If you’re buying online ads, you should also be creating landing pages. Plural. B2C companies that are creating context specific landing pages that correspond directly to an ad are achieving conversion rates well above the industry average of 2-4% according to FireClick and MarketingSherpa. Why? Because message match and a targeted call to action builds trust and credibility and delivers relevant content to visitors.

A few years ago, the online marketing team at American Greetings was sending all of their traffic (millions of unique visitors) from paid search and other online media sources to their home page or one single landing page that was MVT-optimized (Multivariate Test – testing many variables on a page at the same time).

AG’s goal was to convert traffic using an online registration form for a free trial subscription (which later converts to a paid subscription). However, implementing testing on the one landing page was slow and arduous, with a multi-month feedback loop that kept their conversion rate low.  The marketing team knew they needed to improve their conversion rate, and realized the best way to do this was through more targeted pages, better testing and faster implementation. They also wanted the ability to experiment broadly with content and layout, and view test results and analysis in real time.

These are common wishes for marketers at B2C (and B2B) companies. IT departments are already so pressed for support from all angles of the company, updating landing pages for the marketing team is the last thing on their mind.  Unfortunately this means the online marketing team is converting fewer online leads which lends itself to an average or below average ROI, and little impact on the organization’s bottom line.

When AG finally adopted a conversion optimization tool (LiveBall*) to help their marketing team create, launch and test landing pages without help from IT, they saw an almost immediate 30% increase in conversion and a subsequent 20% decrease in cost-per-acquisition.  AG went from 1 landing page to 40 landing pages within the first three months of using LiveBall, and over the course of five months they created over 700 unique landing pages that are tested across hundreds of unique traffic sources. Of course not every organization will need 700 or even 40 landing pages. It all depends on the number of traffic sources you’re using to drive traffic to increase conversions.

In addition to being able to create many targeted landing pages, AG is also pleased with their real-time testing and analytics. On Mother’s Day alone, the real-time change in traffic splits resulted in over $45,000 in incremental revenue. Without being able to quickly create and launch a landing experience on the fly, AG would have missed out on $45,000 in Mother’s Day revenue. That’s a lot.

The number of traffic sources you have, is the number of landing pages you need.

If you’re looking for tips on optimizing your landing pages, check out ion interactive’s (my employer) 7-point checklist  for evaluating landing pages, or our 10 tips for higher converting lead generation landing pages post.

What are you doing to increase conversions at your organization? I would love to hear your stories!

Author: Kristina Allen is the online marketing manager for @ioninteractive where she handles social media and PR initiatives. You can read her daily blog posts at The Post-Click Marketing blog, or connect with her @allenkristina on Twitter.

*Disclaimer: LiveBall is software created by my employer, ion interactive.