Don’t hesitate to put the ‘e’ in your next book

I like e-books. In fact, I’m about to start my fifth one. More importantly, our clients, followers, friends, and the general public seem to like them, too. How do I know this? E-books are analytics-rich, and that’s the first reason I’m down with them — or up, or both — depending on which generation you’re talking to.

I typically gate the content in my e-books at the second or third page, depending on the length of the book. Now, before everyone gets up in arms about gated versus ungated content, let me tell you my preference is always to give 100% access to the public whenever possible.

But let’s be honest: E-books are a lot of work for our team, and in the end, I still have a business to run, leads to generate, prospects to nurture, and sales to close. I do open the floodgates after a few months, and I only ask for a name, an email, and the company name. I never ask for a phone number, a title, or a Web address. In my last e-book, How to Put the ROI in Your URL, I had more than 1,000 downloads, and the book was specific to the insurance industry.

I like looking at the analytics — not just who downloaded, but how long they spent reading my efforts, how many repeat visitors there were to the page, and if they bounced from that landing page or went deeper into the site. But never, ever will I pick up the phone and call someone after the download. For my money, and potentially a lack of it, that type of sales etiquette is bad form. It’s intrusive and invasive, and it’s the dark side of sales. No, thank you.



We recently completed an e-book for a college, which was promoted by way of a TV and radio commercial. Boom. Big numbers and huge increases in time spent on the site.

Remember, if you’re looking for some website stickiness, the natural default is usually videos, but try an e-book someday. It’s stickier than gum on a shoe, but a lot more pleasing.

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