A Review of Inbound Marketing – Chapter 9:
Authors Halligan and Shah move from breaking down the elements of successful calls-to-action for visitor to lead conversion to helping us understand what a prospect should experience after they click the CTA. Contrary to popular belief, they are not showered with balloons confetti. Rather, they are directed to a relevant landing page
The workhorse of lead generation and conversion is the landing page. A landing page is like a conversation with the concierge at a fancy hotel—you have already sized-up the joint and chosen to enter. Now it’s time to have your questions answered.
Some best practices for landing page creation are:
- Matching: Make sure that the Call To Action clicked by the user corresponds with the content you have on your landing page. For example, if your CTA says “Download our new menu” don’t take the user a landing page that lists your upcoming events.
- Building Trust: The style and format of your landing page needs to reflect the style and format of your site. Us
ers are a timid bunch, when clicking on a CTA they are mice, comfy and cozy in their hole. But they could be lured out for the right opportunity, more food maybe? The landing page is the cheese. If you provide your users with good, credible consistent “cheese” they will inch their way out. Anything that looks fishy will see them high tail it out of there.
- Go Naked: Less is more. Less clutter on a landing page results in more conversions. Users don’t need to see animations of flying toasters or dancing babies. Include only the information that a user needs, everything else is a distraction.
- Integrate: This is almost the same as Building Trust, but takes it one step further. Complete, consistent integration of offers and tone across all of your channels channels builds trust for your brand. Users will respond positively to your marketing if their previous experiences with your brand have met or exceeded their expectations.
If you have the time and resources to A/B test landing pages, this can be a great way to nail down exactly what approaches work best for your audience. A/B testing is a process where you test multiple versions of the same landing page and let the analytics on viewership and conversion rates determine your winner. According to Event 360, President Obama raised an additional $60 million by using landing page A/B testing in his campaign.
This doesn’t have to be as complicated as Plato’s allegory of the cave, although having your own theory of forms can be as important to your lead conversion as formulating a solution to the problems of the universe. You’ve done a good enough job getting the prospect to the landing page, it would be a shame if you scared them off with a lousy form. All you should really ask for in the first form is a name and an email address. You can collect more information further down the road as you go about nurturing your lead.
According to the authors, the basic qualities a form must have are:
- Short – As mentioned above, just name and email address.
- Above the fold – readers shouldn’t have to scroll down the landing page to find the form.
- Not sensitive – Resist the urge to ask for sensitive information –more visitors won’t appreciate being asked to hand over their SSN or promising you their first born.
- Simple – Along with keeping it short, the form shouldn’t require any serious head scratching. Also, avoid confusing the reader and don’t include “cancel” or “clear” buttons.
- Auto responder – Make sure that your prospects receive an email with a further call-to-action after filling out the form.
Fortune cookie-size summary
Make sure your CTAs direct prospects to specific and relevant landing pages. Once there, prospects should find a form that is easy to fill out.
Some numbers to chew on
According to Marketing Sherpa, “Of B2B companies that use landing pages, 62% have six or fewer total landing pages.” Ponder that in relation to the Hubspot statistic that “companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7 times more leads than those with fewer than 10.”
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