Having Derek Zoolander work at XadorLabs for a brief but spasmodic period was a breath of fresh air. The main thing that set him apart was he was hygienic. When you look at our employee of the month stars you’ll get the gist. Derek taught us many things over the solid hour and a half we were fortunate enough to have him with us. “Who am I?”, he would often say as he gazed into the bathroom mirror. This got me thinking.
Designing landing pages in the lab 80 hours a week can, put mildly, make a man lose perspective. Big time. A standard week comprises 168 hours. Minus the 80 hours a week designing in the Lab. That leaves me with 88 hours in which im probably engaged in more neolithic-based activities such as eating, sleeping, cleaning, and wearing clothes.
I felt I needed time to reflect on landing pages, get to the root, bring it back to basics, ask the deeper questions. What are they? Who are they? When do you need them? Why bother with them at all? What bits make up a landing page? Are there different types of landing pages?
I just didn’t know anymore. Maybe I was only in it for the glamour. Or the women. Maybe landing pages were just really really really good looking and had no substance at all. Sometimes you toil away on something without ever questioning why, when it was all completely senseless. It wouldn’t be the first time, that’s for sure. So, lets probe and ask the big questions few would dare. Let’s get to the bottom of this, but first the formalities. Congratulations to Derek Zoolander, you are XadorLabs employee of the month for.
What is a landing page
Here we are going to discuss the 101 basics of landing pages and how you can make them work for your business through generating new leads.
In the universe of digital marketing a landing page is a very effective tool. A single page is designed to support an advertising campaign from pay per click (PPC) advertising traffic such as a Facebook or Google Adwords ad.
A landing page is where the visitor gets directed after clicking on an Ad. This page is designed with just one objective, to convert them into a customer. Every well designed landing page has a single Call to Action (CTA). This is the one thing we want the visitor to do and when they carry out this action it is called a conversion. We like conversions, we like them a lot as this is where we can start interacting with them through a series of automated and personalized emails or “funnels”.
Often a conversion will include the visitor giving up some personal information, namely an email address through the landing pages form. Generally it’s a give-and take scenario, for instance you get their email address in your CRM/ESP list and they get a discount voucher, information to download, a chance to win something etc.
In conclusion a landing page is a single page outside of the businesses main website designed generate new leads from your online ads by focusing a visitors attention to carry out a single Call to Action.
When to use landing pages
Landing pages are used to support your online advertising campaigns. Any time you have an online ad it is far more effective to have a landing page specifically designed to handle the clicks/visitors to ease process. A landing pages goal is to create “conversions” to get the visitor to carry out the Call to Action seeded from the ad often to fill out a form to allow your company to interact with them. Inversely it is referred to a “bounce” when a visitor doesn’t carry out the Call to Action. We don’t like “bounces” at XadorLabs, no, not one little bit.
Dumping a visitor into a companies main website is guaranteed to create “bounces”. With all the distractions and navigation it creates a plethora of bounce points and a potential customer could be lost. Instead a well designed landing page will help reiterate and clarify your message from the clicked ad and keep your visitor on task to carry out your wonderful call to action.
Considering statistic show that 96% of visitors to your website are not ready to buy it seems we have a bit of a problem. Not really, all this means is that 96% don’t have enough information or trust in the product/service/brand to become a customer yet. This again is when landing pages help ease the way. Through generating leads they give your business a chance to interact, ease the customers pain points, validate your product/service and instill your brands trust. Landing pages give your visitor a chance to experience your brand/business before becoming a customer.
In conclusion we use landing pages anytime we want to focus a visitors attention to carry out a particular Call to Action and to generate new leads to keep that sales funnel full.
What bits make up a landing page?
A strong high converting page will be designed from these fundamentals.
A give and take style offer
Strong Call to Action
A promise or guarantee
1: A give and take style offer.
No one gives up there details for nothing. Sweeten the deal by building this into your lead generating campaigns through your call to action.
Eg: Join our free members group for exclusive offers.
Pretty basic but the sweeter the offer the more chance of conversions.
