For something that literally “pops up” in your face, the value of popups—and the variety of ways they can be used to convert more visitors—is often overlooked.
And while we’re sure the word “popup” brings some lousy user experiences to mind, don’t let a few annoying apples spoil the bunch. Popups can actually enhance your visitors’ experience and be an incredibly effective marketing tool when used in a thoughtful, targeted way. They help you highlight relevant offers, products, or sales, build email lists, and recapture your visitors’ attention before they leave the page.
With a few best practices and some steal-worthy examples, this guide is here to help you design and launch high-performing popups that convert more of your visitors into sales, leads, and customers.
Why Use Popups?
The short answer: because they work.
Popups keep people on your page, remind them of what you have to offer, and collect data to nurture leads. Think of them as your marketing sidekick with the superpower of boosting conversions.
How popups worked for these brands:
- Canvas Factory used a popup to bring in $1.1 million of revenue after struggling with high traffic that didn’t convert. They used tracking integrations to fine-tune their campaign.
- Entrepreneur magazine increased sales by 162% by adding a hover.
- Hotjar gained 60-70 new users per month with a popup that put user experience first.
- Broomberg wanted to generate more leads on a tight advertising budget. They designed a popup that increased their leads by 72%. They did this without having to spend more money on paid search advertising.
Popup Design Pro Tips
The headline is the hero
80% of people who see a piece of content will only read the headline, and a good headline can boost traffic by up to 500%.
So be sure to make the benefit of your offer clear right in the headline. This makes it easy for someone considering clicking away to know exactly what they’re turning down. Your call to action (CTA) should also be simple enough that it fits in a headline anyway.
Be clear, relevant, and concise
Like all content, you want your popups to be clear and to the point. It’s not just about the relevance of your popup to your visitors. It’s also about the relevance of your popup to the page it appears on—and the experience that you’re guiding your visitor through. Make sure it complements the content on your page instead of competing with it.
Canvas Factory found this out when they discovered a certain popup’s conversion rate on blog posts was just 0.18% compared to 11% on product pages.
The difference came down to relevance. The offer was the same in both cases: a $10 discount on your first order for signing up for their email list. Their A/B testing confirmed the natural assumption that a discount popup will do better on a product page (where potential buyers hang out) than on a blog where visitors might just be looking for information.
Design with user experience in mind
Think of the whole visitor experience when you’re designing a popup. That’s how you achieve relevance. The best way to get them to take the journey from visitor to buyer is to consider what that path looks like for them. Then design with their perspective in mind.
If you’re promoting a product, for instance, share a discount code and get new customers to sign up with a lead gen (form) popup. If you’re having a sale, direct them to related sale items with a clickthrough popup. And if you’re sharing a piece of content, either send them to a related piece of content that nudges them closer to becoming a customer—or send them to a product that’s mentioned or is particularly relevant.
Include a strong call to action
A call to action does exactly what the name suggests: it asks readers to do something. The CTA is the focal point of a popup. It should stand out, and what it’s asking visitors to do should be obvious—even if a visitor looks it for a split second. You only get one CTA per popup; there can’t be two offers. What’s the one action you want people to take? That’s the CTA.
Sure, popups sometimes get a bad rap. But if you follow the above tips and avoid making the mistakes below, you can make sure yours fall on the right side of popup history.
The internet has a word for dissing people who don’t want your popup offer: confirmshaming. That’s when your opt-out option is something like, “No thanks, I like being broke and friendless,” or, “I don’t like saving money.” This snarky tactic might have been cute for the first company that used it, but now it’s so overplayed that there’s an entire Tumblr dedicated to examples of confirmshaming in action.
Besides coming off as, at best, annoying, and at worst, downright condescending, confirmshaming can completely distract from your offer.
The value of a popup is that it allows your customers to take immediate action on something that can help and benefit them. Nothing should distract from that—especially not your attitude. A visitor who’s not ready to buy today might be ready the next time they encounter your content, but not if their first encounter left them with a bad taste.
No exit option
Another issue we see too often is the popup that’s like an escape room. Clicking away from a popup should be simple and straightforward. The extra captive eyeballs you might gain by turning your ad into a click trap aren’t worth the resentment and frustration you’ll stir up. And the worst part could be that people you trap with this kind of popup strategy may have been trying to close it so they spend more time browsing your site. Talk about a self-own.
Do unto others
When in doubt, stick to the golden rule: how would you like to experience a popup, especially one you’re not interested in? Look at the nice example below. No attitude, no snottiness, just a simple “No, thank you.”
Learn from others
Marketing and advertising pros collect “swipe files” of work they like. They use these examples to learn from and as inspiration for their own work. You can do this, too. Start taking note of popups you see online and screenshot the ones that grab your attention in the right way.
When you’re designing a popup, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Study what works and make those elements your own by incorporating them into your design. If it catches your eye or gets you to click, the creator probably did something right.
A great thing about popups is that they can include all sorts of tracking technology that can give you insights into what’s working and what’s not—through insights like impressions, clicks, and conversion rates. Use that info to improve your offer and the design you use to present it.
That said, be deliberate when you’re testing. If you test a bunch of variables at once, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. Take testing one variable at a time. For example, testing the CTA and testing whether or not to have a popup triggered on exit are two different tests.
Target and Segment
Possibly the coolest thing about collecting data from your lead gen popups is that you can use it to create customer segments and Facebook “lookalike audiences” for social ad campaigns and other targeted advertising.
The popup and sticky bar builder allows you to trigger popups based on visitor behavior, like arriving at a page, exiting, or clicking a link. You can use advanced targeting features to talk to visitors based on their location or how they found your site (i.e., one popup for a visitor who followed a link in your newsletter and a different one for somebody who found you through social media).
Plus, dynamic text replacement (DTR) takes relevance to a whole other level by changing the text of your copy to match what customers are looking for based on data about their preferences.
14 Popup Design Examples to Inspire Yours
We gathered high-converting Unbounce customer popups and other examples from the world wide web to show that great popups come in all forms.
Unbounce Customer Popup Examples
National Sewing Circle
National Sewing Circle is an online platform for sewing instruction and ideas. They’re a subscription-based business that trades in information, community collaboration, and resources for avid sewers (or those who want to become one), making their popup especially clever.
With agency TN Marketing, they created an offer of a $40 sewing gift simply for signing up for their newsletter—which works as a lead nurturing strategy to eventually nudge subscribers toward signing up. Stating the dollar amount given in return for an email address makes the value crystal clear, allowing the newsletter to show the value of a full NSC membership over time. So far, this popup has converted 29% of traffic and over 70,000 visitors—and the circle continues to expand!
Regiondo is an activity booking software for facilitating, managing, and promoting ticket sales. Their software is robust in functionality and can be used by a range of people in a number of industries, making product information and education a key conversion driver.
This simple, no-frills popup to book a product demonstration gets visitors in the door and connected with a Regiondo team member while they may still be in the browsing or “evaluation” phase. It’s a great example of “well-designed” applying to functionality over flare—a clean, direct popup targeted to the businesses and professionals their services are for.
HiMama is a childcare app that streamlines childcare center management, parent communication, documentation, and administrative reporting. And streamlining is exactly what their popup does, too—effectively enough to convert 40% of multiple thousands of visitors. Yowza.
Because HiMama can be used for a variety of reasons, and by people in many different roles within the childcare industry, they’ve created a self-segmenting popup that helps them best tend to visitors enquiring about the platform. Contrasting colors, benefits-focused messaging, and straightforward calls to action lead visitors to individual SaaS landing pages targeted specifically to them. Kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure that ends with everybody happy.
Sulky is a high-quality thread and stabilizer company that ships all over the world. They have a huge inventory of products and know that people who land on their website are there for a reason—they’ve searched for thread suppliers, clicked on an ad, or were referred—and are ready to browse, if not already primed to buy.
Placing a 15% off coupon right on their homepage is a smart way to incentivize a purchase and show appreciation to visitors before they’ve even become customers. The popup’s imagery and messaging are fun, eye-catching, and even a bit silly—in a good way! It makes for a warm, friendly invitation that’s bang-on brand and nearly impossible to refuse.
Wealthify is a lead generation service for mortgage brokers and financial planners in Australia. They turned to growth marketing agency Webbuzz to help get them more leads for potential customers. To do this, they took a softer approach that’s paid off with a steady 19% conversion rate.
“It’s been so successful that we have used the ‘info pack’ popup on other client sites,” says Ben Carew, Webbuzz’s Director of SEO Service and Analytics.
By offering an information package to learn more about Wealthify, a bulleted rundown of what’s included, and a one-field entry to sign up, they’ve made it a no-brainer trade for a visitor’s email. The clever graphics, bolded information, and clear call to action don’t hurt either!
Energy Locals is an Australian energy retailer that provides clean, environmentally-friendly energy in an affordable way. Their service is location-specific and has a higher barrier to conversion than, say, buying a pair of pants, so they’ve given visitors a direct line to their 100%-local team should they have any questions or need more information.
Bright colors and minimal form fields make the popup easy to spot and easy to fill out. And the drop-down menu for when to call is a nice touch to let visitors feel in control, and know that their time is respected. At a 61% conversion rate, the proof is in the popup pudding.
Picks from Around the Web
Fun and to the point
Who doesn’t want $10? This popup cuts right to the chase and uses an upfront offer to attract customers. Meanwhile, the body copy manages to keep it light and fun.
Notice that this popup appears on a product page. It’s not coming up on the blog, where a visitor might have just been browsing for an article about hoodies. Instead, it’s right on a page where a customer can take advantage of the discount and buy the hoodie.
Empathy in action
This clickthrough popup gets so much right. It focuses on the visitor’s needs and perspective and highlights a limited-time offer (with a dash of FOMO). And it gives them the chance to postpone their purchase without missing out—a win/win. Someone who’s interested but not ready to buy is going to see this and feel understood. That’s very smart.
This popup also gets points for simplicity. Remember what we said about having a single-purpose CTA? That’s what they’ve done here. They’re not asking for your email address or anything else; you just click the button to set a reminder and they’ll see you when you come back to claim that deal (at which point, they can propose a different offer, like an email signup).
“Why did you leave me?”
This poor lil’ creature. This one is clear, creative, and very noticeable. Even if you bounced, you probably stopped for a second to figure out who or what that little guy is.
Notice even though the CTA isn’t on top—where you might expect to see the headline—it is the largest, hardest-to-miss text. CTA buttons are great because they put your CTA and your clickthrough function in one spot. No need for clutter or complication.
Is it mind-bendingly creative? No. But that’s okay.
This subtle, thoughtful popup does exactly what any good popup should do. It makes a clear offer that emphasizes what’s in it for you. They realize that you need a good reason to let them get in your inbox, and they’ve articulated three reasons in the body copy.
Notice how they’ve also given you two ways to leave the popup: the “X” in the top-right corner and some text at the bottom that says “close this popup.” Big points for respect and clarity.
Exclusive offers and best-kept secrets
Some words never get old: New. Free. Exclusive. Let your visitors in on a secret guide or grant them membership to an exclusive club. Just be sure that what you’re offering is genuinely valuable and appealing. If you’re not careful, the secret club angle can come off like a sleazy magic trick. But done right, it’s a great way to generate curiosity.
