Lock and upload – using eBooks to target customers: an introduction for law firms


There’s nothing earth-shatteringly different about eBooks. Just like any other literary resource, they comprise an introduction, chapters, images and graphics. The key difference? The text has been converted into a digital format.

Using eBooks to target customers is hard when competing against other law firms in an online landscape. Especially when considering the range of formats available and the sheer scale of delivery mechanisms available.

Best eBook formats for smartphones

Right now, there are circa 6 billion smartphone users worldwide. And, if forecasts are true, m-commerce is likely to generate in the region of 105 billion in sales in the UK alone by 2024.

If you want to tap into this growing market avoid publishing your book as a PDF. Key functions – like scrolling, zooming, and searching – are notoriously difficult when using this format.

Instead, create your publication using HTML 5 – a tried-and-tested format if using eBooks to target customers is your aim.

Three popular eBook formats

Smartphone compatibility issues notwithstanding eBook formats generally fall into five categories which are as follows.

#1 PDF (.pdf)

Short for Portable Document Format, PDFs continue to be a popular choice for businesses. Although not best suited for smartphone users PDFs can be read on the vast majority of devices.

#2 EPUB (.epub)

EPUB is short for electronic publication. It works on most devices (don’t worry, this file extension is smartphone-friendly) and text and images are free-floating as opposed to fixed. However, fixed layout versions do exist. Ultimately this format is best-suited to text-heavy eBooks.

#3 TXT (.txt) format

If you’re using eBooks to target customers this no-frills method is unlikely to capture attention. But it’s ideal if you are writing a research paper that doesn’t require graphs or images.

eBook self publishing

Using eBooks to target customers on the right platforms

Which format you choose will depend on several factors. Here are three questions you’ll need to ask before designing and writing your eBook.

Who am I writing for?

Even if your law firm operates within a niche sector, you’ll want to maximise coverage. Using the EPUB file format would provide the cross-platform functionality needed to promote your eBook to smartphone users across email, web, social and most other channels.

How will you market your eBook?

Self-publishing is the best option when creating an eBook. And again, presuming wide exposure is your aim, you’ll need to choose a flexible format (like EPUB) that’ll work across the most popular platforms.

If broad reach isn’t your priority – perhaps you’re only using it to generate subscribers on your website – then a PDF format will more than suffice. Make sure you plan before publishing your content.

What’s your eBook about?

Before beginning the writing and designing process list the types of content you’ll need. Using eBooks to target customers will only work if you invest time in research – and resist the urge to complete your project quickly.

Will your eBook include…

  • Detailed charts?
  • Images and logos?
  • Video?
  • Sounds?

Best eBook formats

How do you research and test an eBook?

Researching competitors’ eBooks is important. But don’t ignore other sectors; instead, seek inspiration from as many sources as possible.

When researching pay particular attention to…

  1. The length of the documents – how many pages are they on average?
  2. The range of imagery – to what degree are images and video used?
  3. The inclusion of stats – how often do eBooks use numerical data to support claims using charts and tables?
  4. The frequency of content – is the copy used often or infrequently?
  5. The tone of voice – is it pushy and persuasive or gentle and understated?
  6. The overall layout – how are headings, sections, images, and data used?

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

Don’t depend on your eBook being a sure-fire hit. Instead, create two versions and test the audience’s response. Then AB test the two side-by-side to see which performs best.

Using eBooks to target customers is a trial-and-error process. Sometimes the idea you laboured over ails. Meanwhile, the one you loathed is loved by all!

Pore obsessively over the numbers to find the clear winner. Success will surely follow not long after.

eBook marketing

Cap your budget to prevent overspending

Your pockets aren’t limitless and there are only so many hours in the day. Using eBooks to convert customers must therefore be a profitable exercise.

Internal resource cost

How long will it take to…

  • Research and plan your project?
  • Create the initial messaging?
  • Design the layout?
  • Source images?
  • Promote your eBook via…
    • Social channels?
    • Email campaigns?
    • Your website?
  • AB test?

From this, you should be able to determine cost in terms of employee time spent. Don’t forget to include purchases, like software, website plugins, and freelancer fees (if applicable).

Now compare the cost of creating your eBook to the anticipated revenue it will generate. Will your investment have been worth it – or put you in deficit?

If the latter is true, it’s time to rethink your strategy. 

  • Perhaps a slimmed-down eBook might suffice
  • Maybe the project could be completed faster
  • Are there cheaper software packages out there?


Using eBooks to target customers is complex. Planning, design, messaging and testing are just a few of the areas you’ll need to master for your project to fly.

Hiring a design expert to complete the work might be cheaper. After all, they’ll get it right the first time – and you won’t have to purchase any software either.

Contact us for an informal chat about eBooks or any other digital marketing topic.

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