the-7-principles-of-conversion-centered-design-29-638

How Ecommerce Company Packlane Delivers On-Brand, Targeted Campaigns with Custom Landing Pages

Step inside the marketer’s brain and you’re likely to find some healthy skepticism. Does this $50 Airbnb come with a three-digit cleaning charge? Will “free shipping” require my firstborn to clear customs? Why does this anonymous benefactor need a credit card number to give me my millions? (And how did he get my email?) Do “fully customized” landing pages secretly mean slower launches, a bulkier building process, or not-totally-customizable-but-hey-close-enough?

Not so—at least when it comes to landing pages. Just look to the customization masters at ecomm packaging company Packlane. They make retail-ready, custom corrugated mailer boxes, shipping boxes, and folding cartons for subscriptions, ecommerce, and gifts that can be as simple or fancy as your heart desires. And they get real meta when it comes to their customization. Not only is it a pillar of their service, it’s also instilled in their marketing with oodles of customized landing pages.

But do oodles of customized landing pages equal oodles of time? Oodles of effort? Oodles of conversions? We pulled the lid off a few of Packlane’s landing pages to find out how they use them to create speedy, beautiful, super-targeted campaigns.

Are you an ecommerce marketer? Learn how Unbounce can help you turn more browsers into buyers.

When you need to publish fast

It’s no secret that ecommerce is a highly competitive and fast-paced world—one with so many options, you can buy your chicken a leash for both casual and formal occasions.

No matter which ecommerce niche you’re in, keeping up often requires working fast to get new promotions to market. But the catch-22 is that your landing pages can’t look like they were created quickly. When they do, they undermine your campaign thanks to inconsistent branding, rushed copy, or poor-quality images.

Full disclosure, one of the reasons we approached Packlane is because we have serious :heart-eyes: for their gorgeous branding—and how seamlessly it’s woven into each of their landing pages. We asked Remy Tennant, Packlane’s Director of Growth, about getting pages published fast while running a tight design ship.

One launch comes to mind. We had to get a page up really fast to get this campaign out the door. We often work with an agency, but this was a complete DIY job for our marketing team with no development or design resources.

The page—where customers can apply to be featured as part of Packlane’s Custom Packaging Inspiration Gallery—is relatively minimal and, says Remy, “admittedly not our most beautiful.” But at an 18% conversion rate and climbing, it’s a rush job that’s more than delivering on its investment.

Image courtesy of Packlane (Click to see the whole thing.)

It’s also easy to duplicate and rework, opening the floor for testing and expansion within the campaign. “Word on the Lane” is a video series featuring Packlane customer stories, with a similar submission landing page (converting at a cool 23%) to add a multimedia element to their customer showcase.

Image courtesy of Packlane (Click to see the whole thing.)

Being able to build and customize landing pages quickly creates more breathing room for experimentation, lower-stakes launching, and higher margins of ROI. Says Remy:

On our own, the entire process of launching a page—from initial content creation, to picking a template, to building and customizing it—takes about four to six hours. Our marketing team can easily get a page up within a day, working completely in-house.

Get inspired with 27 jaw-dropping examples of ecommerce landing pages in our Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook.

When you need to collaborate

A more typical scenario for Packlane’s marketing team involves working with outside resources. Though their agency is an ocean and several time zones away, collaborating on landing pages is a simple process. Remy explains:

Our website is beautiful, but because it’s 100% custom, there is no CMS. Being able to collaborate with outside developers and designers on Unbounce without having to involve our internal tech team is a huge win. It saves time and allows our devs to focus on more important things.

Their “Size Matters” page, where customers can calculate custom sizing, is a ringing example of what this can accomplish. Pixel-perfect branding, slick design, animated graphics, and a dynamic calculator that gives recommended dimension and style options for your packaging make for a landing page that’s not only beautiful, but fully interactive.

Image courtesy of Packlane (Click to see the whole thing.)

It’s versatile, too. This page is used at several points of the customer journey, particularly as an onboarding and educational tool.

Our sales team and customer service team use this page to lead prospective and new customers through the customization process and help them figure out the right measurements for their packaging.

It’s simplified what can be a very complex and technical process, and has definitely helped convert more customers.

Learn from another ecommerce success story and how landing pages helped Zola boost their conversion rates from 5% to 20%: How Hyper-Targeted Marketing Helped Zola Take Over the Wedding Industry.

When you need to really target

With great customization power comes great responsibility. Packlane offers endless packaging options—be it by style, size, material, design, and labeling. They service customers from all sorts of verticals within ecommerce, and they cater to all of their different needs based on product type, seasonality, and audience. It’s a tall order, pun intended.

How do they tackle this complexity? Custom landing pages for specific industries and campaigns. Instead of relying on visitors to browse their website, or talk to a sales rep, or sign up to see their smorgasbord of packaging options, Remy describes how Packlane comes to them with targeted landing pages.

Our custom cosmetics page is one of our most-visited pages and ranks pretty well for custom cosmetics packaging. We do a lot of SEO, and the ability to add metadata is obviously really important.

We’re also big into A/B testing—one page I recall saw a conversion lift of 15% after testing headlines—so we’re looking forward to running experiments with this page. Results TBD!

Image courtesy of Packlane (Click to see the whole thing.)

Seasonal promotions are another example. For ecommerce marketers, the holiday season brings more than just sleigh bells and eggnog and strained small talk with your distant uncle over a shrimp cocktail platter. It brings massive opportunity for sales and festive campaigns.

Packlane answered opportunity’s festive knock with their “winter wonderland” White Ink landing page. It showcases white-ink designs for Packlane’s customers to get their customers (didn’t lie when I said they get meta) in the holiday spirit. Plus, they get a free downloadable package with 30 holiday-themed design assets.

Image courtesy of Packlane. (Click to see the whole thing.)

The results put Remy in a merry mood, too:

This page gets a good amount of traffic as well, and was a great way to test different promotional techniques like the free graphics package. We’ll probably do something similar in the future.

So whether you’re in a mad rush, managing a lot of cooks in the kitchen, or creating a bunch of different pages for specific audiences with specific needs, it doesn’t have to be accomplished at the expense of brand quality. Just ask Packlane.

Customize your way

Ready to start building and customizing your own ecommerce landing pages? Publish as many as you want, for free, with a 14-day Unbounce trial. And if you have any comments or tips of your own you’d like to share, fire away below.

Ecomm landing pagesOriginal Article

Saas landing page

[Watch] How Procurify Scored a Ton of SaaS Demos with ABM & Landing Pages

It’s the kind of mega-growth story anyone starting a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company dreams about.

You and a couple of friends have an idea for a product that fits a clear gap in the market. You pitch at a local startup event, which lands you in a growth accelerator, which also leads to your first seed funding. You spend that money hiring and building out the software. Before long, you’re closing your Series A, then your Series B. You’ve turned that original idea into a fast-growing SaaS platform serving hundreds of customers.

The co-founders of Vancouver-based Procurify—Aman Mann, Eugene Dong, and Kenneth Loi—made that dream a reality. As of 2019, the spend management company has raised over $30 million in funding, counts Mark Cuban and Ryan Holmes among its investors, and is one of the most exciting tech startups in the city.

But as with any SaaS investment, the influx of capital came with a catch. Procurify’s marketing team was under more pressure than ever to keep their growth going—even accelerate it. If they were going to hit their bold new revenue targets, they needed a way to kick customer acquisition into overdrive.

Meet Mark. Mark knows how to engage prospects and get ’em excited about SaaS. Be like Mark.

That’s where Mark Huvenaars and Jendi Logan come in. We had a chance to talk to Mark, the Demand Generation Manager at Procurify, during Unbounce’s 2019 Call to Action Conference. We also spoke with Jendi, Procurify’s Marketing Web Designer, over the phone.

Mark and Jendi told us how the marketing squad overhauled their strategy to become more purposeful in the way they pursued new customers. They did a bang-up job, too. Over several months, Procurify’s team:

  • Developed an innovative outbound marketing strategy that would help them connect directly with prospects in an engaging way.
  • Built 50 super-personalized landing pages with a 38% demo rate in a pilot account-based marketing (ABM) campaign.
  • Started pairing landing pages with video ads, which have a cost-per-conversion that’s just 1/4 what they were paying with search ads.

We were totally blown away by Procurify’s execution of account-based marketing campaigns using Unbounce—and by just how easy it’d be for other SaaS brands to try, too.

Here are some of the highlights from our chat with Mark (but read on for the deep-dive into Procurify’s story):

The Challenge: Increase Awareness & Schedule More Targeted Demos

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

At Procurify, we’re in full-on growth mode. We’ve expanded our teams. We’re looking at new systems, new tools, new ways to maximize our growth. Our goals have really been elevated.

That’s the dynamic environment Mark steps into when he joined Procurify early in 2019. The company had surpassed 100 employees and was close to securing its Series B funding. It was that exciting, precarious stage for a startup trying to scale up, and there was big pressure on the revenue unit to find another gear.

The Procurify crew playing it surprisingly cool. (They’re poppin’ champagne bottles in their hearts.)

Procurify’s software helps companies streamline purchase requests and approvals. It’s an ideal solution for small and medium businesses, Procurify’s target market. The trouble was that lots of the people who could benefit from the software didn’t know it existed. In fact, most didn’t even recognize they had a problem that needed solving.

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

At the time, we were really focused on inbound. Someone would conduct a Google search for purchasing software, they’d go into a landing page, and they’d book a demo.

That works when there’s a lot of search volume, but to scale up, we also needed to reach people who aren’t actively looking for purchasing software yet.

The biggest obstacle Procurify faced was awareness. The marketing team needed to develop an outbound marketing strategy that would get their product in front of the people who needed it most. They knew if they could demo the product, people typically started trials of the software at a high rate.

So, the Procurify crew decided to try something new: account-based marketing (ABM). An increasingly popular approach for selling SaaS products, an ABM campaign focuses just on companies matching your ideal customer profile. In practice, Procurify would reach out directly to prospects that were a great fit for the solution based on indicators like business size and industry.

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

We created an outbound team whose focus is building personalized campaigns and experiences that pull people through the funnel—helping them recognize their spend management problem and letting them know about Procurify as a solution.

Procurify had lots of ideas for ABM campaigns that could get the attention of decision-makers at target companies. After, they’d point these prospects to custom-made landing pages that described the benefits of the platform and encouraged them to schedule a demo. But this newly-formed outbound team didn’t have the technical skills to build pages on their own—and with just one designer, it was going to be a challenge to pull off.

The Solution: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) with Personalized Landing Pages

That’s when Procurify found Unbounce.

Jendi explained how the landing page platform has been key to enabling the company’s more nimble marketing strategy:

It’s my job to make sure we’re consistent in the way that we visualize Procurify’s brand story. But as the only designer on a growing team, I also don’t want to be a roadblock to execution.

With Unbounce, I can create branded templates so the team can actually do things themselves. They can modify it to match their campaign and have the confidence to go conquer the world themselves.

For Mark, the value of Procurify’s new library of landing page templates can’t be overstated.

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

It’s great when we’re running a campaign and we need something up tomorrow, or today, or even in an hour.

I know that I can hop into Unbounce, I can use one of Jendi’s templates, and it’ll be an experience for a prospect that’s far better than what I’d be able to build with any other tool.

SaaS Landing Page Example - Procurify (Webinar)

Procurify collects leads through Unbounce-built signup pages for educational webinars. (Click to see the whole thing.)

Procurify’s marketing team can now get on-brand, campaign-specific landing pages up and running in no time. That’s given them the independence they need to execute on outbound marketing initiatives like ABM.

Here’s an example of a pilot ABM campaign the Procurify team set up that combined direct mail and Unbounce landing pages to connect with target accounts. First, the team identified 50 companies that fit Procurify’s ideal customer profile. Then they sent custom swag boxes outfitted with a video screen.

If you got one of these in the mail, you’d *at least* check out the landing page, right?

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

When people received these video boxes, they flipped it open, it would auto-play a video that’d say, “Hey, you at company.” It was highly personalized. And at the end of the video, it directed them to a dedicated Unbounce landing page.

Each page was tailored to address the prospect directly, including their name and company logo. At the bottom, it encouraged them to connect with a specific member of the Procurify sales team.

