How to drive sales with downloadable content

It can feel frustrating when you’ve put a lot of effort into your website but the sales or conversions aren’t flooding in. A little research will tell you that most customers are not ready to make a purchase on their first few interactions with your brand. Instead, they go on a buyer journey. It’s a process that every customer goes through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service.

The bigger the purchase, the longer the user journey

This process it longer than you might think, especially for high value and high-risk purchases. A case study by Google and data research company Luth Research found that one car buying journey included over 900 digital touch points over a three month period. With an overwhelming array of information at our fingertips, we don’t impulse buy anymore. We do research, ask for recommendations, visit websites, read reviews, and check social media. That makes converting a sale all the more complicated.

That’s why it’s important to be supply the content that your customer needs when and where they need it. And ultimately, if you want to convert your customer, your content marketing tactics must help buyers move through the journey.

The best way to help your customer get the information they need to continue through their journey is to produce and distribute content to drive traffic to your website. However, while it’s one thing to get your customer to your website, it’s another thing to keep them there and have them take action.

While some visitors are ready to make a purchase or fill out a contact form (on average, around 3%), most need more persuasion. This means that most of your website visitors will leave before they’ve made a decision. And, once they’re gone, your options for communicating with them are limited. That’s where downloadable content comes into play.

Why downloadable content could be your secret sauce

Downloadable content, also known as a ‘lead magnet’, is a marketing term for a free product or service that’s given away in exchange for contact details. Lead magnets can be both physical and digital items including:

  • product samples
  • discount vouchers
  • consultations
  • training material
  • white papers
  • email newsletters
  • templates
  • fact sheets.


The main purpose of a lead magnet is to create leads for a company’s database with the goal of sending future communications until the lead eventually turns into a customer. It’s an effective way to keep the conversation going and stay at the top of your customer’s mind as they evaluate you. It also gives them a reason to visit your website again.

Why should I give away content?

For most time-poor business owners, the thought of spending a lot of time and effort on producing and giving away free content can seem like a tall order. However, producing high value content gives your audience a taste of what to expect (a ‘try before you buy’) when they work with or buy from you. And, it doesn’t mean that you need to give away your intellectual property. Use downloadable content as a means to get your audience interested and invested in the subject (the why and the what), but leave them hanging with the how.

Downloadable content works particularly well for larger purchases, particularly high-risk ones, because visitors usually need some more convincing before they decide.

Downloadable content in action

Say you own a financial advisory firm. You may get a consistent and steady flow of website traffic through to your website, thanks to your monthly financial blogs. However, when reviewing your analytics, you notice that many visitors are dropping off your website from the blog page, without filling out a contact form. So, you create a free downloadable budget planner spreadsheet and embed it behind a form on your blog page. When your website visitor fills out their details, they get an automated email to say thank you for signing up with a link to the free spreadsheet. From here, they remain on your email list and you can continue to send them valuable content to help educate them on the value of financial planning.

Want to increase your conversion rate?

Get in touch with our team. We’ll explain how your website can work harder for you with effective digital marketing tactics that will add value to your audience.

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