A Best Practices Guide to Successful Landing Pages

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1 A Best Practices Guide to Successful Landing Pages Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide

2 Executive Summary For B2B marketers with long, complex sales cycles, conversion typically means getting a visitor to fill out a form in exchange for something of value: a white paper, a demo, a free consultation, etc. There are four distinct groups of people that are interacting with your landing pages: 1. The vast majority of your visitors leave within 10 seconds of viewing your landing page. 2. The next group of visitors leaves when they decide your landing page is not compelling. 3. A few of your visitors attempt to fill out your form and convert but fail for one reason or another and then drop off. 4. A small percentage of your visitors successfully convert and become leads. As the four groups illustrate, you have a very limited time window in which you need to showcase your value proposition. The tips that follow will help you learn how to boost the effectiveness of your landing pages and raise the number and quality of your B2B conversions. Some of these steps are simple best practices and others are made possible by recently developed web technologies, but all will contribute directly to your online lead generation program Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 2

3 A Best Practices Guide to Successful Landing Pages Keep pages clean and branded Maintain the look and feel of your product or company As with all elements of your marketing campaign, your landing pages should match your brand. This not only helps develop your position in the market, but also appears legitimate and trustworthy to visitors who may already be familiar with your brand image. In addition, you begin to build a relationship with those who will hopefully become your future customers. It is important to keep your landing page simple and keep it closely related to the keyword or campaign that is directing your visitors. This way your prospects will be handed the targeted information they are looking for and you are more likely to capture their interest. Overwhelming visitors with too much information about your company can distract them and prevent them from following through Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 3

4 Keep forms short Don t scare away your prospects. Though visitors looking to download valuable content have become accustomed to filling out forms, a long form can still be intimidating and cause visitors to abandon your page. Remember, their time is valuable, and you should treat it that way. A short, easy to complete form will be especially appealing to visitors who aren t fully committed to obtaining your information; perhaps they received an that was mildly interested them and clicked on a link, therefore you only have a very short amount of time to convert them when they arrive at your page. Don t worry about collecting all the data you need on the first pass stick to the essentials and then utilize progressive profiling as the prospect navigates through your page. In many cases, all you really need is the prospect s name, address and perhaps job title or company. Use limited links Drive prospects to your page and keep them there. The most effective landing pages are those that reflect the look and feel of your website, but do not allow for navigation to your actual homepage. Prospects can easily get distracted and click away from you landing page, preventing you from collecting information that is beneficial in crafting your sales messages. It is more appropriate to place links in the thank you content on your landing page, so they are only accessible after the form is completed Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 4

5 Feature Valuable Content Content should entice visitors and then follow through. In order to keep visitors interested and keep your reputation intact, it is essential that you only use forms and landing pages to promote items of value to your target audience. When potential customers put forth that extra energy to fill out a form on your site, they should be provided with quality content. It is also suggested that you leave some amount of content freely accessible on your site (as opposed to locked down with a form) in order to demonstrate the type of materials a prospect can expect. Another idea is to use landing pages to promote special offers, only accessible through your pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements or your blasts. This gives an air of exclusivity and tells your prospects to act quickly to cash in on this valuable offer. It will act as an instant reward for those who complete the form and reinforce the fact that you appreciate their interest in your product or service. In order to attract a wider variety of potential clients, you should use landing pages and forms to provide a variety of different pieces of content, ranging from white papers to product trials to contact forms. This will help you collect information from prospects in all different stages of the buying process Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 5

6 Utilize tracked s Don t lose track of your prospects after a form is completed. Typically, landing pages act to provide some form of content to those who complete a form. This can be done in a few ways: Prospects can be redirected to the requested content The content can be loaded in the thank you message for a smoother transition The content can be sent to prospects as a link in a tracked Of these options, the most advantageous is to present the content in a tracked . Using a program that monitors visitor activity on your site, you will be able to see if the prospect opened the , clicked on the link and how much time the prospect spent reviewing your content. This also brings your prospects back to your website and gives you the opportunity to view what other activities they may perform while browsing. Many form builders allow you to set up an autoresponder , making it easy to send out instant, personalized s containing tracked links to anyone who completes the form. Sending s also allows you to weed out prospects that may not be serious, by determining if they provided a false address Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 6

7 Take advantage of progressive profiling Redirect your prospects strategically to gain more information. Once your prospects have completed the form, you are ready to help them navigate away from your landing page and deeper in to your site. It is often effective to offer links to additional white papers or content that is similar to what they requested. This way you can keep them on your website. Progressive profiling is a way of collecting additional data points from your prospects. When you create your form, you designate secondary fields, called conditional fields, which will only appear if the prospect has completed your basic form. This allows you to obtain a few data points at a time without burdening your visitors with lengthy forms. You can slowly build a customer profile and cookied users will receive new fields to complete on each return visit to your pages. Below is an example of progressive profiling: Sally Smith hits your landing page and is asked for her name, address, and company in exchange for a white paper. She is then asked for her job title before viewing your flash demo 20 minutes later. Three weeks later she is asked for her department in exchange for another white paper. Finally she is asked about her buying stage when requesting a live demonstration. You set up the same form for all of your white papers, flash demos, and live demo requests, but you set them up to intelligently display only the fields that you are missing for a given prospect. Your marketing automation software identifies your prospects and remembers what information they have already given you Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 7

8 Test Your Landing Pages Compare conversion rates to learn what works. The one great truth about landing pages is that you can always improve upon them through testing. If you aren't getting much traffic, stick with A/B testing and examine two different designs. If you are getting a significant amount of visitors to your site, try multivariate testing instead. Assign an equal distribution of traffic to your variations, evaluate after a week or two, and pick the winner based on conversion rate. Don't rest on your laurels though. A landing page can always be made more effective. At a loss for things to test? Try a few of the following variables: headline keep it short and compelling; the headline should describe an immediate benefit to the reader offer experiment with white papers, demos, free consultations, and more imagery try a shot of your white paper cover, an internal page, or a screen shot of your demo length of form though you always want to keep forms short, experiment to see how long is too long form fields try department vs. job title, making phone number optional, drop downs vs. free text Although testing can be difficult to do manually, many marketing automation solutions can make complex tests a breeze, automatically assigning traffic to each of your page designs and reporting on the results Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 8

9 Conclusion With only a moment to convert visitors in to prospects, it is essential that you create compelling, well thought out landing pages for your campaigns. By making the pages easy to understand and complete, you will successfully gain valuable data on your prospects. To continue building a customer profile, your pages should nudge along prospects using related links and conditional fields. Landing pages containing forms are one of the single, most important tools in gaining information on future clients. About Pardot LLC Pardot is an on-demand marketing software company that increases sales and maximizes efficiency for companies with complex sales cycles. Pardot offers Prospect Insight, an industry-leading marketing automation product that manages prospect interactions such as site visits, , forms, and more. The on-demand suite solves the integration challenges faced by B2B marketers today by allowing you to control formerly disparate online and offline marketing tools one central interface. Prospect Insight syncs with select CRM vendors and is available on the salesforce.com App Exchange. Pardot was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Contact Us Pardot LLC Tel: B2B.ROI 950 East Paces Ferry Rd Tel: Suite 2440, 24 th Floor Fax: Atlanta, GA Online: Pardot, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide 9

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