Picture this: A top prospect opens your latest email, clicks on the content campaign in your email signature, gets taken to a landing page, and…what happens next? The answer to that question determines the success of your entire email signature marketing strategy. Not only that, it determines the success of every marketing initiative you manage that has a source (Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and corresponding landing page.
Whether you’re using a landing page to generate leads, drive event registrations, or collect data, ensuring a high conversion rate is key. A marketing campaign is only as effective as the landing page it directs to, whether you’re using HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, Act-On, or another provider. As such, it’s your duty to ensure your landing pages are the best they can be. To give you a head start, I’ve pinpointed the five key factors to an effective landing page:
The landing page headline is the first thing a visitor sees after he or she clicks on an email signature campaign, Facebook ad, etc. As such, it must be easy to read, straightforward, and intriguing. Once a visitor arrives to your landing page, it’s your headline’s job to hold the visitor’s attention and reassure him or her that they’ve come to the right place. Otherwise, the person might leave before completing the task at hand, also known as the conversion goal.
To establish continuity, you should also ensure that your landing page headline closely matches the headline in your source campaign. The same can be said for your call-to-action. If your marketing campaign promotes an upcoming conference or webinar, your landing page headline should do the same.
If the headline is what holds a visitor’s attention, it’s the page design that focuses the visitor on the action you want he or she to take. Every design element on an effective landing page should be aligned to a conversion goal. For that reason, it is important to use minimal patterns, contrasting colors, and a prominently placed form field. Remember to be clear and concise. Clarity is often lost when marketers try to make the landing page design ultra cool or edgy.
When designing your landing page, another thing to remember is that you need to establish trust. How well does the initial above-the-fold landing page experience deliver on the promise made in the marketing campaign? The color palette, patterns, fonts, and general vibe of the landing page need to align to the design of the source campaign. You don’t want to surprise the visitor or make him or her think they’ve come to the wrong place. On the contrary, if the campaign and landing page compliment each other, the visitor is much more likely to stick around.
There are a number of strategies you can use with a form fill. Both short and long forms have been shown to perform quite well. The method you choose depends on whether you want to generate a high number of low quality form submissions, or a smaller number of higher quality submissions. Whichever strategy you choose, consider leaving form boxes unchecked. Otherwise, you’ll risk adding a lot of low quality subscribers to your contact base, which can hurt your business.
When creating a form fill, make sure every action you request of your audience leads naturally to the next step. This is especially relevant in multi-step form fills which visitors have a tendency to abandon mid-way through. If you’re implementing a multi-step form fill, consider adding a status bar so that visitors have a general idea of the form length.
With supporting content, it’s important to make sure your most important information comes first and clearly presents the value you’re offering. A source campaign can only offer a limited amount of information in the banner/ad. That means that the corresponding landing page has to make up for missing context. It should compliment the copy from your ad, but also expand upon it and continue to persuade.
And speaking of persuasion, all supporting content should align to your conversion goal. You may have 10-20 goals for your homepage, but an effective landing page aligns to a single action. If you’re trying to get a prospect to download an ebook, every piece of content on your landing page should be steering the visitor toward the download.
For that reason, it may be a good idea to remove outside links and social share buttons. They divert visitors from accomplishing the main goal. The same thing can be said for testimonials, sub-headers, and bullets. They can be great tools to establish trust and credibility, but if they do not aid in persuasion or conversion, they are not appropriate.
The last thing to consider with supporting content is SEO. The added benefit of supporting content is that it gives the page an SEO boost because search engines have more content to crawl. Use the same SEO best practices you would apply to your company blog or website to your landing pages.
It’s probably not surprising to hear that the images you use on a landing page have a huge impact on your conversion rate. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. With that said, don’t just use images that you know garner an emotional response (i.e. cute babies). Images on an effective landing page align to the company’s brand, campaign and conversion goal. You have to strike a perfect balance between eye catching and distracting. If images are too bold then they could pull attention away from your main call-to-action which is the last thing you want. Instead, choose images that complement or even emphasize your main objective.
Another thing to keep in mind is that including people in your images can be a powerful influencer. As human beings, we have a tendency to look at faces. Not only that, if the people in an image are looking in a specific direction, our eyes have a tendency to follow. Use this kind of directional cue to your advantage when choosing a landing page image and direct your visitors attention to your call-to-action.
When creating a compelling landing page, it all comes down to outcome optimization. A great source campaign strategy means nothing if your landing page does not deliver. Use these five prominent factors to your advantage and watch conversion rates go through the roof.