So…you’ve invested in robust marketing automation, created lots of informative content to feed prospects, set yourself up for some great lead nurturing, and are ready to create some effective marketing campaigns that will pull in the leads.
You’ll likely begin with email blasts containing offers to download a free educational white paper, join a free best-practices webinar, try a free demo, or sign up for a free trial. And when prospects click on one of your emails to learn more about your offer, they’ll be taken to a Landing Page, a specially focused web page that lets them sign up for the offer, thereby providing you with their contact information and other important data about where they might be in their buying process.
Here then are some top-level tips for creating effective landing pages, plus some resources for more in-depth education on this essential tactic.
Landing Page Design
Your prospects are choosing to come to your landing page for ONE REASON: to take you up on your offer. Anything on your landing page that distracts visitors may result in them NOT registering for the free [insert offer here] you’re offering. So:
- Keep it simple – Have lots of white space, free of graphic and text clutter.
- Make it pretty – Whether we care to admit it or not, we are more easily swayed by pretty packaging than ugly. So make sure your landing pages are graphically designed to be really pretty to look at, with pleasing colors, arresting photography or illustrations, good typography and the right amount of white space (space with nothing in it). This of course also applies to the design of the email that links people to the landing page – and, these designs should match for consistency, otherwise, the visitor may think they’ve landed on the wrong page!
- Make it easy to read – Have the minimum amount of copy required to explain what you’re offering and the benefit to the prospect.
- Have a very clear, highly visible Call To Action (CTA) button – place it where it can’t be missed.
- Put everything “above the fold” – What is the fold? It’s the bottom of your screen. Anything on your landing page that isn’t visible above that line; i.e. you must “scroll down” to see it, is below the fold. And unless you’ve written masterpiece copy that just begs the reader to keep scrolling down, anything below the fold will not be seen. Definitely make sure your registration form and CTA button are topside!
- No navigation – Your landing page is not a multi-purpose tool. It has just one mission: get the visitor to take the offer. So do NOT include links to other pages you’d normally have on your website, like top navigation links. They’re just invitations for the visitor to get stopped mid-stream and jump to another page, leaving your awesome offer behind.
Landing Page Content
- Headline – As with design, make sure the headline is consistent with that on the corresponding email. And, make it strong and compelling, emphasizing the benefit to the reader. It’s no different from an ad or billboard headline. You want to make the offer a no-brainer.
- Copy – As we said above, keep it simple, on-point, compelling, with emphasis on the benefits of the offer to the user. Read it a hundred times and ruthlessly cut it down to the bare minimum amount that gets the message across and compels action. Then have a bunch of your coworkers in other departments read it, as well as people outside your company. Would they click on the offer? Would you? If there’s doubt, refine some more.
- Testimonials – If you’re asking the visitor to make some kind of commitment, whether it’s to buy something now or even to spend time with a free trial or demo, having a testimonial from a happy customer can really help give the prospect peace of mind to take the next step.
- Graphics & Videos – Landing pages with nice graphics are more attractive (and less imposing) than pages with just copy. And pages with videos are often much more effective at getting action than pages without them. Videos demonstrating product benefits or featuring a testimonial are powerfully persuasive.
- Social Links – Of course you’d love your prospects to refer your offer to their friends, the people you don’t yet know about, right? Make it easy for your prospects by include links to share the offer on Twitter and Facebook. And to minimize distraction on the landing page itself, put these links on the Thank You page which the prospect sees after filling out your form and clicking the CTA button.
- Registration form – Keep this as short as possible to make it easy and quick to fill out, but as comprehensive as possible to give you the information you need to evaluate the potential of that prospect. If you’re emailing that prospect, you’ve already got some information about him/her. Have the form pre-populated with the information to save the prospect some time! The bottom line is, you don’t want the form to become so long that the visitor finds it too tedious to fill out and bails out of the offer.
- CTA button – Rather than simply “Download” or “Buy Now” consider more benefit-oriented CTA copy such as “Get Yours,” “Free Trial,” or “Try Risk Free.”
- Assurances – Give the prospect peace of mind with third party seals of approval, high rankings by review sites, verified security of the form, etc. Also consider copy such as, “Try the service already trusted by hundreds of companies.” and “Risk-free 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.”
- Less committal option – Maybe the prospect isn’t ready to commit to the offer. Give them a less committal option, such as a link to a page with more information, a demonstration video and testimonials (written or video). This may help push them over the fence to take your offer.
Testing Your Landing Pages
Whenever you can, test multiple versions of your landing pages to see which variables have the best response rates. Tweak layouts, graphics, headlines and copy. Often you’ll see a major increase in response from even the most seemingly minor changes.
Do a web search on “effective landing page design” and you’ll immediately find a wealth of great information to go deeper. Here are links to some of the resources we consulted for this blog post:
- eBook on marketing automation best practices (this is a landing page by the way, from Silverpop) – download an eBook which contains a great chapter on landing pages. – GO »
We hope this helps you to pull in a higher quantity of higher quality leads as you refine your marketing campaigns.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next Marketer’s Blog post.