Your marketing campaigns will be driving traffic from a variety of sources, but once you have got visitors to your site the hard work is not over. You now need to convince them that your offer/request is for them and that they should continue to engage with you on your website, and ultimately complete the goals you have set.
Anatomy of a landing page
Let's start by looking at a basic landing page layout.
Calls to action (CTA) - You should have one or two calls to action. More than this and visitors will get confused and not chose any. If you have the right tools and integration, such as linking your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to your Content Management System (CMS), you can provide tailored call to actions based on individual's past interaction.
Consistent branding- Keep a consistent look and feel across adverts, social media and emails, a CMS is useful for this.
Content - If it is relevant, put it in the many body. Don't have anything in the side columns. Keep the most important section at the top.
Design - Consider your use of colour/typography/images/whitespace to give a balanced presentation. Images are often good, but should not compete with content and calls to action.
Navigation - Reduce the navigation options, but don't leave visitors at a dead end.
10 tips for landing page success
Now you have an understanding of some of the elements of a landing page, here are ten tips to help you optimise it.
1. Match campaign objectives to landing page content
This is obvious but worth noting. If you want people to sign-up to your event; have that as the main content. You can then track the number of sign-ups over a given period to match against objectives set at the beginning of the campaign.
2. Your homepage is not a landing page
It is easy to think your homepage is a landing page, but it is not. Your homepage is the entry to all your services and offers. Landing page visitors will be expecting specific information as signposted in your initial call-to-action. They won't bother to navigate to find it, they will leave the site immediately (bounce).
3. Intelligent forms
Use good quality, well designed forms. Ensure users can tab between fields, sign-post mandatory fields, and give sensible feedback for missing data. Only ask for what you need. For an email sign-up just ask for name and email address.
4. Tailoring content and donation request
If you have segmented your supporters to where they are in the donor life cycle (for example small cash donor, large cash donor, small direct debit donor, large direct debit donor), make sure your landing pages acknowledge this with the copy and gift array. For example, if you want to move donors from large cash donors to direct debit donors, thank them for their support in the past and offer a suitable gift array such as setting up a direct debit for monthly donations of £30 (a figure near their last donation), as well as options to increase the amount (£40 and £50). If they are yet to donate or have only donated small amounts, they may need more reassurance that the cause is relevant to them and how you will spend their money, known as your donor promise.
Whatever aspects you segment on, ensure that the landing page message is correct for the audience and not generic. Use CRM segmetation with your email campaigns for optimum success.
5. Set expectations and deliver against them
Your traffic driver should set expectations for visitors, so that they know what is going to be on the landing page. For example, if you have an advert that says "click here to watch video", then there should be a video to watch at the top of the landing page (above the fold). This seems obvious but is not always followed through.
6. Visitor journey
Think about the narrative and take your visitors on a journey. The journey starts with your initial marketing piece, such as an email, takes them to the landing page and then to the goal you have set. You are the story writer, so you set the journey you want them to experience.
7. Don't confuse your audience
Keep your landing page clean and to the point. Don't distract with conflicting calls to action. The point of the landing page is to convert visitors. If they don't understand what they are supposed to do, they will just start browsing your site or leave altogether.
8. Long or short copy
There are two basic landing page copy formats: long copy and short copy. Each has its own benefits and uses.
- Short copy is better for capturing email or fundraising event sign-ups.
- Long copy is better when the cost of what you are selling, the perceived risk, the required commitment and motivation needed are all high, such as when trying to get potential donors to commit to direct debt donations.
9. Donor promise
I believe all charities need to build trust that will maintain the "donor promise" on what will be delivered. i.e. what you promise to do with a supporters donation is to include the percentage that is spent on administration and the percentage that goes to the cause. The donor promise should be easy to find, sign-posted and promoted. As well as a clear and simple statement, further trust can be built with evidence. This should include case studies of the charity's work in action, testimonials from recipients of assistance and reports and videos on project successes.
Once you have created your landing page check to ensure:
- There is a clear focused message
- The message follows on from the traffic driver
- There are not distractions (navigation or confusing calls to action )
- The main message is above the fold
Once the page is live, monitor results with analytics and continue to refine the content and copy.
Creating and maintaining optimised landing page is a continual, technical process. A Content Management system will help keep the content consistent and up-to-date but much of the creative and conceptual elements will need to be planned and researched in order to gain the required conversions.
Find out more
GOSS are hosting the "Click here to donate" workshop at the Third Sector Digital Communications and Social Media Convention . As key sponsors of the event, GOSS can offer a on attending the event.