Landing pages that work.

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Getting visitors to do what you want.

So you’ve decided to create a landing page to drive leads and ultimately sales. Whether it’s to sign up for a webinar, a free trial, download a white paper, or learn more about a product, you’ve got about 8-10 seconds to make an impression and drive action. Here’s how smart marketers are optimizing their landing pages to drive results.

Define the one objective you’re driving towards.

The most important thing to do is define an objec¬≠tive for your landing page. The one thing you’re trying to get visitors to do. Then evaluate everything based on whether it’s in line with your objective.

The best landing pages direct visitors to take a specific action. Sign up for a webinar or free trial, join an email subscription list, request a product demo. If your objective is to get someone to sign up for a webinar, don’t fill your page up with all your products and services. It’s not on point.

Stay focused and you’ll get more takers.

1. Your home page is not a landing page.

Surprisingly, a large number of B2B campaigns drive prospects to their corporate web site home page. Your home page was likely designed for multiple audiences so it won’t be as effective as a targeted landing page.

  • Creating a separate targeted landing page generates better results because it focuses your prospect on your one objective.
  • A separate page also allows you to track who’s coming to the page, who’s converting, and to improve the overall effectiveness of your campaign.

2. Fewer choices convert more people.

The biggest problem with most landing pages is the inclusion of every possible link, product, and offer available. But research shows the fewer choices you give visitors, the better your landing page’s effectiveness.

Studies have shown a 19% increase in conversions when landing pages had only one objective.1

  • Include only one call to action button. Avoid the “Request more info”, “Sign up for eNewsletter”, “Download White paper now” mish mash.
  • Don’t include the full navigation for your site. You can direct visitors to your site for additional information after they do what you want.

3. Keep it to one column.

Tests show single column landing pages convert more. Why? Because they direct the user’s eye where you want it. The eye moves down the page and not from column to column, side to side.

  • All images and content should direct the visitor’s eye towards your single call to action.
  • Create inline treatments for testimonials or supporting content, but don’t include information not directly related to your objective.

4. Maintain continuity with your email or printed piece.

Use the same message, call to action, and graphic elements you used to drive your prospect to the landing page.

  • Similar visuals and messaging help keep prospects on track and continue the conversation you’ve already started with them.
  • Be sure you use the same call to action used to drive prospects to the landing page.

5. Strategically place your content.

  • Repeat the main message or call to action in the headline.
  • Put testimonial or concrete results directly next to your call to action.
  • If you’re offering up a white paper, give visitors a preview of what they’ll get. They’ll be more likely to give you information if they have a better sense of what they’re getting.
  • If your page scrolls, put the call to action below the fold too. It should always be in sight.

6. Match the amount of content to what you’re selling.

When it comes to the web, most people think shorter is better. However, researchers have found that if an action results in high cost, high risk, and a large commitment, landing pages with more copy converted better.2

  • For low risk, low commitment decisions such as downloads, signing up for webinars, or free trials, keep it short and to the point, about 250-300 words.
  • For more complex sales, you need to establish credibility and expertise. If you need supplemental content use pop-ups or launch a new browser window to keep prospects “attached” to the landing page, or consider creating a self-contained multi-page microsite.

7. Collect only critical information.

Do everything to make it simple for visitors to do what you want. Once you have them in the queue you can continue reach out to them and the conversation.

  • Don’t get greedy and ask for name, phone, address, how did you hear about us, etc., it will just drive people away.
  • Keep forms to name and email. Better yet, just ask for an email. It’s all you really need to get the conversation started.

8. Don’t forget the “thank you” page.

Once your prospect has done what you want, give them another offer. MarketingSherpa found that 39% of visitors to their “thank you” page took advantage of other offers.

  • If they’ve just downloaded a white paper, ask them to sign up for your eNewsletter.
  • If they’ve just signed up for an eNewsletter, offer up other publications.
  • If they’ve requested a demo, provide links to your next webinar.

Keep it simple.

If you want prospects to take you up on your offer, make it easy for them to do so. Focus on one action, then align everything – messaging, graphics, page layout – with that one objective.

Make it clear what you’re offering and give them what they’re looking for. You’ll have a better chance of driving results.

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1 MarketingExperiments.com, 2007

2 MEC Labs Group, 2007