If you could do one thing to dramatically improve your marketing ROI today, what would it be? If your answer was "use landing pages to convert new leads" I’d have to agree with you — here’s why.
Nearly 1 in 10 people who make it to a landing page will become potential customers or leads. If you’re new to the world of converting web traffic, that number might not seem impressive, but when you do the math, there’s reason to believe that 1,000 people could become leads on your landing page if 10,000 people visit it.
That’s a lot of leads for most small-to-medium-sized businesses. Let’s look at exactly what a landing page is and how having one (or more) can help you see results like this.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a specific page on your website where you collect a visitor's contact information in exchange for a resource, like an ebook. This contact information is collected using a lead-capture form where visitors enter details like their name, email address, and job title.
Generating leads for your business is a necessary part of your marketing campaign, and there are several ways to do it: through social media, content marketing, paid ads — the list goes on. With each digital campaign you run — no matter what channel you use — the people you’re targeting won’t convert themselves into potential customers. To do that, you’ll need a quality landing page that’s built specifically to convert those visitors. If you don't have at least a few landing pages on your website, you're missing out on opportunities to turn these individuals into paying customers down the line.
Today, we'll explore the myriad of benefits that come with landing pages and how you might use one to reach your business goals.
What is a landing page used for?
The goal of a landing page is to convert and build a repository of leads that can be nurtured with more personalized marketing campaigns using email, direct mail, paid ads, or other types of targeted marketing before those leads reach your sales team to make a purchase.
Types of Landing Page Offers
Landing pages have a sole purpose: to convert leads for your business. However, you can target those leads using a specific content offer on each landing page.
Here are the types of content offers you can add to a landing page to convert visitors into leads:
1. Ebooks and Whitepapers
If you’ve written a blog post that introduces a topic your audience wants to learn about, you can satisfy their interest in that topic by elaborating on the subject in an ebook or whitepaper. Using a landing page, you can "gate" this resource behind a lead-capture form. Once your visitors complete the form, they’ll be able to access the content.
2. Email Newsletter Subscription
Let's say you write a lot of blog content on a similar topic. Sure, you can develop an ebook or whitepaper that elaborates on specific details, but you can also offer your readers an email newsletter they can subscribe to for the latest content on that topic. On various blog posts, use a call-to-action (CTA) to invite readers to subscribe to your blog. This CTA can link to a separate landing page where they can sign up for your email list.
3. Online Course Enrollment
Whether you're in the education industry or you offer various skill-based certifications to your audience, online courses should have their own landing pages, too. Using these pages, you can invite new students to sign up for a class you offer. This type of content adds value to the client’s experience — they’ll have more access to you through a private channel like email to discuss the course content and get feedback on their progress.
4. Event Registration
Similar to online courses, events require you to collect information on your audience so they can receive updates leading up to the occasion. An event, as well as its various sessions and keynotes, can have its own individual landing pages to turn interested prospects into event attendees and leads.
5. Free Trial
Are you offering a free demo of your product? Your demo offering could use its own landing page. Bring users to a page where they can sign up for a free trial of your software using their name, email address, job title, and any other information you deem necessary to give them the best customer experience.
Don’t forget to follow up with these leads — they’ve already demonstrated an interest in what you sell based on your landing page, so make sure your sales team closes the deal.
6. Community Membership
If your business thrives on building community among customers — perhaps you should have a website dedicated to dialogue between users. You can do this by creating a landing page that lets website visitors sign up to become a bigger part of your business. There's no harm in making it invitation-only either — in fact, it's a great way to try your hand at relationship marketing to close these deals.
7. App Download
Developing a mobile app for your product doesn't just improve your customer experience — it also gives your business another avenue to capture leads. A lead-optimized landing page that invites users to download an app is quite common. On the analytics side, you can use both Google Analytics to capture insights about who is visiting the landing page and downloading the app, then use that data to make your landing page even more effective.
The Benefits of a Landing Page
The benefits of building a landing page for each of your marketing campaigns or content offers are endless. In this section, we dive into detail about seven factors that make this lead generation tool indispensable.
1. Landing pages aim to increase conversions.
Having a targeted page that directly ties back to an offer or next step is critical to providing value upfront. This can also encourage new site visitors to provide their information in exchange for an immediate, tangible reward.
For instance, let's say you've landed on a business's website and you're immediately greeted with a pop-up form asking for your name and email. That’s a bit jarring before you even know what the company is about, isn't it?
