How to Pick the Best Type of Landing Page for Your Campaign
Building a landing page is one thing, but building the right landing page is something else completely. The term “landing page” encompasses five different types of pages:
- Squeeze page
- Splash page
- Lead capture page
- Click-through page
- Sales page
Which one you build will depend on your goal and where your prospect is in the buyer’s journey. A sales page used at the top of your funnel will fail to convert its visitors nearly 100% of the time, while a squeeze page in its place will see much more success. Learn how the five types of landing pages fit into your marketing funnel and when to use each:
The top of your marketing funnel is an unsure place for both you and your prospects. At that point, they’re not sure that you’re the right solution to their problem, and you’re not sure that they’re seriously interested in your product or service.
The way to find out, according to a majority of marketers, is via email. An overwhelming 96% say that email address is the most important piece of information to capture on lead gen forms:
The reason it’s important to marketers is likely because consumers say that email is the channel they prefer to be contacted by companies over any other:
Squeeze pages are particularly valuable at the top of your funnel because they’re made solely to capture a prospect’s email address, which you can use to begin a lead nurturing initiative.
As modal windows, squeeze pages pop up to cover your prospects’ screen, forcing visitors to interact with them before engaging with your website’s content. Here’s an example from SiteTuners:
Notice that the only form field on this page requests an email address. Some squeeze pages also request name along with email, but ideally never more than that. In addition to a super-short form, an effective a squeeze page will also:
- Emphasize getting a valuable resource for very little personal information.
- Use minimal copy — ideally less than 50 words.
- Have only one exit — either an “X” in the corner of the window or a link under your CTA button reading “no thanks.”
- Justify the reason for requesting email address. What are you sending to their inbox?
Here’s another example from MarketingExperiments:
And one more from National Geographic:
For more examples of how marketers use squeeze pages to earn email addresses, check out this blog post.
Normally, prospects click through a paid advertisement with the expectation that they’ll be directed to a landing page on which they can evaluate your offer. That’s not the case with a splash page.
Instead, visitors land on a splash page after being redirected by you, the advertiser, for one of a few different purposes (which you’ll learn in a minute). Here’s an example of a splash page that Forbes often redirects its visitors to when they click on a link to a featured article:
You’ll notice that on this splash page there’s no specific goal. There’s a “quote of the day,” an ad, and then a “continue to article” link in the upper-right corner of the page.
Presumably, Forbes continues to direct people to this intermediary splash page because they earn revenue from those who click the featured ad. Otherwise, to us, it serves no clear purpose — which raises the secondary difference between splash pages and all other landing page types: Their goal isn’t always conversion.
A few goals of a splash page might be:
1. To earn a conversion, like this one from Barack Obama’s campaign team:
2. To make an announcement, like this one:
3. To allow visitors to choose their preference for interacting with your site (language preference, for example):
Whatever the goal of your splash page, it needs the following to accomplish it:
- A good reason for redirecting your visitor. Earning attention is hard enough to do without an intermediary step between your ad and landing page. If you don’t have value to add with your splash page, you shouldn’t be using one.
- A clear route off the page. Unlike other landing pages, a splash page should draw attention to the exit. Look up at the Obama campaign example above and you’ll see a button clearly labeled “Skip Signup. Go To The Website.” At the same time, it doesn’t steal attention from the more boldly colored “Learn More” CTA — the primary goal of the page.
As long as it has a clearly defined purpose that adds value, a splash page can work throughout the funnel and beyond on both first-time prospects and recurring customers.
Lead capture page
Lead capture landing pages are the most versatile and widely used of the five landing page types. These can be used at the top, middle, and bottom of your funnel. Their main distinguishing characteristic from other landing page types is their form, which every lead capture page needs to accomplish its goal: capture leads.
When creating your form, it’s best to consult the best practices listed in chapter 4. The information you request from your prospects will depend on what your sales and marketing teams need to qualify your leads.
Generally, though, top-of-funnel lead capture landing pages ask for less information — strictly what your team needs to begin a lead nurturing initiative, the way this lead capture landing page from Highfive does:
Then, once you have their name and email, longer lead capture forms help you learn more about your lead to determine whether they’re actually interested in your product or service, like this one from Adobe does:
Remember: No matter where your leads are in the marketing funnel, they shouldn’t be frightened by the size of your form. Only request what is absolutely necessary. The fewer fields you feature, the less friction involved in converting, and the more likely visitors are to claim your offer.