Call out objections
Sometimes it helps to address objections to your offer, especially in an exit popup. If your landing page has a high bounce rate, you may want to test popups addressing possible objections that are making them bounce. Not only will this lower your bounce rate, but it will help you better understand what customers think of your page and why they’re bouncing.
Did you know a popup doesn’t need to take up the whole screen or appear right in the middle of the screen?
A simple ‘pop under’ (we call ’em sticky bars) form like this one is like a gentle reminder to join a mailing list. This example appears on a product page, but a low-key popup off to the side or down at the bottom is ideally suited for a blog because something more in-your-face might interrupt someone in the middle of a sentence.
One way to be relevant is to just ask visitors what’s relevant to them. This example from a fitness site presents three choices that direct people to three tailored solutions (and organizes them into three customer segments).
The opt-in buttons are bright and attention-getting, so someone struggling with one of the three problems mentioned might see their issue before they read the question up top. This is an exit popup, so the person may be bouncing because they didn’t find content that was relevant to their specific fitness issue. This popup addresses that exact problem.
Hit the Ground Running with Popups
A well-designed popup can put your business on the fast track to more conversions, more leads, and more revenue. They’re one of the best ways to reach your customers directly and ask them to take action.
When you’re ready to include them in your marketing, try building popups in Unbounce with a free 14-day trial.
Think about all the times you’ve signed up for things in your life. Did you once download Evernote? Dropbox? Spotify? Maybe you’ve even taken a class on General Assembly.
Each one of these signups is likely a result of an effective call-to-action (CTA).
Think about it: If you hadn’t been drawn in by the copy or design of the CTA, or been guided so eloquently through your sign-up process, you would probably use a lot fewer apps and websites than you do now.
It’s really important to guide your visitors through the buying journey using strategic CTAs.
What is a call to action (CTA)?
CTA stands for call to action, and it’s the part of a webpage, advertisement, or piece of content that encourages the audience to do something. In marketing, CTAs help a business convert a visitor, or reader into a lead for the sales team. CTAs can drive a variety of different actions depending on the content’s goal.
What a CTA Means in Marketing
As a marketer, CTAs are relevant because they encourage your audience to take action on a marketing campaign.
Ultimately, the goal of any marketing campaign is to guide your audience in the buyer’s journey so they eventually make a purchase.
However, each marketing campaign might have a different action for the audience to carry out because there are several tactics you can use to guide your audience in their journey.
Below are a few examples of the types of CTAs you might use in marketing:
In this type of CTA, the audience might be invited to sign up for a free trial, an online course, a future event, or even a software product. It all depends on the CTAs context on an ad or website.
This CTA doesn’t commit a person to a purchase. Rather, it invites them to receive updates from the company. “Subscribe” CTAs are common to company blogs, for which the business wants to develop a readership.
Try for free.
Nearly every company website has a free trial offer today. Each of them are CTAs of this variety, and they allow people to demo a product before deciding if it’s worth the cost to them.
This CTA can drive a variety of behaviors for a company, from a free trial to virtual reality experience.
Sometimes, all you want is to give your potential customers a little more information so they’re prepared to buy something. That’s what this CTA is for.
Do you manage an online community. Is your product built on collaboration between users? You might find yourself placing “join us” CTA somewhere on your website.
Learn more about the purposes CTAs can serve in this blog post.
The above types of CTA all serve a designated purpose, but keep in mind the language they use can vary. And today, marketers everywhere have put some creative spins on their calls to action to generate the leads their businesses depend on.
To help you identify what’s effective and what’s not, we’ve listed out 31 examples of CTAs that totally rock. These call-to-action examples are broken out into three categories:
- Simple and effective CTAs
- CTAs with great call-to-action phrases
- CTAs that balance multiple buttons on one page
Call to Action Examples
- Full Bundle
- Grey Goose
- IMPACT Branding and Design
- Brooks Running
- Humboldt County
- t.c. pharma
- General Assembly
- charity: water
- Ashley Stewart
- Barnes and Noble
CTA: Sign Up
“Remember Everything.” Visitors can immediately understand that message the moment they land on this page. The design on Evernote’s website makes it super simple for users to see quick benefits of using the app and how to actually sign up to use it. Plus, the green color of the main and secondary CTA buttons is the same green as the headline and the Evernote logo, all of which jump off the page.
CTA: Sign up for free
Dropbox has always embraced simple design with a lot of negative space. Even the graphics on their homepage are subtle and simple.
Thanks to that simple design and negative space, the blue “Sign up for free” call-to-action button stands out from everything else on the page. Since the CTA and the Dropbox logo are the same color, it’s easy for the visitor to interpret this CTA as “Sign up for Dropbox.” That’s one effective call-to-action.
Here’s a slide-in call-to-action that caught my attention from OfficeVibe. While scrolling through a post on their blog, a banner slid in from the bottom of the page with a call-to-action to subscribe to their blog. The best part? The copy on the slide-in told me I’d be getting tips about how to become a better manager — and the post it appeared on was a post about how to become a better manager. In other words, the offer was something I was already interested in.
Plus, I like how unobtrusive slide-in CTAs are — as opposed to what my colleague Rachel Sprung calls the “stop-everything-and-click-here-pop-up-CTA.” I find these CTAs offer a more lovable experience because they provide more information while still allowing me to continue reading the blog post.
CTA: Join Free for a Month
One big fear users have before committing to sign up for something? That it’ll be a pain to cancel their subscription if they end up not liking it. Netflix nips that fear in the bud with the “Cancel anytime” copy right above the “Join Free for a Month” CTA. I’d venture a guess that reassurance alone has boosted signups. Also, you’ll notice again that the red color of the primary and secondary CTAs here match Netflix’s logo color.
CTA: Get Started
To achieve effective CTA design, you need to consider more than just the button itself. It’s also super important to consider elements like background color, surrounding images, and surrounding text.
Mindful of these additional design components, the folks at Square used a single image to showcase the simplicity of using their product, where the hovering “Get Started” CTA awaits your click. If you look closely, the color of the credit card in the image and the color of the CTA button match, which helps the viewer connect the dots of what to expect if/when they click.
CTA: Give Prezi a try
The folks at Prezi are also into the minimalist design look on their website. Other than the green dinosaur and the dark brown coffee, the only other color accompanying the predominantly black-and-white design is a bright blue — the same blue from their main logo. That bright blue is strategically placed on the homepage: the main “Give Prezi a try” CTA, and the secondary “Get Started” CTA, both of which take users to the same pricing page.
7. Full Bundle
CTA: Our Work
Full Bundle is another company that uses negative space to make their primary CTA pop. The white “Our Work” call-to-action stands out against the dark greys of the background. Their choice of CTA is strategic, too. Given that they primarily exist to build out clients’ online presences, it’s important for them to showcase their work — and that’s what most folks are going to their website for.
The folks at Panthera are looking for users who really care about wild cats around the world and want to join a group of people who feel the same way. To target those people in particular, we love how they use language that would speak to big cat-lovers: “Join the pride today.” The page itself is super simple: an on-page form with two, simple fields, and a button asking folks to (again) “Join.”
CTA: Let’s start a new project together
The folks at the agency EPIC use their homepage primarily to showcase their work. When you arrive on the page, you’re greeted with animated videos showing some of the work they’ve done for clients, which rotate on a carousel. While there are plenty of other places users might click on their site — including their clients’ websites — the main call-to-action stands out and always contrasts with the video that’s playing in the background.
I love that it features friendly, inclusive language — “Let’s start a new project together” — which gives a hint to users looking for a creative partner that they’re an especially great team to work for.
CTA: Send Me Specials Now!
The whole point of a call-to-action is to direct your site visitors to a desired course of action — and the best CTAs do so in a way that’s helpful to their visitors. The folks at coffee company Aquaspresso really nailed that balance here with the pop-up CTA on their main blog page.
Here, the desired course of action is for their blog readers to check out what they’re actually selling (and hopefully buy from them). There are many ways they could have done this, including putting out a CTA that urges people to “Check out our most popular products!” or something very direct. But we love what they’ve done instead: Their CTA offers blog readers something much more helpful and subtle — an offer for “today’s specials” in exchange for the reader’s email address.
Adding that the specials are for today only is a great example of a psychological tactic called scarcity, which causes us to assign more value to things we think are scarce. The fear that today’s specials are better than tomorrow’s might make people want to fill it out and claim their offer while they can.
(The call-to-action above was created using HubSpot’s free conversion tool, Leadin. Click here to learn how to easily create CTAs like this one using Leadin.)
CTA: Are you doing your SEO wrong? Enter your URL to find out
No one wants to be wrong. That’s why a call-to-action button like QuickSprout’s slide-in CTA on their blog is so clickworthy. It asks the reader, “Are you doing your SEO wrong?” Well, am I? All I have to do is enter my URL to find out — seems easy enough. It’s language like that that can really entice visitors to click through.
Plus, having the CTA slide in mid-blog post is a great tactic for catching readers before they bounce off the page. Traditionally, many blogs have CTAs at the very bottom of each blog post, but research shows most readers only get 60% of the way through an article. (Click here to learn how to add slide-in CTAs to your blog posts.)
12. Grey Goose
CTA: Discover a cocktail tailored to your taste
Here’s a fun, unique call-to-action that can get people clicking. Whereas site visitors might have expected to be directed to product pages or press releases from the homepage, a CTA to “Discover a Cocktail Tailored to Your Taste” is a pleasantly surprising ask. People love personalization, and this CTA kind of feels like an enticing game. The play button icon next to the copy gives a hint that visitors will be taken to a video so they have a better idea of what to expect when they click.
CTA: Claim Your Free Trial
A lot of company websites out there offer users the opportunity to start a free trial. But the CTA on Treehouse’s website doesn’t just say “Start a Free Trial”; it says “Claim Your Free Trial.”
The difference in wording may seem subtle, but think about how much more personal “Claim Your Free Trial” is. Plus, the word “claim” suggests it may not be available for long, giving users a sense of urgency to get that free trial while they can.
OKCupid’s CTA doesn’t seem that impressive at first glance, but its brilliance is in the small details.
The call-to-action button, which is bright green and stands out well on a dark blue background, says, “Continue.” The simplicity of this term gives hope that the signup process is short and casual. To me, this CTA feels more like I’m playing a fun game than filling out a boring form or committing to something that might make me nervous. And it’s all due to the copy.
CTA: Countdown Clock
Nothing like a ticking timer to make someone want to take action. After spending a short amount of time on blogging.org’s homepage, new visitors are greeted with a pop-up CTA with a “limited time offer,” accompanied by a timer that counts down from two minutes.
As with Aquaspresso’s example in #10, this is a classic use of the psychological tactic called scarcity, which causes us to assign more value to things we think are scarce. Limiting the time someone has to fill out a form makes people want to fill it out and claim their offer while they can.
Curious, what happens when time runs out? So was I. Hilariously, nothing happens. The pop-up CTA remains on the page when the timer gets to zero.
16. IMPACT Branding & Design
CTA: What We Do
CTAs can feel really pushy and salesy (yes, that’s a word…) if the wrong language is used. I like IMPACT‘s educational approach, where they challenge visitors to learn what the company does before pushing them to take any further action. This call-to-action is especially intriguing to me because they don’t even use an action verb, yet they still manage to entice people to click.