Alternatively, imagine you've found a business's free ebook on social media, which outlines ten immediate solutions to your problem. I'm willing to bet you're more likely to provide your name and email for that valuable content, right?
Many companies send their advertising, email, or social media traffic to their homepage. This is a huge missed opportunity. When you know a stream of targeted traffic will be coming to your website, you can increase the likelihood of converting that traffic into leads by using a targeted landing page.
For instance, those users who convert on your social media ebook landing page are clearly interested in social media. To further nurture those leads, you might follow up with a personalized email, detailing additional content you can provide related to social media.
2. Landing pages can provide additional insights into your target audience.
By creating various landing pages with segmented offers, you can track which topics convert at the highest rate. This can give you valuable insights into your audience's interests.
You could use the data you collect from your landing pages to create a more targeted, personalized marketing strategy. Plus, landing pages don't just tell you which content your audience likes best — they also tell you which channels your leads prefer. This can enable your marketing team to refine the strategy further, promoting content and engaging with your audience on the channel(s) they're already using.
For example, let's say you notice your landing pages related to ecommerce perform exceptionally well, and most of those users find your landing page from your paid ads on Facebook and LinkedIn. This information can help you target future campaigns primarily towards your social audience. You would also have a basis for incorporating additional ecommerce content into your marketing strategy as a whole.
3. Landing pages can grow your email subscriber list.
In exchange for the content offered on your landing page, you'll typically ask users to provide their email and name. This can help you quickly grow your email subscriber list, and segment that list to provide more personalized follow-up emails.
People who've filled out a form in exchange for content or information on your product or service have shown an interest in what you have to offer. This ensures your subscriber list is filled with potentially high-quality leads.
Consider how you might further nurture them by sending a "Thank you" email after they download your landing page offer, with additional resources related to the content in which they've shown interest.
4. Landing pages are testable.
A landing page is a fantastic opportunity to get creative and test out various designs to determine which visuals and copy perform best with your target audience. Additionally, it's often lower risk to test out a new landing page, rather than making major design changes to your entire blog or website infrastructure.
For instance, AJ Beltis, HubSpot's Content & Acquisition Manager, told me, "If you're using a content management system with a built-in A/B testing tool (like HubSpot), you can easily set up and run a test to see which copy, design, imagery, and page elements yield a stronger conversion rate. This means you can quickly uncover new ways to drive more leads and contacts for your business."
5. Landing pages allow you to measure metrics directly tied to business goals.
If you've created a specific landing page to market your new product or service, you can then use that landing page to measure metrics directly tied to your business goals.
For instance, let's say your marketing team is tasked with increasing sales for your new email tool. To accomplish this, your team creates a campaign with a landing page offering a free demo of your tool.
You might measure conversion metrics on that landing page to determine how well your campaign is performing, or whether you need to make tweaks to communicate the true value of your new product. Additionally, you can measure which sites drive the highest conversions to your landing page, and put more resources into marketing your email tool on those sites — or social media apps — in particular.
6. Landing pages add context to your offer.
AJ Beltis told me one of the biggest benefits of a landing page is the opportunity to add context to your marketing offer. "Marketers feel motivated to bypass the landing page process and skip right to the conversion by encouraging form fills in other methods, such as through a chatbot," Beltis told me.
Beltis adds, "However, this process eliminates the opportunity to add more context to what it is you're offering. Imagery and essential information that can only be shared with a landing page provide content to those who need it before they decide to convert."
7. Landing pages increase brand value and help make a good first impression.
Ultimately, a sleek, well-designed landing page can impress new visitors and turn them into leads by demonstrating the valuable content your company can deliver. A landing page is space you can use to tell your visitors what you're offering, and how it can positively impact them. Even if a viewer doesn't immediately convert, a well-designed landing page can increase brand recognition and help nurture leads for future sales.
For instance, take a look at this impressive landing page created by Talisker, a whisky brand. Using Ceros' landing page product to design an immersive experience, Talisker is demonstrating brand value and, ideally, making a fantastic first impression on new visitors.
This is proof that a landing page doesn't have to be boring — in fact, it shouldn't be. Take the time to create an engaging, interactive, interesting landing page that communicates the value of your brand.
Best Practices for Creating a Landing Page
1. Find a landing page builder.
To create a landing page, you'll want to start by exploring landing page builders — unless, of course, you're using a content management system that already provides landing page templates, like HubSpot. Look for a landing page builder that is intuitive and simple to use, this way you’ll have a shorter learning curve and will be able to produce landing pages quickly. I recommend drag-and-drop style builders — they’re awesome for speeding up your workflow.
