How MailChimp Uses Landing Pages to Grow Their Business
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How MailChimp Uses Landing Pages to Grow Their Business

Last updated on October 20, 2016 by Ted Vrountas in Landing Page Examples
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If you're a marketer or a business owner, you're likely familiar with the winking, cap-wearing monkey named Freddie:

This picture shows how MailChimp uses their logo on landing pages to reinforce their brand and grow sales.

Freddie is the mascot of powerhouse email marketing software, MailChimp, whose creators founded the company as a side project in 2001. Fifteen years later, they’re the go-to email marketing software for 12 million people around the world, sending more than 1 billion emails per day.

So what’s been MailChimp’s secret to success? How’d they climb to the top of a marketing software mountain that, today, is made up of more than 3,800 technologies?

The business’s CEO, Ben Chestnut, credits the company culture. “We hire creative misfits who love empowering the underdog,” he said in an interview with Entrepreneur. “There's a sense of purpose here that makes us want to come to work and build great products.”

But outside of great products, something else has fueled MailChimp’s growth from customer 1 to 12 million: landing pages.

How MailChimp uses landing pages

Here’s how the email marketing giant uses persuasive, standalone pages in their marketing:

1. To offer holiday marketing tips

This picture shows how MailChimp's holiday marketing tips landing page increases engagement and brand awareness.

Who this page is for: MailChimp users looking for holiday marketing tips.

Why it was built: to build the brand’s email list.

What the page does well:

  • A short form that only requests name, email, and optional opt-ins, makes this squeeze page a cinch so complete.
  • Minimal copy makes determining the benefits of the offer quick and painless.

What could be A/B tested:

  • A hyperlinked logo entices this squeeze page’s visitors to escape to the homepage before submitting their information.
  • An absent headline misses out on drawing users in with a strong benefit.
  • The “X” in the upper right corner allows users yet another way to abandon this squeeze page.
  • A button color that's been used throughout the page makes this CTA less attention-grabbing than it could be.
  • The CTA “Submit” doesn't get users excited about converting, does it? Why not something more tailored to the offer like “Send me free expert tips!”
  • A competing call-to-action at the bottom of the page detracts from the main “Submit” CTA. It's okay to use more than one CTA on your landing page, but only if it’s to accomplish the same goal as your others. Otherwise, you compromise the page’s focus.

2. To get people to sign up for their service

This picture shows marketers how MailChimp's signup landing page generates new users and increases user engagement.

Who this page is for: prospects interested in trying MailChimp.

Why it was built: to generate new users.

What the page does well:

  • A navigation-less header provides no visible way off this page.
  • The word “free” in the headline capitalizes on our inherent desire to get something for nothing.
  • An image of Freddie makes it clear that this signup page is a MailChimp one.
  • A form with three fields doesn't ask much of prospects.
  • Ample white space makes this page easy on the eyes.
  • The “password” field follows usability best practices by allowing visitors to see their entry by clicking the “show” button. This way, if users make a typo or want to make sure their password meets the requirements listed at the bottom of the page, they can easily check.
  • Password requirements are clearly listed at the bottom of the page.
  • A blue CTA button stands out on the white background.
  • A minimalistic footer that features only Privacy Policy and Terms of Use keeps prospects focused on converting.

What could be A/B tested:

  • The headline, while using the word “free,” could convey a stronger benefit. What will getting started help visitors do?

3. To grow an email list

This picture shows how MailChimp's "getting started" landing page collects emails and increases engagement.

Who this page is for: new MailChimp users who want to learn how to best use the new platform.

Why it was built: to grow an email list. You might argue that MailChimp already has the user’s email address if they've signed up, but don't forget, it's not uncommon for companies of this size to have many lists to which they send different marketing messages.

What the page does well:

  • No navigation means no visible way off this landing page.
  • An absent footer keeps prospects focused on clicking the CTA button.
  • A one-field form makes converting simple for the prospect.

What could be A/B tested:

  • The headline doesn’t communicate a benefit to the visitor.
  • An image unrelated to the offer has the potential to confuse prospects.
  • A blue button on a blue background doesn’t stand out as much as it could.
  • The call-to-action “Subscribe” is too cookie-cutter to entice visitors to click it.

4. To generate webinar signups

This picture shows how MailChimp's webinar landing page generates leads and increases brand awareness.

Who this is for: MailChimp users hoping to use the platform to its fullest capacity during the holidays.

Why it was built: To generate leads.

What the page does well:

  • Nonexistent navigation on this landing page doesn’t offer visitors an easy means of escape.
  • A date and time helps prospects schedule time to attend the webinar.
  • A low-key footer keeps prospects focused on following the call-to-action.
  • A short form only requests three things from the visitor: first name, last name, and email address.
  • Benefit-oriented copy explains what attendees will learn in this webinar.
  • The message above the CTA button prevents users from having to click an opt-in box that reads “I’ve read the terms and conditions.” On this page, clicking the button is consent in itself.
  • The blue button stands out on a white background.

What could be A/B tested:

  • This headline is confusing. What’s “PLAN”? Why is it written in all-caps? Is it an acronym? Also, “Holiday Tips” could be rewritten to something that communicates a clearer benefit.
  • The call-to-action “Register” is highly unremarkable. Why not something more tailored to the offer, like “Show me free holiday marketing tips”?

Other ways MailChimp could use landing pages in their marketing

MailChimp clearly buys into the power of landing pages to drive action, but outside of the four examples above, there are two more big ways the team could leverage their power.

With PPC ads

When you enter the search term “email marketing tool” into Google, you’ll see this ad at the top of the search engine results page:
This picture shows how MailChimp PPC ads display at the top of search engine results for "email marketing tool."

When you click it, instead of being directed to a landing page built for the purpose of signing you up for the service, you’ll be sent to the homepage. So, what’s wrong with that?

Here’s what the homepage looks like:
This picture shows how MailChimp uses its homepage for PPC ads instead of a landing page, which can lower conversion rates.

What do you notice?

We see an image in the center of the page and a vague headline below it. Under that, copy and a busy footer filled with links that could drive the visitor to a number of different pages.

On the right of this page, three different calls-to-action attempt to get users to do different things: see pricing, explore features, or connect an ecommerce store. At the very top, more escape routes in the form of a navigation menu let prospects leave the page without converting.

And, hiding in the upper right? The most important part of this page: the main CTA button.

In short, there’s way too much going on here. This page isn’t focused enough to turn a prospect into a MailChimp customer. Additionally, there’s no visual hierarchy here to guide the user toward converting. We entered this page (as studies show most people do) through the featured image, then moved down to the headline. We read the copy below that and then saw the footer links. Afterward, we moved up to the three CTA’s on the right side of the page, then eventually noticed the “Sign Up” button.

To be effective, a landing page’s CTA button should be its most prominent feature, and all other elements should guide the user toward it. This homepage is a great jumping-off point for people who want to learn more about the brand, but for those who just want an email marketing software, a short, concise page with all the benefits to signing up is the best way to go.

To gate research

To succeed at content marketing, you need to consistently create high-quality content for your brand’s fans. MailChimp does that on their blog, in their guides, and especially with in-depth research. But, they give it away for free.

Don’t get us wrong – handing over resources that took a lot of work to put together is a great way to boost brand loyalty. But what’s the harm in asking for an email address, and maybe a phone number?

By gating their research reports, the team at MailChimp could likely generate more leads, and gain additional insight into their target audience.

How do you use landing pages in your marketing?

MailChimp has used landing pages to help grow their business to 12 million customers strong. How have you used them?

Let us know in the comments, then build a professional landing page (which integrates with MailChimp) in just minutes, right here.

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