In the last issue, you learned a general method for optimising your scientific application notes for lead generation. This involved using a more storytelling approach, rather than bombarding your readers with endless technical features.
But while a general approach is all well and good, the specifics are what get results.
So let’s get specific.
Below are 9 ideas to get you started on writing application notes that become profitable lead generating tools for your scientific products and services.
And these ideas can also be used for other long-form technical content such as white papers and articles. Handy, eh?
1. Include an abstract.
An abstract needs to be included to tell readers what they’ll get from reading your application note.
Alternatively, in the introduction, have a paragraph at the end that summarises the app note content. Most people want to know what they’re getting from a long technical document before they invest time reading it.
2. Give it an interesting and benefit-oriented title. Boring titles are one of the biggest mistakes in application notes used for lead generation.
As mentioned in the post on headlines, one of the best ways of spicing up an application note title is to include a benefit.
Also consider using action words and numbers. For instance: “7 Questions to Ask When Choosing an AFM Model”
3. Make sure it’s not a sales pitch. The body copy of the application note shouldn’t mention the company or product names. Only the call-to-action at the end does this.
Instead, the copy talks generally about the technology, field or problem. Bottom line: mentioning the product or company in the body copy makes the app note or article look like a sales brochure – not ideal for lead generation.
4. Target a specific stage in the buying cycle.Make sure you’re crystal clear on what stage of the buying cycle you’re writing your content for.
An app note used to generate interest and leads at the beginning of the cycle won’t be much good to you as a product evaluation guide.
5. Narrow down the readership to one target audience.An application note written for one audience works best. Otherwise you risk writing something that doesn’t appeal to anyone.
And it’s important you’re specific here. Don’t just say “scientific buyers”. Dig deep into exactly who will be reading the document.
For example, a company selling atomic force microscopes might specify their target audience as: “scientists who wish to study ionic liquids for electrochemical storage devices, but who may not be aware of the potential of AFM.”
6. Avoid putting the product name in the title.
For lead-generation purposes, you don’t want to have a product name (or your company name) in the title.
Doing so will make your document look like a sales pitch or brochure, undermining your credibility
7. Consider putting the job function in the title.Putting the job function in the title increases the quality of leads generated and attracts more attention because you’re specifying whom the application note is for.
For the AFM company mentioned above, their application note could include the subtitle: “A Guide for Li-Ion Battery Research Scientists”
8. Have a call-to-action at the end.
You don’t want to go to the trouble of writing an application note and not have your reader take the next step.
So figure out what you want your buyers to do after reading.
Maybe you want them to schedule a product demo, call for more information, visit a landing page or your contact page or visit your booth at an upcoming tradeshow.
Whatever it is, tell them exactly what you want them to do, why they should do it and how they should do it.
Application notes can be terrific tools for lead generation. But they need to be optimised for this specific objective. If you write them for any other purpose, they won’t be as effective.
But it’s not just the application note you need to worry about. The promotional material you write to get your app note in front of your audience also plays a big part. I’m talking about the letters, emails and landing pages you use to promote your content.
So in the next issue, we’ll start with your landing pages. You’ll learn some proven ideas on how to increase the response and conversion rates for your landing pages, so more people read your application notes.
All the best,