Have you ever been searching for that perfect birthday gift, and after typing in 17 versions “birthday Ideas for bosses” into google, you finally see an ad for that “world’s best boss” coffee mug that would perfect. You click on it, ready to buy, but the ad takes you to a landing page that lists everything from motivational poster art to a “classic” magnifying glass. There is no sign of the iconic coffee mug that Michael Scott used to display proudly on his Dunder Mifflin desk. After giving a valiant 2-3 click search on the site, you give up, and retreat back to the search engine defeated, and back to ground zero for your bosses’ birthday. There was no context to pull the visitor to a conversion.
What happened there? Couldn’t that ad just as easily sent me to the product page of the mug? I would have clicked it into my cart, checked out, and looked forward to the promotion I was going to get for the birthday gift to my boss.
Unfortunately, this happens way to much. Anything that happened before the click needs to carry through to after the click. Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, a leader in landing page marketing, calls this “context.” Oli talks about this and other principles to get conversions in 7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design.
Whatever campaign you might be running to help increase your conversions, context is essential in order to help connect the dots for any visitor that might find their way to your landing page. Let’s go through several common ways that a customer might find their way to your website, and what is most important to make sure that context is in place to make the conversion.
Message match is the key when directing visitors to your landing page. Since there is no visual content involved, the message has got to match the landing page. If you are offering free shipping, or 25% off on your ad, then the landing page has got to prominently display that content so that your visitor knows that they’ve found the right place.
Display and Facebook ads:
Since these ads are more visual in nature, you have to carry over the visual cues that your ad is displaying. If someone sees that “World’s Best Boss” mug on an ad, then you have to carry that same picture through, so that the customer knows that they’ve hit the right website. That is in addition to the PPC ad context of message match.
Just like on your display and Facebook ads, email adds an additional element of what is called “conversation momentum”. Not only does the email need design match and message match, but the conversational tone of email needs to continue through to the landing page. If you are being silly on the email, then you can’t change your tone to all business on the landing page. Your customer, might think they’ve been baited and switched, and then they might not trust what you are offering.
Finally for co-marketing, you must match your content to what is being marketed on the co-marketing medium. If you are watching one of the 80 home improvement shows that are out, and Home Depot has decided to co-market with them on power tools, then be sure that the link that you give on the show takes people to the power tools used in the show, and not the section on eliminating termites from your yard.
Remember, think of the path from ad to landing page as a journey. You have to give visitors the correct road map aka context, or they’re going to get lost, stranded, or even worse, hit that back button.