I like to imagine landing pages like those bumpers in pinball – the ones that take your ball and send it careening off in a certain direction. Your ball (lead) comes in at the top, and finds its way, after a series of bumps and bounces, to (ideally) that one hole in the top left that makes the klaxon sing and the points rack up.
It’s likely that you have that one page on your website devoted to a final sale, conversion, or free trial. But what if your lead or possible customer doesn’t hit that page just right? What if, instead, that particular bumper sends their ball straight through the flippers at the bottom before you can respond?
That’s why you need more than one bumper, more than one landing page, that coaxes and leads your possible customers in the right direction, to a final sale and the high score.
This article will give you the 5 other landing pages your business needs.
1. Free Demo Page
Let’s face it, your sales team (even if that’s a team of you at your desk at home) has a better conversion rate than your website. You, or your team, can communicate the value of brand engagement with an enthusiasm and a charm that is impossible to find on a screen.
So let’s promote a sales call or demo. Let’s create a landing page that captures those possible customers who are intrigued, but don’t quite understand. Let’s make that call or demo completely free and entirely no-obligation, and let’s promote the hell out of it.
Below is what SaaS company iCentera has created for their “Free Demo” landing page. I’ll break down what I like and dislike about this page below to give you an idea of how to optimize your own pages.
What I Like:
- Tons of lead gen details: Generating a bunch of lead information with an entry form can have a huge influence on your email marketing campaign’s success (through segmentation) and ability to personalize the demo itself (increasing your conversion rates)
What I’d Change or Test:
- Where’s the value?: What do I get from a demo from iCentera? Why should I provide information (especially as most SaaS customers know damn well they’re becoming a lead)?
- Where’s the ask?: You’ll find far more success with a question headline for your free demo pages. Try something like “Want to find out more about…?” or “We recognize every business is different. Want to learn how our tools can work for you?”
- Seriously, my fax number?: What year is it? Why do they want my fax number? Even though it’s not a required part of the entry form this will be throwing off leads.
- Bolder CTA: I’d test the call-to-action button (Submit) with a bolder, brighter border, contrasting colors, and more engaging text. Try something like “Learn more now!” or even “Confirm your appointment”.
2. Email-Gated Content Page
How I love the email-gated content landing page! Officially my favorite way to generate leads, email-gated content is simply the cheapest and most effective way to find qualified leads at an affordable price.
Here’s a snapshot of how it works for those who haven’t taken advantage:
- Create 4-5 pieces of theme-based blog content (intro through to advanced steps) and post them on blog site
- Compile those 4-5 pieces of content into a single PDF. Format to make visually appealing
- Upload PDF onto your site
- “Email-Gate” the PDF (aweber has a great breakdown and how-to, but finish reading this article first) by requiring landing page visitors to provide their email address in order to access your PDF
- Create an automatically-triggered download page for after your lead hits “submit”
This enables you to generate affordable leads using content that you’ve already created. Consider email-gating your business’ case studies, whitepapers or webinars.
Here’s an example of an email-gated content landing page from Hubspot:
What I Like:
- Breaking down the value: This makes the value of engagement easy to understand with bullet-points of what the ebook gives readers
- Social share icons: Increase the content’s spread and possible virality across social platforms
- Keeping it short and sweet: Two paragraphs and a few bullet-points is enough to communicate value. Don’t fall into the trap of “more words = more value”
- The CTA: “Download Now” button stands out significantly from the entry form and page itself with both contrasting button color and text
What I’d Change or Test:
- Entry form length: The detail which this entry form goes into is pretty intense – designed more, I think, for a free demo entry form than for email-gated content. Your entry form has to be balanced between finding out enough lead info that you can successfully market to that individual, but not pushing too hard that your content isn’t worth engagement.
- Grammar: This may be because I write for a living and spent a year copy-editing until my eyes dried up, but the word “setup” is a noun (ex. “You’ve got a sweet setup here with your big-screen TV!”. “Set up”, on the other hand, is a verb-phrase, meaning to put into a specified state. There are a few people in the world, myself included, who care about this stuff. Don’t alienate us.
3. Thank You Page
After your lead has given you their information, the exchange still isn’t quite done. They’ve just received something of value, something they wanted and you’ve provided. Take advantage of this moment of contentment by asking for/offering a little more involvement.
What I Like:
- Incorporating the “free demo” landing page I mentioned above with their “thank you page” takes advantage of a lead’s in-the-moment interest
- The personalized letter: Personalization in landing pages is always a good call. They’ll generate more engagement from a letter from Mr McGraw himself than they would from an anonymous brand letter.
- The benefit list: Like I mentioned in the “email gated content” landing page above, it’s essential that you communicate value to your possible customer whenever possible. Bolding the benefit list subheader and then bullet-pointing it allows for quick and simple communication.
- The CTA: Color contrast and copy is great here. It’s effectively eye-grabbing to encourage engagement and visual appeal.
- The explanation: If your system is currently under maintenance, or a certain part of it (like Kissmetrics seems to be), don’t just ignore it. Best practice is to approach it as Mr McGraw has, and explain simply and honestly. People will understand and appreciate your forthrightness.
