landing pageDoes anyone remember what we did before landing pages? Seth Godin claims to have invented them (sort of) and as far back as 2006 said they have five main reasons to exist:

  • Get a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else’s)
  • Get a visitor to buy
  • Get a visitor to give permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.). This includes registration of course.
  • Get a visitor to tell a friend
  • (and the more subtle) Get a visitor to learn something, which could even include posting a comment or giving you some sort of feedback

All these reasons are still valid, and nothing helps you covert like a good landing page. Unless it’s a great landing page. Here are the eight steps to achieve that greatness:

1.Identify the campaign the landing page will support

Many types of campaigns involve getting prospects to sign up for an email newsletter, download a white paper, or contact sales. The type of campaign, and your goals for it, will determine everything about your page. Make sure to plan the channels that will drive traffic to the landing page, and track clicks so you know which channels are working.

2. Map out the elements that make up a landing page

A landing page typically consists of the offer, copy, the form that the page will use to collect information, page design, lead process and metrics, and technology. Don’t forget branding. If you have an existing template, that’s a good choice to begin with. In the Olden Days, we used to say that your branding and style should be so specific and so particular to your company that if your logo fell off an ad, readers would still know it was you. That’s still a good benchmark.

3. Create a compelling offer

What you offer to prospects – in exchange for them taking the action you hope for – is the single most important part of your page. You might still get clicks if your page design is weak, but no value…no action…no conversion.

4. Write the copy for your landing page

Your copy should describe the offer, with emphasis on the benefits that your prospects will enjoy if they accept it. Keep your customer’s need and perceptions in mind as you write; this automatically helps make your copy more customer-centric. Make it as simple and specific as possible, and emphasize the headline and call-to-action.

5. Develop your landing page form

The landing page form allows you to collect information about your prospects. Some forms just collect email addresses, while others collect complete contact information and information that allows you to qualify the prospect. Note well: The shorter the form, the more often it will be completed.

6. Design your landing page

With the offer, copy, and form decided, you can design your page. Again, a branded template is a huge time-saver and helps ensure consistency. Use lots of white space and bullet points so that the page is easy to read, and emphasize the form. One company simply added a red arrow pointing at its form and experienced a dramatic lift in conversions.

7. Understand how the page fits into your lead process

Identify how prospects will arrive at the page. Common sources of traffic include email, search engine referrals, and display advertising. If the visitor converts, at what stage in the funnel will they be? And what’s the next action? Will sales follow up at this point, or will marketing continue to nurture the prospect?

8. Understand the technology that will support your page

inbound marketing doggie logoBasic features to look for include the ability to develop and publish form-based landing pages. More advanced features include progressive profiling and lead scoring.Whatever you use, spend the time to get familiar and comfortable with it; that will be a time-saver down the road.

Did you know? Act-On’s new Inbound feature includes an SEO audit that will help you maximize the value of every landing page. Get found and get known! Read all about it.