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

by Brandon Weaver in Conversion Optimization, Landing Page Examples This picture shows marketers the landing page comparison of different page types and when to use them in their marketing campaigns.

Your low conversion rate might not have anything to do with the design of your post-click 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 post-click landing page won’t work on both of them.

So what kind of post-click 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 post-click landing page?

A post-click 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 post-click 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 post-click landing page than any other web page.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all post-click 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 post-click landing pages types fit in:

(Keep in mind, for shorter pages in these examples, we’ve shown the entire post-click 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 post-click landing pages at the top of your marketing funnel, check out our ebook.)

Lead capture post-click 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 post-click 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 post-click landing page that fills the top of your marketing funnel:

Lead capture post-click landing page essentials:

  • A concise lead capture form: Your form should be short enough that it doesn’t scare your prospect away, and long enough that it collects the minimal amount of information your team needs to qualify your new lead.
  • A juicy offer: Remember, the more valuable your offer is, the more information you can ask your visitors to divulge. Odds are they’re not going to hand over 13 fields’ worth of information for a 3-page introduction to email marketing. Try offering things like industry insights, replicable case studies, and personalized consultations if you really want to get the most from your leads.

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top and middle. Start with a lead capture post-click landing page that collects a little information from your prospects. Then, once you have their email address, direct them to other post-click landing pages that collect personal data that you don’t already have. The more lead capture post-click 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.


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:

  • A super-short form: A squeeze page’s main purpose is to kick off the lead nurturing process by getting your prospect’s email address. So, it should request their email first. Ask for name if you want, too, but remember that the more you ask for, the less likely you are to get it.
  • A generous offer: When it comes to generating leads, your ask should always be less than or equal to your offer. However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with offering something that took you 10 minutes to put together, just because you’re only asking for email address.

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:

  • A warm welcome: When a visitor clicks on an ad for a free ebook, they expect to land on a page where they can download the ebook. When they click an ad for a software trial, they expect to land on a page where they can start it.

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.

  • A “continue” button: Not all splash pages are designed to convert prospects. Some are simply there to relay a message. But what they all have in common is that they’re stopovers on your prospect’s trip to their destination — whether that’s a blog article, a homepage, or another post-click landing page. That means you’ll need to include a button that allows them to continue on. Without one, you’ll only frustrate and confuse your prospects into abandoning the page.
  • A good reason for interrupting visitors in the first place: Remember, your prospects didn’t choose to land on your splash page. You put them there. So you’d better make sure what you’re offering is something they want, or what you’re announcing is actually important.

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 post-click 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 post-click landing page.

Sales page essentials

  • Strong social proof: To convince people to claim a free ebook or report, most of the time you won’t need positive reviews of your business. They’ll help, but the offer is free, and worst thing that happens is that your prospect downloads it and hates it. They don’t lose money.

So, often you can get away with having mediocre social proof on your post-click 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.

  • Trust badges: What tools are you using to prevent your visitors’ personal information from being stolen? How can you prove you’re a trustworthy business?

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.

  • A guarantee: Loosen your prospect’s grip on his wallet by giving him the opportunity to return his purchase if he’s not satisfied. If you believe in your product and you can offer a money-back guarantee, follow Neil Patel’s example:

“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 post-click landing page to generate more sales and revenue.

Click-through post-click 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 post-click 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 post-click landing page essentials:

  • Descriptive content: The purpose of your click-through post-click landing page is to warm visitors up to your offer, so it should include everything they need to know to make a decision about converting. Most importantly, though, it should set expectations for the next page. Because if your prospects click through and find something they didn’t see coming — like a credit card form field when they thought your offer was free — they’ll feel deceived and abandon the page. Convince them they should claim your offer, but also prepare them for what it’ll take to do it.
  • Infographics, bulleted text, bite-size copy: Since many times click-through post-click landing pages come before a big ask, they need to be very descriptive — which means you’ll need a lot of information on your post-click landing page. The best way to present that information is with page elements that say a lot with a little, like infographics, bulleted text, and bite-size copy.

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 post-click 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 post-click landing pages can serve as a warm-up to an intimidating form.

A click-through post-click landing page example from Autopilot

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

Webinar post-click 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 post-click landing page will need to make that happen:

Webinar post-click landing page essentials:

  • Colorful bios: The more authoritative your speakers, the more your prospects will be willing to give up to hear them. Make sure you highlight who they are, what they’ve done, and why they’re worth learning from. Include photos, professional title, and any relevant accomplishments.
  • Date, time, and length of webinar: Your prospects are busy, so if they’re going to attend your webinar, they’re going to need to know how to fit it into their schedule. Let them know what day it is, what time it’s at, and how long they should expect to be watching. For an added persuasive bonus, include a countdown timer. It’ll not only indicate how much time is left before the webinar starts, but add an element of scarcity that pressures your prospect into making a decision.

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 post-click landing page example from Drop Ship Lifestyle:

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

Mobile post-click 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 post-click 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 post-click landing page will need to capitalize on the internet’s biggest source of visitors.

Mobile post-click landing page essentials:

  • Responsive design: There are countless mobile devices on the market, all of which have different screen sizes. The only way to make sure your post-click landing page displays well on all of them is by designing your page responsively.

When it’s designed responsively, your post-click 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.

  • Social autofill, pre-populated fields: Your post-click landing page should always make converting as easy as possible — but this is especially true of your mobile post-click landing page. Remember that your visitors are browsing on an especially small screen, and typing to fill out a form on a touchpad is a pain.

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 post-click landing pages need to be as frictionless as possible.

Where they fit in your marketing funnel:

Top, middle, and bottom. Mobile post-click 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 post-click landing page, the tool you use will automatically optimize for mobile.

A mobile post-click landing page example from Litmus:

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

What types of post-click landing pages will you create?

Remember that the type of post-click 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 post-click landing page type have you yet to use? Which have you found the most success with?

Always connect all your ads to personalized post-click landing pages to lower your cost per customer acquisition. Start creating your dedicated post-click pages by signing up for an Instapage Enterprise demo today.

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Brandon Weaver

by Brandon Weaver

Brandon Weaver is one of the worlds leading experts on digital advertising, CRO, & personalization, with more than a decade in the industry.

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