Your landing pages are the sales team of your inbound marketing progam. They "close the deal" in your lead generation process. A well-designed landing page can be the difference between hitting your revenue goals and missing them.
Landing pages are web pages where a potential lead provides contact and demographic information in exchange for a premium content offer like an eBook, whitepaper, video or webinar registration. They essentially "sell" your premium content offer to generate leads.
If you've invested money, time and resources in an inbound marketing program, it's crucial that your landing pages ensure that you generate enough leads to justify your investment. In the article below, we will describe the anatomy of a highly effective landing page.
Consistency in your conversion paths is crucial
Let's start by reviewing how leads are generated in an inbound marketing program. The image below from HubSpot clearly illustrates the lead generation process.
A website visitor comes to your website and clicks on a call-to-action. A call-to-action is an element of your website that promotes your lead generation offer. The website visitor clicks on the call-to-action and is taken to the landing page for the inbound lead generation offer. When the website visitor completes the form on the landing page, she is taken to a thank-you page where she accesses the content offer. The process (call-to-action>landing page>thank-you page) is called a conversion path.
A highly effective landing page is part of a consistent conversion path. The copy and visuals on your CTA should be carried through to your landing page. When a visitor clicks one of your CTAs, the consistency of the landing page should assure them that they will get what they expected from clicking the CTA.
Minimize distractions on your landing page
Your landing page has one function and one fuction only: to get your visitor to complete the form and access your content offer. Any element of the landilng page that distracts from this goal should be eliminated.
You should remove website navigation from your landing pages - you don't want to give a potential lead the opportunity to navigate off of the landing page.
While it's a good idea to add social sharing buttons that enable vistors to share your landing pages on their social media networks, don't include social follow buttons. They are a distraction from the goal of lead conversion on the landing pages.
Copy and visuals on the landing page should all be oriented to demonstrating the benefits of the content offer to potential leads.
A well-designed landing page template will incorporate the essential functions and be editable for future lead generation offers you come up with.
Optimize your landing page forms
Another important feature to optimize in your landing pages is the structure of your forms. As a general rule, the less information you ask for, the more leads you will get. Businesses looking to maximize the quantity of leads will generally ask for First Name, Last Name and an Email Address. A sure way to reduce the quantity of lead generation is to ask for a phone number. Many potential leads just want the content offer without a phone call.
Depending on your business, quantity of leads may not be as important to you as quality. In my business, I use lead generation forms to qualify leads. I ask a few basic questions about the industry, the person's role in their company and the size of their company.
I try to make it as easy as possible. I ask these questions by means of a simple drop-down menu that let's the person easily answer the question without a lot of effort on their part.
There are a few benefits to this approach:
- There is some qualification performed just by asking the questions. Someone who's not a potential customer may decide it's not worth the trouble of answering the questions to access the content offer.
- With marketing automation software like HubSpot, you can segment your leads in order to provide them with email and other marketing elements that are targeted based on their demographics. Rather than try to find the lowest common denominator between people from technology companies and insurance agencies, you can target relevent information to each segment.
- You can use your forms to qualify your leads for your sales team. For example, if you target technology companies and a lead is in the retail industry, that's probably someone not worth contacting from a sales standpoing.
Trust elements will improve your conversion ratio
Using trust elements like testimonials and customer references will improve the performance of your landing pages. This is an example of the content of social proof. When confronted with a choice of 2 restaurants, one with a line around the block and the other half empty, most people will choose the crowded restaurant. After all, it must be good with all those people waiting in line.
The same concepts holds true for landing pages. If a customer says great things about a your business in a testimonial on the landing page, that's one less element of friction to keep a potential lead from converting.
The same holds true for certifications and other third-party trust elements - display them on your landing pages to show potential leads that you're a quality business.
When designed properly, landing pages can have a significant positive impact on your bottom line. When done poorly, they can sink an otherwise well-designed inbound marketing effort. Follow the best practices shown above and your inbound lead generation process will thrive.