SMS marketing is effective—and that’s putting it mildly.
This form of marketing boasts clickthrough rates as high as 45%. And the average open rate? Nearly 100%!
So, how can you turn this engagement into conversions? The answer could be your landing page.
Whether you’re sending promotional campaigns in bulk or transactional messages to individuals over SMS (short message service, also known as text messages) your landing page is the conversion point that can make or break your mobile campaign. With mobile sales projected to account for 54% of all ecommerce in 2021, it’s no wonder more businesses are adopting new ways to reach potential customers on mobile.
In this article, we’ll review landing page fundamentals and best practices for your next SMS campaign.
The Importance of Landing Pages
Let’s assume your website is up and running, and you’re successfully driving traffic to it through well-placed paid ads and insightful blog posts. If you’re directing all this traffic to your homepage, you’re likely missing out on prospective customers.
Increasing website traffic can build brand awareness, sure. But it won’t do much to convert visitors into paying customers.
To make the most of your website traffic, you need to inspire visitors to take action when they land on your site. This is where landing pages become an essential conversion tool.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a single page on a website designed to drive an action. Landing pages can collect key customer information, increase SEO and direct visitors to specific products or services on your website.
Landing pages can also be built to match the intent of your visitors. This is one of the reasons successful ecommerce businesses have more than one landing page.
Say a customer receives a promotion from an electronics company via SMS that offers them 15% off noise-canceling headphones. When the user taps the link in the message, they’re dropped onto the company’s homepage; now, the prospective customer must navigate the company’s website on their mobile device to find “headphones,” and then specifically seek out the noise-canceling pair on sale.
What’s more likely to happen is that the customer will bounce, meaning the conversion (sale) is lost.
A landing page allows you to customize content to focus specifically on conversions. Statistics show that having tailored ecommerce experiences that meet the intent of the consumer can positively impact online sales.
Research from Episerver Retail Clients Q1 2020, based on 1.3 billion unique shopping sessions across 159 unique retail and consumer brand websites, shows that direct traffic and referral traffic saw the highest increases in conversion rate, year-over-year.
This means that relevancy is becoming even more important as buyers are becoming more selective in which search results they click on.
5 General Landing Page Best Practices
The more relevant your website content is to your visitors (including landing pages), the more likely it is to convert. Here are some essentials every landing page should include:
1. Stay Focused on the Goal
First off, a landing page is not your homepage (you’ve got one of those already).
Landing pages should have a singular focus depending on your conversion goal. This could be generating leads through webinars signups, a special offer for new customers or a seasonal sale.
Whatever your goal, keep your landing page focused on moving visitors to the desired result.
2. Keep Copy Concise
One of the best ways to keep your landing page focused is to distill copy to the most essential parts.
This is no place to tell the history of the company—instead, make your copy easy to skim. Use subheadings, bullet points and short sentences to achieve this content goal.
3. Choose Colors That Convert
It might sound like a minor detail, but studies have shown color can influence purchase behavior. Vivid colors with contrasting backgrounds tend to receive the highest click-through rates.
Take this example from Crave:
The platform features colorful movie- and TV-show-title screens against a black background, which makes it pop. The bright blue call-to-action button stands out nicely, as well.
4. Include a Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action—and a clear one at that—is how you let your visitors on the page know what they need to do next.
CTAs in the form of a button are typical and should be distinguishable from any other secondary buttons or icons. Use colors that stand out on the page and position the CTA centrally to ensure there is no confusion about next steps.
5. Fine-Tune Your Page Through A/B Testing
You may find yourself stuck between different design choices. Should the CTA button go on the left or the right side of the page? Is the landing page more engaging with an image or is it just taking up space?
A/B testing can help you eliminate the guessing game and determine which elements, language and colors deliver the best conversion rates for your store.
5 Key Factors for a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign
Landing pages on desktop compared to mobile aren’t drastically different.
For instance, providing a clear CTA is a solid guideline that applies to both. However, there are some optimizations you can apply to ensure your on-the-go audience stays engaged and your SMS marketing delivers the best results.
Here are some key factors to capture conversions:
1. Design with Mobile in Mind
When setting up your landing page, be sure to know how your page displays on different devices. This is a good, short explainer video.
From background images, to copy, to forms—less screen real-estate means you need to keep your mobile design simple. And, you need to prepare for how messages will appear on different devices and screen sizes.
2. Keep the Main Message Above the Fold
Yes, it’s true visitors will scroll. But they’ll also bounce if they feel the content above the fold (the top part of the page) is not relevant to them.
You want to make sure your messaging gets to the heart of the matter quickly. Attention spans on mobile are also getting shorter, which means you need to nail the content above the fold for the best chance at conversion.
3. Write Copy for Reader Intent
When you’re writing copy for your landing page, keep your reader in mind. Who are you communicating with and what action do you want the person on the other end of the screen to take? Where are they in the sales funnel and what content or offer will be most valuable to them?
Keep copy focused on the business at hand and distill the information on the page to just the essentials.
4. Consider How People Hold Their Phone
To get a thumbs up from your landing page visitors, consider how people interact with their mobile phone and design your layout accordingly.
Research shows that 49% of users use one hand, while 36% cradle their phone and 15% opt for two-handed operation.
Also, consider how easy (or difficult) it is to interact with your landing page. This can help determine where to place your call to action.
5. Include a Mobile-Optimized Form
If you’re using SMS to generate leads or encourage email newsletter sign-ups, you’ll need a form to collect user information
It’s important to remember to ask only for the information you need. Long forms that scroll on forever will result in lower conversions.
Keep the layout of the form simple; one column is perfect. And be sure to include a clear “Submit” or “Sign up” button.
Perfect Your SMS Marketing Landing Page
SMS marketing has some of the highest open rates of all marketing tactics. This means the opportunity, and the potential ROI, is huge.
To get the most out of your next SMS campaign, start by setting your conversion goals. Then, get a handle on your audience, perfect your copy and offer, and then tweak your landing page to get the best results.
With a landing page optimized for conversions, you’ll turn more prospects into paying customers in no time.
Jerry Brens is a writer and content marketing specialist. He also teaches content marketing and digital advertising in the School of Business at St. Lawrence College in Canada.
To learn more about landing page building, check out Shogun. Shogun features a drag-and-drop page builder that ensures fast website page load times for higher conversions.