Guest post from Cindy Cardinal.
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.
If a customer is in your system, then the link where a customer completes contact information can be pre-populated. (i.e. 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:
Notice that the above they are collecting some demographic information with the registration questions. The form still looks short, since the demo questions have drop down options.
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.
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.
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 within a year, but right now I think it’s a bit of the Wild West. Testing, tracking, changing, test again.
The journey continues.
View more of Cindi’s post on https://cccomminc.net