CTA: Launch (Do Not Press)
If you went to a website and saw a “Launch” CTA accompanied by the copy “Do Not Press” … what would you do? Let’s be honest: You’d be dying to press it. The use of harmless reverse psychology here is playful, which is very much in keeping with Huemor’s brand voice.
18. Brooks Running
CTA: Find out when we have more
How many times have you hotly pursued a product you love, only to discover it’s sold out? Well, as you might know, it’s no picnic for the seller either. But just because you’ve run out of an item doesn’t mean you should stop promoting it.
Brooks Running uses a clever call to action to ensure their customers don’t bounce from their website just because their favorite shoe is out of stock. In the screenshot below, you can see Brooks touting an awesome-looking shoe with the CTA, “Find out when we have more.” I love how this button turns bad news into an opportunity to retain customers. Without it, Brooks’ customers would likely forget about the shoe and look elsewhere.
When you click on the blue CTA button depicted below, Brooks directs you to a page with a simple code you can text the company. This code prompts Brooks to automatically alert the visitor when the shoe they want is available again.
19. Humboldt County
CTA: Follow the Magic
Humboldt County’s website is gorgeous on its own: It greets you with a full-screen video of shockingly beautiful footage. But what I really love is the unconventional call-to-action button placed in the bottom center, which features a bunny icon and the words “Follow the Magic.”
It enhances the sort of fantastical feel of the footage, making you feel like you’re about to step into a fairytale.
What’s more, once you click into that CTA, the website turns into a sort of choose-your-own-adventure game, which is a fun call-to-action path for users and encourages them to spend more time on the site.
CTA: Sign up to drive | Start riding with Uber
Uber’s looking for two, very distinct types of people to sign up on their website: riders and drivers. Both personas are looking for totally different things, and yet, the website ties them together really well with the large video playing in the background showing Uber riders and drivers having a good time in locations all over the world.
I love the copy of the driver CTA at the top, too: It doesn’t get much more straightforward than, “Make money driving your car.” Now that’s speaking people’s language.
CTA: Go Premium | Play Free
As soon as you reach Spotify’s homepage, it’s pretty clear that their main goal is to attract customers who are willing to pay for a premium account, while the CTA for users to sign up for free is very much secondary.
It’s not just the headline that gives this away; it’s also the coloring of their CTA buttons. The “Go Premium” CTA is lime green, making it pop off the page, while the “Play Free” CTA is plain white and blends in with the rest of the copy on the page. This contrast ensures that visitors are drawn to the premium CTA.
CTA: Send me the coupons | I’m not interested
Exit CTAs, also known as exit intent pop-ups, are different than normal pop-ups. They detect your users’ behavior and only appear when it seems as though they’re about to leave your site. By intervening in a timely way, these pop-ups serve as a fantastic way of getting your reader’s attention while offering them a reason to stay.
Ugmonk has a great exit CTA, offering two options for users as a final plea before they leave the site. First, they offer a 15% discount on their products, followed by two options: “Yes Please: Send me the coupon” and “No Thanks: I’m not interested.” It’s super helpful that each CTA clarifies what “Yes” and “No” actually mean, and I also like that they didn’t use guilt-tripping language like “No Thanks: I hate nature” like I’ve seen on other websites. Finally, notice that the “Yes Please” button is much brighter and inviting in color than the other option.
CTA: Continue with Facebook | Sign Up
Want to sign up for Pinterest? You have a couple of options: sign up via Facebook or via email. If you have a Facebook account, Pinterest wants you to do that first. How do I know? Aesthetically, I know because the blue Facebook CTA comes first and is much more prominent, colorful, and recognizable due to the branded logo and color. Logically, I know because if you log in through Facebook, Pinterest can pull in Facebook’s API data and get more information about you than if you log in through your email address.
Although this homepage is optimized to bring in new members, you’ll notice a very subtle CTA for folks with Pinterest accounts to log in on the top right.
CTA: Take me there | What’s next?
Madewell (owned by J.Crew) has always had standout website design, taking what could be a typical ecommerce website to the next level. Their use of CTAs on their homepage is no exception.
When you first arrive on the page, you’re greeted with the headline “I’m Looking For …” followed by a category, like “Clothes That’ll Travel Anywhere.” Below this copy are two options: “Yes, Take Me There” or “Hmm… What’s Next?” The user can choose between the two CTAs to either browse clothes that are good for travel, or be taken to the next type of clothing, where they can play again.
This gamification is a great way to make your site more interesting for users who come across it without having a specific idea of where they want to look.
CTA: Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play
Since Instagram is a mainly mobile app, you’ll see two black CTAs of equal size: one to download Instagram in Apple’s App Store, and another to download it on Google Play. The reason these CTAs are of equal caliber is because it doesn’t matter if someone downloads the app in the App Store or on Google Play … a download is a download, which is exactly what Instagram is optimizing for. If you already have Instagram, you can also click the CTA to “Log In” if you’d prefer that option, too.
CTA: Get Started | Give a Gift
The two CTAs on Barkbox’s homepage show that the team there knows their customers: While many people visiting their site are signing up for themselves, there are a lot of people out there who want to give Barkbox as a gift. To give those people an easy path to purchase, there are two, equally sized CTAs on the page: “Get Started” and “Give a Gift.”
As an added bonus, there’s an adorable, pop-up call-to-action on the right-hand side of the screen prompting users to leave a message if they’d like. Click into it, and a small dialogue box pops up that reads, “Woof! I’m afraid our pack is not online. Please leave us a message and we’ll bark at you as soon as pawsible.” Talk about delightful copy.
27. t.c. pharma
CTA: Find out more | View products
Turns out Red Bull isn’t its own parent company: It’s owned by Thailand-based t.c. pharma, a company that makes popular energy drinks, electrolyte beverages, and functional drinks and snacks.
Its homepage features two call-to-action buttons of equal size: “Find out more” and “View products” — but it’s clear by the bright yellow color of the first button that they’d rather direct folks to “Find out more.”
28. General Assembly
CTA: View Full-Time Courses | Subscribe
As you scroll through the General Assembly website, you’ll see CTAs for various courses you may or may not want to sign up for. I’d like to point your attention to the CTA that slides in from the bottom of the page as you’re scrolling, though, which suggests that you subscribe to email updates.
Although this feels like a secondary CTA due to its location and manner, I actually think they try to sneak this in to become more of a primary CTA because it’s so much more colorful and noticeable than the CTAs for individual classes. When you create your own CTAs, try using bolder colors — even ones that clash with your regular stylings — to see if it’s effective at getting people’s attention. (Click here for a tutorial on how to add slide-in CTAs to your webpages.)
29. charity: water
CTA: Give by Credit Card | Give by PayPal
Charity: water’s main goal is to get people to donate money for clean water — but they can’t assume that everyone wants to pay the same way.
The CTAs featured on their homepage take a really unique approach to offering up different payment methods by pre-filling $60 into a single line form and including two equally important CTAs to pay via credit card or PayPal. Notice how both CTAs are the same size and design — this is because charity: water likely doesn’t care how you donate, as long as you’re donating.
CTA: Flights | Hotels | Cars | Packages
When you land on the Hipmunk site, your main option is to search flights. But notice there are four tabs you can flip through: flights, hotels, cars, and packages.
When you click into one of these options, the form changes so you can fill out more information. To be 100% sure you know what you’re searching for, Hipmunk placed a bright orange CTA at the far right-hand side of the form. On this CTA, you’ll see a recognizable icon of a plane next to the word “Search,” so you know for sure that you’re searching for flights, not hotels. When you’re on the hotels tab, that icon changes to a hotel icon. Same goes with cars and packages.
CTA: Grab the template! | No thanks
Here’s another example of a great pop-up with multiple calls-to-action — except in this case, you’ll notice the size, color, and design of the users’ two options are very different from one another. In this case, the folks at MakeMyPersona are making the “Grab the template!” CTA much more attractive and clickable than the “No, I’m OK for now, thanks” CTA — which doesn’t even look like a clickable button.
I also like how the “no” option uses polite language. I find brands that don’t guilt-trip users who don’t want to take action to be much, much more lovable.
CTA: Get Started for Free | Try for Free
Another example of simplistic design, TeuxDeux’s main website features one phrase and two CTA buttons.
Using the company’s colors, the background is just a splash of red and some black.
The CTA buttons stand out against the color and emphasize that you can try the product for free.
I like these CTAs because they show that the company understands its audience. Whenever I’m researching to-do list apps, I always want to try it before I buy it. It’s something that people are very particular about and want to test-drive. TeuxDeux’s CTAs shows that they understand this about their audience.
CTA: Get involved
Betabrand is a clothing company that sells yoga/dress pants for women. Usually, clothing brands tend to use similar CTAs such as “Shop Now.”
However, Betabrand’s homepage CTA is unique in that it involves the audience. Here, users can vote and impact the design of new products.
This is a fun way to get the audience involved and do something different.
CTA: Limited Edition
This Fabletics CTA uses several marketing tactics: scarcity and a holiday.
On the homepage, the brand announces a limited edition collection that’s tied to a holiday (Mother’s Day).
Additionally, the CTA uses a bright color so the CTA stands out on the simple homepage.
35. Ashley Stewart
CTA: Shop the Lookbook
Ashley Stewart is a clothing brand catered to plus-sized women. In this CTA, the company uses a fun design to entice website visitors. The entire collage of images looks like a behind-the-scenes camera roll, which is interesting to look at.
Additionally, the CTA copy is straight to the point, which is helpful for visitors who are looking to browse.
36. Amazon Music
CTA: 3 months free
This is a great example of several of the elements we’ve talked about in one CTA.
Amazon uses two strategically placed CTAs, colorful, yet simple design, and offers the product for free.
With this CTA, Amazon is promoting one of its own products and services on its homepage instead of other products listed for sale on the site.
The only message they want to get across? That you can try their product, Amazon Music, for free for three whole months. This CTA accomplishes that goal with a simple design.
37. Barnes and Noble
CTA: Shop Now
Barnes and Noble uses a simple CTA to entice visitors to shop a limited collection during the Mother’s Day holiday.
I like this CTA because the landing page design is so cohesive with the branding of the overall company.
Additionally, the graphics and the fonts are all interesting and match the brand’s messaging.
CTA: Learn More | Contact Us
Slack uses beautiful, simple design on its homepage to entice visitors to click on one of the two CTA buttons.
I like this example because Slack has two CTA buttons for two different audiences. If you’re just getting started in your research, you can click “Learn More.” However, if you’re a repeat visitor and know that you want to talk to a sales person, you can click “Contact Us.”
This is a great example of serving two audiences with your CTAs on your homepage.
CTA: Compare Features
On Nintendo’s website, the company is focused on answering any questions a visitor might have.
In fact, one of the main CTAs is “Compare Features.” With this CTA, Nintendo answers one of their most popular questions because they understand that many visitors are still doing their research before purchasing a product.
There you have it. By now, we hope you can see just how important little CTA tweaks can be.
Full Disclosure: We don’t have data to know if these are all scientifically successful, but these examples all follow our best practices. If you decide to recreate these CTAs on your site, please remember to test to see if they work for your audience.
