Landing Pages for Every Campaign
Message Match – why you need landing pages for every campaign
Marketing best practices for your B2B or B2C business has seen many dramatics shifts in the past few years, with the advent of the web, with the proliferation Google’s AdWords product, with blogging and social media, email marketing and more. As new channels continue to develop at increasingly rapid rates (you do have your Vine strategy together, right?), it is helpful to periodically review marketing fundamentals to ensure that campaigns are following time tested rules that ensure success. Message match – the practice of making sure your follow up to a campaign is in sync with the campaign that generated the interest, is rapidly being accepted as a fundamental in the online world. Boingnet believes that the once clear lines between online and offline campaigns have disappeared, and that if marketers aren’t using dedicated, campaign specific landing pages for every campaign, online and offline, they are squandering opportunities to connect and generate leads and sales. Today’s reality is that your customers hear from you, in any kind of campaign online or offline, they will grab their nearest device (phone, tablet or computer) and go online to try to learn more. If you don’t direct them to a specific, campaign focused URL and landing experience, they will end up either at Google (giving your competitors a shot at enticing them to click) or at your home page. As you will see, relying on your home page to match your campaign message is really hard and ultimately loses many opportunities to sell and engage.
The Home Page Habit
Marketers spend a lot of money on their campaigns. With an estimated $170 billion dollars spent in the US alone in 2013 on paid media campaigns, organizations of all sizes & shapes are devoting massive resources to increasing awareness of their brands and trying to convince consumers to buy from them. What do consumers do when presented with an ad or a message? Unless directed elsewhere, they’ll punch up the home page (or worse, run to Google). That might be a great thing if the goal is to increase web metrics like new visits, unique visitors, page views, mobile visits and other generic measurements. If the goal is to engage, sell or generate new leads with the ability to track the specific campaign that the traffic came from, the home page doesn’t cut it.
The financial services behemoth that owns the below home page spends huge dollars on various promotions through just about every channel that you can imagine; TV, print, radio, email, direct mail and more. They provide a great illustration that shows the problems with relying on the home page as a response mechanism, as well as how smart marketers (whom they clearly have many of) work around these issues. Take a look at the home page below and make a list of the competing products, programs and messages that you see:
The home page presents a ton of information. A quick scan comes up with 19 different products, promotions or messages that are competing for your attention. While that is a lot, we’d venture to guess that for a company of this size, trimming the list to 19 was a painful exercise that left several VP’s of Very Important Divisions fuming and plotting political revenge. While these VP’s are off planning their next moves, the marketing team is busy putting together the following ad that ran in the Super Bowl, with a probable cost of production and execution over $1 million:
Can you see the problem? Despite offering 19 different places on the home page to connect with consumers, there is no mention of the Quicksilver card. So, picture a guy, sitting at home, watching the Super Bowl, and he sees the commercial. He says to himself “Hey, Samuel L is a cool dude, and I need a new credit card” so he hops on his iPad and types in capitalone.com. After spending a robust 3 seconds scanning the page and not seeing anything related to the commercial he watched (and they spent over $1 million running), he is off, distracted by Puppy Love and Beer, or perhaps a truck commercial (truck makers don’t target guys watching football, do they?).
Message Match – A key to Landing Page success
The home page is a wonderful portal to many things, and rightly has huge time and effort put into it to ensure it accomplishes its many tasks. What the above example points out is that it just can’t keep up with marketing. Marketing campaigns come and go quickly – they are, by definition, limited time efforts. Home pages really struggle with message match – the ability of a marketing effort (in this case, web page) to line up with the messaging that originated the viewing of the page. Marketers have learned that by building landing pages and microsites with the sole purpose of acknowledging and building upon the messaging that prompted the consumer to act, conversion rates skyrocket.
