Use landing page with your blog?

fastpenguin91

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Hi,

I'm having a hard time finding any decent information on HOW specifically to use a landing page. I get that you direct visitors to the landing page via PPC ads, but other than that... How?

I'm starting to use two landing pages, a/b, but I'd still like to know if the way I'm doing this is common or if I'm way off target.

I have a membership site with tutorials, and I was thinking I should use a landing page in three ways.

1. My main menu on my WordPress site. I have a "Learn X" tab on the menu which takes users to the tutorials page (that they can't access until they are paid members). I was thinking of re-directing logged-out users to my landing page instead. Logged in users would have a "tutorials" tab, and if they are paid members they could access the tutorials.

2. Using a landing page in a blog post. At the end of some blog posts I could direct them to a landing page and that would be my call to action at the end of blog posts.

3. Email. My subscribers would either be sent directly to a landing page, OR to a blog post which leads them to a landing page.

I just don't see anyone doing this, and this can't be a new idea, so... I'm guessing that this hasn't generally worked for most online marketers, which begs the question, How am I supposed to use these landing pages with my website? I know I need to test this to see if it works for myself since every business is different, but I'd like to try copying what works before I try to re-invent the wheel.
 

Developer

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Following are just my own personal thoughts on landing pages. They are not necessarily correct, nor are they necessarily wrong...

To me, a landing page's sole purpose should be to sell the visitor something. Now, before you say "well, what about list building"... THAT is still a SALE of sorts, you are selling them on why they should be on your list...

I would not force an existing member (or subscriber) to a landing page, they are already a member, so why do they need to be part of another list of yours (unless there is a valid reason -- perhaps a series on a similar topic or something like that).

For most of my membership sites, I have several levels, so, whenever a user logs out, I try, instead, to sell them on an upgraded level or relational items that I am affiliated with -- ALWAYS BE SELLING as any decent marketer will tell you. And then, for those who are already a TOP TIER member, or a member who is already subscribed to the highest level of that membership site, they simply see other promotional offers.

A "Thanks for visiting. You have been logged out! Be sure to login again within a few days time to check out any new information available. You may also want to check out the link below because ... REASONS/BENEFITS LISTED HERE"... sort of message is posted on the log out page. It (A) lets them know they have logged out successfully and (B) introduces your other offerings to them as well. Again, ALWAYS BE SELLING!!!

Likewise, I would never send existing subscribers to a landing page either. They are already on your list. As stated above, if you have several lists offering different information, then ok, but, otherwise, just send your existing subscribers valuable content and offers.

Using a landing page with your blog posts I definitely agree with. For every 3 or 4 blog posts I create, I always create some sort of post which is just a lead-in to asking them to subscribe to one of my mailing lists. For example, just last week, I wrote a post titled "12 Crucial Elements to A Successful Membership Site" BUT, I only list 6 of the 12 elements. After # 6, I provided a "View Next 6 Elements" link which simply led to a landing page...

Now, my list, of course, is set up so that those who are already on my list are automatically taken to the download page or the "hidden" post page (this can be configured via any decent autoresponder system) and those who aren't already on my list, well, they would be taken to the download page AFTER clicking the link in the confirmation email.

The whole point of a landing page should be to gain new subscribers, not confuse, hinder or upset existing ones.
 

fastpenguin91

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Thank you for taking the time to respond, and I have gained some valuable input, however, I did not clearly explain the purpose of my landing page.

TLDR: My landing page was actually for directing people to the shopping cart page, & I need to re-work my strategy/email campaign to direct Email subscribers directly to my "purchase the product" landing page, and send people reading my blog posts to a "Subscribe to my Email list" landing page.

The landing page is for people to buy my product. Of course I'm not going to send my subscribers to a landing page asking them to subscribe to a list they are already on, that would be silly.

