In our industry, vendors spend a lot of time and money developing white papers to educate prospects about new technologies. White papers that are well-researched and clearly written can help explain the value of new or complex solutions to the audiences that can potentially benefit from them.
Of course, vendors also want to generate qualified sales leads from their white papers. But when it comes to tracking and measuring how well they actually perform in terms lead generation, many marketers find themselves in a quandary. After publishing a white paper in an Adobe .pdf file, do you gate access to the paper by requiring people to fill out one of those annoying registration forms (and risk losing the reader), or do you just put the document up without a registration gate, and leave it to chance that prospects will contact you on their own?
Last week, Vitrium briefed me on it’s new solution, PDFSalesLeads, which I think will give both vendors and Web surfers a happy medium. With PDFSalesLeads, you can embed a registration form anywhere in your .pdf document, so that the reader can take a look at the information first, and then decide if they want to register and receive more information or be contacted.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) based solution comes with 8 standard registration questions, you can use as few or as many of these as you like. You can embed the form in 5 steps, which the site guides you through. Pricing is $49/month, for an unlimited number of documents and leads.
One of the things I really like about this solution is that there is a skip button. So if a reader doesn’t want to fill out the form, they don’t have to. This is great for people like me, who are often doing secondary research–not shopping. And actually, this should save vendors time and money too when you think about it. I can’t even count the number of sales calls and emails I’ve gotten from downloading .pdfs for things that I’m really not a prospect for. So while marketers may get fewer leads, they should be better quality leads.
Another cool thing about the solution is that the embedded registration form stays with the .pdf. So as the .pdf gets circulated around via email, subsequent recipients can register if they want to, giving you the potential to capture these viral leads.
Vitrium is also developing an on-premise, enterprise version for companies that want to run it internally, but they are going to prove it out and work kinks in the SaaS environment. The enterprise version will have features for batch file loads, and system to system integration with CRM systems. Vitrium will likely also find a market for this with white paper aggregators, such as Ziff-Davis or TechTarget, who can offer the service and manage leads for their clients.