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Is your cover an afterthought?

The Savvy B2B Marketing Blog picked up on an interesting recent study which suggested that if your company is producing authoritative publications such as white papers (and you should be), then the cover is critical. Unfortunately for me, their reward for getting in first means that they got the obvious headline, Prospects DO Judge Your White Paper by its Cover. It would appear that you’ll get a significant increase in readership if you add details to the front cover explaining who the publication targets and what buying stage it’s aimed at. That’s probably not a huge surprise, but it’s probably something most of us don’t do. In addition, if you link to different parts of the content, the links shouldn’t be to chapter headings, but to parts of the document which address specific needs, goals and issues. I wonder if the principle could also be applied to other publications, such as catalogues and brochures? Is there everything to gain in terms of getting the reader’s interest by highlighting that this publication is for them? Fairly obvious really, but I’m going slap my forehead and say “D’oh!” anyway.

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