Lead generation is a major part of managing a successful business today.
And if you’re a blogger that is looking to make money then you need to start thinking about your blog as a business. After all, the more leads you have, the better your chance at converting these leads into mailing list subscribers or paying customers.
Today’s digital age makes collecting leads much easier than it was a decade ago as marketers and salespeople use the Internet and social media to reach a large audience of potential customers.
The process of conversion, however, is not as black and white as it seems. Company websites are dedicated to an overall product or business, so where do you send people when promoting something specific – perhaps a webinar, new product, or special deal?
Websites are written and designed to ensure the content is not overkill as websites that are hard to navigate due to excessive content are a surefire way to send potential customers running into the competitor’s arms.
So what do you do when you want to include more information for one particular promotion?
You create a separate landing page dedicated specifically to your promotion (hosted on your site, of course, for SEO purposes). Landing pages play a crucial role in turning a lead into a mailing list subscriber or a paying customer. They provide you with a vehicle to give more information and specifics on a particular product or service as well as direct call to action that prompts your audience to take the desired route.
As the marketing and communication manager for an enterprise social management suite, I’ve found landing pages extremely useful in getting the results I want.
Considering we provide a comprehensive, technical service with many different features, I found the use landing pages necessary as I wanted and needed to expand on our features. I use landing pages for two main reasons:
1) To provide more detailed information about specific function
2) Capture new leads by offering a resource in exchange for lead information.
In both cases, I have seen the conversation rate significantly increase due to following these 5 easy steps:
Testing, testing… 123
Testing your landing pages is crucial to understanding whether or not you’re making a difference in conversions.
How do you know if something is working if you don’t have anything to compare it to?
One simple A/B test can increase drastically increase conversions.
If you haven’t heard of this before or you are unsure of what it means; it means testing a variation of your landing page (or several of them) against an original version to find out which performs better.
When setting up your A/B test, make sure you are making significant changes so you can be sure that you’re getting the best and most accurate results. Here are a few things to consider when testing:
- Form placement: Are you collecting information? Try putting your form in different areas for each page. Just as in email, things typically perform better when above the fold as they are seen even with a quick glance.
- Mobile response: Users are increasingly on the go, so it’s likely that they are accessing your page through a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. Test different versions of your landing pages to see where the traffic is coming from.
- Images: A picture tells a thousand words, and in a world where a thousand words just aren’t possible anymore, images can do wonders when used on a landing page. If you don’t believe it, do a quick test on a page with no images and all text versus a page with an image and some text. If you already use images, try out a couple different images to see which gets the best results.
A headline that grabs your audience
Remember that people online have extremely short attentions spans so you need to grab their attention quickly. And in most cases over 70-80% of your visitors may never return.
Just as the lead in an article or opening in a novel determines whether or not your audience continues to read, the headline of a landing page determines whether or not your audience stays on the page or clicks away.
While your landing page must be aesthetically appealing to draw initial intrigue, do not let your designer write the copy on the page.
The headline and subsequent content is what will keep the audience interested and ultimately lead to conversion. According to the experts at Unbounce, there are three essentials to successful headlines:
- Focus: Get straight to the point. A great headline is focuses more on what is important and less on pretty words and fluff. Lose the used car salesman act – tell the audience exactly what they’re getting into.
- Relevance: Make sure you’re headline relates to the offer or information on your landing page. Nothing is more distracting than an alluring headline followed by body and copy that has nothing to do with it. People will leave as soon as they realize it’s not what they were looking for.
- Benefits: Tell your audience why your offer/product will benefit them. What problems will claiming this offer solve? People are more likely to convert if they see a benefit in your offer. Remember; “features tell, benefits sell”
People can spot an exaggeration when they see/hear it. If you truly want to pull in the right leads, make sure you are putting believable claims out there. No one believes that 100% of users are satisfied – unless, of course, you have one user who is satisfied and that is your only user.
But if you have thousands or millions, a claim like that is simply not believable and users will read this as another blatant sales technique and turn away. If you want to make your claims more believable, be honest with the numbers and careful with your words.
People trust companies that are popular or preferred by like-minded consumers so phrases such as ”95% of customers recommend Viralheat for social media management” do well with conversions.
If you have a lot of well-known customers you can rely on the power of brand awareness by using a claim such as “Viralheat is trusted by over 20,000 brands including Men’s Wearhouse and T-Mobile.”
Make sure you back up your claims – anyone can say they have the world’s best anything, but you need numbers in order to validate that.
Here’s an example from Unbounce.com:
A compelling and direct call to action (CTA)
Don’t beat around the bush.
Tell your audience what you want them to do as often times people just need that little push to get them to commit.
Here is an example from Crazyegg.com:
Be direct in your CTAs and don’t leave room for if, ands, or buts. Your audience needs to know that they need your product/service/offer right now! Because CTAs need to be short and to the point, verbiage is very important.
Make sure you do not give your audience a chance to do anything other than what you’re calling for them to do. One word can make the difference – for instance, “sign up today” converts more than “sign up” as it provides a sense of urgency.
Also, people love the word free as free items tends to yield a much higher conversion rate.
How much more likely are you to claim your “free two-week trial” or “download your free eBook”? Believe in the power of free (if applicable, of course).
Choose the right tools
Landing pages are crucial but they shouldn’t be the thorn in your side.
Luckily, there are tools and plugins that help with landing page conversions. There are WordPress plugins on the market that range from free to premium with varying functionality so make sure you do your research before committing to one particular plugin.
The ideal plugin or tool allows you to easily create your landing pages with an intuitive UI and clear steps to ensuring your landing page contains the elements above.
Landing pages play an integral role in lead generation, sales conversion, and information dissemination… as long as the landing page is effective.
Taking these five steps into consideration when putting together landing pages now and in the future, will improve your landing page conversion and bring in a larger list of leads to become potential customers or mailing list subscribers.
It’s important to remember that best practice can only get you so far.
This is because what works in one niche may not work in another – this is why testing is so important.
I’d love to learn more about the experience you have had with landing pages in the comments below.
For those of you that want to learn how to track conversions better using goals in Google Analytics, I suggest you check out Adam’s tutorial here.