White Papers & Lead Generation-Part 2

Promoting white paper downloads helps media companies offer targeted leads to advertisers, increase their web traffic, and improve their own database. The first part of this 2-part blog post discussed what white papers are, how they are used, and why they are so popular today.

In doing research for that post, I visited many media web sites. I saw a huge disparity in the amount and types of data that firms are collecting for a free white paper download. Brands are asking a range of collecting no data (why? unless you are just looking for distribution quantity, but no ability to follow up) to asking for complete contact information and detailed demographic questions.

What information you require for download will depend on 1—what will help you identify an existing customer or capture a new one 2—what information you need to give back to an advertiser and 3—what demographics you deem imperative to capture for your database, for improved marketing.

One of the quickest registration starters is to ask for just an email address on screen 1.

FR reg p 1 2016-05-23 at 3.57.39 PM

CRN email only at 3.46.02 PM

If a customer is in your system, then the link where a customer completes contact information can be pre-populated. (ie. their name, company already typed in the boxes). If it is a new customer, then that person completes the contact information form. Below are the page 2 links for the previous screens:
FP contact demos 2016-05-23 at 3.57.29 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that above they are collecting some demographic information with the registration questions.  The form still looks short, since the demo questions have drop down options.

CRN addr 2016-05-23 at 3.46.24 PM

The quicker the process for your customer, the higher the chance they may visit your site again when they have an informational need.

Other questions to consider as you set up your forms:

What other information do you need to capture on the reg form, to make the lead usable for both you and the advertiser? This CFO form is very simple.

CFO simple reg 2016-05-23 at 4.08.43 PM

This one includes phone numbers, which I saw required on very few forms.  I wonder if they tested the form to see if that requirement impacted download rates.

CFO detail reg

Do you need a mailing address now? Or can a sales person ask for that data later, once the lead is captured?  That might improve response rates.

For existing customers, are there some demographics missing from their profile? Can you ask for one piece of it when they make a download?

Can you test the questions asked on reg forms? Testing often shows there is a balance of the amount of information collected and the value of the “free” download.

I think that you are limited in your form creation by your front end and back end systems, time to create and manage them, and your imagination.  This process is changing dramatically, driven by both user whims and advertiser demands. The fluctuations may decrease with in a year, but right now I think it’s a bit of the Wild West.  Testing, tracking, changing, test again.

The journey continues.

C

What’s Hidden Behind Your Walls?

My house is trashed.There are currently 3 floors of construction–all due from water leaking near the chimney and running silently down inside the walls over the last year. Walls are bare to the cement, ceilings removed, insulation and carpets ripped out.

This unseen problem reminds me of the issues that can happen to your unwatched database. Looking only at the top-line counts, signs of growth  can be positive.  But, someone needs to monitor the lists added, the aging of files, ensure that demographics are properly applied, watch how lists are selected and used, review response rates, and monitor the general health of the database.

Without this vigilance, your data can become corroded. And you might not even know for awhile. For example, if you append data incorrectly, you may start marketing your car wash cleaning supplies to beauty parlors. Or send invitations for an exclusive executive retreat to lower level personnel who do not have the experience or travel budgets to attend. Wasteful and expensive, and you will likely not reach your target numbers and your budget.

Or you add a poor quality email list and start using it without permission, cleaning or testing. Then you might end up on some blacklists on top of low response rates.

A bad list and incorrect data upgrades are just a couple examples of hidden problems that can impact your database viability. Avoid those leaks that can quickly and silently spread throughout your database. And if you or someone spots a potential problem, be sure to investigate it. Unchecked,that trickle can run throughout your database.

Don’t let any hidden leaks require you to break down your database.  Hopefully ongoing monitoring will help keep your database healthy.  And strong.  And a valuable asset to your organization.

The journey continues.

C