1.) The goal is to convert a website visitor into a lead – Sales people want leads and marketers are responsible for generating them. Obtaining a visitors contact information is pretty difficult so offering free advice to visitors increases your chances of getting their contact information. Contact information allows marketers to send targeted messaging campaigns to people who exchanged their email address for that new e-book you just published. Use this opportunity as just that, an opportunity. Call the prospect, thank them for downloading your whitepaper and ask them a specific question about their 2013 initiatives. Here is an example: “Hi Bob, thank you for downloading our whitepaper on Boosting Team Morale With Leaderboards, what are your plans for accomplishing this in 2013 and beyond?” Look at whitepaper downloads as doors being opened just enough to get a peek inside the room ( in this case the prospects mind).
2.) Follow up a whitepaper lead with another piece of free content - Call the prospect and say this: “John, thank you for downloading our free e-book on “Using Sales Contests to Drive Overachievement”. What contest do you have in place today to accomplish the goal of crushing your sales numbers?” In this example, whitepaper = conversation starter. Once the prospect answers you, let them know you’ll be sending them another free e-book on “Sales Spiffs Reps Love”.
I hope my advice helps you get over the frustration of whitepaper leads. Stay positive and seize every opportunity you get. Remember how difficult it is to get someone to give up their contact information.