From Top of the Funnel to Purchase: The Landing Page Comparison Guide

From Top of the Funnel to Purchase: The Landing Page Comparison Guide

Last updated on by Brandon Weaver in Conversion Optimization, Landing Page Examples


Your low conversion rate might not have anything to do with the design of your landing page. Instead, it could be that you’re using the wrong type of page at the wrong time.

The buyer’s journey is long and complex, and each one of your leads and prospects is different. One might know nothing about your business, while the other may be only a click away from purchasing your product. The important thing to remember is this:

The same landing page won’t work on both of them.

So what kind of landing page should you use to fill the top of your marketing funnel? And what persuasive page elements work best to convert someone at the bottom?

Before we get into that, let’s start with the basics…

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone web page, disconnected from your main website, that’s designed strictly for the purpose of getting its visitors to take action. That action could be to download, sign up, buy, etc.

Since landing pages use persuasive elements like benefit-oriented headlines, informational media, and psychological principles, the chances your prospects take that desired action is much higher on a landing page than any other web page.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all landing page solution. Squeeze pages work best at the very top of your marketing funnel when your prospects know little about you, and sales pages work well at the bottom, when leads have consumed a lot of your content.

Here’s where all the other landing pages types fit in:

(Keep in mind, for shorter pages in these examples, we’ve shown the entire landing page. For longer pages, we’ve only displayed above the fold. You may need to click through to the page to see some of the points we discuss. Additionally, many sites A/B test their pages, meaning you may be served a version different than the page you see below. For more information how to use landing pages at the top of your marketing funnel, check out our ebook.)

Lead capture landing pages

Again in 2016, reports show that digital marketers’ number one goal is to generate leads. That’s understandable, considering that most people who visit your website aren’t ready to buy, and the best way to get them to is by guiding them to the bottom of your marketing funnel with targeted content.

Before you can do that, though, you need to turn those unconvinced prospects into leads. That’s the job of a lead capture landing page.

Build yours the right way, and visitors will trade their personal information in exchange for an offer — expert tips, research, or a consultation, for instance. Here’s what you’ll need to build a successful lead capture landing page that fills the top of your marketing funnel:

Lead capture landing page essentials:

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top and middle. Start with a lead capture landing page that collects a little information from your prospects. Then, once you have their email address, direct them to other landing pages that collect personal data that you don’t already have. The more lead capture landing pages they visit, and the more you vary your form fields, the more you’ll learn about your target customer.

A lead capture page example from Nuvi

This picture shows marketers how Nuvi uses a lead capture page to generate leads from a product demo.

Squeeze pages

More than 95% of marketers say there’s one piece of prospect information that’s more important than any other: email address. And that’s just what a squeeze page collects.

These pages, which most often pop up to cover visitors’ entire browser window, feature short forms that usually ask for between 1 and 3 pieces of information: first name, last name, and email address. Many of them, though, just ask for email address.

Why?

Because email is still marketers’ most valuable channel. Here’s what your squeeze page will need to convince its visitors to part with their email address:

Squeeze page essentials:

Give away tips, but make them expert tips. Offer a guide, but make it the ultimate guide. Getting this email address is the first step toward generating a new paying customer, so it’s important you give your visitor a reason to hand it over.

Do you really think your visitors are going to change their minds when they read something like that? That they’re all of a sudden want to convert? A simple “No thanks” or the standard “X” in the corner of the form will do.

Where they fit in their marketing funnel:

The top. These pages are designed specifically to get email address and start the lead nurture process.

A squeeze page example from Search Engine Watch

This picture shows marketers how Search Engine Land uses a squeeze page to increase its email subscriber list.

Splash pages

Splash pages are similar to squeeze pages in that they catch prospects off-guard. They’re used as intermediaries between the link your prospect clicks, and the destination of that link.

Sometimes they’re used to capture a bit of information — like name, phone number, or email address — but other times their only purpose is to make an important announcement, or to let visitors choose how they want to view the content on the following page. For example, what language they want it to be in.

Here’s what’s more important on a splash page than any other:

Splash pages essentials:

When they land on a splash page, though, they’re not expecting to. So, yours needs to welcome them, let them know that they’re in the right place, and that you’ll get them to their desired destination as soon as they’re through seeing your message.

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top and middle. Splash pages can help you learn a little more about your prospects or make an important announcement, but at the bottom of your funnel, they’re just another chance for your prospect to escape before converting. Don’t add more friction to the process.

A splash page example from ProBlogger:

This picture shows marketers how Problogger uses a splash page to generate more leads and increase engagement.

