Your landing page is a vital component of your campaign. The landing page is where you send all
prospects to complete the desired action, whether it be to fill out an information form or sign up for
a webinar. If you can boost your conversion rate through landing page optimization, you’ll get more
conversions for less money. Optimizing your web page is a multi-faceted process that will ultimately
guide prospects to take the desired action. Any number of factors can impact a prospect’s behavior,
from a compelling headline to images, colors and fonts. Your landing page performance strongly
impacts campaign results, so it’s essential to make it easy for users to arrive at the final destination
and avoid any potential obstacles along the way.
Landing page optimization relies on A/B testing, which is a time-consuming process that requires
small, incremental changes to correctly evaluate results. However, A/B testing also is a tool that can
deliver outcomes that dramatically impact your performance. A proper strategy for landing page
testing is as important as any other optimization approach to your lead generation campaign.
Understanding the Psychology of User Behavior
Each action has an underlying motivation. The more you understand your
target audience and their behavior, the more likely you’ll be to develop landing
pages and other communications that encourage them to take a desired action.
Methodologies from general psychology can be applied to your campaigns
to develop this understanding and boost your conversions. There are many
examples that can be evaluated and brought into your campaign strategy,
many with overlapping ideas. The following are a few examples.
The Fogg Behavior Model
Under this model, three elements must converge at the same moment for a
behavior to occur—motivation, ability and trigger. When a behavior does not
occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.1
- Motivation: The objective is to make the action painless, provide hope with the
action and show a positive aspiration and/or make it socially acceptable based
on the target audience. To properly execute, you must make the user feel like
- Ability: In this element, you must train the user or simplify the process of
taking the desired action.
- Trigger: Essentially, this is the call to action (CTA) that directs a user to take
the action, such as requesting more information. It can also be an indirect
trigger that defines the result of inaction.
Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence
This theory was created by Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of
Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. It was published in 1984
in a book titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and is also known as the
“Six Weapons of Influence.”2 Cialdini outlined responses to social experiments,
categorizing their actions into six principles:
- Reciprocity: People are naturally inclined to return favors or pay back debts.
Therefore, they may be more likely to make a purchase if they have received
something from your company, are given a discount, know that a portion of
the proceeds will go to charity or believe there is a sense of dual benefit at
play. Receiving a gift, whether tangible or intangible, triggers a response that
can be used to encourage action.
- Commitment: People inherently desire consistency, thus are more likely
to continue the process if they have already made an initial commitment.
Stepped forms, in which small bits of information are asked at a time, are
a good example of an approach that relies on the commitment principle.
Social proof: There is safety in numbers, especially when there are feelings
of uncertainty. People are very likely to be influenced by people they feel are
similar to themselves. This is evident in the successful use of ad testimonials
and Facebook likes.
- Liking: People can be influenced by people they like. This likability can stem
from similarities, compliments or trust. Utilizing images of people who may
look like your target audience can leverage this principle.
- Authority: In general, there is a sense of duty or obligation to people in
positions of authority. Therefore, job titles, uniforms, seals and the like can
influence people to take action. Including trust and authority factors on your
landing page can take advantage of this practice.
- Scarcity: Consumers hate to lose out on opportunities. As a result, limited
availability and limited-time offers can create desire.
Game Dynamics & Gamification
A highly motivating user experience can be created using tools, techniques
and widgets that represent a rewarding game environment.3 Examples of
- Achievements: These are virtual or physical representations of having
accomplished something and provide gratification for completing a task.
- Behavioral momentum: Like the pull from inertia, people have the tendency to
keep doing what they have already been doing. Building on familiar activities
can drive a user forward in his or her journey.
- Bonuses: Users can earn rewards for completing a series of challenges or core
functions. In hopes of earning more, these rewards act as an extra boost of
motivation to continue.
- Cascading information theory: To avoid overwhelming your audience,
information should be released in the smallest snippets possible to provide an
appropriate level of understanding and avoid abandoning the process because
- Countdown: Providing only a set amount of time to do something (e.g. classes
start in two weeks) creates a scarcity of time, which is also noted as a key
principle in the previous theories listed.
