My client is running a campaign promoting a recent white-paper they published. Users will be driven to a landing page from various sources (mainly mass email and social media posts/ads). The landing page will contain a brief form that is required to complete to access the content. Upon filling out the form, the user will receive a "thanks. we just emailed you instructions for accessing the content" message.

So what goes in the email? A direct link to the content? or a link to a web page that says "your download should begin automatically. Click here if it doesn't"?

I think the path of least resistance is to have the download begin right after the form has been submitted. But it's been decided that since this is a lead gen campaign that the automated "welcome" email will be of higher value if the user has to read it... if they want to access the content.

The email -> landing page -> email -> landing page -> downloaded content flow seems extremely cumbersome to me> but I don't know that email -> landing page -> email -> direct link to downloadable content (eample.com/white-paper.pdf) is any better. After the download, they're left with a blank browser window rather than our branding and website.

I suggested the immediate download AND the automated "Welcome" email, but it was nixed. So now I'm trying to choose between the best of 2 less-than-ideal options.

Any thoughts... direct link or link to the download page?

  • Why is the user left with a blank browser window after download? This isn't something that needs to happen, if it is happening for you then there are technical solutions to resolve this and keep the user on the landing page
    – musefan
    Sep 11, 2020 at 9:21
  • 1
    @musefan - no that would only happen if we took the route of providing a direct link to the content in the email (no download page). But I did misspeak... they wouldn't see a blank page, they'd remain on the email and have to click yet another CTA to get them back to the website. too much back and forth, imo.
    – Daveh0
    Sep 11, 2020 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, it was not a approach to allow user downloading the content instantly from the promotion page unless you put some captcha on the page otherwise page may get exploited.

Also, it seems more useful (as a marketing firm) to get emails of seriously interested users for provided content so that those users can be contacted directly in next event with rich content.

I think the best approach is "to provide direct downloading link inside email with the help of attractive button at the end of you content rich email where you are telling your what is the importance of this content and what are the benefits if he clicks that button."


One alternative is capturing email and unlocking the "download" page with download CTA that triggers the file download. Without having to check the email. Email is still sent and has the same download CTA. Something like this:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.