LANDING PAGES: 8 CRUCIAL PIECES TO MAKE THEM CONVERT

How well are your landing pages getting the results you’re looking for? Never underestimate the power of a well-designed landing page. Readers take seconds to decide if they think your website will be useful for them.

If your page isn’t properly designed, you will be losing the ability to keep your readers’ attention long enough to convert them. To design a great landing page, there are several crucial aspects you must keep in mind.

1. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

Before you write a single word of content, you need to know exactly who you are trying to target. What type of customer is it that comes to your landing page? Exactly how is your service benefiting them? Customers aren’t going to give you sales or their personal information without a good reason. You have to know your audience and write directly to them in order to get them to commit and achieve a conversion.

If you are trying to attract customers from particular geographical areas, you need local landing pages to attract those readers. Local landing pages provide an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart from other sites in the same field that do not operate locally. You will have much less competition with a locally aimed page, and a local page allows you to establish more trust with local consumers (who appreciate the convenience and psychological security of working with a local business).

2. WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU HELPING YOUR PATRONS SOLVE?

There is nothing more important than providing potential customers a solution to their dilemmas. Figure out what this problem or need is and how your landing page solves it. Be sure, when you are creating a landing page, that you empathize with the needs of your clients. Understanding the emotions of your readers will help you connect with them and make it more likely that they will convert.

3. CHOOSE HEADLINES AND SUBHEADINGS THAT WILL PIQUE THE INTEREST OF YOUR READERS.

The headline of your page is the last place you want to be vague or generic. Your headline should grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more. To do that, put yourself in their shoes. If you were looking for your type of product or service, what headline would catch your eye amongst all the competing information? Your goal is to be both interesting and relevant. The subheading underneath should support and enhance the headline. It can be used to clarify a more alluring, but slightly less direct, headline. Here is a great example fromBenchmark.

landing pages convert

4. AVOID EXCESSIVE HYPERBOLE.

Be sure that you aren’t overusing hyperbole (a.k.a don’t over exaggerate). You should never take a targeted business and turn the headline into a statement about how awesome it is that could be applied to any other business. It is highly unlikely that your product or service is the answer to every problem the visitor has EVER had; avoid going to extremes as customers will be turned off by a site that is obviously overselling or that could possibly be a scam. Instead, be specific about what makes your particular business unique. Explain the specifics of what your product or service provides that makes it the customers’ best option to solve their particular problem.

5. KEEP THE CRITICAL INFORMATION ABOVE THE PAGE FOLD.

The vast majority of website browsers will not scroll down on a page unless they are already intrigued by the content. Make sure that the most relevant highlights of your product or service are displayed within the first page length of the site. Providing a lot of important information about a detailed product is fine, but you must make sure the most important details are available without scrolling. This includes your call to action that encourages the reader to call, download, submit, etc.

6. BUILD TRUST WITH EASILY ACCESSIBLE CONTACT INFORMATION.

Along with other important content, an easy method of contact should be easily visible to the reader to add a sense of trust. A customer wants to know there is a real address, phone number or email for your business, and you must make it easily visible for them. Instead, ensure all of these important elements are easily seen within the first page length like Square.

landing pages convert 1

7. MAKE YOUR CALL TO ACTION STAND OUT.

Your call to action should be obvious. Do not simply link a text phrase such as “click here now”. Whether you are trying to get a client to buy a product, call for more information, or simply send you their contact information, you want your readers to be encouraged to follow through. This means making the form visually attractive as well as easy to find and navigate. WebDAM provides a great example of a call to action to download their guide while also collecting important customer information.

landing pages convert2

8. DON’T LET YOUR GRAPHICS AND FORMAT SINK YOUR SITE.

Make sure you are using high quality pictures and other graphic elements. No one trusts a website that looks like someone used Paint to edit some bad stock graphics. The site for CRRW Flags is an example of the type of graphics you want to avoid. Keep your format simple but attractive. If you are creating a local landing page, consider adding photos of local landmarks that will be instantly familiar to your local customers. You can consider using graphics that rotate through various upper page designs if your site needs more than one headline to fully express itself, like those at Rdio.

landing pages convert 3

Make sure to add style elements that keep the formatting interesting and easy to follow. You don’t want a messy, old fashioned looking page like this. Do not use huge blocks of text that most readers won’t want to wade through. If you want to include a FAQ page, customer reviews, BBB certification and other partner graphics, you must be sure that they don’t look like they clutter your page.

Keep your landing pages clean, concise, and straight to the point. Keep your target persona in mind and know when it’s time to freshen your design.

