By Don Nicholas • 04/11/2006
The first thing you need to have to create great landing pages is a basic understanding of the seven types of landing page templates used by Internet marketing professionals. With that in mind, we think your odds of increasing landing page conversion rates will definitely improve.
- Landing Page Optimization requires a solid knowledge of website architecture, webpage design, online copywriting and direct response testing.
- While sales letter landing pages are the focus of attention for many Internet marketing professionals, there are six other types of landing pages.
- Explore the basics of each of the seven types of landing pages to increase your understanding of landing page optimization and your odds for increasing landing page conversion rates for all seven types of landing pages.
Kim Mateus, Peter Schaible and I spent a day last week discussing what we know about landing pages. (We discuss landing pages a lot, as we think they’re pretty important to the whole Internet marketing and online publishing process.)
We think that landing pages are so important that we volunteered to lead a three-hour workshop at the June 2006 SIPA Annual Conference on the topic—boldly titled Landing Page Driven Internet Marketing.
The three-hour SIPA program will really be three, one-hour programs:
- Seven Types of Landing Pages and Knowing When to Use Them
- Creating Landing Pages that Sell: 12 Guidelines for Success
- The Great Digital Sales Letter Showdown with guest speakers Bob Bly, Stuart Jordan and Andrew Palmer who will share A/B test results and lessons learned from landing page and email sales letter testing.
As Kim, Peter and I chatted, we realize that we needed to start with the basics. When most people talk about landing pages, they really mean sales letter landing pages—which from our perspective are just one of seven types of landing pages Internet marketers use to build high conversion websites.
As a short preview of the course, here are 11 working definitions that form the foundation of a coherent discussion on landing page optimization:
Landing Page: any website page where a direct response transaction can begin.
Direct Response Transaction: publisher-initiated exchange of information with a willing user including: subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a free report, purchasing a book, registering for an event or joining a membership organization.
Organic Landing Pages
These are landing pages that must both attract targeted website traffic and convert visitors into subscribers, buyers or registered users. These pages are most often associated with search engine optimization (SEO), but are also used for attracting any type of organic traffic (referrals where the referring website’s algorithm or operator is making the decision to link to your website). This would include any text link given by a webmaster or editor who is referencing one of your webpages as a source of good information on a topic.
Organic Landing Pages must first attract and then convert, hence website designers insert things like OFIEs (order forms in editorial), OFINs (order forms in navigation), floater order forms, display ads, text ads and simple text links to start the conversion process.
There are three types of Organic Landing Pages that we identified at this point—each with its own unique information architecture designed to pull traffic in and initiate a transaction:
- Article Landing Pages: landing pages with narrative content.
- Glossary Landing Pages: landing pages with dictionary like definitions of words, phrases or concepts.
- Directory Landing Pages: home, topic and category pages that list article or glossary landing pages.
Conversion Landing Pages
These landing pages are where targeted website traffic is driven when the publisher is deciding where to send the traffic. Conversion Landing Pages may or may not be designed to attract traffic—but are designed to convert the traffic that arrives via links that the publisher can control, like PPC (pay-per-click), affiliate advertising, paid advertising or any other links controlled by the publisher.
The eCommerce Conversion Architecture for Conversion Landing Pages is overt and aggressive since conversion to order is the page’s singular strategic intent. Text links, order buttons and order forms are the three most common devices that website designers use to empower the user to initiate a direct response transaction.
To date, the Mequoda Research Team has identified four unique variations on the Conversion Landing Page:
- Rapid Conversion Landing Pages are used to entice a user to enter into a low-risk (AKA, low-friction) transaction. This type of landing page is used when there is no cost to the user (a free offer) or when payment is delayed and includes options (a bill-me later offer).
- Sales Letter Landing Pages are traditional direct response sales letters that are used to maximize the conversion rate for a paid, usually credit-card-required offer for a paid information product. These same letters are often used in email and postal direct marketing programs.
- Upsell Landing Pages are specialized landing pages that offer the user an additional product or service as part of the process that acknowledges a prior transaction. They are highly effective when properly executed delivering conversion rates as high as 20 to 30 percent, depending on the offer.
- Access Challenge Landing Pages are the landing pages that a user encounters when trying to access premium (member-only) content from a site for which they are not a member, or for which they are not signed-in.
Let us know what you think about the basic definitions and how they match or don’t match the way you think about landing page-driven Internet marketing.
We look forward to a lively discussion at the next SIPA conference.
Posted in Landing Pages