White Papers or offers are any pieces of content on your website that sit behind a form. These include ebooks, guides or reports that consumers can access through entering their details.

Running an offer or a white paper, can be extremely effective in generating sales and leads for your business. It is also a great way to establish your brand and offer value to your new and existing clients.

The only downside to running an offer however, is that it often takes a lot of planning, preparation and time.

There are many moving pieces that go into making an offer successful, but we have broken it down here with the ultimate, all you need checklist.

By following this checklist you can be sure that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that your offer is running at maximum capacity.

Checklist Point #1: Planning and Strategy 

The first step to planning the perfect offer is to brainstorm ideas with your project manager, writers and/or clients. Come up with more than one offer and the different types of content needed for each, then workshop a rough timeline of when each offer will be run.

Once you have a rough idea of the types of offers you want to run, take the time to review where in your sales funnel you are going to introduce each offer and what type of content may be most appropriate for that portion of your funnel.

After you have mapped out your offers and content, review each for necessary keywords in order to find opportunities for SEO.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Brainstorm offer ideas
  • Create a timeline for each offer
  • Outline the types of content needed for each offer
  • Place each offer in your sales funnel
  • Establish Keywords for each offer

Checklist Point #2: Writing the Offer

Whether you are writing an ebook or just an interview it’s important to ensure that you consult an expert and research your topic thoroughly.

Offering value to your readers is crucial so if your offer content is subpar, chances are it will lead to poor conversions.

Work on creating an outline first and then flesh it out from there, making sure to double and triple check your grammar, spelling and punctuation.

A good offer should be around 2,000-5,000 words depending on the subject and style. Remember, your offer should go into more detail than just a regular blog post.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Research your chosen offer topic
  • Draft the written content for your offer
  • Add detail to your offer, aim for over 2,000 words
  • Proofread for errors

Checklist Point #3: Design the Offer

Your design should reflect the style and type of your content and also appeal to your target audience. Think about what colours, feeling and overall theme you want to create with your offer and then get to work with the design.

Be sure to include designs for the cover page, internal pages and the back page. If you are creating an ebook perhaps also think about what artwork, diagrams or charts you may want to include through the book.

After the written content is finished it can be imported into the design template and any additional changes that are needed can be made.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Brainstorm the overall colour theme and feel of your design
  • Design the template – cover page, internal pages, back pages
  • Insert the content into the template
  • Review and proofread

Checklist Point #4: Introduce the Offer

The first step to introducing your offer requires the creation of a landing page, blog post and email marketing strategy.

The format that you choose will depend on your offer and the types of marketing tools that work best for your business but it is recommended to use a variety of ways for the best promotion.

For your landing page and blog post think about the type of language you are going to use and ways to engage your audience. You may also want to follow a similar theme as your offer in terms of colours and styling.

For your email marketing promotions, attempt to have at least 3-4 emails ready to go for greater efficiency.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Create a landing page or feature box
  • Create a promotional blog post
  • Write at least 3-4 promotional emails

Checklist Point #5: Create Call to Actions

Once the introductions have been created for your offer it is time to think about some strong call to actions (CTAs) that motivate your readers to actually click through to receive the offer.

Come up with at least 5-6 strong CTA’s that can be easily interchanged across your landing pages, feature box, blog posts and emails. These will also come in handy if you decide to split test any of your promotional pages.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Create at least 5-6 strong call to actions
  • Be prepared to test them amongst your blog posts, landing pages and emails

Checklist Point #5: Thank You’s

Creating Thank You’s for when your customers click on your CTA’s are just important as it allows them to know that they have been directed to the right place.

Your ‘Thank You’s’ should include a landing page that describes what your customers can expect to receive and a thank you email that is delivered to confirm receipt of the offer.

Your Checklist Summary:

  • Create a Thank You Landing Page
  • Create a Thank You Email

There is a lot of effort that goes into creating a white paper but by using these guidelines and tweaking them to fit your needs, very soon your offers will be running smoothly and efficiently.