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Inbound Marketing Blog

    5 Reasons Why Landing Pages Are Like a First Date

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Collecting Data Through Landing Pages 

    Let’s be 100% honest with each other here. No one ever goes on first dates because they’re fun.

    Sometimes they’re okay, but often they’re kind of awkward and nerve-wracking. In the best case, both landing pages and first dates are just the beginning of a wonderful, long-term arrangement.

    Bear with me, but let’s talk about how collecting data through landing pages is really a lot like the first time you go to dinner and movie with someone. They’ve got much more in common than you think:

    1. You’ve Got to Make the Right Impression Fast

    You’re probably not going to like what I’m about to share. Turns out, you probably have about 100 times longer to make the right first impression on an hour-long first date than you do with your landing pages. Meghan Lockwood of HubSpot highlights the fact that 6 seconds is pretty much the Internet norm for deciding whether or not a prospect will stay or hit the “Back” button.

    Getting all the different aspects and nuances of a landing page correct the first time are imperative because 98% of the time, your visitor will not be back.

    2. You Can’t Treat it Like an Interrogation

    The only time you want more than two or three questions on your landing page forms is if your company has an abundance of under-qualified leads. The rest of the time, less is more. The easier your forms are to fill out, the more likely people are to complete the form and accept your offer.

    Eloqua recently did some analysis on the ideal number of forms for collecting information without driving prospects away en mass, and determined it was 7. The number of questions you ask also has a lot to do with where the visitor might be in the sales process.

    If your visitor has turned into a lead, and you already have their e-mail address, you might ask them for additional information in a "middle-of-the-funnel" landing page.

    Keeping landing pages and the information you ask for as simple as possible is the best way to get that information you crave.

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    image credit: hubspot

    If you decide to ask your date 16 questions in a row, we’ll be surprised if you have a 40% conversion rate for a second meeting. Because that’s just bad manners.

    3. You’ve Got to Be Trustworthy

    So, the worst-case scenario for your first date or landing page is when your prospect is sitting there, wondering whether you can even be trusted.

    We can’t give too much advice on how to be less sketchy at the restaurant with your date, but we can say that coming across like you’re going to run home and sell their email address never ends well, in any situation.

    To increase the idea that you are trustworthy, display customer testimonials and a clear link to your privacy policy.

    4. Make Sure Your CTA and Page Match Up

    As it turns out, both dates and consumers are pretty sensitive to being scammed. The headline on your landing page needs to match your CTA. If there’s a disparity between what you’re advertising and what’s being offered on the landing page, it’s going to raise a red flag in your consumer’s brain. You’re going to get shut out before the data-collecting date even starts.

    Similarly, if you don’t bear any personal resemblance to the character advertised on your online dating profile, it’s not going to bode well for your future.

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    image credit: HubSpot

    Make sure images and verbiage are very similar, contain your keywords and use actionable language that inspire the visitor to move along in the process.

    5. Rely on Progressive Profiling

    Just because someone clicks through, shares his or her email address and job title, and downloads your new eBook, doesn’t mean they’re a sales-ready, qualified lead.

    If someone survives a first date with you without leaving for “the bathroom,” it doesn’t mean there are wedding bells ahead. Qualifying leads and dating both require progressive profiling, which is really the concept of gathering information over time and a variety of situations.

    Once you’ve collected initial information on a prospect, watch their behavior and collect more data through landing pages over time. What’s their budget and interest level? If they’re continuing to click through your marketing automation emails and share more information, there’s a good chance they’re sincerely interested in your business.

    If your date keeps hanging out with you and answering your phone calls, things might be headed in the right direction. Landing pages and first dates are really just a door to bigger and better things, and optimizing will improve your chances of a match made in heaven. 

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    image credit: photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Lead Gen