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Both clients have very informative sites which do show a large collection of the various services and products they offer, the problem they have is people requesting brochures, even though the pictures/information is on the site and it's costing them quite a lot to send packs of brochures around the uk.
What options are there?
I've thought of maybe PDF files giving people the chance to download the brochure and view off line, but would people do this? Has anyone used adobe for this purpose?
There is of course external links to the manufacturers sites but I don't like doing that, as you may loose the visitor (even if you have them opening in another window).
Has anyone had a similar problem and if so how did you overcome visitors completing forms requesting brochures.
I think the problem is, most people other than us internet junkies like to pick something up & read it or see just how the kitchen/bathroom will look in that room and most (us not included of course) don't have pc's in the kitchen/bedroom.
Roll on the day when a microwave door has pc monitor interface, oooohh that's sad :)
The pdf manuals and spec sheets my employer has on his site are very popular. As to whether people are printing them for offline reading, I don't know. We don't get too many requests for specific printed product literature though.
I don't know if this is the answer, but it's option for my client and I suppose it beats having to spend £££'s on sending brochures out, all I have to work out now is just how much to charge for them for scanning in god knows how many brochures.
Also... if your clients get their products from various manufacturers and distributors, you can find out if the product manufacturers, etc., have original pdf docs for the brochures. A number of our product suppliers do... saved me a TON of time putting the site together! :)
The key is not to use it as something that is viewed and manipulated on the Web, it is too cluncky for that. But it is the best solution if people are going to print out something and read it later.
Thats along the lines I was thinking of, but would people download it?
I know people get very gittery about downloading things from the internet and would it really achieve the end result which would hopefully stop bulk requests for brochures.
I think the problem is people still like to hold and feel shiney brochures and other than making the surfer be more specific when completing the enquirey form so hopefully to narrow down the request.
but so far pdf is the only solution
We're training our clients by referring them to the web site for specific information. I keep a link to the Acrobat Reader on each page listing PDF files.
The conversion process is easy. The files are sent to me as Word docs, which I save as PDF files. (Acrobat works seamlessly within Word.) One point: Make sure you save as a non-editable file, to protect the data from tampering.
I know of one real estate company that responds via email and asks permission to send attachments. It works well AND opens a dialog with the potential client.
>PDF is probably the easiest route aswell.
You will be able to covert it straight from the original brochure (if there is an original). Just get the printers to send a quark document to you or ask them to export the quark doc to PDF and you can put it straight up there. It is very very quick for you.
And for the end user it is pretty simple. I use them quite a lot. And even thought they do have a few bad points, on the whole they are very good. You just need to put a link to Adobe saying that they can download free Acrobat Reader if they don't have it already to view the file.
Be careful og file size though. Depending on your end user and the size of the doc, they can take a little while to download...and you know attention spans!
anyone have any thoughts on this, as I'm now completely on unknown ground
We have several PDFs on our web site, pretty much all over a 1Meg in size, but none over 2. They tend to be quite popular and we've received no complaints about download times. (Though I'll admit receiving complaints, and people being frustrated with download times are two different things...) ;)
Some of our pdf files are very small, some are quite huge, and I've never heard a negative comment about any of them. One of our most popular pages is an interactive PDF form.
All in all, I see a lot of traffic to the pdfs on our site. Since the Reader plug-in is VERY common these days, I dont' think most visitors will have a problem.
Has anyone got Google to rate a PDF file well for any set of keywords?
Quoting from their FAQ:
"Support for the eXtensible Markup Language (XML)—Through support for XML, Acrobat 5.0 now makes it simple to integrate data, such as metadata or forms data in Adobe PDF files, with back-end systems. In addition, users can create tagged Adobe PDF files that preserve document structure to enable both the easy re-use of content and ability to make documents more accessible to users with disabilities."