As ion interactive's online marketing manager, Megan Leap manages webinar, social media, search and email campaigns. She has extensive experience in conversion rate optimization and social media marketing, and when not championing high-ROI online marketing strategies, can be found running marathons across the U.S. She is also a frequent contributor to the Post-Click Marketing Blog. Follow Megan on Twitter: @MeganLeap.
What’s it like for an online marketer who’s marketing LiveBall, an online marketing software product, to other online marketers?
Marketing to marketers is a lot of fun. If I worked somewhere else, I would be our target audience. Plus, I use our software product every day in my job, so I know it inside and out. That gives me a unique perspective. Our audience knows marketing, we sell marketing software, so our marketing has to be top-notch. It definitely keeps me on my toes!
Given Ion Interactive's expertise in landing page management, can you provide a list of key ingredients for an effective landing page, and explain why these elements would lead to post-click marketing success?
The most important element of successful landing pages is to think innovation, not iteration. So when you create new pages, don't get caught up in the weeds of headline colors, typefaces, button locations, etc. Those are factors, to be sure, but the most successful landing page programs start with a very macro-level strategy. Test a landing page against a conversion path. Test your overall messaging. Test your design. Then, once you find a champion, start refining the smaller elements within your champion.
On the flipside, what are some of the mistakes marketers make with poorly optimized landing pages that are lead generation killers?
The biggest mistake I see every day is complacency. Believe it or not, there are still marketers out there who are sending paid traffic to deep links within their site or poorly optimized pages. They're okay with it. And their conversion rates are disastrous. Aside from that, the most common mistake I see is product- and feature-driven copy, not benefit-driven copy.
Ion Interactive is heading an innovative approach to landing page design: incorporating social networking on landing pages through social widgets. Can you explain how turning a landing page into a peer-to-peer networking platform would benefit a company?
When you create targeted, long-tail pages, you can be pretty sure that your visitors have shared interests. By incorporating social networking features, you can allow your visitors to not only connect with each other, but engage with you. It boosts engagement and builds brand champions.
What are your favorite landing page and conversion rate optimization (CRO) resources (blogs, books, etc.)?
The post-click marketing blog and Honest Seduction, of course!
But really, aside from Ion's own blog and book, I follow the new Conversion Science column on Search Engine Land, and Bryan Eisenberg, Brian Massey, and Tim Ash's columns on ClickZ. WiderFunnel has a great optimization blog, and Search Mojo posts great insights about landing pages and post-click marketing.
Do you think there’s a channel where landing page management and optimization is particularly important? For instance, is it a bigger factor in PPC, and maybe less pronounced in display?
I really think it's equally important to send visitors to optimized pages whether it's PPC, organic, or display traffic. Every click is potential revenue, and if it's not converting, your business is losing out.
You guys have a lot of great stuff about leveraging a landing page “experience” rather than a single page. When do you think it makes sense to use a single page? How do you determine when you need to offer options and segment?
It really depends on the stream of traffic that you're sending to your pages and how much you know about them. For instance, in PPC, you don't know always know much about your traffic. Sure, you know the keyword that they typed in, but you don't know they're their specific audience segment or what exactly they're looking for. Are they looking for a white paper? A demo? Are they from a small business or enterprise? Post-click segmentation allows you to gain valuable data, but more importantly, deliver more relevant experiences.
For traffic that you are familiar with and know something about, such as traffic from email or drip campaigns, I think it makes sense to use a single landing page.
At the end of the day, you really won't know what works until you test it. We usually find that using post-click segmentation converts higher than a single page, but once in a while a single page wins.
(Read Also: Measure Social Media ROI)