(Update & Expanded)
Are you actively using landing pages as part of your online marketing strategy and tactics? If you aren’t you are missing a huge opportunity. It’s really that simple.
Statistics show that landing pages increase click through rates and conversion rates. This can create excellent opportunities to gain new contacts, sales leads and customers. According to landing page services company Unbounce in their Conversion Benchmark Report landing pages have an average conversion rate of 3.6%. An earlier conversion rate report from Wordstream in 2014 showed an average landing page conversion rate of 2.35.
Also known as a sales page, squeeze page, lead generation page, splash page, lead capture page, or a number of other names, odds are good that you have encountered numerous landing pages and forms on the web.
They can take a lot of different shapes including as an email list sign up, requesting an eBook, receiving a whitepaper, getting a product discount code or a free shipping code, as a thank you page or a wide range of other uses.
While large companies frequently use landing pages as part of their omnichannel marketing strategy, there are also plenty of opportunities for smaller businesses to leverage this marketing and sales technology in cost effective ways. Plus landing pages are not just for websites.They can also be used for sending targeted traffic to specific pages on Amazon and other online marketplaces (think Etsy, eBay, Walmart).
The number of tools and solutions for building and hosting a landing page has grown significantly in the last few years. It’s very likely that you can find a solution that fits your needs and budget.
What Is A Landing Page
Let’s take a step back. What is a landing page? A landing page is a separate page hosted on your website or on a hosted landing page services site where a visitor “lands” after clicking on a link. The link could be in an ad (Google, Facebook), a social media post (think Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter), an email marketing campaign, a pop up on a website or some other page on a website.
The page where the visitor lands has a one purpose: convert the visitor into a customer or sales and marketing lead. They work by gathering information from the visitor in exchange for a discount, special offer, document download or access to an event or even as a thank you page.
Landing Pages are a great marketing and sales tool that can be referred to by a number of different names. These can include:
- Squeeze page
- Lead generation page
- Splash page
- Lead capture page
- Amazon landing page
- Product landing page
- Coupon landing page
- AdWords landing page
- Facebook ad landing page
- Thank you page
- Click through Landing Page
- Marketing landing page
- Paid advertising landing page
- Promotion landing page
- Long-form sales landing page
The on-page messaging and the number of fields in the form may vary, but to a large extent their purpose is the same.
A key element of a well-designed landing page is that there are no other navigational elements or links on the page other than the one specific link to complete the purpose of the page.
This means no links to other website pages, no links to About Us or Contact Us, no clickable logo, no footer links. Just one specific link to move forward and complete the pre-designed task.
Here is an example of a common marketing scenario without using a landing page: you run a social media ad campaign sending people to a product page on your website, or worse, to your website home page.This results in 600 clicks through to your website and no sales ot leads to show for your work and the $500 spent on ads.
Sound familiar? People were browsing, not buying. Landing Pages can help.
How do Landing Pages Work?
Here is a basic version on how a landing page functions:
- A person sees a call to action (discount, freebie, sign-up) in an ad, on a web page, in an email or through a pop-up and they click the button/link.
- This action takes them to a landing page with a form.
- By completing the required fields in the form and clicking the submit button they convert from a visitor into a lead and receive the offered benefit such as discount code, access to download a document, access to a video, or registration for an event.
- The information provided by the visitor (lead) in the form fields get stored in a leads database.
- Future marketing is provided to the new contact or lead over time nurture the sales prospect.
Landing pages are standalone webpages or boxes that limit the visitor’s options and presents very specific information in order to maximize conversion.
Well-designed landing pages do not offer any navigation to tie it to your primary website to avoid distractions or unwanted clicks. The goal is to keep the visitor focused on the specific task needed to complete the conversion.
These dedicated pages may be hosted as part of a business’ website, or through a separate service that specializes in creating and hosting landing pages. For businesses that have the resources, landing pages may be added and managed as part of the business’ website. For websites built on WordPress there are plugins to help with this.
Landing Page Services can simplify the process of creating landing pages. By allowing non-technical marketing professionals, business owners and managers to create landing pages…
Regardless of where the actual landing page is physically located its main goal is to guide visitors, seamlessly and without distraction, toward your intended conversion goal.
