It’s essentially “business 101”: the more leads you generate, the more sales you’ll end up making. Okay, so technically it’s “the more qualified leads you generate, the more sales you’ll make”. But we’ll get into that later.
It’s also a basic truth that only a very small percentage of people who visit your site actually become leads in the first place. The general consensus is that 96% of visitors don’t become leads.
While there are hundreds of reasons a visitor might leave your site without becoming a lead, one of the major contributing factors is the lack of an effective lead capture page. Whether you call them lead capture pages, landing pages, destination pages or simply landers, the truth is that most landing pages are ineffective.
According to data collected by Impact:
- More than 20% of companies do not have a strategy to test the effectiveness of their landing pages
- About 75% of businesses have trouble optimizing their landing pages for lead conversion
On the other hand, this same collection of data shows companies that do implement lead capture pages effectively see their efforts pay off handsomely:
- Companies that increase the number of landing pages they use on their site from 10 to 15 see a 55% increase in leads
- Companies with 40 or more lead capture pages generate twelve times as many leads as companies with five or fewer landing pages
Of course, increasing the amount of landing pages in your arsenal will only improve your lead generation if the quality of those pages is high. We’ll get into the fundamentals of how to create an effective lead capture page in a bit. But first, there are a few things to keep in mind when creating your landing pages in order to ensure you go about creating them the right way.
Considerations Before Creating Lead Capture Pages
One of the biggest and most common mistakes businesses make when creating lead capture pages is they do so without thinking strategically. In other words, they create landing pages just because they know that having a landing page is important for lead generation.
Before you begin creating your lead capture page(s), you need to consider two questions:
- What is the purpose of your landing page?
- Who is your landing page for?
Okay, obviously, the main purpose of your lead capture page is to capture leads. But all leads are not created equal.
Some leads are just beginning to show interest in your product or service, while others are generally interested in a solution to their problem, but aren’t necessarily sure your company is the one that can help them.
The first type of lead we mentioned might know they have a problem, but not be aware of how bad that problem is. In this case, your landing page might offer a free video or newsletter explaining the benefits your service offers.
The second type of lead might be actively looking for a solution to their problem, but not be sure that your company is right for them. For this lead, you’d want to offer an ebook explaining exactly how your product or service works, or you might provide a case study or success story from a happy customer.
In either case, your landing page serves two purposes:
- On the user’s end, they receive valuable information regarding your company
- On your end, you receive contact information from those who show more than a passing interest in your services
Now, let’s get into how to actually put together an effective lead capture page.
Six Essential Features of an Effective Lead Capture Page
In the following section, we’ll go over the six main things your lead capture page absolutely needs in order to maximize its effectiveness. We’ll also provide some examples of the best lead capture pages around.
The six essential lead capture page features are:
- A headline and subhead
- A “hero shot”
- A data collection form
- A call-to-action
- A list of benefits of your product or service
- A supplemental or secondary call-to-action
Let’s take a look at what you need to include within each of these features to create a landing page that consistently causes your visitors to take action and further engage with your brand.
Headlines and Subheads
As with blog posts and email blasts, the headline of your lead capture page is your first (and potentially only) opportunity to grab your visitor’s attention. To make sure this happens, your headline needs to be clear and concise, and needs to quickly explain the benefits your visitor will experience when using your service.
Here’s another example from UserTesting.com that includes the use of a subhead:
Essentially, your landing page’s heading and subhead should explain your brand’s unique selling proposition immediately. If your visitor has to dig for more than a few seconds to find out what your company’s all about…well…they won’t do it.
The Hero Shot
A Hero Shot is a visual representation either of your product or service in action, or of the results experienced through using your product or service.
You can choose to use either a photograph or a video for your hero shot. In fact, this is one of the main features you might consider A/B testing over time to assess effectiveness. For an example of a hero shot video, check out Memoir’s main page.
Whether you use a photo or video for your landing page’s hero shot, it should definitely include actual people. When we say “actual” people, we mean this: no stock photos. Even if the people in your hero photo aren’t really your customers, it’s much better than using a photo your prospective leads have seen elsewhere on the web dozens of times.
Data Collection Form
On your end of things, the data collection form is the main part of your lead capture page. From your perspective, if a visitor doesn’t fill out the contact form, they may as well never have checked out your site in the first place.
The key thing to remember here is to only ask for pertinent information from your visitors. For one thing, if you ask for too much, you’ll come off as intrusive. For another, if it takes too long to fill out the form, most of your visitors won’t do it.
In some cases, all you need is a name and an email address:
Also, be sure to include a private statement with your form, so visitors clearly understand what you will and won’t do with their contact details:
Your new visitors have, obviously, never interacted with your company before. They’ll be hesitant to trust you with any of their personal information in the first place. Ease their worries by requiring the minimum amount of information possible, and ensuring them that their data is safe in your hands.
The call-to-action button comes in at a close second in terms of importance to your overall lead capture initiative. What’s the point of the page if your visitors don’t take the action you want them to?
An effective call-to-action button consists of many features. Above all else, your landing page CTA should include:
- Clear “act now” language
- Obvious “clickability”
- Visibility above the fold
Regarding language, it’s essential that you use a phrase that’s specific to the action you want your visitor to take, or the offer you’re providing. For example, if you’re offering a free ebook, your CTA might be “Give me my free ebook!”
On the other hand, do not use the word “submit” in your CTA. Submitting is what wrestlers do when they’re pinned to the mat. Also, make sure your CTA button can be immediately seen, and that it stands out from the rest of the page.
