News and views to improve the strength and vigor of all your direct response marketing activity.

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a two-part series that explores 10 steps to getting the maximum lead generation potential from your landing pages.

Buying a product, signing up for a service, filling out a lead form, becoming an email subscriber, or making a phone call are all primary examples of conversion-related actions within digital direct marketing.

The challenge with consumers finishing these conversion actions is that, you often can’t perform them directly within the digital ads themselves. Conversions typically happen within a website or a landing page. Even the best-targeted ad campaign — without a properly optimized website or landing page — will likely fall short of your expectations.

My career began in user experience and user interaction design. During that time, I quickly learned how essential consumer empathy is to a successful marketing campaign. In short, the general rationale is that without a fundamental understanding of what motivates your audience, you will largely miss opportunities to provide truly meaningful interactions that will ultimately lead to sales!

Just how important is user empathy?

Think about the performance of your own marketing campaigns … Chances are great that, like many marketers, you’re converting a mere 1 or 2% of your targeted audience. Meaning 96–98% of your marketing efforts are potentially missed opportunities.

Sobering, right? If you could simply increase conversions to 3 or 4% you would be more than doubling your lead or sales volume. So, ensuring that your landing page or website is properly optimized to close the sale for your targeted consumers should be a no brainer.

Chances are great that, like many marketers, you’re converting a mere 1 or 2% of your targeted audience. Meaning 96–98% of your marketing efforts are potentially missed opportunities.

Landing Page or Website? Which one do you need?
Before we discuss considerations for a high-conversion landing page, it’s important to first discuss the critical differences between a landing page and a website.

Landing pages are designed with the sole purpose of converting someone directly on that page. Websites, on the other hand, enable users to perform more thorough research. While a website typically provides opportunities to convert, there are also plenty of opportunities to lose your audience.

When your campaign’s marketing objective requires a lot of information to get a shopper to a point of consideration and ultimately purchase,  a website is probably what you want. But in most instances, you might be better off simply using a single-focused, conversion-based landing page. So that is what we will be focusing on within this post.

10 ways to boost the sales power of your landing pages:

Here are some proven strategies and tactics you can use to maximize quality leads and converted sales from your landing page:

1. Establish a clear goal for your landing page
Each landing page should have one primary objective. All the necessary content on that page should focus exclusively on achieving that singular objective.

For example, if you’re looking to generate a lead conversion, don’t bury the contact form ‘below the fold.’ And make sure your contact form contains the minimum number of fields necessary; make it easy for consumers to convert in the greatest possible volumes. It’s far more comfortable and less invasive for people to give you their email address, versus submitting their phone number. Bottom line: Don’t require a specific contact field if it’s not necessary.

2. Remove all distractions and barriers
As marketers, we need to resist the temptation to convey a ton of messages to a landing page visitor. Despite the claims otherwise, most people are rarely (if ever) able to effectively handle multiple tasks at once. 

Establishing visual hierarchy of content and utilizing white space helps visually balance key takeaways. Use of imagery can help reduce clutter. Additionally, focus on omitting all unnecessary elements that may cause consumers to miss the primary conversion point: Remove exit links, site navigation; remove CTAs that take traffic further away from the conversion point (form submission, phone call, etc.). The ONLY goal is to achieve the marketing objective you’ve established. Don’t make things more difficult on yourself by adding additional information.

3. Make sure the page is optimized — and able to be viewed anywhere
It’s 2020. Smartphone devices are practically glued to your audience. So, it’s shocking when organizations do not prioritize the mobile experience. All CTAs should be easy to interact with. All forms should be streamlined to only require the minimal form fields. Messaging should not require endless scrolling to get to the point. Consider your color palette, too. Can your message be viewed on a 4-inch screen?

4. Page load time affects your conversion rate Make sure your page loads quickly. A recent Google study found that there is a direct correlation to the load time of a landing page and the probability that the visitor will bounce (leave). In fact, the issue is so crucial, search engines like Google count page speed performance as a negative ranking factor for organic search. Thankfully this is not a difficult problem to solve. I like using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool. It tells you precisely what to address within your page.

5. Align your message to your target audience’s concerns Within a typical landing page, you have less than 5 seconds to convince a visitor to read past the primary headline and learn more. As soon as a visitor reaches your landing page, they should have a clear understanding of the goal of that page. If driven from an ad, your page should align with the messaging of the ad, otherwise you’ll very likely lose that sales opportunity.

That’s just five ways to improve your user experience to boost leads and conversions. Check back soon for Part 2 of this post for even more smart strategies and tactics. In the meantime,  if you need immediate help planning, designing, or developing a direct response landing page for your next campaign, contact the DMW team today!