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This is a guest post from Marc Poirier at Acquisio.

The impact of a landing page on your email list can go one of two ways.

It can lead to a conversion and a new email subscriber or, as is the case for more than 70% of landing page visits, it can lead to a visitor to bounce and never come back.

If you want to get more leads in your sales funnel, you need to make sure your landing page is optimized for visitors.

There are obvious factors—such as customizing landing pages to specific subjects and using clear calls to action—but what really boosts your bottom line are more advanced techniques used to optimize landing pages.

Read on to discover what makes a landing page really convert, and how to make your email list grow.

Why you should collect email subscribers

The main aim of a landing page is to convert visitors into leads, subscribers, or customers. These conversion goals can include signing up for a newsletter, requesting a sales call, or downloading an ebook.

For the purposes of this post, our aim is to generate more email subscribers.

Email subscribers are invaluable. One case study from Practical Ecommerce showed how email generated more conversions than other channels they experimented with.

To convert landing page visitors into email subscribers, you must include the right ingredients.

First, your landing page goal should match the ad that got the visitor there in the first place. If you’re offering a free ebook download on your ad, but then it’s unclear how to access it on the landing page, your visitors are likely to bounce.

So make sure the messages on your ads and landing pages match. Stick to a single conversion goal and don’t muddy the waters.

Next, use a clear call to action. The easier you make it for them to hand over their email, the more likely they are to do so.

The design and visuals of your ad should reflect the landing page the visitor will be taken to. If the ad is dark blue, make your landing page dark blue. This helps to create a cohesive experience, showing the user they’re in the right place.

As you’ve probably guessed, optimizing landing page conversions isn’t a game of set-it-and-forget-it. It takes work and testing to maximize conversions over the long term.

These factors are the most basic ingredients to include in your landing page. To get your landing page to generate as many email subscribers as possible, you must optimize it using everything in your optimization toolkit.

Read on for some optimization best practices and tips to help you reach a double-digit conversion rate.

Use your customer’s language in your copy.

If your landing page isn’t using the language your customers are using, there’s a good chance it’s hurting your conversion rates.

Sometimes less is more. You don’t want to explain your entire business or product on a landing page—that’s what your website is for. You just want to convert your visitor based on a single goal.

Start by looking at data you already have from your Google Ads, analytics, and social media profiles. Which phrases, terminology, and keywords are your target audience using to find or describe products like yours?

This is the language of your customer, and you need to be injecting it into your landing page copy. Use it to show your customers that you truly understand them.

Creating copy this way will also help you optimize your customer personas and help you sound more like a human being. Nobody wants a sleazy sales speech on a landing page.

Speak to your customers as if you’re one of them, focus on key pain points, and cover all the basic landing page copy principles:

  • Make the conversion goal of your ads the main focus
  • List the offer’s benefits
  • Touch on the customer’s pain point

Monitor your customer’s language on a regular basis. Use your findings and observations to experiment with headlines and the overall copy on your landing page.

Persistence is key. Your copy won’t be perfect the first time. Keep split testing and, eventually, you’ll find the language that resonates best with your audience.

Bonus tip: Experiment with long-form copy.

If you’re selling an expensive or complex product, long-form copy is your friend.

Long-form copy on landing pages can get up to 220% more leads than short-form copy. But this only applies for certain products. Why? Because you’ve taken the time to explain your product or offer in greater depth. The key to long-form copy is to make your content scannable. Break it up into easy-to-digest sections with subheadings.

Take this example from Ramit Sethi:

The conversion goal for this long-form landing page is a first name and an email address. But the email subscriber is then added to a funnel where Sethi tries to sell a thousand-dollar product. The effort from the first landing page is essentially laying the foundation of what’s to come in future emails.

Long-form content works. But you need to constantly test every element, from design to headlines and CTAs. Only then will you see if long-form copy is the right fit for your particular product, or if you’re better off having a shorter landing page.

Keep the important stuff above the fold.

