Last year I wrote an eBook and created a viral landing page to give away the PDF version of The Noob Guide to Online Marketing in exchange for a Tweet (read the case study here).
One of the things I did was to ask people – using KISSinsights – whether they’d rather get it in exchange for a email instead of the tweet. Over time, the number of people saying they’d prefer to give their email rose to 45% so we decided to run an A/B test and see which virtual payment method would turn out to be more effective.
There are two main ways to benefit from giving away an eBook/whitepaper, and then there’s the combo method:
- The lead gen approach: Asking for an email in exchange for your product. This allows you to build a list of potential prospects for future email marketing.
- The viral approach: Asking people to tweet about your product to receive it. This method builds viral momentum as every download results in social exposure of your product.
- The combo approach: Running both simultaneously to benefit from both approaches. An alternative is to do both (which we did for this A/B test) so that you can continue to get exposure while building a list that you can send a discount offer for your company’s product or service etc.
The test and the results
In the graph below, you’ll see that our champion page (the email version) consistently out performed the Tweet version. In the end gaining a 24% conversion lift.
A fake email won’t get you my eBook
Yup, some people were dumb enough to fill in a fake email in order to get the eBook. And given that it was emailed to them after submitting the form, they wouldn’t receive anything. #FAIL.
If you want to think of conversion as intent only – then we need to include those bogus emails and the conversion lift drops to 16% – still a decent result.
What can we learn from this?
There are two main takeaways here, and it really depends on your business goals as to which you’d prefer.
The Fear of Public Tweeting
As I mentioned in the original case study, the main hypothesis for our test came from the fact that just like public speaking, people are often reticent to tweet about something (usually when it’s a personal account where the subject matter may be off-topic with what they usually tweet). Also, not everyone has a Twitter account, but everyone has en email address (or 12).
Once You Tweet, You Can’t Retreat
Well technically you can delete it – but some people will still see it. Hence the fear.
Collecting Emails Diminishes the Viral Potential Significantly
While we learned a lot from this test, what it has done is slow the virality of the page quite dramatically, which impacts how often your brand name gets out into the Twittersphere (note: you’ll see the Tweet version of the page if you click that link, as I prefer the impact we see from the viral exposure and ended the A/B test after writing this post).