Forrester which publishes pricey "expert analysis" on best practices in digital marketing, really sucks at doing it themselves. Last week I needed a quick factoid on email marketing stats, so I popped over to Forrester's site, where they BROKE all the rules of offering B2B content, such as white papers or sample research on your site. The rules are:
Rule #1: Make it easy to find your white paper or free sample offer from your home page
Rule#2: Don't put too big a barrier in front of the sample. Some experts, such as the folks at Bitpipe, recommend you place no barrier at all because some prospects would rather read your content before volunteering their name - and you could lose them forever. Many other B2B marketers say you can put a barrier, such as requesting the person's name and email, before the content. But for heaven's sake don't ask for complete address and other non-essential questions because it will GREATLY lower response.
Rule#5: When a prospect wends their way through your home page, past your barriers, to the promised "Sample" or "White paper", put something of value there. It doesn't have to be more than a few pages long (in fact people like reading short executive summaries online), but it does have to make the time they already spent getting to it worthwhile. A single, two-sentence, paragraph describing the report along with contact information for your sales team is not gonna do the job.
Now that Forrester has a new head of marketing, we can only hope this improves. (Quick note to her -- if your high priced analysts look like baby-faced kids, then stick some glasses on them or something to make them look older in the site photo. I used to market high-priced research, and it made a difference to the 50-something execs who approved purchases at most companies.)
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