Below we’ll explain the two main types of landing page:
- Lead Generation Landing Pages
- Click Through landing pages
Lead Generation Landing Pages
The main function of a lead generation landing page is to collect and capture visitor information that will allow you to contact the prospective customer at a later time. Lead gen capture pages contain a form and details about what the incentive is to complete the form.
Collecting information is the primary purpose, but there are several other benefits of using lead generation landing pages.
Build an Email List
Building an email list is an important marketing activity for any business. Incorporating dedicated landing pages as part of this process provide a significant boost to your efforts. Using website popups, social media sign up forms, and referral programs are great ways to generate leads; however, creating lead generating landing pages is one of the most effective tools for collecting email addresses.
Creating a landing page that offers a valuable, no obligation payoff is attractive to visitors. Many businesses offer items such as an eBook, a whitepaper, a product discount code, or a free shipping code which encourages submission of contact information, while also establishing the business as an industry thought leader.
Encourage Sign Ups For Events
A lead generating landing page can fulfill two objectives at once, collect information and encourage registration. Offering a free trial for your business services or registration to a free webinar delivers visitors one step closer to being customers. And if the prospect cancels their registration, the contact information has been collected for further communications.
Everyone loves to be the first to know. Offering either a pre-order or notification of exclusive product launches encourages customers to provide their contact information. When customers feel like they will be part of an exclusive group that will be privy to information before the general public, they are eager to provide contact info.
Click Through Landing Pages
As you can probably deduce, the click through landing page is designed to compel the visitor to click through to another page. These types of marketing landing pages typically offer concise service or product descriptions that provide the visitor with the specific information necessary to take action. Click through landing pages are commonly used in the following ways:
Geo Targeted Landing Page
Many modern day businesses are physically located in one area, but provide services to numerous areas. For example, if you own a mobile dog grooming business and want to service all of South Florida, but your physical office is located in Miami, how can you effectively advertise your services outside of Miami?
Geo targeted landing pages allow multiple web pages to be created to target specific areas of South Florida. The landing page will attract visitors searching for dog groomers in cities other than Miami and will direct them to a call to action, such as “Schedule an Appointment.”
With the landing page messaging tailored to the specific geographic area (city, town, county) the visitor will avoid any questions about the service being available in their area.
These pages are most commonly created as part of a main website and are included in the website’s site map so that they may be discoverable through search engine searches. There can also be potential SEO benefits from targeted geographic keywords.
Service Targeted Landing Page
Service landing pages work much like geo targeted pages, but they focus on a specific service. For example, a mechanic shop offers a wide range of automotive services, from brakes to transmissions. Most auto service shops’ websites will list a long column of services that are offered. This may not be helpful and potentially confusing to a visitor looking specifically for an issue with their clutch.
By creating one landing page for each major service offered, a business can maximize their discoverability and provide the prospective customer with the exact information they are seeking without having to sort through the navigation of a website.
Social Media Landing Page
Customers who engage with a brand through social media frequently spend more time interacting with the brand than the average customer. Consumers who are either targeted through social media content campaigns or who click on social media advertisements are valuable and there are clear benefits by utilizing a custom landing page.
Having targeted social media landing pages for platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest avoids visitors clicking through to a website home page or product page.
Using a landing page designed specifically for someone coming from a specific social media platform provides continuity. Sales prospects and customers clicking through will land on a destination that will cater to the targeted mindset of someone coming from a specific social network.
Social media landing pages should contain minimal text, offer a clear value proposition, and closely mirror the content of the ad or social post.
Ecommerce Funnel Landing Page
An important sales landing page, ecommerce funnels may easily be created with landing pages. Using a landing page to offer sufficient and specific details so as to pique the interest of a visitor is the primary function of an ecommerce landing page.
Running an advertisement for eco-friendly baby products and then directing the visitor to a home page where thousands of baby products, eco-friendly and otherwise, are offered leaves the visitor with too many options which will be reflected in a lower conversion rate.