2. Use landing page templates.
Once you've determined the right software to build your landing page, get inspired with some landing page templates. You might also use this as an opportunity to take AJ’s advice above and A/B test two different designs to explore which design elements result in the highest conversions.
3. Communicate value.
Additionally, it's critical any landing page you design effectively communicates the value you're providing visitors in exchange for contact information. And, of course, you'll want to include a form that visitors will fill out in exchange for the offer you’re promoting on your landing page.
To learn more about how to create a landing page in detail, take a look at How to Create a Landing Page: The Simple Step-by-Step Guide.
What makes a landing page effective?
Here’s the thing, a good landing page is the equivalent of a baseball mitt — it catches the traffic that your marketing campaign pitches to the audience. This means that the landing page you create should be specific to the type of traffic that it’ll be catching. For example, if your marketing campaign features an ebook, your landing page should also mention the ebook. It’ll be even better if the ebook is the only content offer mentioned on the landing page. This ensures people won’t become confused about what they’re going to receive when they share their contact information.
Because the landing page is targeting only the people who are (presumably) interested in this ebook, and because this ebook has exclusive information that elaborates on a topic your audience cares about, you can convert a higher percentage of your website visitors into leads, whom you can then follow up with using a lead nurture campaign.
Ready to create your first landing page, or improve on a landing page you already have? Here are some of the most important elements you’ll want to implement to ensure your landing page is moving your business closer to its goals:
1. Intuitive Navigation
You've brought your targeted traffic to a page where they can take your desired action. Don't distract them! Limit the number of exits from your landing page so that your visitors are focused on filling out your form. A key part of this is to remove the website navigation elements on landing pages. This helps put the focus back on the content you're offering.
See how the landing page below does this — aside from the HubSpot logo, there are no navigation buttons to confuse or distract visitors.
2. Sharing Options
Tap into the largest community of your best (and free) marketers: your audience. Add share links to your landing page to encourage your website visitors to share your content with their audiences.
3. Valuable Content Offers
First and foremost, if you have a valuable offer, your visitors will give up their contact information in exchange for your offer. Ask yourself whether your offer is compelling to your audience and make sure your landing page demonstrates that value.
One way to ensure your landing page adds value is to show your audience the content they're going to receive — directly on the page. See how this can look in the example landing page below.
4. Succinct Copy and Lead Forms
The longer your landing page and form, the more friction you add to the lead-generation process. Keeping your lead form short and straightforward will increase your conversion rate.
Here's a tip: Put as many contact fields as you can on the same line. Shortening the height of your lead-capture form helps you limit the more trivial fields you might be tempted to include, and prevents your landing page visitors from getting spooked by a form that's asking too much of them. As shown below, sometimes all you need is a first and last name, followed by an email address.
5. Focused Communication
You might be tempted to create a catch-all landing page that mentions your online course, email newsletter, ebook, and every other content offer you’re promoting. However, this is not ideal.
The people who visit your landing page should be looking for one particular offer and this offer should match the communication they saw right before they clicked your landing page link. Did you share a social media post about your latest free email template? If so, that’s exactly what your landing page should communicate. Use the headline to grab the reader's attention and let them know “Hey! You’re in the right place to download that free email template.” The imagery of the template and a few bullet points about the benefits of it will help communicate this point, too.
6. Tracking and Analytics
It’s one thing to know how many visits your landing page received. It’s another to know where those visitors came from.
You’ll need to know this information so that you can optimize your marketing campaign to generate more leads. If email marketing is generating more clicks to your landing page than the search engines, then it’s a good idea to focus on email marketing tactics while you optimize your landing page for the search engines.
UTM tracking parameters can help you uncover these insights, too. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Bit.ly, and HubSpot to create and track UTM parameters. Here’s a detailed guide on how to start using this tool.
7. Constant Improvement
As many best practices as you may read about online, your landing page can always use more testing and improvement. Make sure you have a landing page creation tool that allows you to create and test many different landing pages to see what works best for your business. Additionally, if you're a HubSpot customer, consider some of the landing page tool integrations, such as briX.
Gotta Catch ’em All
You’ve spent weeks, months, or even an entire quarter developing the perfect marketing campaign and content offers to appeal to your buyer personas. Don’t let that hard work go to waste — remember, converting visitors to leads is your main goal. Building quality landing pages for each campaign or offer you create will be an important part of your lead generation strategy. Use the best practices in this article to build the perfect landing pages for your business and capture every lead you can.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.