The Mission of a Successful Landing Page Is Lead Conversion.

“Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed.”

Forty-nine years ago this month, American astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke these words into his capsule communicator signaling to ground control the successful landing of the Apollo Lunar Module on the surface of the moon. To date, this feat remains one of the greatest and most important technological achievements of mankind. The level of planning, coordination, design, manufacturing and execution required for a successful moon landing was astronomical (no pun intended).

While on the moon, the Apollo crew conducted experiments and logged observations of the moon and its environment. Samples of the moon’s surface were taken and when the mission on the moon was over, the crew loaded up and returned to Earth. All of this followed a carefully thought-out plan that helped make sure the mission was safe and successful. The impact of this mission is still felt today across myriad sectors of society, from technology and healthcare to world politics.

Can you imagine how the result would have differed if the only planning involved was to get the Apollo crew to the moon? I’m picturing Neil Armstrong as the lunar module lands and the message he relays back to Earth is something like this: “Um, hey guys, we landed…now what?”

It’s a ridiculous thought, but so often marketing campaigns may be carried out with little or no thought to the now whatmoment. If you are planning an upcoming campaign that features your own moon landing in the form of a campaign landing page, don’t fall victim to a lack of forethought and planning for the mission.

Odds are, the main goal of your landing page is a conversion. Rarely are landing pages launched simply to inform a customer or a potential customer. You want that lead to become a customer one day, and soon. The mission of your landing page is to convert viewer to customer.

Get Your Landing Page to Convert

Let’s look at four simple steps you can take to make sure your landing page converts your viewers to leads, and your leads to customers.

Content—Clear, Compelling Landing Page Content Is Key

Clear, concise and focused content is the most important aspect of an effective landing page. The Apollo crew knew their mission and did not deviate from it. Sure, along the way they had fun blasting around on the moon in their all-terrain vehicle and taking iconic photos of their footprints, but the mission was their focus.

Create a compelling headline.Most visitors arrive at a landing page after clicking a link in an email or on a webpage. They’ve already read content before arriving and you must assume they are pressed for time and bombarded with messaging from every direction. Your window of opportunity is fleeting. Put your most compelling content in a short, direct headline as high on the page as possible. Don’t be too cute or try to make your readers think. Just tell them what you want them to know in that headline.

Expand on your theme.Immediately below the headline, expand on your theme. You may or may not need to support your headline’s assertion with a photo, logo, illustration or graphics. Either way, make sure the meaning and impact of the content can be conveyed without it. This content needs to bring home the point of your headline quickly and with as much concrete information as possible.

Nail your elevator pitch.Entrepreneurswho are promoting their latest startup use what is known as an elevator pitch. This brief, focused pitch is designed to tell viewers everything they need to know about a new venture in the length of a typical elevator ride. A landing page is your campaign’s elevator pitch. Nailing this pitch means your chance of conversion is high. Failing means the viewer closes the browser and moves on. Position your elevator pitch to go along with the initial headline. If viewers read nothing else, they get your campaign’s point and understand what they need to do next.

Provide valuable support content.You can, and likely should, include more content than the high-level, raw pitch. If your pitch keeps the viewer engaged you can also include content meant to establish your authority, expertise, experience and other reasons why your viewer should trust you. This support content could take the form of favorable press coverage, statistics to affirm your success in the marketplace, positive reviews from social media, client testimonials and even research from trusted third-party industry experts. All of this information lends weight and credibility to your headline and pitch. There’s no need to go overboard here. But I believe that rather than erring on the side of absolute minimalism, there is value in providing additional support content.

Design—A Means to an End

Apollo astronauts wore flight suits designed for the task at hand. Their suits allowed for flexibility and protected them from the harsh lunar environment. The suits were simple, utilitarian and white—with little decoration other than crew name, logos and an American flag. There was no fashion designer styling or unnecessary bells and whistles that did not contribute to the mission.

It might be tempting to break new ground with the design and layout of your landing page. In marketing terms there may be some cases where this is appropriate and necessary. If your offering is groundbreaking, its landing page probably deserves extra attention to ensure the look and feel are just as innovative. Conversely, I can justify going all out on the design of a landing page even if the campaign offering is ordinary to the point of being a mundane commodity offering. In that case, handling the common solution in an uncommon way can be an attention-getting device in its own right.

However, the vast majority of the time, the design of a landing page should be seen as a support of the content’s mission of conversion. This means making sure your company branding is clearly visible. Headline font, size and color are chosen to capture the eye. The pitch is clear and positioned as high up as possible. Most important, the design needs to visually separate your call to action.

The call to action, typically a button or clickable link, is the single most important item on your landing page. The design must make it 100 percent clear to viewers that clicking this buttonis the one and only next step they must take.

Design your landing page so the call to action is unmistakable. The position, color, shape and wording of the button copy must work together to get that click to happen.

Follow-up—Beyond the Landing Page

The crew that landed on the moon brought back a wealth of data and samples of the moon. If the scientific world had not been prepared for this flood of new material and information, the entire mission would have been a waste. The moon rocks would be museum curiosities and the most expensive souvenirs in the history of the world.

So, I have focused on your landing page and how to optimize it for converting your viewers to leads, and your leads to customers. Launching a campaign with no plan in place for how that lead will be treated after interacting with the landing page risks blowing the whole mission.

Beyond the Landing Page – Get next month’s topic, lead nurturing strategies, delivered to your inbox. Enter your email at the top of this page.

Put in place a concrete plan for responding to that lead’s initial contact—generated from your landing page. Use the same care and attention to ensure whoever responds does so with a knowledgeable and on-brand reply. Provide every resource needed to answer follow-up questions or requests from the lead. Train all points of contact with the same consistent message. Be sure you can actually provide the solution you offer.

These are basic business principles, but the best landing page copy with the most effective design created to advertise the best product or service is only the first step on the road to converting a lead. Don’t focus all of your attention there and fail to devote care and attention to the rest of the conversion process. In fact, stay tuned for next month’s blog topic—lead nurturing strategies. Get it delivered right to your inbox by entering your email address in the red box at the top of this page.

Get it all right, and your mission will be complete!

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