By creating a specific eco-friendly landing page that directs the consumer to a very specific eco-friendly baby landing page, the consumer is more likely to remain on the page, absorb the content and click through to make a purchase.
Email Marketing Landing Pages
Every email marketing campaign with a specific sales offer should have its own landing page. When readers click the link within the email message, they want to be directed to a page that provides more detail and a specific call to action.
If your email message advertises a specific product or event, the landing page should provide detailed information for the product or event. And only that specific product or event. Additional distracting cross marketing will likely lower the conversion rate. It’s also important that the landing page messaging is consistent with the messaging in the email.
The combination of email marketing and dedicated landing pages is a great fit. Used together they are powerful for increasing conversion rates and building visitor engagement.
Amazon Landing Pages
For Sellers on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Walmart being able to pre-qualify leads prior to sending traffic to a product pages is highly beneficial. Landing pages are a great way to do this.
Amazon Landing pages offer a laser focus on sales conversions and an ability to pull information on your product directly from an Amazon product listing in a landing page. These high converting landing pages will be covered in another post.
Landing Page Builders and Services – Where Do I Start?
OK, now that we’ve identified what landing pages are and how they work let’s looks at the services and tools available to help build, host and optimize your pages.
Once you have decided which types of landing pages will be most effective for your business goals, you’re ready to explore the range of options for creating and hosting landing pages. Different products will appeal to businesses with different needs, budgets and experience.
Solutions are available for small businesses just getting started with landing pages and extend all the way up to experienced landing page creators, marketing departments and agencies. Business needs can range from low to high traffic volumes, occasional to frequent page creation, basic to detailed metrics, businesses wanting to use pop ups and alert bars, and the ability to do A/B split testing.
Most landing page products provide integrations with a number of other applications such as email marketing platforms and CRM systems. Some also include features like built-in Google Fonts and free images from Unsplash.
It’s useful to note that it’s not necessary to create your own landing pages and hosts them as part of your business website. However some businesses will find benefits in hosting landing pages on their own website.
Hosted Landing Page Services
Hosted landing page services provide attractive and functional solutions for marketers and budget-conscious small businesses. These services allow businesses to create and host effective landing pages quickly and easily without the need for web developers, freelancers or designer.
Along with a variety of other features these services will host your landing pages on their servers. No need for your business to worry about hosting fees, maintenance, server security or development resources.
Most provide dozens or even hundreds of conversion optimized, mobile responsive templates. This can simplify the creation process and help reduce costs and time-delays.
There are also services specifically focused on landing pages for Amazon selling. These are described in detail in a later section.
WordPress Hosted Options: For websites based on WordPress there are WordPress plugins available for building landing pages directly on your website. One potential plus is that most WordPress landing page plug ins are relatively inexpensive with a very reasonable annual fee and not recurring monthly fee.
There are a number of features available with landing pages services and tools. Other aspects of landing page service selection to consider include:
Another aspect of using landing page is metrics and measurements. Many landing page services have built-in, real-time metrics for tracking use and success. Many also allow for integration with metrics tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
Integrations With Other Services
Landing page services and tools provide varying degrees of integration with third party advertising, analytics, CRM, email marketing and marketing automation platforms. Integrations that a product provides are worth considering to make sure your landing pages will work well with other service you currently use.
Integrations options for a given landing page service could include:
- Analytics resources such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Kissmetrics
- Email marketing platforms including MailChimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Drip, Emma, GetResponse, Aweber and ActiveCampaign
- CRM and marketing automation tools such as InfusionSoft, Pardot, Zoho, Marketo, HubSpot and SalesForce
- Ad platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Twitter
- Website platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix and Weebly
- Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce
- Connectivity options such as Zapier and Webhooks
- Plus many others…
Support and Learning Resources
If you are relatively new to using landing pages for your business it may be best to choose a solution that includes solid support and learning resources. These can include tech support via chat, email or phone, some form of help center or knowledge base, training videos, a blog, guides, webinars, downloads, or podcasts.
Pop-Ups and Alert Bars
Some landing page service providers also offer Pop-Ups and Alert Bars. A pop-up is a box that contains graphics, text, a lead capture form and a Submit/Accept button (labelling can vary).
