Laying Out A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox


CSS floats and clears define web layout today. Based on principles derived from centuries of print design, they’ve worked well enough — even if, strictly speaking, floats weren’t meant for that purpose. Neither were tables, but that didn’t stop us in the 1990s.

A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox

Nevertheless, the future of web layout is bright, thanks to flexbox. The CSS layout mechanism lets us arrange elements in a truly web-like way. Some elements can be fixed, while others scroll. The order in which they appear can be independent of the source order. And everything can fit a range of screen sizes, from widescreen TVs to smartphones — and even devices as yet unimagined. Browser support is fantastic (except you-know-who). Yep, it’s a great time to jump into flexbox if you haven’t done so yet.

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Laying Out A Flexible Future For Web Design With Flexbox

13 Guaranteed Methods That Will Help You Blow Through the Summer Sales Slump

Ugh. The summer sales slump. Everyone expects it. Everyone dreads it. But few marketers know how to power through it. Instead, they hunker down, wait through it, and wake up for the back-to-school blast and holiday uptick. I think there’s a better way. Yes, the summer sales slump is one of the brutal realities of […]

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13 Guaranteed Methods That Will Help You Blow Through the Summer Sales Slump

The Landing Pages You Need for Your Event Marketing: Before, During and After

events-langing-page-examples

For many marketers, events are a natural extension of their existing content marketing strategy and a key channel for direct engagement. They’re a chance to build your brand and cultivate your identity while creating an amazing experience for customers and prospects alike.

Pardon the Captain Obvious moment here, but for an event to be really successful, you need to get people there. And to get people there, you need to show them why they can’t afford to miss the event you’re about to put on.

There’s no better way to create a sense of urgency than to send prospects to a persuasive event landing page. It’s where you’ll tell people exactly why they should come to your event and what they’ll get from attending. But if you think of your event as a one-day only play, you’re not getting the full value out of it.

That’s why you should be using landing pages in every stage of your event marketing campaign — before, during and after the event itself. With our Call to Action conference coming up in less than a month, we thought we’d share with you a few of the landing pages that we’ve used for our own events– but first, let’s dig into the elements that make event landing pages successful.

What every event landing page needs

Remember that your conference is a product. As with all products, there is a cost vs benefit consideration, and it’s up to you to tilt the scales in favor of the benefit on your landing page.

To get those scales tilted, you’ll need to break out the five elements of a high-converting landing page. Let’s take a look at what they are, and how we made use of them on the landing page for the Conversion Road Trip, a series of four conversion-centered marketing events we hosted earlier this summer in Boston, Chicago, New York and Toronto.

1. Unique value proposition

On our registration landing pages, we made sure to incorporate a unique value proposition that explained what attendees would get at the conference (that they couldn’t get anywhere else):

unique-value-proposition

Your event landing page needs to explain why people should attend  your conference as opposed to one of the many others in your space. It’s job one on any landing page!


Your event landing page needs to explain why people should choose yours over the others.
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2. Hero shot

The hero shot is the image that shows your product, and helps to convey a sense of what using that product will be like. For the Conversion Road Trip, we combined several images to convey a sense of going on the road, along with images of the speakers pouring their hearts out and conference attendees in rapt attention.

hero-shot

Using video in this spot can also help you project the feel of your event. Showing the energy and excitement of the conference will pique your audience’s interest, and get them wanting to know more.

3. Benefits

Get a little further down the landing page for the Conversion Road Trip and you’ll come to the benefits. We wanted to show people exactly what they’ll get out of attending the conference, and did so by giving them three great reasons to attend:

benefits-event-landing-page

Give your prospects solid reasons to go to your conference, and they’ll have that much more interest in attending. Show the potential attendee what they’re going to be taking away from the event — the valuable information that they’ll be able to put into practice when they get back to the office.

4. Social proof

Every high-converting landing page also has a healthy dose of social proof, defined in the Conversion Marketing Glossary as:

The positive influence that’s generated when people find out that “everybody’s doing it.”

The social proof on the Conversion Road Trip landing page came in the form of testimonials from attendees. We targeted each testimonial at a persona that we thought could benefit from the conference, to help people self-identify as being a good fit:

social-proof

Stef Grieser, Unbounce’s  Event Marketing Manager, who has worked on a lot of events landing pages says:

Trust is subjective. Make sure you A/B test your social proof to ensure it is really driving conversions.

