Building Landing Pages for Outbound Email Campaigns

September 21, 2016 Andrew Choco

A lot of people will tell you that email is dead. So many, in fact, that a number of articles have been written specifically to disprove that claim. Even more people will tell you that using email for sales is dead. I disagree, and I am writing this piece to demonstrate how effective a sales tool email can be when you use dedicated landing pages for your email campaigns.

With that being said, not all email campaigns deserve a landing page.

In some cases, depending on the goal of the email, it’s best to just send your email audience directly to a piece of content, or not include a link at all. I’ll go over a few different types of email campaigns, whether to include a landing page, and the best practices for creating landing pages for an outbound email campaign to help build qualified leads and improve sales.
 

Types Of Email Campaigns

Before we go over the actual landing page, let’s dive into the different types of email campaigns that are most commonly sent and how to utilize them to turn leads into clients. When you’re reaching out to a cold lead with an email, or sponsoring an email campaign on another company’s email list, having a dedicated and relevant landing page could be the difference between a lead converting or not.
 

Email Newsletter

The email newsletter is an email sent out regularly, usually weekly or monthly, to fill in subscribers on important company news, industry news, or interesting industry-related content. For sales at Directive Consulting, we send out a weekly update with our latest piece of content (either on our own blog, or one of our guest posts). With this type of email campaign, we don’t feel like a landing page is necessary because our end goal is to help educate our audience on new tactics and strategies we’re trying.

We know that with long sales cycles and the opportunities for churn that are built into the SaaS model, education speaks directly to sales. Buyers are conducting their own buyer journeys—we want them doing it on our blog.
 

Offer Email

The primary aim of an offer email is to get your leads further down the sales funnel into the potential client or customer section. It’s best not to overdo this type of email, as coming off pushy can lead to higher unsubscribe rates.

With this email, you ideally want to be contacting people who already receive your newsletter, and recognize you as a thought leader in your industry. Our strategy with this is offering a free in-depth audit of our potential clients’ search campaigns.

Another good idea is providing another resource that is valuable (like an ebook, guide, or webinar) that’s more in-depth than just a blog post. Even if you already have their email, asking for another piece of information (such as a phone number) for a valuable piece of content is an excellent way to get your sales team in contact with a warmer lead. Check out this landing page by HubSpot for one of their ebooks.
 

Cold Outbound Email

Cold calling and cold emailing can still work. However, it’s important to remember that you’re taking time out of your lead’s day, so make the email more about how you can help them, rather than how they can help you. Put the bottom line up front, too.

In this case, offering a specific landing page that highlights the exact way you can help make their life easier, or their company more successful, is a great tactic to boost conversion rates. Add CTC (click-to-call) buttons and online chat if you can.
 

Email Sponsorship

Finding a highly followed company that does a newsletter in your industry, and offering to be a sponsor, is another great way to get in front of qualified leads. In this case, since you’re not the one sending out the email blast, there are a few different routes you can take.

  1. If you’re looking to simply build up your email leads, creating a landing page with a simple giveaway is a great way to do that. You can take a look at one of our client’s landing pages, where we offer a free 5-minute demo video in exchange for a small amount of information, including an email address.
  2. Have your creative team create a specific ad that targets leads already in the process of looking for your service or product, and then create a landing page (using something like unbounce.com) that directly addresses that need. We recently just did this, and featured the ad below:

directive consulting ad

 

When someone clicked on this ad, it took them to an incredibly specific landing page with a direct CTA that offers a free in-depth report on SEO, PPC, and Content Marketing. You can see what the landing page looks like below (or see the full landing page here).
 

Discover Growth
 

How To Optimize Your Landing Pages To Improve Sales

Sending people to any landing page though won’t guarantee conversions, so let’s discuss the best practices for creating high converting landing pages that help warm leads move down the pipeline.
 

Keep Your CTA And Important Information Above The Fold

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people put a CTA at the bottom of the page, thinking that their user is going to want to read all the information before wanting to convert. However, you want your lead to be able to convert at any point on the page. Using a scrolling header with a CTA up there is a great way to do this.
 

Align Warmth Of Lead With The Correct CTA And Form Length

Is this your first time reaching out to a lead through email? Sending them to a landing page asking them to schedule a demo and requiring them to fill out a form asking for budget, number of employees, industry, phone number, and job title doesn’t really align with where they’re at in the sales funnel. If it’s your 3rd time contacting a lead (especially a warm lead) that approach makes more sense. Make what you’re asking for match where the lead is in the cycle.
 

Track As Much As You Can

A landing page can only be as successful as the tracking that’s installed on it. You should be tracking every conversion on Google Analytics. If you’re combining email and social advertising, you should add a Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin (they finally added this!) conversion pixel as well. If you can track your conversion rates, it helps you determine which landing page leads to the highest ROI, and which landing page should be used for the warmest leads.
 

A/B Test Different Variants And CTAs

Even if your landing page is converting at 15%, you never know how much better it could be doing unless you’re A/B testing different variants. Going back to the client of ours offering the free 5-min demo video, here’s version one, and version two of their landing page. Testing the conversion rates of these helps align your sales goals. Send your coldest leads the highest converting landing page, and send your warmest leads the landing page that’s furthest down the sales funnel.

Referring to this same client, we saw a 13% conversion increase when we changed the CTA from 'schedule a demo' to 'free 5-minute demo.' If you’re using 'schedule a demo' as your primary CTA, check out this article about how that may be killing your conversion rate.
 

Include Social Proof Or Testimonials

In my opinion, this is one of the most important pieces of a successful landing page. Building trust is a crucial part in converting leads to clients. A great way to do that is including a quote from a current or previous client that highlights the success you’ve had with them. The more specific and data-driven it can be, the better. As you can see above on our landing page, we include specific results one of our client’s saw that came directly from our work.
 

Conclusion

Email still works, but there are strategies that you can take to push your leads further down the funnel. It’s important to remember that not all email campaigns need a landing page, so don’t try to create one for every campaign you launch just to have one. Creating landing pages that convert can be a time-consuming task, so make sure you’re only using them for emails that will generate a high click through rate.

Following the best practices listed above, and pairing those optimized landing pages with targeted, specific email campaigns can yield great results. Let me know in the comments if this strategy works for you!

*Featured Image Source

About the Author

Andrew Choco

Andrew Choco is the VP of Marketing at Directive Consulting He’s a creative and innovative marketing enthusiast who specializes in social media marketing, SEO, and content creation. He’s had content featured on Moz, Vendasta, and is a regular contributor to the Directive Consulting blog.

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