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Archive for November, 2013

Call to Action: Whitepaper/Report Downloads

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Whitepapers or reports are the call to action that every consultant, trainer, or professional coach can offer.  If you don’t already have one, it’s typically not a large undertaking to create one using curriculum or existing materials on the subject of expertise.

The beauty of whitepaper/reports is the ease of use.  This ease extends to both the creator and the consumer.

The creator can make a form for people to download the document.  After the form is filled out, the document should be immediately available either as a link from the form’s thank you page or as an instantly emailed link/attachment.  This makes delivery of the document automatic so that the creator does not have to spend time getting it to the person who requested it.

The ease of use for the consumer is that they can get what they request on demand with no other commitment than filling in a form.  After filling out the form they can immediately see what they requested and read it while it’s of interest to them.  No time commitment, often no monetary cost, and instant gratification.

A well done report or download is a good tool to gather leads and get a sense of who in your audience is interested in particular topics.  It can also be a good credibility builder as it’s a chance to provide a powerful sample of how your area of expertise can solve problems for clients.

That said, there are two pitfalls to offering reports/whitepapers.

  1. Going Stale – Don’t let the ease of delivering a whitepaper/report lull you into laziness.  Your audience will tire of seeing the same report over and over again.  Typically a report will have a shelf life of about a year.  Six months or quarterly releases is better but after a year it should be cycled out.  Depending on the topic it could be refreshed and offered again but it should not be or appear to be static for more than a year.
  2. Quality of Leads – The ease of requesting a report/whitepaper will net a significant amount of poor leads.  There is no real commitment (unless you are charging for the report but then it’s likely not a lead generation tool but rather a product) from the consumer so they might have little to no interest in your product or service. Quantity will be higher than other calls to action but will require more screening and qualifying.

Report/Whitepaper downloads are the ideal easy ask for a call to action but temper your expectations on all the leads being an ideal client profile.

Call to Action: Events

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

ID-100179293Events can be a powerful first step for most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches.  They literally put trainers, consultants, and professionals coaches on the podium to illustrate what they do and how they help clients.

Events can serve as a great call to action.  Dedicated invitations can be created and delivered via email or postal mail but small promotional ads can also be leveraged on websites, information driven emails, or social media. The one major downside to an event as a call to action is that it’s date/time specific.  Potential buyers can’t get the call to action on demand and must set time aside on their calendar. The major up side is that the trainer, consultant, or coach actually gets to interact with the potential buyer.

Events come in two forms – live and via the web. Both offer pros and cons.

Live Delivery

Live delivery is often more engaging because there is a personal connection.  Potential clients are in the room with the trainer, consultant, or coach which offers a more powerful bond and puts a face to an otherwise faceless communication.

– But –

The down side with live events is there are more logistics and tend to be more expensive than online events.  Rooms need booked, directions need provided, and most importantly, people need to show up.  Getting people to agree to physically come to a location increases friction for converting the call to action so the event must offer clear value.

Web Delivery

Web delivery via a webinar is the ultimate in event convenience.  Potential buyers can attend the event in front of their computer.  This opens up vast amounts of potential buyers as there are no geographic/travel restrictions on attendees. Online events also tend to be far cheaper, only requiring a webinar service.

– But –

Webinars are not as interactive as live events.  Presentations need to stay focused and concise.  For most trainers, consultants, and coaches a half hour is the max length they can keep the audience engaged for which limits the content that can be delivered.  Potential buyers will be more challenging to connect with because they remain a faceless entity behind a computer screen.  The reverse is also true.  It’s challenging to connect or get feedback from buyers on a webinar.

 

Weigh the pros and cons on which thpe of event is most suitable for your call to action.  There is less risk with a webinar, requiring less money and less friction to convert but the presentation’s impact tends to decrease. Live events offer powerful connections but with more friction to convert and more promotional dollars invested.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net