One of the persistent problems with content marketing is trying to separate out the actual sales leads from all the looky-loos. Since you're putting your content online for free, you're going to get a lot of visitors to your website who simply aren't going to become customers. Either they're just there to learn one specific fact, or they can't afford your products, or they're “just browsing.”
Your calls-to-action and landing pages are where you can really start separating the leads from everyone else. They stand at the midpoint of the “sales funnel” which is, in many ways, the most crucial junction. (I'm not entirely convinced the funnel metaphor is the best way to describe Internet marketing, but perhaps that's a matter for another blog.)
At any rate, creating effective landing pages is an absolute necessity if you want to see your website thrive and become a sales-driving tool. This is where you get people on your mailing list and start gathering demographic information about them to help your sales team do their job.
So, let's take a look at what goes into creating effective landing pages!
Creating Effective Landing Pages For Fun And Profit
The first and most important thing to remember about your landing pages is that they are an exchange of value for value. They're a deal, between you and the customer, to swap data. Internet users are well aware that their personal information is valuable, and they treat it as a commodity. Your landing pages should be “sales” pages, except you're just trying to get their email rather than their credit card number.
So, from top to bottom, here's what you should be thinking about when you want to create effective landing pages.
Your headline should be short and to the point, emphasizing what the customer gets out of the deal. Begin with an action word to make it feel dynamic. “Discover The Hottest Web Marketing Techniques For 2013 In Our Latest eBook!” would be a functional example.
A picture or video immediately below the headline (or, occasionally, above it) will do a lot to boost your lead generation. The picture should be eye-catching and relate directly to the offer. If you go with a video (which is a great idea) make sure it's short, probably in the 1-2 minute range. The video can be your elevator pitch for the offer.
Your sales copy should, again, be to the point and as short as possible. Ideally, it shouldn't be more than two or three paragraphs. A small amount of sales hype is OK, but don't succumb to hyperbole. Savvy Internet users today become wary if they think they're being buffaloed with market-speak, so don't make any claims you can't back up factually. Be to the point about what you're asking for and why, along with what the benefits of the offer will be.
Whitespace between the different elements is important, to keep the layout from looking cramped. Keep paragraphs short, and try to utilize bullet points when possible to make it easier to read. You want a page that someone can “scan” quickly, in just a few seconds, to decide if the offer is for them, with the copy and video there to add information for those who want it.
The submission form should ask for as few pieces of data as you can manage. Every extra field will decrease your conversions, so try to only ask for what you truly need to make your sales team happy.
Finally, you should have NO links to anywhere on your site on your landing page. Make it a blind alley. Either they accept the offer, or they have to manually hit 'back' on their browser.
Creating effective landing pages is easy if you keep this in mind. The KISS principle definitely applies here. Keep it simple and to the point, and you'll see a lot more lead conversions!