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 my 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.
I also welcome your ideas on how to improve landing page results–comment below!
And if you’d like to discuss this and other best practices in B2B Digital Marketing, Mike Moran and I are offering a bang-up training program for companies who want to fine tune their digital marketing program. Have a look at our seminar content here, and let us know if we can help you achieve your objectives.
About Ruth Stevens
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Crain’s BtoB magazine named Ruth one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc., the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. Learn more at www.ruthstevens.com.