Be Smart About “Pricing” Your White Paper

By Tedd Campbell

In my previous blog, I summarized the results of a 2010 UBM TechWeb survey, which revealed that over half of technology decision makers either prefer not to register for white papers or never do. Another 35% claimed to register only if a white paper is very relevant.

Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of prospective buyers who could slip through your fingers if you “price” your white paper too high.

White papers offered by B2B vendors typically have three basic “price” points:

1.       Free download—No conditions.
You can reach the widest possible audience by providing content for free, with no strings attached. White papers that explain business benefits or convey company-specific information—for example, a process description—are often free downloads.

2.       Answer a few survey questions—No contact information required.
When you want to gather valuable marketing data without scaring off too many prospects, try asking a few mandatory survey questions in exchange for each white paper download—but don’t ask for contact information. A brief survey will deter casual visitors, who are poor leads anyway, but not buyers who are truly interested in your white paper.

3.       Register—Contact information required.
If you’re confident that buyers will trade their contact information for your white paper, then registration is the way to go. Since buyers’ willingness to share information depends on the uniqueness and value of your content, be sure to include an accurate summary (and maybe a tantalizing preview!) of your white paper on the download page.

White paper marketing is a balancing act. You have to ask yourself, what “price” level will give me the best return on investment without rebuffing my target audience or compromising the objective I’ve defined for the white paper?

Ideally, you should have a “pricing” strategy in mind when you choose a topic, an audience, and an objective for each white paper you intend to produce.

Tedd Campbell is the founder and principal writer at C Worthy White Papers Inc. C Worthy develops world-class white papers for B2B technology companies and service firms that want to enhance their credibility, generate more sales leads, and serve their customers better.


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