To the outside observer, a landing page can look very simple. However, the planning behind a well orchestrated landing page could take more time and involve more hours in development than your entire website. And the reward is worth the effort. The landing page itself is really your lead magnet but what is behind the scenes is really where the magic is. To the casual observer, the landing page seems to be just a simple trade... your email address for what's behind curtain number 1. There is a reason why some companies are spending more money on landing pages than they did on their enter website.
The Tripwire or Lead Magnet
If you're old enough, you probably remember the 11 CDs, Cassettes or Albums for a penny. Back then it wasn't so much the web, but it was the same concept. If you give up your name, address and a commitment to buy a few more of these at regular prices, we'll give you these 11 just for signing up.
Most every business has something valuable to offer and for many small local businesses, that something valuable is the quote! Everyone says "Get a free quote". Change the game a little bit. The visitor wants the quote NOW but you're probably not publishing your price on the web. One of our construction clients gets more hits to is calculator than he does to his home page. How do you get leads from that? Simple, create a calculating form and send the result to his email address (or link him to the page in the site where the actual calculation is done). Now he has what he wants and you have a qualified, legitimate lead.
The Lead Generation Funnel - Lead Nurturing
For most small businesses, I don't recommend a deep, up-sales type funnel. I know they work, but to me they are annoying. Once the visitor has relinquished his email and "signed up", he gets whatever was associated with the lead magnet and is asked if he would ALSO like something else that makes the offer even more valuable with the message: "If you like that, you're really going to like this!" For instant, e-sale type products - OK. Beyond that, it's a stretch. If you want to give something else away (a white-paper for example), use it as a trust builder. Send out another email that says: "Hey, I thought you might be able to use this." and attach or link to the give-away.
In fact, that's how you develop your lead funnel. The funnel is an automated process. Once you get the name and email address, you have the opportunity to respond AUTOMATICALLY to the visitors submission and now, your landing page becomes a lead funnel. The idea is to incrementalize toward a larger purchase, provide useful and valuable information along the way and develop trust that you are a legitimate organization to be dealing with. You can followup with an email highlighting testimonials or awards that your company has won. You can point out your BBB A+ rating. You can send the visitor to a video specifically showing him the work you want to do for him. Understanding the customer journey and in fact, mapping that journey out ahead of time is the key to building an effective lead generation funnel. Once you have done that, and implemented it, very often split tests will be run within each segment of the funnel to see what works and what doesn't. Now are you starting to see what's behind that simple landing page?
Ultimately, your lead funnel is designed to generate a sale. The actual sale cycle often depends on the product you're selling. The longer the sales cycle, the more steps between the landing page and the end result. The goal of long sales cycle is to remain a prominent choice throughout the research stages and buying process. In some cases, the goal is to get the prospective buyer out of the research stage and to pick up the phone so you can have a real conversation. That's not to say your lead funnel is done, but you're now moving the funnel into an active sales cycle and into real conversations. In fact, most businesses using sales funnels will have another funnel AFTER the sale.