Pittsburgh Startup Wants To Help You Monetize Your White Papers

DocumentLeads, Pittsburgh startup, startup interviewWhen companies put out white papers they are typically very proud of their work. A lot of research has gone into these papers, but in the end most of them are distributed freely via pdf. Some may view white papers as research tools, and a way to get a company’s name out there. Or perhaps white papers are used to thoroughly explore a new product. Either way, they are one of the most in-depth forms of content marketing, and these days content marketing is huge.

Outside of content marketing though, but still quite related, white papers can serve as an excellent lead referral source. The problem is most companies don’t know how to utilize the white papers for lead generation, thus leaving them undervalued.

“You would be surprised how few companies correctly leverage their whitepapers and research studies for new customer acquisition. These documents are valuable resources and while it’s OK to give them away as free PR, we feel a lot of consumer leads are being left on the table when a company simply links to the PDF for an instant download,” DocumentLeads founder Chris Cagle told us.

Cagle went onto explain, “If the value of the white paper is correctly explained and presented, many people will not even hesitate to give you their name and email in order to download it. This is where DocumentLeads comes in. While there are currently a few services out there that do this as part of a larger offering, DocumentLeads is the only company that focuses solely on allowing you to create a lead form for the sole purpose of capturing and nurturing leads off a digital document in a completely white-labeled environment. We’ve put all of our skill and attention on doing this one thing, and doing it very well. ”

Cagle is a Pittsburgh-based serial entrepreneur who had a string of misses before launching GetSimple CMS. Cagle used a lot of the knowledge he gained from building GetSimple CMS and put it into DocumentLeads.

Check out the rest of our interview with Cagle below.


What is your startup, what does it do?

DocumentLeads is a document management SaaS application. We give online businesses the ability to generate and capture leads directly from the downloads of their whitepapers and other digital documents. We have a built-in CRM management tool that allows customers to view and nurture the leads they capture. Additionally, if a customer of our service uses an outside CRM tool, we have integrations with some of the top online CRMs such as Nutshell, CapsuleCRM and Highrise as well as similar services like MailChimp.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

DocumentLeads is a product and service created by Chris Cagle. Chris is a tech entrepreneur located in Pittsburgh, PA (USA) and has been creating products on the web for over 10 years. Chris got his start building a lot of online properties that no one used, then moved onto founding & developing one of the most successful lite-CMSs on the market currently – GetSimple CMS. While building GetSimple, Chris learned a lot about application security, great user experience and the downfalls of feature-bloat. All of these skills were used when creating DocumentLeads.

Where are you based?

We are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is a budding tech town (because of all of our colleges) and is home to a rabid Black & Gold fan base for the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?

A large challenge we’ve overcome is how to correctly handle any type of document in any online environment. With DocumentLeads, you can now upload a PPT file (or DOC, XLS, PDF, TXT, etc.) and have it be viewed as an HTML file, then downloaded as a PDF. Most solutions out there force you to use JavaScript (only PDF-friendly) or Flash (not mobile-friendly). At Dcoumentleads, we’ve solved this and have a solution that works for any document on any device. Another large challenge we are currently running into is operating in a bootstrapped environment. Because we are 100% bootstrapped, we don’t have the marketing budget that some of the others in our field have (SlideShare & HubSpot). This is a constant weight on our shoulders that forces us be creative to get the publicity and some visibility needed to be successful in our market.

What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

The first and most important milestone we’ve achieved is our initial launch. Coming up for the idea for the business was easy (all ideas are born out of a need, right?), but executing on it was a multitude of difficulty more. There were some late nights, countless “how do we do this?” moments and plenty of code rewrites. In the end, we produced a service that we are extremely proud of and feel can make a difference for many businesses out there looking to take advantage of their digital documents.

What are your next milestones

Integrations. While we have a good stable of CRM integrations at this moment, we need more to make it as useful as possible. This means integrating with entrenched and enterprise-level products like Salesforce, ZoHo, Campaign Monitor and other big name CRM and email management products.

Who are your mentors and role models?

I, like many other self-started entrepreneurs, grew up reading blogs like RRW and Techcrunch. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the blog and email newsletter of Patrick McKenzie. This guy is a genius (and extremely transparent!) on how to build, price and run your SaaS business. I have learned a lot from him, and would recommend anyone reading this to sign up for this “Grow your software business” email newsletter… it’s fantastic.

What’s next for your startup?

We need to grow. Period. We are still in our infancy (we officially launched only a few short months ago) and we need to grow in terms of customers and mature feature sets. We are constantly striving to harden and shape our business to be the best it can be, but we also recognize it can be a long process. Aside from the integrations we mentioned above, supporting our current customers and the ongoing marketing that needs to occur, our schedules are stacked full (just the way we like it!).

Where can people find out more, and what is your Twitter username?

You can learn more about DocumentLeads on our website Documentleads.com. Our Twitter handle is @documentleads and you will find us posting our product updates and news on there.

This Pittsburgh startup wants to make sure you never lose your wallet again.



You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>