A friend of mine recently began running some digital ad campaigns to build an email subscriber list. (He is approaching a milestone birthday and wants to more proactively develop stronger relationships with colleagues, influencers and others just in case his situation changes or for when he decides to slide into freelancing once he reaches a certain age and decides to ‘partially retire.’)
Anyway, we got to talking and I noticed he was very focused on the ad and hadn’t mentioned anything about landing pages, lead capture forms, etc.
So I asked.
And based on our conversation, I came up with the following landing page tips.
1. Use a Landing Page
As frightening as this should sound – there are still a lot of organizations running ads that link the their site’s home page or to the ‘Contact Us’ form.
Create a dedicated page that is clearly the destination needed for the visitor to submit a form and get the offer. Don’t offer them something, then drop them off in the middle of your site – it creates a disconnect in their minds, causes confusion and that typically leads to them running away, never to return.
2. Message, Offer and Creative Must Match
Yes, this is one that 99.9% of the world gets right – but for those of you that are new to all of this, don’t create a landing page that is dramatically different from your ads.
If the offer is “Download a Free X”, confirm that on the landing page.
Ideally, use the same imagery, fonts, messaging – so when the visitor lands on the page, they immediately feel they reached the right destination.
3. Design for Mobile
We may sit at a desk and design on a desktop or laptop, but the majority of people that click your ad and go to your landing page are going to be on a tablet or smartphone.
So make sure your page and form looks great on the smaller devices. And that means keep the forms short, sweet and simple because the visitor is not going to type in multiple responses with their finger.
4. Long-form or Short-form
The lifelong discussion about whether or not to keep the landing page content short or go long is an interesting discussion – and the answer is ‘test and learn.’
If you design your landing page following the ‘short-form’ approach, you are striving to get it all onto the the screen without forcing the visitor to scroll. Typically that leaves you with a headline, subhead and the form.
However, there are some offers that really do require explanation and that means a longer landing page. When you go down this path, design the page so it’s clear that there’s more down below…
This can be done with interesting copy that keeps on going…or with design elements that bring the visitor’s eye to the bottom of the screen and clearly communicate “scroll for more.”
5. Show the Offer
If you’re offering a checklist or white paper or eBook – show it, preferably with an appealing cover and in the hands of someone that is reading it and obviously happy to do so.
And if it’s a product, show it in action with a short video.
And an ideal place to make this happen in right at the top of the page with your banner/hero image. (Test, of course.)
6. Navigation: Should it Stay or Go?
Do you keep the page navigation at the top of the page that runs through your site – or do you remove it for your landing pages?
Now, I am going to suggest testing but based on my experience and the experience of my clients, I am a strong proponent for removing it.
I have run tests. I have seen results. And I feel very confident with that approach.
But I still continue to test because things change.
7. Social Proof
What your parent’s called ‘testimonials’, include some social proof so the visitor knows they are in good company.
This helps address any development of ‘buyer’s remorse’ that might be starting to develop as the visitor sees the form and realizes they are about to share their name and email address.
Oh, and make sure it’s real and not from unnamed sources. There’s nothing less compelling than a “testimonial” from “Marketing Director, Law Firm” so get name, title and the rest of the details on the page.
8. Speed is Key.
As with everything online, speed matters so design the page so it loads quickly – otherwise, you will lose the visitor.
Think of this as part of the “one change to make a great first impression.”
Society is concerned about their privacy – or so they say after learning that their Siri was eavesdropping.
10. Short Form, Please!
For those of you that have read some of my other articles or have attended one of my webinars or taken one of my online courses…you’ve heard this before.
Get ready to hear it again.
Ask for what you need and will use – nothing more.
For the first encounter, name and email address is fine.
Remember, two things – first, they are many on a smartphone so a long-form is a challenge they will avoid. Second, you are just getting started in your relationship with the visitor so remember that you can ask more questions next time.
11. "Thank you!"
The world’s most under-used tool – the ‘Thank you’ page.
You have someone that is interested in learning more about your business and products – so they request access to something you have like a checklist, or white paper or video…
You can give them what they asked for OR you can exceed their expectations and give them more.
Test it out.
Create a ‘Thank you’ page that includes a short video that further explains your products/services.
Or offer suggestions on other content on the site they might be interested in based on their original request. For example, someone requests to download my 29-Step Email Marketing Checklist and they get redirected to a thank you page with a video from me with a special offer and links to other articles addressing email marketing.
But don’t forget to thank them right at the point of submitting the form – and make it an experience to differentiate you from others.
How did I do? Did I surprise you with any of the tips? Or were they what you expected – a nice detailed overview of everything you need to consider when using landing pages?
Let me know – leave a comment below or email me.