The following is an excerpt from The Shopify Merchant’s Guide to Holiday Engagement, a free eBook featuring 10 amazing Shopify experts. In this post, Ryan O’Donnell, co-founder of ShopPad, shares some common misconceptions and best practices for on-site promotions, plus his actionable tips to help you take advantage of promotions this holiday season.

Why Landing Pages Matter

The name of the game in ecommerce is conversion. There are so many ways to engage your customers: targeted ads, banner ads, email campaigns. It’s important to have a destination for these customers—a landing page that supports the messaging in your creative and provides a seamless experience from engagement to checkout.

Currently, there are lots of tools and services out there to help you generate emails and ads. Even getting graphics isn’t the issue it once was. But to this day, there’s a shortage of great solutions from Shopify to help you create landing pages and provide that seamless experience for your customers. Their recommendation has always been to create a new product template or collection and hope that your theme can support that. We developed Page Studio to give merchants a better, easier way of creating effective landing pages.

However you do it, whatever creative you’re putting out there to market your store and engage your customers, that branding and messaging should be supported once those customers get to your site. If not, you’re just kind of letting people aimlessly view your site without any cohesive message that ties everything together.

Common Misconceptions

“I need a designer or developer to create landing pages.”

Even if you don’t use Page Studio, there are other solutions out there—Unbounce, Wishpond, LanderApp—that you can use to generate landing pages. They all have their varying degrees of cost and usefulness. The point is, you don’t need to know how to write code. You don’t need to pay a designer or developer massive hourly rates to build special landing pages. For a small investment into one of these tools, you can do it yourself with a WSYWIG editor.

“I need to show everything on my landing page.”

Merchants have a tendency to want to include every part of their store on every page. It’s very easy to bombard customers with too much information. Having a newsletter popup and a blog and an area for social media are all good ideas for your store, but when you have a landing page that you’re using to convert customers, those elements ultimately detract from your message.

Best Practices

Prioritize your message.

Landing pages are most effective when you have a targeted message that shows the benefits of a product. With Page Studio, our advice is always to prioritize the message. One page, one message, one clear call to action. What is the story you’re trying to tell? What is the one product that you want customers engaging with? How do they buy it? If you can stick to answering these questions, you’re far more likely to get customers to convert.

Show the benefits of your product.

Shopify does a great job with product pages—showing product images, specs, variants, add-to-cart—but where landing pages come in is creating that “FOMO” effect. They’re your chance to show the benefits of a product—how it’s used, what the end result is, how your customer’s life has been incomplete to this point because they don’t have your product.

Imagine you’re a mom and pop shop selling artisanal salt. You probably won’t get too far showing a salt container and some pretty packaging. But show customers food they might make, show families coming together by cooking with this product, show people living better, healthier lifestyles. That’s a lot to convey on a product page, so landing pages are your opportunity to tell a very specialized story and let your customers imagine using your product in real life.

Have one clear call to action.

When I say one clear call to action, it’s literally one big juicy button that gets customers exactly where they need to go to buy your product. There should be no other tempting links on the page, nothing to distract them from the main takeaway—which is to go buy your product.

Action Items

Create a few variations and A/B test them.

There are different ways to sell a product. One of the biggest challenges for online merchants is understanding your audience. It may be easy to talk about your products in terms of what they do, what they take to build, etc. But finding out who they actually relate to, who your ideal customers are and what kind of messaging they respond well to, takes a certain level of sophistication. We refer to this as A/B testing or multivariate testing.

Creating variations from one page really means taking your idea and coming up with different ways of selling it, and then figuring out which one works best (ie. which one’s driving the most traffic to the next page). If you have a product line, you might try variations that focus on a few different types of benefits. If you have a more sophisticated product, you might try listing out the specifications to see if there are customers who care more about the specs of a product than the end benefit.

Learn from your landing pages.

Besides helping conversions, landing pages are a great way to learn about your customers. You can test new marketing strategies and see which ones resonate best. If you measure a lift in conversions from emails and banners to landing pages to product pages, you might even think about changing your Shopify theme—perhaps to something with a collections view that shows off your lifestyle photos in a way similar to your landing pages. That’s just one example, but there’s a lot you can learn from engaging your customers with landing pages.


Make It Happen

When it comes to converting potential customers, landing pages are an excellent way of unifying your message from engagement to checkout, while presenting the benefits of a product in a way customers can easily envisage and understand. Sign up for a 30-day free trial with Page Studio and try creating a few landing pages for your products. Include links to these pages in your email marketing and ad campaigns, and see how they perform with customers.

 

Read more in our free eBook!

The Shopify Merchant's Guide to Holiday Engagement

For more lessons on how to engage holiday shoppers and boost traffic and sales, be sure to check out The Shopify Merchant’s Guide to Holiday Engagement. It’s free to download—no email address required. Consider it our gift to you this holiday season!

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