Want more CTA design inspiration? Check out some of our favorite HubSpot call-to-action examples.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
An optimized conversion funnel can mean the difference between making a healthy profit and barely breaking even.
It maximizes the profit you get from your marketing campaigns.
If you have a website, you do have a conversion funnel in place whether you were intentional about creating it or not. Maybe it’s not optimized, but it’s there.
If your goal is to get your visitor to take action — any action — you have a conversion funnel. This is true even if your only goal is something simple, like getting visitors to sign up for an email list.
Almost every site in existence has a conversion funnel of some sort.
But according to Econsultancy, only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.
This means that most of us have a lot of work to do to get our sites to where we want them to be.
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel is a way to visualize the flow and conversion path of potential customers into paying customers.
These visitors can be generated through variety of methods such as SEO, content marketing, social media, paid ads, and even cold outreach.
If you can understand and analyze the process, then you can take actions to improve that flow.
Here’s a simple diagram from SaadKamal.com with a simple breakdown of how ta conversion funnel:
This is a very simple visualization showing the main four steps in the process:
- First, your potential customer becomes aware of you or your product.
- Second, you build interest in your product. Notice the funnel gets smaller because not everyone who is aware of your product will have interest.
- Third, you need to plant the seed of desire for your product or service. Once again, the funnel gets smaller because you can’t expect everyone who is interested to actually desire your product.
- And finally, ask for an action. As an example, the action might be to buy something or sign up for an email list. This is the smallest part of the funnel because only a small percentage of the original potential customers will take action.
Now, let’s break it down and look at exactly what’s involved in each of these steps.
To have a conversion funnel you have to pull (not push) prospects into your funnel. You do this by making people aware of your company.
This part of your marketing strategy includes anything that helps your brand reach a new audience. You have tons of options for making this happen, but there are a few channels that tend to be particularly effective for this stage:
- PPC campaigns. PPC campaigns let you target your ads to users who are actively searching for a product or service, making them an excellent source of qualified traffic.
- Organic search. Organic rankings also let you reach users as they search, and often at a lower cost.
- Social media. Social media users might not be actively looking for new products. But with the right targeting, campaigns on these platforms can be effective for reaching your target audience.
There are many ways to reach users in this stage, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to attract qualified traffic. Keep the focus on quality over quantity.
Unqualified leads are much less likely to make it to the next step in your funnel (let alone to the bottom of your funnel), so targeting your top-of-funnel strategies to the right audience is a much better use of your time and budget.
As you develop new campaigns, always keep your target audience in mind. And if you need to, you can always cast a wider net later.
After you pull prospects into your funnel, you need to build their interest in your product or service. Your content and website are the best tools for doing this.
Figure out what users need to know about your industry, services, and products. Determine what questions and needs they have.
Then craft content that addresses those needs and positions your brand as an authority on the subject. Write blog posts, offer helpful resources, and publish in-depth, informative guides that help your audience get a better understanding of what, exactly, you’re offering.
Content that keeps visitors interested and engaged is essential for helping your target audience get to know, like, and trust you.
But how does this move them through your funnel?
The best way is to create content that requires action to access. In most cases, this will be a signup form with a “bait” like a downloadable guide in PDF format.
Crafting a downloadable resource, then asking your visitors to exchange their email information for it, is a great way to move your audience from casual visitors to leads.
Once you have their email address, you can send more helpful content and keep them moving through your funnel. This helps you make sure that qualified leads don’t simply forget about your brand altogether.
This stage is also where potential customers evaluate your product or service to determine if it can match their needs. So in order to move them to the next step, you need to illustrate the value you provide, as well as what sets your company apart from your competitors.
Next, you need to work towards making your leads even more interested in your product or service. Show them why they need what your company is offering.
An email autoresponder series or drip campaign is perfect for this. It continues to build the relationship between your company and your potential customers.
The most important thing to remember about this stage is that people most often desire a solution to a problem. Highlight the specific problem you solve, and focus on how your solution is different from the solutions other companies are offering.
Make your potential customers desire your company’s solution. Once you accomplish this, getting them to convert will become a much easier process.
A good copywriter can be invaluable for turning interest into desire.
The last — and arguably most important — step to your funnel is action. This is your ultimate goal, the big action you want your prospect to take.
Yes, they may have taken smaller actions already, like downloading a resource and engaging with your email content. But you want a bigger action…
You want them to buy!
It’s important to note that only a small percentage of prospects will make it to this level.
But when you take steps to improve your funnel, you can maximize the number of leads that move forward at each step.
How to Create a Sales Conversion Funnel
Still, building an effective conversion funnel takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
But if you want to maximize your sales and revenue, it’s time to start working on your funnel.
The following eight steps will help you turn more of your visitors into leads, and more of your leads into customers.
1. Map out your ideal buying process
This conversion funnel example above isn’t the only visual representation of a conversion funnel. It could be much more complicated, depending on what steps and processes you want to analyze. You might also have multiple goals in your funnel.
Monitoring your funnel will give you more insight into how users move through your site. Then, you can use this information to maximize the amount of prospects that arrive at the “purchase” level of the funnel.
As you start to develop your conversion funnel, think about how visitors move from their first interaction with your site to becoming a customer.
For example, if you run an ecommerce site, your buying process might look like this:
Visitors arrive on your site, check out product pages, add a product to their cart, and complete the checkout process.
Ideally, yes. But take another look at that visual. Notice how only 2.2% of the original visitors end up making a purchase?
That’s a fairly typical scenario. So as you create your conversion funnel, keep in mind that you’re mapping out an ideal path through your site.
It’s also important to note that not all of your visitors will take the same path through your site. In fact, unless you have an extremely small site with only a handful of visitors, there are several likely paths they’ll take towards conversion.
Try to account for several of these. You likely won’t be able to create separate e-commerce funnels for each of them, but the more you’re aware of, the more accurate an idea you’ll have of how users become customers.
If you attempt to push all of your visitors through the same funnel, you might think that your site is failing when you see that not all of them are moving through your pre-determined steps. But in reality, they may just be taking an alternate path.
Plus, if you only consider one version of your funnel, you could miss optimization opportunities on the pages it doesn’t include.
If you’re not sure what that should look like, you can start by working backwards. What are the most important goals on your site?
For most site owners, the answer to this question is either sales or lead form submissions. Place that action at the bottom of your funnel.
Then, determine which other actions a user needs to take first in order to be ready to complete that step.
Some of these actions will also be conversions, like downloading a resource or signing up for a downloadable guide. These are some of the most important actions a user can take, aside from your main goals.
This means they’re essential for including in your conversion funnel. Plus, much like the major conversions on your site, these are easy to track and measure. So the more you have, the easier it will be to gauge movement through your funnel.
For example, a user’s path through a conversion funnel on a B2B site might look something like this:
At the top of the funnel, or “TOFU,” the visitor looks for information about this specific company. Then, they provide their email address on a landing page and get an email with an additional offer.
They click, convert again, and get another thank you email with another offer. Finally, they convert and enter the sales cycle.
This is a relatively straightforward path, but before the user took any sort of action, they browsed the site to determine whether they were interested in the company.
Finding the correct page, and spending time reading it, was a “micro conversion” all on its own. After all, if the user hadn’t found that page, it’s unlikely that the rest of their actions would’ve happened at all.
So as you develop your funnel, determine which micro conversions need to happen before the main, or “macro” conversions on your site.
For example, on every single product page, Amazon offers its users several ways to make a micro conversion.
Visitors can watch product videos, read reviews, look at answers to previously-asked questions, or check out special offers related to the product.
These actions all help them learn more about the product, and if they’re a qualified buyer, get even closer to making a purchase.
Your micro conversions can include any number of actions, depending on your business model and site. Maybe you want users to add a product to their cart, or maybe you want them to share your content on social media.
In some cases, you may simply want them to visit a certain number of pages, or watch a video on one of your pages.
These actions all help visitors learn more about your company and become more engaged with your brand. As a result, they’re essential for conversions — and you need to include them when you create your funnel.
2. Set up your conversion goals in Google Analytics
After you’ve determined what you want your funnel to look like, you need to have a way to measure how users are actually moving through your site.
The best way to do this is by setting up conversion goals in Google Analytics.
Analytics is one of the best ways to measure your site’s performance, and the information you provide on what you’re trying to accomplish, the more helpful it will be in giving you an idea of your success.
If you already have a few goals set up in Analytics, this is a great start. But in order to get an accurate idea of how your conversion funnel is performing, you’ll need to set up goals at each stage of the funnel.
It’s up to you to decide how many you want to add, but at the very least, you should set up at least one goal for each stage. You should also set up goals for all major conversions, like purchases, form submissions, email list signups, and resource downloads.
Fortunately, adding conversion goals is a relatively easy process.
First, log into Google Analytics and navigate to your Admin settings. Select the View you want to work with, then click “Goals.”
Click “New Goal” in the upper left.
From here, you have a few different options for setting up your goals. At the top of the page, you’ll see templated options to choose from.
These templates include common goals, like online registration, account creation, inquiries, and social engagement.
If any of these match the conversions you want to measure, the templates make it easy to set up those goals.
For conversions that don’t match these types, you’ll need to set up custom goals. Google Analytics offers four options for this:
- Destination: A user visits a specific URL
- Duration: A user spends a certain amount of time on your site
- Pages/screens per session: A user visits a pre-set number of pages
These are all helpful options that can help you measure different types of actions on your site. But for most high-level conversions, the easiest option is to set up a Destination goal.
This is because after a user takes action on your site, you likely send them to a “thank you” page. If you’re not already doing this, I recommend that you start as soon as possible.
You can use thank you pages to direct users to additional content that may be relevant based on the action they just took. This can encourage visitors to stay on your site and learn even more about your services.
Beyond that, adding thank you pages makes tracking conversions a simple process.
Some site owners make the mistake of setting destination goals for contact pages, thinking that getting users to click the “Contact Us” button in their navigation bar is an effective goal.
And while this certainly indicates interest, many of those users may not actually complete the form.
To start tracking this type of conversion, select “Destination,” then give your goal a name. Be specific enough that if you create additional goals in the future, you’ll still know what it represents.
For example, if you’re creating a goal for a contact form submission, and you have multiple forms on your site, you could include the location of that form in its goal name.
Next, select “Destination” and enter the URL of your target “thank you” page.
With each new goal, you also have the option to add a funnel. This lets you add a list of pages that users typically visit before completing the goal, which will later allow you to monitor how effective those pages are at generating conversions.
This is an optional step, and all of your goals completions will be recorded whether you add a funnel or not.
But Analytics’ funnel reports can be a great way to analyze your conversion funnel’s effectiveness and identify areas that need improvement — so I recommend adding them, at least for your most important goals.
Plus, if you’ve already spent time developing your funnel, you likely know which pages you want users to visit on their path to converting.
Setting up your marketing conversion funnel is as easy as adding those URLs as steps.
You can also set up different funnels for different goals on your site. For example, if you’re tracking contact form submissions for a specific service, you might start with the URL of your general service page, then the URL of that service’s specific page, then the contact form for that service.
If you’re tracking online purchases, on the other hand, you might include a product page, a shopping cart page, and a checkout page.