The online marketers at our financial services friend get this, as you can see in the below two pages that come from a Google Search for “Credit Cards”
Organic Search “Credit Cards” PPC Result “Credit Cards”
There is nothing about Bonus Miles for house loans, nothing about car loans, banking, log ins or anything else to distract the viewers of these pages. These pages were developed specifically for people who search for “Credit Cards” and who clicked on creative in a paid ad or on a page designed to come up in organic search results. They’ve been developed to walk people through their options in getting a new card with simple, clear calls to action. Contrast this with the couch surfer during the Super Bowl. He was intrigued by Samuel L. Jackson and the pitch for the new card. The ad didn’t give him explicit instructions on where to go online to learn more, so he did what everyone does – type in “www.brandname.com” and got lost in the haze of the corporate home page. As a result, the company spent a million on the commercial, saw a huge swing in “unique visits” on the home page from couch surfers world wide, and converted at a very low rate. For some, unique visits on the home page equate with success. We think marketers can do better, even for offline campaigns.
Landing Pages for Offline Campaigns
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker
Sophisticated online marketers like those at the credit card giant understand the value of creating landing pages with content that matches the messages that drove the view. Slowly, this tactic is spreading (not as fast as it should, a topic for another post) for campaigns focused on Search Engine Marketing, Display/Banner ads, Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Marketers running these campaigns (often specialists in agencies or marketing departments) have learned through trial, error and testing that landing pages that are optimized around the message and goals of the campaign convert at rates up to 50% higher or more than home pages, not to mention the reams data about what is working and why they need more budget that they present to their clients, to their CMO’s/CFO’s/CEO’s who just want to see the numbers. Because the landing pages are built to measure every visit, click and conversion and the results are tied back to specific campaigns, the ROI for these campaigns are easy to quantify. There is no reason why offline campaigns and email campaigns can’t or shouldn’t build landing pages that accomplish the same things, and even more.
Lets go back to our Super Bowl ad. Rather than relying on couch surfers to navigate through the home page morass to find the Quicksilver page, the ad could have concluded with Samuel L snarling “Get your but over to capitalone.com/quicksilver now to claim your cashback!” and a big URL highlighted next to him directing everyone paying attention to exactly where they need to go to sign up. Integrating a call to action in an offline ad and tying the URL to dedicated landing page can be a simple, effective way to drive higher conversion and better measurement in all sorts of campaigns (Not to mention the additional views that exist for TV ads that live on via YouTube, social media campaigns, etc), including:
- TV and Radio ads
- Print ads in magazines & newspapers
- Outdoor ads on billboards
- Direct Mail
Speaking of Direct Mail….
Some direct mailers have already figured this out, using pURL’s and QR Codes
Savvy direct mail marketers have been using online response landing pages as a tool to convert and measure campaign results for several years. Marketing software like Boingnet has been powering personalized URL’s and personalized QR Codes that are printed on post cards, letters and sophisticated direct mail pieces, using variable print technology to create custom printed pieces for each member of a mailing list. Tied together with mobile friendly landing pages, pURL marketing techniques have been driving conversion rates on direct mail up to 300% higher than campaigns that aren’t personalized. The above piece tells Jodi to log onto a specific URL to get her birthday coupons. Do you think Jodi will be punching up Google or the DQ home page? Probably not. The landing page designed for this campaign captured Jodi’s email address before bringing her to the coupon page, giving the marketers a new way to get in touch.
Boingnet v2 – landing pages for every campaign – online, offline and email
Part of our vision is to make it easy, affordable and a no brainer to build landing pages for every type of campaign imaginable. Boingnet v2 gives marketers all the tools they need to quickly develop landing pages to be deployed across a wide variety of campaigns, to make campaign specific landing pages and message match a reality, regardless of the channel. Responsive, mobile friendly template editor, easy to use form creation, flexible URL deployment, multi-page microsites, powerful personalization tools and detailed analytics and tracking work together to support campaigns of all types. Join our SMB, brand and agency partners who are pushing the envelope and developing landing pages for every type of marketing campaign. Contact us to brainstorm on how you can develop lead generation or personalized landing pages for every campaign you run.