The upshot? A whopping 38% of prospects scheduled a Procurify demo from the ABM campaign landing pages:

SaaS Landing Page Example - Procurify (ABM)

This landing page is built to address *one person* at Procurify’s target prospect. Talk about personalization. (Click to see the whole thing.)

Beyond ABM landing pages like this, Mark, Jendi, and the team have been exploring other ways to get in front of prospects and tell the Procurify story, like with video ads on YouTube.

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

Video ads help us tell the Procurify story before people even know that they need a procurement solution. We can send them through to an educational landing page [from the CTA] and seed that intent.

Additionally, these ads really help us build our remarketing lists. So, not only do we capture someone’s attention from the onset—after they click through to one of our customized Unbounce landing pages, we can serve them up remarketing ads that speak to the video campaign itself.

SaaS Landing Page Example - Procurify (Video Ad)

An example of the sort of landing page Procurify might use in their video advertising. (Click to see the whole thing.)

The Results: 38% ABM Demo Rate & Way Lower CPC on Paid Traffic

Given the impressive results from their pilot campaign, Procurify is already planning new opportunities to put ABM into action. And because the marketing team can build personalized landing pages in a jiffy, they can now test and optimize their ideas a whole lot faster.

Here’s Mark’s big takeaway from that first ABM experience:

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

In addition to connecting with more than a third of target companies, we continue to see the viral impacts of people sharing these video boxes on social media. It was an exciting, unique way to kind of cut through the B2B clutter.

Here’s one of the responses Procurify got on Twitter. Clearly, they’ve made an impression.

The most insane cold reach in ever….! @Procurify pic.twitter.com/tN1x6tiI7R

— Justin Choi (@JustinCie) August 27, 2019

Procurify’s increased focus on video advertising (paired with landing pages) has also been paying dividends. Not only is it a more compelling way to tell the brand story than with search ads, but it’s also significantly reduced Procurify’s cost-per-conversion (CPC) on paid traffic.

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

The clicks are relatively inexpensive, so we get a lot of traffic to our landing pages. While the conversion rate is only around 0.02%, it’s significant when you consider the volume.

Mark estimates that the CPC for a YouTube ad campaign is roughly 1/4 of what it’d be with search advertising. That’s a meaningful difference.

Get Your SaaS Startup Noticed with Landing Pages

As marketers at a fast-growing SaaS startup, Mark, Jendi, and the others faced more pressure to bring in customers than ever before. So, they got creative. They totally revamped their acquisition strategy and started talking more directly to their target prospects. Based on early results that showed a 38% demo rate for their ABM campaign, it looks like a slam dunk.

Mark credits at least some of that success to adding Unbounce to Procurify’s toolkit:

Mark Huvenaars, Procurify

If I were to recommend Unbounce to another SaaS company, I would say it can grow with your growth. It’s highly scalable. It saves time, and it integrates with the marketing tech stack that you likely currently use.

What have we learned? In marketing, independence is key. It would’ve been really tough for Mark and the Procurify team to pull this off if landing page development and design had been a bottleneck. But armed with a bevy of on-brand templates (thanks, Jendi!), the marketing team is free to launch campaigns as fast as they can dream ’em up.

Wanna give ABM a whirl at your SaaS company? First, figure out how you’re going to get your product in front of decision-makers at your target accounts. Then drag-and-drop together a super personalized landing page that’s sure to get you noticed.

Original Article

5 Thank You Pages That Take Post-Conversion to the Next Level

If you’re like me, you say “please” and “thank you” automatically.

You’ve been saying these magic words since you were a kid. Because you were strongly motivated. Forget your manners, and you’d be humiliated in front of your family or strangers. Refuse altogether, and you’d be denied the obscure object of desire.

“What do we say?” “Pweese.” Boom—the chunky monkey is yours!

For today’s marketers, the problem with habitual politeness is that the delivery of a thank you message should never be a reflex. If a “thank you” rings hollow, the response from your customers will be equally rote.

“Thank You.” “You’re Welcome.” End of conversation.

See the problem here?

A thank you page is not the end of the transaction. It’s the next step in keeping people engaged with your brand or product, generating continued goodwill, further qualifying your leads—or even increasing order values or making more sales.

When it comes to your digital campaigns, how you say thank you should be an essential cornerstone of your post-conversion strategy. So let’s talk about a few ways you can approach creating better thank you pages. Along the way, we’ll explore some very effective thank you page examples created by Unbounce customers.

5 Tips from 5 Thank You Pages

1. Invite ‘Em for a Specific, Strategic Call 4. Win Them Over First, Then Make A Second Ask
2. Reveal the Next Steps 5. Keep ‘Em Engaged With Your Site
3. Reinforce Your Brand Personality

Thank You Tip #1: Invite ‘Em for a Specific, Strategic Call

The example below from Australia’s Axis Social applies every best practice out there (and then some) to maximize its post-conversion potential:

An Axis Social thank you page

Image courtesy of Axis Social. Click it to see the whole thing.

This isn’t a landing page, though it might look a lot like one at first glance. It’s a thank you page (as opposed to a confirmation box or popup). And that’s why it’s so powerful. It does a lot of what a traditional lead-gen page might do, but it does it after the initial conversion goal has been met.

At this point in the interaction, the team at Axis has already captured the visitor’s email address in exchange for a downloadable Buyer’s Guide. Instead of letting the interaction end there, Axis goes the extra mile to communicate their value as an agency. According to Managing Director Matthew Asimus, this page helped them bridge the gap between a marketing qualified (MQL) and sales qualified (SQL) lead:

We hypothesized that a number of users who engaged with, and converted on, our first MQL landing page would develop an additional level of trust and thus a propensity to ascend from an MQL into an SQL. In essence, we were hoping to move users through a ‘yes cascade’ or ‘yes ladder’ to improve conversion rates.
Our initial results from this MQL ascension approach are incredibly exciting. Despite the campaigns using cold paid traffic from social and requesting 7 form fields, our landing page conversion rates are nearly 30%. What’s more, our lead qualification rates align with our other sales qualified lead generation approaches.

Note just how much persuasive material they’ve included here:

  • Social proof in the form of both brand logos (visible above the fold, naturally) and extensive testimonials from individual clients.
  • A walkthrough of the social strategy call that highlights compelling benefits (“explosive lead growth for your business” sounds good to me) and gives the call a definitive structure and purpose.
  • The enticing promise of another resource, a custom Facebook Ads Blueprint, that’ll prove equally valuable to Axis Social’s targeted customers.

The beauty of this approach is that it also scales to suit visitors without adding more pressure to the experience. If a visitor hits this page but doesn’t want to connect with Axis Social at the moment, there’s nothing here preventing them from clicking away.

But when visitors arrive with questions—or, say, balanced on the fine line between consideration and conversion—this thank you page gives them the extra nudge they need.

Thank You Tip 2: Reveal Next Steps

Speaking of next steps, if you’ve ever taken an action online—like submitting a form or making a purchase—without receiving any response, you know the existential dread that follows:

Did it… work? What happens next? Should I do it again?

What… am… I… supposed… to… do… now!?

Maybe I’m exaggerating a touch, but it’s always important to let the visitor know about the next steps—especially if clicking your call-to-action isn’t the end of things. Doing so will reduce friction, frustration, and uncertainty. Even if the next step will be yours to take, let people know what you’re doing and when they can expect to hear from you.

For example, notice how Zendrive does it here with a couple of lines:

Thank You page from Zendrive
Image courtesy of Zendrive.

It’s all clearly communicated. In the headline, they let their B2B prospects know that they’ve successfully completed the “first step.” Then the page sets expectations about what comes next (and when): “You will receive a message shortly with your invite to an executive briefing.”

Finally, it’s also worth taking note of how Zendrive suggests further reading from the site by linking to a piece of content from their blog. Providing a link to a single, valuable piece of content (as opposed to their blog as a whole) helps build trust before the briefing ever begins.

Bonus Tip: Offer Downloadable Downloadables on Your Thank You Pages

OK, full disclosure: I’m slipping this lil’ bonus tip in here just because it’s a pet peeve of mine.

Have you ever signed up for an ebook, report, or white paper that never seems to find its way to the inbox? It sucks. When this happens, you leave visitors feeling frustrated or even a little ripped off, since they’ve just exchanged your email address for nothing at all.

(I can’t click “unsubscribe” fast enough when this happens.)

What makes it so painful, though, is that there’s a dead-simple way of getting around this issue on your thank you pages:

Download now button

Unless you’ve got a very special reason you need to deliver a file only via email, provide a download link on the thank you page itself. That way, visitors who’re anxious to start reading (like me) are satisfied. You can still start a drip campaign, of course. But you also eliminate the possibility that your downloadable never makes it to them.

Thank You Tip 3: Reinforce Brand Personality

This post features a few thank you pages that will feel a little “aspirational” for small marketing teams (or teams of one) who are short on time and resources. So it’s worth looking at how much gets done in this straightforward example from the fine people at Launchpeer:

Image courtesy of Launchpeer.

It’s personable, playful, and a little quirky. Most importantly, though, it’s thoughtful. As in, it demonstrates thought.

Even if you’ve seen this meme a million times before, this page lets you know that Launchpeer is a brand who, y’know, gets it. (And gets you.) Plus, when you click away, you leave with a pleasant association with the brand.

Tom Hanks is a good choice here too: he’s so darned affable and unlikely to be outed as a serial killer any time soon. I’m speculating, but this quick “t.hanks” from Launchpeer probably didn’t take a heck of a lot of time to create.

You can create your own fun images and animations, but the takeaway here should be that even a small effort leaves a much stronger impression than a generic thank you message. It shows how a humorous gif, playful animation, or unexpected message can generate tons of delight and goodwill.

(Of course, they also promote their podcast in this thank you page. And, again, offer that next step now that their visitor is on a roll engaging with their brand. So a little goes a long way…)

Thank You Tip 4: Win Them Over First, Then Make A Second Ask

Usually, when a visitor takes a small action, they become more likely to take another, bigger one. That’s why the most effective thank you pages often follow-up with a bigger ask, and why multi-staged forms are usually recommended by CRO specialists and agencies.

Sometimes it helps if the initial action is immediately appealing to your prospects. Take, for example, this contest created for Veeam by Gameplan Marketing:

A thank you page by Veeam and Netapp

Image courtesy of Veeam and Gameplan Marketing. Click it to see the whole thing.

Leads are captured by offering prizes to IT professionals (like a fitness tracker, a hotel gift card, or Apple AirPods) in exchange for taking a short survey about their current data centers and cloud storage solutions. Like the example from Zendrive above, the thank you page then reminds visitors what they can expect next.

But afterward, this thank you page also makes a second ask. Visitors who’re are (gently) encouraged to sign up to access a free, gated content hub. Since they’ve already provided their info to enter the contest, they’re now more predisposed to do so. Gameplan also includes a sweet explainer video (it appears on the contest page and the thank you page) that briefly outlines the benefits of their cloud-based data-management product.

Thank You Tip 5: Keep ‘Em Engaged With Your Site

One thing that most of these examples have in common is that they lead visitors back to the website or prompt another piece of content. You can take this even further, though.

For the launch of Unbounce’s Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, for instance, the team created a landing page where visitors can grab it.

Here’s what the landing page for this guide looks like:

Click the image to visit the complete page. (Opens in a new tab.)

Eye-catching, right? And if it helps convince visitors that this lookbook is worth the download, then call it a success. It’s an awesome resource for any marketer looking for inspiration, so it’s not a tough sell.

However, we’ve also got plenty more content and resources to offer our ecomm visitors, including material further down the funnel. And we’d love to keep visitors coming back for it.

That’s why the thank you page is so crucial here. We want to keep the conversation going, so we use a thank you page to ask visitors another quick question on the way out. Depending on what visitors choose, they’ll be directed to additional resources.

I’ve included a screenshot of this choose-your-own-adventure flow below:

A thank you page by Veeam and Netapp

Click it to see the whole thing.

The answer that readers provide to this general question (i.e., “What’s the biggest challenge you face as a marketer?”) does three things:

  1. The answer allows us to offer up additional, curated content and resources at the moment of conversion. This is the material we think visitors will find particularly useful. We include content from across the funnel, including editorial, educational, and promotional sources.
  2. It lets us get to know our audience and their concerns a little better. The optional follow-up question on the thank you page helps us further qualify interest from visitors via progressive profiling and learn more about customers and non-customers alike.
  3. It provides insight into our audience’s information needs. From a content planning and strategy perspective, this is invaluable as we fill content gaps, decide on what pieces need to be updated, and prioritize the creation of new resources.

