Despite years of practice with digital campaigns, B2B marketers still have trouble getting their landing pages to work as hard as they could. I am not sure why, since there’s nothing more important to capturing the responses from outbound messages and kicking off a relationship with prospects. You could say it’s the landing page is where your campaign pays off. But I am still seeing obvious errors. If you suspect you might be making on of them, read on.
Here is Ruth P.Stevens seven-step checklist to ensure your landing pages adhere to B2B best practices:
- Connect the landing page directly to the outbound message. When respondents click through to the landing page, they should experience a seamless flow from one to the other. The outbound message—whether a SEM ad, an email, a direct mail piece or even a print ad—should act like the teaser, to motivate the recipient to click or type in the landing page URL. The role of the landing page is to close on the deal, the same way a salesperson asks for the order. So the two formats should act as one, working together to move the prospect along. If they are disjointed—whether through design or copy inconsistency—the momentum is lost.
- Create a fresh landing page for each variable in your campaign. OK, I know this means work. But the effort that goes into the outbound message should be equal or exceeded when crafting the response vehicle. If you are doing an A/B test on your creative or your offer, you need two landing pages. Plan for it.
- Mobile-enable your landing page. No excuses. The dramatic rise in tablet and smartphone use cannot be ignored. As any direct marketer will tell you: Don’t get in the way. If you put up any obstacles, your response rate will inevitably be lower. A landing page that is engineered for ease of use on mobile devices is no longer a nice to have; it’s a must.
- Pre-populate the form where possible. If your outbound message includes digital information about the respondents, don’t make them retype their data.
- Ask for the minimal amount of information you need to take the next step in the relationship. The more elements you require, the lower your response rate. So ask yourself, “How will asking for this piece of information change the way I deal with the inquiry?” If the answer is “It won’t,” then hold that query for a later stage in the relationship.
- Develop a culture of constant testing. Any responsive vehicle benefits from continuous improvement. Your landing page is the perfect place to test copy, offer, layout, and other variables like the number of data elements you ask for. Do it, don’t duck it.
- Follow landing page design best practices. Hubspot offers some excellent tips in this area. Remember that the purpose of a landing page is to drive an action. So everything you do—the copy, the offer, the layout, the graphics—must focus on that end.
Ruth also welcomes your ideas on how to improve landing page results! She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author: Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, teaches marketing at Columbia Business School. She is a member of the BIIA Board of Directors and BIIA’s contributing editor on the subjects of B2B marketing and eMarketing Strategy. www.ruthstevens.com