Anne Holland

Personalize Landing Pages (Easily) for Higher Conversions

May 3rd, 2004

Here’s an idea that I think any site big or small could use to improve sales or lead generation…

While surfing last night I typed “” on a whim to see if anything would come up. (Betty is my dog.) By golly up came a Web site with that exact name!

In fact it was a clever tactic from the folks at who’ve apparently bought the “ilove” URLs for loads of names, and redirect them to the main site. However, their system cleverly inserts the specific name you were typing. So I saw a page with the headline “I Love Betty.” Which, naturally warmed the cockles of my heart.

You don’t need to own a bunch of URLs to personalize a page new visitors see this way. In fact, you can use your Web analytics and/or affiliate marketing system to note what URL visitors are coming from, and then jerryrig your content management system to automatically display related content. Three examples:

— Paid search clicks convert far better if they see their exact search term included in the wording of headline on your landing page. This can be automated so it’s not much work for you, no matter how many hundreds of search terms you have ads under. (See the link directly below for a Case Study I did on a b2b marketer who tested this.)

— Affiliate and marketing partner clicks are more likely to buy if they see a little note at the top of their landing page that references where they saw the offer. I invented a “pink sticky note” for our own store we use this way. (Link below to sample.)

If you arrive via an affiliate link in our store, and we’ve activated the note, you’ll see a note that says something like, “Welcome MarketingVox Readers!” or “As seen in Advertising Age…”

If the affiliate is a guru who the clicker is likely to respect, we may even have that person write a more personal-sounding review or recommendation to post there.

— You can also use extensions of your regular URL to send visitors to highly personalized pages. For example, a division of Hewlett-Packard sent personalized postcards to the best prospects on its list directing them to a Web page with their name in the URL (not-real-example:

Their site’s content management system automatically stuck that name in the headline and copy so the visitor felt like a site was built just for them. Conversions were outstanding. (See link to our Case Study directly below.)

Please let me know if you’ve tested an idea like any of these, and if I can report on it. In the meantime, here are the links I promised:

— Case Study: Targeting Landing Pages by Keyword Improves Paid Search Conversion Rates Dramatically

— Case Study: HP Tests Personalized Web Landing Pages for Email and Direct Mail Campaigns — Data & Samples

— A sample of our “pinky sticky notes” in action:

— I Love Betty (and if you knew her, you would too.)

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