• Robin Kastengren

Are You Using Downloadable Content?

Downloadable content is high-quality materials that your website visitors will get in exchange for their contact information.

Email campaigns are an effective way to nurture new leads until they are ready to become customers, and to take care of your current customers so they will become repeat customers when the time is right. There are many ways to put together an email campaign, but without a great list, your messages will literally go nowhere.

That’s where downloadable content, sometimes called "premium content," comes in. When you draw visitors to your website, you want them to see that little email signup box and pop in the magic information. The trouble is that people rarely like to give something up for nothing—especially valuable contact information. Downloadable content becomes your offer, and if you make it good enough, your list will grow in no time.

What is Downloadable Content?

Downloadable content is high-quality materials that your website visitors will get in exchange for their contact information. It often takes the form of ebooks and whitepapers, but it can also be helpful videos, packages of photos, useful templates, and other tools of your trade.

The key here is “high-quality.” Your downloadable content has to be valuable enough to make it worth an email address. It also has to be interesting and useful enough that people will actually want it. Here are a few ideas of things you could create:

  • A Complete Guide To. Consider your audience and a problem they face on a regular basis. Offer a complete guide to one way to solve that problem.

  • A Beginner’s Guide To. Sometimes, solutions can seem overwhelming—especially if you don’t know where to start. The beginner’s guide gives the foundational information so taking the next step becomes easier.

  • Templates. HubSpot has at least six zillion templates for creating blog posts, calls-to-action, website buttons, calendars, ebooks, and everything else related to inbound. Are there similar templates you can offer that make sense to your visitors?

  • Case Studies. A case study provides an in-depth look at how your solution has worked for another customer. Think of it like a supercharged review with tons of proof.

  • Industry Statistics. Create a whitepaper that is loaded with industry numbers and statistics, or other information that your readers will find valuable.

Form is Function

The opt-in form is the gateway to your downloadable content. How you set this form up is just as important as the content you put behind it. If you ask for too much information, people might not want to be bothered to fill out the form or they might be offended that you are asking for so much. On the other hand, if you do not ask for enough information, you are missing an opportunity to gather valuable information that will help you target that person in future messages.

Getting your forms right usually means testing a few different ones, or experimenting with adding and removing fields until you find the right balance between completed forms and useful information. Read more about how form fields can impact your conversions with this interesting case study from Imaginary Landscape.

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