Editor’s note: This post was originally written in 2014 and, while the best practices remain as relevant as ever, the article has been updated to include even more digital marketing insights.
There's not a lot of magic to digital marketing. In fact, most of it comes down to delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time—it really is that simple. But what about choosing the right tools?
At Leadpages, we offer a number of tools and resources to elevate your lead generation and engage your audience. But how do you know which tool is right to use at different points of your customer journey? And which tool is right for your particular campaign?
In this article, we're going to help you successfully navigate some of the most important conversion tools within your Leadpages account so that you know exactly which tool to use and when. We'll be covering the specific strategies and strengths of Leadpages, Leadboxes, and Leadlinks and giving you some new ideas for ways to put them to use in your business.
The Basics of Leadpages Conversion Marketing Tools
Let’s start with an introduction to each of these three tools.
A lead page refers to any one of our mobile-responsive, customizable lead pages (or conversion-optimized landing pages). A lead page is a standalone web page where a visitor “lands” after an initial impression with your brand. For example, they might click on a social media post or a Google pay-per-click (PPC) ad and be brought to your lead page.
A Leadbox is a popup window that appears when site visitors click on a designated link, image, button, or text. This is where potential subscribers can opt in to whatever you’re offering on your landing page, such as a free eBook download or a webinar signup.
A Leadlink allows your current subscribers to join lists or sign up for new offerings with just one click. The subscribers don’t have to opt in again since they’ve already done that in the past (and are already included in your email database). In plain English, a Leadlink is basically a one-click signup page or link.
All three “Lead” tools are designed to generate leads for your business, but they each have different functions and uses. So how do you know which of these tools to utilize at any given point of your sales funnel?
Below, we’ll go through the specific uses and benefits of each, and we’ll simplify the decision-making process so you can start using the right tool right now.
Lead pages are our foundational tool. In fact, every month marketers create tens of thousands of lead pages on our platform.
Conversion-optimized and mobile-responsive, our pre-designed lead pages are the best way for small business marketers to make the most of their digital marketing efforts. Examples of lead pages include:
Want to see the full gallery of our pre-designed pages? Feel free to lose yourself in good-looking landing page templates.
Unlike what you'll find with other landing page builders, the lead page templates can be completely customized to fit your business: simply input your content, connect to your favorite marketing tools/ email service provider, and you’re ready for launch.
When to use lead pages
When you’re selling or making an offer
You want to use a lead page when:
- You’re selling a product or service
- You want to own your post-click (post-advertisement) experience
- You need more space to explain the offer
Lead pages tend to be full-size web pages, while Leadboxes and Leadlinks are pop-ups or lightboxes. This means you have more room to play around with copy, content, and images on a lead page, which comes in handy if you need additional 'web real estate' to convince your visitor to purchase or opt in.
For example, you want someone to purchase your $1999 yoga retreat—that's a high ticket item, so you would likely need to include more content in order to overcome some of the likely barriers to conversion. In this case, educating your audience as to what's included and detailing the features/benefits of the retreat in order to justify the price point.
But it doesn’t always have to do with price. You may even be offering something for free, but you might need a little extra content to persuade your customer. For example, you’re offering a free webinar. They would have to spend an hour of their Saturday morning watching your webinar, so you need to show them the value they would get by signing up.
Basically, you want to use the length of a lead page if you’re asking the visitor to invest their money or time in your brand.
This is especially important if the customer is new and doesn’t yet have a relationship with your brand. In general, “cold” traffic needs a little more content in order to be convinced, which is where lead pages shine.
When you’re replacing a web page
You can actually use lead pages to replace entire sections on your website. For example, you might use a “coming soon” lead page as a filler page to get people excited about a new product or the launch of a blog, or you can use a lead page as a 404 (not found) page.
Take a look at our current Leadpages 404 page as an example. We don’t just let our customers fall off the grid when they reach an unknown page. We actually use a lead page to redirect them where they might be looking and we then encourage them to download our Lookbook.
Never waste an opportunity to grab leads!
Leadboxes are a favorite amongst marketers because they’re easy to implement and highly effective at converting traffic. In fact, we estimate that Leadboxes improve opt-in rates by an average of 30%. Our own blog has increased opt-ins by 32% simply by switching from a regular opt-in to a Leadbox.
Leadboxes are pop-up windows that encourage your customer to make an immediate decision about opting-in. When the box pops up, the visitor has two options: sign up or exit the screen. This means they are at the micro-moment of a decision—and you have just a few words to convince them to sign up.
Leadboxes are so impactful because they streamline the opt-in process. Visitors can quickly, securely subscribe in just two steps. The easier it is for them to opt-in, the more likely they will.
This type of pop-up box calls for an immediate decision. Other opt-in forms on the page are tucked away amongst other content with a more passive call to action. But a Leadbox forces the visitor to decide between signing up and exiting the screen. If they see enough value in signing up, they will right then and there.
When To Use Leadboxes
When driving traffic from a webpage
A lot of marketers will link homepages, blogs, and other website pages to landing pages in order to capture more leads. For example, the homepage might include a call to action box that pulls customers to the landing page where they can sign up for a webinar.