Once you’ve added your URLs, determine whether you want to track entries into your funnel that happen after the first page.
For example, if a user skips directly to a service page on your site, without visiting your general services page, do you still want to include them in your funnel report?
In most cases, the answer to this question is yes. You can make sure that this is the case for your goal funnel by leaving the “Required?” option unchecked next to your first step. This allows Analytics to collect entries into your funnel after that page.
It’s also important to note that a user doesn’t need to visit your middle pages in order for you to track their movement through your funnel. So if you’re hesitant to add less-common steps to your funnel, they won’t harm your ability to measure your results.
A user’s movements don’t need to occur in order, either — so even if they complete step three before step one, both of these pageviews will be included in your funnel report.
Once you’ve finished adding goals to your site, give your site some time to accumulate user data. Then, you’ll be able to use your results to improve your funnel.
3. Build interest with content
Your site content is essential for driving leads from one step in your conversion funnel to the next.
In order to turn your visitors into leads, you need help them learn about your industry, address their needs, and show them what sets your company apart from your competitors.
Site content is the only way to make this happen.
And as you come up with topic ideas and create new content for your site, make sure that you’re developing content content for each stage.
Each type of content serves a different purpose in your funnel.
Top-of-funnel content, like blog posts, tip sheets, and articles, should provide helpful information that’s relevant to your audience’s needs and goals. It shouldn’t be overly “salesy,” and should focus primarily on education.
This type of content has the most room for creativity, because it’s not focused on immediately converting visitors into leads.
For example, content like infographics and checklists are unlikely to produce immediate sales. But when optimized and promoted well, they can be a great way to bring new, qualified visitors to your site.
This level can also include “lead magnets,” or content designed with the goal of getting users into your sales funnel. For example, you could create a downloadable guide on a topic that’s particularly important to your target audience.
Then, you’d “gate” that content by requiring that users enter an email address in order to access it. This way, the user gets a valuable resource for free — and you get to add them to your email list, so you can stay in touch even after they leave your site.
Middle-of-funnel content, like customer testimonials and case studies, should show your audience what sets your company apart from your competitors.
In this stage, you’ll want to start including clear information about your products and services. And unlike your first tier of content, it’s okay to be a bit more directly promotional.
Users who are reading this content are likely already familiar with your product, and they’ve made it to these pages because they want to learn more about your company and whether you’re the right fit for their needs.
Finally, bottom-of-funnel content, like pricing pages and demos, should give your visitors the final encouragement they need to take action.
4. Identify leaks in your website conversion funnel
Let’s take a second to go back to how we visualize a sales funnel. In a way, this process isn’t actually a funnel.
While it should guide your visitors towards converting, it it isn’t as effective as a physical funnel in guiding all of your visitors towards a desired action.
Think about it: What happens when you take a real funnel and pour liquid into it?
All of the liquid — 100% of it — will be forced through the small hole in the bottom of the funnel. It has to go somewhere.
Now, think of how your potential customers move through your site’s funnel. What happens when your advertising campaigns and strategies on other channels “pour” new potential customers into that funnel?
In most cases, only a handful of the customers who enter your funnel come out the bottom. In fact, the average conversion rate for lead submission forms for various industries ranges from 2.8% to 6%.
So: Where do all of these potential customers go? Why aren’t they all pushed through to the bottom of the funnel?
The truth is that your funnel has holes at each level.
Think of each step as filter. Each level of the funnel will filter out users who aren’t interested, and only the ones who qualify make it to the next level. The rest leave your funnel through the side.
Some marketers refer to these exits as “leaks” in your conversion funnel.
So, what are you supposed to do about this? Just let all of those leads go?
Of course not.
While some of these users may have left your funnel because they weren’t qualified leads, that’s likely not the case for all of them. Sometimes, your site simply doesn’t do an effective job of moving them to the next step.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to help you identify where your “leaks” are and take steps to minimize them.
If you’ve added funnels to your goals in Analytics, one of the best ways to identify funnel issues is by using the Funnel Visualization report.
Select “Conversions” from your Analytics menu, then click “Funnel Visualization.”
Here, you’ll see a visual representation of how users move through the funnel you created.
The screenshot above shows what the last few stages in the conversion funnel might look like for an ecommerce store. Users move from their cart page to a billing and shipping page, then a payment page and a review of their purchase before completing the transaction.
In this case, less than 43% of users even made it from their cart page to the checkout process.
As you can see, this makes it easy to tell where you’re losing your visitors. You can see exactly which steps they aren’t taking — and what they’re doing instead.
The column on the right shows where visitors are actually going when they don’t take the next step in your funnel.
Some of these “exits” are harmless, like the users in the above screenshot that visit a sign-in page. This simply indicates that they already have an account on the site, and will likely return to the checkout process after they log in.
But in some cases, these exits represent distractions from your goal. If you notice that a large chunk of visitors are leaving the high-converting pages for less important content on your site, this signals that you have some work to do.
And if you see that a certain page in your funnel is particularly effective in driving users to the next step, you can think of that page as a leak in your funnel. This is a great place to focus your conversion rate optimization efforts — which we’ll get to in the next step.
Before we get there, though, it’s also important to consider another cause for poor funnel performance. What if you didn’t design your funnel to be an accurate representation of how users actually move through your site?
Your funnel might not be leaking. It might just be the wrong funnel altogether.
You can determine whether this is the case by looking at your Reverse Goal Path report. Instead of showing you how effectively users move through your idea of a funnel, it shows how they actually arrived at the conversion.
For example, an ecommerce store’s reverse goal path report could to look like this:
You can sort this report by goal completions to see the most common paths a user takes to each conversion on your site. This will show you the three pages they visited prior to making a conversion.
Then, you can use this insight to create more accurate funnels for your site. If you find that these reports are drastically different from the funnels you created with your goals, you have some adjustments to make.
First, you’ll want to edit your goal funnel to reflect the most common paths for each one. Then, you can optimize those pages to be even more effective at converting visitors into leads and sales.
You can also use the User Flow report to gain similar insight.
This report provides a visual representation of common paths through your site, but instead of focusing on the last actions your users take before converting, it starts at the beginning.
Analyzing this report can help you learn more about how your visitors behave, right from the start. And if their actions aren’t in line with your conversion funnel, it can help you determine where you need to make changes.
5. Optimize for conversions
After you’ve identified where you have issues in your conversion funnel, it’s time to take action to fix them.
If you’re familiar with conversion rate optimization, you know that there are tons of changes you can test on your site with the goal of increasing conversions.
These changes range from different button colors to new calls to action to updated forms to virtually anything else you might think of altering.
If you name it, a site owner somewhere has likely tried it to increase their conversions.
That’s why there are also many blog posts and articles on the subject that recommend different “best practices” for site optimization.
And while these can serve as a great source of ideas, it’s important to remember that those results are based on other site owners’ audiences — not yours. So instead of letting them shape your site, it’s best to optimize based on insight from your target audience.
You can start by focusing your efforts on pages that you’ve identified as leaks in your funnel. In many cases, these will be key conversion pages.
For example, the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.23%. That means if your site performs as well as most, for every 10 people who add products to their carts on your site, only three will end up purchasing those products.
So if you notice that a lot of your visitors are making it to their cart page, but not completing their purchases, this is a prime area to focus your conversion rate efforts.
But what should you change?
Unfortunately, fixing optimization issues isn’t usually as easy as identifying them. In fact, in one survey, users reported ten different reasons they abandon their carts.
So how can you tell which one is to blame for your low conversion rate?
One of the best ways is by utilizing user testing tools, like heatmaps.
Before running any tests, try to learn as much as you can about the people who took action on your site and those who didn’t.
What differences were there? What stopped non-converting users from taking action? What objections did they have, and how can you eliminate those?
The more confident you are in your answers to those questions, the more effective you’ll be in your optimization efforts.
And heatmaps can help you find those answers.
If you’re unfamiliar with heatmaps, they provide a visual representation of where your users focus their attention on your site — and where they don’t.
For example, in this heatmap, you can see a few glowing areas on the navigation bars, and one that’s particularly bright over the email opt-in form.
This shows that the majority of the clicks on the page are going to those areas, and that the signup field receives more clicks than any other element.
In this case, the heatmap shows that the page is effective in driving that conversion. So if that’s the most important goal for the page, it’s performing extremely well.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if the page was supposed to be driving clicks to a different page, or even on the button in the lower right corner?
In that case, this heatmap would show why users weren’t taking those actions. It would highlight the distractions that were taking users away from them — and make a clear case for eliminating or moving those distracting elements.
But what if you don’t see any clear distractions on your heatmaps? If your clicks aren’t really concentrated in any one place?
Let’s say your heatmap looks like this example:
Here, the clicks aren’t focused in any one area, other than the navigation menu. This signifies that the page isn’t giving users clear direction about what to do.
If any of the main pages in your conversion funnel look like this, you have an issue.
Your goal with each of these pages should be to guide the majority of your visitors to a specific action, so they should have clear glowing spots on the elements that represent those actions.
Even with low traffic numbers, your conversion-focused elements should stand out.
For example, on this page, it’s clear that a large percentage of clicks go to the signup button:
Your goal should be to create a page with similar results. But how you can do that?
Let’s take a look at this example from North Face:
These are heatmaps of their checkout page, before and after optimization.
In the version on the left, the small, circled red cluster is the checkout button. The fact that it’s glowing red is a solid start — but it’s clearly not receiving nearly as much attention as the large red cluster above it.
That red cluster was a promotional banner with information related to a sale. On some pages, like their homepage or an informational page, this would be great. After all, it indicates that users are thinking about pricing information, and possibly making a purchase.
But on this particular page, it was distracting from a much more important action: A purchase.
Using this insight, they moved the checkout button to a more prominent location than the banner.
As a result, they saw a 21% increase in clicks on that button.
If you’re not sure why your visitors aren’t converting, running heatmap tests is an easy way to gain insight into what they’re doing instead.
Then, you can be confident that you’re making changes that are tailored to how your actual users interact with your site.
Beyond that, another great way to learn about your users is perhaps the most obvious: Asking them.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you personally call or email each of your site’s non-converting visitors.
That would be a bit invasive, not to mention extremely time-consuming.
Instead, you can use surveys to gain insight into what your customers want.
Although heatmaps can show you which actions your visitors take, surveys let them tell you why they take those actions. This is one of the best ways to get information, because it doesn’t requiring any guessing on your part.
For example, when Canva wanted to improve their activation rates for their poster feature, one of their first steps was to send an email survey to users who hadn’t yet engaged with it.
This was a prime audience for the survey, because it let them connect with users who’d initially shown interest, but never taken action. So they were likely qualified leads, but simply hadn’t been persuaded to actually use the tool.
After analyzing the results of their survey, Canva discovered that their new users had extremely different goals from one another. Some wanted to create posters for events, while others wanted to promote organizations, like their churches.
These users understandably have different needs — and Canva’s onboarding process didn’t make it clear that the tool was equipped to meet all of them.
In order to address this issue, they decided to launch a new welcome message with options for a variety of posters.
This pop-up included templates for their users’ most common needs, as indicated by the survey’s results.
