Here’s How to Use an Interactive White Paper to Generate Lots of Leads

There is a ton of opportunity to generate lots of leads, of high quality, by repurposing your existing content into interactive content marketing experiences. And white papers offer some of the best chances of educating, informing and influencing your audience. Here are some ways to use an interactive white paper to generate leads, including what measurement you can expect, what sales insights you can surface, and how you can test the experiences to boost your conversation rates significantly.

How to generate leads with an interactive white paper or eBook:

  • Use a call to action to optionally capture leads from visitors who want to download the white paper as a PDF version. Once you have captured the basic lead, you can even create hot inbound leads by placing a “contact sales” call to action on your Thank You page, getting the leads with the most interest to raise their hands.
  • Offer visitors just a select portion of the eBook or interactive white paper in the experience. Allow them to see the few sections, then insert a form for them to receive the complete content.

How to test for higher conversion rates on your interactive white paper:

  • Content access: Can you drive more leads by providing all the content with an optional form to download the PDF? Or by giving a subset of content, providing access to the complete content only to those who complete your form? Find out with an A/B test!
  • Call to action and form: Will you capture more leads with a short form embedded into the footer area of every page? Or will it generate more leads when you place a call to action button in the header of the experience that links to a form? An A/B test will let you know if a form on the page, or a call to action button, works better at getting more visitors to convert into leads. You can also test varying form lengths to optimize for maximum conversions.
  • Layout: Test radically different versions of the first page to see which version reduces bounce rates and increases engagement with the content. Or, test various placements of the form throughout the interactive white paper/eBook to determine where visitors are most likely to convert.
  • Positioning: People love playbooks & toolkits as much as they love white papers and eBooks (probably even more). At the end of the day, labels count, so test your interactive white paper against the same exact content that is called an interactive playbook. See which one gets higher engagement and conversion.

How to measure content consumption and engagement on your interactive white paper:

  • Look at the basics such as bounce rate and conversion rate to get an idea of overall performance.
  • Each time a visitor hits a page, increment their score by 1. A 10-page interactive white paper might have a total possible score of 10. Measure the average aggregate score, even getting into granularity of the average scores by different traffic sources to understand how much of the content is being consumed, and which sources of traffic are delivering the most engaged visitors.
  • Use behavioral tags for each area of content. Use tag clouds to see which areas of the white paper visitors are clicking on most frequently to see what your audience is most interested in. Consider which sections visitors are most likely to convert within as well.

And don’t forget to surface prospect insights to your sales team:

  • Show your sales team the percent of content that the visitor consumed. Did they get a score of 1 (not too much content consumption and engagement) or a 10 (lots of content consumption & engagement)?
  • Surface the behavioral tags you used for aggregate reporting for the individual leads, showing which sections of the experience the visitor showed interest in.

Have you tried an interactive white paper or eBook? Let us know how it’s going and what you’ve learned along the way!

 Anna Talerico, ion interactive’s EVP and co-founder

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