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Landing Pages

Email Marketing Best Practices 2011

Prepare for Landing
The overarching goal of email marketing is to achieve conversions. Whether it is subscribing to a newsletter or making a purchase, you want the reader to leave that email window and take a specific action somewhere else. In most cases the obvious destination is your website. However, it can’t be just any old web page. This action must take place on your landing page, the page you optimize to greet the reader after they make that fateful click.

You know that saying about how you only have a matter of seconds to impress a potential customer? Well, it applies all the way from your subject line to your landing page. If this page is crafted poorly, it could be the last time the reader ever takes you up on a call to action. Losing potential customers will be the least of your worries when you know how to optimize your landing page to:
Create Familiarity - Clicking on an email link might be an uncomfortable experience for some of your subscribers. In a single click, they are directed away from the secure confinement of their inbox to the treacherous web where anything goes. You can calm those fears by letting them know they have arrived safely in the right destination. Make sure your message is consistent, design and all, and it will create familiarity that has them feeling at ease once they arrive on your landing page.
Guide the Visitor - So you convinced the reader to click-through and visit your website. Now what? If your landing page is not designed to guide them through the process, they certainly won't have a clue. A good landing page will let the visitor know exactly what they need to do in order to take the next critical step in the conversion process. Convince them to become a member of your site. Pitch them a clever sales incentive. Promote a partner's product. Whatever you do, just don't leave them hanging.
Keep It Simple - The bells and whistles we see in the inbox with HTML are nothing compared to the glitz and glamour on the web. Technologies such as AJAX, Flash, and Ruby on Rails make it possible to wow your visitors with an unforgettable experience. All this dynamic content is great for visual effect, but not necessary for a landing page. Not everyone is working with the latest hi-tech computer. Realizing this, you should keep the design of your landing page simple and focus on getting the visitor to take the next step.
Though it exists on the web, the landing page is one of the most important components of your email campaign. It is the key to generating the conversions you need to continually thrive, so a strategy that accounts for design, keywords, calls to action, and other elements is necessary in order to make it a good one.