It’s essentially “business 101”: the more leads you generate, the more sales you’ll end up making. Okay, so technically it’s “the more qualified leads you generate, the more sales you’ll make”. But we’ll get into that later.
It’s also a basic truth that only a very small percentage of people who visit your site actually become leads in the first place. The general consensus is that 96% of visitors don’t become leads.
While there are hundreds of reasons a visitor might leave your site without becoming a lead, one of the major contributing factors is the lack of an effective lead capture page. Whether you call them lead capture pages, landing pages, destination pages or simply landers, the truth is that most landing pages are ineffective.
According to data collected by Impact:
More than 20% of companies do not have a strategy to test the effectiveness of their landing pages
About 75% of businesses have trouble optimizing their landing pages for lead conversion
On the other hand, this same collection of data shows companies that doimplement lead capture pages effectively see their efforts pay off handsomely:
- Companies that increase the number of landing pages they use on their site from 10 to 15 see a 55% increase in leads
- Companies with 40 or more lead capture pages generate twelve times as many leads as companies with five or fewer landing pages
Of course, increasing the amount of landing pages in your arsenal will only improve your lead generation if the quality of those pages is high. We’ll get into the fundamentals of how to create an effective lead capture page in a bit. But first, there are a few things to keep in mind when creating your landing pages in order to ensure you go about creating them the right way.
One of the biggest and most common mistakes businesses make when creating lead capture pages is they do so without thinking strategically. In other words, they create landing pages just because they know that having a landing page is important for lead generation.
Before you begin creating your lead capture page(s), you need to consider two questions:
- What is the purpose of your landing page?
- Who is your landing page for?
Okay, obviously, the main purpose of your lead capture page is to capture leads. But all leads are not created equal.
Some leads are just beginning to show interest in your product or service, while others are generally interested in a solution to their problem, but aren’t necessarily sure your company is the one that can help them.
The first type of lead we mentioned might know they have a problem, but not be aware of how bad that problem is. In this case, your landing page might offer a free video or newsletter explaining the benefits your service offers.
The second type of lead might be actively looking for a solution to their problem, but not be sure that your company is right for them. For this lead, you’d want to offer an ebook explaining exactly how your product or service works, or you might provide a case study or success story from a happy customer.
In either case, your landing page serves two purposes:
- On the user’s end, they receive valuable information regarding your company
- On your end, you receive contact information from those who show more than a passing interest in your services
Now, let’s get into how to actually put together an effective lead capture page.
In the following section, we’ll go over the six main things your lead capture page absolutely needs in order to maximize its effectiveness. We’ll also provide some examples of the best lead capture pages around.
The six essential lead capture page features are:
- A headline and subhead
- A “hero shot”
- A data collection form
- A call-to-action
- A list of benefits of your product or service
- A supplemental or secondary call-to-action
Let’s take a look at what you need to include within each of these features to create a landing page that consistently causes your visitors to take action and further engage with your brand.
As with blog posts and email blasts, the headline of your lead capture page is your first (and potentially only) opportunity to grab your visitor’s attention. To make sure this happens, your headline needs to be clear and concise, and needs to quickly explain the benefits your visitor will experience when using your service.
Naturally, the people at Copybloggers know how to write attention-grabbing copy.
Here’s another example from UserTesting.com that includes the use of a subhead:
Here, the subhead clarifies exactly what “usability testing” refers to.
Essentially, your landing page’s heading and subhead should explain your brand’s unique selling proposition immediately. If your visitor has to dig for more than a few seconds to find out what your company’s all about…well…they won’t do it.
A Hero Shot is a visual representation either of your product or service in action, or of the results experienced through using your product or service.
This hero shot, along with the background, definitely supplements the page copy.
You can choose to use either a photograph or a video for your hero shot. In fact, this is one of the main features you might consider A/B testing over time to assess effectiveness.
