Think of all the care you gave your business when you first opened up. Did you stress over the sign with your business name outside your building? Did you drive by and make sure it was readable from the street as cars passed by? Did you ask friends and neighbors their impression of your lobby, location, etc? I am sure you did! Opening a business is a big deal and you never get a second chance to make a first impression with your potential new customers.
The on-line equivalent to your retail store lobby is your landing page. The landing page is the page on your website that you are directing people to in various advertising mediums. This can be your home page, blog or better yet a specific page developed on your site for each marketing campaign you run.
If you are on the Doodlekit Simple Plan then you have 30 pages you can utilize on your site. If you are on a Business Plan you have 100 pages you can utilize. The average Doodlekit user has only 10 pages of content on their site so you have plenty of room left to create campaign specific landing pages.
What is the purpose of a campaign specific landing page?
Have you ever seen a commercial or an advertisement that mentioned a specific offer or promotion a business is offering but then when you went to their website you could find no mention of it? The website only offers the full price or less value offer. You aren’t sure if the promotion is still going on, you don’t know if you buy that the special discount will be honored. You are left with more questions than answers. This is exactly why businesses need landing pages.
Let’s look at an example of a failure I recently found of a business that didn’t have a landing page for a promotion they were running. Check out the offer below:
The business, EmbodyMe, is a new business in my area that was offering a discounted trial of their services through LivingSocial.com. They had a link to their website in the promotion so I clicked through to get more information. When I got to their site I found this:
They are choosing to use their blog page as their landing / home page. This is not a bad choice. A frequently updated blog can be a very effective landing page. The problem is the last post on this blog is from January 25, 2012. The offer on Living Social ran April 12, 2012. So their blog hasn’t been updated in nearly 3 months. It still talks about their grand opening and has no images or reference to the deal being offered on Living Social.
A simple blog post (only 25% of Doodlekit users are using their Blog!) entered the day before the Living Social special ran saying “Welcome Living Social Members” with a brief explanation about why their business is different / better/ more suited to my needs would have gone a long way to impressing potential clients. Additionally they could have offered an added incentive such as “if you book your discount massage in the next 30 days we will offer you 15% a package of 10 additional massages if you pay up front on the day of your first service”.
Because Doodlekit give users the flexibility to easily create and display subpages there is no reason why you couldn’t create a custom page and hyperlink directly to it instead of your home page or blog. This page doesn’t have to appear in your site navigation. You just provide the page specific URL to the company doing your promotion rather than your homepage URL. That makes it “super special” just for those who see your advertisement! An additional bonus is you can track traffic on that page to know how many new visitors you are getting as a result of your promotion!
If you want to really make your new GroupOn, Living Social, Plum District, etc clients feel special create a forum for them to post about their new experience with you. Only 10% of Doodlekit users are using their forum. You could sweeten the pot by telling new clients that if they provide a review via the forum on your website they are entered into a drawing for another free service or discount.
One example of many
Unfortunately EmbodyMe Massage is hardly the only one of these I have seen. In fact since I started carefully looking at GroupOn, Plum District and Living Social deals and the corresponding company websites I have seen only 2 or 3 that have actually given any mention to their special offer or welcoming new clients as a result of their offer.
If I pulled up to your physical store location and your building had not been tended, your trash not taken out, your windows not washed in 3 months it would reflect very badly on the professionalism of your establishment. If customers walked in your door and you didn’t great them or offer them an advertised special it would also reflect badly and effect their desire to want to continue to do business with you. Your website is no different. You only get one chance to make a first impression online too! Your Doodlekit site has robust functionality but it can only work to your advantage if you use it!
About the Author: Heather Rubesch is currently the Director of Content for DemandCon, the only industry conference focused on accelerating the entire sales and marketing funnel. Her penchant for collaboration drew her 3 years ago to co-found the Savvy B2B Marketing blog with five of the most talented content marketers in the universe!