Landing Page Best Practices For the Holidays to Boost Your Email Marketing Performance

Editors note: This article is a guest contribution from Krissy Argier, senior email marketing specialist at LiveArea

You’ve perfected your email design, increased opens with catchy subject lines, and maximized click-throughs with enticing calls to action (CTAs), but are you really ready for the challenges COVID-19 has in store for you as a marketer this holiday season?

As the world has changed this year in response to coronavirus, so too have the needs, desires, and fears of holiday shoppers. 

If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your holiday communications strategy without reinventing the wheel, consider combining your email campaigns with complementary landing pages that focus on addressing your customers’ pain points and giving them the confidence they need to take the next step. 

Used strategically in conjunction with existing email campaigns, landing pages can help move subscribers through the sales funnel, drive conversions, and increase return on investment (ROI), making them a valuable tool every email marketer should have in their arsenal from now through the new year and beyond.

What is a landing page?

Most marketers are already familiar with landing pages as standalone web pages that serve a specific purpose such as gathering event registrations, inviting contacts to download a resource, or persuading prospects to sign up for a free trial. 

While landing pages are used across the web and can increase conversions and lower customer acquisition costs (CACs), they’re often completely absent from the email marketer’s toolbox. 

But with the right approach, combining effective email campaigns with optimized landing pages can be the catalyst that takes your email marketing strategy to the next level. 

 

How do you use landing pages with email campaigns? 

Since many prospective customers will need an additional push between opening an email and completing a purchase this holiday season, you can use a landing page to build trust, create a sense of urgency, and provide a more in-depth overview of your offering. 

Put simply, you can use landing pages to expand on the content you feature in your emails and give subscribers additional information and incentive to take the action you’re looking to drive. Read on for some tips to create effective landing pages, no matter your level of experience.

Beginner landing page tips

Many marketers have been including COVID-specific messaging in their emails in recent months. Although this content can be helpful and necessary, it does take up valuable real estate in emails and some customers have begun to tune it out. If you’re just getting started with landing pages or have limited time and resources to dedicate to this initiative, think about moving this content to a simple landing page instead.

Start by creating a prominent link in your emails, perhaps in the header or footer, inviting subscribers to click through for more information about how your business is approaching COVID-19 during the holidays. Your landing page can include all the details someone may be looking for including store closures, adjusted hours, updated policies, safety measures, and more. 

Not only does this free up space in your emails that can be repurposed for promotional content, but your team can also use a centralized approach to keep this landing page up to date without needing to make changes to any emails directly. This approach can be especially valuable with any policy changes that may take place after an email has already been sent. 

Intermediate landing page tips

Due to economic challenges and overall uncertainty, many consumers are more hesitant to purchase this holiday season and will be looking to confirm value before converting, particularly with higher-priced items. 

While noting discounts prominently in emails can be effective, adding a “learn more” link that drives to a landing page will provide additional opportunities to further demonstrate the benefits of your product or service. Focus on emphasizing value and back up your claims with social proof and other evidence. If applicable, look to reframe the purchase as an investment and highlight any testimonials that speak to the long-term benefits.

This type of landing page is most effective when it’s highly specific to your offering, highlights the best supporting content you have available, and creates a sense of urgency. Because you’ll likely want to create multiple landing pages for various products or services, this approach requires more upfront work and potential for ongoing maintenance.

If you have the resources available, working with an experienced web designer to ensure the optimal content hierarchy and user experience will generally produce the best results so make sure to account for this in your planning as well.

Advanced landing page tips

Many consumers will do the majority of their holiday shopping online this year, which presents an interesting challenge to recreate some of the in-store experience that often results in additional sales. 

When physically in a store, customers can see when there are only a few more of an item on the shelf and will think twice before walking by. Recreate that sense of urgency with a product landing page that incorporates dynamic elements to leverage social proof and reinforce any time-gated promotions. 

Retailers will also be missing out on the impulse buys that often happen while consumers are standing in the checkout line. Look for ways to recreate this virtually on landing pages by upselling and offering bundle deals. 

For best results, take this a step further and display personalized, curated product recommendations here to encourage customers to add additional items to their shopping cart.

Regardless of your use case for landing pages, those who are more experienced should keep in mind that because landing pages are not bound by the inherent constraints of email development, you’re able to present a much wider variety of content and you’re only limited by your creativity and technical resources. 

Instead of just the hero images, text, and CTA buttons found in emails, your landing page can include videos, slideshows, infographics, countdown timers, testimonials, pre-filled forms, interactive content, chatbots, and more. Of course, it’s still important to follow responsive design best practices to provide a top-notch user experience regardless of device type. 

 

Creating effective landing pages 

An effective landing page should first and foremost be focused on the single task you want the subscriber to complete or one action you want them to take. That means cutting through the noise that’s normally present on most web pages and removing unnecessary menus, headers, footers, and social links. 

Although it may seem counterintuitive, dropping these distractions from your landing pages greatly increases the likelihood that your customer will take the desired action rather than clicking through to another page on your site or deciding to check out your Twitter feed. 

From a design and content perspective, focus on simplicity and aim to mirror the look and feel of the email for a more cohesive customer experience. 

This means using similar layouts, color schemes, imagery, and typefaces while still taking advantage of the increased flexibility that a landing page offers over an email. It’s also highly recommended to consider using bulleted lists and iconography to make content-heavy pages easier to digest while still providing additional details on your offering.  

To further convince the subscriber to act, come up with a headline that will immediately grab their attention, look for innovative ways to reinforce their decision with social proof, and introduce a sense of urgency. 

When it comes to the CTA itself, remember to only include one CTA and make it stand out on the page with a contrasting button color and actionable, compelling text beyond the overused “download” or “shop”.   

Next steps 

If you’re ready for your landing pages to give your holiday email campaigns a boost, take a look at what your current ecommerce platform offers for webpage development and compare that to any in-house resources you may have access to as you determine your best plan for action. 

Your decision will likely be based on the frequency and complexity of your landing pages as well as the capability to introduce templating to streamline the build process moving forward. Make sure to keep your holiday email calendar in mind as you plan and give your team enough time to test and implement the solution before your major promotions go live. 

When developing your overall approach, focus on using email to pique your subscriber’s initial curiosity, and follow up with a dedicated landing page that solidifies their interest and provides the confidence and incentive that will ultimately drive them to convert. 

As you incorporate landing pages into your holiday email marketing strategy, perform comprehensive testing to determine the most effective content and layout to drive your subscribers to act. This will allow you to further refine your landing page approach post-holiday and continue to reap the benefits of your landing pages into 2021.

Key takeaway

It’s understandable that email marketers are email-focused and forget to take a more holistic approach to marketing at times, but applying this type of integrated unified strategy can be a major contributor to achieving your holiday marketing goals. 

With compelling emails that engage your subscribers and impressive landing pages that provide more information and encourage them to act, your email marketing strategy will be one step closer to perfection. 

Prioritize incorporating landing pages into your holiday marketing workflow as soon as you can—the payoff is well worth the initial effort and will have a noticeable impact during what’s shaping up to be an unprecedented holiday season.

Interested in more holiday marketing advice you can implement before Cyber Weekend? Find out how to prepare your business for the most returns you’ll see all year.

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