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White Paper Landing Pages make it possible to generate leads and systematically follow up with these prospects to turn them into paying customers. Read this article to find out which design you can use to maximize your conversion rate.

5. Most opt-in forms have 7 obligatory fields.

Speaking of opt-in forms, there is another important aspect I took a look at: how many and what form fields do companies require to be filled out by prospects before being able to download the white paper?

The finding shows that companies use an average of 7 form fields that they all make obligatory to fill in. What fields are they? Name, e-mail, first name, company name, country, phone, job title.

Those fields are used in about 75% or more of opt-in forms. Less frequently but also sometimes used are state, company size (measured in employees) and industry.

Again, this is dictated by the need for effective lead generation and follow-up. The more information can be gathered of course, the better targeted and more effective follow-up measures can be. This has to be traded-off against the increased tendency to close the browser window if too many fields are to be filled out.

6. Numerous companies have no or few landing pages

An interesting “side finding” of my study was that quite a few companies actually used no landing pages at all. Or only used them for a minority of their documents.

This may only be attributed to two things

  • Laziness or lack of awareness on the company’s side
  • Believing this increases user likelihood of download

You may believe that if a company chooses to go without an opt-in, why would they need a White Paper Landing Page after all? I would like to disagree. Even if you have a “Download Now” button on a White Paper Overview Page, linking directly to the PDF-file, a separate landing page is useful for at least 2 reasons.

  1. SEO
  2. Campaign-Specific Promotion

SEO: when you have a standalone landing page, you can utilize site title, page title, meta description etc. in order to target your page to users that search for topic-relevant white papers via Google. What an important measure for content marketing that must not be ignored.

Campaign-Specific Promotion: a separate landing page is a precondition if you want to promote your white paper via channels such as your company newsletter, Facebook or Google Ads, or organic social media posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

7. Most companies leave out the checkbox

There is one very worrisome finding: of the companies requiring opt-ins to be filled out, most leave out the checkbox that asks users to confirm their consent to receive company updates regularly.

Given the increased regulatory oversight and focus on data privacy (especially given the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679), this is highly troublesome. Companies should definitely make sure to use the checkbox or they even risk being sued by users or at least suffer from high drop-off rates later on in the funnel.

Of course, companies may choose not to put them onto a list, but will probably follow up on them via phone, in which case they also need to ask for permission. A checkbox will certainly increase responsiveness and compliance on follow-up.


White papers are a topical and effective tool in B2B marketing. While they offer variety and should be targeted to the respective prospects, companies can profit from sticking to certain best practices. This not only concerns white papers itself but starts with the white paper landing pages.

White Paper Landing Pages determine whether a white paper will be downloaded or not. Hence the high importance given to designing and building high-converting landing pages.

The findings revealed in this blog post offer companies a great starting point for designing and optimizing their landing pages for maximum conversions.

For the full, detailed analysis of the White Paper Landing Page Study 2017, click here to request your download now.

If you would like an experienced white paper author to support you in the creation and effective marketing of your next white paper, contact me now to discuss the next steps.