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10 Tips for Smooth Landings

10 Tips for Smooth Landings

In order to identify the best landing page for your visitors, experiment with the page by placing the call-to-action in different places, using different words, different page layouts, and long versus short copy. Incorporate your findings into the next version until you have a page that performs at its best.

By Chris Chariton E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
03/28/12 5:00 AM PT

Effective landing pages are an essential component of successful online marketing campaigns and are probably the single biggest factor in determining whether or not you will convert a Web visitor into a prospect who is willing to provide contact information.

Landing pages are custom-designed single Web pages a visitor arrives at after clicking on a link or advertisement. Typically, their sole purpose for marketing campaigns is to generate contact information from visitors. Entice industrial professionals to accept your offer by following these 10 tips to create compelling landing pages that deliver a strong, clear message.

1. Make It Short and Sweet

There are times where longer, more detailed copy is appropriate, but it should be written keeping in mind that many people will merely scan what is on the page. Remember that people skim content on the Web.

Write as little copy as possible to put forth a compelling value proposition that your visitor will act upon. Focus copy on the benefits of accepting your offer. Use bold headlines, bullet points, and short sentences and paragraphs. Getting right to the point will get it done.

2. Sidestep Navigation

While you want to give visitors options just in case your offer doesn't entice them, it's not worth it. You'll lose other would-be prospects because some visitors can't resist clicking around, never to return. Stay focused on your offer.

Remember that logo you added to the landing page? Have it link to your home page if you want. However, don't include your main website navigation on your landing pages. That only invites your visitors to click away from your offer, which can cost you a potential inquiry.

3. Bypass Clutter

If your offer is too complicated to articulate in a single page, either rethink the offer or add a couple of pop-up links that provide extra info without requiring the visitor to navigate away from your page.

Design clean, open pages. Use big, easy-to-read fonts and plenty of white space. Show visitors exactly where to look (at your value proposition and offer). You may be tempted to cram as much as possible on the page, assuming more information is better. But resist the urge to over-explain.

4. Keep the Format Simple

Ask for name, company, email address, and maybe a phone number. That's all you need. The rest of the information can be filled in later as you begin to engage and learn more about your new prospect's needs.

Long, complicated forms with many required fields are an invitation to abandon the page. One look at such a form can turn otherwise interested visitors away. Your goal is to capture information to make initial contact.

5. Maintain Consistency Between Ad and Page

If you use graphics and copy on the landing page similar to your ad, visitors will know they've come to the right place. An industrial professional sees an attention-grabbing ad and clicks to learn more.

You'll also be repeating the image or offer that supplied the motivation to click in the first place, further increasing your visitors' desire to get what they came for.

6. Experiment With Variations

In order to identify the best landing page for your visitors, experiment with the page by placing the call-to-action in different places, using different words, different page layouts, and long versus short copy. Incorporate your findings into the next version until you have a page that performs at its best.

Let's say you're running an ad for three consecutive months in an industrial e-newsletter. Try out three variations of the landing page to see which performs best.

7. Review Your Page Multiple Times

Triple-check your copy for grammatical or spelling errors, and make sure the links work and forms submit. This is true for any Web page. Many people are turned off by mistakes, and that alone will cause people to click away.

You may not only miss out on inquiries, but also damage your brand reputation. If your landing page isn't correct, what does that say about your products or work processes?

8. Make Sure Your Landing Page Is Branded

This is important whether your company is widely recognized in the industrial sector or not. Visitors want to know whose site they are on -- it increases their comfort level and trust.

Your company logo and name should be visible on the landing page so visitors immediately know who is responsible for the content.

9. Utilize New Contacts Immediately

Respond as soon as possible; it's important to the success of your campaign. You could even set up an automated response system that sends out an email to thank the prospect for accepting your offer and providing links to other information that will be of interest to them.

Now that you've captured their contact information, go ahead and give them more content options.

10. Sell Your Offer

Use a bold button: "Download Now" or "Register Today." Repeat the call to action as text links on other parts of the page.

Whether you are offering a white paper, a webinar registration, a free product sample, or other valuable content, your goal is get visitors to accept your offer. Create a clear call-to-action and place it prominently near the top of the landing page.


Chris Chariton is senior vice president, product management and supplier marketing, for GlobalSpec, which provides digital media solutions designed to connect industrial marketers with their target audience of engineering, technical, industrial, scientific and manufacturing sector professionals. Chariton can be reached at cchariton@globalspec.com.


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