I recently handed over my email to get a “whitepaper” that looked interesting from a company that had been recommended more than once as having an interesting product. I was kind of shocked at how shallow it was.
It was not just a crummy commercial — I think I would have preferred that though. I don’t mind being sold to if it’s done well.
I remember writing these kinds of things for Atalasoft, and it’s tough. I found one of my old ones that tried to teach imaging to prospective customers.
There are things in there that are simple, but my intent was to make the reader into a somewhat advanced user of imaging products with a deeper understanding. It’s kind of implied that our product could help them do these things, but they were free to try to do it themselves or use our competitors. I was betting that they’d give us a shot and we’d win on the merits.
I knew from talking to customers that these things were not obvious and not knowing them was making their use of our product limited. We could help them more, but they didn’t know what to ask for. The whitepaper was written to get leads, but I sent it to customers too when it was obvious it would help them.
As a test, put the first few pages up for free and see if you still get emails for the rest.