You can’t nurture what you don’t convert.
According to a survey by BtoB Magazine, 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. However, more than 60% of B2B marketers report that their greatest marketing challenge for 2012 was generating more leads. To efficiently boost revenue in 2013, focus on generating more leads by improving your landing pages.
1. Focus on Benefits, Not Features
I’ve created and tested many B2B landing pages—and I can you the absolute #1 most important element of your landing page is the message. Your headline and body copy must be clear, not clever, and focus on benefits, not features. I know you love your product (hey, I do too!), but strip your page of copy that focuses on features or company jargon. Instead, use the jargon that your target audience uses, and speak directly to them.
In this landing page example below, the headline and copy focus on clear and obvious benefits, and the page converts at over 60%.
The benefit-focused message of this page is clearly presented in the header, headline, and throughout the copy.
2. Match the Message of Your Ad to the Message of Your Landing Pages
Ensure that the message on your landing page clearly matches the message of the ad or offer that got the visitor to click. The more tightly aligned they are, the higher your conversion rate will be. If you’re managing a large scale or more sophisticated digital program, this means creating tens, if not hundreds, of unique landing pages.
3. Reduce Required Form Fields
After just 1 click, visitors are just not that into you (yet). Require the least amount of fields possible, and built a relationship with them over time through lead nurturing.
The less form fields you require on your landing pages, the higher your conversion rate will be. Lengthy forms with too many fields (example: state, revenue, industry) require visitors to reveal sensitive information about themselves before you’ve gained their trust and built a relationship with them. In addition, these fields take up valuable real estate on your landing page, and overwhelm visitors who just aren’t that into you (yet).
If the objective of you landing page is to generate leads for lead nurturing, I recommend only collecting first name, last name, and email address. This allows you to cast the widest net possible, and nurture cold leads to hot with a targeted lead nurturing program. In addition, you can begin to gather more information on your leads over time with progressive profiling.
Now, if your sales team or other members of the marketing team are hesitant to remove other fields, propose to A/B test the page. Once you can demonstrate the significant increase in lead quantity (and maybe even quality, because your best leads may be hesitant to share information), they’ll agree to collecting less information initially.
In this example below, I clicked on an ad after searching for “landing page testing tips”, and was taken to the below page that offers a white paper. There is a tremendous opportunity for the advertiser to generate a higher quantity of leads and increase revenue by reducing the number of required form fields and THEN nurturing those leads over time with a lead management program.
This lead generation landing page would convert significantly better if it only required 3-5 fields, instead of 12.
4. Keep Your Design Simple
As I explained above, the most important element of your landing page is an effective message with a clear and obvious value proposition for the user. It’s important that the design of your page supports, and not detracts, from that message. For B2B lead generation, I’ve found that simple, well-branded pages with strong call-to-action, short form, and image that represents the offer (ex: white paper cover) work well.
5. A/B Test Your Landing Pages
Now that you’ve got the message down, the best way to see a continuous improvement in your conversion rate and lead quantity is to A/B test your landing pages. If you’re not testing your pages already, it’s always best to begin by testing the element that you think will have the biggest influence on conversions.
My favorite elements to test and constantly improve are:
- The headline: David Ogilvy once said, “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” In my experience, simply testing your headline can result in a conversion increase of 100%.
- The call-to-action: Along with the overall message, your call-to-action is critical to the success of your landing page. The more specific the call-to-action, the better. Clearly state the intended goal of the page, and guide the visitor to complete the action that you want them to do.
- Design: Your design should enhance the message and support the goal of your page, not detract from it. A pretty page with a lousy message is far less effective than a boring page with a great message. But the real gold is when you combine a great message with an effective design. And the best way to find out which design supports your goal best is through testing. Start with high-contrast A/B tests, find champions, and go from there.
In the B2B landing page test below from ion interactive, A/B testing the design and adding an image of the white paper resulted in an increase of lead capture conversions of 17%, helping to save the advertiser over $100,000 per year and increase their ROI by 291% (including services costs).
Version A won and resulted in $100,000 in savings.
If this advertiser was able to save $100,000 by running a simple A/B test, just imagine what YOU can achieve by allocating more time and effort to improving your landing pages. Exciting, right?