[RAW] November Newslever
November 2007, Volume 1, Issue 11

Dear Friend:

Have you ever clicked on a link in an email and been taken to a page that doesn't seem to be connected to the offer that interested you? Or, when you get to the page, it's so hard to figure out how to take action that you just give up and click away? These common landing page problems can be solved by a little bit of forethought and planning. By focusing on the right issues, you can be sure that your landing pages will meet your objectives.

Any page that you get to by clicking on a primary link in an email, a link on a Web site, or a URL direct from a printed piece, is commonly referred to as a "landing page." Your landing page may be a lead capture tool, a special offer, or promotion. In any case it's where the action happens—that is, the call to action.

This month's feature gives you 5 simple tips to help you increase your chances for success—ensuring that your promotions are cost effective and revenue generating. While we'd like to think of this as pure science, there is also a fair amount of art.  As with everything else in our lives, practice (and experimentation, and testing) makes perfect.  Of course, if you need help, you can always give us a call. Our goal is always to make you as successful as you can be.

Mitch Lapides
President, FulcrumTech

Mitch Lapides
Mitch Lapides
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5 Tips for Building a Successful Landing Page

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5 Tips for Building a Successful Landing Page
By Mitch Lapides, President FulcrumTech

Prospects and clients sometimes come to me in frustration about an email newsletter, a Web site, or a Web page that just isn't doing the job. They believe they've crafted a really appealing offer, but there are so few takers, and they are wondering why?

Just last week, a prospect called me to say that his firm's newsletter wasn't generating the leads he was expecting. When we talked through the problem, it became quite clear that there was no value proposition, no compelling solution or offer, and no clear call to action. As it turned out, my prospect was missing the boat on the fundamental success factors for developing a successful landing page. The good news is that by knowing what he was missing, he could take the necessary steps to fix his program.

Tip #1: Establish a measurable objective.
When you establish your objective, make sure that it is as measurable as possible. Think about exactly why you are creating the Web site, the campaign, or the email. Then translate that goal into a quantifiable result.  It is amazing how frequently this basic step is not addressed at small and large companies.

Common objectives can include any of the below:

  • Generating leads
  • Selling products or services
  • Building awareness
  • Generating referrals
  • Signing up for something

Make sure to avoid competing objectives. Many pages end up trying to do too many things at once. Test after test shows that presenting multiple different calls to action dilutes all objectives. Keep in mind that a person typically spends only seconds viewing a Web page. If it’s not instantly clear what the page is about, you are likely to lose the visitor. It is critical that you focus on one objective, and then make sure that the design, copy, and value proposition work together to deliver against your objective.

Tip #2: Make sure the visitor knows who you are and what you do.
When someone lands on your page, they must instantly understand who you are and what you do. If the visitor has to work to figure that out, you've lost them. To reiterate a point from tip one, you have seconds to let someone know they are in the "right place" when they land on your Web page. If they are even the slightest bit confused, they may click away, which will jeopardize your campaign.

There's a great book that I've recommended to many colleagues over the years, called Don't Make Me Think. It's a short read, and it drives home the critical lesson of keeping your Web page as simple as possible. In landing page terms, the ease of use for a visitor is referred to as the Web page "usability." Making your landing page as usable as possible will dramatically increase the results of your program.

Tip # 3: Convince them to act.
If you want someone to take an action, you first need to convince them that it is a reasonable, important, or even necessary action to take.

Convincing someone to act comes from two primary considerations:

  • Your unique value proposition – What are you offering the visitor? What will the visitor get from making the purchase or taking the action? Read more about value propositions here. MarketingExperiments, a leading researcher of internet marketing, has done many tests of landing pages, and time and again, they prove that the clarity of the value proposition is the single most important determining factor in driving conversion.
  • The trust you establish – What information are you providing to make the visitor believe enough in your offer to take action? Establish trust by using 3rd party testimonials, supporting data that your product delivers, or proof that the action requested will make a difference to the user. In addition, drop a few points about your company so it's clear that you're reputable and trustworthy.

Tip # 4: Make it easy to act.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, make it simple and straightforward for the visitor to take the action you desire. Always be careful NOT to over-design your page. Make sure that the design flow of the page guides them where you want them to go. Going left to right and top to bottom with your copy generally works best. If you have competing design elements, and the user's eye doesn't know where to begin, you increase the chances that the visitor will click off your page.

Tip #5: Test, test, and test.
As we've mentioned already, getting all of this right is tough, but that's why we continually test our landing pages. By testing your copy, design, and other elements, you can progressively determine the mixture that drives the highest conversion giving you the best results possible.

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