So a single thank you page can become a source of marketing insight, an engagement driver, and a lead qualifier. All this happens by asking a single additional question at the right moment.

Curious about the Unbounce ecommerce lookbook? Take a look at the whole flow here. (Yes, we’ll need your email. Tell ‘em Colin sent ya.) While you’re at it, download it for your landing page swipe file.

Thanks for Reading (About Thank You Pages)

I find a real-world analogy enlightening here: imagine if brick-and-mortar retailers were to escort you to the exit and lock the door each time you make a purchase.

That’d be crazy, right?

So why do it on your landing pages?

Unfortunately, smart uses of thank you pages like these ones from our customers are the exception, not the rule. Frankly, a lot of examples out there look more like this bland form confirmation box, typo and all:

Typos are extremely common on thank you pages
Pages like this one just don’t put as much care into saying thank you as they do their “pleases.” (That’s not great, Bob.)

A thank you page shouldn’t be a hard stop, and if that’s the habit you’ve gotten into, consider breaking it.

Thank you pages are super versatile. You can use them with subscriptions, downloads, webinar registrations, shopping carts, quote requests, demo signups, and contact forms. They can be used for upselling (or cross-selling), for offering discounts, for encouraging referrals, for soliciting feedback and testimonials, or for generating social shares. Holy moly.

Whether you’re selling something or generating leads, saying “thank you” in an unexpected and meaningful way is an opportunity to make a lasting impression. And, when incorporated into a thoughtful post-conversion strategy, it can boost your revenue too.

To close, here are three big points worth remembering if you’re trying to make a case for spending more time on your thank you pages:

  • A healthy open rate for emails in your nurture campaign is between 15-25%. How many of those new leads will see your thank you page? Close to 100%, I’d wager. Start nurturing right away!
  • According to research done by Bain & Company, “loyal online customers, just like offline ones, spend more, refer more people, and are more willing to expand their purchasing into new categories.” Well-considered thank you pages represent an incredible opportunity to create loyalty and build brand affinity.
  • If you get enough traffic and have a clear secondary conversion goal, remember that thank you pages can be A/B tested and optimized just like your landing pages. Post-conversion remains an important touchpoint for your conversion rate optimization planning.

So if you’re already designing landing pages, make saying “thank you” as much a part of the process as your headline, form, and call to action.

And, hey, thanks for reading.

Original Article

9 Creative Popup Ideas to Make More Money for Your Ecommerce Store

While you may have lots of ideas for running high-converting promotions, making changes to your online store to implement said promotions can be time-consuming and tricky depending on your shop setup.

Lucky, you can quickly and easily create targeted popup promotions that spur sales directly, or nurture relationships with prospects until they’re eager and ready to buy, increasing your sales and order values.

Let’s take a look at nine powerful popup ideas that you can get up and running today to boost your business’s bottom line. But first…

What Makes an Effective Popup Promotion?

(“Show me the money—err, examples!”)

Not all popups are created equal. (We’re not the first to point this out—a recent study revealed that popups triggered in context convert 40% better than popups without.)

To create truly contextual popups, you should keep these three principles in mind:

  • Be targeted. Target your popup to appear based on who your prospects are, where they are, and what they’re doing. This will help your message appear for and appeal to the right people, like visitors on a specific page, in a specific location, or from a specific referral source.
  • Be generous. One of the best ways to get your prospects to take action is to make them an offer they can’t refuse. (Cue The Godfather theme.) For example, you can sweeten your popup promotion with a discount, free shipping, or even the opportunity to subscribe for relevant, valuable content.
  • Be friendly. When you’re writing your message, you want to convey it in as few words as possible. But this is also your chance to build rapport with your potential customers. Choose warm and inviting words that showcase your brand’s personality. You can even make things personal (and increase message match) by populating your popup with your visitor’s first name or the search terms they used to find your offer.

9 Popup Ideas You’ll Want to Steal (and Make Your Own)

Now, on to the good stuff. As promised, here are nine powerful popup ideas you can set up quickly on your own ecommerce site.

1. Increase first-time purchases with an upfront offer

You know how the saying goes: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, in ecommerce, you never get a second chance to spark a relationship with a new prospect and get that first sale. The good news is that you can greatly increase your likelihood of converting by implementing a first-time purchase popup.

This means that when a new visitor lands on your website, you’ll offer them an incentive (like a discount) to buy their first item. This can have a domino effect, where people who purchase once are more likely to purchase again and become long-term customers.

One of my favorite examples is from clothing brand Chubbies:

Creative Popup Examples - Chubbies

The popup is eye-catching and straight to the point. The tone is also warm, fun, and playful. Language like “give it a whirl” and “because a weekend is a terrible thing to waste” showcase the brand’s quirky nature. Most importantly, new customers can immediately see the value they’ll get by signing up: $10 off their first order.

Tips for creating your first-time purchase popup:

  • Give new visitors a little time to get grounded and start browsing your website before triggering the popup. We recommend a 5- to 10-second delay.
  • Offer an incentive for new visitors to stick around and buy their first item. That could be a discount, free shipping, a small gift, or anything else you think will resonate.
  • When it comes to writing copy, keep your tone warm, inviting, and on-brand, but also get to the point fast. If your copy is too long, your visitors will get distracted and bounce. (Cat gif, anyone?)

2. Boost cross-sell purchases with a related product recommendation

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, attributes 35% of its revenue to cross-selling. If it works for Amazon, you’d better believe it can work for you, too.

By implementing a cross-sell popup, you encourage customers to add relevant items to their cart. This helps folks find related products they’ll love and bumps your average order value. Of course, your cross-sell popup will work best when it’s something customers genuinely want or need to pair with the product they’re about to buy.

Amazon does this really well. For example, if someone adds a tablet case to their cart, Amazon recommends an SD card that provides extra memory for tablets (shown below). Granted, it’s not the prettiest popup in the world, but it’s still a great example of how you can recommend products that are super relevant to your prospects’ purchase intent.

Creative Popup Examples - Amazon

Or check out this creative idea, again from Chubbies:

Creative Popup Examples - Chubbies (Again)

When customers add an item to their cart, a popup-like slider appears on the right side, offering a chance to unlock a free gift when they spend $99. Then, they recommend a series of t-shirts that would look good with that piece of clothing.

They’re playing with that element of intrigue, too. If you’re naturally curious (like I am), you’re going to want to buy another product just to see what surprise gift is in store.

Tips for creating your cross-sell popup:

  • When prospects add an item to their cart or scroll down to look for product details, they’re showing an intent to buy. That’s the perfect time to trigger this type of popup to appear.
  • Recommend an add-on product related to the one your prospect is looking at. If you’re not sure which products pair well, take a look at your analytics or talk to some of your customers.
  • Offer prospects a gift or discount if they buy products as a bundle.

3. Get visitors’ email addresses before they leave

The harsh reality is that, for most ecommerce sites, many first-time shoppers will browse, leave, and never come back. Ouch.

Thankfully, you can create an exit-intent popup to re-engage visitors who show signs that they’re about to leave. When done right (think more value-focused, rather than breakup-sad), this can help you reduce your website abandonment rate and capture more email subscribers—then you can nurture them and keep them warm until they’re ready to buy.

This is a great example from hannahpad:

Creative Popup Examples - hannahpad

The casual “leaving already?” is enough to grab the visitor’s attention. That’s quickly followed up with a snappy, lighthearted description of why they should stay. That $10 discount coupon does sound appealing, huh?

Tips for creating your exit-intent popup:

  • If a prospect is looking for the exit sign (i.e., hovering over the exit button or opening a new tab), they’re in danger of leaving. There’s no better time to trigger this popup and keep them on your website.
  • Have you heard of the concept of reciprocity? By offering your prospects something valuable first (like a discount or gift), they’ll be more likely to return the favor by handing over their email address.
  • Keep your copy fun and lighthearted. Lots of ecommerce companies beg or plead for their customers to stay. It’s far more effective to give them a reason to stay.

4. Upsell customers with additional products or a high-value version

There’s no better feeling than when a prospect is at your checkout, about to buy a product they’ll love. But what if you could get more value from the sale and help potential customers find the right product at the same time? That’d be much sweeter, right?

You can create an upsell popup that shows prospects an alternative (more expensive, higher-quality) product before they buy. Or you can even prompt them to buy more of the same product.

How cool is this idea from personal grooming company Dollar Shave Club?

Creative Popup Examples - Dollar Shave Club

When a prospect adds a product to their cart, this popup poses a simple question: “How many do you need?” It makes the prospect think twice. Maybe they were about to buy one hair gel product, but realize they could benefit from three. (You know, just in case they’re having a bad hair… year.)

This example also shows that you don’t always need to offer a discount to spark action. By getting a little creative and thinking outside the box, you can create genuine enthusiasm and I-simply-must-have-this desire.

Tips for creating your upsell popup:

  • Just like in real life, when a prospect adds an item to their shopping bag or looks at a particular product for a while, they’re showing intent to buy. That’s the ideal time to trigger this popup—right before the purchase.
  • Recommend a high-tier version of the product your customer is looking at, or ask how many they’d like to buy (like in the Dollar Shave Club example above).
  • Adding an extra incentive, like a discount, will increase your upsell revenue. At the very least, you’ll have some very happy customers who’ll rave about their purchase.

Make more ecommerce sales with popups. Get started quickly and easily with our high-converting popup templates. Once you have a template you like, tailor the copy for your offer and add specific targeting filters (like in the examples here).

5. Reduce abandoned carts with a well-timed incentive

The average cart abandonment rate for ecommerce stores in 2019 is 69.5% across all industries. Reducing cart abandonment is one of the toughest jobs you’ll face as an ecomm marketer. We feel you.

Thankfully, you can trigger an abandoned cart popup to recapture visitors who are just about to leave by incentivizing them to complete their purchase.

Check out this example from Kate Spade:

Creative Popup Examples - Kate Spade

This popup appears when a prospect indicates that they’re about to leave. It highlights that the prospect qualifies for two-day free shipping and free returns—important details they might’ve otherwise missed.

Giving potential customers the option to leave their email address is particularly clever. Armed with that, Kate Spade can send follow-up messages and reignite prospect interest in their abandoned purchase.

Tips for creating your abandoned cart popup:

  • Trigger this popup to appear on exit, when a visitor indicates they’re about to leave their cart. This could be when they move their cursor over the exit button, or when they hover over the navigation to another part of your website.
  • Offer or highlight an incentive for completing their purchase, like free shipping or a discount coupon.
  • If the offer is temporary, consider adding a countdown timer to convey a sense of urgency. This works especially well for limited sale items or additional incentives, like a free gift.

6. Encourage sales with a time-limited offer

Holidays like Christmas, Black Friday, and New Year’s Eve bring peaks in website traffic, especially for ecommerce stores. This provides the ideal opportunity for ecomm marketers to capture more sales with timely, targeted offers.

Check out the example from mattress company Leesa below. The clear, concise, and straight-to-the-point language (“$130 off a Leesa mattress”) makes the offer hard to miss. Plus, the “expiring soon” text—coupled with a timer—generates urgency for the prospect to act soon or risk losing out.

You can create a time-limited offer popup to showcase a sale, creating a sense of excitement and urgency for prospects. This type of promotion will help you boost sales within a specific time period. Talk about a win-win.

Creative Popup Examples - Leesa

Tips for creating your time-limited offer popup:

  • If your offer won’t appeal to everyone, target your popup to appear on a relevant product page or category during your limited offer time period.
  • Leave a slight delay (about 5 to 10 seconds) before triggering your popup to give people a chance to orient themselves first.
  • Highlight your offer upfront, simply and clearly. For extra impact, show a photo of the item that’s up for grabs.
  • Add a countdown timer to create urgency and prompt prospects to act now.
  • Keep it ethical. Don’t mislead prospects about the amount of time the offer is available for just to elicit panic purchases. Remember, the keys to building long-lasting relationships with customers are honesty and transparency.

