We were recently hired to write and design a white paper to be used by an education business to help create an email list of motivated prospects.
White paper marketing is used extensively in other parts of the world but generally only in the software business in Japan.
One challenge to this type of marketing here is the reluctance and general ability of the consumer to exchange their email address for an information product despite their belief in the value of the offering.
Another challenge is Japanese access the internet more often with their cell phones than by computer. This is changing but any white paper or guidebook marketing in Japan should be prepared to offer the guide in a print format delivered to the prospective customers home or in a format accessible by smart phone.
The upside of this is that a consumer willing to offer their physical address is generally a much more qualified buyer.
Another advantage of white paper marketing is that your business will gain consumer trust from the presentation of your company story, product benefits and testimonials included in the package. This will set you apart from your competition who will most likely employ an old school sales approach.
Despite the challenges involved in writing, design and marketing a successful white paper campaign positive contact rates leading to a sale can be in the 5% range. Compare this to rates of 0.5 to 1% for western countries and the effort is well worth it.
Good luck with your campaign.