White Papers In Business-To-Business Direct Mail Lead Generation: How To Name Them

    January 31, 2006

Yes, white papers are an effective way to generate leads with business buyers. But the tricky part is getting your white paper into the hands of those buyers in the first place.

The best place to start is the topic and title of your white paper. You need a relevant topic and you need a compelling title. A poor topic with a great title will perform just as poorly as a great topic with a poor title.

How to choose your white paper topic

My thanks go to Paul DiModica, President of Digital Hatch, an IT sales and marketing consultancy, for his insights in this area. When Paul sits down to create a white paper aimed at management prospects, he picks a topic that answers the most common sales objections that sales people hear.

Here’s what he does. He gets together with the sales people who move the product or service he is promoting. He asks them to list the top 20 sales objections that they hear from management prospects. Then he writes white papers to answer these objections, one white paper for each objection, being sure to keep the discussion in each one objective and free from self-promotion.

The secret to a successful white paper, says DiModica, is to address the one reason that management is reluctant to buy, while avoiding any mention of features and benefits offered by what you are selling.

How to name your white paper

DiModica has a unique way of titling his white papers, too. In every white paper title he tries to put the following:

1. the sales objection raised by management

2. the job title of the management prospect who raises that objection

3. the industry of that management prospect

Here is an example of how this works:

Industry: Restaurants
Product: Automated time and attendance system
Buyer title: Payroll manager
Sales objection: Can’t afford it
White paper title: How Restaurant Payroll Managers are Recovering their Investment in Automated Time and Attendance Systems Within Months.

DiModica says this method works because prospects see their job title, industry and sales objection in the title of the white paper, and are thus more inclined to read it than they are to read a product brochure. Managers pass white papers along to their peers. But they file unsolicited product brochures in “the file that is emptied daily,” says DiModica.

If you’d like to learn more about Paul DiModica’s innovative approach, read his excellent book, How to Sell to Management.

And if you need help crafting that white paper, or the sales letter that offers it to your business prospects, give me a call. My number is 1 877 SHARPE COPY (742-7732).

Alan Sharpe is a direct mail copywriter and lead generation specialist who helps business owners and marketing managers attract new clients using direct mail marketing. Sign up for free weekly tips like this at www.sharpecopy.com/newsletter