The way B2B buyers find and choose the products and services they will purchase has changed beyond recognition in recent years. This has led to inbound marketing techniques growing in popularity among B2B organizations, as they rush to catch up and adjust their strategies to fit this new breed of buyer.
Online lead generation is now key for many businesses and two of the most effective mechanics being used to fill up the sales funnel are content marketing and conversion offers.
The basic process works something like this:
1. A B2B company will pinpoint the key target audience/s it wants to go for (buyer personas being a great place to start)
3. The content is shared regularly across different communication channels
4. Readers are alerted to a relevant ‘offer’ – a more specialist or detailed piece of content that will be of value to them, or signing up to something great
5. The call to action (CTA) will send contacts through to a specific landing page
6. The landing page describes the offer in more detail and includes a mechanism for accessing it – usually completion of a simple form
7. Once a contact has filled in the form to get hold of the offer, they are classed as having ‘converted’
8. They then become a lead that can be nurtured and guided along the buyer journey and towards becoming a paying customer
Landing pages are therefore a vital link in the chain and will impact on how successful a company’s lead generation efforts go on to be.
What is a lead gen landing page?
A landing page is the final message a contact will see before converting on an offer. Each one is basically a mini online sales pitch aiming to convince a contact that they need your offer in their life!
The offer itself will only be appealing if it’s properly targeted. It needs to be something of real benefit and value to the contact seeing it. So, it’s important to be pitching the right message to the right audience, if it’s to have the desired effect.
Visitors need to quickly be able to see the potential value and feel confident enough in you as a company, to hand over their contact details in exchange for it.
If you really want to achieve the maximum number of conversions possible, then ideally you will just be asking for their email address at this stage. (There will be plenty of opportunities to grab further information later on, after you’ve officially made them a lead).
The content on the landing page needs to cover 3 key pieces of information:
- What the offer is
- How it will benefit the reader/why they need it
- How they can get hold of it
What should a landing page do?
A landing page has one purpose – to generate conversions by turning contacts into leads. It’s as simple as that.
If your landing page is not converting traffic into leads, then something is seriously wrong. There are many reasons why that may be the case; from the copy and messaging being pitched wrongly, to how it is designed and what you’re asking on the form.
Another common mistake marketers make is to produce a landing page which is full of escape routes. You want visitors to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to convert. By having links through to your homepage, or other pages on the website, you are potentially sending them off course and diluting your message.
Remember, grabbing their contacts details is key for you to be able to convert a contact from being an anonymous visitor, to being a lead that you can start building a relationship with.
Of course, offers aren’t the only way you can do that. Software like Lead Forensics can also help you by letting you see who is visiting your website, even if they never go on to convert.
However, you do it, whether its conversions or our software, these leads will be warmer and more likely to be a potential sales opportunity one day.
What do you need to know before you get started?
As with any marketing, it’s all about thorough prep and planning. Before you dive in with a brief for your designer and copywriter, think about:
Who is the target audience? – Who are you planning to drive to the page?
What is the conversion offer? – What are you going to offer visitors?
What are the benefits? – How will the offer be of benefit to them? Why do they need it?
How will visitors convert? – What do visitors need to do to get hold of the offer?
What will happen next? – What happens after someone has converted? Is everything prepared and good to go, once the landing page is live?
What will your conversion goal be? – How many conversions are you aiming for and within what period of time? How many of those coming to the page are you aiming to convert?
How will you measure success? – What process of analysis and improvement are you going to follow?
What elements do the most effective lead gen landing pages contain?
Now it’s time to put your landing page together. These types of pages are generally short and sweet, but don’t be misled by the size. It will take just as much thought and design work to get it right. And you don’t want to fall at the last hurdle, as this is crunch time for getting conversions.
We’ve pulled together a comprehensive list of all those things that the best and most effective landing pages contain.