- Discovery: Also called “exploration,” discovery encourages more page views
and time spent on the site by allowing a user to experience new and exciting
destinations or information.
- Loss aversion: This is the desire to avoid punishment such as status, access,
power or loss of resources, and is another example of the scarcity principle
- Progression: Success is measured and displayed as tasks are completed
(e.g. progress bar) to clearly show the time already invested and the effort
remaining to achieve completion.
Landing Page Elements
Once you understand the psychology of human behavior and why prospects are
compelled to complete certain actions, you can apply these principles in your
campaigns and in designing the optimal landing page for conversions. Landing
pages are where you send your target audience to take the desired action, such
as request information, sign up or make a purchase. A successful landing page
may have different elements depending on its brand, industry, desired actions
and other factors. However, there is a standard set of elements that help create
an environment of understanding, shown below.
- Headline: This should reference solving a common need or problem for the
target audience while maintaining consistent elements from the source the
prospect followed to get to this page. For example, if the link was sent from
an email, the messaging should be consistent with the email.
- Subhead: Your subhead should relay a main benefit to capture the interest of
landing page visitors.
- Page layout: It’s essential to understand where the page fold falls so you don’t
require users to scroll to see the main page elements. Test your landing page
on various devices with a tool like ResizeMyBrowser.com.
- Call to action/button: This must stand out so it’s easy to see and click on,
while being expressive of what will happen when you click. Your CTA should
be clear, request a single desired action and be the main focus on the page.
- Alternative method of contact: Give options when possible without diluting
the CTA focus for prospects to reach you. For example, provide a phone
number or a “click to chat” button that goes directly to your call center or
- Support copy: Support the headline and subhead with details regarding the
key benefits of your brand, product, program or offer. Include trust factors
and social proof to encourage action—bullet points typically work well.
- Hero image: Your hero image should relate to the copy and resonate with the
audience. Images should not distract from the form or the main purpose of
the site, but rather complement and motivate the users to take action. Positive
images facing or pointing in the direction of your call to action have been
proven to work best.
- Form: As a rule of thumb, fewer fields on a form generate more conversions.
The fields can be all on one screen or on multiple screens when utilizing
the stepped process. When applicable, display trust factors to ensure user
privacy, such as a TrustE or VeriSign logo. These can provide additional
feelings of security, authenticity and trust between your brand and the user.
A Guide to A/B Testing
Every element of a landing page can and should be tested, including copy,
images, placement, color, font size and more. Use your intuition to get started,
but be ready to adapt as needed. Here’s a guide to A/B testing.
Select your A/B testing software: There are many software choices, including
Optimizely, Maxymiser, Google Analytics Content Experiments, Adobe Target
and Visual Website Optimizer. Pick a software that fits your budget and is easy
for you to use.
Define your testing objective: Your testing objective must be measurable.
An example of a measurable objective is to increase the number of people
completing the form. While you can track and evaluate other metrics, only the
metric that relates to your testing objective should determine the results of
Create a testing plan & schedule: List out potential landing page elements
you would like to test. Then, develop a hypothesis on the impact of changing
those elements. Make sure to prioritize your testing schedule to have the
biggest impact toward your objective as soon as possible. Because each test
may reveal new insights about how you should move forward with subsequent
testing, your testing plan and schedule should be re-evaluated after each
winning variation is determined.
- Create your variations: Test just one thing at a time—otherwise you won’t
know what delivered the results. Be patient during this process.
- Rely on A/B testing software to split traffic: The software used for testing will
divide the traffic between the two landing pages you are testing. So all you
need to do is set it up and sit back while the test runs.
- Volume is key: Before running a landing page test, it is also important to
ensure you will be receiving enough volume and conversions though your
“control” campaign. Anything over 100+ conversions per variation may be
enough. Anything less and you risk declaring a winner without enough
- Monitor your test and know when to stop: You want to conduct the test
for the shortest time period possible to alleviate external factors that could
impact the results. However, you need to wait for a 95% likelihood before you
declare a winner, which will be tracked within your testing software. A general
rule of thumb is to wait at least 7-10 days and no more than 4-6 weeks before
determining a winner. Your testing results will fluctuate, and you must ensure
the trends you are witnessing are stabilized to provide the most conclusive
evidence of a winning variation.
