April 17, 2014

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business

How to use landing pages to get leads that convert

Easy, simple landing pages are best to turn a casual visitor into a customer.

Ron Stein | 11/2/2012

A friend of mine, whose company will remain anonymous, recently mentioned that they had launched a "great" marketing initiative to get new leads. Yet, the response was down in the weeds. They had a tremendous number of hits on the homepage, but few took the next step, and even fewer converted to a paying customer.

The problem?  My friend’s company had taken the time to define and target a particular audience and then put a big brick wall in front of their prospects. They sent potential customers to their homepage instead of a special landing page designed just for this promotion.

If you make it hard for prospects to find what you’ve promised, they’ll give up and go away. It’s up to you to guide them exactly in the direction you want them to take. A landing page does that and more.

A landing page is one of the most essential and vital elements of lead generation. Depending on your goals and business model, it either captures qualified leads or gets them to buy on the spot.

There is no exact formula for a perfect landing page, but there are a few keys to make them highly effective. Here are three ways to use landing pages to your advantage.

What is the goal of your marketing campaign? Is it to get your landing page visitor to buy now, learn more about your products or services, or signup for your newsletter? Traffic from an email campaign or a Google ad needs to promote what your targeted audience is likely looking for. Maybe it’s education -- offer a report, newsletter subscription, or webinar full of practical tips and loaded with valuable information. If your campaign is centered on people who have an immediate pain that you can take care of now, try a free 30-day trial deal. Whatever it is, decide upfront and be crystal clear as to what your visitor will get when they arrive at your landing page.

Don't make it a secret -- let them know what to do next. It's not enough to offer your visitor something of value. Help them zero in quickly on your message and promotion. That starts with a headline that reaches out to your prospect in an informative and emotional way. Keep the copy short -- get to the point with compelling text that follows the headline. The call-to-action now needs to mirror the promise you made to get people to your landing page. Be obvious as to what will happen after the submitting the information you’ve asked them for. And about that submit button -- having it say "Submit" will actually lower your conversion rate! Experiment with other words to see what works best for your target market.

Don’t ask too much. The first part of this is to make sure your visitor doesn’t work too hard. Don’t force them to search for your promotion or make it difficult to act. Place the call-to-action and form above the fold on the screen, so that they are visible even on laptop and tablet sized devices. Next, Ask for the minimum amount of information possible -- in most cases their name and email address will be enough. Your company you may need a bit more -- just keep in mind that the more you ask, the less you’ll get because people are too reluctant to give up personal information. If you’ve done a great job targeting your ideal customer and are clear on the specific offer, then you’ll get all the qualified leads you want. One more thing, let them know that you hate spam as much they do and have a good privacy policy with a link to it.

Like anything you do in marketing, landing pages need goals too. Without that, there’s no way to create an effective page. Deliver on the promises your marketing campaign claims. And the more value you offer, the better the chances are that you’ll convert your visitors into leads. The information you capture is a highly valued prize to marketers and the salespeople. To get that treasured information give your landing page visitors value in exchange.

Read earlier columns from Florida Trend's business coach, Ron Stein
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Ron Stein is the founder and President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He has more than 20 years experience in sales, marketing, and business development, working positions ranging from salesman to vice president of sales and marketing to CEO of startups with industry leaders such as Motorola, VideoServer, Paradyne, and SercoNet. Ron is a member of the advisory team at the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, a nationally recognized entrepreneurial and startup accelerator for the state of Florida. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com

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