Landing Pages: freshen your site and pay back your marketing programs

Landing Pages are CriticalWeb designers can help you find new ways to improve your interactive business.  The untrained may equate “landing page” with the website’s “home page.”  However, a landing page can be any page you create for a special purpose.  Like a home page, a great deal of thought, care, and design should go into the construction of a landing page.  Here are some tips that you may wish to consider as you entertain the possibility of using a landing page to boost sales as well as to measure your most effective marketing.

Your website may have several landing pages. A landing page is a webpage that links from any marketing campaign, like an advertisement, email, Pay-per-click campaign or a web page listed naturally in the search engines.  For example, when you click from an email, you should be directed to a page that is specific to the offer or product addressed in the email.

Hazards of a Catch-All Homepage

The hazard of linking to a “catch-all” homepage is that the customer has to do too much work to find what was advertised in an email — or worse, they get lost. Every time you make someone click, you lose 50% of your visitors.  The point is to have prospective customers taken directly to where you want them to be without having to depend on the customer to carry out another step on their own unattended.  Either way, you lose the prospect along the way.  It is important not to let that happen.  A web designer such as Thrive Marketing can show you how.

Tip #1 – Keep it Short

Keep the copy on the landing page short and to the point.  This page is designed to be a specific payback for the email from which the transfer is made.  The payback needs to be quick and to the point.  Be clear about which conversion activity you want to have happen (for example, is it a contact form submission, a sale, email newsletter subscription, membership?) through the landing page and write the copy accordingly.

Tip #2 – Don’t Expect Too Much from the User

Don’t expect your prospect to do too much.  It isn’t their job to weed their way through your website to your goal; it is your job to serve them as directly as possible, in two clicks or fewer.  Ask for only the information you need from them with the objective of conversion in mind.  If you ask them to do too much at the outset, you run the risk of turning off a customer who will then seek out your competitor to complete their purchase.  No one will ever complain that your website is too easy to navigation or utilize.  Also, warm them up with finesse; don’t be pushy.

Tip #3 – Test Different Offers

If you are testing different offers, or even different versions of a product, use separate landing pages to measure the effectiveness of the items being tested and compared.  Landing pages are not usually used as a testing medium for marketing nearly as often as it could be.  You can measure and learn a lot from checking the click-through rates of different versions of the landing pages using A/B split testing or multi-variate testing.

Tip #4 – Follow-up

Remember to follow-up on those leads.  The entire point of generating leads is to achieve a sales conversion or new customer.  You are missing the manna falling from the sky if you fail to follow-up with leads.  Prepare in advance follow-up emails and be ready to respond automatically from a database. We can tell you a lot more about marketing automation but, in a nutshell, it is not unusual to double your sales & leads.

Tip #5 – Watch Conversion

Conversion is the name of the game.  Typically, conversion rates are extremely low ranging from about 6% for catalog shopping down to about 1% for electronics.  Most conversion rates for most ecommerce website range from 1% to 2%.  In other words, for every 100 potential customers (on average) you will make only one or two sales.  Can that be improved?  You bet it can!  If you know what you are doing and plan your process well, you should be able to do two to four times those averages.  It is fairly easy to attract the traffic to your site, but converting a portion of that traffic takes planning and expertise on what turns a buyer on and what turns a buyer off.  You do not have a successful site until the site provides you with the desired customer action.

It is great to know which of your marketing efforts are the most productive, but the real payback to intelligent use of landing pages is in the rate of conversions for your product or service sales.  Just as with your home page, it takes good planning and knowledge of how the customer’s eyes track the page.