Communication is becoming much more segmented and personalised. Marketers are having to work harder to understand the requirements of each and every type of buyer and influencer at each stage of the long, complex construction sales supply chain. Added to this is the need to deliver relevant valuable content within all marketing efforts.
Your next customer will research and evaluate your products through websites and online networks long before your sales staff get involved. A phone call to a sales person maybe the last step of the buyer’s journey. So what comes before the sales call? Marketers must learn how to evaluate the ‘online body language’ of their visitors and how to decode their behaviour early on in the buying process to gain a more competitive advantage. Online activity – web site visits, downloads, email responses and registrations – identifies buyers and reveals their intent.
Traditional methods of marketing (Outbound Marketing) were used to ‘push’ messages out via various channels such as TV advertising, print advertising and radio in the hope of finding someone for whom it would be relevant. But now, with the introduction of various innovative digital channels we can better communicate with smaller, defined segments Inbound Marketing at a low cost. We can talk to our audiences in a much more relevant and personal manner with the added benefit of higher or better returns.
Outbound Marketing is marketing focused on finding customers, whilst Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on customers finding you.
In essence Inbound Marketing is basically ‘getting found’ by your prospects who are sourcing information online. The internet is now usually the first point of call for anyone looking for a particular type of company, type of product or specialist service. It is when a prospect finds you that the journey and the relationship begins.
“Inbound marketing is really taking off, marketers have to integrate activities in order to get the best out of their budgets. Whilst offline tends to be more expensive, integrating online mediums means you can start to measure campaign performance, optimise and maximise ROI”
Nick Pauley – Managing Director
Segmentation – what does your audience look like?
Mass communication just doesn’t work. Spam is on the rise and still exists and if you have been conducting blast email marketing or very broad communications to very wide audience then you are more than likely receiving very low returns. Customers should be segmented, grouped at each stage of the process, according to demographic information, sales values, profitability or previous transaction history. Whatever the segment, you will then be better able to understand the type of offer to use, the language or tone of voice, the relevancy of the message and the appropriate call to action for each audience type.
Each segment will have its own behaviour, buying criteria, needs and requirements. Understanding the motives within each segment category enables you to create a more personal experience for a prospect or customer. Targeting each segment with relevant messaging will increase open rates and click throughs to your website, microsite or a specialised landing page and improve your overall campaign performance.
Whether it is a pay-per-click (PPC) ad, email or print ad that is driving a visitor to your website, it is the landing page which is key to achieving great results. Most of the hard work has already been done as the email has been opened. This means that the messages within the email or the offer within the PPC ad were relevant and engaged you visitor to click through to the next stage of their journey. The next stage is the landing page.
“Segmentation for any business is key, and in the construction industry it is even more of a priority. Product manufacturers are targeting designers, specifiers and engineers just to get products on drawings. Then come the main contractors who have more power than ever to change specification and therefore are having to work harder at communicating key brand and product values”
Pritesh Patel – Digital Marketing Manager
A landing page is a short term webpage connected to a campaign. It comes in two forms, the most common being a specialised web page which visitors land on from an external link. That external link could be from an email campaign, PPC advertisement or a social media platform – like Twitter or LinkedIn. Landing pages can also be used for integrating an offline campaign with an online one, like print. For example, a specific campaign web site address within an advert or direct mail piece may direct the reader to a specific landing page. This will contain the relevant information about the particular product or service promotion.
A campaign targeting one segment using multiple sources to one landing page.
A campaign targeting multiple segments using multiple landing pages.
Individual landing pages can be created for each e-mail or referral source. For example, if you are implementing an email campaign targeting buyers and architects then you will require two individual landing pages with relevant content for each target audience. This should be established at the segmentation stage of the campaign planning process.
“Prospects with a greater intent are more likely to click through from an email campaign therefore a landing page tailored to meet their needs and provide them with value means a higher chance of a conversion. It is all about the journey and making it a pleasant one”
Stuart Dinnie, Project Manager
The second type of landing page is where organic traffic from search engines will land on a page deep within your website as it is relevant to the user’s search query. It therefore acts as a landing page for a particular search term or phrase. The analytics data below illustrates this over a specified time period, 1605 visits from organic traffic (non-paid) landed on 120 pages within a website. What this tells us is that 120 pages within the website are acting as landing pages for those who enter from Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines.
