Achieving Success Through Integration

Tips to make your landing pages work well with your direct mail

Posted by Nick Loeser on Tue, Dec 21, 2010 – The Structural Graphics Blog

Though our core business is primarily high-impact print solutions, we are always encouraging our clients to think “integrated” with their campaigns. Effective campaigns require several components to work in harmony to produce the best possible results. The two major areas of focus are the direct mailer and the landing page. The landing page acts as the lead repository for your campaign. In most cases, your prospects will have their last interaction with your campaign on the landing page, so you need to pay extra special attention to its design and execution. When we are designing a landing page for a client we often gather the designers of the print piece, the creative team, our marketing team and the account manager. That way we can be sure the design is completely in sync with the print piece and the objectives of the campaign. Here are some tips for designing your landing page for an integrated campaign. These tips include some universal best-practices for web design because many landing pages are used for a long time and hence, should be given the same attention as your corporate website.

        1. Cohesive Design: It’s crucial that the look and feel of your landing page is similar to that of your print piece. Be sure the colors, fonts and overall design feel are the same. In fact, we have found that a lot of our high-impact designs work well on the web! For example, take our 4-Windown Pull. The unique design allows users to pull tabs and reveal and image or additional copy. For one client we needed to translate this to the web. We created the same four squares using little images. When the user hovered over the images with the mouse they appeared to flip and change into another image. It was very similar to the effect of the print piece. 2. Keep your offer above the fold: Due to various screen resolutions, “above the fold” can vary from user to user. However, a rule of thumb is to offer your best content, headlines, or offer within the top 300 – 500 pixels. 3. Just ask, you may be surprised: Many landing pages concentrate too much on how great the offer is. They offer tons of content repeating the fabulous offer, but they forget to “ask for the sale”. Known to all sales people, “asking for the sale” is a key principal. It seems basic, but sales people are often intimidated or lack confidence in their product/service, so they forget to simply ask for the sale. If you want a user to fill out a form, just ask. 4. Ask, but not for too much: There is still a significant portion of the population that believes it’s unsafe to give out information online, and their fear is not totally unfounded. Recently, Facebook faced huge criticism and a backlash from users for their confusing and lackadaisical privacy policies. Furthermore, sites like Gawker, Network Solutions, Twitter and more have been hacked with customer information stolen. To minimize this fear only ask for the information you need. If you’re asking for them to sign up for something, then you probably don’t need their birth date or household income, do you? Well, maybe you do for classification purposes, but be mindful of what you’re asking. Perhaps you can ask for a range (24-35 years old) instead of specifics. Also, insure that their information is going to be kept securely by displaying an SSL certificate badge and your privacy policy. 5. Design for search engines: For longer lasting campaigns it may be beneficial for the landing page to be indexed by Google and other search engines. This is all part of a larger search engine optimization discussion, but this is the basic must-haves. To be sure your page is as visible as possible, use lots of text, not just images or animations. Also, use <H1, H2, H3> tags for your main headlines. This tells search engines what your page is about (in order of importance.) Lastly, be sure you include the following metadata on your page. <title>: This is visible to the searcher and is usually the first line you see on the search engine results page (SERP). It should be similar to your

headline tag, thus confirming to the search engine what your page is about. Also, this could include your offer, since it will be visible on the SERPs. For example, you may write “Free Gizmo if your sign up now.” If this is in your title tag it will be visible to the browser when they are deciding what page to click on.

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