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Inbound Marketing

10 Tested Inbound Landing Page Styles (and their conversion rates)

You've probably read many sources touting the best practices for landing pages (123) as well as numerous posts on how to improve your landing pages. But as we approach 2016, is it more about optimizing to best practices, or breaking the mold and trying something different?

The Best Landing Page Designs for 2016

You'll see from the top 11 inbound landing page designs we profile below, it's more about matching the right landing page design to your offer than it is about trying to pick one landing page layout to rule them all. We have tested these 11 landing page styles, and have been pleased with some of the conversion rates they have brought us this year.

10 landing page styles for record-setting conversion rates in 2016.

Let's review the use case each, why they work and the conversion rates we've observed.

#1: "The Usual" (example)

The usual is a typical landing page. No navigation, attention getting headline, left side content, right side form, clear CTA. The fact is, this standard landing page design works.

Why It Works

The form above the fold and on a different background color than the page makes it abundantly clear what the user is supposed to do. There's typically a clear description of the value of the offer, and users are used to the layout as they see it across the web.

When It Fits

Great for ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies, the "typical" landing page works well. Not so great for offers from the bottom of the funnel (schedule an appointment), long forms, or targeting millennials.

Typical Conversion Rate: 37%

#2: "Video" (example)

Integrating video into your landing page is an easy way to drive up conversion rates. In fact, every landing page we've tested with video converts better with the video than without.

Why It Works

People watch the video, increasing familiarity and trust, plus your video helps add value to the offer, so it's only natural that a better presentation of your offer leads to a higher conversion rate.

When It Fits

If you have a resource that's a little confusing, or there's not a clear value play, create a video (live or screenshare both work) and explain or demonstrate the value of the offer.

Typical Conversion Rate: 39%

#3: "2-Step" (example)

Sometimes clients really want to collect a lot of information, driving down the effectiveness of a landing page. When we simply can't convince them that collecting fewer yields more (and it does), we opt for a two stage landing page like this one. By asking only for the user's email and presenting a "next" button, it converts very high. When the user proceeds to page 2 and is presented with more fields, they're already committed. In fact, over 70% of the users complete the second page.

Why It Works

Asking for something small (like their email) before asking for something big (like their phone number) is a time-tested tactic that works. And even if they don't complete page 2, you still have a new lead!

Typical Conversion Rate: Greater Than 50%

#4: "KISS" (example)

You don't always need a landing page to convert leads. If you're only after a name and an email (or just an email), don't bother creating a landing page. Instead, simply include it at the bottom of your page or blog post with instant gratification to the thank you page when submitted. You can always progressively profile with other offers.

When It Fits

Works great on to convert leads on homepages, in footers, and within blog posts. It's a great way to enable "download the infographic" or "grab the checklist" within your pages. Now while it does convert leads, know that when you use this as passive lead generation on a page that's not really a landing page, overall conversion rates will suffer b/c that's not the sole purpose of the page.

Typical Conversion Rate: 1-2% of total website visitors.

#5: "Calculator" (example)

Calculator Landing Pages are great. The user gets immediate gratification of data, and you in exchange get to learn more information about your lead. We've used this approach in our Goal Setting Guide, helping customers document their goals in an easy format, and in the process our calculator helps determine their site's conversion ratio, cost of customer acquisition, and more. We're always looking for ways to extend this into Cost Calculators, Savings Calculators, Budget Builders. and more.

When It Fits

Price is a huge consideration in most purposes. Rather than hide the price, can you use a cost calculator as your number one lead generation resource? You simultaneously give customers what they want (price info) while receiving clear signals on who are your best leads and what they want. Win-Win! The only downside, not everyone completes the calculator, especially when complex.

Typical Conversion Rate: 24% (varies a lot)

#6: "Interactive" (example)

Our Website Health Exam & Team Evaluation tools enable users to submit data and get interactive responses immediately; meanwhile we log data for more helpful consultations with our clients.

When It Fits

When you can instantly respond to a visitor's inputs with valuable responses, an interactive page enables you to deliver value and progressively profile at the same time.

Typical Conversion Rate: 30%

#7: Thank You Pages (example)

When is the time to strike? When the iron is hot! By far, the best time to convert leads into an appointment, demo, or consult is when they've already expressed interest by completing a landing page.

When It Fits

Landing Pages lead to thank you pages; this is true. But there's absolutely no reason not to have your thank you page promote related offers and bottom of the funnel conversions. Don't let that hot iron go to waste!

Typical Conversion Rate: 5%
Bonus: Helps to nurture leads further down the funnel.

#8 Instant Opt-In

What's the best kind of landing page? The one you never needed! A landing page is a necessary evil, but sometimes you don't need one at all to convert leads into the next step of the buying journey. Instant opt-in links bypass landing pages and always convert at 100%!

When It Fits

Let's say you offer an ebook and you want to invite all of those converted leads to a live webinar. You can send a landing page link to your list and ask them to convert on your landing page. Or you can send them a link that instantly registers them for the webinar and sends them their confirmation and reminders instantly! Made popular by LeadPages.net, advanced marketing platforms such as HubSpot easily support instant opt-in links, totally bypassing the need for landing pages.

Typical Conversion Rate: 100%

#9 Squeeze (example)

Popups, popunders, overlays, and squeeze pages all essentially work the same way. They offer the user an opportunity to opt-in to your newsletter, sign up for a course, join your network, or download a resource before they proceed to the content they're asking for. The beauty of the overlay and squeeze page style is that you don't have to entice users to click on a CTA to hit you landing page, it loads automatically.

When It Fits

Squeeze pages, overlays, and popups can be interruptive to the user's experience, so use these with caution. However, when you can offer a no-brainer sign up to a free course or offer time-sensitive resource via squeeze page, and you see a great opt-in, one has to ask why they would ever give up such amazing conversion rates.

Typical Conversion Rate: Up to 40%

#10: Long Form (example)

When you have a long form page (or a 1 page website), why dilute your conversion rate by asking users to click a CTA in order to get to go to your landing page just to convert. Increase your conversion rate by moving your form to the long form page itself. By reducing clicks, you reduce barriers to conversion. You can also position the conversion point in multiple points along the page without penalty, as all conversion points go to the same place.

When It Fits

Long form pages are great when you're telling a story, or taking the user down a journey, or presenting a significant amount of value via an event and a standard landing page just won't do. Unbounce hosts the Conversion Conference and their entire site was a long form landing page, and it worked great!

Typical Conversion Rate: 25%

Landing Page Style Takeaways:

It's not ONLY your application of best practices within your landing page that matters, but it's also critical to match up the proper landing page style to the offer you're promoting. Don't go for one, have a wardrobe of landing page styles, and pick the right page as the situation permits.

Landing Pages are not a "set and forget" form of marketing. They need to be continuously reviewed, refreshed, and refined to deliver the best results. We do this with our clients through Growth-Driven Design.

Free Ebook: 6 Reasons to Adopt Growth Driven Design

Written by Kevin Barber / October 5, 2015

is the Founder & Director of Lean Labs. He has over a decade of professional experience in Internet Marketing and his top skill is surrounding himself with passionate designers, developers, and inbound marketers.

Kevin has been married 10 years, the father of 3, and he recently relocated to Costa Rica. He enjoys reading professional development books, cycling and motorcycling. Connect with Kevin on Linked In.

Articles by Kevin Barber