What I’d Change or Test:
- “Thank you!”: I think they might find more success with a “Thank you for subscribing” headline/title and then a subheader of “Can we interest you in…”. Leads want to know they’re appreciated.
- An Image: I’d test an image (of Mr McGraw, or just one of Kissmetrics’ sales associates on the phone) to make the letter even more personal. When promoting a free one-on-one demo, push individual interaction to see results.
4. “Introduction to” Page
This is absolutely one for you to test out, not necessarily implement straight up. Wishpond actually tested this landing page strategy a couple months ago and saw a reduction in conversions. That said, there are many businesses who find success with this landing page.
And that’s the beauty of A/B testing and landing page optimization. I don’t get to say that this works 100% and that doesn’t work 100%. I’ve seen some of the weirdest looking landing pages with the highest conversion rates, and been flummoxed, but that’s the fun of it all (at least for me…)
An “introduction to” landing page is basically where your business explains how it can help possible customers. It’s one of the best ways to add personality to your landing page (something I can say work to increase conversion rates).
My recommendations for an introduction page video go something like this:
- Keep it less than two and a half minutes
- Feature people (but not necessarily models)
- Keep it stock-free, as stock images have shown to perform worse than real people
- Keep it straightforward and simple. Don’t get too in depth or complicated (in fact, consider having a free demo be your video’s “Ask” to clear up any details)
Here’s an example from Shopify:
What I Like:
- The simplicity: The large and central “play” symbol makes it easy to know the landing page’s focus and engage
- The CTA: The longer CTA, mentioning the free trial and the softer “try it now” is effective, visible, and optimized well
- The Image: Though entirely unrelated to Shopify’s consumer, this image (of Toronto’s skyline) appeals to a large proportion of their customer base.
What I’d Change or Test:
- The Image: Again, this is just a test, but I’d be interested to see if Shopify would find more success with either an ecommerce related image or an image that changed with the location of their possible customers. To a certain extent (for those unfamiliar) the Toronto skyline, for Vancouverites, is like the New York skyline to Chicagoans – not necessarily optimized for engagement.
- A more intriguing USP/Value Prop: Your landing page’s headline needs to pop. It needs to either separate your business from your competitors, or offer value they can’t get anywhere else. “Use Shopify to create your online store” doesn’t exactly elicit an excited squeal.
5. Goodbye Page
Unfortunately (especially when I’m playing) the ball sometimes falls perfectly between the bottom flippers. Your lead unsubscribes. This can be heartbreaking, but it’s also why you need an optimized “Goodbye” page.
When a lead unsubscribes from your email list, it’s not always because they’re uninterested in your business or products. It could just be because you’ve been spamming a bit too hard lately, they’re fed up of having a full email inbox each morning, or one of your most recent emails or pieces of content just wasn’t for them.
That’s where the personalized, optimized goodbye landing page comes in. Instead of the standard “You’ve been unsubscribed” page, try something a bit different.
Here’s the standard from Kissmetrics (sorry guys! I’ll re-subscribe now):
This probably works for them (God knows Kissmetrics knows how to A/B Test), but other businesses might find success with other strategies.
Here are a few I recommend:
- “Sorry to see you go!”
- “To help us improve our service, let us know if you have any comments as we’d love to get your insight!”
- “What contributed to you leaving?” Offer three or four options like “email content no longer useful”, “too many emails”, “just felt like it”, etc)
- “Don’t want to subscribe to our email list but still like us? Why not connect on Facebook or Twitter?” with social media icons
- Humor: “We already miss you!”, “Time to get out the tub of icecream…” or an embed of Three Dog Night’s “One is the Loneliest Number” playing softly over a picture of a crying puppy
- “If you’re ever interested in re-subscribing, we’ll be here tossing discounts left and right!”
Personally, I find the humorous “Goodbye” page to be the most successful. While this isn’t because your lead will necessarily re-subscribe, it is incredibly effective at leaving them with a positive opinion of your business.
Remember that an unsubscribe is often done in anger, frustration or pique. Turning this emotion around at the last moment with an effective “Goodbye” page can be the difference between a future sale and a poor review, a word of mouth recommendation or a word of mouth criticism.
Note: It’s tempting to create a separate “subscription or email opt-in” landing page but I’d actually recommend against it. You’ll likely have more success with a popup or a simple optimized banner. Best practice is actually a sidebar popup like this:
What I like about this is the simplicity, the solid, contrasting CTA and the exclusivity. I also like the name-drop (no idea who “Lincoln” is, but personalization never hurts). As you scroll down, this pops up, and travels with you as you continue down the page.
That wraps up the five other landing pages your business needs. These pages effectively keep control of a lead, capturing them and leading them through to a successful conversion or (in the case of an unsubscribe) a lead who won’t go around bad-mouthing your business.
Remember that each of these landing pages need their own optimization, both initially and as the months go by (there’s always room for improvement!) Check out my previous article on TheSocialMediaHat, “Landing Pages: Fighting the Bounce with A/B Testing“, for tips and tricks that increase conversion rates.
Let me know if you’ve integrated any of the pages above into your own websites, and how it affected your sales funnel. I’d love to hear about it! And happy pinballing!
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