HOW ARE YOUR LANDING PAGES CONVERTING? WANT SOME FEEDBACK ON YOUR LAYOUT/DESIGN/WORDING?

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IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!

Have you ever ordered something from Amazon.com? If you have, you know the secret to creating an amazing customer experience. From one touch ordering to detailed descriptions and reviews of products, it doesn’t get any easier to do business with them. (If it can be easier, believe me they are working on it!)

Having a quality product is only half the battle these days. Clearly communicating the expectations around how the product or service is delivered or installed, how payment will work, and what they can expect after the transaction is paramount. Businesses today need to utilize technology to automate and expedite the customer’s experience. Do you have an automated system in place to manage your customer’s experience?

The experience starts before someone even becomes your customer. It really begins the moment someone comes in contact either directly or indirectly with anything you have out in the world. Potential customers are everywhere. Your server at the family’s favorite restaurant may be your next customer, and the logo on your polo shirt paired with how you present yourself gives them an idea of your company’s experience. Even surfing the web aimlessly and seeing an advertisement is related to the experience. What happens when they click on your ad online? Is their experience what they thought it should be based on your message?

Vector set of hands

STEP 1: BECOME YOUR OWN CUSTOMER

The show Undercover Boss really showcases how becoming someone inside your organization can give invaluable insight into your employee’s interaction with each other and customers. Take it one step further. Most small business owners are close enough to their business to see what I just described. I would propose that you look at your business the way a potential customer would. Google yourself. See what’s online that may be influencing their decisions. Test your website. See how your website scores to improve your search engine optimization. Call your company as a customer would. Is your staff friendly? One thing I always suggest is to use tracking numbers in your marketing. Software exists that can track the calls that come in as well as record the conversation. If your marketing is generating phone calls, but conversions just aren’t there, this would be the best way to figure out why that is. You may also find hidden opportunities while listening to some of your potential customers describe their situations to your staff.

STEP 2: SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

As your customers go through the process of working with your company let them know clearly how delivery is handled and some clear steps they can take to make it easier. Communicate and make sure they understand the payment method and what they are getting for their dollars. Customers are focused on saving money, but if enough value is added they will spend the money for a great experience…(hint: that’s always the goal!) Surprises almost always leave a bad taste. You’ll be judged not always by what you do, but how what you do compares with their past experiences with your type of company. Take the time to find out what they are seeking in your marketplace.

STEP 3: KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Knowing your numbers is something Marcus Lemonis from the show The Profit says all the time. He suggests that knowing your costs and margins to the penny is one of the three most important things in business. Are you marketing your most profitable products the most? Businesses that use offers really need to understand this. If you’re discounting low margin products to get people in the door, there better be a higher margin product for them when they show up. Good restaurants know this. They make their margins in the bar and give deals on food items to sell soda and spirits at high margin.

Be hesitant to over promise and under deliver when using discounts to drive business. Using fine print or impossible to redeem mail-in rebates may earn you the sale but the aftermath of an angry customer may not be worth it. Make sure when working with offers and deals that you know your numbers so you’re not pricing yourself right out of business or offering something that will not create a great experience.

The ever evolving shape of how we do business can make or break our customer’s experiences. It never stops, so neither can you. As soon as you think you have it figured out, someone comes up with something new to challenge your comfort level. Always be on your toes and take your company’s experience temperature often to stay on the cutting edge of delivering what your customers need, when they need it with the highest satisfaction possible.

DON’T MAKE THESE COMMON MARKETING MISTAKES!

While most companies agree that digital marketing is important, a great deal of companies today still have not implemented a digital marketing strategy as part of their marketing plan or even their yearly budget. If this sounds like your business then you are likely making these two common marketing mistakes.

COMMON MARKETING MISTAKES

MISTAKE 1

Search, social media and email marketing are all parts of a digital marketing strategy. Many companies are dabbling in digital marketing some effectively, but more often than not ineffectively.

MISTAKE 2

Some companies are using digital advertising in house with Google AdWords, others are doing Search Engine Optimization, while many have a Facebook page, but all with no marketing strategy. Posting random pictures hoping to get people to share your page or hoping to make the next viral YouTube video is a long shot, but with a digital marketing strategy companies can get actual customers coming through doors or going to your website to spend money with your company.

Hand drawing production cycle

Hand drawing production cycle

If your company is one of the 50% that does some digital marketing, but has not developed a 2015 strategy/budget then you need to pay attention.

