Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 1/29/14 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
Have you ever given your email address to a company you're barely familiar with, just so you can enjoy their free ebook?
You haven't been duped. You experienced the power of an effective landing page.
Assuming you were satisfied with the value of the digital product you got in return, handing out your email address feels like a small price to pay.
When done well, digital marketing involves building relationships and nurturing them over time by giving away wisdom.
The idea is that, if you've built up enough trust and authority, when a prospect is ready to make a purchase, they'll be so happy with what your brand has already done for them (for free), they'll feel great about turning to you for a real business transaction.
Landing pages are generally used to capture leads at the very beginning of this relationship.
But it all has to start somewhere.
If you're going to be interacting directly with leads, sending them helpful messages via email, then you're going to need their email addresses. That's why you have to do everything in your power to make sure the landing page itself is perfect.
There's no point in investing your sweat, time and money into drawing traffic to a landing page that isn't going to convert.
Here are five landing page tips that, if followed, will ensure that you get it right – every time.
If you're too demanding and ask for all kinds of information about your prospects, they're likely to bounce.
But, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You have to make a decision as to what type of lead you're looking to convert with your landing pages.
A landing page that requires more information will have a higher bounce rate, but it also has a greater chance of converting better leads (AKA, leads who are more highly-qualified).
On the other hand, if numbers of converted leads are what you're looking for, you want to make it as easy and painless as possible for people to opt in. Never make them think twice about filling out the form.
(For example, questions about income level, or other information that may set off psychological alarms, are out of the question unless absolutely necessary.)
Think about what you really need to know about these people to move them along the sales funnel effectively. It might be nothing more than a name, phone number, email address and a URL. Or maybe just an email.
If you want to know where they're located geographically, you can learn a lot by just asking for a zip code. It's also possible that the tool you're using to build your forms could provide users' IP addresses.
The rule of thumb is, if you're not sure you'll need it, just skip it.
When your landing page first loads, visitors shouldn't have to scroll down at all before they see the lead capture form.
While there's plenty of data to suggest that activities like checking out news feeds on social networks and browsing the web on smartphones have trained people to be scroll-happy, but it doesn't matter.
The form needs to be a major design element on the page that is as obvious as possible. No one should ever wonder where it is, or what's being asked of them.
48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.
Most content-oriented web pages include multiple navigation elements to give the user options for clicking around the site and staying engaged.
Actually, only 16% of landing pages are free of navigation bars. But landing pages are intended to be navigation dead ends, more or less.
The less noise you've got on the page, the easier it will be to keep visitors' focus where you want it – on the activity of registering as a lead. The page should have only what's needed on it to encourage conversions.
Here's what you need to Include:
People don't like to be on the outside and are often motivated by the desire to do what the cool kids are already doing.
The best case you can make for your product being enjoyed by those who matter to your audience, the more they'll want in.
Assuming you've got some boast-able metrics that speak to how many of your prospects' peers have already downloaded your free offer, or subscribed to your emails, or have become loyal customers, publish these figures prominently on your landing page.
Don't just tell your audience why it's in their best interest to convert; show them that they'll be joining an insider's club that they want to be a part of when they convert. This is the power of "social proof."
There are whole worlds of knowledge out there surrounding what makes a good call-to-action (CTA).
But you don't need to have written a dissertation in motivational techniques to understand the basic principles. Effective CTAs make it super obvious to the user what is being asked of them and what they stand to benefit as a result.
And, if you can inject a bit of urgency into the atmosphere, all the better. Sure, you can go with the default form button text of "Submit," but you can do better than that. Much better.
What if the button said, "Let's Get Started!," with “Send me free access to the online course today!” appearing in smaller text below? Now we're getting somewhere.
Follow these 5 tips to get the most out of every landing page you create from now on.
And if you feel like you want expert help, get in touch. We're all about getting amazing results for our clients