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Email Marketing Drives Sales with Landing Pages
Several useful ways landing pages can be used with email marketing software to help boost conversions and increase sales.

Email marketing software has clearly proven itself as not only an important component of the online marketing mix, but also as a pivotal medium for boosting sales. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) recently conducted a research study that determined there is a return on investment (ROI) of almost $50 for every single dollar spent on direct email marketing. While that statistic is definitely staggering, it forces us to ask the question: What key elements are important to convert emails into sales? And, furthermore, how do you use your email marketing software to achieve that amazing ROI?

The primary goal is always to get people to open your email marketing campaign. For the moment, however, let's assume you already have a captivated audience that has eagerly opened your message. Once opened, we will assume you have spent an adequate amount of time creating quality copy for your email campaign that clearly explains to your reader exactly what you are offering. Now comes the important part, where you want to take them from your email message and onto your web site where you can actually complete the sale.

Many email marketers will include big calls to action in their email marketing campaigns that explicitly direct the reader on what to do next. For instance, phases like "Click Here Now" or "Quick! Click To Buy Now. Limited Quantities Going Fast" are all good calls to action. Other email marketers however, take a more passive approach and write something a bit mellower, like "Learn More" or "More Info". Depending on your target market and the product you are selling, you will have to choose the best method that resonates with your audience. But, if you find one doesn't work in your email marketing campaigns, then you can always switch to the other.

Simply getting them to click is only the start of the battle. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle that can make or break the closing of your sale and really drive up the effectiveness and ROI of your email marketing campaign is the page you bring the person to, also know as the "landing page".

A landing page does not have to be your homepage. Most marketers have found that with email marketing, just like search engine marketing (SEM), often times a custom built landing page just for the specific campaign is the most effective. This is not to say that your homepage is not a good source of information, but it may be so cluttered with other distractions (such as other products) that the user gets confused or lost.

A custom built landing page for your email marketing campaigns should be directly related to the link that was clicked. For instance, if the reader clicks a link about a certain type of flower bouquet you have for sale, then the landing page should focus almost exclusively on that flower bouquet. After all, intuitively we know the user expressed interest in this flower bouquet, so why would we take them anywhere else but to the quickest path to close the sale for the bouquet?

High quality landing pages for email marketing campaigns have a few common attributes:

1. Less Is More
You may have tons of products and many things you want to say, but please try to restrain yourself. The old marketing philosophy of "keep it simple" absolutely applies to landing pages. By the time someone gets to your landing page, they have already opened your email and clicked on a link, so the last thing you want to do is make them work even more to find the information they are seeking.

2. The page is an Extension of The Link They Clicked
When someone clicks a link in your email marketing campaign, they should see information directly related to that link. If someone, for instance, clicks on one of your call to action statements about a particular item you have for sale, the moment they get to your landing page, that item should be staring back at them. If someone clicks a link and then finds themselves looking at a totally unrelated product, it takes less than a second to close your website and, within a split second, you've lost the sale.

3. Don't Oversell Your Product and Scare Your Customer Off
While this point does tie into the "less is more" philosophy, it does warrant its own section because all too often web marketers will attempt to cram every tiny bit of information onto a webpage. I refer to this as 'overselling' because you are presenting the user with way more information than they need to make the purchase. In fact, it's just slowing down your ability to close the sale. We have all probably seen the sales pages on the internet that seem to scroll endlessly, touting benefit after benefit about why a certain product is the best product in the world. Those make for the absolute worst kind of landing pages for your email marketing campaigns because each time people have to scroll, they get more time to give up on the sale and go somewhere else. Tell people what they need to know and then stop. If you want to provide a link on your landing page for more detailed specs, that's totally fine, but do not make your page intimidating because it's trying to cram so much information into your customer's mind.

4. Make It Obvious What You Want the User to Do Next
If the objective of your landing page is to get someone to click the 'buy now' button, then make sure that button is very obvious and stands out on the page. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a large button on your page that tells the customer 'I'm the next step', like 'Click here to buy now'. If, however, your goal is to generate telephone calls, then make sure your phone number is prominently displayed. If people have to guess what the next desired action is, then they may guess wrong or, worse yet, not guess at all and just leave.

With the above tactics, you will be able to create well designed landing page that will help boost the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.

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