Regardless of how your prospects first identify you, potential clients will most likely visit your website before deciding to engage an initial conversation with you – especially if you have asked them to visit by offering a seminar, white paper, or other special incentive.
In the report, How Clients Buy: The Benchmark Report on Professional Services Marketing and Selling from the Client Perspective, 200 buyers of professional services were asked if they visit a service provider’s website before purchasing their services. Nearly 80% of participants responded that they do. Furthermore, 69% of participants agreed that websites have “A Great Deal Of” or “Some” influence over their initial decision to contact and open discussions with a service provider.
The data is clear: your prospects are visiting your site. But are they seeing and doing what you want when they get there?
Keep Your Offer Alive With Landing Pages
As busy professionals, your prospects do not have time to search around your site looking for the information that sent them there. All too often, I receive direct mail, emails, and information packets from companies that send me directly to the front page of their website. Once there, I am bombarded with information, links, offers, images, service listings, and advertisements all competing for my attention. The original message that compelled me to visit the site is lost.
One way to avoid this confusion is through the use of designated landing pages for your various marketing campaigns. By integrating your offline marketing tactics with specific landing pages online, you are able to reinforce your message and keep your offer alive. In addition, leveraging your website will allow you to capture leads and information from prospects you might not have otherwise gotten – that is, if your landing page is properly set up to capture this information.
Five Elements Of An Effective Landing Page
The goal of any landing page is to get your prospect to respond to the offer set forth in your marketing campaign – registering for an event, completing an information request form, downloading a whitepaper, etc. Here are five elements you should have in place the next time you are creating a landing page for your marketing campaign:
Stick To One Offer: It is easy to say, “Well, we got them to our website, why don’t we give them information on all of our different services, and list out the clients we have worked with in the past, and create links to the articles we have written on this topic, and on and on…” Your landing page should have one specific action that you want the prospect to take – register for an event, complete an information request form, download a whitepaper, etc.
Distracting prospects with other information or additional offers will drastically reduce the number of leads you are able to capture.
Create A Clear Call To Action: Do not hide the call to action at the bottom of the page, forcing the prospect to scroll down. The action you want them to take should be the main focus of the page. Create a clickable button beginning with the action word corresponding to what you want them to do – register, contact, download, buy, etc.
Prominently place this button above the fold on the page, as well as in various places as they scroll down. The call to action button should be visible at all times as the prospect scrolls down the page.
Capture Prospects’ Information: Regardless of what the offer is, create a response device to capture the prospect’s information. For example, if your offer is a free, downloadable whitepaper, create a call to action button to download the whitepaper and intervene with a short form they must complete to finalize the download. If the prospect is interested in what you have to offer, they will be willing to exchange a small amount of information about themselves. Additionally, they are pre-qualifying themselves as interested prospects giving you legitimate reason to follow up (do not forget this step).
However, beware that asking too much information may scare the prospect away, while asking too little will not allow you to determine whether or not they are a qualified prospect worth your time to follow up. It is up to you to determine the right amount of information you want/need to qualify your prospects.
Keep Design And Copy Consistent: The overall design’s look and feel should be consistent with the marketing piece driving the prospect to the landing page. If possible, use the same images, design elements, and colors. Repeat the copy and offer. This helps to build credibility, reinforces your message and the benefits, and increases awareness and conversions by reassuring the prospect that they are indeed in the right place.
Keep Navigation And Links To A Minimum: Once you have them on your landing page, the last thing you want them to do is click out to another page on your site without completing the desired action. To minimize this, simply strip the page of main navigation and keep the amount of links to a minimum. Only create links on the page that are directly relevant to your offer. And, if you must create a link, be sure to have it pop-up in a new window so your landing page is not lost.
For the next marketing campaign your company undertakes, create a designated landing page. It takes minimal time to do so, and the results can be astounding. Remember, your prospects are visiting your website. Make sure they are enjoying the visit, and doing what you want them to do, by providing a nice place to land.