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How Visme use ebook to promote their sister brand

    How Visme use ebook to promote their sister brand

    Through their free ebook, Visme shares their marketing strategies to bootstrap their SAAS business to over 4 million users in 6 years.

    The 159 pages ebook gives content-driven SAAS marketers an inside look into Visme’s proven content strategy, while promoting their new content marketing service Respona.

    Let’s have a close look on Visme’s ebook, and why it is a good ebook example for brand promotion.


    Overview

    eBook titleMarketing Strategies We Used to Bootstrap Visme to over 4 Million users
    OrganizationVisme (Visual design software)
    AuthorFarzad Rashidi (Director of Marketing @ Visme)
    Pages159 pages
    File Size23.3 MB
    LayoutVertical / Portrait
    Content formatText
    Graphics & images
    Chart
    Infographics
    Screenshots (Software UIs, emails)
    Video (Youtube video)
    Landing pagevisme.co/marketing-strategy
    Email opt-in required?Yes

    Landing page

    ★★★★★

    The Visme team has created a great landing page for the ebook. At first look, we can see the ebook is presented as a hardcover 3D book.

    visme ebook landing page
    Click on the image to see snapshot of full landing page design (Open in new tab)

    Despite of it being an ebook, the hardcover 3D visual helps create a visual reference on the quality and depth of knowledge found in the book. The landing page dedicates a section for each of the strategy chapter from the ebook, this provides a lot of clarity for readers and they know exactly what they would be learning from this ebook.

    Downloading the ebook requires inserting your details and email address into a form, which consists of 3 fields (First Name, Last Name, Your Work Email). This could be improved by combining the First Name and Last Name into a single field called Name; thus minimizing the friction required to get the ebook without losing out information.

    Cover design

    ★★✩✩✩

    The cover design of this ebook is very visually pleasing and colorful, rightfully so considering Visme is a design software company.

    ebook cover design ideas

    Beyond the colors, the graphical elements do feel a little generic. Personally I feel that the cover design could have more visual emphasis to help sell its content better. Here are some ideas below:

    💡 4 million users

    By any count, this is a big number that is hard to mentally relate to. Having some kind of visual representation of how meaningful a 4-million user base is would be really impactful.

    💡 Marketing strategy

    Admittedly, marketing is a difficult idea to be conveyed visually. It is however not an excuse, as the ebook content itself is full of gems that can be used to convey a stronger punch. Here are possibilities:

    • Bee / Bee Keeper – The book started off using the bee and bee keeper metaphor to illustrate the need of a sustainable content marketing strategy. This could be a great visual clue for the book cover.
    • Icons of tools – There are many tools mentioned throughout the book to achieve the intended result, this includes email 📧, partnership 🤝, backlink 🔗 etc. Most of which could be represented by simple icons.

    Layout & format

    The ebook pages are well designed, how it embraces simplicity makes the reading experience more pleasant for a 159 pages business ebook like this.

    Page layout ★★★★★

    Like most ebooks, the page layout use exclusively single-column layout to make sure the reading experience is as consistent as possible on all screens and devices.

    visme ebook layout deisgn example 2

    The book is broken down mainly into 3 main strategy chapter, and it is nice to see that each chapter is given a full page visual as a chapter cover. Something that I wish they have done is to include the strategy chapter name at the header of each page, so readers can easily know which chapter they are currently at.

    While the footer Visme branding is more colorful than most content, its design is rather subtle and does not cause major interruption to the reading experience.

    Content format ★★★★★

    I really like the font size and text spacing in the content, it makes reading comfortable and also easy for anyone who just want to quickly skim through the content.

    The adequate use of various content formats like chart and infographics that have obviously been visually enhanced for a pleasant reading experience is also very welcomed gesture.

    visme ebook layout deisgn example 1

    I also found 2 content formatting practices in this ebook that I feel more ebook creators could take note of:

    • Subtle yet consistent use of drop shadow to highlight non-text content like screenshots and video thumbnails.
    • Consistent use of page break for readers to take a breather in between reading.

    Content structure

    ★★★★✩

    Here is a breakdown of the content for this 159 pages ebook:

    • Cover – 1 page
    • Contents – 1 page
    • Letter from (Visme) founder – 5 pages
    • Strategy chapter 1 – 98 pages
    • Strategy chapter 2 – 37 pages
    • Strategy chapter 3 – 13 pages
    • Last words from the writer – 3 pages
    • Writer’s profile – 1 page

    We can see the strategy chapter 1 (Content Marketing) has unproportionate-ly more pages than the rest of the content. While this is forgivable given the extensive scope of the content marketing, I feel that there could be a hint on the cover on how this ebook place a lot of emphasis on content marketing. It could simply be a sub-tagline in the ebook like “A 6-years growth journey with content marketing, influencer marketing and partnerships”.

    How Visme promotes their sister brand to the readers

    Background

    Visme – the design software company that produces this ebook – spinned out a sister brand called Respona in 2019. Respona is a marketing tool that resembles everything written in the ebook, but presented as a software that marketers can use and tweak to match their content marketing needs flexibly. In this sense, the ebook compliment Respona perfectly, given how its content is targeting the same group of audience as Respona.

    Let’s have a closer look at how Visme uses the ebook to promote the Respona brand.

