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Email Marketing Software Boosts Sales with Landing Pages

Nov 25, 2007
Email marketing software has clearly proven itself as not only an important component of the marketing mix, but also as a pivotal medium for driving up sales. The Direct Marketing Association recently conducted a study that determined there is a return on investment of almost $50 for every dollar spent on direct email marketing. While that statistic is definitely staggering, it begs the questions: What key elements are important to convert emails into sales? And how do you use your email marketing software to achieve that amazing ROI?

The first goal is always to get people to open your email marketing campaign. For the time being, however, let's assume you already have a captivated audience that has eagerly opened your message. Once opened, we'll assume you have spent an adequate amount of time creating compelling copy for your email campaign that clearly explains to your reader exactly what you're offering. Now comes the important part, where you want to take them from your email and onto your website where you can complete the sale.

Many marketers will include big bold calls to action in their email marketing campaigns that explicitly direct the recipient on what to do next. For example, phases like "Click here now" or "Quick! Click To Buy Now. Limited Quantities Going Fast" are all good calls to action. Other marketers however, take a more passive approach and write something a bit mellower, like "Learn More" or "Additional Information". Depending on your audience and the product you are selling, you will have to choose an appropriate method. But, if you find one doesn't work in your email marketing campaigns, then you can always switch to the other.

Just getting them to click is only the beginning of the battle. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle that can make or break your sale and really drive home the effectiveness and ROI of your email marketing campaign is the page you bring the person to, also know as the "landing page".

A landing page does not have to be your homepage. Most marketers have found that with email marketing, much like search engine marketing, often times a custom landing page just for the specific campaign is the most effective. This is not to say that your homepage is not a good source of information, but it may be so cluttered with other distractions (like other products) that the user gets confused.

A custom landing page for your email marketing campaigns should be directly related to the link that was clicked. For example, if the reader clicks a link talking about a certain type of widget you have for sale, then the landing page should focus almost exclusively on that widget. After all, intuitively we know the user expressed interest in this widget, so why would we take them anywhere else but to the quickest route to close the sale for the widget?

Good landing pages for email marketing campaigns have a few common elements:

1. Less Is More
You may have tons of products and many things you want to say, but please restrain yourself. The old marketing philosophy of "keep it simple" completely applies to landing pages. By the time someone gets to your landing page, they've already opened your email and clicked on a link, so the last thing you want to do is make them work even more to find the information they're looking for.

2. The page is an Extension of The Link They Clicked
When someone clicks a link in your email marketing campaign, they should see information directly related to that link. If someone, for example, clicks on one of your call to action statements about a particular product, the moment they get to your landing page, that product should be staring back at them. If someone clicks a link and then finds themselves looking at totally unrelated information, it takes less than a second to close your website and, suddenly, you've lost the sale.

3. Don't Oversell Your Product and Scare Your Customer Off
While this point does tie into the "less is more" philosophy, it does warrant its own section because all too often businesses will attempt to cram every teeny tiny bit of information onto a webpage. I refer to this as 'overselling' because you are presenting the user with so much more information than they need to make the purchase. In fact, it's just hindering your ability to close the sale. We've all probably seen the sales pages on the internet that seem to scroll endlessly, touting benefit after benefit about why a certain product is the greatest product in the world. Those make for the worst kind of landing pages for your email marketing campaigns because every time users have to scroll, they get more time to give up on the sale.

Tell people what they need to know and then stop. If you want to provide a link on your landing page for detailed specifications, that's totally acceptable, but don't make your page intimidating because it's trying to cram so much information into your customer's mind.

4. Make It Obvious What You Want the User to Do Next
If the goal of your landing page is to get someone to click the 'buy now' button, then make sure that button is very obvious. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a big button on your page that clearly tells the customer 'I'm the next step', like 'Click here to buy now'. If, however, your goal is to generate phone calls, then make sure your phone number is prominently displayed. If people have to guess what the next desired action is, then they may guess wrong or, worse yet, not guess at all and just leave.

With the above tips, you will be able to create well crafted landing page that will help boost the ROI of your email marketing campaigns. Lastly, make sure you are using a quality email marketing software that will track the clicks in your email marketing campaign so you can get instant feedback on the action, from the point users open your email, leading up to the point they get dropped on your landing page.
About the Author
Robert Burko is President of EliteEmail.com, the premiere email marketing software for today's small business. Robert has been featured on TV and Radio across North America and has consulted for both small & large organizations around the globe to help them achieve maximum results for their email marketing. EliteEmail.com is part of the EliteAnswers.com business solutions network.
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