“Some campaigns will have a longer shelf life than others, it’s about getting the most out of landing pages so that they can be fully utilised with other medium and channels. Our clients make use of landing pages for PPC during throughout the year, but then utilise the same landing pages for their quarterly email campaigns.”
Pritesh Patel – Digital Marketing Manager
The purpose of landing pages
The purpose of a landing page is to convince the visitor to stay and take a necessary action on the page (conversion) where they can get further information or receive something of value in return for their details. A landing page can be personalised for each campaign or segment, for instance the job title of the preferred visitor. The page should contain the relevant information to deliver the promise which was put within the email or advert and to enable the visitor to take action.
A typical landing page for a construction product manufacturer might have the following objectives:
- Achieve lead generation for a visitor from a targeted campaign
- Profile and qualify the site visitor
- Explain a sales offering or product in greater technical detail
Considering the visitor has already opened an email or clicked on an ad to get to the landing page, the landing page is where the ‘call to action’ takes place. Here is an example of an effective landing page:
A landing page is made up of various elements and all should be directed to one thing: to achieve the desired objective. The objective for the page above is to get the visitor to download or request a brochure. In return data is captured so that further marketing can be conducted or a follow up sales call can be made.
Elements of a landing page
When a visitor lands on your landing page they want to know immediately:
- Is this the right place?
- Should I click the back or exit button?
- Does it look trustworthy?
- What’s in it for me?
- How much time is this going to take?
To answer these questions the following elements need to considered and are essential for an effective landing page. Each element must focus on the objective of the page and a good web designer will style the page to achieve the conversion.
- Value Proposition – headline, unique offer
- Design – page layout, images
- Usability – screen resolution, links
- Content – length, relevancy, engagement
- Call to action – form length, submit
“The design of the page is very important. People view a webv page in many ways, some look at the image first, some read the headline and some skim the entire page and go directly to the call to action. So a page needs to be well balanced in terms of design, content and image. The most important thing to remember is the objective. Is the objective clear?”
Nick Pauley – Managing Director
When a specifier for example, has clicked through to a landing page from an email or PPC ad, the essential elements are the relevance of the content and the unique offer. The design and content of the page should answer the first question a visitor will ask which is “Am I at the right place?” The landing page graphic design should match the graphic elements in the email so the visitor can validate whether they are actually at the right place.
As for PPC, the ad headline should be used as the headline for the landing page so at first glance the visitor can recall the unique value proposition which led them to the page. So again, you need to show the visitor they are in the right place to find the brand, product, deal, information or experience they are looking for. The headline must indicate this clearly. The strength of the design or branding on the landing page will remove any of the visitor’s anxiety and enforce that they are dealing with a trustworthy source.
Here is an example of a PPC ad and its corresponding landing page.
Landing page headlines must be short and snappy and also deliver consistency across the channels used to attract the visitor. For example, if a headline in an email was “50% off manual handling training courses. Book now!” and the visitor clicked through to a landing page with the headline “Great training courses for you to choose from” then the message, offer and value proposition has been immediately lost. The visitor will either having to work harder to find the offer or leave the landing page altogether. Campaign failure! You have 3 seconds to grab the attention of the visitor. Therefore the design and headline must be engaging and relevant. Since your headline is the first line that your visitors will read, the headline of your web page offers the biggest opportunity (about 80% of the opportunity) for improvements in conversion rate.
The content within the landing page must be in sufficient detail to inspire action. The best way to do this is to give value to the visitor so they want to engage further and start a relationship. This is why segmenting your audience and understanding their needs is the best way to achieve higher conversion rates. The offer is one of the most critical elements of a well planned and implemented campaign. Be clear on what it is you are offering and don’t confuse the visitor. Content length can vary. A product-focused offer might comprise a short paragraph followed by bullet points on its features and benefits. However, a service-related landing page may be long and therefore will take up more space. But it is important to keep things concise and clear and focus on the objective.
