This is where content marketing, lead gen and email marketing start to make sense. We already established that if you want to start building a list of business leads for email marketing, you need to do lead gen. To do lead gen effectively you need something to give away. Enter the eBook.
An eBook is typically a PDF containing a short piece of expert advice on a given subject that your potential customers would find valuable.
When starting out, it’s a great way to procure some interest, traffic (sharing via social media etc.) and a reputation for knowing your stuff.
An example process for writing content
When we started Unbounce, we had a 2 hour brainstorm session to gather ideas for an eBook entitled “101 Landing Page Optimization Tips”. I split the session into about 14 questions which each became a chapter of the book. After gathering all the post-it notes, I pulled an all-nighter to write the 27-page eBook ready for sharing and lead gathering the next day. It was a really important first step in establishing our reputation in the period prior to product launch. After a year of gathering leads, I decided to open it up without the lead capture and made it a blog post which you can read here: 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips
Make it clear that you want people to share it
Old school marketers were afraid to give anything away for free. This is antiquated thinking – you want people to share your eBook as much as possible to extend your reach. Make it very clear in the PDF that you encourage people to share it with their colleagues (put a note in the footer on every page).
UBER NOOB INSIGHT: Forget the lead capture!
Sometimes it’s better not to place any barriers in the way of your content. Sure, not capturing emails for your eBook will prevent you from being able to market to people, but the increase in downloads and exposure you’ll get can be worth it. People appreciate you not asking for anything in return which can improve your chances of positive word of mouth. Mix it up – gather leads sometimes, then try it without.