Pop-ups are triggered by different events that will cause them to display. A common example is the Exit-Intent pop-up when a visitor want to leave the page.
Alert bars are a non-intrusive bar that appear at the top or bottom of a screen. They have simple messaging with a Call to Action button or link. Alert bars can also include a data entry field such as an email address entry field.
Finding the Optimal Landing Page Solution
We’ve included a range of popular landing page creation options segmented into three groups: Hosted Landing Page Services, Self Hosted Landing Pages, and Amazon Landing Pages. Read on to determine which one might work best for your business goals and budget.
Hosted Landing Page Builder Services
Along with a variety of other features, these services will host your landing pages on their servers. No need for your business to worry about hosting fees, maintenance, server security or development resources.
The product descriptions below are not exhaustive, but highlight key features of each product or service. To learn more be sure to check out each product’s website for more detailed info.
Leadpages is a cost-effective solution that offers a large number of mobile-responsive templates allowing users to “Build & publish code-free content that’s conversion-optimized from the ground up.”
This hosted service combines several marketing tools and a wide variety of features into a user friendly service that will be useful for a range of businesses.
LeadPages provides over 200 professionally-designed, conversion-optimized templates that can be customized using their Drag & Drop Builder. No coding necessary, with over 100 prebuilt sections to drag and drop onto any landing page. All landing page templates are mobile responsive.
Leadpages is powered by Google’s App Engine to deliver both reliability and speed. All landing pages are hosted with LeadPages so there are no concerns about hosting fees, maintenance or server security.
For additional functionality LeadPages offers over 40 standard integrations with analytics such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and tools such as InfusionSoft, Pardot, HubSpot and SalesForce, along with ad platforms such as Facebook ads, Google Ads, Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads
LeadPages also offers integrations with a number of email marketing platforms including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, ConvertKit, Drip, Emma, iContact, Klaviyo, Mad Mimi, and others. Website Integrations include WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Joomla and Drupal.
Real time analytics are include and include an easy-to-read analytics dashboard. This provides the opportunity to make quick decisions on landing page performance and take action.
In addition to landing pages LeadPages also offers functionality for pop-ups, and alert bars, and unlimited A/B split testing with the Pro and Advanced plans.
Plans ranges from $37/month, $79/mo., to $321/mo. with a 39% discount for paying for a full year. All plans include a 14-day Free Trial.
This service can be used by marketers, business owners and managers with little technical expertise. With a wide range of features and extensive support options LeadPages can deliver solutions for a wide range of businesses while providing room to grow. For businesses that are new to landing pages this could mean a learning curve to fully implement and master the product, but LeadPages provides significant learning tools and support to help.
One of the first landing page services, Unbounce has been helping businesses convert visitors into leads and customers since 2009. As stated on their website, “The first to market, Unbounce started in 2009 when “landing pages” were little more than a buzzword.”
Since then Unbounce has grown to over 175 employees with offices in both Vancouver, BC and Berlin. Along the way they have developed a powerhouse landing page and conversion engine with an array of options. All in a drag and drop format.
Geared more towards experienced marketers with a bit less hand holding than some products, Unbounce offers a wide range of features and capabilities.
Unbounce has five data centers across the world and their plans covers everything. No additional fees for hosting landing pages, popups, and sticky bars. Using Amazon’s CloudFront, the Unbounce Content Delivery Network (CDN) allows your landing pages, popups, and sticky bars to load quickly from any location.
Unbounce states that “they work with almost any marketing automation or CRM tool out there, including tons of in-app integrations and thousands more through Zapier and webhooks.” These include Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Kissmetrics and Facebook pixels as well as CRM and marketing automation tools like Salesforce, Zoho, HubSpot, InfusionSoft, Marketo, and email marketing platforms including Active Campaign, MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Drip, Campaign Monitor, Aweber, Emma, Mandril, Vero and others
The included real-time dashboard features built-in analytics to monitor landing page performance. Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Kissmetrics can also be connected.
In addition to landing pages, Unbounce also includes functionality for pop-ups, and “sticky bars”. These options can be launched by a range of different triggers and offer frequencies.
