In my last post, I talked about the importance of a landing page designed to turn visitors into leads. This post describes how to create the landing page and tie it into an email marketing system for the collection of these leads.
I’m sure you know that there are several email marketing vendors on the market. Constant Contact is probably one of the older ones while AWeber is a more recent entry in the market. Mail Chimp has a free offering that has all the functions that you need and is an excellent way to get started. I will use Mail Chimp in this post to describe the process of creating landing pages.
Turn Visitors into Leads
The landing page is designed to persuade your visitor to join your mailing list. It is a page unto itself; it has no menu. The only options that your reader has is to sign up for the mailing list or exit your site. Since he’s come to your site and had enough interest to arrive at your landing page, he often will give you his name and email address. Don’t ask for too much. Just ask for his first name, last name, and his email address. You want a first and last name so that you can address him informally or address him more formally. And you must assure him you will maintain his privacy and not distribute this information to others.
There are several ways in which someone arrives at your landing page. One way is to come from one of your social media sites. You might have a Facebook post that advertises your giveaway. The giveaway might be an e-book, white paper or some other attractive but inexpensive item. Your visitor follows a call-to-action link in your post that brings him to your landing page.
Your visitor might come from another page on your website. Maybe he’s at the homepage and sees the offer, or perhaps he’s reading one of your blog posts and sees the offer. If he is on an internal page, your call-to-action must attract his attention and get him to come to the landing page. I like to put the call-to-action at the top of a sidebar. Like any call-to-action, it should be attention-getting and invoke the visitor’s curiosity.
See the eBook at the top of my sidebar. If you click on the eBook it will walk you through the sign-up process.
There’s No Escaping a Landing Page
When he arrives, do not let him escape! You must convince him of the value of your offer and the reasons to join your mail list. Use your most effective sales language and get his name and email address.
There are companies whose primary mission is to create attractive landing pages that you can embed on your website and customize to meet your needs. If you have excellent graphic skills or access to someone that has, you may design it yourself. A final alternative is the email marketing companies (like the ones mentioned above) who offer the ability to develop a landing page on their website and then transfer it to your website. Many also have a WordPress plugin that creates then lets you embed the landing page on your site. This plugin also handles the transfer of the reader’s name and email address to your list on Mail Chimps’ website.
Most companies that are in business to produce landing pages offer a greater variety. And why not, that’s their business? Constant Contact and Mail Chimp also have a variety of templates that you can use to create your landing page. Or you may decide to do it yourself.
I have been working with Mail Chimp and another company, Mail Munch, who have plug-ins that can go into a WordPress site. The templates are intended to go into a sidebar of your page; the infamous pop-up landing page or some that come up after you read through a certain percentage of the page. I have been using one that merely is embedded in a page to itself.
Use the Double Opt-In Process
The landing page that I’m using kicks off a double opt-in Mail Chip process. I like the capability of their WordPress plug-in. It is easy to set up and easy to modify to fit your requirements. And it has the double opt-in process included.
As you begin the landing page design, you must first tie it to one of the email lists that you’ve established on Mail Chimp. When someone joins your mailing list through the landing page, the plugin will automatically update the correct database on Mail Chimp. (You may have several lists that you mail to.)
If you recall, with the double opt-in process a visitor decides to join your mail list, hits submit, and her name is tentatively added to your list on Mail Chimp. That triggers the confirmation email that goes out to your reader. This confirmation message is in a standard format and cannot be changed on Mail Chimp. When your reader receives the email, she elects to join your list and confirms it which removes the tentative part of her addition to your mail list. Her confirmation triggers a welcome email that can be tailored. You will add a link to your welcome email which your reader can use to download her gift. As I discussed last time, this double opt in-process assures you that the email is valid and given by the reader.
The only thing bad about Mail Chimp is you can tailor the landing page and the welcome email but not the confirmation email.
The other email marketing vendors have similar capabilities. If you are using one of them but not using their landing page, I urge you to try it.