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It's hard enough to get to building a web site when you're trying to run a business. So what's all this other stuff about 'landing pages'?
The August edition of 'Management Memos' covered the ways SME's can grow their customer base. While it's still the old-fashioned techniques that work best, new-fangled web techniques must be added too - including using landing pages.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page has just one purpose - to make a sale or capture a lead. The landing page can add to advertisements by providing additional information you couldn’t put in the ad, collect data on new potential customers, and generate leads.
When your advertising (of whatever kind) brings someone to your website, you need to capture their attention right away. That means that the general, overall 'welcome to our website' kind of approach just won't cut it. Your web visitor is already primed to respond to the offer, so it's time to get on with it right away!
This means that the landing page you will design is specifically related to the particular offer. It is not just another web page in your website.
It is targeted. Your newly interested prospects get to this page after they click on your ad or post, and it should take them the next step along the way to saying 'yes'!
At this point, there can be a massive roadblock to your thinking. How often have the phrases "look and feel of your website", and "look and feel of your corporate image" been put to you? At this point, many SME's, thinking that they're following good marketing practice, will want the landing page to fit in with the website.
More importantly, most businesses will approach their web designer to get the landing page built. Then that bias gets set in stone. Website builders are often not good marketers who understand the purchase journey of your customers - and the designer is more concerned about getting you a web page you'll be happy with and pay for, than getting new customers for you!
There is the practical side too. The template for your web pages is right there, ready to re-use. To do anything different, means designing a new page from scratch, and that takes time and money. In this image, you see a webpage that follows the site template - a standard page.
In just about every case, you'll finish up with another page on your website that looks like all the rest of your website, and does nothing more than refer to the ad or post that got your visitor there in the first place.
You have broken the prospects purchase journey, and dramatically reduced the chances of adding a new customer. So break the roadblock - and make a special page for the job!
Breaking the Roadblock
Hanging on to the idea of keeping everything looking the is only half the story. It shows no real understanding of marketing. In this image, you see a landing page that shows the logo, but otherwise is a completely different page from the one shown above.
The idea of having a corporate symbol, an unchanging corporate colour, and the 'always the same' approach to presentation, is to break through the clutter of signage and other messages that bombard us all on a constant basis. You can see its value if you're travelling internationally, and see a service station that belongs to a chain whose ultimate owner is BP.
In the sweep of an unfamiliar landscape, you see a familiar sight. How re-assuring! But you're not buying at that point, just being re-assured!
Once the potential customer has begun engaging with you, for example by clicking through to your landing page, there are much higher priorities. They are about the product or service that is being offered.
Your prospect is no longer as engaged in assessing if you are a good supplier, as they are in assessing whether the product or service will be beneficial to them.
In other words, while the powerful marketing dogma of maintaining the look and feel of your corporate image still remains, right now you have a more immediate task. You need to change the design of the 'look and feel' to keep the prospect focussed on what brought them here in the first place.
A good way to do that is to replicate the look and feel of the ad that brought them to the landing page.
Continuing The Purchase Journey
You can afford a lot more advertising if it efficiently attracts people to a landing page. So your ad has enough information to whet the prospect's appetite - enough to get them to click on the link.
Now your landing page can make the full offer: All the product or service information, what the benefits are, what the deal is, why they should buy now, and here is the response button - right there!! On the landing page.
Perhaps your offer or program is too complicated to make it all happen on the landing page. That's fine - make two or three pages that suitably lead them on the step-by-step purchase journey until you can get them to the response button
If you are trying to grow the customer base, the response button may be about having people join the loyalty program, or some other customer group that you have established (or are setting up).
Naturally, the landing page will have a form to gather information about your new prospect. If a 'sign-up' to your program is your goal, your page should be persuasive when it comes to clicking or tapping that response button.
Growing the customer base only makes sense if the new 'customers' actually buy, so the response button can have a very big role.
If there is also the chance of making a sale - having the new web visitor make a purchase - you have an issue. What if your carefully crafted campaign gets your prospect to the purchase page, only to have them not buy? Then you have nothing!
Here is where your creativity can come into play. Have your new prospect register on the landing page, have that landing page write the customer data to your web shop database as if they had signed into your web shop, and then have the link redirect the buyer to the specially designed buying page - which is the landing page in your shop.
Now, if the buyer goes ahead, you have all their data - and the benefit of the sale. If, for whatever reason, the purchase does not proceed, then you have the sign-up and the customer data.
How Can You Do All This?
Figure out how to economically build landing pages that work.
One problem for SME's with the rise of the internet, is that the very limited understanding of advertising that passed for a knowledge of marketing, just doesn't work any more. The other problem is that very few people understand the internet, and there are lots of people offering web design and build services.
How you got your website depends on the approach the various suppliers took to you, and how you were finally persuaded to take the plunge. To some extent, you may still be captive to that original decision.
So think carefully about how your website policy can add to your success in growing your customer base.
Understand the purchase pathway your new customer will take
Work out what you need in your ad to get the buyer to your landing page
Decide what your landing page has to say, and what it has to get the visitor to do
Design your landing page to work - not just fit-in with your existing website
Work out how to get your landing pages built economically
As always, My Red Zebra takes an obligation free approach to helping you work out what you might need to do - so call if you need to talk about how matters to you.
We can help you see your strategic strong points, protect your strategic weak points, and win on the digital sales front. And then you can just hang up. NSA!
Phone us (see the numbers below) or use the contact form here to get help. Absolutely obligation free.
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Any advice, information or comment contained in this document is general in nature, and should not be relied on as the basis for any specific commercial, business, employment, or financial decision. Specific advice should always be obtained for each individual circumstance. Accordingly any advice, information or comment contained herein is for general guidance only.