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How to make an interactive flipbook

What separates flipbooks from PDFs is being able to add interactive elements to the flipbook and make the browsing experience more engaging - And engaged readers are more likely to buy from you!

Make your flipbook easy to navigate
Add product links or icons
Add engaging content to keep visitors browsing
A table with a white and orange cat lying next to a laptop computer next to, showing a digital catalog.

How to create an interactive flipbook

Creating a flipbook for your business is easier than you might think - assuming you already have a PDF of the catalog.

In that case, here are the basic steps:

1. Find the right flipbook software for your business

2. Upload the PDF to the software’s platform

3. Add interactive elements - either manually or automatically.

4. Press “publish”

And that’s it.

See it done in one minute here:

Easy, right?

Now, let’s dive into some general best practices when creating an interactive flipbook.

#1 Make your flipbook easy to navigate

Part of easy navigation of flipbooks is ensuring that you use…

  • A readable font size
  • Adequate white space
  • Place less products per page

This will make the flipbook less crowded and easier to get an overview of.

On top of that, there’s several things you can do to ensure a smooth navigation:

Explain navigation and interactive elements

If shoppers understand your flipbook and all its features, they will spend more time there.

But not all shoppers are digitally native. For some, it can be a great help to provide extra information that ensures a smooth customer experience.

This can be done by using a page in PDF or by creating a pop-up CTA (as in the example below) once your PDF is uploaded.

Create a table of contents

You can also create a table of contents to direct shoppers to a particular product or category.

This way, shoppers don’t have to browse through the entire flipbook to find what they’re looking for.

#2 Add product links or icons

Today's online shoppers expect retail content to be shoppable. Play into that expecation by ensuring products can be clicked on and shopped directly from your catalog or your webshop.

Using iPaper, you can easily create product links and icons manually (or automatically) after uploading the PDF.

#3 Add engaging content to keep visitors browsing

Animations and videos

Data shows that when readers turn a page and see that images move, fade, or zoom in they are more likely to stop and pay attention.

And that isn't to say that you have to fill each page of your flipbook with a lot attention-grabbing animations. Just a few animations can make a huge difference.

The same principle applies for videos. Recent research suggests that 83 percent of consumers stay longer browsing a web page when there is video content they can watch.

So, adding videos to your digital catalogs is definitely a great use of your marketing efforts.

Using iPaper, you can easily add video files or videos hosted on YouTube and Vimeo.

Pop-ups and forms

Pop-ups and overlays are pretty self explanatory, they literally pop up on the screen as your reader flips through your flipbook. It could for example be a link to your website or your latest blog.

Forms are CTAs that can be clicked to trigger a pop-up that requires the filling out of information.

The forms might be to sign up for a newsletter or customer club, or fill out a survey.

Pro tip: To make the most of a pop-ups and forms, you should tailor them to your business model.

For Ford Denmark, for example, it's really powerful to get potential buyers to try the car they’re interested in. So, Ford use pop-ups in their flipbooks to encourage readers to book a test drive or locate local dealers.

A video showing the spread of a digital catalog with a call-to-action popping up. The CTA is clicked and the reader is taken to a website.

And there you have it!

Whatever your industry, there are benefits to be had from giving your readers an interactive experience while browsing your flipbooks.

To create an interactive flipbook, make sure that…

  • The navigation is easy
  • There's shoppable product links or icons
  • There's lot of engaging content, such as videos or forms

Looking for a real-world example?

See how SPAR went from flat PDF to interactive digital catalog here.

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