Whether you use a photo or video for your landing page’s hero shot, it should definitely include actual people. When we say “actual” people, we mean this: no stock photos. Even if the people in your hero photo aren’t really your customers, it’s much better than using a photo your prospective leads have seen elsewhere on the web dozens of times.
On your end of things, the data collection form is the main part of your lead capture page. From your perspective, if a visitor doesn’t fill out the contact form, they may as well never have checked out your site in the first place.
The key thing to remember here is to only ask for pertinent information from your visitors. For one thing, if you ask for too much, you’ll come off as intrusive. For another, if it takes too long to fill out the form, most of your visitors won’t do it.
Microsoft’s Small Business Academy only asks for a few basic piece of info before allowing you to register.
In some cases, all you need is a name and an email address:
Also, be sure to include a private statement with your form, so visitors clearly understand what you will and won’t do with their contact details:
Though it’s a bit wordy, visitors will appreciate the explanation.
Your new visitors have, obviously, never interacted with your company before. They’ll be hesitant to trust you with any of their personal information in the first place. Ease their worries by requiring the minimum amount of information possible, and ensuring them that their data is safe in your hands.
The call-to-action button comes in at a close second in terms of importance to your overall lead capture initiative. What’s the point of the page if your visitors don’t take the action you want them to?
An effective call-to-action button consists of many features. Above all else, your landing page CTA should include:
- Clear “act now” language
- Obvious “clickability”
- Visibility above the fold
Regarding language, it’s essential that you use a phrase that’s specific to the action you want your visitor to take, or the offer you’re providing. For example, if you’re offering a free ebook, your CTA might be “Give me my free ebook!”
Simple and to the point.
On the other hand, do not use the word “submit” in your CTA. Submitting is what wrestlers do when they’re pinned to the mat. Also, make sure your CTA button can be immediately seen, and that it stands out from the rest of the page.
“Browse Icon Library” hits all three of these points dead on.
If your visitors are confused or turned off by your call-to-action, you have little to no shot of them ever becoming leads, let alone paying customers.
To supplement the headline and subhead, your landing page should also include some of the main benefits of your product or service. To be clear, features are characteristics of your product (“1TB hard drive”), and a benefit is what the feature means to the customer (“Store more music and video files than ever before”).
When listing benefits, remember to keep in mind what we talked about earlier: your individual customers will be looking to get different things out of using your services. In other words, what one visitor might think of as a life-changing benefit, another might look at and say “So what?”
The features tell you what you’ll be able to do with the product or service.
Going back to the intro, this is why businesses with many different landing pages – each focusing on different customer personas – do so well in terms of lead generation. One last thing – when writing out your benefits, be sure to put them in a bulleted list. Your prospective leads aren’t going to want to wade through long-winded paragraphs to learn about what your company can do for them.
A little heavy on the copy, but the benefits are clear.
Your lead capture page should also include a secondary call-to-action button, as well. But, rather than simply soliciting the same action as your main CTA, your supplemental CTA should provide another option for your more hesitant visitors.
Generally, the secondary call-to-action will relate to your social media pages. Though some individuals might not be sure if they want to receive your newsletter or ebook, they might be comfortable with “liking” your Facebook page or following your Twitter feed.
As this secondary call-to-action is, well, secondary, it doesn’t need to be as immediately visible as the primary CTA button. If it doesn’t fit above the fold, that’s fine. Don’t omit it just because your visitors would need to scroll to see it.
This secondary CTA can also be implemented after an individual has provided their email address. Since they’ve already engaged with your company, you can be almost positive they’ll want to follow your social media pages; but if you don’t make the ask, they probably won’t go out of their way to do so.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, generating high quality leads is hard to do. The vast majority of visitors to your site won’t end up taking another step toward engaging with your brand. But by putting the proper time and energy into creating a lead capture page that attracts and engages your visitors, you can maximize your chances of finding new customers – and do so with minimal ongoing effort.