While this can help capture more leads, it also pulls customers away from the core website. Leadboxes help avoid this catch-22. Our research shows that transitioning visitors from a webpage to a Leadbox actually increases conversions and retains the visitor longer. That’s because the Leadbox pops up then and there, forcing them to make a decision if they want to stay on the site.
Why not try it out? If you’re already sending visitors from a webpage to a landing page, try an A/B test. Send half of the visitors to the landing page, and the other half to a Leadbox. See which ends up working better for you!
When utilizing sidebars or banners
A lot of websites have some sort of sidebar or banner. These usually offer some sort of promotion or call to action button. You are likely already using these to encourage visitors to give you their email address in some way.
Leadboxes enhance the conversion rate of sidebars and banners. Rather than a static call to action sitting on your webpage, a Leadbox pops up on their screen and demands an immediate response.
This also works well for images. People tend to click on photos that intrigue them. That makes it a great opportunity for a pop-up, because your site is further engaging with visitors who are showing interest in your images or buttons.
When blogging or guest posting
The purpose of blog posts is to pull in high volumes of traffic. Then, it’s your website’s job to redirect that traffic to the next stage of your sales funnel.
Leadboxes are the strongest way to capture blog visitors and turn them into subscribers. This is true for guest blogging on other websites as well.
You simply embed a Leadbox link within the blog post and the final call to action. When a visitor clicks on the link, they’re brought to a fast and furious Leadbox that entices them to opt-in right now. They’ve already seen the value of your work through the blog post, so they’re more likely to make the immediate decision with the Leadbox pop-up.
When using social media
Leadboxes work well on social media because the Leadbox opens up a separate link. So, if you’re engaging with traffic from Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you might want to consider sending them to a Leadbox.
Leadlinks help existing subscribers register for something with just one click. Typically, Leadlinks are used when you're trying to re-engage your leads and move them further down your sales funnel—such as registering them for a webinar or signing them up for early-bird access to an upcoming product launch.
Unlike lead pages and Leadboxes, Leadlinks assume you already have your target audience’s information on file. Therefore, the objective is not to get their information; the objective is to make the process streamlined enough for them to register with you a second time. This is one of the best ways to encourage repeat customers and boost your retention rate.
The goal of Leadlinks is to break down the barriers to entry and make it easy for your community to keep engaging with you.
When to Use Leadlinks
When you’re emailing your subscriber list
Because you’ve already had this user as a customer or subscriber, you already have their email address in your list. That means that when you’re emailing your subscriber list, you know these individuals have already opted-in with you. This makes them the perfect candidates for the one-click Leadlink.
Moreover, emails are the “space” you need to sell your audience. Similar to a lead page, some product launches, events, or offerings need to be explained in order for the customer to take the next step. The email itself gives you the opportunity to convince your already-subscriber that they need to click through and move to the next step in the funnel.
When you’re generating leads from affiliates’ lists
You’re not the only one who has email addresses for your target audience. Your partners and affiliates are building similar email lists with subscribers who could also be interested in your products and services.
Leadlinks allow you to generate these leads from your affiliates’ lists. You simply ask your affiliate to email their list and include your particular Leadlink. Then, once your affiliates’ subscribers click on that Leadlink, they automatically become your subscribers and they register for the event in just one click.
Think of it as a shared pool of emails with you and your partners. The affiliate’s subscribers don’t even have to opt-in to automatically join your list, as long as they click on the Leadlink.
Note: Explain in the email that they are opting in when they click the link, so they know what they’re getting into and take extra care to make sure that you remain GDPR compliant in doing so.
When you’re sending emails to your members
A membership site is like a revved-up subscription list. You already have your members’ emails, information, and even their interests populated in your system.
Members expect that it will be easy to sign up for your events with just a single click since they’ve already given you all of their information. That makes Leadlinks a must whenever you’re encouraging members to sign up for something.
Ready to see Leadpages, Leadboxes, and Leadlinks in the wild? Here are some examples:
Let’s say that you’re hosting a free, live webinar. Your current goal is to encourage signups for the webinar.
You have two main avenues of engagement with your audience: social media and email.
You will likely want to use a Lead page where your visitors will land after they see your social media posts about the webinar. For example, you could share a social picture of the webinar’s hosts and the discussion topic. You could include a click-through link that brings them to the lead page, where you’ll provide them with more details about the webinar and a spot to signup.
But you might also want to send out an email to your current subscribers about the webinar. Since they already subscribe to you, you may not need to collect all of the same information again. Instead, you could use a Leadlink to have them sign up for the webinar quickly and efficiently without going through the entire subscription process. You also don’t need the lead page to convince them to join the webinar, because you have the space on email.
Those are the two types of engagement with your current audience. But you also want to grab new prospects as well. You could probably get interest through your social media lead page, but you may also want to utilize a Leadbox.
You could link to a Leadbox on your homepage, blogs, or even on a recent guest blog. This could create a pop-up page that tells viewers about the event you’re hosting. The Leadbox emphasizes the “free” aspect as well as the urgency of the event, which is what encourages them to sign up quickly.
So, you could hypothetically use all three tools for one event if they fit in with the audience, the engagement of the audience, and the placement on the web.
How to choose the right conversion tool:
Still not sure which is right for your purposes? Check out this decision map to select the perfect tool for your funnel.
Have you used these tools? How did they work for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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