    Landing page – Access to Respona as part of the ebook value

    The landing page is careful to make no mention of the Respona brand.

    visme upsell content landing page

    However, they included a text snippet under the “What will you gain from this ebook?” mentioning exclusive access to (presumably) Respona as part of the value you get from obtaining the ebook.

    What will you gain from this ebook?



    “Get exclusive access to the blogger outreach software developed by the Visme team”



    “If getting access to this goldmine is not enough, you’ll also gain access to the outreach software we developed internally to spread the word about our brand.”

    This is a great approach, as it sets a secondary expectation without overshadowing the main ebook core subject (Marketing Strategies to Bootstrap Visme to over 4 Million users) in any way.

    The Email – A simple P.S linked to Respona

    Once you have inserted your email address for the ebook download, you will receive a short email in your inbox to access the ebook. The email includes a P.S. – still without mentioning the Respona brand, but with a hyperlink to Respona website.

    visme ebook email


    P.S. We’ve developed a new outreach tool that helped us reach 1.4M monthly organic traffic. Take it for a spin on the house.

    The insertion of hyperlink here is a good move, as it ensures the readers will always have access to the Respona in their email inbox. And if they so decided to forward the email to someone, the link will be forwarded as well.

    The ebook – Natural mention with a neutral tone

    In the 159 pages ebook itself, Respona is mentioned 21 times in total:

    • Once in the opening pages of “Letter from the Founder”
    • 4 other times in the closing pages of “Last Words from the Writer” and as part of the writer’s profile
    • The rest of the mentions are done as part of the actual content, at times even alongside other complimentary or competing tools, and that Respona (or any other tool) isn’t necessary but they do helps in making the marketing process

    Overall, we appreciate how Respona is mentioned in a natural and neutral manner; without abrupt insertion or big banner with vague tagline. Insertion of Respona didn’t feel forceful or cause any disruption to the reading experience, ebook readers are still able to get a tonne of value even if they overlook any Respona related content.

    3 things that we like

    The landing page

    We like how elaborated the landing page is, in terms of content volume.

    No one should feel entitled to having an email address just because you offer a free ebook, and Visme understands this very well. The landing page goes out of their way to elaborate the value you will get from the ebook, and convince you it is worth it!

    The content design

    Instead of inserting raw screenshot and a wall of text, the content features comfortably spaced out text and visually enhanced non-text content that makes the overall reading experience pleasant.

    The timely promotion of Respona

    Everyone who gets something free from the internet know there is a catch.

    I feel that this ebook plays a nice balance of managing your expectation, that while it is in a way a promotional mouth-piece, it is still trying to give you a tonne of value to help you, regardless if you are ready to buy or even try Respona

    3 things that can be better

    The cover design (+ the chapter cover)

    Despite the colorful design, we feel that the covers could have a stronger visual impact and emphasis on the content to attract more interest.

    Refer to the Cover Design section above for our suggestion.

    The length of the ebook

    While we appreciate the quality content and value the ebook provides, a 159 pages ebook is just a lot to be consumed. Besides, the other (presumably unintended) result of being this thick book is the relatively large file size at 22.2 MB, which might be a little hassle for people with limited internet access.

    We don’t have a solid solution to this, but we do wonder if the content can be made more bite size. Some ideas:

    • A one-page chapter recap at the end of each chapter, maybe as an infographic.
    • Further breakdown the chapters into smaller pieces (maybe by the stage of your business): So readers can decide which chapters are more relevant to them based the stage of their business.
    • Reading progress indication: This doesn’t have to be high tech or anything. It will be nice just do have a small progress bar indicator at header or footer etc.
    • Split into multiple mini ebooks: Instead of having one huge ebook, it could be split into multiple more digestible mini ebooks. Readers could download it as a zip file, and read through based on the relevancy of each ebook.
    • Reading guide: Perhaps it is due to privacy concern, I find the lack of continuous email after the first download link email a little surprising (and frankly, disappointing). Given how thick the ebook is and how it is written in a tone to help other business, I think it is a missed opportunity to schedule a series of reading guide emails and follow up on the reading progress.

    More pro-active promotion of Respona

    As a reader, we feel that the fair promotion of Respona is done right.

    As a marketer, we feel that the promotion of Respona could be done more proactively.

    Hear me out 🙂

    The ebook creator(s) relies on the audience to finish the 159 pages ebook in order to appreciate the value of Respona. As mentioned above, the ebook content is rather heavy – and I suspect most readers who are not on a e-reader device will not be able to finish the ebook.

    One way is to break the ebook down to smaller bite-size content. Alternatively, it could be helpful to have a glossary section, or a Tools section, where all the tools (like Respona) and / or jargons are listed out in the clear – so it is easier for readers to cross reference, or jump straight to the corresponding content.

    Conclusion

    The “Marketing Strategies We Used to Bootstrap Visme to over 4 Million users” ebook by Visme is a great ebook example for B2B content marketers who are looking to create valuable ebook for brand promotion purpose.

    From the landing page to the ebook, it shows how much work the Visme team put into it in order to offer value for its reader. While we feel that there could be some improvements here and there, the overall tone and approach of the ebook is very much aligned with the Visme (and Respona) brand identity to offer value instead of being overtly salesy.