However, even after people have taken the time to open your email and click through on your call-to-action, you can still lose them at the landing page. What makes this loss all the more painful (#marketerproblems) is that all of the steps it took someone to get to the landing page underscore just how much they’re interested in what you’re offering. They are 80 percent there and yet they come to a stop. It is precisely this snag that leads good marketers to test and retest their pages for optimal conversions. Here are some common at risk spots for losing your potential leads.
1 – Confusing Headers
The headline is so often the first thing a potential lead sees when they hit the page. The headline therefore has one of the most demanding jobs. It has to stay consistent with the copy that initially brought the person to the page but also add enough value to make the next step worthwhile. To further reduce friction, keep the form headline and page headline consistent or highly related.
When you’re testing your headlines, try these approaches out for size:
- Play up the urgency: Add in dates to increase the timeliness of your piece of content. For example, [Topic] trends for 2013. In doing so, keep the topic front and center and be careful not to go over the top.
- Play up the keywords: They came because a topic caught their attention, make sure that you keep that interest front and center.
2 - The Navigation Question
Opinions vary on whether navigation should or should not be included on landing pages. The pro-side of the debate says that navigation should always be available to aid website visitors in finding other sections of your site. The con side? Navigation clicked on your landing pages means conversions not completed. Many marketers choose to remove navigation on landing pages and replace it on the thank-you page once the conversion has gone through.
3 - The Great Barrier Form
Forms are the biggest barriers to conversions, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re an utter pain that even marketers avoid. Your job as a marketer is to figure out how to make the process of filling out a form much easier.
- Reduce fields: It’s a tough call. You need a certain amount of information to determine if a lead is qualified to send to your sales team. But, wherever possible try to cut down on the number of fields included in your forms. If you can’t cut down on the fields, use what you know to make the fields easier, for example, if they’re coming from an email, transfer that email address into the form so they don’t have to write it in.
- Use Smart Fields and Progressive Profiling: Smart fields automatically disappear for repeat visitors once they’ve completed a form once so they never have to fill out the same form twice. Progressive profiling allows you to add in fields over time so you don’t have to ask everything and the kitchen sink the first time.
4 - Missing A Second Conversion Opportunity
It’s not only on the landing page itself that you lose potential conversions. After someone has converted on an educational whitepaper or, what we call a top-of-the-funnel piece of content, give them a second opportunity to request a sales consultation by adding a second conversion form to the thank you page. You can expect the conversions on this form to be fairly low — after all, they got what they came for – but the ones you do capture are likely to be high-value for your company. We like to pair a content offer, like free templates with a demo or free trial offer on the Thank You page.
Recently we offered prospects a Search Engine Optimization Kit. The kit, which was free to download, included five guides of varying skill-level and advanced reading on how social media fits into SEO. To date the SEO kit has garnered 225 downloads and a conversion rate of 30%. However, by adding a second opportunity for conversion, a free demo of our software on the thank you page of that conversion we were able to garner another 80 high-quality conversions (at a 25% conversion rate). Without that extra option, we might not have gotten those leads to return for a free demo. Because the option was there, we were able to move along quickly in their buying cycle.
There is one note on which I’d urge you to be careful: When including a form on your thank you page, make sure you’ve clearly set it aside as a separate conversion option. The primary purpose of the Thank You Page should be to deliver the content your lead has requested, the second conversion should be visually secondary and clearly optional.
5 - An Impersonal Experience
This final point is really an opportunity to delight leads and customers rather than a risk-point for losing them. But done correctly it can help ease the conversion process for your prospective leads. As marketers, you should have a contact database that stores the buying behavior and interests of your leads. You can leverage that information to make your website as a whole more responsive and adaptive to visitors when they arrive.
You personalize the emails you send to prospects, why not carry that personalization through to the point of conversion and beyond. I’m not talking about implanting the prospects name into a landing page. That’s not really all that useful and can be jarring for a visitor. What I am talking about is the option to tailor calls-to-action and suggested content/next steps based on what you know about a lead’s interests and past behavior. Here are a few useful ways to personalize your landing pages and thank you pages.
- Reduce fields or remove forms: We’ve already talked about reducing fields, but why not remove forms entirely for your customers if you don’t need additional information on their download history. Use personalization tools to only show a form when someone is unknown to your company or in the decision process.
- Provide a tailored reading list: Use the thank you page as an opportunity to show leads that you’ve recognized what they’re interested in and can provide them with similar content when they’ve finished your first whitepaper. For example, if the content they converted on is an eBook on SEO, show them a banner for a webinar on SEO or give them a reading list of related materials.
- Provide personalized follow-up: Similar to the point above, use conversions as an opportunity to sharpen your follow-up emails to be more aligned with the interests a lead has expressed on your site. If they’ve told you through the form that they’re in a certain industry, tailor the language of your follow-up emails for that industry and the most common problems you hear from similar leads.
Landing pages are more than just an opportunity to get contact info from your leads, they’re the beginning of a more tailored relationship with your prospective customers. By making things easier for them, removing barriers, and recognizing their interests, your conversions will go up and you’ll also create a better experience overall for your leads.
I’d love to hear from you on this. What other tactics have you found work well to support this important moment in the decision process?
About The Author
Meghan Keaney Anderson is marketing professional with eight years of experience on web and social media strategy, public relations, and marketing analytics. Meghan is Product Marketing Manager for HubSpot, a marketing software company in Cambridge. At HubSpot, Meghan oversees the launches, internal education and market strategy for the company’s fifteen-component marketing software.