Discussion

5 ways to create landing pages that live up to your campaigns!

So you’ve sent an amazing email out to your list: what next?

In the majority of cases, your email will include a call-to-action and – while it might not feel like it – getting your users to click on the link is really just the beginning.

The landing page where they end up is every bit as important, if not more so.

After all, traffic is important; but conversions are the lifeblood of any business.

Hubspot CMO Mike Volpe has called landing pages ‘the most important part of any lead generation campaign’ and it’s difficult to disagree. The clearer and more impressive your landing page, the more likely your campaign is to be successful. And, with 68% of B2B businesses using landing pages to gain new sales leads for future conversion, it’s clear that many businesses agree.

In this article, we’re going to talk about 5 ways to make sure your landing pages live up to, and support the goals of your campaign. Enjoy!

1. Landing page > Home page

Let’s start with the most obvious problem: MarketingSherpa report that as many as 44% of clicks for B2B companies are directed to a home page instead of a landing page. The problem with this is fairly clear – what you’re really looking for is a strong ‘message match.’ This essentially means that the message delivered in your campaign needs to be replicated as clearly and as closely as possible on the page your reader subsequently lands on.

As beautiful as your home page may be, there’s a real problem with this approach. Expecting users to make their own way right from your home page – with the many clicks involved – is really asking for trouble.

This is likely to lead to a wandering funnel path and, ultimately, poor conversion. With attention spans shorter than ever, give your landing pages the three second scan test: if you can’t identify the relevant offer in three seconds, you need to simplify it further!

TOP TIP: Direct your users to a bespoke landing page that closely matches the message of your call-to-action.

2. Optimize your design

Ok, we all know ‘design’ is a pretty broad field, but let’s just focus on some simple best practices for your landing pages:
always make sure text is legible and easy-to-read.
calls-to-action and buttons should be displayed prominently and, ideally, in a contrasting colour.
important elements like forms, calls-to-action and buttons should all be above the fold.
whitespace is a huge deal – crowded pages are a real turn-off, so avoid unnecessary content!

TOP TIP: Follow these simple best practices wherever possible…if you’re struggling, A/B testing is a great way to test different design variations to see what works best for your audience.

3. Less is more

Albert Einstein called simplicity ‘the ultimate sophistication,’ and this definitely rings true for landing pages. And yet MarketingSherpa research suggests that up to 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.

While it can be tempting to expose your audience to all the great offers you have, the cold hard truth is that they generally already know what they’re looking for – and if they can’t find it quickly, it’s likely that they’ll bounce. Again, put yourself in your users’ shoes and give your page the three second scan; confusion never leads to conversion, so keep things as clear as humanly possible! Your reader is already invested to some extent in the offer – after all, they clicked through from your email. Make it easy for them to find that offer and you’re onto a winner.

TOP TIP: Focus on one offer per landing page.

4. Keep it simple, stupid!

The only options you really want to give your user on a landing page are to convert, or hit the ‘Back’ button. It’s perhaps surprising, then, that surveys suggest 84% of landing pages feature a navigation bar.4

On the face of it this doesn’t sound like such a big deal – you could even argue that this is a step towards making navigation easier for your user. But, again, this takes away from the focus and simplicity that is the hallmark of successful landing pages. You’re potentially sending off your audience in dozens of different directions. It seems counter-intuitive, but you want to give your user as few options as possible at this stage. The easiest way to make it c

TOP TIP: Lose the navigation bar and make your landing page a standalone page.

5. Ditch the long forms

Forms are a common feature of many landing pages – perhaps you’re asking your users to sign up for a free trial, for example. It can be tempting to gather a bunch of useful info about your users, but remember that the longer that form is, the less likely it is that your users will take the time to complete it. Only include forms on your pages if absolutely necessary, and where you decide that they are, make sure that they’re short and sweet.

TOP TIP: Nobody really likes filling out forms, so keep them as short as possible – you can always gather more information on leads at a later date. You don’t want to ask too much now and scare them off!

Conclusion

As important as email clickthroughs are, they really count for very little if they don’t subsequently lead to conversions. Landing pages, when executed correctly, are a key ingredient to any conversion strategy – and a powerful tool in your email marketing locker.

Clearly there are exceptions, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred, ‘less is more.’ Strip back your messaging and navigation to the bare essentials, and ensure that the messaging of your landing page matches that of your email campaigns as closely as possible. Avoid clutter, use design cues to highlight the important actions and always evaluate your pages from your readers point of view.

So, that’s how to create great landing pages…now, let’s talk about sending great emails! Why not head over and take Instiller for a test-drive – it’s totally free for 14 days.

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