Success on Pinterest, like everything in marketing, is based on having a solid strategy in place.
There’s a secret about how to make money on Pinterest that none of the online marketing gurus are talking about. And, without it, it’s almost impossible to leverage the power of Pinterest for your business.
Click here to skip to the list of resources (both free and paid) that I offer to help you build your own successful Pinterest strategy.
Debunking Pinterest Marketing Myths
If you browse Pinterest for marketing tips for any amount of time, you’re likely to see bombastic headlines that say something like…
“How I 200x my traffic from Pinterest in 3 months!” OR “How I reached 1 million views on Pinterest!”
These may sound good but those metrics only tell you 10% of the Pinterest success story.
Traffic vs. Page Views vs. Views
First of all, we need to understand what each of these terms means.
Traffic = page views: 99% of the time when someone is talking about the traffic they get from Pinterest they are referring to the page views they receive to their website. The best and most accurate way to measure page views from Pinterest is through Google Analytics.
How to find your page views from Pinterest: Google analytics –> Aquisition –> Social –> Network Referrals –> Look for Pinterest
Pinterest views: When people talk about the views they receive on Pinterest, they’re referring to a metric that Pinterest provides. This number is highly misleading if you don’t understand what it means.
When you log into your Pinterest business account, Pinterest gives you a snapshot of how your account is performing on the home feed. One of those metrics is monthly views. (side note: this number also fluctuates quite a bit throughout the month)
Monthly views take into account every single pin you’ve ever saved to your account. So, if you’ve ever pinned someone else’s content, those views are being counted in this overall number. You can see the top pins receiving impressions on your account as a whole by going to Pinterest analytics –> overview –> impressions
Taking it a step further, a view could mean it appeared in someone’s smart feed, search results, or they opened the pin.
But how does this help you?
First of all, someone else’s content being shown isn’t helping you at all. That’s the first way that this metric is inflated if you’re using it as a benchmark on how your content is performing.
Second of all, while I agree that you need people to actually see your pins in order for them to click on your pins, an impression (or view) doesn’t really mean much unless you understand the entire strategy.
You can see the true number of impressions for your content by going to Pinterest analytics –> website –> impressions. You’ll notice this number is going to be smaller than the monthly views people claim are so important.
In my podcast with Kate Ahl from Simple Pin Media, we talk about how to use Pinterest analytics to problem solve how your pins are performing. However, before you can problem solve, you need to have a strategy in place.
Check out my episode with Kate here: How to Use Pinterest Analytics the Smart Way: Keyword and Image Secrets
At the end of the day, traffic from Pinterest only matters if you have a strategy in place to leverage it.
I’ve got a confession for you. The highest page view month I’ve ever had on my 5-year-old blog is 83,000.
That’s right. I’ve never reached the golden 100,000 page views that most people strive for and yet I still make more than a full-time income from my blog.
How is that possible?
Side note: Not every niche is created equal. Bloggers who focus on helping other bloggers do not drive big numbers like parenting, personal finance, etc. Niches that talk to consumers have a much larger audience than people who talk to other business owners. That’s why it’s so important to understand what numbers to pay attention to in your business.
The Secret to Making Money on Pinterest… Funnels!
The secret is out!
I have solid funnels in place to convert my page views into email subscribers and paying customers.
Page views is a vanity metric people use to measure success. Of course, you need page views to convert people into customers but without a strategy to convert your page views, what’s the point in spending all your time figuring out how to drive traffic from Pinterest?
What is a Pinterest Funnel?
In this illustration, I’m demonstrating the basic steps for how a Pinterest sales funnel works. The concept is simple… the more people you show your pins to in search results using keywords, the more opportunities you have to bring people through the remainder of the funnel.
At the top of the funnel, you have the opportunity to appeal to an unlimited number of people in search results. In order to get found in Pinterest search results, keywords are essential.
From there, not everyone who sees the pin will actually click on the pin. This is why creating a compelling and clickable image is so important.
In step 3 of the funnel, the image was compelling enough to click, now you’ve got to convince the Pinterest visitor to take an action. We’ll talk about the types of actions you want your visitor to take below.
Of course, not everyone who visits your site will take the action you want them to take. As we move down the funnel, the next step is to nurture your potential customer by providing immense value. This is where effective email marketing comes in.
The last step of the funnel is making the sale — whether that be recommending an affiliate product, your own products, or a paid service you offer.
