Landing Page Course Home

Part One

Landing Page Fundamentals

Let’s start things off with a really important and fundamental statement…

©2018 Unbounce.com - The Conversion Platform for Marketers

Never. Start. A. Marketing. Campaign. Without. A. Dedicated. Landing. Page.

Otherwise known as the NSAMCWADLP principle.
Got it? Good.

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Chapter Outline

Today’s all about the fundamentals, so you’re not allowed to pass go until you understand the following:

WHAT IS A LANDING PAGE?LANDING PAGES vs HOMEPAGESWHAT LANDING PAGES CAN BE USED FORMESSAGE MATCH

1. What is a Landing Page?

A landing page can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action. Dedicated, promotion-specific landing pages are what we’ll be focusing on. Dedicated landing pages are standalone pages that are designed for a specific marketing campaign.

By standalone I mean that it has no ties to your website, like global navigation. In essence it floats alone, only accessible from the link you’re providing in your marketing content (the call-to-action in an email for example).

The purpose of a landing page falls into two categories:

  1. to capture leads that enable you to market to people in the future, or
  2. to “warm up” potential customers to the product you are trying to sell to them before sending them further into your sales funnel.

This creates the need for two types of landing page – a lead generation page and a click-through page.

Lead generation landing pages

The most valuable piece of information you can get from a lead gen page is someone’s email address – which gives you permission to continue talking/marketing to them.

Once you have a lead’s permission, you then try to convert them into a customer by combining the two most powerful 1-to-1 communication tools a marketer has – email and landing pages.

Here’s an example lead gen form, that’s designed to capture user and/or company data in exchange for something – in this case an ebook.

Click-through landing pages

Click-through pages (sometimes called jump pages) are designed as a conduit between a marketing ad and it’s final destination. The goal of a click-through page is to “warm-up” the visitor to the product/service you are trying to sell.

Commonly used for ecommerce, click-through pages provide enough information to inform the buyer, making them ready to purchase, before pushing them further down the funnel – probably to a shopping cart or checkout.

Here’s an example click-through page. Videos or product images paired with a description and product benefits help to persuade the visitor to click the call-to-action.

TAKE AWAY

Landing pages live separately from your website and are designed to only receive campaign traffic. As we’ll see, this separation allows them to be focused on a single objective and makes analytics, reporting & testing a simpler task.

2. Dedicated Landing Pages vs. Homepages

If you compare a homepage vs. a landing page you can see why landing pages are so important to your marketing’s success.

Your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks to your overall brand and corporate values and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site. It’s designed to encourage exploration.  

Your landing pages are designed for one purpose only.  

Think of the links on your page as leaks. Each link on your page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate.

TAKE AWAY

Landing pages should have all navigation and extra links removed so there is only a single action for your visitors to take. Click your call-to-action.

Landing Page

If we look at an example of a WebTrends landing page, which is focused entirely on a single campaign objective, you’ll notice that it has only one call-to-action. Perfect.

It’s immediately clear what you are supposed to do on this page, complete the form to download the data sheet.

Homepage

Consider the example below that shows the WebTrends homepage which contains over 60 links. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great homepage, just not a good landing page.

What would you do here?

Attention Ratio

With 50 links on your homepage, your attention ratio is 50:1 – compared to 1:1 with a single CTA.

The potential uses for landing pages are almost limitless but here are the more common examples of how landing pages are used.

To collect personal information (generate leads) in exchange for:  

  1. Reports/Whitepapers with important industry facts and statistics.
  2. Ebooks for comprehensive guides about different aspects of your business vertical.
  3. Newsletters with tips related to your area of subject matter expertise.
  4. Podcasts for people who like to listen & learn during a commute or workout.
  5. Checklists/Scorecards for people that like to see how well they are doing and/or benefit from a to-do list.
  6. Blog subscription to receive ongoing content via email or RSS.
  7. Webinar registration for live online sessions, often with Q&A with experts and special guest presenters.
  8. Presentations or recorded sessions including video or slides.
  9. Consultation services or booking meetings for someone to request your time or services.
  10. An ecourse delivered over a period of time – just like the one you’re reading now!

“Warming” prospects up to your offering before you push them deeper into your sales funnel to:

  1. Purchase your product or service online.
  2. Become a customer or subscriber of your online business.
  3. Or any of the lead capture uses listed above, if you want to use an introductory page before sending them on to the landing page with your lead gen form.

3. What are Landing Pages Used For?

TAKE AWAY

Landing pages can, and should, be used for all of your campaign needs. Remember – Never, I repeat — Never start a campaign without a landing page.

Message match is an essential part of why landing pages can be so successful. Message match is the ability of your landing page to reinforce the messaging presented on the link that was clicked to reach the page.

Most visitors are impatient and will leave your page within a few seconds of arrival if you don’t reinforce their intent with a matching headline and purpose (quickly and clearly).

This example shows a comparison of good and bad message match on a landing page used for a pay-per-click campaign:

4. The Power of Message Match

TAKE AWAY

The more contextually related your page headlines are to the calls-to-action people clicked on, the more likely those prospects are to make the connection that your landing page is for them. A great way to ensure your message match is strong is to write your ad CTA on a piece of paper and your landing page headline on another piece of paper underneath. Then look at your ad copy and turn the page. Does your paper click lead to a matched experience?

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By ensuring a strong message match, you are letting the visitor know that they made a “good click”.

A weak message match will result in a higher bounce rate and thus a drop in conversion rate.

Another example of good message match

Here’s an example of a banner ad and a landing page, that shows excellent message match.

Not only is the copy perfectly matched here, but there is also a very strong “design match”, where the visual treatment of the landing page has been incorporated into the banner, helping to further reinforce the connection between banner and landing page.

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Maximizing conversion scent – a.k.a. message match
Conversion scent, or information scent, is another way of describing the connection between your source ad and your landing page. The scent begins when the ad is seen, and is maintained or ended when the visitor sees your landing page (depending on how strong your message match is).

In this short presentation, Rand Fishkin – Founder of SparkToro and MOZ, uses some examples to illustrate this concept perfectly, showing how to do it right and also how to do it very wrong.

The NSAMCWADLP principle

Never Start A Marketing Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page