Your marketing efforts attract future customers to your brand. Marketing tells a story and makes people want to feel included. Then, your sales initiatives — with their punchy one-liners and sweet promises — close the deal and bring in real dollars. Sales efforts prove your marketing worked. While online marketing and sales are closely related, they’re also different. So when do you stop marketing and start selling? How does this transfer happen and more importantly, where? Landing pages are a digital welcome mat for your prospect.
Landing pages bridge the gap between someone searching for a solution and buying from you.
You don’t need an eCommerce site to take landing pages seriously. A conversion to you could mean downloading directions to your restaurant or calling to book an appointment.
Whatever call to action you’re wishing upon visitors, a landing page is what converts that person from a looker to a buyer.
This is where the magic happens — it’s where marketing becomes selling. Let’s talks about how landing pages bring these two together and can enhance your marketing and increase sales.
The importance of landing pages
The average small business has three landing pages, but what does that mean? A landing page is simply the web page where someone is directed after they click on your link or ad. When you set up your Facebook ad, AdWords campaign, or shared that Instagram post, what link did you provide? Well, that’s your landing page. It’s just the first point of contact after your marketing piece.
When someone arrives at your landing page, you have about seven seconds to coax the visitor into staying. So how do you keep their attention and stop them from leaving?
Provide a landing page that gives the visitor what they want.
A poor landing page can derail your marketing plan and extinguish your sales efforts. Let’s figure out why you’re losing leads to landing pages.
If you’re still a bit confused, here’s a crash course on landing pages, what they are, and why they’re important.
Why you’re losing leads online
More than 44 percent of clicks are directed toward a company’s home page — which isn’t a good idea. Typically home pages are filled with information, menu options and multiple offerings. While your home page might be beautiful, it can lead to confusion and even frustration. If a visitor doesn’t find what they need instantly, they’ll bounce. Let’s look at a real-world example of marketing as a physical therapist.
A customer is scrolling through Facebook and sees your Facebook ad about sports injuries. Remembering her tennis elbow has been affecting her game lately, she clicks to learn more. She arrives at your home page and within a few seconds, leaves your site and any chance of completing a sale with you.
Your Facebook ad is attracting a lot of clicks, but for some reason no one is calling your practice. The tennis player didn’t click on your ad to learn about you, she chose to learn about sports injuries.
You need to remember: visitors come to your site with a purpose. Either satiate that desire, or they’ll find it somewhere else.
A landing page is the first step in the sales funnel and thus should establish expert status and trust.
Directing her to a special landing page all about sports injuries gave her exactly what she was looking for — and suddenly your marketing snowballs into sales, thanks to your clever landing page. She now views you as an expert about her injury type, she sees that you have an office near her, and then she decides to call for an appointment.
You’re not a mind reader, but you can easily identify what someone wants. They want to learn about what they clicked on!
How to make your marketing and sales work together
The No. 1 reason small businesses don’t use landing pages is because they don’t know how to set them up or they don’t have time.
Creating an effective landing page is easier than you think. You don’t need to create a new page on your website every time because a one-off landing page works great. GoDaddy and other sites offer easy-to-use landing page templates. Teacup automatically generates a custom landing page to complement every AdWords or Facebook ad.
Here are some pointers to consider when creating a landing page:
Focus on your offer, not you
Your future customers click with the promise of viewing something specific. Don’t leave them stranded by not giving them what they want. You’ll make a bad first impression if you advertise your company instead of the great product or service you offer.
Free the page from distractions
The visitor came with a purpose, not to be bombarded by other offers. While you might sell other items or have an upcoming event, keep it simple and focused on the theme they arrived with. Speak to this specific audience.
Market with clear messaging
Make sure that headline or link matches the offering on your landing page. Be obvious about what the visitor is getting when they click and build that trust.
Use a specific call-to-action
Make sure you define what’s next for the visitor. Can they buy the product? Call your office? Book an appointment? Show visitors it’s easy to take that next step and clearly define it for them.
Treat your landing page as lead generation
If you can’t make a conversion, don’t feel defeated. Your landing pages can capture information about the visitor that you can use later. Politely ask for an email address or contact information. Look at where the visitor came from so you know which of your marketing efforts are working best.
If you’re not ready to start building landing pages for your small business, that’s OK. Just try to direct people to the page on your site that best represents the offer in your marketing effort. Coming back to the physical therapy example: You could link to a blog post about sports injuries or a services page about what types of sports rehabilitation you offer. The more tailored the messaging you can provide, the better your conversions will be.
Bridging the gap
So while marketing works to get the eyeballs and sales closes the deal, it's the landing page
that actually gets the first action. The average conversion rate rests around 2.35 percent. Given the terrifying truth about conversion rates, you need all the help you can get.
Marketing drives new visitors to your site, but if your site isn't prepared for that visitor's specific intent, you won't make the sale. Bridge the gap with a well-crafted landing page and you’ll see an instant boost in both your marketing analytics and sales.