Landing Pages, Squeeze Pages, Lead Pages: What’s the Difference?

1456136606_0c723a9689_zDo you wonder about the difference between landing pages, squeeze pages, and lead pages?

The internet is a 21st century Wild West, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a lot of confusion over terms and definitions. One of the most flagrant examples is the overlapping meanings of the terms: landing page, lead page, and squeeze page.

Several years back, the landing page concept bubbled to the cyber surface. Close on its heels was the squeeze page. And after a hiatus, the lead page took center stage just a couple years ago.

What does this progression signify and what is the difference, if any, between these different types of web pages?

Like an unexplored continent, the internet very slowly reveals itself, and we are just as slow to understand its ways. Somewhere along the line four or five years ago we understood and began to maximize the use of landing pages, driving traffic to specific inner pages of our website. We began to lure attention not exclusively to the homepage, but to a long tail page from deep inside the site; a page created for the specific purpose of introducing the visitor to a singular opportunity.

So we learned to guide the traffic in this way, wooing while shepherding. We also adopted the landing page as central to website traffic generation, because it appealed to highly specific needs. The more finely targeted your market, the more precisely you can craft your message.

One way to finesse the route to your landing page, we then realized, is to reduce the number of possible distractions. This is from the Sucker-A-Minute School of Marketing, but any successful marketing plan works on all levels, right? So a squeeze page allows only one action, only one exit. Fill in the form or nothing. No menus or links or superfluous stuff; just the single opt in, large and preferably circled in red.

A good while later, the two approaches were synthesized in lead pages. While landing and squeeze pages still make sense for specific situations, we now appreciate that driving traffic to a certain page (like a landing page) and making a single, crystal clear offer once they arrive (like a squeeze page), is the most user-friendly as well as profitable way to use cyberspace.

Again, the diverse forms are still active. When posting your blog updates, you still set up landing pages. You may use squeeze pages for decisive steps in a sales sequence. And you routinely work the internet for branding purposes, producing content that’s attractive to your market and offering it through lead pages that build your list.

Any questions? What do you think? What other ways do we have to make it easy for customers to get to know us and enjoy our interactions?

Smart Tactics for Converting Site Visitors to Leads

giftWhatever you do on behalf of your business online, the actions that convert into leads are the most valuable. Yes, you must have a stream of traffic, but once that’s established you want to focus on conversions.

The trends creep ever closer to a brutally direct approach. Many websites today ask for your opt-in on the home page, above the fold (i.e., it’s the first thing you notice when you land on the site). The visitor remains merely anonymous traffic for as little time as possible; we hurry them right along to sharing their contact info in exchange for a desireable item of some sort.

To me, this in-your-face promotion is not always appropriate. In developing your opt-in, your “freemium,” or what Amy Porterfield is calling your Signature Promotional Giveaway (SPG) always keep in mind the site visitor’s actual experience. If traffic tends to land on your site mostly from affiliate links, that’s quite different from a site that attracts mainly organic traffic based on a keyword. In the former case, an immediate up-sell might be fine; in the latter, you may want to massage the relationship a bit more before suggesting the opt-in.

But once you time, or position your opt-in offer satisfactorily, the big question is a familiar one in content marketing. What will be the substance of your giveaway? Realistically, it needs to be:

  1. a good example of your best work, because you want to wow ’em with this
  2. exceptionally tempting to your market, because you want lots of people to be willing to give their email address in exchange for it
  3. easily replicable, because you want to be able to deliver without excessive cost or hassle.

Conceiving of and creating such a freemium item is no small task. I suggest giving the matter serious thought. Here are some fine types of content:

  • report
  • ebook
  • tips or cheat sheet
  • instructive video or audio
  • newsletter

But really, the content of your freemium can be anything. As the independent grocer on Main Street, you could offer recipes with seasonal ingredients and get a ton of opt-ins. If you’re a graphic artist, your freemium might be a collection of color combinations. If you’re a contractor, maybe you could offer plans for building a garden gazebo. If you’re Hugh MacLeod, you create cartoons and share them.

I enjoyed watching Marcus Sheridan’s May TED talk. He shows examples of business adopting the new world of transparency, which has been a  result of the internet’s real time global communications. It’s a lot harder now, if not impossible, to dupe your market through old-fashioned broadcast marketing.  In lieu of extravagant dog and pony shows, brands are now required to simply, honestly educate about their products and services.

Your freemium is an early, if not the first step in building trust with potential customers. Make it a heartfelt token of your very best.

What opt-in structures have worked well for you? Please share in the comments.

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Small Business Online Branding provides assistance in planning and creating a dynamic freemium.

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