This way, when a user launched the poster tool, they likely wouldn’t need to scroll through dozens of template options to see if there was one that matched what they were trying to accomplish. Instead, they’d simply select it from a menu of six.
As a result, they saw a 10% increase in activation for this feature.
Most businesses would stop here. But Canva decided to double down on their success and take the experiment even further by examining the clicks within this menu.
They tried switching in different templates for the ones that were getting the fewest clicks, and continued doing this until they found a combination that generated the best possible results.
This additional testing increased their activation rates even more, bringing it up to 12%.
For a site of Canva’s size, this meant an additional ten thousand users per month using the feature, which would bring in hundreds of thousands of revenue for the business.
After seeing these results, they rolled out a similar feature for other tools on their site.
Each of these new onboarding sequences created a similar lift in activation as the original test. So the insight that they gained from that original survey paid off a in major way for the company.
If you’ve never run customer development surveys, tools like Typeform make it easy to get started.
You can choose from their pre-made survey template options, then customize them to meet your needs.
Since these templates are designed with customer development in mind, they already contain questions that can help you learn important details about your audience, like what kinds of problems they have, and what’s preventing them from using your product as a solution.
These answers can help you figure out which information you should be highlighting on your conversion-focused pages.
For example, if you learn that your target audience is looking for a product that’s compatible with another product they’re already using, make sure to include information about compatibility on your inquiry form pages.
The more effective you are at addressing your audience’s concerns, and showing that your product meets all of their needs, the more effective you’ll be at generating conversions.
But as with every other part of your marketing strategy, you never want to guess how effective your changes are.
That’s why with every change you make, you should run A/B tests.
If you’re unfamiliar with A/B testing, it’s the process of creating two variations of a page (Variation A and Variation B), then testing both of them on users to see which generates the most conversions.
For example, if you wanted to test an orange call to action on your homepage against a green one, your test might look something like this:
Running an A/B test requires using a testing platform that divides your traffic between your variations, so that you can collect data for both simultaneously.
Then, at the end of your test, you can determine which generated the most conversions. If one variation performed significantly better than the other, you can implement it permanently on your site.
Of course, this is a simplified explanation of the process, and there’s a lot more that goes into planning and carrying out an effective A/B test. You can learn more about that process in this guide to getting started with A/B testing.
As you identify possible changes for your site, you should always test them before implementing them permanently.
Even data-backed guesses as to why your visitors behave a certain way are still guesses — and without testing, you have know way of knowing the impact they’ll make on your conversions.
As you study your audience, identify issues, and run tests, it’s also important not to lose sight of the micro conversions in your funnel.
Although optimizing for major conversions, like sales and form submissions, will have the clearest impact on your revenue, remember that those actions likely won’t happen unless your audience takes smaller actions first.
After all, when you focus solely on major conversions, you’re only making improvements at the bottom of your funnel.
When you increase the percentage of users who make it past the awareness stage by engaging with your content and learning about your business, you move more of those early visitors on to the next step.
So even though the actions you drive them to take might be as simple as watching a video about your company, that’s an action that can keep them in your funnel.
And the more users you move through each stage of your funnel, the more of them will ultimately become your customers.
6. Consider creating additional offers to your sales conversion funnel
As I mentioned above, a sales funnel has holes at every level. This is unavoidable and in some cases, will filter out unqualified leads.
But while some of these visitors may simply not be qualified buyers, and some might be persuaded with a better-optimized page or call to action, others might be more interested in a different offer altogether.
Even if they’re not qualified for your main offer or service, they might be the perfect customer for one of your other products or services.
For example, think of what happens when you’re in a car dealership. The salesman may initially show you one of the most expensive vehicles they have. After all, high-cost sales have the biggest impact on their revenue, and might be their main business goal.
But if you explain that it’s out of your price range, they certainly won’t just tell you to leave. Instead, they’ll show you a less expensive option that’s better-suited to your needs.
Think about what your conversion funnel does with visitors who aren’t interested in your main offer.
What if a user visits multiple pages on your site, makes a conversion like signing up for your email list, then realizes your core product isn’t in their budget? Is there another option?
Or is their only choice to leave your digital equivalent of a showroom?
If your answer is the latter, and you offer multiple products or services, you have some work to do.
Although generating sales of your highest-value offer might be your main priority, a smaller sale is better than no sales at all.
One of the most popular ways to re-engage users who aren’t sold on your offer is launching an exit-intent popup. As the name implies, these popups are designed to appear when a user indicates that they’re about to leave your site without converting.
They’re usually triggered by a user moving their mouse to the upper corner of their screen — indicating that they’re about to hit the “back” button, type a new URL, or close their browser altogether.
If a user does this, you can safely assume that they’re not about to take you up on your main offer. This is the perfect opportunity to make another offer that might be better-suited to their needs.
One of the most popular exit-intent popup elements is a discount code.
Your visitor might not want to make a purchase at the full price — but they might be more inclined to complete the checkout process if they get 10% off, like the Natural Fertility Shop offers its shoppers.
If you don’t want to offer discounts, or if they don’t make sense for your business model, another popular exit-intent offer is a free download.
For example, this Optimonk pop-up offers visitors a free downloadable guide related to the blog post it appears on.
Asking your visitors to complete a smaller conversion keeps them engaged with your brand. Plus, in most cases, these types of conversions require an email address — enabling you to remain in contact with that user even after they leave your site.
This is a great goal for any site, and you can do it even if you don’t yet have resources to offer as an incentive. In this example from Guilty Soles, the offer is an entry into a raffle for a free pair of shoes.
As long as your offer is relevant to your target audience, it can be effective for keeping them in your conversion funnel. So even if a visitor isn’t ready to convert immediately, you won’t lose them altogether.
7. Determine your best sources of qualified leads analyzing conversion funnel metrics
So far, we’ve focused primarily on optimizing your funnel for users in the middle and bottom stages. That’s because those parts of your funnel have the clearest impact on your conversions and revenue.
But it’s important to remember that the users who make it to those steps are only there because they were originally brought in at the awareness stage.
And although optimizing your site can help you minimize “leaks” in your funnel, you can also improve your results by bringing in visitors who are more likely to be qualified leads right from the start.
When you use broad targeting in your initial ad campaigns, you’re essentially casting a wide net and hoping that some of the traffic you bring in turns out to be interested in your product or service.
The wider your net, the larger the percentage of your traffic will not be qualified — and will leave your funnel before even making it to the second stage.
But the better you become at attracting high quality traffic, the more of your visitors will ultimately become customers. This will help you focus all of your marketing efforts on your most qualified leads.
So how can you determine where your best traffic is coming from?
The answer lies in your referral sources reports.
The first place to go for referral data, much like any other website data, is Google Analytics.
Navigate to your Acquisitions Overview, and you’ll see a report like this one:
In the left column, you can see which channels are bringing in the most traffic for your site. In this screenshot, it’s organic search. In the middle section, you’ll see user behavior data, like bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration, for each channel.
Finally, in the right column, you can see which channels drive the most conversions for your site. For many site owners, these channels differ drastically from the ones driving the most traffic overall — and they certainly do in the above screenshot.
But this data is only sorted by general channel type.
So while it can tell you that you’re generating lots of traffic from organic search and lots of conversions from referrals, you’ll need to do a bit more digging to determine what those search engines are, which sites are sending you traffic — and what’s included in your “(Other)” sources.
You can start digging by opening your “All Traffic” report. This report presents similar data, but broken down by source and medium.
So instead of just seeing broad channel categories, you can get a better idea of the sources within those categories that are driving qualified traffic to your site.
Then, if you use UTM parameters to track your campaigns, you can also break your traffic down based on those parameters in the “(Other)” report.
This category is essentially a catch-all for referral sources that don’t fit within Analytics’ pre-set mediums, including custom campaigns.
Looking at the conversion rates for each of these campaigns will show you which are bringing qualified traffic to your site — and which aren’t.
If you notice that any of your ad campaigns are bringing in traffic that converts at a high rate, investing more into that campaign could be a great way to maximize the percentage of visitors that make it all the way through your funnel.
Beyond conversions, you can also learn more about how users from different referral sources behave on your site with tools like Crazy Egg’s Confetti report.
Much like a heatmap, this report will show where users are clicking on each of your pages. But it takes things a step further by letting you include user data in the visual representation.
Instead of using different colors to represent click concentration, this report uses them to represent information about the user made each click.
In the screenshot above, for example, red dots indicate a click from a user who arrived on the page from another pages on the same site. Green dots, however, represent clicks from users who arrived from a Google search.
You can sort these reports by many different conversion funnel metrics, but some of the most helpful for determining sources of qualified traffic are your custom campaign parameters.
For example, if you notice that traffic from one ad set tends to produce lots of clicks on your email signup form, but another generates more clicks on your main call to action button, you can use this information to adjust your investment in each accordingly.
8. Use automation to keep leads in your funnel
I’ve mentioned a few different strategies for getting your visitors’ emails on this page.
That’s because email is an extremely effective channel for keeping leads in your funnel and moving them closer to conversion.
Most of your visitors won’t be ready to make a large conversion on your site. In fact, 48% of businesses say most of their leads require a complex sales cycle.
So no matter how well you’ve set up and optimized your conversion funnel, it’s unlikely that your visitors will make it all the way through after one visit.
If you don’t have any way of contacting them, it’s up to them to remember to come back and learn more about your business. Some of your most interested visitors might do this.
But they likely only represent a fraction of your total audience.
For the rest of your visitors, their odds of returning to your site drastically increase if you reach them directly in their inboxes with content that’s relevant to their needs and interests.
This is where drip campaigns and autoresponder emails become extremely valuable.
Most companies who use email marketing begin with standard monthly or weekly newsletters. They send the same content to their entire list of subscribers, with helpful tips, updates, and company-specific information.
That’s a great start.
But these newsletters don’t take a user’s stage in the conversion process into a account. So the content is rarely ever relevant to all of their subscribers.
After all, a user who just recently heard of your brand for the first time has very different needs from one who’s been using your product for years.
With automated emails, you can take these differences into account and make sure you’re sending relevant content to each of your subscribers.
There are a few ways to make this happen.
One of the most popular is a drip campaign, or a series of automated, time-based emails.
If you’ve ever subscribed to an email list, you’ve likely gotten an email that looked something like this one from Groove within an hour or so of signing up.
Right from the start, this email does an excellent job of establishing the brand’s personality. Alex comes across as friendly and accessible — which are both great traits for encouraging new subscribers to reach out.
He also mentions that in the coming days, he’ll be sending “some highlights with our best content to help you get started.”
This is a clear indicator of a drip campaign.
All the resources that come after this email are likely extremely helpful for someone who’s early in Groove’s conversion funnel. And they’re all scheduled to send the second a user opts into their list.
So what might this look like for your business?
Maybe after a user first signs up for you list, you send them an automated confirmation within a few minutes. This email could contain a quick “thank you” for signing up, as well as links to additional resources on your site.
Then, five days later, you could send a second email encouraging them to read a blog post or informational article that addresses questions your audience typically has early in the conversion process.
A few days after that, you could follow up with company-specific information about one of your products.
Finally, two weeks after their initial signup, you could send an email encouraging them to request a free quote or schedule a call with someone from your team.
