your client base with
white papers in 4 easy
your clients and prospects are spending more time on the Web these days, but
they are also becoming more selective about what they read. To make matters
worse, you have a limited budget for getting their attention and generating
quality leads for your sales force.
It's a major challenge. But one tool that can help is the consultative "white
According to ServiceWare, a provider of Web-based knowledge management solutions
for customer service and support, "research shows that 69% of prospects
who download and like your white paper PDF will actively pass it on to their
colleagues. 36% will pass it on to a direct supervisor."
key word here is "like." In an age where everyone is being
run over by traffic on the information superhighway, you need a pretty enticing "billboard" to
get their attention and prompt them to share your message.
The truth is that most white papers are anything but riveting. The worst of
them are soft-sell propaganda, and readers will spot that sort of manipulation
The following are a few easy steps that can turn your white paper into
a turbo lead generator and keep your readers waiting with bated breath for
your next communication:
Step #1: Research topics
Gather compelling topic ideas from your sales, business
development and customer service departments. You should also review the trade
press and other institutions' white
papers for potential topics. Additionally, in financial services, there are
many opportunities to find "hot topics" at trade shows and conferences.
Step #2. Give your topic a customer-centric focus
Once you choose a topic,
most experts agree that the actual writing should be outsourced rather than
written in house. A good writing service can help to not only keep the information
objective, but can put a distinctive "voice" to
it, one to which the reader can relate. This way the reader is both informed
and engaged and more likely to pass the information along to others.
Using an outside writer enables you to step back from a subject and look at
it from a client's perspective. Too often this perspective is lacking
in the communications that banks send to their clients. As a result, clients
really appreciate it when you make the extra effort to "walk a mile in
Step #3. Grab them with the headline
Ask any newspaper or magazine editor what
sells copies and "catchy headlines" is the likely answer. White papers, newsletters
and other online communications are no exception. While there's no scientific
formula to creating a catchy headline, by putting yourself in the reader's
shoes, you've got a good start.
Speak directly to the audience, be clear and concise, and by all means make
sure the white paper reads like it's about them and their challenges,
and not you and your sales goals. Use phrases like "insider tips," "save
time and money," "increase your bottom line in three easy steps," etc.
One of the most cost efficient and effective ways to promote
your white paper, newsletter or other online client communication is by using
direct mail in the form of postcards.
Martha Retallick is the author of Postcard
Marketing Secrets, a step-by-step
guide to marketing through postcards. According to her, you need to send a
series of postcards in order for recipients to begin recognizing and responding
can use the postcard to promote the wealth of information available on your
Web site. Include teaser copy that gives recipients a taste of what they'll
find on your site, Ms. Retallick advises. This can build up your reader base
nicely over time. Click
here to see a sample postcard.
Retallick suggests that you plan a series of 12 cards and send them out religiously
once a month. If you have an "A" list of prospects,
call them within a week of the mailing to follow up, or follow up with an e-mail.
FPS regularly works with financial services companies to maximize the impact of their client communications, including e-mail and online communications. If you would like to discuss marketing communications strategies with FPS President Vince DiPaolo, please contact him at 847-501-4120 or [email protected]. You can also write him at the following address:
Financial Publishing Services Co.
464 Central Avenue
Northfield, IL 60093
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