7. Capture newsletter subscribers with a fun, value-packed popup

Some browsers aren’t ready to buy just yet, but they still want to stay up-to-date with your brand. By reaching out to them while they’re engaging with your content, you have the chance to capture them as newsletter subscribers. That way, you’ll be top of mind as soon as they’re ready to buy.

This Poo-Pourri newsletter subscriber popup (or should I say poopup?) is genius. It’s fun, relevant, and super funny.

Creative Popup Examples - Poo-Pourri

From the shape of the popup to the headline (“Join the Potty”), everything is perfectly on-brand. However, the best thing is how the intriguing description pulls the reader in: “Sign up for our newsletter to get the scoop on new products and (super secret) sales.” Who wouldn’t want access to super secret sales?!

Tips for creating your newsletter subscriber popup:

  • When someone scrolls through a certain percentage of a relevant page (like a blog post), it’s safe to say they’re interested in your content. This is a great opportunity to reach out and offer them more content (like your value-packed newsletter). Ensure what you offer is connected to what they’re currently viewing—in this case, consuming more rad content they clearly like, maybe of the exact topic they’re interested in vs. something very broad.
  • Make the value you’re offering extremely clear. Offer an incentive, like a coupon code or the chance to access exclusive offers.
  • Ensure the subscriber understands what they’re signing up for, whether it’s your latest tips, blog posts, or industry news.

8. Capture high-intent email subscribers with an exclusive content offer

If a prospect is viewing a specific product page for a long period of time, they might need a little nudge to get them to buy. This is particularly true for very high-value products, like engagement rings.

Reach these prospects with an exclusive content popup that promises to help them make a decision with a guide or ebook. Then, once they hand over their email, a member of your sales team can follow up to help answer additional questions (and possibly close the sale).

Along these lines, this popup from Long’s Jewelers is genius:

Creative Popup Examples - Long's Jewelers

It appears after a prospect has been viewing an engagement ring for a while and appeals to the “rookie” buyer (likely a significant chunk of their business). The copy is fun and casual, and it speaks to the reader’s pain points. The image even reveals a sneak peek into the content, which is sure to stir up some level of curiosity.

Tips for creating your exclusive content popup:

  • If your prospect has been viewing a high-value product page for a significant amount of time, they might need more information. This is the best time to reach out with a popup that proactively answers their questions.
  • Offer a guide or ebook related to the product in exchange for their email address, which’ll let you follow up with them later.
  • Be sure to provide a sneak peek to intrigue prospects and encourage them to take you up on the offer.

9. Remind prospects about deals so they don’t miss out

The internet has robbed us all of our attention spans. (Cat gifs, remember?) Just because a prospect has been eyeing up a specific sale item doesn’t mean they’ll remember to actually buy it.

The good news is that you can increase the chance of that prospect remembering a deal by prompting them to add a reminder to their calendar.

This is the premise behind one of Unbounce’s flexible popup templates: the calendar reminder popup. The popup works well because the design is simple and eye-catching while the copy is casual, friendly, and focused on helping the prospect. All you have to do is tweak the imagery, targeting, and copy to suit your ecommerce site and offer.

Creative Popup Examples - Unbounce

Tips for creating your calendar reminder popup:

  • When a prospect looks at a specific deal for some time, they’re probably considering a purchase. Help them out by giving them an opportunity to set a reminder and make their purchasing decision later (before the offer ends).
  • Remind prospects that the offer won’t last forever. If your deal is due to expire soon, consider highlighting the expiry date in your popup.
  • Focus your language on what’s in it for the prospect—not what’s in it for you. Play into their worry of missing out.

Test and Iterate Your Popup Ideas

Your popups are living, breathing entities on your ecommerce site. When done right, they have the power to significantly boost your business’s bottom line. So, make sure to review them and see how they’re performing regularly.

If a popup isn’t doing as well as you’d expect, why not A/B test it? You’ll soon spot trends in what works best (and what doesn’t). Armed with this knowledge, you can tweak your popups to take them (and your creative reputation) to the next level.

Original Article

4 Power Plays for Driving Qualified Google Traffic (Even When No One’s Looking for You)

We learned from the 2010 sci-fi classic Inception that it’s nearly impossible to plant an idea in someone’s head (even for professional dream architects).

This is bad news when you’re on the hook to deliver a high-performing landing page for a new product or service. If no one is searching for your offer, then no matter how brilliant your page, it’s much harder to get the traffic you need to validate, test, and scale.

A quote from Inception.
Source: Advertising is Inception (SlideShare)

Even Google, the search engine powerhouse, can’t create demand where none existed before.

…Or can it?

SEO and paid search get so much attention, it’s easy to forget that Google’s coverage actually extends far beyond organic and paid SERP listings.

Not only does Google’s advertising network reach 90% of internet users, but the cost can also be pennies on the dollar compared to other platforms (like social). And by using Google Ads’ advanced targeting options, you can attract the perfect audience to your landing page and offer.

The opportunity to drive targeted, affordable traffic with Google Ads is massive—even if no one is entering your product or service into a search box. Here are four types of Google Ads that will deliver a real bang for your buck.

1. Drive Desire with YouTube Ads

More than a billion people watch over 30 billion hours of YouTube each month. Since Google owns YouTube, you can easily reach a very targeted audience with your video ads.

The Opportunity:

YouTube ads are a great way to drive awareness of your new offer by providing context and visuals in a way that text ads can’t. Targeted ads not only earn views, they can bring new engaged audiences to your landing page, ready to buy.

Here’s a client screenshot of their video campaign performance. With a low average cost per view (CPV) of only $0.05, the $25:1 ROAS absolutely justifies the investment.

A screenshot of video campaign performance

You have several options for video ads, including bumper, outstream, and video discovery.

The most popular format is skippable in-stream. These ads are skippable after 5 seconds, and advertisers are only charged if someone engages with the ad, watches to the end, or watches past 30 seconds (whichever comes first).

Examples of YouTube ads

With YouTube Ads, Watch Out For:

The first 5 seconds of your ad are critical for hooking your viewer. If your ad takes too long to tell your story or introduce your brand, your target audience will skip it.

If we’re being honest, though, you probably don’t have a “first 5 seconds” of a video ad to optimize. Creating video ads is expensive and time-consuming. It’s easy to de-prioritize and procrastinate production even if you know “it’s important.”

Fortunately, you don’t need a million-dollar ad to grab your audience’s attention.

The video software company Wistia tested the impact of production budgets on performance by creating 3 ads at dramatically different costs ($100K, $10K, $1K). They found that a big-budget ad can actually backfire by feeling too polished.

So, remember, the best ads are those that connect with the audience, and that can be done on almost any budget.

Get Started with YouTube Ads:

To run YouTube ads, select the Video campaign type in Google Ads.

Select campaign type: video

Your videos will need to be hosted on YouTube. You can use unlisted videos, but they can’t be private. You can find complete instructions for launching YouTube Ads here.

Keep in mind that even if your videos are just halfway-decent, they’ll do more to grow awareness than not running videos at all.

Editor’s note. Amy focuses on using video to drive visitors who aren’t aware of your product or service to your landing pages, but you might also consider targetting people who’re already actively searching (if you’re not already). Joe Martinez has some killer advice on how to use custom intent audiences. Worth a read if video is your thing!

2. Be Newsworthy with Discovery Ads

Discovery campaigns are Google Ads’ newest campaign type (and the unofficial competition to Facebook’s feed).

The Opportunity:

Until recently, social media channels had somewhat of a lock on serving hyper-targeted ads directly in a user’s news feed. But Google’s ramping up its options, and its Discover feed serves content to 800 million users based on their interests.

You can reach targeted users as they consume personalized content on Discover, YouTube, and Gmail with Discovery ads, featuring your product alongside other curated topics based on rich signals (such as web activity and location).

A comparison between feeds

With Discovery Ads, Watch Out For:

Machine learning attempts to serve the right ad to the right user at the right time, but that doesn’t mean you can be “hands off.”

Notice the ads above. I was served a discovery ad for a Business Analytics degree around the time I was researching MBA programs, so this ad feels very relevant to my interests.

The laundry ad, however, is a definite miss (punctuation mistake included). The promoted laundromat is 30 miles from where I live; so, even if I were “in-market” for a laundromat (which I’m not), the distance would be a deal breaker.

Google gives you the tools to reach your ideal market, but it won’t tell you that your geography is wrong or that your targeting is too broad. This is true for all ad formats, but it’s a needed reminder when Google suggests its internal signals will do the heavy lifting of targeting.

Get Started with Discovery Ads:

Because Discovery ads are still in Beta, your first step is to work with your Google rep to get whitelisted. These ads also have their own campaign type, so select Discovery.

Campaign type: Discovery

Follow these instructions for Discovery campaigns. Avoid ad disapproval by paying close attention to the image requirements, which are slightly different than they are for other ad types on Google Ads.

3. Get Email Opens (with No List) Using Gmail Ads

You don’t need a big list (or any list at all) to send targeted email promotions with high open rates.

The Opportunity:

With more than 1.5 billion active users worldwide, Gmail is one of the most popular websites in the United States. You can reach your target readers at the top of their inbox and only pay when they open your ad, which expands like regular email.

An example of Gmail Ads

While you can no longer target keywords within Gmail content, you can still use “audience keywords” and many other personalized targeting options to capture your ideal audience’s attention and direct them to your landing page.

With Gmail Ads, Watch Out For:

When ads are served in Gmail, you’re charged for the click that opens the email to expand your message, not the click that drives to your landing page (those clicks are free). This can be very confusing to marketers!

Also, be aware that only free Gmail accounts receive Gmail Ads: if you’re primarily targeting B2B clients using the paid G suite (or non-Google email) accounts, you may want to skip this method.

Get Started With Gmail Ads:

You don’t need to set up a dedicated campaign to run Gmail ads. Discovery ads (above) and Responsive Display ads (below) both automatically give you coverage in Gmail inboxes.

If you’d like more control over the way Gmail ads run, including using custom HTML files, you can do that by creating a dedicated Gmail campaign after you select Display.

Campaign subtype: Gmail campaign

Remember that you’re writing for an inbox, so write a headline that feels like a subject line, not a headline. “Grocery delivery on your schedule” works. “Packed with protein” doesn’t.

4. Amplify Your Offer with Responsive Display Ads

Responsive display ads are the default ad type for the Google Display Network. They let you easily create ads that can meet the publisher specs of the 2 million sites included in the network.

The Opportunity:

With Google’s automated responsive display ads, you can input multiple assets for a single ad (15 images, 5 logos, 5 videos, 5 headlines, and 5 descriptions).

Google will adjust and optimize the size, appearance, and format of the ad to fit the available inventory on the publisher site, meaning you don’t have to create multiple ad sizes of each creative variant.

Here are examples of how a responsive display image ad, text ad, and native ad can look on a mobile device:

Comparison of image, text, and native ads

With Responsive Display Ads, Watch Out For:

If you’re like most advertisers, you don’t think the pure text ad (shown above in the center) is great for branding. Unfortunately, there’s no way to opt out of that or any other ad combination using RDAs.

If you need full branding control for your ads, image ads would be a better choice. They’re more work to set up but allow you to ensure brand guideline compliance.

Get Started With Responsive Display Ads

Responsive display ads are easy to create. Select the Display campaign type and follow these instructions to set up responsive display ads.

Campaign Type: Display ad

With responsive ads, you’ll have one URL for any headline-image-description combination, so use assets that can work interchangeably.

Keep Bad Traffic Off Your Landing Page

Now that you know the types of Google Ads you can use to grow awareness and interest for your offer, let’s review how to make sure you get the right traffic.

A shot from Inception
Source: IMDB

The best ads and landing pages won’t drive conversions if you’re reaching the wrong audiences. Worse yet, unqualified traffic will skew your conversion rates and make it harder to improve your landing page.

You can layer audience and content targeting to reach new relevant audiences with precision, including:

  • Demographics
  • Affinity
  • In-market
  • Custom intent
  • Topics
  • Placement
  • Content keywords
  • Display expansion

Refine your targeting strategy, so you don’t waste budget or capture the wrong audiences.

As we saw in the laundromat example, just because someone is in your county doesn’t mean they want to drive an hour for your coin-op laundry service.

