Yes, no one charges direct money for clicking a link. But what about links to documents having required registration before you can read them? Startups generally tend to ask for personal information when someone wants to look at a whitepaper or case study or something similar.
Filling out personal information is not direct cash but it does cost. Most of the companies (not companies like Jigsaw who trade contact information) look the user as a potential customer and try contacting back. Such calls/emails really bother me so I would like to avoid filling such forms. Does that means I am losing some interesting and useful information...may be...but Okay. And BTW who knows that the info behind the form is really useful?
When I talk to some friends having such registration on their website, I heard following:
"We want to know who is interested in our stuff so that we can approach her back for bizdev"
"If we shall make everything available via website, what we shall do in pre-sales process"
"The document is our hard work; we do not want anyone to copy our stuff"
All the points above look genuine, but are they really? Let’s zoom in.....
Answer to last point first….you never refuse sending the document to anyone and once I have it, I can copy it as well. You, having just my email address, cannot protect the document. Think of something else :)
Here are two scenarios:
As there is no scarcity of email addresses in the world; Manoj has 5. He has dedicated one of his email accounts for filling out forms. So many companies have Manoj’s email address, and are wasting their resources sending emails to Manoj.What the companies get?
Shailja does not have so many email addresses and she actually looks at the emails sent by the companies, says something like "#@!*&" and deletes them.
Bottom line is you can only waste your cycles and resources having my email address. If your stuff is interesting and I have the paying capacity for your product/services, I shall contact you anyways. If I am not in position to pay, I shall find something else.
Next, I ask so many questions during pre-sales because they are unanswered. If your online documents answer all my questions without asking them, I am ready to sign-up. Who has time and energy to waste?
So if you are really an expert in some area, it is important to demonstrate your expertise to as many people as possible rather than hiding it. You never know who becomes interested in you. Showing your expertise constantly also gets you people’s mindshare and you are always considered in requirement.
Theory is fine...does it really happen?
Yep, here is an example:
Jai Rawat created a comprehensive presentation about Display Ad Landscape and made it available for free via slideshare. In just 2 days about 300 people viewed the presentation, digged it and it came on the top of Google search. This also increased people’s interest in Jai’s company Velocita.
Do you know any other way to top the Google and gain visibility overnight?