of blog posts or videos. This is also where we will place your carefully curated and relevant lead magnets to entice your audience to enter their email address to receive your offer, be it a PDF, video series or digital download.

Next, thanks to your email marketing set up, your new subscribers are automatically receiving high quality emails that continue to add value and grow their trust. Within a short while it’s time to present your splinter product or tripwire offer, these products are hosted on your website in your eCommerce store making it super easy for a subscriber to click through from your email to your website’s store and place an order directly with you.

Within your website’s store are a whole variety of products all at different prices to enable accessibility to all levels of customer budgets, along with your core offer(s).

As time goes on and we continue adding value to our customers and they convert into becoming repeat customers, you’ll find that an opportunity arises for you to offer a service on a subscription basis. Your online store is configured to receive regular payments that debit your customer’s account automatically on a set date each month. So while you continue to deliver top quality services to your subscription clients, they are guaranteeing your business’ income each month, each quarter and each year making it much easier to forecast your business’ profits and growth.

The key here is to automate this process, or certainly most of it, and when it’s set up correctly, you’ll be earning business in your sleep. So that when you’re awake, you’re spending your time better, whether that be growing and scaling your business, learning new skills or spending time with your family.

By working smart and putting this organic marketing system in place for your business now, you will reap the rewards down the line and sooner than you think.

Growing your business in the long term requires smart moves in the short term. There’s no time to waste scavenging around for customers with a broken and disconnected marketing strategy. It’s time to invest in the most effective marketing strategy for your business and start bringing in the revenue that you desire.


As a recap, here are the key stages of organic online marketing:

  • Offer valuable free content aimed at your target audience
  • Capture their email address with a high value and relevant offer
  • Nurture the relationship with your new subscriber by continuing to add value
  • Present a tripwire low-risk but high quality product to convert from subscriber to customer
  • Continue to add free value via email
  • Present your core offer
  • Continue nurturing your customer via email, always adding value and every 3 – 4 emails present them with a relevant offer
  • Present your repeat customers with a subscription service to generate automated recurring revenue for your business

If you need help with setting this system up, reach out to me with your project details via my Project Application page and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. Organic online marketing is my biggest passion when it comes to helping businesses succeed online and I look forward to helping you grow your business whether that’s via the free content in my blog, as a subscriber or as a client. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if there’s a particular topic you would like covered in a future article. 

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