Sticky bars, also known as alert bars, are subtle popups that can “stick” to the top or bottom of any page. These bars stay with visitors as they scroll, so a promotion stays visible. They are both mobile and SEO-friendly. 50+ templates for popups, and sticky bars are provided.
Unbounce users can search the Unsplash image gallery from right inside the Unbounce builder and choose from over 850,000 professional, copyright-free images to add to a landing page.
Along with real-time analytics, Unbounce also offers A/B Testing capabilities and the ability to build AMP landing pages for mobile that load up to 85% faster than standard mobile pages. Unbounce complies with worldwide data privacy and security standards, including GDPR, CASL, and PCI-DSS.
Plans range from $80/month, to $120/mo., $200/mo. and $300/mo. An annual discount of 10% is provided when paying for a full year. All options include a 14-day Free Trial.
Businesses with landing page knowledge and experience and the marketing resources to effectively implement the features and tools available. Also a solid option for marketing and advertising agencies with the knowledge and resources to take advantage of the power and tools Unbounce provides.
If you are looking for a flexible, feature-rich and cost-effective hosted landing page service be sure to check out PageWiz. This is a highly functional landing page service that features an easy to use “pixel-perfect” drag & drop builder to get users up and running quickly.
With a starting price of $29 per month this could be a sound option for a company creating landing pages for the first time.
Created for pro marketers as well as non-technical business owners PageWiz offers extensive features such as 100+ conversion optimized mobile-responsive templates and the ability to add fonts from the Google Fonts library.
PageWiz also provides integrations with analytics such as Google Analytics, and tools such as Zoho CRM, Sugar CRM, Agile CRM, and Salesforce, along with social media platforms such as Facebook, and a number of email marketing platforms including Get Response, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, Mad Mimi, Aweber, and Campaign Monitor
All Pagewiz landing pages are hosted on the PageWiz servers. Lead capture information is stored on secure, cloud-based servers.
Includes built-in analytics with real-time stats and conversion rates for landing pages and variations. Allows users to make changes on the fly to boost your conversion rates.
Includes unlimited A/B testing, unlimited landing pages, and the ability to use multiple forms per page. PageWiz does not include pop-ups or alert/sticky bars functionality. These could be added through other products.
Monthly plans range from $29/month, $49/mo., $99/mo., to $199/mo. A discount of 15% is provided when paying for a full year. PageWiz also offers a 30-day free trial with no credit card required.
With a wide range of features and support options PageWiz provides landing page solutions for a wide variety of businesses. Depending on experience there could be a learning curve to fully implement and master the product, but it is designed for ease of use.
InstaPage comes in at the high end of power, functionality and price for landing page services. They claim to have “The most powerful landing page builder on the market.”
Originally rather similar to LeadPages, they have evolved and diverged over time and developed a strong focus on larger businesses and enterprise level customers. Especially those focused on optimizing ad traffic.
Offering capabilities beyond just building landing pages. InstaPage focuses on the key areas of personalization, experimentation (think a/b testing), ad-landing page optimizations (AdMap), and team collaboration. These features combine to deliver a strong platform concentrated on advertising conversion rates.
InstaPage delivers a strong solutions for building personalized, mobile-responsive, and conversion-optimized landing pages quickly — without a developer. 200+ fully customizable and optimized templates that feature drag and drop functionality and individual page blocks to easily change fonts, images, colors, backgrounds, and more.
With a strong emphasis on performance Instapage has servers across North America, Europe, and Asia to ensure and deliver the fastest possible page loads. Utilizing dual Amazon + Google cloud server redundancy provides a near perfect uptime (99.9999) and campaigns capable of converting 24/7.
Instapage offers a wide assortment of integrations with marketing automation apps HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, ActiveCampaign, Keap, email marketing platforms including MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, ConvertKit, Campaign Monitor, Aweber, and CRM platforms including Salesforce, ActiveCampaign, Zoho, Keap, and others.
Other Integrations include analytics tools including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Kissmetrics, Hotjar and ad platforms including Google, Facebook, Microsoft , Twitter, LinkedIn, and MarinOne. Additional connectivity and integration options are available through Zapier and Webhooks.
