“Nothing happens until somebody sells something” is the famed mantra that has been repeated by entrepreneurs and sales managers since Arthur H. “Red” Motley first said it in the early 1940s. Although still very true, in today’s world of digital marketing it could be modified to say something like “nothing happens until you capture someone’s information through a web form.” Admittedly, it is not as catchy, but you get the idea – the sales cycle begins with lead generation.
Landing pages are those webpages that exist solely to capture a user’s information. The capture of the information itself is a “conversion,” that comes from an exchange the user perceives as a fair trade; the user gives contact information and you in return give something of value like a coupon, newsletter subscription, or access to content. While your company’s homepage probably has many messages and pathways for a user to explore, landing pages have just one message and one pathway for a user to follow.
Deceptively simple, tweaks to a landing page and its distribution can make or break its utility as a productive lead generation tool. Let’s review a few:
- Pathway-Page Continuity – If the user is arriving to your landing page by clicking through a banner or AdWords link, is the pathway the user clicked through totally consistent with your landing page? What the user is looking for and what you offer on your landing page must be congruent or else you will pay for people to arrive on the page and they won’t fill out the form – no ROI there.
- Segmentation – Distinct user types require distinct landing pages. Landing pages are cheap so it makes sense to setup multiple landing pages for different user types. If you use a landing page service it might have geo-targeting or other logic functionality to dynamically change page content based on incoming user type.
- Testing & Experimentation – Now is a good time to try to learn something about your audience and what makes them respond. You can utilize A/B message testing, experiment with video, or anything else you’ve ever wondered about. You may find out that a certain type of message tone or content delivers greater results, in which case you can use that in future messaging as well.
- Sneak Peak – If you are offering access to valuable content give a preview portion of it for free to entice the user to trade their info to download the rest.
- Testimonials & Co-branding – Endorsements from credible third-party sources can do a lot to induce a user to complete an action. Additionally, if you have partners driving traffic to your landing pages it may make sense to co-brand the landing page with the partner that directed the user there.
- Put it out There – Circulate the landing page over Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. as appropriate.
- Remember the Page Basics – Remove all distraction, navigation, or anything that can take the user off course. Make sure the page is consistent with the look and feel of your branded site, the call to action and the form are not buried far down the page, and remember to show a phone number to reinforce legitimacy.
Building effective landing pages is a critical step in the process to generate valuable leads. Don’t let your marketing campaign stall out in this “last mile.”