Halloween comes from a 2,000 year-old Celtic festival. People left food and wine on doorsteps to ward off ghosts on the evening before the feast (you guessed it, October 31st), and wore masks so the ghosts wouldn’t recognize them.
Today, Halloween is the second most commercial holiday behind Christmas. In 2014, Americans spent $7.4 billion dollars on costumes, candy, and decorations. That’s twice as much as the 2014 elections:
Make no bones about it — Halloween is a commercial success.
This post will look at three Halloween lessons for creating truly spooktacular landing pages.
Halloween Lesson #1: Landing pages should be treats, not tricks
Haunted houses and cornfield mazes are meant to confuse, mislead, and scare visitors. Landing pages are not.
Online shoppers expect their search results to match their search terms. That’s the beauty of landing pages.
Here is a screenshot of my search results for “couples Halloween costumes:”
Looks promising. Let’s start with the top ad in the left column and see where we land:
This is not a landing page. It’s not even a homepage dressed up like a landing page. The featured video is not relevant to my search and “couples costumes” isn’t linked in the sidebar.
If you’re going to pay for my click, make sure I can find what I’m trying to buy.
Scarier than monsters is a missed opportunity to create dedicated landing pages for the major costume themes, like Couples, Family, and Sexy.
Landing on this web page instead of a search-specific landing page was a trick, not a treat.
Let’s see if we have better luck with Target’s “Bacon & Eggs” display ad:
Target does a good job with message match between their PPC ad and the ad’s destination, repeating the image and header. The Halloween delivery guarantee and online-only availability offer incentives to click that “add to cart” CTA.
However, this is not a landing page. If you were to keep scrolling down the page, you would see suggested items, product reviews, and more. All of these serve as “exit links” so the page has many options to draw your attention.
Target fails to create a dedicated landing page to match its PPC ad, instead taking viewers directly to a fully-loaded, navigable e-commerce page on their website. The more time a viewer spends on this page exploring all the distractions, the less likely they are to make the purchase.
A Goodie for your Trick or Treat bag: Don’t make potential customers dig through the hard candy and licorice if they’re looking for candy bars. Send “clickers” to dedicated landing pages instead of web pages.
Halloween Lesson #2: Creativity wins costume contests — and conversions!
What if your business doesn’t sell candy or costumes? Tap into the Halloween scene and promote your brand with creative approaches like the following three examples.
1. Vivino’s wine & candy pairing guide
Vivino’s popular wine app capitalizes on Halloween mania by offering a free wine and candy pairing guide. The guide doesn’t offer landing pages to purchase the pairings, but as AdWeek points out, this is great content marketing to spotlight its expertise and help increase future conversions for Vivino’s retail wine partners:
2. MAC Cosmetics’ amazing Halloween makeup
Nearly 44 percent of people dress up for Halloween. That’s great news for costume shops, but discount retailers, home décor, craft stores, online catalogs and thrift shops should also promote their costume potential.
MAC Cosmetics may not sell costumes, but they offer Halloween enthusiasts makeup worthy of a zombie apocalypse:
The professional photography and sleek monochromatic palette call attention to the artistry of the Halloween-themed makeup, further reinforcing the MAC brand’s reputation.
Once again, this is a web page on MACs homepage, not a separate landing page. They do offer an opportunity to purchase the makeup showcased here, but only if viewers hover over a picture and click the video link.
Spirits may be invisible, but CTAs should be easy to find. Rather than relying on viewers to find their way to your sales opportunity, optimize conversions by creating dedicated landing pages that make it easy to buy your products. Bewitching!
3. Audi’s car costumes
The German luxury car maker plays with Halloween costumes for automobiles, secretly “dressing up” parking lots cars with the famous Audi logo and headlights:
“On Halloween, we become anything we want to be … what about cars?” Audi’s concept for the Halloween prank establishes the company as a desirable alternative to reality, tying into Halloween without a single holiday gimmick.
Again, this is not an example of a landing page, but taking advantage of opportunities for brand promotion now is a wise investment in future landing page success.
Halloween Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid of (virtual) haunted houses
Target’s “House on Hallow Hill” is an interactive video series offering users 360-degree views of creepiness. Brave souls are lured into the house to retrieve stolen phones by exploring several scary rooms:
Each room showcases Halloween items sold at Target. As viewers explore the house and graveyard, Target provides options to purchase items from each area (upper right corner of the screenshot below):
It’s at this point Target fails to optimize their haunted house. While they offer views the opportunity to shop room by room, the links all take you to pages on Target’s website:
Once again, this e-commerce page is loaded up with distractions. Taking viewers to a dedicated landing page instead is a “ghoul-proof” way to convert leads into customers.
Target’s Halloween campaign is a “boo-tiful” example of how technology can be combined with targeted landing pages to provide both entertainment and conversions. That’s almost as good as getting full sized candy bars in your trick-or-treat bag!
The scariest experience
Perhaps the scariest thing my research revealed was how few businesses are harnessing landing pages’ power. For example, I clicked on every “Halloween makeup” sponsored search result — on Google, Bing, and Yahoo — and not a single one took me to a landing page.
Check out our post for tips on creating message-matched ads and landing pages and start increasing your conversion rate.
From showcasing products to promoting brands; well-designed, targeted landing pages consistently deliver treats, not tricks. That makes everyone’s Halloween happy!
Don’t be scared, to create your own dedicated landing page for your promotion or brand, go here and enjoy unlimited traffic and domain publishing!