Email marketing has only 2 purposes - to create a lead or to make a sale. This means everything about your campaign needs to be designed with conversion in mind. That subject line you agonized over - it needs to convince readers to keep reading. The thousand offer re-writes - only necessary to compel click through. The landing page...wait - what landing page - I am sending readers directly to my home page.
|Unless you are Groupon or some other deal of the day site - I doubt your home page is optimized to easily convert email clickthroughs.|
While I am sure your homepage is very nice, it's a trampoline. It bounces visitors to somewhere else with a variety of call-to-actions all its own. Prospects or customers who you have clicked through an email offer to want the straight goods - they don't want to visit your home page.
You want to visitors to land in your net. You want to capture them (in the nicest, least captive kind of way) and get them to do something. For B2B email is often used to nurture leads and so you simply want to make an exchange. You want their email address (or other valuable info) in exchange for your offer whether it is a checklist, a whitepaper or a chapter from your killer new e-book on how to rule the industry in 30 days or less.
Email click throughs are valuable. Don’t waste them by sending them to a trampoline for them to bounce off of, send them to a simple landing page net and capture those leads for nurturing and converting.
Net Photo by John Lustig. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Trampoline Photo by H. Powers. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Promotion is hard work.
Why go to all the effort of creating an email campaign and offer and then send someone to a generic experience? We want visitors to raise their hand indicating interest so we can continue to nurture them over time to more valuable behaviors – so why make them navigate through a home page to get to where you want them in the first place. The only way this makes sense is if the homepage is a giant CTA and even that assumes you are speaking to every customer the same way.
Your buyers don’t wait for a sales person to call them anymore. Instead they visit your website to get most of their education. As well they’re using search, attending webinars, and downloading white papers.
As your buyers increasingly use these online channels your marketing needs to meet prospects earlier than ever in the buying process – often long before they are ready to engage with sales. This is one reason that, on average, only 25% of new leads are sales ready, so you need a way to find the hot ones and pass them to sales before a competitor contacts them or they go cold.
Unless you have a plan and program to manage prospect interaction with your website, it tends to act more as a trampoline than a net. As a trampoline prospects land on your site only to bounce on to wherever else they are going on their buying journey. As a net, prospects land on your site and exchange their contact details for some content of value. Going forward these contacts can be used to nurture leads over time with automated marketing drip campaigns.
You want nurture leads to building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy, with the goal of earning their business when they are ready. Building a relationship with a prospect is the same as with any long-term relationship — you can’t force someone to commit (to a purchase, in this case) — but you also cannot afford to lose individuals because their willingness to buy doesn’t match your readiness to sell.
Most non-sales-ready leads will eventually be ready — and it is up to you to both provide them with relevant information and to be there when they are ready to make a buying decision.