Download marketing it is an effective strategy which can work for almost any business. With this strategy, you exchange information for an email address instead of for money. It allows you to find, segment and regularly contact interesting prospects. Food companies can share recipes, accounting firms can share tax planning tips or landscape designs can share gardening ideas. If your customers need information, you can leverage that need to build an inbound marketing download program. Thinking about putting together a program?  Follow these simple steps.

Step One: Answer a Question. Download marketing is based on the principle of giving away information in the hopes of getting customers to raise their hand and ask for more details on the things you actually do sell for money. This works when you have information which answers a question or solves a problem your prospective customer is wrestling with.

Step Two: Create the Content. The free information may be in the form of a workbook, checklist, ebook, video, audio or spreadsheet. It doesn’t need to be very long or complex, but it should clearly demonstrate your expertise.

Step Three: The Landing Page. This is where people come to access the information. It can be just another page on your website, a blog post on a specific and related topic, or a landing page with just one purpose: to get people to trade their email for your content. The benefit of the custom landing page is the ability to really track performance. You can compare how many people view the page to how many actually complete the form. You can also measure which marketing channels, AdWords campaigns, email promotions or social media drive the most traffic to the page.

Step Four:  The Auto Responder. Getting the prospective customer’s email address is only valuable if you have a plan to stay in touch after they download the information. For some businesses, this may be a series of short emails which mail every few days with more information on a related topic. In other cases, people who download the content are simply added to a regular email newsletter program. It is important that you touch people within a day or two of the download, or they will forget who you are and may mark your content as spam. Avoid being too salesy; the initial download and follow- up campaign are most effective, and most welcome. when they focus primarily on providing real information.

Step Five: The Promotion Plan. Do not believe that if you build it they will come. You need to have a promotion plan. Share links on social platforms, but be sure not to overshare. Avoid the hourly “check out my new eBook” posts, which just makes you look desperate. Reach out to friends and strategic partners and ask them to share the link to their community. Include the link in emails. It may seem silly to request an email address from people who have already given you their address, but this can help you separate the superficial contacts from the serious prospects.

Use footers, headers and side bar calls to action on your site to drive traffic to your landing pages.  Again, don’t overwhelm visitors with too many choices, or they won’t know where to go.  And if you have a tight sales process and a method to convert these causal contacts to clients it may even be worth investing in an AdWords campaign to drive more traffic to the landing page.

Step Six:  Human Intervention. The automated process will only get you so far. Invest the time to review the list of people who have download your information. Look for names of customers or prospects and then pick up the phone, find out if the information was helpful and if they have additional questions. Inbound marketing is the first part of a sales process, not the whole process.

At Roundpeg, we practice what we preach. Inbound marketing is an important part of our overall marketing strategy. Here are links to just a few of the whitepapers and checklists we have created to answer questions from clients and prospects. Download one or two to see how the whole program works.