Why Every Promotion Needs Its Own Landing Page
There are two major reasons every promotion needs its own landing page. Both highlight why it’s a bad idea to direct visitors to your homepage, or a generic page on your website like “About” or “Contact us.” They also highlight how landing pages can generate more conversions for any business. Here are those reasons:
User expectations need to be met with message match
When a prospect clicks through your advertisement or promotional link, they’ll have certain expectations for the landing page. It’s your job to meet those expectations with something called “message match.”
The following are a few examples to illustrate. First, a look at bad message match: This link advertises a 40% discount on “Deep Dive” courses…
But when you click the “Upgrade Now” button, the landing page features only a vague mention of discounts; there’s no “40% off” offer in sight:
Instead, this Men’s Health campaign is what you should aim for. First, the paid search ad:
Then, the landing page — which features great message match:
- The headline matches the exact headline of the ad.
- The copy reading “15 training guides” matches the copy of the ad.
- The image of Men’s Health Magazine identifies the magazine with a visual representation of the offer.
When visitors arrive here, their expectations are met. There’s no question about whether this landing page is where they’re supposed to be, or whether they’ll be able to claim the offer that was presented in the ad.
On the other hand, without the mention of a 40% discount on the first landing page, visitors may question whether they’re able to claim the offer advertised in the link. Prevent similar confusion on your landing page by making sure:
- Your brand logo is on the landing page.
- You use the same images on the landing page as you do in the ad.
- Your landing page headline and copy matches the corresponding ad headline.
Without strong message match, your landing page visitors won’t trust you. And if they don’t trust you, they’ll bounce before they convert.
Prospects are easily distracted with an imbalanced conversion ratio
The term “conversion ratio” refers to the amount of outbound links on a page compared to conversion goals. On your landing page, that ratio should be 1:1 — meaning, there should be only one outbound link and one conversion goal.
Your conversion goal
This is the singular act you want visitors to take. If you’ve created a report landing page, your conversion goal is downloads. If you’ve built a free trial landing page, your conversion goal is signups.
Each landing page should only have one goal. If your landing page is built for the purpose of getting prospects to sign up for a free trial of your service, it shouldn’t also attempt to convince them to download a report. Two CTAs of “Download” and “Sign up” will steal conversions from each other. Instead, it’s better to build a separate page for each.
This practice is based on research that shows what happens when people are presented with too many choices.
In one experiment specifically, Sheena Iyengar and her colleague Mark Lepper set up a display table at a local grocery store, offering jars of jam at $1 off. On the first day, they presented shoppers with 24 types of jam to choose from, and on the second day, they put out only 6.
At the end of the study, the bigger display drew more attention, but it also generated 10x less sales.
Additional research from Iyengar shows that, when offered more options, people…
- Delay choosing (a phenomenon known as Hick’s Law), even when it goes against their self-interest.
- They choose things that are worse for them.
- They are less satisfied with their choice, even if they perform objectively better with it.
Every additional option presented on your landing page, whether that be a second offer or several outbound links to other web pages (which you’ll learn about below), can potentially decrease prospect satisfaction and detract from your conversion rate.
These are any links that drive users off your landing page. There should be no outbound links in your logo, in the body of your page, or any links in a navigation menu (because your navigation menu should be non-existent… more on that later).
The only link that should drive visitors off the page is the one in your call-to-action button. When they click it, your visitors should be directed to the next step in the conversion process — whether that’s another landing page or a “thank you” page. Any other outbound link detracts from your conversions.
Here’s a page from ActiveCampaign designed to eliminate distractions with a conversion ratio of 1:1:
On it you’ll see two CTA buttons, but both accomplish the same goal by guiding visitors toward signing up for a free trial.
This landing page, however, has a conversion ratio of more than 10 to 1 because of social icons and links in the footer:
Here’s another page with a conversion ratio of more than 5 to 1:
Remember: Each outbound link that’s not in your call-to-action directs visitors off the page, which makes it less likely they return to convert. When that happens, your overall campaign suffers.