David Meerman Scott
I love marketing with web landing pages. It’s one of the
easiest and most cost-effective ways to get a message read
by a target market and a terrific tool to move prospects
through the sales cycle. Landing pages, done well, can
generate high response rates and marketing programs using
landing pages with effective calls to action will generate
results: e-commerce sales and valuable sales leads.
A landing page is simply a place for a targeted message to
a particular demographic and can either be linked from a
homepage or as part of a marketing campaign. Landing pages
work well to tell an organization’s story to a particular
target market, to promote a new product offering, as a way
to capture leads from an e-mail marketing program, or as
part of an advertising campaign, PR program or tradeshow
initiative. In the classic sales cycle definition,
marketing programs such as advertising, PR, tradeshows and
search engine optimization are designed to attract the
prospect’s attention (get them to your landing page). The
landing page is where you generate interest and develop
conviction. In an e-commerce sale you drive people to the
“buy” button and in a B2B company the sales team gets a
warm suspect ready to be worked to a closed sale.
Effective landing page copy is written from the buyer’s
perspective, not the company’s. Too often, companies invest
time and money creating web pages that describe their
wonderful products, but don’t provide information from the
prospective customer’s point of view. Buyers don’t care
about your products, they care about themselves and their
problems. Write for them, not for you. On your homepage,
create a series of “personas” or “self-select paths” that
people new to your company can click. Examples might be:
“Learn about products for mid-sized companies” or “Services
for Competitive Intelligence Professionals.”
As your buyers self-select based on the path that is best
for them, the landing page they reach is written with
appropriate copy to generate the interest of that target
market. Landing pages typically make use of multiple links
to appropriate offers, additional information, and in the
B2B world materials like white papers, Webinars, and the
like, each with a short form to fill out so the buyer
becomes a lead or a sale.
A mistake many companies make is investing tons of money in
online advertising (say a search engine advertising program)
and then sending all the traffic to the company homepage.
Because the homepage needs to serve many audiences, there’s
never enough information for each demographic. And research
shows that people give a homepage only a few seconds before
the leave. Landing pages tied to campaigns are highly
effective to solve these problems. A specific landing page
should be set up for each and every campaign. If prospects
find your company by clicking an e-mail campaign or
searching on a specific term in a Google AdWords program,
your marketing should include landing pages to expand on
the prospects interest with appropriate copy and links.
It’s simple really: A campaign with a great landing page
can generate double digit response rates while a generic
campaign throws money away.
Here are 10 tips on creating effective landing pages:
Tip 1: Keep the landing page copy 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
Tip 2: Create the page in your company’s look, feel and tone.
A landing page is an extension of your company’s image.
While different from the web site, it still must adopt the
same voice, tone and style as your main site.
Tip 3: Write from the buyer’s point of view.
Think carefully of who will be visiting the landing page
and write copy for that demographic. You want visitors to
feel the page speaks to their problems and concerns and
that you have a solution just for them.
Tip 4: A landing page is communications, not advertising.
Landing pages are where you communicate valuable
information about your product and make sales or generate
the names of interested potential customers. Advertising is
great to get people to click to your landing page. But once
a prospect is there, the landing page should focus on
communicating the value of your offering to the potential
customer, not more advertising.
Tip 5: Provide a quote from a happy customer.
A simple testimonial on a landing page works brilliantly to
show people that others are happy with your product. A
sentence or two with the customer’s name (and affiliation)
is all you need.
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 lose traffic
from your landing page, you may never get a person to
respond to the offer so it is often better not to provide
links to your main web site.
Tip 7: Make the call to action 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 interest.
Tip 8: Use multiple calls to action.
You never know what offer will appeal to a specific person,
so consider using more than one. In the B2B world, you
might offer a white paper, a free trial, and a price quote
all on the same landing 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 data to be
entered. People will abandon the form and you won’t get a
lead or a sale. Ask for the basics—name, e-mail address,
company, and phone number.
Any additional information you ask for will reduce response
rates. Never 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!
Okay, you’ve got a great landing page with an effective
call to action and the sales or leads are coming in. Great!
Don’t drop the ball now. Make certain to follow up with
each buyer as quickly as possible. Follow up the same
day—or better yet, the same hour.
David Meerman Scott’s, bestselling author of The New Rules
of Marketing & PR and Real-Time Marketing & PR, opened
people’s eyes to the new realities of marketing and public
relations on the Web. Six months on the BusinessWeek best-
seller list and published in 26 languages, New Rules is a
modern business classic. His newest book Real-Time
Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market,
Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your
Business Now was released in November 2010. His Web Ink Now
blog is ranked by AdAge Power 150 as a top worldwide
marketing blog. Click here.