“Above the fold” is a term that comes from the newspaper industry. It means you capture the reader’s attention before they unfold the paper.

The same principles apply to your landing page. It must provide important information above the fold, hooking them into reading further. Because chances are, if they aren’t hooked, they’ll bounce.

This is a perfect example from Fiverr. In the landing page above, their goal is to generate more email subscribers.

Their conversion goal is getting an email address, so that’s kept above the fold. Their copy, benefits, and social proof are all placed below the fold. It doesn’t mean these elements are less important, but generating email subscribers is the number-one priority.

The good news is that you can see how people are interacting and engaging with your landing pages on different devices.

By customizing above-the-fold content to each device, you can make sure your conversion goal remains the number-one priority on the landing page, no matter how your customer is viewing it.

You can do this with the following technique.

Use heat maps to monitor user behavior.

Heat map tools show you which elements visitors are viewing and where they’re clicking on your landing page. This shows you if customers are ignoring your CTA to subscribe. Or if they’re clicking on something that isn’t your conversion goal, like a social media link.

Heat maps are the closest you’ll get to seeing what your visitors are interested in.

Source: CrazyEgg

Heat maps come in many shapes and sizes. A scroll map will show you where a visitor has scrolled and can even pinpoint where they left your page.

Red and yellow mean people have stopped scrolling and spent more time on that section of the page. But blue and white mean visitors have either scrolled straight through that section, or left the page at that point.

Confetti maps show how every single visitor got to your page and where each of them have clicked.

The greatest heat map benefit is taking the guesswork out of how your landing pages are generating email subscribers. It also shows which areas are causing friction.

You might think that your call to action is in the best place or that every visitor is reading every word of your copy. But, until you know that for sure with a heat map, you should always try and learn from your customers’ behaviors and learn where you can improve.

Want to see how a heat map works before investing in the software yourself? CrazyEgg has an interactive demo that shows you what you can expect.

Break down commitment using breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumbs help you lead email subscribers into your marketing funnels using segmented conversion steps.

Why are these useful? Because not only will you generate a new email subscriber, but you’ll also be able to segment them based on their responses.

Normally, you ask for a visitor’s name, email, and maybe even a phone number from a traditional form. But what if you left that until last, and got to know them a bit first?

By doing this, not only can you get their email address, but you’ll also get to know more about their job role, company, and pain points along the way.

KlientBoost use breadcrumbs on their landing page when generating email subscribers. Instead of asking for an email address cold, they offer a PPC performance proposal.

Then, they ask about their goals and in which field they work:

Finally, the visitor will hand over their name, email address, website, and phone number to get their free proposal:

This helps break down the visual commitment into bite-sized chunks, instead of serving a single form with almost a dozen fields.

Not only will you get a new email subscriber, but you’ll gain useful information that will help you personalize follow-up emails.

Capture users when they’re about to leave.

Did you know the majority of people will visit a website and leave, without doing anything at all? According to Digishuffle, average bounce rates can range between 46.34% and 65.53%:

With those kinds of numbers, you should consider placing an exit popup on your page to boost your email conversions.

This particular optimization hack will only be activated when your visitor is about to leave the page. It acts as a last-ditch attempt at generating a conversion.

Ramit Sethi targeted me with an exit popup when I was on his page getting tips about long-form copy. Here was the offer:

Notice the compelling copy on the exit popup. Put as much effort into this as you do your landing page. Your goal is the same: getting a new subscriber.

Add social proof and use the power of FOMO.

People are buying your products using your services. Are you using these positives to your advantage?

Social proof is a way to show visitors on your landing page that you know what you’re doing, and that you do it well.

The best way to add social proof to your landing page is by using trust symbols and testimonials. Have you worked with a company and helped them achieve massive results? Ask them, at the very least, to use their brand on your landing page.

If you can get one, a testimonial is worth its weight in gold when it comes to social proof. A headshot is great, but getting a testimonial from a key decision-maker in the company will be a real score.