Of course, this is a fairly generic, simplified overview of the process. But the general idea is that with drip campaigns, you send a series of emails that move users gradually towards conversion.
Instead of sending a sales pitch immediately, you use your first few emails to establish trust with your subscribers. This way, you provide value before asking for anything in return.
And this strategy works, too.
Beyond that, you can take things a step further by altering your campaigns based on how users respond to them.
For example, in this hypothetical campaign, Pardot determines which content to send next based on how a subscriber responded to the previous email.
For example, if a user shows interest in the whitepaper in the original email, this is a sign that it was the right content for their needs. As a result, they’d follow up with another written resource.
But if a user doesn’t show interest in that resource, they’d follow up with an informational video. After all, different users have different preferences — and taking them into account can boost engagement rates.
The possibilities are virtually endless with this type of sequence. Beyond the ways that a user interacts with your email content, you can also tailor your campaigns based on the actions they take on your site.
Some of the most common examples of this are shopping cart abandonment emails. As I mentioned above, cart abandonment is a huge problem for many ecommerce retailers.
If you run an ecommerce store and notice that users are abandoning their carts at high rates, you might think that your only option is to use insight from users who don’t complete their purchases to improve your funnel.
This is a great start.
But if you’re collecting email addresses, you can also email those non-converting users with reminders to return and buy. For example, check out this email from Altitude Sports:
Instead of providing generic information about a new product or upcoming promotion, the email includes a reminder of a specific product that the user already showed interest in by adding to their cart.
It also includes a direct link to the user’s cart, with the product in it — ready to purchase.
Of course, this strategy isn’t unique to Altitude Sports. If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ve likely received similar emails from your favorite retailers.
Some retailers also take things a step further by including an additional offer in their cart abandonment emails. For example, this email from NOMAD includes a code for a 15% discount.
If price is what stopped this user from making a purchase, a discount code count be exactly what they need to return and convert.
Plus, mentioning that the discount is only available “for the next 48 hours” creates a sense of urgency — which is almost never a bad thing for driving sales.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that this type of behavioral-based email isn’t only an option for ecommerce retailers.
For example, a few days after browsing Airbnb rentals in Havana, Cuba, I received this email with links to specific properties:
Although I hadn’t been ready to book on that first visit, this email reminded me that I still had yet to make any reservations. Plus, the links took me straight to homes that met the filter criteria I’d been using to search.
This meant that they were still extremely relevant to my needs.
But even if you don’t have a ton of specific product pages to use for behavioral targeting, you can still send highly-targeted emails to your subscribers.
The best way to do this is with segementation.
First, you can segment your list based on signup location. For example, let’s say your company is an energy provider.
A user who signs up on a page about your residential services likely has very different needs from a user who signs up on a page about your commercial services.
You can add these users to separate segments, then send emails that are more customized to their needs. And the more effective you are at tailoring your email content to your subscribers, the more successful you’ll be in bringing them back to your site.
In fact, 51% of email marketers say segmentation is one of the most effective ways to nurture leads with email.
This ranks ahead of behavior-triggered emails, and even individualized email messaging.
When you tailor your email content to each lead’s stage in your conversion funnel, you’ll be much more effective in bringing them back to your site.
Just like you wouldn’t expect a first-time visitor to your site to make a high-value sale, you can’t expect an email subscriber to be interested in a sales-focused email right off the bat.
Start by establishing your brand as a helpful resource and trustworthy provider of information, then get to the information that will encourage them to become a customer.
9. Earn repeat customers
What do you do after a user makes it to the bottom of your conversion funnel?
For example, let’s say a user spends three months engaging with your email content, visiting your site about once a week, and learning more about your company.
Finally, they make a purchase.
But now what? Do you let them drop out of your funnel altogether?
Of course not. Especially not when you consider that it costs 6-7x as much to earn a new customer than retain an existing one.
Plus, while the probability of selling to a new user hovers around 5-20%, the probability of selling to an existing customer jumps up to 60-70%.
When you think about all of the steps that lead up to a conversion, this makes sense. The majority of the early steps involve a customer learning about their options for a specific problem, then learning how your company can help them solve it.
Now, that they already know this information, the process of a second sale will go much more quickly. Plus, they already trust your brand and know the value of your services — so there’s much less convincing involved.
Your main priority, then, should be to keep them engaged with with your brand. This is another scenario where automated email campaigns can be extremely helpful.
If you offer products with a relatively short sales cycle, you can even get your customers thinking about their next purchase immediately after the first.
For example, this GoDaddy thank you email includes a discount code for the user’s next purchase.
Right off the bat, the wording here assumes that the user will be making another purchase. Even if they hadn’t yet been considering one, this email could be exactly what it takes to get that thought process started.
Plus, assuming they have a positive experience with the the product, there’s now no reason they wouldn’t return to GoDaddy for their needs in the future. They can buy from a brand they trust, and at a discounted rate.
Of course, in this case, the company is offering a product that users often purchase multiple times.
So what can you do if your products tend to be one-time purchases, or you offer ongoing services?
Your best bet is to look for opportunities to upsell your customers with additional offers that complement the purchase they’ve already made.
For example, this email from Sambag highlights products that match a user’s recent purchases on their ecommerce store.
Even if the user isn’t interested in those exact products, this email could pique their interest and get them to return to the store.
But for service-based businesses, it can be a bit more challenging.
If you already offer multiple plans, email is an excellent way to remind users of their options and encourage them to upgrade to a higher tier.
For example, this CloudApp email highlights the benefits of upgrading to their Pro plan:
It provides a clear comparison of what the Pro plan offers to what the user currently has — and presents in a way that makes the choice sound like an easy one.
Even if the user hadn’t previously considered upgrading, this email could make them start seriously considering it as an option.
But what should you do if you don’t have a clear plan in place for upgrades or additional services?
In this case, generating repeat sales is a bit more complicated.
But if you’re looking for ways to create an additional offer, identify the reason a client hired you in the first place. What were they looking to accomplish? Are there any other ways you can help them reach that goal?
Once you identify the answers to these questions, you can present your new offer to your best clients as upgrade options.
And if those clients go for it, you may just find yourself adding a new conversion funnel to your site.
Developing a conversion funnel optimization can be challenging.
But when you take the time to understand your audience and learn what they need in order to become customers, you can optimize your funnel to maximize the number of visitors that ultimately become customers.
Starting an online business is incredibly appealing.
It gives you the flexibility to work your own hours and there is huge income potential. You don’t need a lot of capital, either. Nearly a third of small businesses get started with less than $5,000 in capital.
Success: the feeling you get when someone fills out your opt-in form, completes a purchase, signs up to your email, or whatever the desired end goal is on your website. You created the perfect landing page and got your visitor to sign up. Congrats! But what else did you do? Did you take full advantage of that conversion? Likely not.
Typically, when a visitor completes an action on your site, they’re immediately sent to a thank you page. Most websites, however, have lackluster thank you pages that barely meet the expectation of the visitor.
We want to support you as much as we can during this uncertain time. Check out the COVID-19 Small Business Care Package for a roundup of useful resources—including tech discounts, government subsidies, and marketing tips to help lessen the impact on your business.
B2B products and services can be difficult to fully capture on a landing page—we know from experience. You’re often dealing with a longer sales cycle, multiple different decision-makers, and a complex offering that’s tricky to explain without info-dumping all over the page. (Ew.)
But great B2B landing pages do exist. And the most successful examples aren’t just pretty to look at—they also nail three super important principles. They…
- Create an engaging experience that makes prospects acutely aware of the problem you solve.
- Promote your offer clearly and simply.
- Cleverly lead visitors through consideration, towards conversion.
To help you better understand what goes into a high-converting B2B landing page, we’ve strapped on our marketing goggles and done a deep dive into 20 of the best examples we could find in 2020. Scroll through to see how these businesses are getting more leads with their pages, learn from their best marketing tactics, and find some inspiration for your next campaign.
20 B2B Landing Page Examples in 2020
- B2B Quotes
- Outback Team Building & Training
- Resource Guru
- GCC Facilities Management
- Vivonet Kiosk
Best practice to steal: Solve the problem your visitors care about most
When someone clicks through to your landing page, you usually have less than 15 seconds to capture their attention and show ‘em that they’re in the right place. This is especially true in the B2B world because decision-makers are trying to solve a specific business problem.
Take this example from ActiveCampaign. They aren’t just targeting visitors who are searching for any old email marketing platform. They’re targeting visitors who care deeply about personalization and segmentation. If this is you, then you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you read the headline of the page: “Put the right emails in front of the right people.”
Notice how the focus of the headline isn’t on the platform or any specific features that ActiveCampaign has to offer. It’s focused on the visitor and the goal they’re trying to accomplish. That’s customer-centric marketing in action, and hot damn—it’s a beautiful thing to see.
Best practice to steal: Make the first step as easy as possible
When qualifying B2B leads, it can be tempting to ask them every possible question your sales team could possibly want to know about. “What’s your name? What’s your phone number? How big is your company? How old were you when you stopped wetting the bed?” It’s enough to make anyone want to click away. (And not just because I wet the bed until the third grade.)
This example from Shopify proves that sometimes less is more. Rather than scare people away with a big ol’ form of questions on the landing page, they make it as easy as pie to get started with a free trial. All you gotta do is enter your email address and—woah, that’s it.
If cutting down on your form fields makes you nervous, keep in mind that there will still be time to collect more info from your leads later in the sales process. This landing page just helps to get their foot in the door.
3. B2B Quotes
Best practice to steal: Get as specific as possible with your CTA
So many B2B landing pages have the exact same CTA buttons. “Get Started,” “Start Your Free Trial,” and “Request a Consultation” are some of the most popular ones that I’ve come across. And while these can work well sometimes—they’re not always the best option.
This example from B2B Quotes shows how you can get more specific with your CTA to persuade more people to convert. The form at the top asks visitors to fill out some personal info about what they’re looking for, and then ends with a button that says… drumroll… “Get 3 Quotes Now.”
It’s so simple and yet so powerful—by being specific about the number of quotes, the page sets expectations nicely. If the form simply said “Submit” (another super common CTA on B2B landing pages) then visitors would have no idea what they would get when they clicked that button. And if visitors don’t know what they’re getting next, then they have less reason to follow-through.
Best practice to steal: Use the rule of three for layouts and benefit copy
The rule of three is one of the most successful methods for memorizing content—we’ve seen it used in film, advertising, and beyond—and MediaValet’s landing page is no exception.
The digital asset management company applies the rule of three when presenting their key benefits and testimonials. This clear, concise, and easy-to-consume structure is also key to the landing page’s successful layout: it introduces the product, backs up their claims with stats, and provides an easy way for prospects to request a demo. The easier visitors can consume and retain the content on your landing page, the better equipped they are to make a decision to purchase.
Best practice to steal: Show visitors what results they can expect
This is an all-around beautiful landing page from Thinkific, but I want to draw your attention to one element in particular. About halfway through the page, they’ve included an interactive tool with the title: “This is how much you could earn on Thinkific.”
This tool on the page includes two fields that you can adjust: how much you plan to charge per online course, and how many students you estimate you’ll have. It’s a really clever way to help visitors visualize their future success with the platform (“Wait, we could be making HOW MUCH?!”), and makes signing up for a 30-day trial seem like a no-brainer decision.
