After the Click: Give Your Landing Pages Some Love

Sometimes, our discussions about optimizing email campaigns can make it seem like our subscribers' shopping process is all about the email. In reality, having an awesome, engaging email program only takes us so far -- if our landing pages don't do just as much work to woo subscribers, we'll lose them. Subscribers often abandon landing pages within three seconds. Would they abandon yours? Below are some rules of thumb to help you create landing pages that make your emails proud.

  • Give subscribers what they expected.
    Your subscribers clicked on a link to your landing page because you promised them something. If you don't deliver on the promise right away, they might not stick around. Your landing page content should synch up with the expectations created by your email CTA, and creative elements do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. The design, imagery and headline that you use on your landing page should pick up on and expand the message that you conveyed in your email, offering the next step in the story.

    For example, this Apple landing page uses the same chalkboard and back-to-school imagery that is used in the email. The creatives look different enough to show subscribers that they are being moved along in the shopping process, but familiar elements confirm that they've been taken where they wanted to go. CB2 does something unusual with its landing page including a smaller version of the email image alongside links to the items pictured, so that a subscriber who saw something they liked in the email can get their hands on it right away.
  • Meet subscribers where they are.
    Part of creating a smooth, seamless email-to-landing page transition is giving careful consideration to where your subscribers are in the purchasing process when they arrive at your landing page. Do they need more information about a complex service? Has your email given them so much info about a gorgeous fall jacket that they're ready to buy it now? Are they excited about your Labor Day sale and ready to see the product categories? This Virgin America landing page is a great example of a brand that understands the mindset of its subscribers post-click. The landing page offers more info about the new Orlando flights advertised in the email but doesn't drive a hard sell. Because Virgin America includes a simple flight booking form on the right, subscribers have a logical place to go after absorbing the information, but they don't feel overwhelmed or rushed into planning their next trip.
  • Make the next steps clear.
    Whether your landing page is the subscribers' last stop or just one more launching point to other parts of your site, make sure subscribers know where to click and what to do. Use a bold button CTA and keep the language clear and actionable so that there's no confusion over where it will take subscribers. When offering choices, keep them as simple as possible -- too many choices can result in no choice being made, especially if subscribers don't have enough info to make their decision comfortably. In its landing page, Vimeo conveys the benefits of their two subscription category options in a way that is clear, easy to scan and fun to read.

    Similarly, if your landing page includes forms, consider what you really need from your subscribers at this particular point. For instance, you may need their address, but maybe you don't need it quite yet. The simpler you keep your forms, the less likely that subscribers will abandon mid-process.
  • Keep your creative clean and simple.
    Finally, make sure you devote just as much time and care to designing wow-worthy landing pages as you do to designing your emails. While you'll likely deliver more info (including more copy and images) on landing pages than in emails, keep the landing page pleasant and easy to read with bullet points, icons and bold headers to lead your subscribers' eyes. Cluttered layouts will frustrate your subscribers -- white space if your friend when it comes to landing page info-delivery. While this Backcountry landing page is packed with product categories, their use of top brand logos above the grid and of recognizable product icons alongside category names maintain a scannable feel that directs subscribers to their items of interest.
Think of your email links as items on a restaurant menu -- are you dishing up what your subscribers ordered? Are you wowing them with something even more delicious than they expected? Use the thinking points above as a checklist to ensure that your landing pages deliver clear, helpful and seamless experiences to your subscribers, so that you keep them happy and keep them clicking.



Please share any other tried and true landing page tips below!

Big thanks to Senior Designer Rocky Thomas, who lent his landing page expertise to this article.

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