“Oh, the humanity …”
The folks at SilverPop recently published a study, “Eight Seconds to Capture Attention: Silverpop’s Landing Page Report”, where it reviewed the email campaigns of 150 top online companies. Long and short? They discovered that email campaigns that opened with promise and decent click through ratios generally died on the vine with ill-conceived, poorly designed or just plain, lazy-ass landing pages. Bored, confused prospects quickly took their conversion clicks — and wallets — elsewhere.
Even the “big boys” with the deep pockets still fail to think about their email/landing page campaign as a whole project. So what happens is that all the care and craft is lavished on the email part, while the landing page — if used at all — gets “ugly sister” attention.
Silverpop examined 14 different elements in their study:
- Use of readable URLs
KEY FINDING: B2C companies were more likely to use readable URLs than B2B firms.
This is probably less important in a PPC campaign, but for email I can see where a readable, memorable URL makes good sense.
- Repetition of email promotional copy
KEY FINDING: Nearly 50% of the landing pages studies failed to repeat the email’s call-to-action.
- Primary conversion goals
KEY FINDING: 6 out of 10 companies use landing pages to sell products/services, other goals include lead generation, branding, and education (educate target audiences, support product usage.)
- Location of the landing page
KEY FINDING: 17% of e-mail marketing campaigns — mostly B2C — dumped recipients at the company’s website home page as opposed to a unique campaign landing page.
- Whether the look of the page matches the email and/or website
KEY FINDING: 35% of landing pages failed to match the look, feel and tone of the original email.
- Landing page design
KEY FINDING: Only 36% of the landing pages used the recommended one-column format, 25% of the pages used 2-column formatting.
- Placement of the primary call-to-action
KEY FINDING: 9 of out 10 landing pages had the main call-to-action above the fold. But of those pages that had copy continuing past the natural fold, only 11% had additional calls-to-action adjacent to the below-the-fold copy.
I’ll review the remaining 7 elements in soon-to-come Part II. Here’s a sneak preview:
- Inclusion of navigation bars
- Use of forms
- Copy length and need for scrolling
- Use of subheads within the copy
- Types and numbers of links
- Inclusion of hero shots and animation
- Email opt-in requests
More surprising and illuminating KEY FINDINGS to come. Keep in mind that many of these issues will also apply when driving traffic to a landing page from a blog post or a feed reader.
Stay tuned for Part II (and more details about Maven’s Landing Page Makeover Clinic, coming to your feed reader very soon!)