As email marketers we spend a lot of time focusing on creating the perfect email campaigns. This is as much a science as it is an art, using both experience and experimentation to find the right blend of subject line, body text, images, call-to-action, etc. to ensure maximum open and click-through rates.
But for many small-business marketers this is where the process ends. They create great emails that link to (very often) mediocre website landing pages (the page where visitors are directed after clicking on a link in your email). As a result, conversion rates often aren’t as good as they should be. This doesn’t make anyone look very good. A poor landing page experience will damage your reputation and ultimately reduce your email marketing engagement and future chances of success.
If you are spending money driving traffic to a website through email (or any other type of online marketing activity for that matter), you need to ask yourself the following question:
Are my website landing pages optimized enough to justify my marketing spend and efforts?
A great landing page experience will give the marketer the flexibility to efficiently guide the visitor through a particular process (this could be a lead-generating opportunity or a sale). An un-optimized website will distract or discourage your visitors from completing the process, effectively blocking the sales funnel or simply driving potential customers elsewhere.
6 Tips to Drive Conversions via Optimized Landing Pages
- One Goal: Your landing page should have one clear goal (the collection of a lead or a sale), and you should not distract your visitor with any other information. Strip out any unrequired links from your page and, where possible, limit the navigation on your page. Remember, if you allow a visitor to click away from your landing page, you risk losing them forever.
- Don’t Ask Too Many Questions: Keep lead-collection forms short and to the point. Your sales department might want more detailed information from prospects (such as turnover, company size, etc.), but the longer and more intrusive the form the fewer people will fill it out (including people in organizations they are hoping to target). Use a more common-sense approach to qualifying leads such as the number of opens and clicks or monitoring company email addresses versus free webmail addresses (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). LinkedIn is also a very useful tool for quickly identifying hot leads.
- Maintain Your Identity: Try to maintain a similar design theme throughout the process. This is especially important if using a third-party payment gateway such as PayPal. Jumping from your design into an alien environment will be distracting and could ultimately drive people away.
- Privacy: Demonstrate your commitment to privacy by clearly stating that any details submitted via your site will not be shared with other groups or organizations. If details are to be shared, be sure to clearly highlight this and ask permission first.
- Follow-up: Once you have successfully guided your visitor through your landing page process, use email marketing autoresponders to maintain the engagement. This could be a simple thank you message or a series of emails delivered over a pre-determined timeframe detailing further resources available from your company.
- Test: In much the same way as you test your email campaigns, you should also test your landing page performance. Things to test include design, call-to-action, copy length and style, capture forms, etc. A simple tweak could result in a significant improvement in results. Only test one item at a time and be sure to learn from the experience.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.