But tighten the geography to a 5-mile radius, and serve ads to people who are actually in-market for laundromats, visiting the websites of your competitors, or researching how to fix a broken washer/dryer… and suddenly you’ve got some viable targeting.

A meme from Inception
Source: MagicalQuote

Enjoy the Fruits of Early-Funnel Google Ads

Ads targeted to the right audience at the right time can create awareness where none existed before. This ultimately drives organic searches, builds effective remarketing lists, and creates a new audience to reach.

Smart paid marketing not only solves the problem of generating landing page traffic, it also closes the loop on our inception problem, planting the seeds of future loyal audiences.

Landing pages with PPCOriginal Article

2020 Ecommerce Landing Page Best Practices (with 27 Examples)

Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Landing Pages (But Were Afraid to Ask)

If your online store isn’t generating a ton of sales, it might have something to do with where you’re sending your traffic.

As an ecomm marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve advertised a product through paid search or announced a seasonal promotion via email—and, maybe, been less than delighted with the results. These campaigns can sputter for all sorts of reasons, but there’s a common blunder that tons of marketers make: they send their traffic directly to product pages on their ecommerce storefront. And that’s a problem.

Here at Unbounce, we want to answer some of the most common questions about poor ecomm performance (plus explain how landing pages can help), including:

Why Isn’t My Ecommerce Website Selling?

First things first. Why doesn’t your ecomm storefront convert as well as you’d like?

Your website (and the product pages within it) has a ton of distractions that can throw your prospects off course and away from purchasing. Think top-level navigation, related merchandise, external links to follow, and a dozen other shiny redirections. Ideally, you only want to present one path for your shopper to take—not the thousand options your website inadvertently presents.

Your online storefront’s messaging will also tend to be pretty broad, lacking the sort of persuasive details that different segments of your audience need to make a purchase decision.

Consider a pay-per-click (PPC) use case. If a potential customer was searching for “bikes for commuters” and clicked on your paid ad, they’d expect to land on a page showcasing bikes built for riding on the road, plus a clear way to redeem the 15% discount that you promised. Instead, they find themselves on your homepage, swamped by a ton of products they weren’t ever looking for: bike helmets, outerwear, and other sports accessories.

Where are the commuter bikes from the ad? How does this visitor claim the 15%-off discount? As you can see below, the message falls apart.

Why Isn't My Ecommerce Website Selling? (Bad message match!)

Research suggests that you’re better off sending traffic to ecommerce landing pages, which have been shown to double conversion rates and average order value. Landing pages focus on just one conversion goal at a time—and because you can build them separate from your ecomm store, you can launch promotional campaigns and test new products faster. In combination with the ads or emails you’re running, landing pages help you learn what type of messaging your visitors need to convert.

What’s an Ecommerce Landing Page?

An ecommerce landing page is a page that has been specifically designed to drive sales by matching your visitors’ search intent, showcasing the benefits of a product, and prompting conversion with a clear call to action. By building a unique landing page for each of your paid ads or ad groups, you can dramatically improve the chance that any given visitor converts.

Remember our PPC use case? Let’s look at an improved experience:

An example of an ecommerce landing page

In the example above, your visitors are directed from your ad targeting “bikes for commuters” (the keyword you’re bidding on) to a dedicated landing page that aligns perfectly with the search term and the visitor’s intent. From the slick imagery that screams “commuter bike” (as much as a bike can) to the descriptive copy and sticky bar focused on ordering now, your page gives visitors exactly what they expected to find. With fewer distractions (there’s no top-level nav and all of the links point to purchase), you’re far more likely to make the sale.

Landing pages aren’t just for paid search and social ads, either. Because they’re separate from your storefront and so quick to build, the ecommerce use cases for these pages are practically limitless. Linking out to a seasonal campaign from your website, or promoting a new product through an email blast, are also great opportunities to boost your sales with conversion-optimized landing pages.

Unless you’re working with one of the top-cheese ecomm platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, implementing changes to your storefront can require some serious technical know-how. There’s also a certain amount of risk in making tweaks without truly understanding the impact they’re going to have. With landing pages, your ecommerce brand can build pages and validate new products or promotions in a jiffy.

What Are Some Ecommerce Landing Page Best Practices?

“Hey, that’s great, Unbounce,” you say aloud, prompting concerned looks from nearby coworkers. “I want to build my page. But where can I learn more about incredible landing page design?”

We’re so glad you asked.

The team here at Unbounce is pleased to bring you The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, which includes some of our favorite landing pages from ecomm marketers in apparel and footwear, home decor, food and beverage, and everything in between. We’ve got spectacular examples from loads of brands you may already be familiar with, including wedding marketplace Zola, shirt brand Twillory, and sweet, sweet Drizzle Honey.

Unbounce Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook - Preview

The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook is presented in partnership with our friends at KlientBoost, an agency that specializes in helping your ecommerce company get more from your PPC ad spend.

Inside the lookbook, KlientBoost’s Director of Ecommerce, Reese Garcia, shares some of his best practices for creating a landing page that sells—and we’ve got a quick preview for you below.

A Great Ecommerce Landing Page Is:

#1. Perfectly aligned with your paid advertisement

This is all about message match, which we touched on earlier. When someone clicks through one of your search ads (or social post, or promotional email—whatever), you’ve already shaped their expectations for what they’ll see next. Ensure the copy that motivated their click is mirrored on your landing page. That way, you can indicate to potential customers that they’ve found what they’re looking for.

#2. Easy to follow with straightforward and concise messaging

It’s pretty unlikely that your visitors are going to read all of the copy on your landing page. Instead, they’ll skim for the information they want to see: your product’s differentiators, your promised benefits, and your price. Stick to the value of your offer. Keep things digestible with section breaks, headers, and bullet points.

#3. Optimized for desktop and mobile visitors alike

More of your visitors are on-the-go than ever before, and you need to make sure that your landing page delivers a positive mobile experience. If you’re not building separate pages for smaller screens, you need to at least make sure the pages you do have are responsive. Use a simple layout and keep load times as short as possible.

#4. Laser-focused on its primary goal: conversion

Every element of your landing page should be nudging visitors towards making a purchase decision. Remove unnecessary navigation and exit points to keep potential customers on the page. Consider using additional calls to action (like sticky bars or popups) to keep your offer top-of-mind.

Make more ecommerce sales with popups. Get started quickly and easily with our high-converting popup templates. Once you have a template you like, tailor the copy for your offer and add specific targeting filters (like in the examples here).

Where Can I Find Awesome Ecommerce Landing Page Examples?

It’s one thing to read tips for how to create an awesome ecommerce landing page. It’s another thing to see those principles come together in a way that not only looks great but also prompts action and drives revenue. That’s why the Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook (from Unbounce and KlientBoost) includes 27 jaw-dropping and high-converting examples from the top bananas of online retail.

Here are just a few ecommerce landing page examples from brands you’ll find in the lookbook. Follow their lead and you’ll be well on your way to building like the best of ’em.

Alps & Meters

Industry: Apparel
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Click-Through

ecommerce landing page alps and meters

One look at our example from Alps & Meters and you’ll instantly understand how landing pages can elevate your product in ways your storefront rarely does. The luxury sportswear brand uses this opportunity to tell a story, imbuing their clothing with the emotional power of pioneering female athletes. Pair that with striking photography, plus big-name social proof, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

SnackNation

Industry: Food & Beverage
Model: Subscription
Page Type: Lead Generation

Ecommerce Landing Page SnackNation

This example demonstrates how you can use landing pages to run limited-time promotions and crank conversions into overdrive. SnackNation captures our attention with an unbelievable offer above the fold, then tackles objections by explaining exactly how their subscription service works and what’s included. Add in bold, colorful visuals and this whole page feels like a celebration.

This is just a taste of the insight you’ll find in The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook. Download the full thing for Unbounce-certified critiques and reccos on 27 top-notch pages.

Alchemy Fine Home

Industry: Home
Model: Storefront
Page Type: Lead Generation

Ecommerce Landing Page Alchemy Fine Home

Even with sparse copy, this landing page from Alchemy Fine Home (built by KlientBoost) does an amazing job of attracting new customers with a 15% first-order discount. Not only does it incentivize a purchase, it gets visitors onto the email list regardless of whether they actually buy something. Smart.

This page also makes terrific use of photography, visually conveying the sense of elegance that’s central to Alchemy’s brand.

Want to Build Ecommerce Landing Pages Like the Pros?

“Good ecomm marketers copy; great ecomm marketers steal.” — Picasso, probably.

Creating a masterpiece is a lot easier once you’ve found a little inspiration, and landing pages are no different. That’s why we created The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook: to help marketers like you find your ecomm Erato, your online retail muse.

Unbounce - The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook

What’s Inside the Lookbook?

  • Our hand-picked selection of 27 ecommerce landing pages from a bunch of different product segments and retail models.
  • At-a-glance insights into what makes these pages work so well (plus recommendations from the marketers who built them).
  • Heaps of amazing ideas for your own landing pages, including persuasive copy tips and gorgeous design techniques.

Don’t let your next ecomm product launch or promo campaign fizzle. Download The Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook and get the inspiration you need to build beautiful, high-converting pages that turn looky-loos into customers.

Original Article

4 Lessons We Learned in 2019 (and How Marketers Can Apply Them in 2020)

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? And it’s not over yet.

Even if you’re still knee-deep in holiday and end-of-year promotions, it makes sense to take time to pause. Now’s the time to reflect on the challenges, opportunities, and accomplishments of 2019—before the crazy starts up again.

With that in mind, we’re revisiting the big lessons drawn from our most popular pieces on digital marketing and landing pages. For each, we’ll talk about how you can best apply these lessons in 2020 and beyond.

Lesson 1: Slow page speed is killing your conversions.

Unbounce predicted that 2019 would be “the year when the difference between fast and slow content becomes the difference between showing up in the search results (whether paid or organic) or disappearing completely.”

In January, we also published Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report to shed some light on how slow loading times are impacting conversion rates.

We wanted to know where improving page speed was falling in the marketers’ yearly priority lists—as well as what their customers experience (and how they behave) when a website is slow to load.

This research stirred up all kinds of reasons why you definitely need to keep speed in mind when creating landing pages. For instance, Google says 53% of visitors will bounce after three seconds of waiting. But our check-in at the Call to Action Conference in late 2018 revealed that 85% of participants’ pages came in slower than 5 seconds at a 3G connection. (We’re not naming names, but some took more than 20 seconds.)

The survey results also revealed that consumers are pretty frank about the impact that slow ecomm sites can have on their willingness to buy:

Slow load times lead to fewer sales
Source: Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report (Stats and Trends For Marketers)

What surprised us most, however, is that improving load times remains an overlooked way of optimizing the visitor experience. Very few marketers we surveyed identified it as a priority for the year, even though those who did have likely seen the benefits.

What Marketers Can Do in 2020

The thing is, these page speed concerns aren’t going away.

The average time for a web page to load is actually slower at the end of 2019 than it was a year ago. Some marketers have resisted making big improvements to loading times in the hopes that technology will save them (“5G is coming any day now!”). But speed remains a competitive differentiator.

Google hasn’t backed away from forcing the issue, either. They’ve always said that speed matters, but in November, they outlined plans to indicate when a site has been historically slow to load using badges in Chrome: “We think the web can do better and want to help users understand when a site may load slowly, while rewarding sites delivering fast experiences.”

Chrome testing speed warnings
Source: Google Chromium Blog

All of this adds up to a continued need to boost speed on your landing pages and website. To help, Unbounce’s Garrett Hughes put together a shortlist of page speed fixes (plus a downloadable checklist). And if you want to achieve blazing speeds on mobile devices, you’ll also want to investigate using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as well.

Marketers need to get faster and stay that way.

Let’s make speeding up a habit in 2020.

More Reading About Page Speed

  1. Think Fast: The 2019 Page Speed Report (Stats and Trends For Marketers)
  2. 2019 Is the Year of Page Speed. Are You Ready?
  3. 7 Page Speed Stats Every Marketer Should Know
  4. Increase Your Landing Page Speed (By Stealing Our Homework)
  5. Your Shortcut to Lightning-Fast Speeds. AMP Landing Pages Come to Unbounce.

About Unbounce Speed Boost. We’ve made backend improvements to the landing page builder to ensure that, under the hood, every landing page you create is designed to follow Google’s best practices for performance. So you don’t have to think about it. You can read about these improvements here.