You can design beautiful landing pages like Thinkific using the Unbounce drag-and-drop builder. Get started with your free 14-day trial today.
Best practice to steal: Try segmenting your leads with landing pages
How do you tell visitors about your B2B tool if you don’t know who they are or why they want it in the first place? Many SaaS platforms face this challenge because they have multiple different target audiences and use cases—which means it’d take up a lot of space on the page to explain every single important point for every single person.
That’s why this example from HubSpot caught my attention. Rather than go into great detail about how all of the different segments can use their software, HubSpot created one short landing page to direct each segment into their own personalized demo. It’s kinda bare-bones, but it gets the job done.
Best practice to steal: Let the numbers do the talking
Like the previous example, this no-nonsense page from Salesforce shows you that looks aren’t everything. Because even when you strip away all the fancy design elements and photographs, you’re still left with a compelling case for why you should try their CRM platform.
The secret is in the social proof numbers that they bold on the page. “Discover how Canadian customers have achieved: +37% increase in sales, +45% increase in customer satisfaction, and +43% increase in marketing ROI.” These are exactly the types of results that visitors are looking for when they end up on this page. And of course, the most important number is right at the top: “Grow Your Business with the World’s #1 Business CRM.”
Data can be powerfully persuasive—especially in B2B where customers need to see those hard numbers to ensure they’re making the right decision.
Best practice to steal: Use landing pages to capture top-of-funnel leads, too
When you think about B2B landing pages, you often think about the bottom of the funnel. Demo requests, consultation calls, free trial sign-ups—marketers often use their PPC budget and landing pages to drive visitors directly towards these goals. But if these folks aren’t ready to make a purchase decision yet, sending them to a page like this can be putting them in an awkward position. It’s a bit like asking the cute barista who smiled at you once (but still spells your name wrong on the coffee cup) if she wants to elope with you to Vegas next week.
That’s where the top of the funnel comes into play. Ebooks, webinars, and other free resources can be great for attracting visitors to your brand and collecting their contact info. From there, you can build a real relationship with each new lead until the point when they’re ready to make a commitment.
Take this example from Impraise. They used Unbounce to create a lead capture page targeting HR professionals. There aren’t any distractions on the page, the focus is squarely on the free resource: “The Guide to People Enablement Programs.” Visitors have the option to download the guide directly on this page in exchange for their email address, or—if they’re already searching for performance management software—go ahead and explore the Impraise platform.
9. Outback Team Building & Training
Best practice to steal: Use Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) to personalize your landing pages
Marketers sometimes think that personalization doesn’t matter as much when it comes to B2B. But it’s almost always a good idea to get as specific as possible with your landing page so the decision-maker you’re targeting thinks, “Aha, this is for me!”
That’s where Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) and this Unbounce-built example from Outback Team Building & Training shines. The original headline here reads: “Trusted Source for Scavenger Hunt Team Building Activities in Your City.” But by using DTR and Google Ads Keyword Insertion, the marketers over at Outback were able to replace the last bit of that headline (“Your City”) with actual city names (e.g., “San Francisco” or “Toronto”).
Using this tactic, they were able to target this one single landing page for people all across North America and give them a personalized experience at the same time. Now that’s efficiency.
Best practice to steal: Use landing pages to target your competitors
When evaluating B2B tools, business leaders rarely make a purchase based on the first landing page they see. This is a business investment, so most folks want to do their due diligence and research all possible options before making a final decision.
That’s why—for better or worse—competitor landing pages have become a thing. The idea is that you can bid on a competitor keyword or brand name using Google Ads, and create a landing page that directly compares your product or service to the one visitors are actually searching for.
This page from Zoho comes up when you search for “Mailchimp alternatives,” for example. While you can’t use competitor names in your ads (that can get you in big legal trouble), you can use them at the top of your landing page to help make the page more relevant (and bring your quality score up). It’s an interesting approach that has many companies even bidding on their own brand names to stave off the competition.
Best practice to steal: Where appropriate, bring prospects through several stages of the customer journey
Sales cycles vary per industry, sure, but the process always starts with building interest and (ideally) ends with a purchase decision. And here’s the great thing about landing pages—designed properly, you can take readers through each of these stages as they scroll from top to bottom, without them ever having to leave the page.
This long-form landing page from Divante builds awareness by offering a description of their service (in the first two page sections), they guide prospects through consideration with a list of features and benefits, and then drive conversions by detailing available plans alongside their calls to action (i.e. “Choose plan” or “Ask for pricing,” respectively).
Of course, some visitors will also know exactly what they’re looking for from the start, so Divante includes anchor navigation on this page as well for a choose-your-adventure experience. Thanks to this, more qualified prospects can jump straight to the details that’re most relevant to them (making a longer page like this much more digestible).
12. Resource Guru
Best practice to steal: Help prospects visualize a complex idea with video.
Many B2B products and services solve complex problems. As a result, landing pages need to be designed in such a way that they make it easy for potential customers to understand features and benefits. One way to do this is to incorporate visual elements like videos, images, and even animations—all of which can help drive conversions.
Resource Guru’s landing page is effective because it greets viewers with a large play button as soon as they land. Pressing play is intuitive and launches a high-quality explainer video. They let this video do the talking, then quickly request an action from visitors.
One thing to keep in mind—it’s always a good idea to reiterate all the core points from your video script on your landing page in text. This ensures that even in the event you have a low play rate, prospects can still learn about your offer without having to click play. Whether they left their headphones at home that day or prefer text, it’s good to have a backup plan.
Best practice to steal: Try out new positioning on your landing pages
Most people think of Slack as a workplace chat platform, right? Well, this example shows how you can use your landing page to literally change the way people think about your product or service.
In the hero section, you can see their new positioning in action. Slack isn’t for chatting with your colleagues and sending them zesty memes from the first 10 seasons of The Simpsons. (OK, that’s not all it’s for, anyway.) According to the hero section of this landing page, “Slack is where work happens.”
The page goes on to describe the Slack platform as a “collaboration hub” where you can “create a channel for every conversation” and “find what you need quickly.” In just a few minutes, the page changes your opinion of Slack and makes a compelling case for why your business needs it. Couple that with the strong social proof and case studies, and you’ve successfully positioned yourself differently in the minds of your visitors.
Best practice to steal: You might have to link out to other pages if visitors need more info
Typically, linking from a landing page to multiple different pages of your website would be a no-no. You want to keep visitors focused on a singular CTA so they are more likely to convert. But in B2B, sometimes folks need more details before they can pull the trigger and decide to buy.
Take this example from Intercom. The main CTA is to start your free trial, but the page also gives visitors the option to learn more about how they can use the platform to acquire, engage, and support customers. Each of these buttons takes you to a different section of their website, with more details on those use cases. It’s not one of our landing page best practices—but sometimes you’ve gotta break those rules to give visitors what they need in the moment.
This way, the page itself works as an offer for people who are interested in getting started right away, and as a route for more problem-aware visitors to explore.
Best practice to steal: Include the right kind of proof to build trust and credibility.
Social proof and testimonials are always important. But while a snazzy headshot photo and a great quote from one of your customers can work in some cases, there are also other ways you can (and should) build trust on your landing page.
This example from Blink shows three different types of social proof you can pack in to persuade visitors. First, they hit you with the logos of some of their “Select Clients,” which include heavy-hitters like Google, Starbucks, Amazon, and NASA. (Damn. That’s an impressive logo bar.) Then, the page shows you some testimonials from their satisfied clients. Finally, they show off some of the industry awards Blink has won over the years to seal the deal.
Including one or two testimonials can be helpful, sure. But when you include this much social proof on the page it creates a bandwagon effect that’s hard to resist.
16. GCC Facilities Management
Best practice to steal: Use iconography to make your page easier to follow
It’s so easy to overload your B2B landing page with way too much text that 90% of visitors will never actually read. I know from experience—there’s usually a lot you want to explain about your product or service, and it’s not always easy to do that in 140 characters or less.
This Unbounce-built landing page for GCC Facilities Management (designed by the agency Session Media) shows how clear iconography can help get ideas across in a more visual way—even if visitors don’t read all your copy. Every point on the page is punctuated with an illustrated icon for people who are quickly skimming. They smartly use the same brand colors throughout to give the whole page a nice cohesive look as well (although I’m not sure who has a toilet lid that’s the same color as their carpets).
Want to make sure your page doesn’t rely too heavily on text? Try performing a squint test and see if you can still tell what the page is about without reading any of the copy.
Best practice to steal: Answer the big questions your visitors might be asking themselves
Here’s an interesting example from Salesflare that doubles as both a lead magnet and a free trial sign-up page. The page starts with an offer to download a “Free Sales Funnel Template.” But for people who aren’t familiar with sales funnels (like me), they highlight and answer all the potential questions you might have. (“What is this? Why do I need it? And what the heck is a sales funnel, anyway?”)
The page goes on to explain that when you’re tired of using free Excel templates (like that one you just downloaded), you can start your free trial of Salesflare. Using the same question-answer approach, the page then covers the benefits of the software and why you should be using it.
The lesson for B2B marketers? Try to get inside the heads of your visitors and answer any questions they have before they even think to ask ‘em.
Best practice to steal: Provide different CTAs for visitors at different stages of their buyer journey
As I mentioned earlier, it may go against one of our landing page best practices, but having multiple CTAs on your page can sometimes be a smart choice. If you’re targeting a broad audience, then visitors who click on your page may be in different stages of awareness (and looking to take different next steps in their buyer journey). Sure, Person A might be ready to start their free trial. But Person B might just want to try a demo. And don’t even get me started on Person C (that guy sucks).
That’s exactly why this example from Singular features a main CTA to enter your email address and “Create Your Free Account”—but it also includes a secondary CTA for visitors who aren’t ready to sign up yet to “Talk to an Expert.” Giving that bit of choice to visitors helps them cast a wider net with their targeting.
19. Vivonet Kiosk
Best practice to steal: A floating CTA can give you a greater chance to convert.
A landing page has one goal—to convince visitors to take action. Whatever the intended next step, it’s your job to create a clear, strategically placed call to action that lets visitors know what to do next. Using multiple CTAs can be distracting to your audience, but a consistent CTA that follows visitors throughout their experience? That’s crystal clear.
Vivonet Kiosk uses a floating CTA button that follows visitors as they scroll down the page. No matter where they’re at, the “Talk to Us About Kiosks” button remains in the bottom right-hand corner of their screen.
Best practice to steal: Test multiple variants of your landing page
The beautiful thing about landing pages is that you can actually test and see what works best for your audience. That’s what we’re doing here at Unbounce with this landing page for our guide: How to Optimize Your SaaS Landing Pages. Our team wanted to test two variants of this top-of-funnel page—the one above, and this one below that emphasizes the experience of CRO expert Talia Wolf (who helped co-author the guide).
Rather than run a traditional A/B Test, our team decided to use Smart Traffic to get results faster. With Smart Traffic, you can use AI to match each visitor to the variant that’s most likely to convert. (Woah, it’s like we’re living in the not-so-distant future.) After turning this feature on, we ended up seeing conversion lifts across both variants. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!
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