Why your union should care about landing pages
June 25, 2012
If you could do one thing to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your online campaigning, it would be to use targeted landing pages on your union’s online campaign efforts. The reason landing pages should be a part of every union’s online toolkit is that they are exclusively intended to encourage visitors to take action.
The normal pages of a union’s website are filled with distractions. Menu bars, side bars, footers and other design elements, which are all important for normal pages but which reduce the effectiveness of pages designed with a call to action.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a website page that allows you to capture a visitor’s contact information (for example, through a form).
A good landing page targets a particular stream of traffic — say from an email campaign promoting a particular union campaign — and, because it is targeted, and because it has an engaging call to action behind a lead capture form, you will convert a higher percentage of your website visitors into leads with which you can follow-up.
Leads are potential members, potential activists and delegates, people interested in attending union training, petition signatories, or potential donors for a strike fund.
Forms are petitions, membership applications, email subscription forms, or anything else where you ask for an email address or other contact details.
Why are these important? Because without someone opting in to receiving information about your union’s campaign, through giving you their contact details, you cannot engage them or spur them to take action.
Why are landing pages so important?
Too many unions (and many other organisations) send their online advertising, email, or social media traffic to their homepage. This is a huge missed opportunity! When you know a stream of targeted traffic will be coming to your website, you can increase the likelihood of converting that traffic into leads by using a targeted landing page.
For example, imagine you have a Google AdWords ad running for one of your campaigns. Even if you advertise how great your campaign is and someone clicks through on that ad, do you want to send them to your homepage? When they land on your homepage, what are they supposed to do? What do you want them to do? Once you figure out what you want the visitor to do, make it easier for them to do just that. Send them to a landing page specifically targeted for your campaign and then prompt them to complete a specific campaign action (like sign a petition or send an email to a politician). You’ll see the effectiveness of your online campaigning improve.
What makes an effective landing page?
[box border=”full”]Read: Anatomy of a great landing page.[/box]
Here are some of the most important elements to make sure your landing page is working effectively:
- Limit navigation. You’ve brought your targeted traffic to a page where they can take your desired action. Don’t distract them! Limit the number of exits from your landing page so that your visitors focus on taking action (signing the petition, joining the union, subscribing to your email alerts). A key part of this is to hide your website navigation elements on landing pages.
- Compelling call to action. First and foremost, if you have a compelling call to action, your visitors will give up their contact information. Ask yourself if your call to action is compelling and make sure that your landing pages demonstrates that value. (Read: Four effective calls to action to use on your union website.)
- Enable Sharing. Tap into a huge community of your best (and free!) marketers: your audience. Add share links to your landing page to encourage your website visitors to share your content with their audiences (but don’t go overboard, as too many can slow down page load time).
- Keep it Short. The longer your landing page and form, the more friction you add to the lead conversion process. Keeping your lead form short and straightforward will increase your conversion rate. (Read: How many fields belong on your landing pages?)
- Test, Test, Test. Despite what I say and what you read online, your landing page can only improve if you run your own tests and use your own data. Make sure you have a landing page creation tool that allows you to create and test many different landing pages to see what works best for your union. (Read: Use A/B split testing for your union website.)
If you’re working hard to drive traffic to your website, don’t make the mistake of not capturing that traffic as leads — especially for your major campaigns.