Lesson 2: A/B testing isn’t your only optimization option.

At Unbounce, we’ve been preaching the gospel of A/B testing for a very long time. (For as long as there’s been an Unbounce, as a matter of fact.)

Here’s a snippet from our very first website, ten years ago: “With built-in A/B testing as a standard feature, you can experiment with unlimited variants of your page until you achieve the optimal design.”

In those days, we saw the promise of a “no-nerd approach to landing page construction” that included “a digital dashboard to rival the Starship Enterprise.” (No-nerd? Riiight.)

Unbounce.com circa 2010

Today, A/B testing remains an incredible way of testing an informed hypothesis about your landing page. For many people, though, the number of visitors you need (and the time necessary) can put it too far out of reach. No wonder while 98% of marketers recognize testing has definite value for their business, 42% say it’s too difficult for them.

But optimizing and A/B testing aren’t the same thing. And smaller teams and businesses that don’t get the critical mass of traffic to test efficiently should still make optimizing part of business as usual.

What Marketers Can Do in 2020

Nobody would blame you for taking a one-and-done approach. If you find yourself in the camp of marketers who’ve struggled to A/B test in the past, the good news is that the times are a-changin’. New pathways to optimizing your landing pages are opening up as you read this.

In November, we made Smart Traffic™ available to Unbounce customers. Powered by machine learning, this tool dynamically sends each and every visitor to a page variant that’s right for them. Plus, while running A/B tests requires tons of traffic, Smart Traffic starts optimizing after as few as 50 visits.

It’s not only extremely rad, it’s also bone simple: build some variants, set a conversion goal, and turn it on. I encourage you to try it out for yourself.

Beyond Smart Traffic, it’s almost guaranteed that machine learning (from us, from elsewhere) will continue to reshape your marketing stack and enhance your marketing practice. In 2020, you can expect more options when it comes to optimization, personalization, and automation.

The takeaway: adopting a growth mindset means making optimization an everyday practice. Thanks to new technologies, the barriers are beginning to topple—so keep an eye out for opportunities.

More Reading About Marketing AI

  1. Marketers Need an Easier Way to Optimize Landing Pages
  2. Match Each Visitor with the Landing Page Most Likely to Convert [Introducing Smart Traffic™]
  3. How Marketing AI Will Transform Your Lead Generation (and Conversion)

Lesson 3: We all need to raise our marketing IQ.

According to a recent paper published by 13 marketing scholars with the Harvard Business School, marketers see the most potential gains when machine learning technologies enhance human capability: “The brightest future,” they write, “is based on the synergy of what the machine can do well and what humans do well.”

Machine learning will free us from the grind, allowing us to do more of what humans do best. But this also means that it’s more pressure than ever to become the best darned human marketers we can be.

It’s time to raise our marketing IQ. That means moving beyond best practices, received wisdom, and going with your gut. It means making smarter, more informed decisions based on a highly developed skillset. And it means optimizing yourself as a marketer, not just your landing pages.

We think it’s incredibly important, which is why raising your marketing IQ was the theme of this year’s Call to Action Conference.

Over three days, we sought to bring marketers and industry leaders together to talk and sharpen our skills in six vital categories: design, copy, analytics, process, emotion, and strategy (which ties ’em all together).

Unbounce Co-Founder Oli Gardner summed up the benefits of high IQ marketing in a blog post earlier this year: “This is marketing that takes things to a new level, going past surface-level findings to understand the true value of your generated leads.”

Oli Gardner at CTAConf
Oli Gardner at CTA 2019

What Marketers Can Do About It in 2020

In 2020, BYOTL (be your own thought leader). Keep devouring blog posts and other content from the experts, sure, but look for those sources that challenge the status quo and go beyond the best practices. (If you’re looking for some blog recommendations, I think this list from The Search Agency is a pretty good place to start.)

Finally, if you weren’t able to join us at CTAConf in 2019, you can also get caught up on all 20 speakers, watch videos, and review slide decks on our recap site. This includes experts like Joanna Wiebe, Larry Kim, Ross Simmonds, Nadya Khoja, Jason Miller, and Andy Crestodina—as well as a few surprising perspectives on marketing today.

(Finally, binge-watching you can feel good about.)

More Reading About Marketing IQ

  1. Call to Action 2019 Speaker Videos and Slides
  2. The Simple Reason Why Your B2B Lead Gen Conversion Rates Are Completely Wrong
  3. Raise Your Marketing IQ at CTAConf 2019

Lesson 4: SaaS rebrands are a huge challenge.

This lesson became immediately apparent when people began to take notice of a single illustration trend that dominated SaaS branding in 2019.

As Unbounce’s Luke Bailey wrote in a post back in August, “Depending on who you ask, these drawings and animations are either fun and whimsical, or strange and faceless. Maybe you see them as friendly-looking doodles … or maybe you see them as just plain weird.”

Image courtesy of the Stubborn Free Illustrations Generator

It was the sheer ubiquity of these “little buddies” in 2019—especially given the time and thought that SaaS marketers put into standing out from the crowd—that’s particularly striking.

Jimmy Daly, Marketing Director at Animalz, first called out how common the style was becoming:

i genuinely respect all of these companies and use these tools but saas websites are perpetually homogenous. what gives?

— Jimmy Daly (@jimmy_daly) June 4, 2019

Like many of us, Daly doesn’t necessarily dislike this trend, but he isn’t sure how these illustrations were suddenly everywhere. In his words, what gives? Should SaaS brands even care about achieving originality? And if not, where should there focus lie?

These are some big questions, it turns out, and I’d recommend checking out Luke’s epic post for the details on his quest for answers. (There’s some interesting speculation in the comments too.)

What Marketers Can Do About It in 2020

Given the enormous pressure to carve out an identity that’s distinct from competitors, marketers might be tempted to try to avoid all influence from others in their space. Even if this were possible, though, it probably isn’t the best approach. Wildly different branding isn’t necessarily what your customers want from you.
Instead, Luke advises taking a more thoughtful approach to your SaaS rebrand:

If you’re planning to launch a new version of your website in 2020, there’s nothing wrong with looking to other companies you admire for inspiration. But, at the same time, you’d be doing your own brand a disservice if you just try to straight-up swipe someone else’s style.

Luke Bailey, Unbounce Content Team

Luke says to consider your product, your place in the market, your target audience, and your brand personality before jumping on any design trend. Striving for some originality makes sense, sure. But matching your brand with your audience is more important.

Whether the cycle of SaaS rebrands in 2020 brings us more of these little buddies or something a little more out there (“What if our new website was, like, entirely turnip-based?”), it makes sense to keep your eyes on the prize: converting visitors into customers.

More Reading About SaaS Branding

  1. Here’s How the Illustration Design Trend Caught Fire and Why Every SaaS Is Rebranding
  2. [Brand Reveal] Celebrating You with a New Look

Get Ready for 2020…

The lessons you’ve learned from 2019 don’t stop being relevant at 11:59pm on December 31st. It turns out that the earth orbits the sun all the time, and we’re just marking the time.

So how will what you learned in 2019 transform how you do your job in 2020? What are your own marketing lessons going into the new year? What are your marketing resolutions? Now’s the time to start thinking…

We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.

Original Article

Evergreen SaaS Landing Pages You Should Have Running at All Times [Examples]

It’s a vicious cycle that many SaaS marketers fall into—you’re trying to hit your lead-gen targets, but your budget and resources are tight. So you turn to a quick, one-off campaign to generate some leads.

Then, once that campaign runs its course, you start planning the next one.

And so on. (And so on.)

While this cycle can be effective in the short term, it’s just not sustainable. Running campaigns in this way create spikes in traffic that can quickly die out if you don’t invest in ongoing promotion. They also take a lot of effort to execute (and don’t guarantee returns).

Cue the infomercial voiceover: “There has to be a better way!”

Pictured: A typical SaaS marketer workin’ the lead-gen funnel.

Turns out, there is a better way.

If instead, you invest some time developing ‘always-on’ campaigns, you can drive consistent growth in a much more efficient, scalable way. For instance, if you have core assets (like a webinar, newsletter, or demo page) that you routinely drive prospects to, you can make these work year-round by creating some landing pages that run on auto-pilot.

There are tons of evergreen landing page campaign possibilities, but we’ve rounded up five that we think every SaaS marketer should have in their arsenal. Keep these ones running 24/7/365 for steady lead generation all year long.

1. The “We Solve Your Problem” Long-Form Landing Page

Do your prospects tend to do a lot of research before they start a new trial or demo your product?

This is where an evergreen, long-form landing page shines. Evaluation-stage prospects are hungry for details, proof of results, examples, and info tailored to their experience. They need to be persuaded to choose your offering over the alternatives.

So, for paid search ads targeting transactional keywords, you may want to create a standard SaaS long-form landing page explaining your offer.

Like this one:

A Pitchbook Page

Image courtesy of Pitchbook. Click it to see the whole thing.

The SaaS sales page above from Pitchbook has a preview video, a customer testimonial, and a logo bar of social proof to build credibility. It does a great job giving visitors a comprehensive rundown of the product’s features and benefits. All in support of that awesome ‘request a free trial’ call to action.

Why should you build one?

Long-form landing pages help your audience make more informed decisions by providing in-depth information about your software. With more sections on the page, you have room to expand about what sets your offering apart from competitors and the value you deliver.

As a bonus, these pages aren’t just effective for middle-of-the-funnel prospects. They can also help folks at earlier stages of awareness. For instance, people in the discovery stage may not know they have a problem, but they’re likely experiencing the symptoms. The extra length lets you conduct a thorough investigation and lead visitors down the path from the symptoms to the problem to (hopefully, your) solution.

With a long-form landing page that runs 24/7/365, you can show potential customers how their current situation is costing them money, time, resources—or any other problem you’ve helped them identify. You can also anticipate the objections your target customer might have about your software and address them with compelling, long-form storytelling.

2. The “Weekly How To” Webinar Landing Page

You can raise awareness of your webinar through your email and social media channels, and you’ll definitely see some engagement for your effort. (After all, how hard is it to click a little ♥ icon?) But without a dedicated landing page, it can be tough as old leather to convert interested people into actual registrants.

It’s easy to forget that once you finalize your content and secure your speakers, you still have to convince your visitors to register to attend.

This webinar landing page that Thinkific built with Unbounce gets it right:

A Thinkific Page

Image courtesy of Thinkific. Click it to see the whole thing.

Promoting an entire digital summit, this page has a large, eye-catching header section that tells the viewer exactly what they’re going to get out of this online event. It also has strong calls-to-action placed above the fold and below the body copy, plus detailed descriptions of the speakers.

Thinkific even includes an FAQ section to help potential registrants get as much information as possible before they make the decision to sign up.

Why build your own webinar page?

If you’re asking prospects to give you their email details and an hour or more of their time, you need to make it clear what they’re getting in return. With a landing page, you can communicate the value of registering for an online or offline event using persuasive elements like benefit-oriented headlines, social proof, and testimonials.

You can also use these pages as an entry point for visitors to explore other relevant content. For example, the bottom of the Thinkific webinar landing page features a short value statement that highlights the benefits of their product in a call-to-action to start a free trial.

Editor’s note. Looking for some advice on how to run a webinar for your SaaS brand? We’ve got you covered: How to Build a Great Webinar from the Ground Up + 8 Examples That Don’t Suck.

3. The Interactive Lead Magnet Page

Let’s face it: the traditional lead magnet is losing its pull. Years ago, you could offer a simple downloadable piece of content like an ebook or a PDF resource and watch your conversions soar.

Today, it’s often a different story. Fewer visitors are willing to part with their email addresses—and if they are, you better have something truly valuable to offer in exchange. To address this, SaaS businesses are upping their lead magnet game by trying out quizzes and other types of personalized, interactive, or tool-based marketing elements.

Here at Unbounce, for example, we developed a free analyzer tool that offers insights on how you can optimize your landing pages:

While an ebook or downloadable PDF can also help to educate visitors, what happens once they finish with that static piece of content? It’s up to each individual to figure out how to apply the learnings, and they’re not always motivated to follow through. That means it’s often the end of the road. They close the book, and they’re done. That’s not great for engagement.

