by Maria Lahiffe
You need the world to interact with your organization, whether it be to buy memberships, purchase your services, make a donation, or volunteer. Landing pages are an important tool for generating leads, finding people who are at least a little bit interested in your organization, who are worth following up with. 
Sometimes the term “landing page” is used just to describe a destination page – that is, “any page where website visitors land when they first reach your site. In fact, you’ll notice a report in Google Analytics which examines landing page traffic.” 
The more widely-used, and more important, definition of landing page comes from the world of marketing: it is “a web page deliberately created to help you convert visitors to your site into leads because it provides you with the means for capturing [contact information].” 
We will focus on this second type of landing page in this article.
A good landing page is focused on a particular stream of traffic, for example, from an email campaign which is promoting a course you provide. Because the landing page is targeting only people who are (presumably) interested in this course, and because this course offers exclusive information about a skill which your audience wants to develop, this contact information is an important first step in building their interest in taking your course. You may offer an excerpt from the course manual in exchange for their contact information. 
You could offer just about anything which would be valued by the people you are expecting to visit your landing page. Examples include: 
Too many organizations send their email, advertising, and social media traffic to their home page. This is a missed opportunity. When you know that a stream of targeted traffic will be coming to your website, you can increase the likelihood of converting that traffic into leads by using a targeted landing page.
When someone comes to your website, what action do you want them to take? Examples could include
Maybe you want all of the above, but likely by different people. That is why targeted landing pages are so important. For each action, say, buying a membership, figure out who is most likely to do that action and make it easy for them to do it.
Since 2014, the laws related to email communication have tightened up, to protect people from being inundated with messages they don’t want. To learn the details, check out the website and consult a lawyer. In simple terms, you cannot send email to people without their consent. The fines for non-compliance with the law can be up to $10 million.  A landing page is a way to populate your mailing list with people who have consented to be contacted.
The most important thing about your landing page is to make it crystal clear what visitors are meant to do once they reach your page. Make sure you are only asking for one action on each landing page.  You need to set specific, measurable goals – otherwise you have no way to tell what is working. 
Once your audience has arrived at your landing page, you want them to take the desired action. Don’t distract them! Limit the number of ways people can exit the page, so that people focus on filling out the form. Limiting navigation means that the best landing pages have website navigation elements removed  (like the ribbon at the top of this page, which at the time of writing, appears on every page on the VO website).
If you have a valuable offer, then people will gladly give up their contact information in exchange. You need to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. It doesn’t matter what you think of the offer – what matters is that the audience cares about it. Monitor the success (or lack of it) of each page, and consider changing the offers on under-performing pages, to make them more enticing.
The longer the landing page and form, the more friction you create in your process. You will get more engagement by keeping it as simple as possible. Most likely all you need is a name and an email address. Remember, this is for lead generation, to identify people who you will follow up with. You can get more information on the follow-up. 
Landing pages are an important part of your communications and your website. To learn more, take one of our upcoming courses.
Click here to register Wednesday, September 11, 2019. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Click here to register Wednesday, November 6, 2019. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Click here to register Friday, September 27, 2019. 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to all aspects of running a non-profit or a charity. Click here for our event calendar. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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