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Building An Effective Landing Page: Marketing For Your Online Business

Apr 15, 2008
As an online marketer, you need to develop a system for short-term gains and long-term opportunities to provide for future sales and marketing. You can envision your landing page as a hub--like an airport. Your goal is to have traffic sent to a single hub and when people arrive, there can be a variety of new opportunities presented to them.

If your landing page is successful and gets the prospect to complete the offer, they can be rerouted to another page that presents them with yet another compelling value proposition. This new hub may be a list of affiliate offers, another product, or a newsletter opt-in form.

EXPLORATION OF THE 8 ESSENTIAL LANDING PAGE ELEMENTS

Let's review the essential elements you will need for your landing page:

1. Value proposition / offer--in the form of a sales prompt or opt-in form
2. Conversion process--process prospect will go through in order to complete the purchase or subscription
3. Marketing copy--either short or long form using psychological triggers
4. Web page design--the design of your landing page (i.e.; website)
5. Product imagery--3d images of product or headshot of author or service provider
6. Transaction utilities--auto responder, shopping cart software
7. Elements to reduce anxiety--testimonials, satisfaction guarantee, third party credibility indicators
8. Analytics--data gathering script

1. Value Proposition / Offer

What will you be offering your prospects? A newsletter? A report? A training seminar? You will want to define clearly what you are offering. Complete the following statement. It will be your guiding statement as you move through this report.

I am offering a/an _____________________ on the topic of ________________________

in order to help ___________________with their problem of ________________________

Examples:

1. I am offering a report on the topic of creating and marketing landing pages in order to help marketers with their problem of achieving sales for their offering over the Internet.

2. I am offering an online software product on the topic of tracking advertising profits in order to help Internet marketers with their problem of making money with online advertising.

3. I am offering an employee training on the topic of leadership development in order to help organizations with their problem of managing talent development through the leadership pipeline.

NOTE: The goal of any landing page is to complete a successful transaction between you and your prospect.

2. Conversion Process

This is the process the prospect will go through in order to complete the buying process or subscription. Where are they coming from? When they get to your landing page, are they going to click "buy now" and go to a shopping cart? Are they going to click "subscribe now" and be taken to a form that requires them to enter their email and other personal information? Will you then require them to check their email in order to double opt-in by reconfirming their requested subscription? This means that you need to think holistically about your value proposition. Thinking holistically about your Value Proposition involves two key elements: continuity and congruence.* Continuity means that each step in the conversion process either states or supports the Value Proposition.** Congruence means that every element of your page either states or supports the Value Proposition (Design, Copy, Images, Colors, Logo, Price).*** Section 4 will provide more detail and concrete suggestions on how to enhance your conversion process.

3 & 4. Marketing Copy / Web Page Design

Creating effective marketing copy and web page design, can be difficult hurdle to overcome if your natural talents or skills don't support them. You should be able to find a professional to write your copy and a professional to design your page in the same place. They require different skill-sets and should be treated as such.

There are many places on the Internet where you can find a marketing professional and website designer to get the work done. http://Guru.com and Elance Online are the two leading providers of project submission sites to receive bids on your project from freelance professionals. Make sure you leave your project budget confidential and communicate with the professional so you can find the person who you will be able to collaborate with the best. Often times, the lowest bidder will end up costing you time and possibly more money if they don't perform to your expectations.

5. Product Imagery

Proverbs to the contrary, everyone does judge a book by its cover. This is why you will want to invest in having a professional create a three-dimensional image of your product or a logo for your newsletter or something visual that is associated with your offer. As with selling anything, you are selling yourself. It would be wise to take a good picture of yourself or again consider hiring a professional to take one and add it to your landing page.

6. Transaction Utilities

An auto responder can be an important tool to your customer relationship building. The old adage is true, "The fortune is in the follow-up." If you use an auto responder, following-up with customers that purchase your product or sign-up for your newsletter can be automated and make your follow-up emails more time-efficient. AWeber is a very popular service for setting up auto responders that you will want to research.

If you're offering a product for sale, you will need to sign-up for a shopping cart service so your customers have a way to check out securely. There are a handful of popular shopping cart services and some use PayPal as a means to process payment so you'll want to have your PayPal account created and verified before you start researching the others. TradeBit, ClickBank, 1ShoppingCart, and 2CheckOut will all allow you to make your transactions quick and secure.

7. Elements to Reduce Anxiety

Reducing the anxiety your prospect feels when they visit your site is critical to completing a successful transaction between you and your prospect. There are three simple ways you can reduce anxiety and reassure your prospects that it is safe to conduct business with you; testimonials, providing a satisfaction guarantee, and posting third-party credibility indicators such as BBB Online or HackerSafe.

8. Analytics

If you are part of a large corporation, your website will likely already have an analytic tool. If you are a smaller marketer, visit Google Analytics to sign-up for a free account. Google Analytics offers a wide array of features including; integration with your Google AdWords account; multiple-users; visitor trending and loyalty; detailed traffic reporting (referring sites, search engines, and keywords); and more. It's an invaluable tool to making decisions to alter your landing page marketing strategy.

ADAPT YOUR APPROACH

It is important to experiment with the design of your landing page and the execution of your marketing strategy. Don't hesitate to test out different tactics until you find the right mix that matches your approach with your prospect. Some marketers have success with short copy and an opt-in system that provides free information in exchange for personal information and others have success with long copy and the sale of a product ranging in price from $7 to $700. It is critical to understand that whatever approach you decide to use, your landing page will need to be focused with a single goal in mind--getting the prospect to respond positively to your offer. This requires you to focus your efforts on creating a system for a targeted audience and adapting your approach until your success exceeds your expectations.

ACTION ITEMS

1. Use http://Guru.com or Elance to find a marketing copywriter (or try yourself).

2. Use http://Guru.com or Elance to find a web designer that has experience in landing page design. http://www.kriskiler.com

3. Research transaction utilities--online delivery systems, auto-responders, and shopping carts.

Notes

*, **, *** Marketing Experiments Journal: Landing Page Optimization Monday, 05 November 2007
About the Author
Kris is currently an independent Internet marketing consultant. In 2007, he worked with over one hundred clients to help them navigate their success on the Internet through the design of their website, email marketing, Internet products and services, and supporting print collateral.
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