People also have to set aside some time to actually read through your material. In comparison, a quick tool like the analyzer provides each visitor with a personalized report on their specific pages—instantly. No pain, all gain.

And we serve this tool up on an Unbounce-built landing page that converts almost 30% of all visitors. It’s a great way to offer value, all the while serving as an evergreen awareness campaign that’s directly plugged into what we do.

Why should you consider a tool on a landing page like this?

Calculators, quizzes, and other tools are a great way to inject a little fun and—ideally—high value into your lead-gen or awareness strategy. They empower your visitors with insights on their specific situation. And they give you more info about your audience than you could get from a piece of static content.

Interactive lead magnets can also reduce the time your business spends on sales queries and save you time by automatically sending someone’s contact information through your funnel via integrations with your CRM or email marketing platform.

Finally, an interactive lead magnet can help instill loyalty in your visitors. If you’ve helped someone solve a problem, they’re much more likely to bookmark your page and remember you for next time. Plus, you get more credibility because you’ve proven that you know your stuff and understand your audience’s needs

4. The “Newsletter Audience-Builder” Landing Page

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company without an email newsletter. It’s one of the most efficient, cost-effective ways to stay top-of-mind with your audience.

But people also find these newsletters increasingly easy to ignore, easy to tag as spam, and easy to unsubscribe from. That’s why it’s imperative that you keep your list fresh by adding new subscribers.

It’s easier than ever for someone to unsubscribe from your newsletter. (Source: AndroidPolice)

Sure, you can put a newsletter sign-up button on your website and call it a day. But if you really want to grow your mailing list, you should consider adding a dedicated landing page into the mix. With a landing page, you can experiment with copy and compelling visuals to ensure your newsletter’s differentiating value really comes across.

For instance, Pitchbook’s newsletter sign-up (which is another hit landing page from their team) checks all the boxes. It has a clear headline, uses visuals to show what the newsletter looks like in different formats, and has a short-but-sweet form:

Image courtesy of Pitchbook.

If you prefer to keep things simple, though, you could follow this example from Later. There’s not a lot of text on this page, but each piece of copy serves a purpose. The headline (“Never miss an Instagram trend again”) drives home the key benefit of signing up for their newsletter. And the subheading acts as social proof. (After all, a million-marketer-strong email list is nothing to scoff at.)

Image courtesy of Later.

The last section sets expectations around frequency, so potential subscribers can feel confident knowing Later won’t spam their inbox with multiple messages a week. And by only asking for an email, they make signing up even more enticing to their audience of marketers (who are usually wary about giving up their personal info, but often do so when it’s in exchange for more data).

5. The “Sign Up For a 1:1 Demo” Landing Page

While you can give your website visitors a small taste of what you offer through videos and webinars, this often can’t compare to leading someone through your product personally—where your guest can ask questions live. This is why offering a free demo is a common step in the SaaS buyer journey and a key landing page you’ll want to have available evergreen.

Visitors at this stage can be pretty close to making a purchasing decision, so your number one priority should be to make this process as frictionless as possible. Fortunately, a landing page is one of the easiest ways to do this:

Image courtesy of Skillshare.

The most effective demo landing pages are pretty straightforward. They typically have a clean and simple look, a form, a phone number field for an alternative form of contact, social proof, a video, bullet points, or another short message that outlines what users can expect from the demo.

While the “request a demo page” from Skillshare above is missing some social proof in the form of testimonials, all the other important elements are present. It’s easy to follow and the lead-gen form is a reasonable length to help the Skillshare team understand how to tailor the demo.

Conversion tip. You can take things a step further for your always-on demo landing pages by adding a pop-up. For example, you could use this calendar notification pop-up template and have it appear after someone converts. This would prompt your visitor to add a calendar reminder to join the session and ensure your live demo attendance is high.

Evergreen Your SaaS Landing Pages

If you set up these evergreen landing pages as a first step, you can generate a ton of leads for your software without developing campaigns on a typical one-by-one cadence.

As with any other type of campaign though, it’s a great idea to optimize these pages to ensure you’re getting the best results possible. Experiment with on-page elements, the copy on the page, or adding social proof. Even tiny tweaks can have a big impact.

The work of a SaaS marketer is never done, but by building pages for the long term you can create conditions that help you generate leads and conversions—without climbing on the campaign hamster wheel.

Find out how to build high-converting Unbounce pages without disrupting a single developerOriginal Article

Not Using Landing Pages in Your Ecommerce Email Marketing? Here’s Why You Should

So, you’re not using your Landing Pages with your Email Marketing?

We’ve all had it happen. You meticulously craft an ecommerce email campaign that’s gonna help you sell a ton of products. You build a beautiful HTML template, write engaging copy, and A/B test your subject line. You implement an obvious and compelling call to action.

And after all that work, the landing page that your email directs folks to has a high bounce rate—or worse, a low conversion rate.

What gives?

It could be that your emails are writing checks your click-through destination can’t cash. If you send out a 15% off promotion for dog treats and link your audience to someplace with no mention of the discount, visitors are gonna be confused—and they’ll lose interest in a hurry.

Bottom line: Failing to match the messaging in your email with the copy and visuals on your landing page will hurt your conversion rate.

Maybe you already know it’s a problem, but you feel like you don’t have the resources to pair all of your offers with campaign-specific pages. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Here’s why you need to match your emails to your landing pages in your next ecommerce campaign, and how you can do it really, really well.

The Real Reasons Your Email Subscribers Aren’t Buying

Let’s be honest. Sometimes in marketing, you can get away with doing less—and that’s a problem.

Email marketing offers some of the best ROI in the business. When you’ve already got someone’s email address, you can expect them to open 14% of the emails you send, with click-through rates just under 7% overall. Estimates suggest that there’s $44 of revenue generated for every dollar spent on email marketing.

With stats like these, you can just half-butt your ecomm email promotions and still do pretty good, right?

Not exactly. If your emails are paired with landing pages that have high bounce rates or low conversion rates, you’re not just leaving money on the table—you’re also bombarding your potential customers with marketing that just doesn’t resonate.

Here are some of the common reasons email promos underperform:

1. Your storefront product page isn’t enough

Data indicates the average bounce rate is 9%, even with load times of less than two seconds. If you’ve seen higher bounce rates on the destination page of your email promos, it might be that you’re not linking to a relevant enough page in the first place.

Your online store’s product pages are specific no-no’s for this purpose. They’re often short, lack details mentioned in your email, and don’t create a consistent experience from click to click.

2. You’ve got too many escape routes

Another problem with your online store’s product pages is that it’s too easy for customers to get distracted and leave. Think about all of the escape routes: website menus, product navigation, highlighted deals that have nothing to do with your email.

Your ecommerce landing page needs to be built as a distraction-free, conversion-optimized funnel. Always encourage your customers to go forward, not sideways.

3. You’re a victim of the paradox of choice

Even if you cut down on the escape routes, too many options can lead to fewer conversions. As Barry Schwartz explains in his book, The Paradox of Choice: “What we don’t realize is that the very option of being allowed to change our minds seems to increase the chances that we will change our minds.”

The same is true for your visitors. Landing pages with just one call to action have been shown to have 2% higher conversion rates than those with five or more.

4. Your landing page is trying to do too much

When your landing pages are more specific, you can get away with using fewer words. You may also find that it’s better for your conversion rates: landing pages with less copy tend to outperform pages with too much copy at a rate of 14% to 11%.

Josh Garofolo, CRO expert at Sway Copy, explains:

A product page will never do more than an “okay” job because it needs to cater to everyone—every persona, every use case, every traffic source.

Sending subscribers to a focused landing page that leverages everything you know about them—including the context behind the link they’ve just clicked—is the most reliable way to increase conversions.

Why Every Ecommerce Email Marketing Campaign Needs Its Own Landing Page

To summarize some of the things we’ve already covered, here are some of the biggest reasons that you should be pairing email promotions with dedicated landing pages:

  • Avoid confusion and frustration. When someone clicks a CTA in your email for a specific offer, they don’t want to end up on a page that doesn’t mention that promo. They may wonder if the offer is even valid.
  • Target specific customer groups. More specific landing pages help you hit on more customer segments. In one example below, you’ll see how Samuraw targeted specific customer groups with unique pages for each.
  • Maintain purchase momentum. A customer clicking your email offers is further in the sales cycle than a customer who just discovered your product pages. Creating specific landing pages helps you target those customers who are more prepared to buy and streamlines their path to purchase.

B2B email expert Sophia Le makes the case for pairing emails with landing pages this way:

If ecommerce brands take the extra step to make a landing page, it allows them to create a consistent story arc between the email copy and the actual conversion goal.

The more seamless it is, the more likely the conversion. Plus it’s less jarring for the email subscriber when the transition from email to landing page is a smooth one.

How to Match Your Emails with Your Landing Pages (& Maximize Conversions)

Here are some quick tips for creating landing pages that convert more of your email subscribers:

  • Be consistent in design. The first thing that visitors are going to internalize is how the landing page actually looks. When someone clicks on your CTA in the email, the last thing you want to do is surprise them. To create a seamless experience, include consistent design elements like colors, fonts, and images.
  • Minimize navigation. This is a landing page, not a launching page. Yet too few ecommerce marketers seem to realize that: only about 16% of landing pages are free of a navigation bar. Be sure you’re not in the other 84%.
  • Reduce friction. Automatically fill in whatever information you can for visitors on your landing page. For example, if they clicked on a coupon code, make sure it’s already applied to their cart. This reduces the amount of clicking a customer has to do when they’re placing an order.
  • Make one offer per landing page. While 48% of landing pages make multiple offers, you can reinforce the specificity and consistency of your own promotion by focusing on just one offer per page.
  • Make sure the offers match. Don’t make the mistake of promising a discount in an email without also mentioning it on the landing page. Keep the messaging precisely matched so customers don’t have to wonder if they’re in the right place.

Val Geisler, email expert at FixMyChurn, offers this advice:

Landing pages help you be super specific with your audience, and they help your audience feel seen and heard. You can create custom landing pages for various segments of your email list and—using targeted content based on what you know about them—speak directly to their needs.

So, what should a great ecommerce email landing page look like? Let’s check out some examples.

Ecommerce Email Marketing & Landing Page Examples

Example: Codecademy

Let’s kick things off with an incredible example from Codecademy, an online learning platform with courses in programming languages like JavaScript and Python.

This email promotion offers a 25% Black Friday discount on annual memberships for Codecademy Pro, a paid subscription that unlocks all of the platform’s educational coursework. In addition to the savings, Codecademy’s pitch here is all about reaching your potential: unlock the tools, get an actionable plan, achieve your goals.

Recipients who click on Codecademy’s email call to action are directed to an attention-grabbing landing page that expands on the email offer:

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Codecademy Landing Page

Image courtesy of Codecademy. Click it to see the whole thing.

Yeah, it looks great—but this Codecademy page is also converting almost half of everyone who lands here. This is why the promotion works:

  • Incredible design from start to finish. Codecademy uses bold colors and layered patterns to create a promo email that jumps right out of your inbox. Those elements carry over to the landing page, delivering a seamless experience throughout.
  • No introduced distractions. There’s no navigation on the landing page, and none of the ideas are new—just more information about the things we saw in the email. Codecademy repeats its pitch around harnessing your potential, explains its value props, and includes a testimonial as social proof.
  • Focused call to action. There are three buttons on this landing page, but they all point to the same place: checkout. Codecademy uses a sticky bar to remind visitors about the email discount and keep the savings top-of-mind.

Example: Samuraw

Next is Samuraw, a multivitamin and probiotic formula that comes in two versions: one for children, one for adults. The challenge? Addressing each of those target segments with a single campaign.

Another Black Friday email marketing promotion, Samuraw starts by highlighting its holiday discount. Scrolling down, customers find two specific offers—one for each version of the formula.

When someone clicks either “Add to Cart” buttons, they’re taken to a landing page (built by Webistry) that corresponds with the selected formula.

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Samuraw Landing Page

Image courtesy of Samuraw. Click it to see the whole thing.

