Online marketing is all about making sure you have a sensible plan for linking your activities together. There are lots of techniques and thousands of pages of advice out there to help you build traffic to your website and grow your business. But it all comes down to a single, simple strategy...give your online marketing activities a focal point - you can think of this as your marketing 'hub'....
What is a landing page?
At its most basic, a ‘landing page' is any web page that a visitor can ‘land on'. This is usually a link that is promoted via an advert or direct response marketing activity.
Landing pages are usually ‘separate' from your main website because they do not have all of the navigation and other options that your main web pages may have (as this would distract users from the focus of the page).
Why have a landing page?
Landing pages are very simple and have just one focused objective – to put a specific ‘call to action' in front of the reader.
This could be either to:
- Show a specific offer to the user (and get them to click on it)
- Collect information from readers (lead capture) by offering something of value in exchange for their details.
So, what is the difference between a landing page and a squeeze page? Some people make a big deal about the difference but essentially, squeeze pages are just a particular type of landing page. They are designed to ‘squeeze' information out of the visitor. For example, typically, a squeeze page will let you download the free report or take advantage of the offer if you provide your name and e-mail address.
What is a sales funnel
You may or may not have heard of a sales funnel – whether you have or not, there are many different ways to explain them and a great deal has been written about them.
Put simply, a sales funnel is a marketing system.
It is the ‘path' that your customers will go to from being an someone who has never heard of you through to a cold prospect, then a warm prospect, then a lead and finally to a paying customer.
Traditional marketing says that customers go through various stages before buying from you:
- Awareness – they need to become aware of you
- Interest – you need to catch their attention
- Desire – you need to stimulate their desire
- Action – you need to get them to take action
You may have heard of the AIDA model before.
A sales funnel is essentially the sales and marketing activities that you undertake to move people through these stages. The objective is to get as many relevant members of your target audience as possible into the top of your funnel, move them along the funnel to stimulate their interest and desire then finally get them to take action.
You need to get as many people as possible in the top and get as few as possible leaving half way through (a ‘leaky funnel' is not a good thing!) so that as many as possible take action (your conversion rate).
Example: In this example, we will look at the example of a travel agent who is selling holidays.
Awareness – You can generate awareness of your holidays through online advertising, content marketing & SEO.
Interest – you can stimulate even more interest with your target audience by offering a ‘Lead Magnet' (a free bit of value in return for their content details). In our example, we could publish a free e-book called ‘How to save 30% on your next family holiday' to get people to sign up.
Desire – after signing up users, you create added value by sending them great content such as travel guides, top tips and other useful reports or information. This is the ‘nurturing' stage of your relationship building where you create goodwill. You can send out offers during the nurture stage but you should also send out free, high quality content. A more sophisticated sales funnel will also use this nurturing phase to segment the people who have signed up (in other words, split them into different groups) through activities such as polls, surveys and special offers.
Action – the ultimate marketing objective is to get your subscribers to take action (i.e. buy your product or service). However, as you have been building a relationship with your subscribers, an offer will now be made to a ‘warm' (rather than a ‘cold') prospect – they will have heard of you, have received useful information from you and should, therefore, be more receptive to your offer.
It doesn't stop there though – you need to ‘service' your customers after the funnel and the most successful businesses will have systems to move people from one sales funnel through to the next (relevant) sales funnel. In many markets, it is really important to view the lifetime value of customers (rather than ‘hit and run' marketing where you sell one item only). Once you are engaged with an existing customer, it is much cost-effective to communicate with them. Communicating, cross-selling and offering additional services to your existing customer base is much cheaper and conversion rates are higher. For more information, please also read our article on Improving Your Digital Marketing.
Watch this space – we will be publishing more articles on developing landing pages, tips, tricks and techniques that you can really put into practice. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to be notified as these are published.
Mark Woodroof is a qualified marketing coach who was awarded a BA(Hons) in Business and a Diploma in Marketing (from the Chartered Institute of Marketing) in the early 1990's and has spent the last 20 years working with private and public sector organisations.
During that time, Mark has worked with hundreds of business owners helping them to grow their businesses, launch new products and services, set up and manage their own marketing plans, websites and digital marketing strategies.
Today, he specialises in Digital Marketing, Social Media, WordPress Development and marketing automation systems such as ActiveCampaign & Infusionsoft.
Mark's areas of expertise include:
- Marketing Strategy & Planning
- Software Development Project Management (Microsoft.Net & Laravel)
- Customer Relationship Management Systems (Infusionsoft, Zoho & Insightly)
- Web Design & Development
- Digital Marketing Campaign Development
- Mailing List Services (eg AWeber, Mailchimp)
- Traffic Generation Strategies & Tactics
- Sales Funnels, Squeeze Pages & Online Conversion
- Customer Value Optimization
- BA(Hons) Business Studies (University of Portsmouth)
- Diploma in Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing)
- Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring (Chartered Management Institute)
- DigitalMarketer Certifications:
- Certified Content Marketing Specialist
- Certified Customer Acquisition Specialist
- Certified Customer Value Optimization Specialists