I have several categories revolving around one larger topic under one membership product. For example: Dog training. I could have a "Mastering vocalization" series, and a "Rewarding your dog" series, and a "Police Dog training" series all included in one product. I was originally planning on writing a blog post on each one, and sending an email subscriber to that blog post, and inside that blog post I would send them to the "purchase the product" landing page. (But I think this is too many steps... So instead I'll just send them straight to the "Purchase my product" landing page.)

This brings up another topic I hadn't even considered. If I'm going to be using Call to Actions/landing pages on my blog posts, should I have the landing pages that linked to in articles be to "Purchase the product" landing pages or to "Subscribe to my email list" landing pages?

Without testing yet, I'm thinking it'd be better to direct them to an Email Opt in landing page since they most likely are not ready to buy, and it allows me to continue building rapport with the reader.

For example, I've recently added an entirely new category to my membership lessons.

Thank you. Your response really got me thinking, and I've got a good sense for what to do.
 

Developer

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OK, for me, the confusion comes in what you are calling your pages.

To ME, and for the sake of this post, here is how I will refer to the different page types. You are essentially referring to 2 different page types and here is how "I" see them:

1. Landing Page: usually leads to an email opt-in page (with a subscriber form)
2. Sales Page: leads to a product/service/membership description page (with an ORDER call to action button)

Now, also for the sake of this article, BOTH page types could be considered LEAD pages as they both LEAD to something...

Now, here is how I would set things up....

I would use your main blog POSTS for providing relevant and valuable information. Call them "ARTICLES" if you like as that is essentially what your POSTS would be... Articles with information about your niche and an occasional link/promo/plug to your lead pages (either a landing page (aka subscriber form) or a sales page).

I would set things up so that your LEAD PAGES are NOT within your blog navigation at all (set them up as PAGES and omit them from any navigational based menus).

Now, as I said above, from within your POSTS, and when necessary or warranted, you could then link to the appropriate LEAD PAGE (either landing page or sales page). Whatever you do, you do not want to SELL on EVERY post you make as your visitors will just see you as a salesperson and people do not trust salespeople...

Now, for those on your lists, when you email them, you can then either direct them to an info only POST or a SALES PAGE or even a POST which has additional information as well as a link to sales pages...

Am I just confusing you more? If so, I apologize, just let me know and I will try to clarify.
 

fastpenguin91

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No, this is not confusing at all, it makes perfect sense. My only question now is about the "Sales Page" (Landing page asking user to buy) in the main menu.

(Sorry for not totally being on the same page with the lingo)

My reasoning for including a "Sales Page" style landing page inside my main navigational menu is that I don't have a well-designed "purchase page" or "product description" page. Where a typical home page has an elegant design with explanations of the product and features, along with a "Buy now" button, I don't have that, nor do I have the budget yet for a designed homepage. I tried creating my own but it looked awful.

What I do have is this:

A cart page? It's a text only page listing the name of the product with a "Buy Now" button. This button opens up the form field on the same page where users enter their information and check out. If they fill the form out I made a sale.

From the home page, when users try to access the tutorials they are told they need a membership, and given a link to click that leads to the cart page I described above.

Until I can pay for a better designed cart page and "product page", I was going to use a "sales page"/landing page on my main nav bar menu for when they click on the product page.

I have something like (just an example) "Learn to Train your dog" as a tab in the menu bar. When they click that, a new window would open (the sales/landing page) explaining how my product helps them and prompts them to become a paid member. This page is not connected in any way to my site (just like any lead page with a single focus) until they click the CTA "Start Learning!" button on that page. When they click it, they would be directed to the Cart page. It would be a page fully 100% dedicated to getting the user to buy.

Does that make sense what I'm saying? Does that seem like all that bad of a strategy? I'm just using a "Lead page" as a "product description page".
 

Developer

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I am actually getting ready to retire for the evening but will be back in a few hours. Is your site already up and running (or even partially up and running, lol)? If so, PM me your link and I will have a look in the morning and explain more then.
 
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