Pretty intuitive, huh? But that’s not the only reason this example from Samuraw is awesome. Here are some other things they’re doing right:

  • Consistent branding and messaging. The offer being highlighted appears above the fold in the email and on the landing page. The color schemes are the same. Even the product pictures don’t vary. It’s hard to imagine any visitor getting confused when they wind up here.
  • Reduced friction and streamlined checkout. The discounts offered in the email are automatically applied once someone clicks through to the landing page. Samuraw makes it simple for customers to reach the final purchase decision.
  • Segmented customer messaging. “Add to Cart” is a call to action that almost begs to point to a product page, but Samuraw instead links to two specific landing pages aimed at either adults or kids to close the sale. With added details, these pre-cart landing pages do a better job of selling than online store pages.

Example: Great Wolf Lodge

Next up is Great Wolf Lodge, a family of indoor water parks and resort hotels.

Over the summer, they drive bookings through an email marketing campaign that touts their Summer Camp-In event, which includes campfires, pool parties, BBQs, and all kinds of other outdoor fun—only, y’know, inside.

To spur interest, Great Wolf Lodge sent out this well-designed email campaign that highlighted some of the main activities going on, as well as lots of images showing families having an awesome time.

From here, recipients are invited to “Book Now” through the email’s CTA button, which leads to the following tailor-made landing page:

Ecommerce Email Marketing - Great Wolf Lodge Landing Page

Image courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge. Click it to see the whole thing.

As they scroll down the page, the potential booker gets lots of details about what’s included during the event, sees compelling visuals that evoke positive feelings, and even gets a coupon code for a summer-themed suite.

So, well else is working well here?

  • Seamless look and feel. The custom graphics create a consistent experience across the two different touchpoints and generate a feeling of nostalgia with their classic 1950s look.
  • Strategic call to action. The booking CTA on the landing page becomes a sticky bar as the visitor scrolls, so it’s always right at the top of the page and never out of sight.
  • Reinforced discount offer. The coupon code offer is consistent and referenced both in the email and the landing page, helping keep the promotion top of mind.

Looking for more ecommerce landing page examples? Check out our Ultimate Ecommerce Landing Page Lookbook, which features pages from 27 of the top online retailers.

How *Not* to Match Your Emails with Landing Pages

The examples above show a few companies who understand that it’s not enough just to send a great email. Your landing page has to reflect that email if you want to convert your subscribers.

Let’s look at an example of an email and landing page mismatch. Motorsport.com recently ran a Cyber Monday email promotion that promised “better than half price” discounts for customers. Here’s a snippet:

Interesting visuals and a clear call to action make this good so far. But when you click “Subscribe Now,” you’re linked to a landing page with this pricing overview:

It’s great that the link to subscribe sends you to a subscription page. But pay attention to the subtle messaging inconsistencies:

  • Where’s the mention of the “better than half price” sale? Cyber Monday customers that wind up here might wonder if they’ve missed their chance. Are they receiving the discount, or not? This sort of confusion can lead them to bounce.
  • If a discount was applied, is it the one we were promised? Is $8.60 per month “better than half price”? Is so, there’s no indication of that here.
  • Why is there a different call to action? “Subscribe Now” becomes “Get the Full Story” and “Select Package.” There’s a missed opportunity here to more carefully match the messaging and imagery from email to landing page.

Visitors who wanted a unique deal might click anyway, but since the landing page doesn’t even mention the discount, lots of people are going to conclude they’re in the wrong place.

Turn Ready-Made Email Clicks Into Ecommerce Sales

Email conversion expert Laura Lupoch sums things up nicely:

To get an email subscriber to make a purchase, you need a series of touchpoints where they keep saying “yes” to you. That sets the stage for the big “yes” at the end when you ask them to buy.

Think of your landing page as another major step in that “yes” journey towards making a purchase.

If you see high click rates on your emails but not high conversion rates on your landing pages, it doesn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of your emails. It might just be that your emails have promised something your landing page failed to deliver—and that’s hard to say “yes” to.

This is where a landing page builder helps. You can quickly drag-and-drop together specific pages for each email promotion (all without a developer) and deliver a consistent purchase path from inbox to checkout.

Original Article

3 B2B Conversion Optimization Practices You’ve (Probably) Overlooked

Boost your B2B conversion rates with these overlooked conversion optimization practices

A joint study by Econsultancy and RedEye found that only 28% of companies are satisfied with their conversion rates, while 37% reported they’re either quite dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

There could be many reasons for this lack of satisfaction. But from what I’ve seen with my past CRO projects, one major cause is marketers frequently missing out on some optimization opportunities that would improve their B2B conversion rates.

I don’t blame them, of course. There’s a lot that goes into B2B conversion optimization, and it’s easy to miss a few things. In my experience, though, these are three conversion optimization practices that marketers definitely shouldn’t be overlooking:

1. Simplify Customer Experiences

The most straightforward step can also be the most overlooked. A lot of B2B companies tend to overcomplicate their sales funnels and customer experiences.

And that doesn’t do anything to help their conversions.

Instead, they end up losing potential conversions because some of their leads get tired of going through the whole process. They end up leaving the website with an abandoned purchase or signup form. (According to the Baymard Insitute, 26% of customers report abandoning their purchase because the checkout process was too long or complicated.)

You need to minimize the steps required for people to convert. With this in mind, reconsider your sales funnel stages and look for opportunities to simplify the whole process:

  • Is there any step you can remove from your sales funnel?
  • How many stages do potential buyers have to go through to be considered a conversion?
  • Are all of those stages absolutely necessary?

Simplify Your Design

Similarly, you should simplify your customer experiences by keeping your website design and layout simple. The main focus should be on what’s most important—your compelling copy and actionable CTA.

Your site design can deliver better conversions because, according to BigCommerce, it’s the critical factor influencing the buying decisions of 76% of B2B buyers.

Remove any unnecessary design elements that could be distracting your visitors. Do you really need to highlight your company events on your homepage? Or what about that low-quality image that takes over the entire screen?

A lot of opportunities exist to improve B2B conversion rates
The statistics show there’s a lot of opportunity for B2B ecommerce (via BigCommerce)
EDITOR’S NOTE. How do you create a landing page that speaks to the needs of B2B buyers? Check out some of these B2B landing pages built with Unbounce for ideas and inspiration.

Simplify Your Forms

In this same way, you should also review your signup forms and sign-in pages to see what you can remove or improve. Perhaps you don’t really need to ask for their company address unless you’re delivering a physical product. Or you could start by giving them a one-click sign-in option where they sign in using their social media accounts.

For instance, Venture Harbour made three simple tweaks to their homepage design. They simplified the hero section of the page by replacing the CTAs and buttons with a simple message to relay their key selling point. They improved their forms by switching to intuitive multi-step forms to capture customer information without losing their interest:

Venture Harbour created a simplified form
This intuitive multi-step form reduces choice overload (via Venture Harbour)

And, instead of selling their services through their hero section, Venture Harbour also opted to showcase compelling copy to highlight how they have helped other businesses. Instead of making baseless claims, they showed proof of the results they can deliver. Together, these three tweaks increased their conversion rate by 500%.

Know some people who should read this post? Click here to share it on Twitter.

2. Promote Your Content More Strategically

Some B2B companies go all out when promoting their content. They share it everywhere and send notifications about every new piece of content to every subscriber.

While this blast of content may seem like a good idea if you want people to consume your content, it may not necessarily boost conversions. It could even end up annoying people if it isn’t relevant to them.

I recommend taking a more strategic approach to distributing your content. This is very easy to overlook when you’re focused on other aspects of your B2B content marketing strategy, but it can help you plan how to promote your content to specific leads and customers depending on which segment they belong to.

This means you will be showing them more relevant content that is also more likely to guide them through the sales funnel. You could promote your beginner’s guides and 101s to new leads, for example. Or you could send case studies and testimonials to leads that are further down the funnel.

You can start out simple with curated newsletters customized for different segments. Sort your recipients into different segments based on where they are in the funnel and perhaps other factors like department, job role, etc.. Then you can curate some of your best content that will be suitable for each segment rather than hitting everyone with every piece of content.

You can use platforms like FeedOtter to simplify this process. It lets you add content from different sources and easily re-organize them with a drag-and-drop feature. You can even add a personalized greeting and intro to these newsletters for an even bigger impact. Check it out:

A screenshot of FeedOtter in action
Use a platform like FeedOtter to curate the content you send in your newsletters(via FeedOtter)

Use Retargeting to Promote Content

I’d also recommend using Facebook Pixels to retarget people who have shown interest in your business before and have a strong chance of converting at some point.

Retarget them with ads promoting content relevant to what they have viewed before. For instance, you could pay to promote an ebook on email marketing. But you would only target people who have read your blog posts on similar topics or viewed your product feature page on email marketing.

There’s plenty of proof this works, including this case study from Facebook Business. Hawke Media executed a strategic content promotion plan, using long-form content to raise awareness in the first stage. They then created ads to target a Custom Audience and Lookalike Audiences according to their email and client list, CRM leads, and traffic. Finally, they used their engagement data to retarget the most relevant audiences with more tailored ads:


An example of a tailored ad from Hawke Media (via Facebook Business)

As a result of this comprehensive content promotion strategy, the agency saw a five times increase in blog readership within a year. They also had a 4X return on ad spend, while reducing their cost per lead by 78%.

3. Combine PPC and SEO

This is where a lot of businesses—especially emerging ones—struggle. PPC and SEO each have their unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s difficult to choose which one to focus on. Which will be more effective to optimize B2B conversion rates?

SEO helps you bring in more organic traffic and delivers long-term results at minimal cost, theoretically. But, at the same time, its impact is slow. You could spend months and hundreds of dollars on content production before you start seeing any results.

PPC, on the other hand, brings in immediate results as it enables precise targeting. But since you get charged for every click, these campaigns tend to be more expensive, even if they do improve conversions.

PPC campaigns may seem like the logical option for conversion optimization. But from how I see it, this isn’t an “either/or” situation.

You don’t have to choose between SEO and PPC. Use them together to deliver better results and improve B2B conversion rates. I suggest using your SEO keyword data to optimize the performance of your PPC campaigns, and vice versa.

Use SEO with your PPC…

Are there any long-tail keywords that have been converting visitors organically? If they’re driving organic conversions, clearly it means they are helping you attract a relevant and interested audience. Giving them a little leverage with PPC campaigns could drive even more conversions.

You can even take this up a notch. There may be some keywords for which you’re ranking organically even when you haven’t made any effort to target them. This means that the keywords are clearly working for you since they are delivering results even without effort.

You can use tools like Pro Rank Tracker to discover keywords for which you’re already ranking organically but are unaware of. You just need to enter your URL in the search bar, and it will give you a complete report of all of the keywords for which your website is ranking. This will include a section of keywords for which you are ranking but aren’t currently tracking. Here’s an example of what this looks like:


An example of keyword rankings (via Pro Rank Tracker)

…and PPC with your SEO

Similarly, you should monitor the high-performing keywords in your PPC campaigns. This will help you identify the search terms that people typically use when they click on your ads and understand user intent in the process. So put together these top-converting keywords and use them to optimize your organic content.

You can take your approach even further by using PPC to target organic keywords that get a lot of searches but are too competitive to rank for organically. With highly competitive keywords, it will take you months and a lot of effort to organically rank for them on the first page of Google SERPs. So boost your efforts by targeting these keywords in your PPC campaigns, which will get you quick and effective results.

For instance, Zoho isn’t ranking yet on the first page of Google results for the keyword “A/B testing tool” since it’s quite generic and likely to be very competitive. But if you look at the screenshot below, Zoho does shows at the top of the page because they’re targeting the keyword with a PPC campaign. Zoho has paid to surpass the organic results for their top competition such as Optimizely and VWO:

Boosting B2B conversion rates by using PPC to dominate the SERPs
When you can’t rank organically, running PPC ads can be a smart alternative
EDITOR’S NOTE. Want more advice like this? Read Alex Birkett on “20 Conversion Optimization Tips for Zooming Past Your Competition” for more advanced ways you can score more conversions.

How Do You Improve Your B2B Conversion Rates?

These are some of the best B2B conversion optimization practices that you might be overlooking, especially if you’re just starting out.

But if you haven’t overlooked these suggestions, my final piece of advice is that you should keep looking for new opportunities to optimize your approach for better B2B conversion rates. It’s an ongoing process that you revisit more than once, and chances are there are any other improvements you could be making.

Got any questions (or doubts) about these practices? Let me know in the comments below.

Looking to boost your PPC ad results even further?Original Article