Includes built-in analytics for real-time data, over any time period, across all your devices, anytime. Easily manage and edit marketing tags, or tracking pixels, to quickly update AdWords, Google Analytics, and 3rd party tags.
In addition to templates and page building InstaPage offers Server-side A/B Split Testing, heatmaps, conversion analytics, fast landing page load speed, multi-step forms, AMP mobile page support, a wide range of integrations and GDPR Compliance. Pop-ups and alert/sticky bars are not included in InstaPage’s features.
InastaPage also offer a service called Postclick, described as a post-click automation platform that includes their Advertising Conversion Cloud. This is a fully managed service delivered by InstaPage and focused on large scale customers.
Plans range from $199/mo. to an Enterprise plan that is priced based on customer needs.
Related: Website Pop Ups – 5 Reasons Why You Want to Use Them
WordPress Self-Hosted Solutions
For businesses with a WordPress website this type of landing page solution can be an excellent fit. A big plus for self-hosted solutions is that they provide full control over the landing page environment.
WordPress self-hosted solutions provide the opportunity for a business to leverage the strengths and functionality of WordPress in growing leads and sales. Another major plus is cost. The two plugins listed below cost less than $50 per year.
These solutions will require WordPress knowledge and a bit more hands-on work to fully implement. However, if your business has WordPress resources (developers) available, these could provide a cost-effective way to get started with landing pages or bring your current landing page process in-house.
PluginOps Landing Page Builder
PluginOps offers a WordPress plugin that allows businesses with a WordPress website to create fully responsive, self-hosted landing pages.
Users can choose from a wide range of pre-designed templates that are mobile ready and easily customizable. The plugin also comes with a range of useful features including built in A/B Testing and real time analytics will help you analyze and create high converting landing pages.
This landing page solution comes with 70+ predesigned landing page templates and utilizes design blocks for flexibility and customization. All templates are mobile ready and designed to look perfect on all devices. The template editor provides full control to change options for different screen sizes.
Templates are fully customizable with large library of 25+ widgets to customize without any technical knowledge. Integrated A/B testing allows for further optimization and conversion rate analysis.
The landing pages are hosted at same location as your website as they are part of your website structure.
Integrated landing page analytics provide real time data about conversions and performance of a landing page. The analytics make it easy to find the best performing landing page variant while running A/B tests.
PluginOps also offers custom landing page design & landing page funnel building services if needed.
Price for the plugin for 1 domain is $48/year, $72/year for up to 10 Domains, $120/year for unlimited domains.
PluginOps is a cost-effective solution for businesses with self-hosted WordPress websites that have the ability to install plugins and create new website pages.
WPOnepager Landing Page Builder
Another option for business utilizing the WordPress platform is the WPOnepager plugin that provides businesses with the ability to create and host landing pages with a wide range of functionality.
Powerful and user-friendly WPOnepager is a tool designed for creating high converting landing pages in minutes for WordPress sites. It features a drag-n-drop page builder that inserts design blocks with just one click.
Pages can include landing pages for products & services, apps, events, resumes, under construction pages, maintenance pages, and coming soon pages. WpOnepager is multilingual supported, with no barrier for languages
WPOnepager offers a large library of over 100 templates and blocks that are responsive and mobile-friendly as well as SEO-friendly. Create effective landing pages with no coding required.
Same location as your website as these pages are hosted on your website
$39/year for 1 domain, $99/year for up to 5 Domains, $199/year for unlimited domains.
WPOnepager is a cost-effective solution for businesses with self-hosted WordPress website that have the ability to install plugins and create new website pages.
Landing pages are an excellent tool for gathering more sales leads, enhancing your marketing efforts and building a more effective connection with visitors, customers and sales prospects. If you aren’t currently using landing pages for marketing and sales growth we recommend checking out the options available and implementing the one that meets your needs and budget.
Growing a business web presence extends beyond a business’ actual website to its email marketing, social media, content marketing and sales strategies. All of these can be strengthened with the use of landing pages.
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