Hello Marketing Nation,
Welcome back to the Marketo Success Series! In this series, we partner with Marketo Champions and Champion Alumni to fully explore how some of our most celebrated Marketo experts are using Marketo Engage to drive success. In this edition, we teamed up with Marketo Engage Champion Alex Greger and Champion Alumni Lauren Aquilino to talk about Landing Pages, why you should use them, the difference between Guided and Freeform, A/B testing, and more!
Landing Pages are Marketo-hosted pages that allow you to display content and track visitors. There are 101 opportunities I can think of to use landing pages:
But let’s get some technical considerations out of the way. First, your Marketo landing pages should have a CNAME that is a subdomain of your main domain (e.g. pages.yourdomain.com). You’ll need the help of your IT department with this, but when it’s done, it’s done. Second, consider whether you’ll need SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption for your landing pages. According to Marketo: “When you fill out a web form or visit a landing page that's hosted by Marketo, by default the information is sent over non-secure protocol (HTTP). Per your company’s policy, you may want to secure the information submitted to Marketo over (HTTPS). For example, when you visit http://info.mydomain.com/ it will now be https://info.mydomain.com/.” This will be especially important if you decide to use iFrames to place Marketo forms on your SSL encrypted website. Contact your CSM if this is a requirement for you.
Using Marketo landing pages puts the power of page creation in marketers’ hands. With pre-built templates, it’s super-easy to edit text, pop in an image, and add a form without code. While landing pages often serve as a lead gen page, they can also be built into microsites or campaign hubs. This is helpful if you are running campaigns, but your web team doesn’t want to update the website for each circumstance.
Landing pages typically live as assets within programs in Marketing Activities, while templates live within the Design Studio.
To start, you’ll want to make sure you have a good template to use. Next, you’ll want to use basic best-practices to build out your content.
Basic components of a landing page typically include:
You’ll want to define and gather all of these requirements before building out a landing page using your chosen landing page template.
Marketo offers two types of landing page templates, Guided and Free-form. This is chosen when initially creating the template and determines the type of editing and flexibility you have with individual landing pages. This ensures developers or agencies understand the difference and pick the correct one as each has its own pros and cons.
Free-form templates allow you to drag and drop different types of elements anywhere on the page while allowing predefined editable areas if designated in the template. This feels and acts similar to a slide deck where you place the elements, change the size and spacing, and how it looks in the editor is how it will render for the end visitor.
The Free-form template is best used when you need a one-off landing page and no time, budget, or resources at your disposal as is it allows the flexibility of creating a brand new landing page in a few minutes with little to no coding or development needs.
As you drag and drop these elements onto the canvas, a dropdown style sheet allows you to add different style elements, change the size, and align the element within the page. Then with a simple click to the mobile tab and activating the page, you will be able to re-align elements, shorten copy, and turn on/off extraneous items that are not necessary without affecting the desktop version.
A caveat to the Free-form template is that it is an adaptive experience for visitors where they will see either the desktop or the mobile version. There are ways to make the experience responsive, however, that is a more advanced topic and it would be more efficient to have a developer build a Guided template that allows this experience for visitors.
Guided templates are the latest version of the Marketo Landing Page product. It has some great updates including the ability to use variables to manipulate the page which we will get into later in the chapter.
The layout is built with different types of editable regions depending on what type of content you would like within that area. This allows a marketer to be more efficient and again provide more structure and guidelines to the overall page. Ensure your developer uses clear and concise naming conventions for these editable areas as they will really help in navigating the editor.
The major types of editable areas you will likely use are:
Not used as often:
If you are unsure of the type of content, or the area needs to be flexible for different types of content using the Text editable area. This will allow you to access the general WYSIWYG editor and allow you to add a wide variety of elements.
In areas that are not editable, you can utilize variables to switch out content such as a date, the color of a button, a link, or a logo. Again, this helps secure the structure and branding from being broken, while still allowing you to have the flexibility to change items from page to page.
The best part of the Guided template is the rendering of the page across devices is determined within the template. Therefore, your developer or agency can design the template to be fully responsive across all devices and you can simply edit the content within the page.
Below see the difference between the two editors.
For more information on landing page types, check out our Product Documentation on Guided and Free-Form Landing Pages.
Variables allow you to change the content in specific areas of the landing page without giving full editor access to the region. These are customizable attributes declared as meta tags inside the template to provide more flexibility in editing a landing page in areas that may need to be locked down from editing due to advanced coding or branding guidelines.
There are three types of variables for landing pages:
Within the syntax of the variable, your developer will assign a display name that is seen within the editor. This is where naming conventions become very important to ensure Marketo users know which variable will affect specific areas of the landing page. Boolean variables have additional options for displaying the name of each condition, here are a few examples:
Below are some great examples that have been used frequently and how variables display within the editor of a landing page.
Only 52% of those that use landing pages also test them to improve conversions. (1) Testing allows you to optimize conversion rates. This is a native, and frankly underused, feature. In Marketo, A/B test groups allow you to compare conversion rates of specific landing pages and optimize for the best results.
The real question is—why not use it? A/B testing allows you to quickly gain insight into what’s working and what’s not. You’ll be able to gain valuable insights on the UX preferences of your audience.
Landing pages are tested using a feature in Marketo called Landing Page Test Groups. First, you’ll create two or more landing pages that you would like to test against each other. Ideally, they will have forms. While still unapproved, right-click one and select convert to test group.
Add the landing pages that you would like to test and approve your test group. Once your landing pages are approved and live, you’ll be able to compare the stats of the landing pages in your test group.
When testing, every component is up for adjusting. However, there are some factors that may affect conversion more than others. Some examples include:
4 Keys to testing include:
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.