How to Design a High-Performance Lead Gen Landing Page
Learn what makes a great lead gen landing page and how you can create your own.
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What’s a lead gen landing page, why should you create one and how to do it right?
Landing pages are often confused with website homepages since in many cases they are the same thing. The difference between the two is that a homepage is supposed to provide visitors with information, whereas a landing page is supposed to make them take action.
For example, people might stumble onto your website thanks to your SEO-friendly blog, and then head over to your homepage to find more about your business. A landing page is the first page potential customers land on, so landing pages are often used with specific campaigns or promotions.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to create a very specific type of landing page: lead generation, or lead gen, landing page.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation or lead capturing is the process of acquiring contacts of people who might be interested in purchasing your product or services.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enacted in 2016 and in 2018 in the US, is a data protection law that, among other things, requires companies to ask people for consent before using their contact data for marketing purposes. Before that companies were basically free to “steal” your contact and start sending you spammy sales emails or cold calls (often about things you knew nothing about or had no interest in).
With the new legal framework, lead generation became an incredibly important marketing tactic. Instead of swiping contact information, lead generation means that potential leads provide their contacts in exchange for a favor. This can have many forms, but the most popular are free content (ebooks, templates, infographics), discounts or free trials.
There are 4 main types of leads:
- Marketing qualified leads (MQL): people who’ve visited your blog or downloaded a piece of content, probably not ready to make a purchase yet.
- Sales qualified leads (SQL): people who have made it clear they’re interested in purchasing your product or service (e.g. people who abandoned their carts or signed up but have yet to complete a purchase).
- Product qualified leads (PQL): people who have expressed an interest in or have used your product (e.g. free trial sign-ups)
- Service qualified leads: people who have been in touch with your service team and expressed interest (e.g. cold call respondents who say they want to become customers).
Depending on what type of leads you’re aiming to acquire, you might need to tweak or adapt design elements of your landing page, such as the call to action button.
Why do you need a lead generation campaign?
The point of digital marketing (and perhaps its advantage over traditional marketing) is that you market your business to people who are more likely to be interested in it. Lead generation is an important part of a digital marketing strategy. Here are some notable stats:
- 53% of marketers spend at least half of their budget on lead generation (Bright Talk)
- Most midsize and large companies generate at least 5000 leads per month (Hubspot)
- Companies with a mature lead generation system have a 133% larger revenue (Intellistart)
Lead generation isn’t just a way to get new customers: it’s a way to transform people who have an organic interest in your business into customers.
It’s not dissimilar to the appeal of social media marketing, which allows you to target the right audiences and advertise more effectively. As a result, social media also generates higher quality leads which have a 13% higher conversion rate than the average.
Or, you might invest time and effort into building a great content marketing strategy that will help your website get discovered organically on search engines. But if people read your blog, get valuable information and ultimately turn away, then you’re wasting a huge opportunity to convert visitors into paying customers.
So, if you’re planning to build your social media presence or boost your content strategy, lead generation is the key to transforming a booming online presence into revenue.
The UX of a good lead gen landing page
Now that we know why lead gen is important, it’s time to dive into the anatomy of a lead generation landing page. Hubspot found that companies increased their number of leads by 55% as they went from 10 to 15 landing pages.
So, as you plan to create more landing pages and get more leads, these are the main elements that ensure a positive user experience on a lead gen landing page.
As we said, the point of lead generation is to give something in exchange for people’s contacts. To get people interested or even thinking about the exchange you need to provide a clear incentive.
A value proposition generally shouldn’t use technical language (unless you really want to target experts in a certain field, on say LinkedIn), and shouldn’t be salesy. On the other hand, if you’re offering a discount or a trial, you need to make sure that your target audience understands what type of service or product it is.
Here’s a great example from Trulia. The lead generation process starts with a simple yet powerful incentive: I want to know how much my house is worth.
In the next step, visitors are asked to complete a form. If you’re someone like me who’d just want to check the value of my home (ok, my parents’ home), this is probably the moment where I would turn away. However, this great lead generation page is also very effective as it helps to weed out the poor quality leads (like my avocado-toast eating self).
Once the form is completed, make sure that the users are instructed what to do next: whether it’s to check their inbox (including their spam), or contact you if there are any problems.
Some people might experience a lag between completing a lead gen form and accessing whatever they were promised in return. If your landing page doesn’t provide any instant feedback, they might get frustrated and forget to check their email inboxes in a few minutes (or often, their spam folder). Ziff Davis found leads are 9 times more likely to convert if businesses follow up within 5 minutes.
Another great example comes from Airbnb. It offers similar upfront value, but is even more direct, so it makes sense that the call to action here is to start using their service.
Social proof is definitely not a necessary element in lead gen landing page design, but it can increase conversion rates. Building trust in this way is very important for a lead generation page, since you’re asking people to share their personal data with you.
Here’s a good example from Walk Me. The overall design is pretty simple, and the value proposition is organized into bullet points for clarity. But what really stands out here are the awards badges and the big client names listed. Of course, you’ll need permission to place your clients’ logo on your page.
From a design perspective, this example also makes good use of white space, which allows the viewer to absorb the multitude of information without feeling overwhelmed.
Call to action buttons
Although sometimes it’s a simple “Submit”, “Sign up” or “Download”, a CTA button is really the pinnacle of any landing page. Essentially, it’s the one design element that makes or breaks the success of your user experience.
Make it too big and “threatening”, and people won’t feel comfortable clicking it. If it’s too understated and difficult to spot, you’ll fail to inspire a sense of urgency and FOMO which are necessary to prompt people to take action.
Landingi is a landing page builder and, unsurprisingly, they created this pretty great lead generation landing page. The standout element in this case are the CTAs that look great paired with the sleek, modern design. The two different calls to action work really well here, as they leave the possibility of acquiring different types of leads (product and marketing qualified leads).
Lead capture forms
This is probably the most important part of a lead generation page. Ideally, you have convinced users to provide you their contact information, and this is where they can actually do it.
A great lead gen form has to follow a few UX principles to ensure that people have a smooth and seamless experience. Here are some tips.
Reducing cognitive load is one of the basic principles of UI/UX design. In layman’s terms, it means making things as simple as possible.
Autofill can greatly reduce the time required to fill a form, and alleviates some of the anxiety for users (have I typed my email address right?).
Minimize the number of fields
If you’ve gotten their email address, do you really need a phone number as well? Is it absolutely necessary to provide a “website” (what if someone wants to download your resources as an individual?)
Long forms can really put people off, especially if they’re considering, for example signing up for your newsletter. The popup form found on our blog page is very simple and requires minimum information: you can fill it out in a second, and continue reading the blog post!
If you were on the fence about developing a strong lead gen strategy, now is the time to make the call and start gathering those leads. If you want to learn some general tips about creating an effective landing page, make sure to check out our guide.
Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.