Sales pages

A working sales page is one of the most persuasive pieces of content on the web. As such, it takes a lot of work to create. It needs to be nearly perfect — with testimonials, a killer headline, a valuable offer — as many of the 8 persuasive landing page elements that you can include. Making someone comfortable enough to purchase your product is extremely difficult, even with an effective lead nurturing program and great landing page.

Sales page essentials

So, often you can get away with having mediocre social proof on your landing page — like a quote with no name or photo attributed to it. But not on a sales page. On these, you’ll need to feature testimonials with full names (if possible), photos, and professional titles. You’ll need logos of well-known companies you’ve worked with and counters that prove you have a large following. The more positive feedback from current and former customers you can showcase, the more likely you are to earn a new one.

Security badges from Norton and TrustArc, along with trust badges from organizations like the Better Business Bureau, align your business with brands that are known for protecting consumers from fraud and theft. As a result, your business gets a boost in trustworthiness, and your customers get peace of mind.

“By adding a 30-day money back guarantee, I was able to increase my sales by 21%. Out of all of the people that purchased the program, 12% asked for their money back.

In total, Neil found that a money-back guarantee boosted his monthly revenue by over $20,000.

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Bottom. These are the pages that add to your bottom line. All the others lead to this.

A sales page example from Content Promotion Summit:

This picture shows marketers how Content Promotion Summit uses a sales landing page to generate more sales and revenue.

Click-through landing pages

Throwing a lot of information at your prospects all at once can be overwhelming. A video of your product in action, copy describing its features, and testimonials from your satisfied customers can easily overload them. And the sight of a long form after all that? It’ll send your visitors running.

Click-through landing pages solve both those problems by first describing your offer in great detail, and then giving your visitors the opportunity to claim it on the next page. That way, they don’t get overloaded by content or scared away by your form.

Click-through landing page essentials:

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Middle and bottom. At the top of your funnel, you won’t usually need an intermediary click-through landing page because your ask won’t be very big — an email address, name, or a phone number maybe. But at the bottom, when your form is likely to be long and request sensitive information like credit card number, click-through landing pages can serve as a warm-up to an intimidating form.

A click-through landing page example from Autopilot

This picture shows marketers how Autopilot uses a click-through page to generate new sign ups.

Webinar landing pages

At a time when our attention spans are ever-shrinking, webinars have succeeded in keeping us entertained for an astonishing 56 minutes.

That’s why so many marketers have added webinars to their funnel. They’re valuable to everyone. With the right speakers and topic, you can convince prospects to hand over as much information as you like. Here’s what your webinar landing page will need to make that happen:

Webinar landing page essentials:

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top, middle, and bottom. At the top of your funnel, webinars can position your business as an authority; at the middle they can prove the effectiveness of your product or service — say, with a case study for instance — and at the bottom, a webinar tutorial can demonstrate your product’s uses and highlight its features & benefits.

A webinar landing page example from Drop Ship Lifestyle:

This picture shows marketers how Drop Ship Lifestyle uses a webinar landing page to increase its registration list and increase engagement.

Mobile landing pages

Desktop hasn’t been the number one source of web traffic for nearly two years. Today people browse primarily on mobile devices, and if your landing page isn’t designed to be found by smartphone and tablet users, it’s missing out what could be its biggest source of traffic.
Here’s what your mobile landing page will need to capitalize on the internet’s biggest source of visitors.

Mobile landing page essentials:

When it’s designed responsively, your landing page will adjust to fit the screen size your visitor is browsing on. They won’t have to pinch to zoom or squint to read your copy, and important page elements like photos and form fields won’t get cut off. In 2016, your mobile visitors won’t settle for anything less than a responsive web page. So this is a must-have.

If you already have some of their information in your database, pre-populate as many fields as you can to make converting easier, or enable them to convert in one click with social autofill. Your mobile landing pages need to be as frictionless as possible.

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top, middle, and bottom. Mobile landing pages can be useful for getting your visitors to claim a top- or mid-funnel offer like an ebook or a webinar signup, and it can also get them to claim a bottom-funnel offer like a mobile app purchase. It helps to make sure that when you’re building a landing page, the tool you use will automatically optimize for mobile.

A mobile landing page example from Litmus

This picture shows marketers how Litmus uses a mobile landing page for a webinar to generate leads and increase engagement.

What types of landing pages will you create?

Remember that the type of landing page you use is just as important as when you use it. Squeeze pages are for the top of your funnel, and sales pages for the bottom. Everything else falls somewhere in between.

Which landing page type have you yet to use? Which have you found the most success with?

Let us know in the comments, then create any of the above landing pages with Instapage, the most designer-friendly and fully customizable landing page platform available.

Show Me The Top of Funnel Guide