When Should I Use a Landing Page?
You should try to use a landing page for every inbound advertising campaign you operate. You might be selling multiple products or setting up promotional offers for different user segments and your homepage can’t deal with this level of message differentiation. The style and effectiveness of your inbound marketing will also vary according to the source (PPC, email, organic, social media, display banners), so you should try and provide a relevant experience to each input to the funnel.
Segmented promotional offers
If you need to communicate discounts or messaging to various classes of customer, for example: people who’ve signed up but never subscribed to your pain subscription model vs. those on your top tier plan, the simplest way is via separate landing pages. They enable you to keep your message private and personalized while not interfering with the general purpose of your homepage.
Not all promos are for all people.
Product advertising usually goes to one of three places: homepage, product detail page, shopping cart page. Of these the product detail is the best as it will provide enough information to make an informed purchasing decision. However, there is still the option and likelihood that visitors will wander off course via the main navigation. Perhaps they will buy something else, and after all a sale is a sale right? Wrong. If you are trying to run an effective marketing campaign, a big priority should be metrics based accountability.
If you are using a standalone landing page, your sales funnel is greatly simplified: Ad >> Landing Page >> Cart
If your conversion rate isn’t what you want it to be, then you can focus your attention on tightening your message match and test the design and content of your landing page.
If you’re driving traffic through your website, there can be anything from 1-100+ pages in the middle part of the funnel, making it very tough to uncover where the fall out is occurring.
Traffic source segmentation and optimization
Prospective customers arriving via a 140 character tweet have heard very little of your pitch and need a lot more detail to further their progress down the funnel. This is very different to someone who might have clicked through to your page from a 3 paragraph email. As such, you should try to use separate landing pages for each source. message match is much easier to manage this way: social media traffic can have an associated icon placed on the page for reinforcement and affiliate or partner traffic can be co-branded.
Another major benefit of segmenting your traffic to separate landing pages is measurability. Sure, you can use an analytics package to show that your social media traffic is outperforming email when you are driving it to your homepage. But what if you need to improve your email campaign performance without affecting social media or PPC conversions? By changing a target page that consumes all inbound traffic, you will inevitably affect the conversion rate of all sources. Messy.