Landing Pages and Call to Actions: A Look at How Retailer, Gap, Inc. Engages Users
In the not-so-distant past, businesses relied solely on their company home page as a place where visitors would land and hopefully click-through to take next steps and actions. But times have changed.
MarketingSherpa, noted in their Landing Page Handbook that “landing page optimization (LPO) has steadily gained momentum as an opportunity for marketers to improve the performance, not only of their Web pages, but also of related marketing activities that drive traffic, from search and email to social media.”
Whether a user lands on a company’s home page, an email in their inbox, or on one of your social messages–to be successful with online marketing efforts, a call to action must draw them in. In this post we’ll explore the features of successful call to actions and landing pages while taking a look at how one retailer, Gap, Inc., creates engages users via their brand home page, email marketing, and social media messaging.
The Essential Landing Page & Call to Action
Paul Boag, co-founder of web design agency Headscape writes, “An effective call to action is the linchpin of a successful site and involves drawing together best practice in usability, creative visual design and powerful copy writing.”
Paul offers the following suggestions for creating an effective call to action:
1. Lay the Groundwork.
Before a user is willing to complete a call to action they have to recognize the need.
2. Offer a little extra.
Sometimes you may have to sweeten the deal to encourage users to complete a call to action.
3. Have a small number of distinct actions.
It is also important to be focused in your calls to action. Too many and the user becomes overwhelmed.
4. Use active urgent language.
A call to action should clearly tell users what you want them to do. They should include words such as: call, buy, register, subscribe, donate.
Create a sense of urgency and a need to act now, these words can be used alongside phrases such as: Offer expires March 31st, For a short time only, order now and receive a free gift
5. Get the position right.
Another important factor is the position of your call to action on the page. Ideally it should be placed high on the page and in the central column.
6. Use white space.
It is not just the position of your call to action that matters. It is also the space around it. The more space around a call to action the more attention is drawn to it.
7. Use an alternative colour.
Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to elements, especially if the rest of the site has a fairly limited palette.
8.Make it big.
The bigger your call to action, the more chance it will be noticed.
A Look at Gap’s Use of Landing Pages & Call to Actions
Gap Brand Home Page
Gap’s home page exemplifies Paul Boag’s suggestions of usability, creative visual design and powerful copy writing. They do an excellent job appealing to the many different needs and interests of their potential customers e.g. vacation, summer camp, swim wear, and a current event, e.g. the upcoming Olympics in London. The layout is clean and fresh. The headline, “Away We Go” is catchy. Their signature offer for free shipping for orders over $50 and find a store are placed strategically where the user is sure to see it.
Engaging Users with Email Marketing & Landing Pages
Gap utilizes email marketing on a frequent basis. What we noticed in particular are the ways in which they carefully construct each email subject message, followed by unique and eye-catching page designs, call to actions and special offers.
What you’ll see in the following email landing pages are examples of compelling subject lines, catchy headlines, inviting graphics, and active urgent language.
Example of 5 Email Marketing & Landing Pages
#1 Subject Line:
Suit Up in our Newest Pool-Ready Looks
#2 Subject Line:
Time’s Running Out! 30% Off Kids/Baby Swim Styles
#3 Subject Line:
Ends Today: Up to 40% Off at Our Weekend Sales
#4 Subject Line:
Weekend Sale: Up to 40% Off ENDS SOON
On one status update on Facebook, Gap not only used a call-to-action but used one that was highly applicable to Facebook users by encouraging use of a Facebook app to download a gift card. Knowing too, that Facebook is about friendships and relationships, their call to action included giving gifts to your friends with active urgent language, “while supplies last.”
In a recent tweet, @Gap recognizes that not every message is about getting someone to buy a product. In this case, they encouraged users to vote on threadless t-shirts that they’d like to see sold in stores. They combined a fun marketing research technique to engage users socially.
It should be noted too, that when the user clicked on the “vote” call to action link that they are taken to a unique landing page with bold colors and another offer for a chance to win cash and a gift card.
Gap Google Ad
In their Google ad, where you need to capture attention in a few carefully chosen words, Gap appeals to users by letting them know that there’s free shipping on orders over $50.
Granted not all businesses have the range of products that a retailer such as Gap, Inc. has to offer but through their examples we can see how every opportunity to engage with your audience offers opportunities for you to create a call to action with a desired result e.g learn more, buy now, download a free e-book, etc. Landing pages and call to actions are essential for online businesses.
Are you getting the most out of your landing pages and call to actions? What has been successful for you? Let us know in the comments below.