Coming in for the Landing

There’s been a flurry of Webcasts, blogs and articles recently about email marketing and optimizing landing pages. There are a few that I thought were especially worth sharing.

ExactTarget (@exacttarget) and Marketing Sherpa (@marketingsherpa) have teamed for an Email Marketing Intelligence Webcast Series, and last week’s featured topic was “Constant Improvement: How to Combine Analytics & Testing to Optimize Email Marketing Performance.” Additionally, the inbound marketing experts at HubSpot (@hubspot @mvolpe) have hosted a couple great Webcasts, including “How to Get the Most Out of Your Pay Per Click Marketing Campaign” and “Optimizing Landing Pages for Lead Generation and Conversion.”

While the Exact Target/Sherpa Webcast didn’t have as many B2B examples as I would have liked, the underlying takeaways from all of the Webcasts are the same – your list, offer and email creative are only 3 pieces of the puzzle when it comes to increasing response. Landing pages are equally as important, but most often overlooked.

When it comes to email marketing and banner ads, smart marketers know that the offer needs to be compelling, the creative should be simple, never use all HTML, always use action-oriented words and – of course – test, test, test. But, what about the landing page? The same best practices that are applied to the creative itself should also apply to the landing page:

  • Keep it simple and short
  • Always include a form (keep that simple and short, too!) and make sure it’s above the fold
  • Limit navigation – you don’t want to give folks an opportunity to nav off before submitting their information
  • Make sure your form is synched with SalesForce (or whatever your CRM tool is) so it can be tracked and your sales reps can follow-up quickly
  • Make sure your landing page content aligns with the message in your email/ad creative, and has the same look and feel
  • Stick to a vertical layout – it’s easier for the eye to process
  • Eliminate distractions – there should only be one call to action
  • Use graphics, but sparingly
  • Test, measure, then test again!

— Posted by Melissa Coyle


1 Response to “Coming in for the Landing”

  1. 1 Steven Woods January 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I would agree with you that B2B needs should be differentiated from B2C needs in many ways, including how we think about landing pages.

    The main reason for this is that there is a much longer timeframe between the inquiry on the landing page and an outcome such as a sale. Many marketing touchpoints can happen between these points, and many months can elapse. Testing landing page effectiveness at generating actual revenue is impractical in most cases.

    But, the opposite is also true, testing just inquiry rates (submits) is also not relevant; if you offer a free iPod, you might get great submit rates, but the leads are likely not going to turn into deals.

    You need an interim “outcome” that you can test against. Something that is relevant to actual revenue outcomes, but is also practical to implement. I often suggest using the creation of scored leads as an “outcome” to test against.

    I wrote a piece on that here: if you’re interested.

    Thanks for your post, I enjoyed the read.

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