In my experience, web landing pages are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get a message read by a target prospect, and an excellent tool to move prospects through the sales cycle.
Landing pages, when done well, can generate excellent response rates. When they include effective calls to action they will generate e-commerce sales and also valuable sales leads.
Put simply, a landing page is where you place a targeted message aimed at a particular demographic. They can either be linked to from a homepage, or form part of a larger marketing campaign.
Landing pages work well in a number of applications, for example:
- To convey your story to a particular target market
- To help launch a new product offering
- As a way to capture leads from an email marketing campaign
- As part of an advertising campaign, a PR programme or a trade show initiative.
A common mistake lots of companies make is investing lots of budget in online promotion (say SEO or online advertising program) and then sending all the traffic to the company homepage…
But because the homepage has to serve many audiences, there’s never enough tailored information for each demographic. And research shows that the big majority of people stay on a homepage for only a few seconds before they leave. Landing pages tied to specific campaigns are highly effective in solving this problem.
So, what are the key objectives for an effective landing page?
The landing page is where you arouse interest and develop desire. With e-commerce you are driving people to the “buy” button, whereas in a B2B situation, the primary goal is usually to generate a warm enquiry to pass on to the sales team.
Effective landing page copy ( in fact nearly all copy) is written from the buyer’s perspective, not the company’s. Too often, people create Web pages that describe how wonderful their products are, but don’t provide useful, interesting information from the prospect’s point of view.
Buyers don’t care about your products or services, they care about themselves and their problems. So write for them, not for you.
On your homepage, consider creating a series of ‘prospect personas’ or ‘self-select pathways’ that browsers can follow. Examples might be: “Learn about products for starter companies” or “Services for small business accounting professionals.”
When your prospects self-select based the path that is most relevant for them, the landing page they arrive at is written with appropriate copy to generate the interest of that target market.
Landing pages typically make use of multiple links to appropriate offers, or additional information, and in the B2B world, making offers of white papers, Webinars and checklists etc. with a short form to fill out, allows you to build your database of qualified prospects.
A specific landing page should be set up for each and every campaign. So when prospects find your site by clicking in an email campaign or searching for a specific term in Google, your landing pages will immediately expand on the prospects interest with appropriate copy and links.
It’s simple really: a campaign with a great landing page can literally generate double the response rates compared to a generic campaign that throws money away.
Here are ten tips on creating effective landing pages:
Tip #1. Keep the page copy relatively short and the graphics simple.
The landing page is a place to deliver a simple message and drive your buyer to respond to your offer. Don’t try to do too much.
Tip #2. Make the page consistent with your company’s branding, feel and tone.
A landing page is an extension of your company’s image. While different from the Web site, it needs to adopt the same voice, tone and style as your main site.
Tip #3. Always write from the buyer’s perspective.
Think carefully about who will be visiting the landing page and write copy for that specific demographic. You want visitors to feel the page addresses their problems and concerns and that you have a solution just for them.
Tip #4. A landing page is for nurturing and advising, not advertising.
Landing pages are where you communicate valuable guidance about your product, provide answers to typical prospect questions, and make sales or generate leads of interested potential customers.
Advertising is designed to motivate prospects to click to your landing page. But once a prospect is there, the landing page should focus on communicating the value of your offering, not more advertising.
Tip #5. Provide a quote from a delighted customer.
A simple testimonial (or two or three) on a landing page works brilliantly to reassure prospects that others just like them have made wise buying decisions, and are happy with your product.
Tip #6. Make the landing page a self-contained unit.
The goal of a landing page is to get a prospect to respond to your offer so you can sell to them. If you allow them to become distracted or tempted to follow other links, you may never get a second chance. So it’s often better not to provide links to your main Web site.
Tip #7. Make the call to action crystal clear and easy to respond to.
Make certain you provide a clear response mechanism for those people who want to go further. Make it easy to sign up or express an interest.
Tip #8. Use multiple calls to action.
You never know what stage of research the prospect is at. So consider using more than one offer. In the B2B world, you might offer a white paper, a free survey, and a quotation all on the same page. An e-commerce company might offer options such as color or size.
Tip #9. Only ask for necessary information.
Don’t use a signup form requiring lots of fields to be completed. People will abandon the form and you won’t get a lead or a sale. Ask for the basics — name, email address, and possibly company. Only ask for a phone number if you want highly qualified (fewer) prospects. At this stage, you don’t need to ask for people’s income level, budget or if they are planning on purchasing the product you offer.
Tip #10. Don’t forget to follow up!
OK, so you’ve got a great landing page with an effective call to action, and the enquiries are flowing in. Don’t drop the ball now! Make certain you follow-up with each prospect as quickly as possible. Ideally the same day— or better still, within the hour.
P.S If you feel that your web landing pages are missing something, or you know they should be performing much better, then take the opportunity to find out exactly what’s possible to generate more enquiries and sales…
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