I work for Datacap, an independent software company in the document capture area of the larger ECM market. Our marketing team works on coming up with clever and innovative strategies to get the word out about our product and its functionality. We don’t have a lot of guidelines on how to get the most out of our web site and our virtual interactions with customers and prospects. I know what marketing works to get me to replace my iPhone or pick up a ZipCar in New York, but I have never had to purchase a medical claims document capture system or an invoice automation solution. What techniques work best to help people making those decisions connect with Datacap?
Landing pages convert traffic
A well-tuned landing page is an important step in converting web traffic to opportunities. A b2b landing page presents a definitive offer to an information-seeking party. This person can arrive from any number of places, such as a search ad, blog post, or marketing email.
A typical b2c landing page
B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing generally tries to sell something to the potential customer immediately. Mint.com did this very effectively.
How b2b marketing is different
The difference for b2b marketing is that sales cycles can be anywhere from 6 months to a year and up. Therefore, the purpose of the landing page is fundamentally different. My rule of thumb for b2b landing page optimization is your business wants to present its most compelling narrow-band offer to the searcher. That means choose one message to present about your product and service and hammer home its benefits.
The purpose of a b2b landing page is simply to collect some contact information from the searcher in exchange for some relevant information that they are searching for. For example, see this Marketo landing page.
It is very clear what Marketo is offering (a b2b landing page guidebook – what a coincidence!) and what they want for it (your contact info).
In comparison, see this landing page from SiteSpect. While it has the same basic elements, the design is a fair bit “nosier” and it isn’t immediately clear what the company is offering.
Datacap’s landing page evolution
Datacap began to build a landing page to capture conversions from our email marketing and PPC campaigns. Here’s where we started from:
We were trying to follow some basic landing page principles.
1) Make a clear offer
2) Have an explanatory image
3) Bullet points with key benefits
4) Minimal amount of copy explaining offer
5) Non-scary amount of fields to fill out
We did converted a much lower percentage of visitors than we hoped for with this landing page. Conversion means taking a searcher that lands on the page and having them complete the form and click the Call To Action button.
We went back to the drawing board and revised our page.
1) We reduced the amount of copy on the page and tightened up the language.
2) We changed the image and added the quote nearby.
3) We reduced the number of fields to be filled out.
This version of the landing page performed better and we started getting a few conversions. But we wanted to do better!
Click-through and conversion rate is king!
This time we aimed for that soft and friendly Web 2.0 feel. The major principle at this point in the development of the landing page was to make it easy to click-through. The searcher should feel like it isn’t a big deal to get the information they are looking for.
Our final page that went live followed this basic format with a few tweaks to the copy. Also, the keyword that is triggered by the Google search will appear in the header.
We are going to let it run for a bit and see if we can improve our conversion rate. Report to follow in a week or two.