What Tech Buyers Want Before They Register for a White Paper

May 5, 2019 by

In a recent survey, KnowledgeStorm and MarketingSherpa found a huge discrepancy between the amount of information technology buyers want to see before they register for a white paper, and the amount technology marketers think they need to provide.

Prospects want detail before they register for a white paper

When asked how much the amount of detail in the overview factored into their decision to register, 72% of technology buyers called it a major factor. In contrast, only 34% of technology marketers said the overview was a major registration factor (Figure 1). [i]

Amount of overview detail as a factor in white paper registration

And while 74% of the technology buyers surveyed wanted to see “at least a paragraph or more” of abstract before deciding whether to register, 52% of the technology marketers said they provide two sentences or less (Figure 2).

Amount of overview tech buyers want to see before they register for a white paper vs how much tech marketers typically provide

In my own survey of technology company websites[ii], more than 30% provided two sentences or less of overview. Frequently only a title. Many required registration to access a document library before showing visitors a list of titles and descriptions – another big mistake.

Show them registration will be worth their while

It’s obvious from the KnowledgeStorm/MarketingSherpa data that tech buyers want to know what they’re getting before they register for a white paper. They want to know if it’s going to be worth their time to register, download and read your white paper. They want to know if you’re really offering a possible solution to their problem.

The little extra effort it takes to provide a paragraph or so of description can make a big difference in registration rate and ROI for your campaign.

 Take-Away Points

  1. When deciding whether to download a white paper, tech buyers want more information than most tech marketers think they do.
  2. Nearly three out of four technology buyers want to see “at least a paragraph or more” of abstract before deciding whether to register for a white paper.
  3. Over half of technology marketers provide two sentences or less of abstract when offering a white paper for download.
  4. Providing more information about your white paper on your landing page is likely to increase your conversion rate and give you an edge on your competition.

Next Steps

This month’s article is the ninth of a series of excerpts from CopyEngineer’s newly updated special report, 10 Common Mistakes that Kill White Paper ROI: How to Avoid Them and Generate More Leads. To get your free copy of the report, click here.

Need expert help with planning and developing a new white paper for your company? Call CopyEngineer at (+39) 011 569 4951. Or drop me an email at info@copyengineer.com. I’ll be happy to schedule a call and discuss your project with you.


References

[i]   Connecting Through Content Survey, Issue 2: Content Distribution—Where Information Intersects with Demand, KnowledgeStorm and MarketingSherpa May 2007.

[ii]   Cole, John, 10 Mistakes that Kill White Paper ROI: How to Avoid Them and Generate More Leads (Revised Edition), CopyEngineer, September 2018.


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