A client asks:
“I notice that you’re recommending we gate our offer content behind landing pages as part of the lead nurturing campaign. Why is that necessary when we already know who these people are? Aren’t we just making it more difficult for people to respond?”
As I discussed in this earlier post, it’s not essential that all lead nurturing content be gated, or even that all lead nurturing emails have an offer in the first place, but it is a good idea to host most offer content behind a landing page and registration form, even in the context of lead nurturing. Here’s why:
1. A click is not a response. If you send the prospect directly to the content (say, a white paper) upon him or her clicking in the email, how confident can you be that the individual is expressing an active interest in your topic? People click on a whim, out of idle curiosity, even by accident. It’s why click-to-lead conversion rates are never 100%, no matter how good your landing page.
If you score clicks as “responses,” you risk over-inflating the value of leads who may only have passing interest in your content. Put another way, it’s OK if you “lose” some people in the process, because those who choose not to complete the registration form (see #2, below) probably weren’t too interested in the first place.
2. You’re not really asking for much. If you utilize a marketing automation platform, the registration form on your landing page will be pre-populated with the prospect’s contact information, so conceivably all he/she has to do is click on the “submit” button. Sure, strictly speaking, it’s one more step, but it’s not much of a barrier.
3. You’ll lose the opportunity to learn more about the prospect. If you choose not to employ landing pages in your nurturing campaign, you’ll miss the opportunity to employ “progressive profiling,” a feature common to most marketing automation systems by which you can serve up additional questions incrementally to a prospect as he/she engages with your campaign. Progressive profiling is an ideal method for capturing both additional demographic data (company size, industry) to drive campaign segmentation, and behavioral data that can help identify hot leads.
4. Landing pages help drive further engagement. When someone completes a registration form, you can serve up a confirmation page that thanks the individual for his/her interest, and provide links to additional resources, social sharing links, or secondary, “next step” offers – a Webinar, a demo, a free trial – to move the prospect further down the sales cycle.
In addition, if you fulfill the content via email (as we’d recommend), you can deliver the same links in that email, plus you’ll have the benefit of knowing when or if the individual actually accessed the content, at which point you could choose to trigger sales follow-up (or, in the absence of any action, send an email to the prospect reminding him/her to read the content.)
5. You’ll never know if your content was read by someone else. If your nurturing email is forwarded to a friend or colleague, and that colleague accesses your (ungated) content, you won’t know the difference. Maybe that second person is the real decision-maker or a key influencer. With a landing page, you’ll at least have the opportunity to capture his or her contact information.
Excellent post, Howard. As usual!