5 Reasons why Your Landing Pages Suck at Generating Email Program Conversions.
Your landing page or capture / conversion page, is one of the greatest assets a marketer has. Those single pages that are crafted to capturing permission and get the contact (first step) or get the conversion (last step). Often general site pages don’t cut it. These are the micro-conversions that often don’t get the attention they deserve.
Site owners can build successful landing pages, there are plenty of resources and best practices to help you do it. Still, avoiding the pitfalls plaguing ineffective landing pages continues to be a struggle.
Speed and Landing page creators
In a recent study by Econsultancy called the speed imperative, what we all suspected was confirmed, the speed of getting things done in email marketing is important, if not fast and easy enough, functions and tactics will not be employed.
(Source: Econsultancy, the speed imperative)
First they need to be easy and quick to create. While you could use a website CMS to make landing pages, or create it based on your own blog CMS, it will just as often either come to an external landing page creation tool or the functionality inside your other marketing software like Marketing Automation or ESP. I keep a list of remarkable updates on email and MA tool functionality and expect more to update their Landing page creators after the email newsletter builders have become sooo good. If you often do campaigns that demand their own landing pages, look for changes in the following.
Landing page creators need to keep up and now offer:
Mobile optimized responsive layouts,
More html5 functions,
Integration with your other systems, email and CRM
Email validation in my eyes is a must have.
Pre-made templates (think speed) are between nice to have and should have, especially if your own design resources are limited and demands not too heavy.
So getting those Landing Pages in place is one. The best landing page builders take care of the needs outlined above and go even beyond that. But if you find yourself to be one of these site owners whose landing pages aren’t converting very well, below are five common yet crucial factors that bog down the performance of your pages.
Given that the headline of your landing page is the first - and hopefully not the last - thing your visitors will see, you must ensure that it does not possess the following qualities:
- Not stating a clear value proposition - You need to clearly communicate the promise you will deliver to your visitors upon getting them to do the desired action from your landing page.
- Weak copywriting - The foundation of an effective landing page lies in how you carefully craft the message not only in your headline but also the entire content. Depending on who you’re targeting for this particular page of yours, you will need to employ certain copywriting tactics so that visitors will be drawn in to what you have to say.
- Doesn't inspire action - People best respond to headlines that encourage them to act upon it. Therefore, instead of just stating facts and figures, tell to your visitors the benefits that they'll receive once they take action.
Instead, (even more so when people landing on a page from search engines) the page UX should match (search) intent and give users a satisfying answer to their question as quick as possible. Obviously this start already in whatever source the visitors are coming from, so if you are guiding people from a newsletter or email promotion, make sure your email marketing UX is totally in order.
If you are collecting sensitive information from your visitors, you will need to ensure that your signup form not be the following:
- Complicated - Limit the number of fields that they should fill out to just name and email address. They can fill out other information about them once they have successfully completely the form. This way, they won’t have to think too hard or do too much in order to receiving what you are offering.
- Not located ‘above the fold’ - Although this is debated, the phrase refers to the top part of your page that visitors will see after the page has loaded. Make sure that your form is located here so they can fill out the form immediately if they like what what you are offering them. Just make sure people do see the form and get there to fill it out!
3. Call to Action
Of course, visitors won’t be able to complete your desired action without the call to action. Since this is the element on your page that should attract the attention of your readers, you will need to avoid the following:
- Poor choice of colors - Avoid using colors that are too similar with your background or brand colors. Ideally, you need to use complementary more contrasting colors to the ones you used on your layout to help you CTA stand out more.
- Almost invisible - The bigger the call the action, the more chances of it to be seen by your visitors. Just make sure that the size doesn’t compromise the design and layout of the page.
- Vague wording - “Submit,” “Continue,” “Proceed” are words that are commonly read in the call to action button. Unfortunately, these vague words rarely get clicks from visitors due to click fear. To ensure that your visitors click on the button after filling out your form, mention again the benefit that they will receive from your site in the button.
- More than one CTA - Do not confuse your visitors with additional calls to action that let them perform another action or offer something unrelated to the topic of the page. Make your landing pages simple by delegating a simple and easy-to-do task for each.
Aside from weak copywriting, your landing pages must not have the following:
- Pure web copy - A landing page that is pure text is a chore to read through and won’t deliver your expected conversion rates. Aside from punchier copywriting for brevity’s sake, use other forms of content such as videos and images to unburden the visitors.
- Pixellated and/or stock images - Visitors respond well to relevant and high-quality visual content on your landing pages because it breaks down the wall of text. If you will be using stock images, make sure that you use those that capture your message. Avoid using images of business people who aren’t really members of your team.
- Not credible enough - Having grammatically correct copy is a hygene factor. Testimonial from people who have benefited from your landing page can help encourage visitors to take action. Not always, but you should consider it.
You wouldn’t know what’s wrong with your landing pages if you don’t track how visitors are responding to them. Here are things that you be wary of in order to gauge how your landing pages are faring:
- No tracking code - While landing page creators have built-in analytics feature to see how visitors interact with your landing page, it is better to install another website statistics service like Google Analytics and for instance Clicky, so you can track other metrics that can’t be measured by your current analytics system.
- Pigheadedness - Given the breadth of data made available to you using these website trackers, you are now given a better chance to improve your landing pages. If they are not getting enough traffic or have a high bounce rate (visitors leave without converting), then you should tweak your pages in order to drive more traffic and decrease bounce rate.
Conclusion: Stairway of Micro yesses
Give the landing pages that are supposed to get the subscribers in, some more love. A landing page however is also part of your stairway of micro yesses on the road to a conversion.
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