How are you optimizing your landing pages? Have you ever gone to a website that featured something you were ready to download or even buy only to have to search around for their contact us page or order form or whatever random page you thought would help? Then when you finally found that page, they wanted to collect field after field of information from you just to send you their brochure? That kind of frustration can end the relationship with your prospects before it starts; however, if your landing pages are customized and have the appropriate number of fields, you will greatly increase the odds that a prospect will complete the form and begin engaging with you.
The only way to do this well is with marketing automation. Study after study consistently shows that prospects are more willing to provide detailed information to you as they progress through the buying cycle. In other words, grab a name and an email for a white paper or brochure, and then step up the questions when they want a video or a demo or a free trial. Sounds easy. But the reason it requires automation is that by tracking each of your web visitors you don’t have to keep asking them for the same information over and over. You can prepopulate the forms and then ask them one or two more questions.
How much time are your sales and marketing reps spending on the phone and web gathering information that could be asked of a prospect? Landing pages and microsites are extremely effective in nurturing campaigns because you can help capture budget, authority, industry fit, company size, decision time frames, job functions and interests and more long before your reps have to get involved. We all know that engaging sales reps is more expensive that offering white paper downloads in terms of both salary and opportunity cost to your current pipeline.
You need to start building a tiered approach to data collection. Prospects don’t want to give you their entire background just to get a white paper. Get the basics, then ask a little nibble here or there as they advance through the buying cycle.
Next, automate and personalize your data capture process and landing pages. If you’re not in marketing, I bet you don’t know just how time consuming it is to create new landing pages on your websites. With automation, your marketing team can create customized landing pages without the help of your IT department or web masters.
You also need to go easy on your team, not just your prospects. I know you’ll be tempted to go back to your team today and say, “I just read a blog post where Matt told me we need to have custom landing pages. Make that happen.” And they’ll in turn go bananas. What you’ll end up with is a bunch of pages that look alike anyway, because there isn’t an easy way for human beings to pull this off without the right equipment. And again, the research shows that the most effective landing pages reflect the design and messaging of each campaign, rather than a cookie-cutter cut-and-paste look and feel.
Of course we can handle this automation through our Nurturama marketing automation process. (hint hint…)
Photo credit: Longleat Maze, by Niki Odolphie