What to think about when it comes to the copy, design and functionality:
- The best landing pages use a clear and attention-grabbing headline
- Focus highly on readability
- Use short copy that’s to the point and free of waffle
- Feature interesting copy that gives away enough information! (being boring is a huge no-no)
- Focus on benefits
- Use facts and figures to make points and back up claims
- Make use of a bulleted list to get the main points across
- Emphasise that it’s a free offer (if it is)
- Use a tone and style that is a good ‘fit’ for the target audience
- Avoid using jargon, long sentences and complicated language
- Are persuasive and get across the benefit of ‘why’ someone should hand over their details
- Reassure visitors that their privacy is important and data will be protected
- Feature multiple calls to action (CTAs) - but not too many, two or three is usually the magic number
- They are uncluttered and not too busy
- They use headings, sub heading and spacing to break up sections
- Color and contrast is used to help elements stand out
- Text is always displayed clearly, so it can easily be read even when placed over a colored background
- They use eye-catching and relevant imagery that adds value
- Aren’t over designed or fussy, which can distract from the messaging
- Use click-to-call to make it super easy to get in touch
- Have a short form – they don’t ask too much, as that can be a major put off (just asking for an email address is most likely to get conversions)
- Ask only what they need to and don’t try to get too personal too soon
- Ask simple questions that are easy to answer with little thought
- Don’t make too many form questions mandatory
- Are mobile friendly and work just as well on different devices
- Limit points of exit – they don’t include headers or footers and will limit any other ways a visitor might escape, including stopping the logo being a link through to the homepage
Choosing a headline
We’ve touched on the importance of having a great headline and it’s worth expanding on this point further.
Yes, get creative and spend time getting some good options together. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are many tried and tested formats that are proven to work well. They include:
- ‘How to…..’ (How to land more sales in 5 easy steps)
- ‘Hacks for..’ (35 efficiency hacks for business managers)
- ‘The secret of…’ (The secret of super effective SEO)
- ‘This is….’ (This is the surprising thing the most successful sales teams do every morning)
You could also consider using a client testimonial as a headline, setting the scene with some sort of cliff hanger that sparks their curiosity, or explicitly stating a problem/pain point that a potential lead may be facing. Think what key message you want to get across and then work out how best to say it.
Some cool examples
This landing page used by InfusionSoft to encourage visitors to download a lead scoring guide, ticks a lot of boxes. It’s very clear, it’s interesting, doesn’t ask for too much on the form and doesn’t encourage visitors to leave by having lots of exit points. It also shows off the key points using bullets.
This one from inbound.org is aiming to get visitors to sign up to their network. It’s very effective at pointing out the key benefits and all they want is an email address.
Source: Lead Forensics
And of course, at Lead Forensics we are big fans of content marketing and use a lot of landing pages for different purposes. This one is encouraging visitors to download our free Sales Velocity Calculator. We always try to use interesting imagery that grabs the attention of readers and to keep things clear, crisp and to the point.
Other things worth considering
- Have a ‘preview’ option, so visitors get a better idea of what they’ll get
- Mention if there is limited availability, to encourage conversions
- Display the names/logos of current clients to add greater credibility
- Use a short but outstanding client testimonial to boost trust
- Use a mini case study with supporting data to back up your claims
- Use screenshots to show how the product or software works
Finally, test and test again
Make sure you have tried out the whole process personally, so you know what a prospective lead’s experience will be. That means testing it on different devices too. If there are gaps or errors, fix them. Make sure it’s a seamless process from start to finish.
Also, check you’re meeting all the legal requirements for data protection. For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018 and brings with it stricter rules around how companies seek consent and then store and use personal data.
For more advice on improving your online lead generation efforts and upping your website conversions, you may also be interested in:
- Best practices for great B2B website lead generation
- How modern web design can increase B2B sales
- B2B lead generation strategies for the modern marketer
- B2B online lead generation metrics you cannot afford to ignore
- 8 reasons your lead generation strategy isn’t working