Will you squeeze, micro or land them? Three types of web marketing that work.
Web marketing continues to evolve in really interesting—and growing—ways. The spectrum ranges from the methodical pay-per-click and SEO, to the more touchy-feely world of social. It seems to split, like traditional marketing, into qualitative vs. quantitative buckets—but I digress.
For a lot of direct response marketing, three types of web marketing seem to perpetually hold their own in the growing wave of techniques: The squeeze page, the microsite, and the landing (or sell) page.
By the most up-to-the-second standards of digital marketing snobs, these three approaches seem almost, well, quaint. But they’re still widely used by such marketing behemoths as HubSpot, Agora Publishing, Rodale Press and others. Why? Because when you do them well, they can really work.
What it is – Typically, this is a simple webpage with a form on it. You fill in your name, company name, email, etc. in exchange for something you want—like a free white paper, report, or access to a video. Squeeze pages can be accessed from virtually any web vehicle… a Facebook ad, an email, a website, a display ad, you name it.
What it’s used for – Squeeze pages are a kick-butt way to build a list of opt-in prospects or subscribers, because you capture their data. Keep in mind, people are still a little squeamish about giving up their info—the very site of a web form can have that nauseating effect—but if they want what you’re offering badly enough, they’ll do it. And that automatically makes them a more qualified lead.
Keep in mind – Whatever you offer (white paper, report, video) in exchange for your prospect’s prized personal info better be good and free. Make that damn good and free. If it comes across as just an elaborate sales pitch with not much meat, they’ll opt out of anything else you send and will not likely give you a second chance.
What it is – This is exactly what it sounds like—a smaller site, but dedicated solely to a specific product, service or offering. Many websites give you access to everything a company does and offers. A microsite often boasts a singular focus.
And just because it’s focused doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. It can contain any bell and whistle you want, provided you have the budget.
What it’s used for – In our agency, we use microsites a lot for new product launches. It gives the product (or service) a nice little cyber spotlight, with product specs, videos, images, background info, studies, testimonials, offers and even directions on how to order. Generally, people come to microsites from advertising campaigns (both digital and traditional), tradeshows, email blasts, websites, organic and paid searches and more.
Keep in mind – Microsites should offer information in an entertaining or interesting way. Often, people visit these sites looking to solve a certain problem and hoping this product or service will do the trick. Answer that need, and it will perform stunningly for you.
As soon as your microsite hits cyberspace, be sure to set up Google Analytics for it. You’ll be fascinated to see how long prospects stay, what pages they visit and more—it’s incredible customer insight.
LANDING PAGE (a.k.a “sell page”)
What it is – A landing page is a standalone, single page aimed at selling. They often have lots of copy, images, charts, sidebars, testimonials, video and more—and the ever-present “order now” button. The page links to an order form/shopping cart, complete with a place to plug in credit card or Pay Pal info.
Unlike a microsite with multiple pages, landing pages are comprised of a single, long page.
What it’s used for – I’ve seen just about everything sold on landing pages—e-books, As-seen-on-TV type products, supplements, software, and lots more. People will also come to these pages from many places, including print or broadcast advertising, email, websites, organic and paid searches, pay-per-click ads and others. Again, people are here with solving some sort of issue on their mind, and they’re looking to this product to fix that. The page has to deliver—has to sell—or it will be a fabulous flop.
Keep in mind – Copy is king here, but it has to be good copy. For this, you need a pro who’s done this before, otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Many landing pages work against marketers’ natural instincts that copy should be short, thanks to our society’s ever-shrinking, squirrel-like attention spans. But in fact, studies show the opposite is true when someone is looking to buy something online. They want facts, testimonials, reviews and more—so pile it on, but keep it interesting. A seasoned copy pro is the only way to go here.
– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group