As many know, I work with some large financial services clients. My company advertises their products online. As a result, I’ve been studying marketing landing pages lately. Specifically landing pages for loans and credit apps. What is a landing page? Simply put it is a page or site that is designed to direct a consumer to complete an offer or an action.
There are many tactics used with landing pages. It really depends on what the goal of the page is. Most landing pages are designed to guide a user to click through to an affiliate offer, click on a paid click ad, fill out a form, or buy a product.
Some of the worse examples I’ve seen of landing pages are MFA (Made for Adsense) and click arbitrage pages. They are designed to get the user to exit the site by clicking a pay per click ad. Usually, it’s a block of content about cash loans or mortgage applications, and a big block of ads in the middle. Horrible. Simply horrible. I’m not saying they aren’t effective, because arbitragers make bank on those pages, but from a user experience there is a lot to be desired.
A step up from that are offer pages designed to capture leads. These most often are pages filled with tightly-packed, bright, and colorful sales graphics with a small form to fill out. Everything you look at is pointing you to the form and telling you why you should fill out the form immediately. These pages are great for collecting lead data. But the attrition rate is fairly high on most of these sales pages. Users are dropping out after filling out the page because they aren’t getting what they were expecting or what they were “sold”.
In my opinion, my favorite example of an effective landing page happens to come from a credit card offer. See below:
This example is very effective. Here’s a few reasons why:
1) It displays trustworthy brand names. Discover, Chase, Visa, Citi, Amex, etc. All their products are displayed in plain view for the user to see. I can’t stress how important this is! I’ve seen way too many landing pages that are basically “Apply now for our private labeled credit card that we won’t tell you the name of until after you apply” type of offers. Having the brand names front and center gets users over a big hurdle instantly. They know what they are going to get.
2) The consumer gets to choose. There isn’t just one product being sold, there’s 24! Instead of spending the energy on trying to just sell one card to the user, they are letting the user compare and shop for themselves. All these cards are already similar in that they offer 0% APR on the intro transfer balances, and they do a good job of making the consumer aware of this fact. Now the user gets to click on the card that appeals to them the most since they already have a basic idea of what the offer is.
3) The landing page is informative. Below the fold (the bottom part of the page that you have to scroll down to read) has very detailed information for the consumer to read if they have any questions about what a zero APR is, how the site is helping them and what to look out for. There is also a link to the Credit Card Balance Transfer blog to further educate the consumer. An added bonus to the blog is that it enhances search engine traffic.
4) Easy navigation. On landing pages with multiple pages, it can be difficult for a user to know where to go next or what is available on the page. The above credit card example does a good job of having clear, visible links through out the site, navigation at the top of each page, and a sitemap that helps users and search engines navigate to all the pages on the site. There’s even a Canadian CC Offer page that I found through the sitemap.
5) Friendly design. This site does not scream “SCAM” or “SPAM” to me. It’s one that if I were genuinely looking for a credit card, I’d be very interested in. There is a lot of valuable information and a lot of valuable, targeted offers.
The above landing page is ideal for search engine traffic. I think an email campaign would be moderately successful, but organic SERPS are where its at for that page. It has all the ingredients of a successful search campaign.