2: Message Matching
Ensure message continuity throughout the projects entire flow starting from the ads Call to Action. Reiterate this in the landing page heading, supporting copy, lead generating form heading and form submit button.
3: Strong Call to Action
This is your offer! It’s make or break. Tell your visitor what to do and what they get. Make it emotive, direct and obvious and combine it with message matching. Keep it short and punchy and focus on the benefits.
4: A promise or guarantee
Give your visitor the feeling they have nothing to lose. Back-up your product/service.
Offer some quick statistics or a free trial.
Use your branding consistently. Ultimately, your brand is your point of difference and how visitors recognize you. Make it prominent and give it it’s own space. Use partner logos and any security emblems your business is aligned with.
6: Social Proof
Images, video, and short testimonials all go a long way to proving your credibility. Peer referrals have always been the cheapest way of generating new business and social media makes it even easier.
7: Immediate response
Make a good first impression with an immediate follow up. With CRM/ESP automation there’s no excuse for forgetting for not doing this. For each visitor conversion, send out an automated and personalized welcome/thank-you response with any related links, downloads, vouchers, and confirmations. Research suggests that businesses that respond to new leads within a hour are 7 times more likely to turn a lead into a sale. It will also shows you’re interested in their business!
How do landing pages work?
Landing pages should be hosted on a company’s sub-domain. This allows for us to create campaigns without interfering with the main website and its IT department. Yes, remove the middle man for swift deployment!
A visitor clicks from an ad to the landing page. This is a custom designed page optimized to convert this visitor. With Facebook ads for example, when an ad is clicked it triggers the magical tracking pixel for conversion tracking. All these interaction show up in the Facebook ad analytics. You’ll then be able to re-target this visitor with subsequent ads and create a Custom Audience. As more conversions occur on the landing page Facebook gets a better understanding of delivering the ad to people who are more likely to do the same action. This is called Conversion Optimization and it has a positive effect on your ROI.
Any landing page should be hooked up to Google Analytics and SEO optimized to take on organic traffic as well as PPC traffic. Using vital keywords in heading, copy, metadata and image alt tags are not to be overlooked.
Once a visitor converts (ie fills out the form and submits their information) a chain reaction occurs. Their all valuable data will be added to a list in a CRM/ESP and an automated personalized welcome/thank you message will be sent out. At this point the visitor is now in your sales funnel, finely tuned to turn them into a customer.
Types of landing pages
Landing pages main and most important use are for lead generation. However they can be used in many an instance to support marketing campaigns. Anytime we want to focus a users attention is a good time to use a landing page. Luckily they are fast to design and deploy without bothering the companies busy web team and because they are isolated and standalone we are able to gain many rich insights into the pages performance and how a visitor is using it via A/B testing, heatmaps and Google Analytics
Lead generating landing pages
Simple enough but a powerhouse of a page. Use this type to fill up your sales funnel with new prospects. Generally the understanding here is that your customer isn’t ready to buy yet.
Often in emails there are links to external supporting media, videos, explainers and social proof. A landing page can easily be created for these purposes and to educate visitors about your brand/service/product.
Profiling landing pages
Use this type to find out more about potential and existing customers. Profiling and segmenting your prospects further helps serve them a more personal experience thus increasing your chance to convert them into a customer. Competition entries, questionnaires and various opt ins help you find out more. Even if they’re at the end of your sales funnel it still provides you an opportunity to find out their objections through a feedback form which could really help move your business forward. I recommend a feedback landing page built for all sales funnels. Any objections we can glean from our potential customers can only help you understand and overcome customer pain points.
Re-targeting landing pages
Often you browse a site, leave and you start getting that companies ads. It’s a miracle! Not really, you’ve just been re-targeted with the magical tracking pixel pixie. Re-targeting is a company’s “second chance”. A different landing page than the default should be designed for the re-target ad. Clearly the first angle didn’t work so in keeping with the re-targeted ads offer this too should be reflected in that ads landing page.
E-commerce landing pages
A more direct page where a visitor can actually make a purchase through an optimized shopping cart which could include an upsell or downsell. Here it would be more advisable to keep the amount of products to an absolute minimum.
For questions/enquiries please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org