- Keep the winners: As your test completes, turn off the test, keep the winner
and then test something else. Continue to keep each winner and your
increasingly optimized page will deliver better results.
Examples of Landing Page A/B Testing
Marketers are testing their landing pages regularly, so there are always great
examples to reference. Below are examples of companies who implemented
changes to optimize their landing pages. Note that the results might not be the
same for your brand.
- Performable, a marketing automation company that develops software for
analyzing sales and marketing performance, increased conversions by 21%
after changing the background color of their CTA button from green to red.4
- Oriental Furniture, an online retailer of Asian furniture, gifts and accessories,
added a Buy Safe seal to their website. The change increased their conversion
rate by 7.6%.5
- SAP, a software and technology solutions company, increased their CTA
button size and boosted conversions by 32% as a result.6
- BliVakker.co, a Norway-based online beauty shop, removed three fields from
their registration form to boost conversions by 10.48%.7
- DesignBoost, a provider of online courses that teach students how to design
apps and landing pages, achieved 13% more signups and a 25% increase in
their click-through rate after shortening their landing page.8
- Vineyard, a luxury hotel in London, boosted conversions by 32.12% after
making their CTA more prominent.9
- 37signals, a software company, boosted signups by 30% after a series of
- AssessmentDay, a company that helps job seekers become familiar with
psychometric tests commonly used by employers, simplified content on their
landing page to boost sales by 62%.11
- LessAccounting, a provider of a basic accounting software package for small
businesses, added a phone number to their website and increased conversions
- Unionen, a Swedish company supporting employees, increased membership
signups by 15.9% after transitioning their features copy from paragraph to
About Sparkroom Performance Marketing Technology Landing Pages
Sparkroom, a Division of DMS, will help you streamline your campaign and landing page generation process by removing
the need for development resources while easily managing and instantly pushing
out updates across your marketing channels. You can easily oversee all of your
inquiry forms, landing page content and pixel tracking in a centralized platform
with the Sparkroom landing page builder. Our landing pages automatically
integrate with your Sparkroom performance marketing technology via form API, content API
and a pixel engine. Your inquiry forms and content are dynamically generated
and pushed via our software APIs to the appropriate landing pages. Additional
landing page features include:
- Multiple pre-tested and optimized templates: All templates are mobile
responsive and customizable to match your campaign, brand and messaging.
Single-step or multi-step form options: Choose from multiple form template
options to fit your needs.
- Click-to-call technology: Add the option for users to click on a link to call you
when viewing the landing page. This automatically delivers a 100% contact
rate and ensures you’re talking to prospects when they have the time and
desire to talk with you.
- Easy A/B testing: Seamless integration with Google Experiments makes A/B
testing simple. Additionally, our built-in functionality to create landing page
variations and automatically split your traffic evenly between the control and
test pages helps you keep your testing efficient and organized.
- Live editing feature: Easily edit your landing page as needed with Sparkroom’s
live editing tool.
- Custom domain support: Use a URL that matches your brand and website.
- Consistent user experience. Form and content can be dynamically altered by
marketing channel to ensure your user experiences are consistent from source
(e.g. display ad, email) to landing page.
- Branded “thank you” page: Sparkroom forms can redirect to your branded
“thank you” page to ensure consistency while providing prospects with the
confidence that their information has been submitted.
- Real-time lead posting: Leads post directly into Sparkroom performance marketing technology as they are submitted. This saves time and prevents the sometimes
overwhelming process of tracking in multiple locations.
The benefits of using a Sparkroom performance marketing technology landing page extend
beyond the many available features for building and maintaining your page.
You can launch your page in minutes, integrate with Wordpress and efficiently
get online without needing to spend development time or resources. The fully
responsive designs help optimize displays.
You can easily manage tracking pixels on both your landing page and
confirmation page. Plus, you can be sure that all of the pieces of your campaign
are secure behind a user login that is unique to you and allows only you to
manage the content you create.
DMS can help your campaigns perform better through landing page optimizations and more. For an audit of your
current landing page (or pages), email [email protected].
Last Updated November 2015