Growing a business, even in days of old, has always depended upon sales. And sales have always depended upon leads. Before ecommerce, leads were generated by cold-calls, referrals, mouth-to-mouth recommendations, and bulk mailings/fliers with a hope of a .009% response rate. Late in the 20th century came mailing list companies. A business owner could present specific criteria to a company, and it would generate names and addresses of individuals that met the criteria. This was a relatively better means of generating leads than earlier methods, but the response rate remained low.
The advent of ecommerce has drastically altered the way in which businesses generate leads. Now it is all about one’s website being “found” by potential customers through a host of SEO activities. Some good, old-fashioned marketing, however, cannot be replaced, and the smart business owner will use the web for such marketing, by publishing discounts and special offers in all the right places – places his potential customers probably visit. These are known as CTA (or “call to action”) ads, and, if the reader is reminded that s/he is interested I or has been looking for a product or service you offer, chances are the click will be made and s/he will land on your page!
The Art of Turning a Visitor into a Lead
This is tricky business, and you must be very careful about both the design of your landing page and the treatment of the visitor who has come there. Here are some important considerations:
- Remember – the purpose of your landing page is to focus on the special offer you have advertised. No “bait and switch” is allowed, for it will only foster anger. Ultimately, you want the visitor to visit other pages on your site, but not now!
- Remember – the goal of your landing page is to capture visitor information so that you have a lead – don’t scare anyone off! Do assure visitors that their information will never be shared and always give an option to refuse future mailings from you.
Construction of the Landing Page should be driven by the following tips:
- Don’t put any tabs or links on the page that could cause the visitor to begin navigation before providing his/her information. There will be time for that later, but right now you need the contact information!
- Watch the content of your page. Have a headline that relates to the offer or discount you advertised. You can give more detail about the offer with some bullet points, you might include one still image, and even a single testimonial, but the bulk of the page should have your capture form.
- Provide a few brief bullet points about the value of your offer
- Incorporate a lot of white space on the page – the cleaner, the better. Clutter, glitz, banners only distract for the task at hand!
- You may want more than one landing page, depending on the types of customers you have had in the past. Some like a straight discount; others may want a free trial offer. If you are marketing a service, some may want a free e-guide; others may want a webinar. Think about who your potential customers are and market to their preferences.
- If you have multiple landing pages, be sure to track the visits on each of them. If you are paying for marketing space, you don’t want to keep throwing money at an ad that isn’t working.
Get Your Submission Form Right
- The shorter, the better. Compress it as much as possible and only ask for information that you really want and need. If you do not need to know age bracket, don’t ask for it! If you have many fields in your form, be sure to put asterisk by the field you absolutely must have. The more you ask for, the more trust is reduced.
- Be certain that you promise not to sell, trade, or share their information with any other person or entity.
- If you are asking for sensitive information (physical address, phone number, etc.), display your security certificates in a prominent place.
- Replace the traditions “submit” button with a bar that says, “Get My E-Guide Now,” or “Claim My Free Offer now.”
- Once the submission has been clicked, the visitor should immediately be taken to a “thank you” page. Put your tabs and links back in now and direct your lead to them.
Other Important Thoughts
- Check out what your completion offers, and make yours better.
- Make sure that your initial ad, your landing page, and your entire site is “mobile friendly.” Otherwise, you stand to lose lots of leads.
- Remember that too much in terms of graphics, media, animation, etc. slows down the speed of your landing page load. People get frustrated and just click out!
Pay attention to your potential customer base demographics, be creative, and use some careful thought in your design. Happy landing!