I was fortunate late in 1999 to have been led into the “know” about online marketing. By 2004, I was using landing pages to create relevant offers that generated strong conversion rates for paid per click (PPC) ads, email marketing and joint ventures. I wrote my first article “Five Factors for Landing page optimization” for Search Marketing Standard magazine (now the print publication is defunct and the website is spammy) in 2006. It was later placed online here in 2007 and a similar article published on Practical Ecommerce also in 2007 titled, “Aligning Keywords and Landing Pages.” Roughly nine years ago, the online marketing community was touting the significant value gained from using landing pages to serve highly relevant offers to specific targeted audiences. The challenge then, unlike now, is that advertising channels had limited audience targeting capabilities and landing pages had to be designed by a developer.
Today, there are plenty of experts pitching the importance of landing pages – in some cases, as if they were a new concept! Ha – no so much. But what has changed is the simplicity and sophistication that now is available through technology. Companies with innovative products specifically suited for SMBs like Unbounce, Leadpages, Thrive Landing Pages and Instapages make building and testing landing pages not only easy but affordable for every SMB budget.
So, it’s with this background and current state that I say I am AMAZED how infrequently SMBs are using landing pages to generate B2B leads. Regardless of the channel, whether email, social, or Google AdWords, landing pages have consistently (and without fail) generated higher visitor-to-lead conversion rates than a standard web page. Even better, most landing page builders enable desktop and mobile (e.g. responsive) designs. So unlike many SMB websites, at least your landing pages will perform perfectly on a mobile device. And if you checked your analytics lately, my assumption is that at least 20% of your website visitors are on a mobile device.
Here are four major reasons why you’re failing by not using landing pages…
Landing pages enable you to create congruency between the channel and the message plus offer. The context of the email offer (which you control) and the specific message and offer on the landing page (which you control) can quickly connect the visitor and compel them towards the action to take the offer. There are no distractions like site navigation or multiple offers presented on a landing page. If an email states “download the ebook”, a reader clicks, and she or he is presented with a landing page that specifically showcases the ebook’s value with a simple “complete this form to download the ebook” conversions will outperform. You’re focusing your audience on achieving a single outcome (download the ebook) and you‘re not placing any barriers in their way.
Because you control the channel message and offer and the targeting you set for it (e.g. segmented email list, Adwords interests, demographics, etc.) you know at least some characteristics of the visitors who will reach your landing page. As such, you can develop your landing page to specifically serve that audience. Tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer can also be used to integrate some personalization into your standard website, but coupled with focus, personalization on a landing page will generate higher lead conversions.
The landing page tools I mentioned above, in most if not all cases, provide simple to use split-testing mechanisms. A split-test enables you to test one landing page against another with your audience. This can be exceptionally helpful in certain situations where you have two competing ways of presenting the offer. Rather than guess, you can test.
For B2B companies, buyers tend to work through a buying cycle where they consume a lot of information prior to committing to a buying decision. As such, you should be targeting them in different ways to continually consume the information they need to make a buying decision for your product or service. For example, once an individual downloads an ebook that explains the “10 challenges with generating quality leads”, you will then focus on getting them to also download “The Definitive Guide to Using Landing Pages to Generate 10X Quality Leads in 30 days.” This sequence can be easily laid out in a series of landing pages and automated throughout with email marketing via DRIP campaigns.
It does take some extra time and a little extra money to setup landing pages for your B2B lead generation campaigns. However, if you can consistently generate 2-3x more leads from your marketing campaigns then clearly it’s worth a test, right? At least after a test, you can run the math to see if the extra effort justified a return. In my seventeen years of experience, using landing pages will be worth the effort every time.
Interested in learning more? Contact us and let’s talk lead generation and find ways to generate your next customer.