For the last week I had been putting together a presentation for the University of Toledo chapter of the American Marketing Association. I went back and forth on a few ideas of what to talk about, but what I kept coming back to was how so many companies fail to integrate their on- and off-line marketing. I could probably have put together a day-long presentation on the concept of integrated marketing and still not scratched the surface, so I decided to focus on one of my favorite online marketing tools that I think is very under-utilized: the landing page.
I take it for granted that most people understand what a landing page is and what it is meant to do, but, just in case, here’s a quick overview. A landing page is a single web page that is designed to provide very specific information to a particular audience, and to drive the visitor to complete a call to action. Usually that call to action is to complete a contact form so that they can be contacted by a sales rep, but it could also be to sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, make a donation, or something along those lines.
As an online marketing professional, I tend to gravitate towards online methods. However, I realize that traditional marketing is still important for my company in order to reach those potential clients who are not yet online and, hence, are not going to find me through SEO or online advertising. But my goal is to use those traditional marketing pieces to move those customers online to find more information. Included in every piece of off-line marketing that I do is the address of a landing page, which has been developed specifically for the target of my campaign. The page is product/service specific, oftentimes industry specific, and, depending on the campaign, can have even a narrower focus than that. For example, I sent out a direct mail campaign just this week. It was a postcard designed and customized for home improvement companies who are dealers of a specific set of products. The postcard is meant to drive the recipients to a particular page on our website that, unless by seeing the address on the postcard, no one would know was even there. This method helps me in several important ways. It gets the potential clients to go online, where I can truly showcase my work and give them a lot more information than I ever could on a postcard. It also gives the customers a chance to find out more information without having to contact someone directly if they’re not quite ready to do so. Through the content on the landing page I can appeal to the visitor and drive them to do what I want them to do – contact me. This allows me to then have the chance to actually speak with them and start the conversation of what I can do for their business. Finally, I can track how many people are actually going to the landing page after receiving the postcard, and then track how many of those visitors are completing my call to action. If I see a lot of people going to the landing page and then leaving, I know there’s something not appealing to them and I can make adjustments accordingly and use that information in the next campaign.
This final piece is one of the most significant advantages of using landing pages in conjunction with traditional marketing campaigns. Sure, there are ways to track traditional marketing without using online methods, but the level of insight that landing pages can glean is so valuable that it makes not using them just seem crazy.
What experiences has your company had using landing pages? If you haven’t used them before, do you see your company using them in the future?