Images can have a massive impact on the conversion rates of your landing page, but it has to be the right image and one that keeps the visitor on the page. It must also reflect the content and unique selling proposition. Studies show that product images usually work best when placed to the left of the product description or lead paragraph, as we read copy from left to right.If you are offering a product then do you use a product shot or the product in situ? Or both? This is where testing landing pages comes into play.
It is important to also consider the impact of links within a landing page. The landing page is so highly targeted the last thing you would want is for a visitor to go off in a different direction and away from the objective and call to action. Distractions are therefore to be avoided. Keeping links to other pages or external sites at a minimum is good practice as the visitor is then less likely to leave the page. Links can be directed to an ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ and this will enforce confidence in the visitor that you are a trustworthy source.
If your landing page has been created for lead generation then you will need a form for visitors to complete in return for receiving something of high value. The form should be well-designed and include fields which the visitor is able and willing to share. It is best to create short forms which ask for top level information only such as name, company and email. Log this data into your customer relationship management system. If this visitor decides to return and fill out a longer form on your main website, then you will have captured more information. For the purpose of a landing page, keep it short.
Calls to Action
Calls to action are the buttons or links placed towards the end of the landing page. The call to action is what you want the visitor to do, whether the action is “Download” or “Submit” or “Call us now” or “Sign up today”. The text is usually placed in a graphic button and is designed so that it is clear and eye-catching. The most obvious call to action buttons are those that are big… sometimes ridiculously big.
Measuring performance of landing pages
The most effective measure of performance is the actual number of leads generated by your landing page. Using various analytics tools you can drill deeper into the page’s performance. Measuring metrics such as ‘bounce rate’ and ‘time on page’ will give you an insight into how visitors who click through from a PPC ad or email view your landing page. If bounce rates are high (above 60%) it means that the page requires urgent attention. It could be that the offer is not clear enough or the page is taking too long to load or the copy is just not relevant. By analysing the data provided by your analytics tool you will gain a better understanding on performance and identify the areas which require fixing.
“Measurement is what it all boils down to. Did it work? What returns did we achieve? How many leads were generated? Which segment shown greater intent to purchase? By defining and benchmarking your landing page and campaign performance you can then go onto optimise those landing pagse further to improve the content and value you provide to your target audience”
Pritesh Patel – Digital Marketing Manager
There are also various eye-tracking tools which can give you insight into how visitors view your page layout and design. Heat maps are a good way of finding out where visitors are clicking on a specific page. They will help you understand which elements on the page are causing issues with converting and forcing the visitor to take action.
Landing pages are an important element for any digital marketing campaign. By integrating campaigns and understanding the journey your want your target audience to take, you can make it a pleasant and easy experience for them to complete each step of the conversion process. Highly targeted, personalised web pages will improve your final conversion rates. You will get a better insight into which segment of your market deserves more of your time and money. Whether you are targeting architects, specifiers, estimators, project managers or buyers, each landing page should be absolutely relevant for them without diluting your campaign’s value proposition.
Here are five key take-aways for creating effective landing pages as part of your integrated marketing campaigns:
- Know you target audience – Understand the motivation, fears and concerns customers have when it comes to specifying your products or using your services. Try to answer there questions as quickly as possible.
- Don’t forget the value proposition – Be consistent throughout the entire campaign including the elements within the landing page. Avoid diluting the value proposition or sending mixed messages on your landing page.
- Give your audience what they are looking for – Don’t make your landing pages too busy or cluttered. You have three seconds to grab the attention of the visitor, so be direct.
- Don’t ask too much – Your visitors have come on a journey from the ad or email through to the landing page so make things quick and easy for them to complete the conversion process. Focus on the absolute essentials.
- Track results – Implement a web site analytics package like Google Analytics to help you understand how your landing pages are performing. Measure who came to your site, what they did, how long they spent on the page and see if you can optimise the landing page experience and achieve higher conversions.
If you are in the process of developing and planning a PPC or email marketing campaign targeting various prospects or segments then use relevant landing pages to get you more qualified leads and opportunities. View our case study for Sarnafil, the global market leader of single ply roofing solutions and how we achieved an 10% increase in lead generation from PPC ad campaigns. Alternatively give us a call and we would be happy to assist in the development of integrated digital marketing campaigns.
For further information on our digital marketing services please call us on 01908 671707.