Landing pages are an important, powerful, and often underutilized component of a small business marketing system. They are so important that, as Oli Gardner of UnBounce says, you should “Never start a marketing campaign without a dedicated landing page”.
The term “landing page” has different meanings depending on context. In general, a landing page is the first page someone lands on when visiting your website. This is how the term in used in Google Analytics.
Landing pages are also special types of web pages designed for specifically for one of your marketing campaigns. Landing pages are designed around a single goal – the goal of your campaign. One of the reasons landing pages are so powerful is the provide a feedback loop for your campaign – giving you the ability to measure, test, and optimize your marketing efforts. These are the types of pages I’ll be focusing on in this psot.
Types of Landing Pages
While the possible uses for landing pages are limited only by your imagination, in B2B marketing we typically think of landing pages in two broad categories – lead generation and “click-through” pages.
Lead Generation Landing Pages
Lead generation pages (sometimes call “squeeze pages”) are probably the most common type of landing pages. The goal of these pages is to get someone to share their contact information with us and give us permission to have a [marketing] conversation with them. This is done by offering something the prospect will find valuable enough to “purchase” with their contact information. These offers can take many forms; here are some examples you have probably seen (or used):
- E-books, Reports, and Whitepapers – containing anything from industry facts to comprehensive “how to” guides.
- Newsletters and/or Blog subscriptions – providing news, tips, and advice related to your expertise.
- Webinar Registrations – for live and/or recorded online events.
- A free e-course – lessons delivered over a period of time
- Resources – Checklists, ROI calculators, scorecards, and forms
- Free consultations
Once you have interest and permission, you then try to continue the conversation. This conversation often includes directing prospects to other landing pages where they can find additional useful information. These additional landing pages also provide you with the opportunity to continue collecting information that you can use to tailor your message and qualify your prospects.
Click-Through Landing Pages
As mentioned above, lead generation pages are used to collect information and start a conversation in order to nurture a lead until they are ready to buy.
Click-through pages (sometimes called a “jump pages”) are often used in cases where don’t need a long nurturing sequence, but we do need to “warm-up” the visitor, or provide them additional information before we try to make the sale.
For example, many business use pay per click ads, magazine classified ads, or postcards to help drive traffic to their website. The “short form” ads may not provide all of the information your prospects need to make a purchasing decision. Rather than directing them from the ad to shopping cart, you can direct them first to a click-through page. The click-through page provides them with the information they need to make their decision and then directs them to the shopping cart where they can complete their purchase.
Click-through pages aren’t limited to companies that sell their products and services online. In the lead generation examples listed above, your prospects are “buying” your offer using the currency of their contact information. Using click-through pages to provide additional information and/or examples can be a great way to improve your opt-in (sales) rate.
Landing pages are a vital component to a successful small business marketing system. They help you identify people who are interested in your products and services, allow you to begin a conversation with your prospects, help you learn more about your prospects and customers, and help you measure and optimize your marketing campaigns.