Where Pinterest Experts Go Wrong
While everyone is focused on the first two steps of the funnel, no one is talking about how to bring your Pinterest visitor on a journey.
Focusing on the first two steps is necessary but when you stop your strategy there, you’re missing out.
My main focus is on conversions.
Funnels drive conversions.
What is a conversion?
Simply put, a conversion is when you convince someone to take a specific action.
When a Pinterest visitor comes to your site, you want to present them with one, very strong, call to action. If they take that call to action, you’ve now earned a conversion.
A funnel only works if you are able to capture the conversion.
My favorite type of conversion is getting their email address.
If you put your focus on conversions, you don’t need to drive an insane amount of page views to your site to make a healthy full-time income.
Examples of Calls to Action You Can Use for Pinterest Visitors
#1 Sign up for your email list
Send Pinterest visitors directly to a blog post or to an opt-in landing page.
You can offer…
- Free printables
- Free templates
- Free spreadsheets
- Free eBook
#2 Buy something from you
- Direct to an online store
- Direct to a sales page
#3 Join your Facebook group
#4 Book a free consultation call with you
3 Types of Successful Pinterest Funnels
There are three main funnels I use to make money from Pinterest.
Pinterest Funnel #1: Capture Their Email Address
The first type of funnel you can use is capturing their email address.
At the end of the day, a page view from Pinterest lasts 30 seconds and it’s not memorable. An email address gives you the permission to chat with a real person in an intimate setting. Nowadays, there is nothing more sacred than your customer’s inbox, and you now have a one-way ticket inside!
In Pin Practical Funneling, I show you exactly how to capture an email address by creating a free printable.
Example printable pins that perform well for me:
Pinterest Funnel #2: Offer a Limited-Time Deal (Tripwire)
The second type of funnel is my absolute favorite!
A tripwire is when you offer a low-priced product on the thank you page of your freebie. The tripwire has to directly relate to your freebie in order for it to convert. I generally like to keep my tripwires between $7-$27.
Studies have shown that someone who spends as little as $1 with you is more than 7x likely to make a repeat purchase, even at a much higher dollar amount.
Tripwires are a great way to make money on autopilot and build long-term loyal customers.
In Pin Practical Masterclass, I show you how to leverage tripwires in your Pinterest funnels.
Example tripwire pins that perform well for me:
Pinterest Funnel #3: Get the Sale
You’d be surprised how easy it is to get people to buy directly from a pin. This is often an overlooked strategy which I’ve leveraged with a lot of success.
In this type of funnel, you can hit a potential visitor from all angles. When they land on your sales page, they are immediately presented with an offer from you. Not everyone is going to be willing to buy from you before getting to know you. Instead of wasting the page view, offer a freebie at the end of the sales page so you can still capture their email address.
In Pin Practical Masterclass, I show you how to capture a Pinterest visitor’s email address even if they don’t buy something from you!
Example sales page pins that perform well for me:
Real Results from Pinterest Funnels
Here are real results I’ve received from implementing these three funnels.
Pinterest Email Funnel
Working Mom Nightly Printable Pin –> 2,127 email subscribers
Pinterest Tripwire Funnel
Pinterest Group Board Niche Spreadsheet Pin –> Pin Practical Accelerate Tripwire –> $1,904 made in January 2018
Pinterest Direct to Sales Page Funnel
Easy Budget and Financial Planning Spreadsheet for Busy Families Pin –> $3,067.78 in sales for January 2018
The Pinterest Value Ladder: Organic Growth to Promoted Pins
Once you’ve mastered your Pinterest organic strategy, there is a whole new world available to you with promoted pins.
I consider promoted pins to be a “301” level Pinterest strategy. I highly recommend you master Pinterest organic funnels before moving on to promoted pins. Promoted pins are Pinterest’s version of ads on its platform.
Why Should I Consider Promoting My Pins?
Promoted pins are unique for many reasons, but the one that stands out the most is it’s the ad that keeps on giving.
- Most pinners report a 30% organic boost on promoted pins
- You do not pay for clicks that come from previously paid saves (repins) of your promoted pins
- Less competition than other ad platforms
- Low-cost clicks, email signups, and checkout conversions
- Chance to be an early adopter on a relatively new ad platform
With Promoted Pins, You Can…
What is the Difference Between an Organic Strategy and a Promoted Pin Strategy?
