Watching Elon Musk's Space X happy landing; I was reminded of my own quest for happy landings in the world of online marketing.

How not to scupper your email response rates.

A quick guide to happy landings

  • Specifically, I'm talking about landing pages (I'm sure you know what a landing page is)
It's a name for a page on a website that is used to generate a response.

In an ideal world, a prospective client reads one of your emails and then clicks a link within it. The link should then take the reader to a page within your website dedicated to the product or service you are promoting. On that page, there will be strong sales copy and a strong call to action (a CTA).

That's what supposed to happen but often it doesn't.

How not to scupper your email response rates

You can go to a lot of trouble crafting an email that you think will attract buying interest. With a headline that you've tested for interest and open rates. You can build-into that email a great sales offer with one or more powerful incentives.  The list that you send your email to may well be in tip-top shape.  No missing fields, first names all there.  And, if you have done all of those things, you probably will see an excellent open rate for your mailer.

The problem is that it may not produce a high conversion rate.

In other words, it won't produce the end result you were hoping for in sales or enquiries received.

Why should that be?

Where did your prospects land?

Quite often it has to do with where the prospective clients went to when they clicked on the link or links in the email. Send readers to a Homepage and most will become lost sales.

Why? Because those readers had a specific interest aroused by your email, yet they land on a generic web page. One that probably doesn't show clearly the product or service they were interested in.

If this has happened to you, you'll know how frustrating that is.

And if you didn't find the thing you were looking for after a little bit of searching around, you probably dropped off the site.

Don't send readers to weak landing pages

The same thing happens when readers are taken to a weak landing page.

A weak landing page is one that isn't strongly tied to the subject matter of the email. If you send an email with a heading and copy that relates to a product or service, your landing page needs to be clearly linked to that subject.

Landing on a page with a heading that relates to another product or subject is likely to lose you leads.

Different products all being promoted on one page makes things confusing too. Readers won't usually spend time hunting for the thing that was of interest. Weak landing pages are also pages that don't have much in-depth information and that's going to hurt response because...

Interested readers who are now interested prospects want a lot of information.

They want to know the details. They also want to know how to take the next step in the process. That call to action has to stand out to them very, very clearly. And probably in more than one place on the page.

If it doesn't, they don't know what to do next and the result is yet again, a loss of valuable sales leads.

The steps to a sale via your website

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your emails and landing pages work well together is to see and liken them to steps in the sales process.

If you were visiting in person a prospective client to follow-up on an enquiry it's not likely that you would turn-up with little or no information about your business or product range. On the contrary, you would go the meeting with every bit of relevant sales information you had at your disposal.

That's how a landing page should work.

Emails are used to attract interest, to alert buyers to the services and products you offer.

They open the door.

Once that door is open, your landing pages must provide the back-up information that leads to the next step in the sales process. That could be an enquiry form being sent to your sales team. Or, a request for a follow-up call or sales meeting. It could even be the placement of an order.

Writing a great email is just one part of the job.

Usually, the bigger, more important and time-consuming part of email marketing lies in the creation of landing pages that will sell strongly on your behalf. When you get this combination right, you have two powerful elements of a website sales engine working for your business.

In short, ensure that your readers have happy landings and you should see your open and response rates improve dramatically.

David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ  
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051


The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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