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Your Landing Pages Deserve a Little TLC

Do you believe there is truth in that old English proverb, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Whether or not you believe it’s true, when it comes to landing pages it MOST DEFINITELY is not. Indeed, the sole job of the landing page is just thatto get the “horse to drink”.

Given the heavy lifting that is required of your Landing Pages its kind of amazing how little attention they often receive.  Here's how you start providing that TLC your Landing Page(s) desperately needs. First, determine how effective each Landing Page is at converting visitors into customers. It is imperative that you know not just how many orders you are generating but also how many potential customers are hitting your page and leaving without placing an orderi.e. your abandon rate.  I warn you in advance that you will likely be disheartened by the number of people who hit the page without placing an order.

Once you have that benchmark, your primary task is to continually work at improving upon that rate by instituting a series of planned A/B tests. Here’s some simple math that illustrates the effect of improved order conversion. In this case raising your “take rate” 2.5 percentage points would increase revenue by $5K and raising it 5 percentage points would generate $10K in additional revenue.

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Here’s why your Landing Pages may be driving away customers. There are a variety of reasons why your pages may be underperforming. Some of the more common ones are:

  • There is a mismatch between what your promotion says and what your customer sees when s/he gets to your landing page. Very common when a premium or a discount is offered and it’s not easily see-able.

  • Too much extraneous copy or copy that doesn’t encourage action.

  • Too many options. Resist the temptation to hit people with multi-year offers right out of the gate. Options are likely to delay action.

  • Design. It matters. Especially in a smartphone or tablet environment.

 Here’s why you may not be addressing it. For valid reasons (or not) there are lots of reasons you aren’t testing a Landing Page.

  • It seems to be working okay.

  • It is not on your radar as a testable element.

  • You don’t have time, promotions always come up too quickly to build in a test.

  • There is cost associated with doing it and it doesn’t seem to be worth the expense.

  • You can’t get it done easily by a 3rd party or in-house IT / design team.

Here’s how you can begin Landing Page testingDespite the obstacles above, there are things you can do to begin testing this key promotion element.

  • Build Landing Page testing it into your promotion plan and give it priority. Don’t treat it as something that would be nice to do if time or money permits.

  • Talk with your 3rd Party or in-house IT / design team to find out what right "out of the box" solution they can offer. This can work in the early days of testing but you are likely to be relegated to variations on a basic template which you’ll no doubt shortly outgrow.

  • Consider a provider like Unbounce or Ten Minute Pages to name just two of the web based software solutions that are in the business of giving marketers an easy way to do A/B Landing Page testing. The major benefit of these software solutions is that you can do this without having to necessarily bring in your resource strapped IT folk.

Here are some things to test.  However you decide to do it, once you come up with a system for Landing Page testing there are many things you can test.  Below are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Single offer vs. multi-offer

  • Bill me option vs. credit card only

  • Including Paypal as a payment option vs. not

  • Heavy copy vs. light copy

  • Allowing visitor to return to homepage vs. not

  • and so on…..

I hope you are inspired to give your Landing Pages the respect they deserve. If you have a Landing Page success story that you can share, I'd love to hear about it.