We need to dramatically move the needle on what happens after the paid click. The solution? Post-click marketing. It’s a radically new approach to what happens after people respond to your paid search, email marketing or online advertising.
We need to think outside the box, because right now, the most highly optimized landing pages or microsites will only convert in the single digits. Why? It’s not because that’s the best that can be done, it’s because that’s the best that can be done within the constraints of landing pages. It’s time to throw them out the window!
The problem is short and punch ads that lead to convoluted, long-winded next steps. One of the keys to online marketing is brevity. We earn clicks with short and sweet messages that make vague promises. It works. We generate a lot of clicks from a wide variety of people, but then what?
The best of us use optimized landing pages or microsites to handle those clicks. And, generally speaking, the next thing that our respondent gets is a long, convoluted page that attempts to be all things to all people. It’s a huge mismatch. We get five seconds of a person’s attention and then ask them for five minutes to wade through a complicated page. It doesn’t work. The proof is in the numbers. According to Marketing Sherpa, we’re converting less than five per cent of all our paid clicks to anything more than one click. The problem is, we need more than one click. We need customers. That’s why we market.
Think like a respondent
Cast your mind back to the last time you clicked on an SEM ad or banner. It’s likely that the ad made you a promise, a “click here, get this” kind of thing that got your attention and made you click. You probably gave it hardly any thought.
Let’s say that promise was a discount on a Caribbean holiday. The next thing you need is a specific, short, easy page that gets you a little more engaged and excited. You don’t want to think or spend time. You’re willing to keep clicking, as long as there’s something in it for you. So, let’s say that next page presented a few options for your discounted Caribbean holiday—with kids, just the two of you, or traveling alone? You’ll click on the option that fits, because it’s making the original offer more valuable to you. Now you really want it.
Then you get an offer that’s hard to pass up. You’re traveling with the kids and you can get 20 per cent off a five-night stay at a family resort in Antigua. All you have to do is complete a short form and the resort will email the discount code, along with a brochure. Or, if you’re ready to book right now, by all means get to it. It’s fast and easy, so you complete the short form to get the discount and brochure.
You get a confirmation page. It thanks you for your interest with more rewards—take a virtual tour, choose activities, or connect to someone who can tell you all about the beach. It’s fast, easy and engaging. That process was a post-click marketing conversion path. When we plug conversion paths into online marketing instead of landing pages, microsites or deep links, we see 200-1,000 per cent increases in conversion rates. And that’s what I mean by moving the needle.
No more mediocrity
“No more landing pages!” should be the battle cry for online marketers. We’ve come to accept mediocrity in the form of “optimizing” square pegs for round holes. When you think like a user, you don’t want to see a landing page, regardless of how optimized it is. You want fast and easy. You want clarity and brevity. You want what was promised to get you to click, and you want it right now.
Conversion paths can segment, qualify, and convert up to 10 times the rate of outdated alternatives. They are multi-page landing experiences that reflect positively on your brand by keeping the promise you made to earn the click. They stop you form disappointing your users. Throw away your idea of a landing page. We must get more out of online marketing. And the way to do it is to think beyond the click and outside the box. No more landing pages!