First, you should have both strategies. I do not rely solely on promoted pins to bring money into my business. In fact, the majority of what I do on Pinterest is still organic.
In order to leverage promoted pins effectively, you must take the time to do the following (not an exhaustive list)…
- Install your Pinterest conversion tag
- Set up custom audiences
- Create a working funnel
- Understand promoted pin analytics and how to leverage them to make changes so you’re not wasting money
Promoted pins require you to be open to reading and interpreting data so you are not wasting money. I teach exactly how to do this in my course, Pin Practical Promotions.
Example of a Promoted Pin Funnel
This is one of my favorite promoted pin funnels that I teach.
Double Dip Funnel: Email List Building + Tripwire
Inside this funnel, I a/b split test two different types of pages for conversions — a value-drive blog post and an opt-in specific landing page.
When someone signs up, I also offer them a tripwire for 20 minutes. Through the Pinterest conversion tag, you can set up event codes that allow you to track how many subscribers and sales you earn from this type of funnel. You’ll also be able to see exactly how much each subscriber cost and if you made money on your campaign with the tripwire.
Benefits of Promoted Pins
- Access to keyword data you cannot get on your organic pins
- Ability to track the exact amount of email subscribers and sales
- “Skip the line” to the top of search results
- Using promoted pin funnels, you can make money from your promoted pin campaigns
Promoted pin data
These are real campaign stats from my own dashboard.
I paid $.12 per click in this campaign which gave me a total of 1,692 clicks…
In the same campaign, I’ve turned 740 people (out of 1,692 clicks) into EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS! Even better? Each subscriber only cost $.27! This is practically impossible to do with Facebook Ads and it’s exactly why I love promoted pins so much.
How to Implement a Successful Pinterest Strategy
8 Resources to Help You Succeed on Pinterest
If you’re new to Pinterest, I suggest consuming these resources in the order below.
Pin Practical Funneling (FREE – $97 Value) — Learn how to turn Pinterest visitors into paying customers by creating your first (or next) sales funnel with Pinterest!
- How to find the right keywords on Pinterest for your brand
- The 5 principles for creating click-worthy Pinterest images
- How to design the perfect opt-in and drive hundreds of signups to your email list from Pinterest
- 2 types of sales funnels that convert using Pinterest, plus the exact technical steps on how to build the funnel on your own
- How to make money from Pinterest without spending a dime on ads!
Pin Practical Accelerate ($27) — A PDF-based 9-day Pinterest challenge. It’s designed for beginners who are looking for easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up Pinterest for their brand/business. It provides a beginner’s strategy to start driving Pinterest traffic to your website. This is included in Pin Practical Foundations and Pin Practical Masterclass.
780+ Group Boards to Join by Niche (FREE – $27 Value) — I’ve compiled a list of Pinterest group boards by niche to help you kickstart your Pinterest strategy. Save hours of time and research!
Pin Practical Foundations ($67) — A video-based course that includes the first 3 modules of Pin Practical Masterclass. This is perfect for someone who is ready to implement a Pinterest strategy in their business but is not yet ready to dive into more advanced strategies with analytics, email marketing, and ads.
Pin Practical Masterclass ($197) — A video-based course that includes everything you need to run a successful organic Pinterest strategy. This is perfect for someone who is not only ready to implement a Pinterest strategy in their business but also learn the more advanced concepts with analytics, email marketing, and ads.
Pin Practical Ads (FREE – $97 Value) — Learn how to create the perfect low-cost promoted pin.
- How to find the right keywords to target for your promoted pin campaign
- The 5 principles for creating click-worthy Pinterest images
- How to create multiple Pinterest images (fast!) for a/b split testing in your promoted pin campaign
- How to set up the perfect low-cost promoted pin campaign
Pin Practical Promotions Primer ($49) — Your step-by-step guide for running your first low-cost promoted pin campaign, the right way!
- Chapter 1: Prepping Your Pinterest Account for Success
- Chapter 2: Tracking ROI on Your Promoted Pin Campaigns
- Chapter 3: Determining Your Strategy First
- Chapter 4: Choosing the Perfect Audience
- Chapter 5: Preparing Your Promoted Pins for Success
- Chapter 6: Creating the Perfect Low-Cost Promoted Pin Campaign
- Chapter 7: Reviewing Promoted Pin Results
Pin Practical Promotions (price varies by launch) — An advanced-level course on how to strategize, implement, analyze, and refine low-cost promoted pin campaigns.