In this day and age where you can fast forward through television commercials, listen to your music without any advertisements and phone books and newspapers going to the wayside, digital marketing should become an essential part to your current marketing strategy. A mass majority of folks these days are getting their daily news on the Internet, from their Facebook feed, a news website or an app on their phones or iPads. So you have to be where your consumers are hanging out. Google AdWords, email marketing, search content marketing or a responsive website are a great start to a digital marketing strategy, but which or all do you pick? Should you spend more money on AdWords or emailing? You need a direction/goal to guide your company towards a successful digital campaign. This will help to navigate you through the different avenues of what is offered in digital media to what works for your specific company. Digital marketing strategy is not cookie cutter. What works for an auto shop down the street will not be the best marketing strategy for a clothing shop.

Plan for the future of your company by building and planning a digital marketing strategy today.

Visit again soon to read – A Practical Guide to Producing Your Digital Strategy

10 REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A DIGITAL STRATEGY

Many businesses are perfectly content with their traditional marketing strategy. They may not understand the potential digital marketing gives their business. But if they don’t have a digital marketing strategy, then they are missing out on a great opportunity. We’ve said it before but if you’re still not convinced, here are our top ten reasons why your business needs a digital marketing strategy.

digital-strategy

YOU ARE NOT ALIGNED WITH YOUR COMPANY GOALS

Most companies set annual goals and objectives, yet often fail to then align a digital strategy with those goals and objectives. If you do not know where you are going, all roads will get you there. If you have difficulty allocating budget dollars to digital marketing it is likely due to the fact that you are uncertain of the payoff.

YOU ARE UNDERESTIMATING YOUR ONLINE MARKETPLACE

Marketers have always struggled to clearly understand the size of the audience or “reach.” Traditional media will often refer to number of households or the size of their subscriber base – but these measurements don’t translate well to identifying exactly how many viewers actually read an outbound message. Digital marketers have tools that can provide a much clearer understanding of the size of an audience as well as exactly how many people in that target audience consume the content. The metrics remove much of the guess work around digital advertising. These tools are effective but more so in the hands of an experienced pro who knows what to look for. If you have not used digital tools to map out your audience correctly you are likely underestimating your online opportunities.

THE WORLD IS NOT STATIC. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. YOUR COMPETITORS WILL GAIN MARKET SHARE

“Our customers don’t use Facebook” or “Our customers don’t really do much online” are still heard around the water cooler and in board rooms. Unfortunately, easily obtained statistics paint a different story about the number of people online and utilizing smartphones to shop and research products/services. We are a mobile society. The Internet is deeply ingrained in our lives and that is growing daily. Holding on to the notion that your partners, suppliers and customers are not online is delusional and only means it is a matter of time before your competition grows. If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

DO YOU KNOW YOUR VALUE?

There are 2 key components to your sales success. Selling success requires that you can differentiate yourself from your competition and that you can articulate your value to customers and prospects. Your digital strategy can and will help you communicate both of these key components to your audience.

YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR ONLINE CUSTOMERS AS WELL AS YOU SHOULD

It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever.” Google Analytics and similar tools offer volumes of data, but this data is not the entire story. Leveraging social media and other digital tools to gather a clearer voice from your audience provides sentiment that helps tell you the whole story. If your strategy does not include web, mobile, email, digital advertising and social media – you may want to rethink your approach.

IF YOU ARE NOT INTEGRATED, THEN YOU ARE SOON TO BE (“DISINTEGRATED”)

Marketing is not about the battle between digital and traditional methods. Rather, it is the blend and balance of both. The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it. Learn from the past but serve the future and your blend will be well accepted by your audience. Silos are common in business. Traditional PR or MARCOM departments compete with digital departments for budgets and visibility. Failure to integrate your marketing into a single traditional and digital strategy typically ends with one result – disappointment.

DIGITAL MARKETING DEPARTMENT DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE/BUDGET

Insufficient resources will be devoted to both planning and executing digital initiatives. There is likely to be a lack of specific digital skills which will make it impossible to respond to competitive threats effectively.

YOU’RE SHORT ON MONEY AND TIME – BUT RICH IN DUPLICATE EFFORTS

Resources are lean, yet silos and lack of a clear strategy usually results in duplicated efforts and even internal competition. This is particularly the case in larger companies where different parts of the marketing organization purchase different tools or use different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks. Hint: It’s not about the technology. Technology is a means to the end, but if you don’t consider the people and process before you select technology – expect extended deployments and disappointing results.

YOU’RE NOT AGILE ENOUGH TO CATCH UP OR STAY AHEAD

The pace of our lives is accelerating. Agility is necessary to keep us fit, strong and competitive. Adopting an agile digital strategy also keeps all eyes on the prize – the customer. Your competition is not just companies who sell what you do. Companies like Amazon and Apple change the user expectation for all of us. They have made it so intuitive to use their products and services that we now expect all companies we do business with to be as good as these stars. If you are not embracing change – expect to become the reason for it.

