To landing page or not to landing page, this is the question...

To landing page or not to landing page, this is the question...

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Recently I had an interesting experience. I was researching IT companies and after clicking on ads and going from one website to another I came across a landing page. My immediate reaction was URGHH!!! I couldn’t deep dive into more content. I couldn’t see what other services the company had to offer. It felt like I was skimming the surface and had no idea of what lies beneath…

This got me thinking, when is a landing page good and when is a landing page too little?

In this post I’m going to delve into what products and services are better suited to landing pages and those which need a little more explanation. I will also provide a cure for the landing page disconnect – a way to keep people focused while providing that next level of detail.

First, we will consider the type of decision required.

Type of decision1  

According to the level of involvement, people tend to need more or less information to make their decision.

Low involvement

With a low involvement category, there is only a small financial or psychological risk. The barrier to purchase is low and generally, curiosity or immediacy sway decision making. The initial motivation for product purchase can come from a negative, they might trying to solve a basic problem. It can also be positive, hoping to create change for the better.

With low involvement product, landing pages are valuable tool to incite trial, generate awareness and gain sign ups. Landing pages achieve this by maintaining focus without distractions and by emphasising only one call to action. Landing pages serve to communicate your product, brand and benefits clearly.

In cases where the motivation is negative, landing pages should focus on the problem-resolution scenario, emphasising only one-to-two key benefits. 

The Renovator Paint Runner Pro Home 

The Renovator Paint Runner Pro use this landing page to promote problem and solution. The page clearly articulates the problem-solving benefits- no mess, easy & fast. Although you can see navigation headings, these simply mark a point in the page allowing people to access key information quickly, without needing to scroll down.

On the other hand, if the motivation to purchase is positive, the landing page should demonstrate a transformational outcome. The page should be an immersive, rich experience. Key benefits should be emotional and communicated in a way which is brand-associated or unique to the brand.

For products which are emotionally tied to aspirations of status adding exclusivity can assist in gaining contact details. For instance, signups for new releases, competitions, one week trials and exclusive offers.

The 5TH 

The 5TH store use landing pages as a gateway to product sales. The level of exclusivity prompts email signups for access to the shop when it opens for 5 days of the month.

Keep in mind that although a landing page will suit this type of product, there are cases where it may not move product as it is easier to purchase in stores. With this in mind, a landing page can entice trial via free samples or support a PR campaign. In every case the page should always point the consumer to where they can buy the product.

Homepage Twinings

Twinings use this Morning Tea Landing Page to support their new product release/PR campaign to raise funds for charity via votes for celebrity designed product packaging.

High involvement

A high involvement purchase is not taken lightly. This is because the customer perceives their decision as being highly important and considers the risks.

In this category communications need to reflect the inner-psyche of the customer. Talk to their pains, without overstating the gains. The key benefit should also be unique to your brand, in terms of how you are positioned in the market, and it should be supported by additional benefit claims, ranked by order of importance.

As with my example at the beginning of the post, a landing page is not always in the best interest of the customer. This rule can be applied to high involvement products. An overarching reason for this is trust. The consumer must trust you and your product before taking the leap. To develop consumer confidence, more than one page may be required.

It is in this category that we commonly see high returning visitors and potentially multiple touch points before a conversion. The customer will inform themselves, mull over the product, re-inform themselves and do this over a range of digital channels – search, direct, social, advertising.

If your product falls in this category, there are three approaches to overcome landing page disconnect:

  1. Create a microsite
  2. Create a soft-sell landing page
  3. Optimise your website funnels

The more emotionally involved your product is, the more complex the approach.

1. Create a microsite

First up, what do I mean by microsite? A microsite is 3-5 web pages that act as a separate entity to your main website. A microsite typically lives on its own domain, or exist as a subdomain.

The purpose of a microsite is to give consumers enough information to make a decision, without giving so much information it is distracting, or becomes boring or creates abandonment.

The challenge is deciding what pages you should include in your site. This brings me to the IT example at the beginning of my post. I was wanting to see depth of services, for me, that was a symbol of trust.

To decide what pages to include in your microsite, view what pages of your website are being most frequently visited. Or you can work your way backwards based on how you are attracting clicks. For instance, AdWords can provide insight into what people are searching, what keywords are most frequently clicked and you can test ad extensions to see what gels with the audience more. Using these insights, you can create pages which will talk to the search interests more directly.

IT Support JUST MAKE IT WORK V2 

Just Make It Work use a microsite to communicate the breadth of business IT solutions they offer. 

2. Create a soft-sell landing page

You can reduce the barrier to conversion by making the ask smaller. Instead of requesting someone contacts you, book a tour you can give them something of value in exchange for their details.

You are inviting people to ‘try you out’ without any obligations.

The trick is to consider what can you give away freely, which would be of value to your customer? Something which will establish you as capable, knowing and trustworthy.

Some examples may include:

  • Whitepaper
  • Ebook
  • Video Series
  • Access to a Database
  • Checklist
  • Case Study
  • Downloadable Blog Post
  • Webinar
  • Email Series
  • Educational Course
  • Free Software Tool
  • Free Trial of Premium Software
  • Free Quote 

Of course, once you have details from your customer you can then put them into a nurture stream for marketing content or flag them for your sales team to approach.

DevOpsGuys Download Free Whitepaper 

DevOpsGuys are a company that specialise in the way organisations deliver software. They have targeted this landing page for CTO’s and CIO’s, offering them a free whitepaper to guide them in the journey to digital transformation. 

3. Optimise your website funnels

Optimising your website involves a lot of micro changes which are hands on, ever changing and require ongoing work. However, the outcomes should be big. Given the workload involved to optimise your website from marketing teams, to PPC teams, to website teams this should not be taken lightly therefore I would recommend this specifically for brands in an emotional decision making space.

Take booking a holiday for example. Imagining yourself jumping into the hidden cenotes of Tulum or skiing the slopes in Honshu. While there is some logic in where to go, where to stay, who to fly with, the desire to travel has emotional pull.

In this instance, you want to know your data well. Analyse what conversion paths people are taking from the perspective of pages visited before a conversion, and channel touch points along the way.

By paring this knowledge with the ins and outs of your high performing PPC campaigns you can start to map consumer journeys through your website and create a consistent user experience.

Book Domestic Australia Flights Tigerair 

Tigerair use custom content delivery based on geolocation. By pre-filling the search field for Melbourne and pre-empting next steps with special deals from Melbourne they are assisting people along the conversion funnel.

In summary, to landing page or not to landing page really depends on the level of involvement your customer needs to make a decision. Whether the risk is low enough to take a leap without getting to know you first?

I hope this post has helped answer the question and provided some ideas regardless of the complexity of your product. If you are looking to optimise your landing pages, please take the time to read our free eBook – Creating Landing Pages Which Convert.

Happy optimising!

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Posted: 16 May 17 By: Comments: Be the first to comment! Category: Landing Page Optimisation
Prue Takle

Prue is a creative in a suit. With degrees in both marketing and creative arts she naturally thinks outside the square, coming up with ideas that will engage audiences and promote larger-scale objectives. Prue enjoys creating synergy between branding and communications, especially when it comes to developing marketing strategy.

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