If you’ve been featured in a well-known publication, here’s your chance to showcase that, too:

Numbers also help boost social proof. If you’ve got a large number of subscribers, add that metric into your landing page copy. For example, “Join 10,000+ marketers receiving our free newsletter.”

If you haven’t been featured in Forbes magazine, don’t stress. Start with anything that paints your business in a positive light. If a review from Yelp or Google is all you’ve got, then add it.

Retarget visitors through paid media.

Did you know that you can specifically target people on Facebook by what landing page they’ve visited, and even when they visited it?

This is vital for two reasons. First, you know which product or service sparked their interest enough for them to visit your landing page. Secondly, they already know the name of your brand or business (even if they only visited for a short time.)

And, while they might not have handed over their email address on their first visit, you should still think of them as a warm lead.

The best way to retarget visitors on Facebook is to keep your CTA clear and only target what the visitor was interested in on their first visit. Your main goal is to get their email address, so make sure that’s reflected with a “Sign up” CTA button.

In order to retarget visitors on Facebook from a specific landing page, you’ll need to install the Facebook pixel.

Then, create a Facebook custom audience. It’s not a hard process, but here’s a step-by-step you can follow.

Pro tip: Exclude users who’ve already converted on your ad to save your ad budget. You can do this when you’re building your custom audience in your Facebook Ads Manager.

Bonus: advanced techniques to boost conversions

Sometimes, it’s the small details that lead to big wins. When it comes to converting your landing page visitors to email subscribers, this could be something as small as the color of your landing page button.

Here are two small changes you can make to create a big difference to your email conversion rates.

Technique #1: Personalize your CTA.

Izideo ran a case study to see if small changes in the CTA on a landing page made any difference. Their first test was to change the copy of this CTA button from “your” to “my,” and the results speak for themselves.

Source: Izideo

A small change in personalizing the CTA increased the number of visitors who signed up for a trial by 90%. So try to keep complex words out of your CTA copy. Keep it simple and make it personal.

Technique #2: A/B test everything.

With so many variables influencing the actions your visitors take, the only way to really know what works is to A/B test your elements.

And you need to be testing everything until you’re happy with your conversion rates.

Testing and tweaking your CTAs, your copy, and every other element on your landing page will make the difference between boosting your conversions or settling for an average rate.

Avoid these landing page mistakes.

You’ve nailed the landing page best practices and you’re testing new approaches and copy to boost conversions.

But what about the things that could be hurting your conversions?

Reference your landing pages against these two critical landing page mistakes. If you find you’re falling at these hurdles, then make sure you fix them ASAP.

Mistake #1: plastering your social links on your landing page.

Including social media links on your landing page is like having holes in a leaking boat. If a visitor comes to your landing page and then clicks a link to your Facebook page, it’s likely they’ll forget about your conversion goal and spend time browsing Facebook instead.

Leave social links off your landing pages. Remember, you want to focus on one action only. Don’t worry about trying to get them to like your Facebook page. You can use retargeting to serve them social content after they’ve opted in to your email list.

Mistake #2: neglecting the speed of your landing page.

If your landing page isn’t loading in two seconds, chances are you won’t be converting a new email subscriber.

That’s the time the average user expects a page to load fully before they give up, and they’re not the only ones that care. Google cares, too.

Last year, Google announced that it would start prioritizing and highlighting pages that give the user a faster experience. Check here to see how your landing page speed ranks according to Google.

Nail the landing page basics and optimize the rest.

One of the quickest ways to build a big email list from your landing page is by getting the basics right.

Having a single conversion goal and a strong CTA are basic elements you need to start generating email subscribers. Once you’ve done that, you should start to experiment with advanced conversion tools like heat maps, retargeting, and exit popups.

If you have the right elements in the right place, you’re on your way to building a solid list of email subscribers for your brand.


Marc Poirier is CEO at Acquisio, a programmatic PPC platform that uses AI to simplify campaign management. Campaign Monitor readers can read The Marketer’s Field Guide to Machine Learning for free.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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