If your visitors are confused or turned off by your call-to-action, you have little to no shot of them ever becoming leads, let alone paying customers.
The Benefits of Your Product or Service
To supplement the headline and subhead, your landing page should also include some of the main benefits of your product or service. To be clear, features are characteristics of your product (“1TB hard drive”), and a benefit is what the feature means to the customer (“Store more music and video files than ever before”).
When listing benefits, remember to keep in mind what we talked about earlier: your individual customers will be looking to get different things out of using your services. In other words, what one visitor might think of as a life-changing benefit, another might look at and say “So what?”
Going back to the intro, this is why businesses with many different landing pages – each focusing on different customer personas – do so well in terms of lead generation. One last thing – when writing out your benefits, be sure to put them in a bulleted list. Your prospective leads aren’t going to want to wade through long-winded paragraphs to learn about what your company can do for them.
Your lead capture page should also include a secondary call-to-action button, as well. But, rather than simply soliciting the same action as your main CTA, your supplemental CTA should provide another option for your more hesitant visitors.
Generally, the secondary call-to-action will relate to your social media pages. Though some individuals might not be sure if they want to receive your newsletter or ebook, they might be comfortable with “liking” your Facebook page or following your Twitter feed.
As this secondary call-to-action is, well, secondary, it doesn’t need to be as immediately visible as the primary CTA button. If it doesn’t fit above the fold, that’s fine. Don’t omit it just because your visitors would need to scroll to see it.
This secondary CTA can also be implemented after an individual has provided their email address. Since they’ve already engaged with your company, you can be almost positive they’ll want to follow your social media pages; but if you don’t make the ask, they probably won’t go out of their way to do so.
Lead Capture Tools to Incorporate Into Your Campaigns
Now that you understand how important landing pages are to your lead-generation initiatives, and you know the best practices for creating them, let’s talk about some of the tools you can use in conjunction with your landing pages to ensure your campaigns run as efficiently as possible.
Earlier in this article, we alluded to the fact that the best kind of lead is a qualified lead. LeadFormly is a lead-capture form tool that focuses heavily on finding these qualified leads, and getting them to engage with your company – and eventually convert into paying customers.
When using LeadFormly, you’ll begin by choosing from a selection of templates, all of which were created by conversion rate optimization experts. You’ll then be able to build and customize your form based on your preferences (such as the information you’d like your visitors to provide).
Once your form is set up, you can integrate LeadFormly with your CRM (it supports hundreds of them), so you can begin collecting and managing leads immediately. You’ll also be able to monitor the performance of your forms, allowing you to test and tweak your landing page as necessary.
LeadFormly also automatically segments your leads, allowing you to generate more and more information about your potential customers characteristics and habits.
Hubspot Marketing Free
Hubspot Marketing Free lets you gather valuable information about the people who provide their email address through your lead capture page, allowing you to get a head start on marketing specifically to them.
Marketing Free uncovers the pages your visitors were on before they engaged with your leading page, and after they sign up for your offer. This will help you determine how your visitors are finding out about your page, as well as what your page causes them to do next.
Marketing Free doesn’t need to be installed; it simply integrates with your current forms and CRM tools.
Active Campaign also collects valuable information about your new leads based on what they’ve been checking out on your site.
It then uses this information to send personalized, automated emails, chat messages, and text messages to individuals based on their needs. Using Active Campaign’s drag-and-drop interface, you can easily create emails and messages that will catch your prospective customer’s eye and nudge them toward conversion.
Active Campaign also allows you to set custom goals for your campaigns and track your progress along the way.
GetResponse touts itself as an “All-in-one Online Marketing Platform,” allowing you to create landing pages, create email marketing campaigns, and automate all of your marketing initiatives based on your customers’ past and present behavior.
GetResponse’s landing page creator is easy and intuitive to use. Once you choose a template and a contact form, you can tweak them to your liking, test their performance, and go back to the drawing board if needed. Landing pages can also be integrated with a number of popular remarketing programs.
GetResponse’s email automation allows you to set up both initial email messages and response emails. The system helps you segment your audience and determine which of your messages and content would resonate best with a certain customer segment. GetResponse also determines the most opportune time to send these emails, so you can be almost certain that your leads will see what you have to say.
Lead Forensics is another tool that digs into who the person visiting your site actually is. Though the tool focuses mainly on B2B marketing (as it can determine the company housing your computer the visitor is viewing your site from), it can uncover valuable geographic data from individual visitors, as well.
Lead Forensics also focuses on scoring leads, tagging “dream customers,” and segmenting leads accordingly. This, in turn, allows you to provide the right offer, to the right customer, at exactly the right moment, in order to maximize the potential for conversion.
Lead Forensics goes deep into analytics, allowing you to accurately measure digital ROI – a tough feat to accomplish. The tool tracks all visitors from the first moment they click on your site, all the way through to conversion (and beyond). Not only can this tell you who’s most likely to purchase your products, but it can also help you pinpoint hiccups in your marketing and sales funnel, as well.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, generating high quality leads is hard to do. The vast majority of visitors to your site won’t end up taking another step toward engaging with your brand.
We’ve also discussed in a previous article, how time-consuming and expensive it is to generate new leads, prospects, and customers. But by putting the proper time and energy into creating a lead capture page that attracts and engages your visitors, you can maximize your chances of finding new customers – and do so with minimal ongoing effort.