As we discussed in the previous section, "What are landing pages used for?", there are three main categories of landing pages: standalone pages, micro-sites, and internal pages.
Now that you know the main categories of a landing page, we can cover the many different types of landing pages and the main goals or “desired outcomes”.
Earlier, you learned that a landing page can float alone without ties to your website, live on the website, or actually be part of a microsite.
But those landing pages aren’t just hanging out for no reason! They serve a purpose, and it’s to get your visitor to take a desired outcome.
The two most commonly desired outcomes when creating a landing page are:
1. To capture leads that enable you to market to people in the future.
2. To “warm up” potential customers to the product you are trying to sell to them before sending them into your sales funnel.
Therefore, landing pages can embody one of two goals — a lead generation page and a click-through page.
Lead generation (or "lead gen") is usually the primary goal of any marketing function: run programs that generate leads and if possible, immediate sales.
If you've ever filled out a form to download an ebook or request a free consultation or get a quote, then you've officially encountered a lead generation page!
Landing pages and lead generation go hand-in-hand.
In order for a landing page to be focused on lead generation, there must be a form the visitor can fill out. A great lead generation landing page will make some valuable promise to the visitor in exchange for information, and then actually delivers on the value.
The type of information you collect on a landing page is completely up to you and what your business needs to know about your prospect to sell your product or service. Best practices around forms are vast and often conflicting, so you'll want to test what works for your company and the campaigns you want run.
Generally, the most valuable piece of information you can get from a lead generation page is a visitor’s email address. This information gives you permission to continue communicating, nurturing, and marketing to them.
For some businesses, however, a visitor's phone number could be considered pure gold for the sales team. Lead generation landing pages beg a few strategic questions:
○ What is the form for?
○ What information do really you need from the visitor?
○ What happens after they fill out the form?
Answer these, and you'll be well on your way to creating a landing page that generates leads for your business!
Here’s an example lead generation landing page. It is designed to capture user and/or company data in exchange for something — in this case an ebook.
To collect personal information (generate leads) in exchange for:
○ Reports or whitepapers with important industry facts and statistics
○ Ebooks for comprehensive guides about your business vertical
○ Newsletters with tips related to your area of subject matter expertise
○ Podcasts for people to listen to during a commute or workout
○ Checklists or scorecards for people to stay on top of goals and to-do lists
○ Blog subscription to receive ongoing content via email or RSS
○ Webinar registration for live online sessions
○ Presentations or recorded sessions including video or slides
○ Consultation services or booking meetings
○ An e-course delivered over a period of time
“Warming” prospects up to your offering before you push them deeper into your sales funnel to:
○ Purchase your product or service online
○ Become a customer or subscriber of your online business
○ Or any of the lead capture uses listed above, if you want to use an introductory page before sending them on to the landing page with your lead generation form
Click-through pages (sometimes called jump pages) are designed as a conduit between some marketing channel and the campaign's final destination.
As opposed to a lead generation landing page, click-through pages have only one mission: get the visitor to literally click through to the next page or stage in the sales funnel. We can also consider this “warming-up” the visitor to the product/service you are trying to sell.
Click-through pages don't have forms. Instead, they have strategically placed calls-to-action (usually in the form of a button) throughout the page.
They also provide just enough information to a potential buyer to make a purchase before pushing them further down the sales funnel — usually to a shopping cart or checkout or an onboarding flow.
You can find click-through pages everywhere, but they're especially common for e-commerce and real-estate industries where the only goal is to get someone to click-through to view the product or view the real-estate property.
Here’s an example click-through landing page. Videos and/or product images paired with a description of benefits help to persuade the visitor to click the call-to-action.
By now, you’ve been exposed to all the different categories of landing pages: micro-sites, standalone pages, and internal website pages. You also learned about the two main goals or “desired outcomes” a landing page can have: click-through vs lead generation.
So I’m sure you’re wondering...Wait there’s more types of landing pages?
Copywriters and conversion experts have been experimenting with formatting and building landing pages—testing everything from the actual words and images on the page, their calls-to-action (CTAs), and so much more.
The result is a set of common, but powerful landing page templates you can use in your marketing campaigns.
They each have their specific set of use cases, but no matter what, we want to make sure you’re familiar with them. They will come in handy both as a consumer and as a marketer.
You’ll also find some of these landing pages in our template library.
A squeeze page is a type of landing page that does three things:
1. Offers something of incredible value
2. Capture the name and email address of the visitor immediately
3. Content is typically “squeezed” into the viewport of the visitor’s browser window
All of the information the visitor needs to make a decision is “above-the-fold” — taking up the size of the screen (or sometimes just a pop-up). No scrolling required. Everything is right there!
Squeeze pages are great for lead generation strategies that don’t have a lot of risk on behalf of the visitor:
○ Email newsletters
○ Email courses
○ Other forms of content
Squeeze pages can also take many forms—acting as standalone pages, pop-ups, or sometimes even the homepage of a website can act as a squeeze page.
The strategy for a squeeze page is simple: offer something of incredible in exchange for a name and email address.
If squeeze pages are focused on providing immediate value in exchange for an email address, then a splash page is focused on pretty much the exact opposite.
Until now, we’ve been focused on emails, form fields, and buttons! But splash pages offer a break from the norm, and create a way for marketers to offer a different kind of experience.
Splash pages are full pages that a visitor can land on while taking a next step.
Perhaps the most common splash page is on Forbes.com. When you click into an article on Forbes.com from an external site, you land on a splash page that contains some valuable information—even an inspirational quote—before taking you to your ultimate destination.
Splash pages can verify information about the visitor before giving access to the destination such as preferred language or age, or it can just give the visitor a unique experience before entering the website.
Finally, splash pages aren’t focused on getting the visitor to “convert” in the same way as a lead generation page.
Most splash pages act as click-through pages—routing the visitor to the right place, confirming certain information about the visitor, and more.
Long-form Sales Pages
The last type of page we’re going to cover is another common, but powerful form of landing pages. Do you remember getting long letters in the mail from complete and total strangers about their new product or donation fund?
The letter might literally be pages and pages of copy, complete with testimonials, tiered pricing options, pictures of the product, and so on and so on. The envelope might have even been an electric yellow or pink to ensure you didn’t miss it in your inbox. These sales letters might feel and sound ancient, but depending on your product or service, they might be gold for your business.
You can do something similar on a landing page—or as we lovingly call them, a long-form sales page! Perhaps you have a product or an offer that requires a lot more convincing than the typical squeeze page.
There’s a lot more information the visitor is going to need to pull the trigger.
They need to see several customer testimonials, read stories about how other people have used it, hear your story about how you got started, or even read a complete scientific study about how it works.
(Hint: this is extremely common for weight-loss products, not-for-profits, consultants, and even some SaaS products.)
The use cases are virtually unlimited for a long-form sales pages, but generally speaking, the page contains long-form content—sometimes written exactly like a long letter.
The goal of a long-form sales page is ultimately to sell the visitor on the offer and get them to take the next step.
No time limit. No credit card required.