E-mail marketing Secrets & Lies: Landing pages

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Marketers spend plenty of time and money crafting their e-mail marketing messages, but many often overlook the equally important landing page, simply directing those who click through to the company’s home page. While this can be effective if your e-mail is a more generic branding message, it will fall short if you’re trying to communicate specific product-related information, experts say.

Stephen Sharp, creative director for e-mail marketing provider CheetahMail, and Tina Bean, director of sales and marketing for analytics provider VisiStat, let us in on a few other secrets and lies regarding e-mail marketing landing pages.   

Secret: Landing pages require the same type of planning that your overall marketing message does, including personalization.  

Your landing page is an extension of your e-mail marketing message—without the technological restraints. This means that you can and should use formatting and design elements other than HTML, Sharp said. “Your user has clicked out to the Web and opened up the browser, so you can get into Flash, Javascript, rollovers,” he said. “It helps our clients get into better functionality.”

But don’t start over completely with the landing page. It’s important to bring through any personalization included in the original message, Sharp said. Also, pay attention to navigation, he said.

“Usability-wise, never make your reader have to go back to the e-mail to click on another link,” he said. “They should have the ability to click on any links contained in that e-mail.” That includes providing readers with an on-page opt-out link and “Forward to a Friend” buttons. 

Lie: You can’t track your user once they leave your e-mail.  

Part of the benefit of e-mail marketing campaign management is that it’s highly trackable; you know when your reader opens, clicks through or forwards your message. However, many marketers aren’t aware that you can keep that same level of granularity by including tracking information on your landing page.

Bean suggests assigning a unique URL for each subscriber so you can be alerted as soon as that person clicks through.

“As soon as that person clicks, you know. So you can follow up with them,” she said. “You can have a salesperson call with the appropriate sales information.”
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