For more examples of how marketers use lead capture landing pages to convert their visitors, check out this blog post.
Click-through landing page
Click-through landing pages are most valuable at the bottom of your funnel for warming up your leads to a particularly high-scrutiny offer. They can be used at all stages, but most often they pre-empt pages that feature the most friction-causing element known to marketers: the credit card form.
This landing page type allows visitors to read persuasive information about an offer without being distracted by the terrifying “buy” button. If and when they click through, they’re directed to a page where they can claim the offer via a form.
Here’s a long, persuasive page from Hootsuite that allows visitors to click through if they’re interested in starting a free trial (a bottom-funnel offer):
And here’s the page you’re directed to after clicking through:
Because your click-through landing page is likely to pre-empt a high-friction conversion obstacle, it should be made very carefully with nearly every persuasive element mentioned in chapter 4.
Landing pages that offer free ebooks or tip sheets can get away with skimping on testimonials or authority badges. However, when credit card information and ultimately money is on the line, your visitors will look for any reason to distrust you. It’s your job to make sure they can’t find one.
For more examples of how marketers use click-through landing pages to ease friction and earn high-value conversions, check out this blog post.
Of all landing page types, the sales page is the most difficult to get right; and that’s because it goes after the conversion that’s most valuable to marketers and most intimidating to visitors: the sale.
For that reason, sales pages must include every element covered in chapter 4 with the exception of the form (because most sales pages are click-through landing pages that request payment on the following page). That means they can be monstrous as a result.
This one from AWAI has over 5,000 words on it:
That’s not to say yours should be this long. This particular story is masterfully written by Paul Hollingshead, the Co-Founder of an organization that sells a copywriting course.
Instead, yours may save space by using video to make your most compelling argument, this sales page from Derek Halpern does:
To discover how to most effectively sell your product, review your most profitable sales channels. Find out where the most purchases of your product or services happen and why.
That’s what the team at Conversion Rate Experts did for Moz when they were brought in to optimize a sales page. They watched founder, Rand Fishkin, pitch the product to them face-to-face; and here’s what they found:
In our analysis of Rand’s effective face-to-face presentation, we noticed that he needed at least five minutes to make the case for Moz’s paid product. The existing page was more like a one-minute summary. Once we added the key elements of Rand’s presentation, the page became much longer.
“Much longer” is an understatement. Here’s the difference between the original and optimized page:
That variation outperformed the control by 52%.
Another case study from Conversion Rate Experts proved something similar. A long-form landing page created for heat-mapping software, Crazy Egg, outperformed its shorter original page by 363%:
One of the reasons it performed so well was that this new page featured language that customers used to speak about heat mapping software, not the technical jargon that its creators used to speak about it. It also overcame common buying objections with more content.
The most important thing to remember when creating a sales page is this: Think like your target customer. Or, even better — ask your target customer. Find out the biggest obstacles preventing them from purchasing your product or service, then, adjust your landing page accordingly.
On a sales page, including all the elements in chapter 4 isn’t enough; optimizing them according to best practices isn’t enough (though, it’s not an awful start) either. To create a high-converting sales page, you need to know your target customer intimately.
Every business is different, and so is every business’s target customer. A great sales page designer takes those differences into account.
For more examples of how designers use sales pages to earn the most coveted conversion, check out this blog post.
Creating your landing page
Putting all your newfound knowledge to work can be a hassle. Creating a landing page from scratch isn’t easy. There are wireframes to be built and coding to be done; and the process can routinely drag out for days at a time. There is a way, though, to shorten that process to a matter of minutes.
With Instapage, you can pick from over 200 fully customizable templates proven to convert:
You can add new elements to those templates by dragging and dropping from the top menu bar:
Integrate your page with 20+ popular marketing technologies you already use:
You can even build pages together with your team using the industry’s only collaboration solution:
When you’re done, you can preview your design on both desktop and mobile, then easily publish to a custom domain, CMS, Facebook, or our demo server:
See why we’re the choice of brands like Autopilot, HelloFresh, Heap Analytics, and Wealthfront. Start building professional landing pages faster with Instapage, the most designer-friendly software on the web.