Yes, they can do this.
Depends where you put the PDF though:
- Marketo - cannot control what happens once someone has the URL.
- Your Site - you may be able to block some people using certain permissions or a password.
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The thing is - how many people actually do this?
Sometimes I do keep the direct URL after the form fill out, but I don't publish it to the free web. I suspect your real loss is very small compared to the benefit of someone sharing your content and having their colleagues come back to your site for other stuff.
Josh's response is my go-to response to this as well...I know we live in a world of leads and data, but don't we want our company's message to get out there? Isn't that really our job as marketers?
Jason - I totally agree with your statement regarding our role as Marketers is to communicate our solutions. However when we have information that has an impact to the funnel as well as to the buyers journey we should try to keep true to the system. To Josh's point - it is probably a small segment and if we look at the metrics we could ascertain how many people actually do this.
You won't be able to completely prevent this. If someone can load a PDF there are a wide variety of tools available for saving copies of PDFs or printing them directly to another PDF.
For example... Every year the State of Oregon releases a PDF of their income tax form. The form is rigged so that once you enter your data you cannot save it. They do allow you to print it however.
So I installed a free piece of software called doPDF which prints any document straight to the PDF format. I took the tax form, filled out my information, and printed it straight to a brand new PDF with all of their form information and all of my data intact. This is how I keep my tax records from year to year.
The only way to 100% prevent someone from saving a local copy of a PDF is to block them from ever opening the PDF in the first place.