Digital Marketing Blog

24 Jun 2016

3 Ways to Track Reader Engagement When Creating Online Brochures

Online brochures have increasingly become a crucial part of digital marketing. By offering your audience in-depth insights into your company and industry, you can both establish credibility and - if the content is gated behind a sign up form - increase your lead generation. 

But how do you measure its success? Most companies keep their online documents simple: they upload a PDF, and link to it on conversion pages within their website. The problem with that system, of course, is that it does not allow for any reliable measurement of how your readers actually interact with the content. 

And yet, success measurement should be an important part of any marketing efforts. If you know how your individual efforts perform, you can adjust your strategy to improve performance in the future. So without further ado, here are 3 ways you can track reader engagement within your online documents.

Time on Page

At its core, this metric helps you understand for how long your online brochure keeps your audience's attention. Our average attention span online is now at 8 seconds (and shrinking), meaning that simply measuring the amount of time a reader spends on your document can be a crucial part of estimating their engagement.

Once they've arrived at your brochure, most readers will be willing to skim through it to at least grasp a major message or takeaway. Your goal is to convince them to stick around, reading about your products or industry news for longer amounts of time. Longer times spent within the document give you an indication of whether you have succeeded in this goal.

Click-Through Rates

Time on page is a great start to measure your engagement. But how do you know that your readers actually like what they are reading? You can get an idea by measuring the average click-through rates within your brochures. Particularly if you have designed it to include compelling CTAs (Call-To-Actions) for each section, high click-through rates are an indication that the section was interesting enough for your readers to want to learn more.

A note of caution: it's tempting to forego click-through rates in favor of total clicks, which seem more impressive simply because of high numbers. But total clicks are also less reliable as a metric, as they rely entirely on views. If you want to compare two documents that did not receive the same amount of views, going with click-through rate (or total views divided by total clicks) will lead to a more accurate comparison.

E-Commerce Conversions

If your online brochure flipbook offers e-commerce capabilities, the single best metric to measure its success is to follow the conversions resulting from that document. Naturally, you want to know which of your readers was interested enough not just to learn more, but to actually become a customer.

For example, you may offer an online catalog that allows your audience to buy products directly from within the document. Knowing your customer conversion rates, and which products convert best, can lead to more informed decisions about the layout and design of your next catalog.

Of course, none of the above metrics are easily gained from PDF documents. That's why digitizing your PDFs via an online brochure maker is absolute key; without it, you will not be able to successfully measure the success of your effort. You may end up with a beautiful piece of content, but one that is static and does not allow for reader engagement in the first place.

Fortunately, your online documents do not have to consist of PDFs. Converting them into HTML5-enabled pieces of content and hereby creating online brochures helps you more reliably track your reader engagement, and gain insight that ultimately leads to more successful marketing efforts.

If you want more inspiration for increasing your click-through rates, I recommend that your download this Free eBook about Crafting Attention-Grabbing CTAs to get the best exposure of your content or start a free 14-day tryout period to see how iPaper can help you create online brochures that help make your readers spend more time with your content.



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About the author

Lars Ørhøj

Lars Ørhøj

Lars was iPaper's Chief Marketing Officer until September 2016 and is now teaching others about the benefits of Inbound marketing at an agency. He worked with B2B marketing in the publishing world for many years besides being an avid a cappella singer in the world acclaimed choir Vocal Line.

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