YOU’RE NOT OPTIMIZING

Optimize – to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource). Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement. Consider improving tactics like search marketing, user experience, and social media marketing for your digital strategy.

SCM ANNOUNCES NEW COMPANY CHANGES

At SCM Marketing Solutions, we are celebrating our eight year anniversary! We truly love collaborating with our customers to reach their business goals and beyond. That being said, we have news to share with you all in regards to our growth in digital marketing.

New Company Changes

In case you have not heard, in December 2015, we sold The Saving Cash Magazine. Our decision to do so came with a great deal of thought.

We believe selling the magazine was necessary to allow us to fully focus our time and resources on the continued growth of our direct mail and digital marketing services – web design, SEO, Google ads, social media, email marketing and direct mail postcards.

The past eight years have been nothing short of amazing. We look forward to working with business owners with direct mail and digital marketing needs in 2016 and beyond. 

If you have any questions or immediate marketing needs, please feel free to call us at (920) 788-6600.

5 TIPS FOR B2B EMAIL MARKETING

B2B Email Marketing

A huge misconception about email marketing is that it is a marketing strategy primarily for business to consumer (B2C) sales. While its main focus is to elicit a buying response, its ancillary benefits include improving customer retention and loyalty by continually updating consumers on a company’s latest product offering. However, does this ultimately mean that business to business (B2B) sales can’t benefit from a proactive email marketing campaign? Absolutely not!

When used properly, email marketing can help a company reduce its inventory counts of outdated and obsolete products. It can also isolate key decision makers, increase inventory turnover rates, and improve cross selling of complimentary and “me-too” product lines.

In terms of inventory, the intention is to free up capital by giving customers the first shot at liquidation sales. Much like B2C environments, using B2B email marketing in sales is an inexpensive marketing strategy, and one that helps lower a company’s customer acquisition and retention costs.

However, success with B2B email marketing relies upon customer “buy in”. After all, there is a difference between SPAM and a focused email campaign. One is random, while the other is focused and specific in its purpose. Here are five essential email marketing tips and strategies for companies operating in business to business industries:

  1. Focus Sales on Decision Makers: Email marketing allows you to deliver a tailor-made message to key decision makers. Your campaigns can provide essential product data to engineers, project managers and field-service technicians, while providing a different message to business owners. One message appeals to an engineer’s need for high quality products (ones with strong cost-per-use benefits), while another appeals to a business owner’s need to lower warehouse management and operational costs.
  2. Direct Sales Approach: Email marketing is similar to a direct sales approach, one that eliminates middlemen and unnecessary markups. The direct sales strategy is used by stalwarts such as Dell computers. It’s one that allows companies to reduce pricing directly to end-users. As a B2B enterprise, your end-users are your customer base. While your company isn’t necessarily eliminating a middleman, you are still improving sales resources by providing customers with consistent product and sales updates. In essence, your email campaign will build upon itself. Each update provides new product information and reduces the time your salespeople spend selling.
  3. Back-End Rebates: This approach relies on using a reward and incentive plan to illicit buying responses. These reward programs encourage consumers to go out of their way to make a purchase. Each additional purchase puts them one step closer to a rebate on their account. The rebate program is different from a “two-for-one” strategy. Instead, back-end rebates focus on accrued volumes over time. Once the customer reaches the volume threshold, they are immediately rewarded with a rebate on their account or a discount on future orders. In the case of liquidating certain inventory counts, your company could offer incentives for customers to make purchases by using their rebate towards existing discounted inventory.
  4. Cross Selling and Upselling: Each campaign can provide insight into product offerings, or help customers who are looking to upgrade their purchase. Your company can use discounts, price reductions, and special deals to illicit a buying response. This will either allow you to sell complimentary product lines, or upsell existing orders when using B2B email marketing.
  5. Core Competency Platform: Today’s customers are often looking for more than just a deal. They are looking for a partner that can provide valuable insight into the market and its future. Your email campaigns can become the perfect platform to showcase your company’s core competencies, industry knowledge, and most importantly, its business knowhow. By all means, use email marketing to sell product. However, be willing to provide more than just a product. Focus on providing a service, one that gives your customer base a reason to see your company as a trusted advisor in its field.

Running a B2C or B2B email marketing campaign is never a onetime affair. It’s a constant feedback loop, one where each campaign’s success is edited and improved. Using this inexpensive platform can provide an incentive for customers to purchase, while showcasing the company’s core competencies to promote their industry knowledge. Each campaign should provide new information, increase sales, improve customer loyalty, and reduce your customer acquisition costs.

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