In other words, as our co-founder Oli Gardner says, “Testyourmonials.”

5. Call to action

All landing pages should have one goal and only one goal. In the case of an events landing page, that goal is to get people to register – by clicking your call to action button.

For the Conversion Road Trip landing page, the CTA read, “Get Tickets,” which told people precisely what’s going to happen when they click that button:

price-point

It’s also worth mentioning that we included the ticket price next to the bright orange CTA. Normally, adding a dollar amount near any CTA will likely cause a bit of friction.

That’s why we lead with a headline that set up $1,000 as the price of typical marketing conference. Juxtaposing that with the actual ticket price (at a fraction of the cost), made $299 sound like a pretty good deal! This is called the anchoring effect and it’s a classic – and effective – persuasion tactic.

Your CTA is what ultimately triggers conversions, so make sure you’re A/B testing different CTA copy. Let the audience decide which one is best.

Before the event: Building awareness and capturing leads

Conference preparation begins months in advance. Our planning starts 9-12 months before the date in order to make sure that we have everything in place, from the marketing plan, to the content, to the event logistics.

In the months leading up to your conference, you can start to collect email addresses from interested prospects, and give them updates along the way that will help convince them to get a ticket.

The page below is what we were using in March of this year to promote 2015’s Call to Action Conference in September, an event held in Vancouver that features CRO experts from all over the world:

With so many speakers involved, you don’t always have all of them lined up when we first announce the conference. This presents both a problem and an opportunity.

The problem is that you can’t showcase all of our speakers right away — you’re not able to show people everyone that will be there and all of the things they’ll learn, which provides valuable social proof.

You do, however, have the opportunity to collect email addresses from people who are interested in attending, and can reach out to them as we lock down speakers, creating hype and keeping our event top-of-mind.

We get a very engaged email audience through this process – the open rate for emails sent to people who requested CTAConf updates have been as high as 72.6%. Not too shabby, right?

During the conference: Gently nudging your prospects towards becoming customers

A conference isn’t just about delighting, networking, and creating buzz. At the end of the day, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to sign up for your product. Guess what? You need a landing page for that too.

At our conferences, we also have an attendee-specific landing page to incentivize people to sign up for Unbounce. We include an exclusive “attendee-only” discount to add extra incentive, and we hand out the landing page URL and promo code at our demo booth.

We do the same thing for conferences we sponsor — check out this landing page we built for specifically for MozCon 2015 attendees:

At MozCon, we had a lot of people come by our booth to chat, and were able to show many of them how Unbounce works in person. Coupling that with a substantial discount helped gently nudge interested prospects towards becoming customers.

And once your conference is over, you can send an email to attendees to gently remind them about you. After the Conversion Road Trip, we sent out this email to our attendees:

followup-email

It talks about the importance of landing pages and offers them a discount – which they can retrieve by clicking through to the landing page we created specifically for the event.

But there’s still more you can do after your conference is over.

After the event: Repurposing your landing page for lead gen

You’ve managed to get people to your event. Congratulations! Don’t forget though, that there is more you can do to collect leads when it’s over.

For last year’s CTAConf, we gated the recordings of our speaker’s presentations, converting the registration page into a lead gen page:

You’ll see that we altered some of the copy to explain a bit about the conference and what people got out of it. Most importantly, we added a video section, where visitors could watch all the recorded talks in exchange for their email address.

This allowed us to offer great value to our audience, while creating a list of people we could reach out to when it was time to sell tickets for CTAConf 2015.

There is also a CTA at the bottom that allows people to add their email address to get updates about the upcoming conference, bringing us back full circle to the first iteration of this page, which did the same thing.

The event landing page is just one piece of the campaign pie

Your landing page is the lynchpin of your event marketing campaign, but it will only be useful if you can get people to the page.

No matter what channels you’re using to drive traffic (email marketing, social media, PPC), your landing page should deliver on the promises that you set up in your promotional messages and images.


Continued here – 

The Landing Pages You Need for Your Event Marketing: Before, During and After

Win Your Way to CTAConf [Prize Package Valued at $4000]

call-to-action-conference-contest-650
Tell us why you’re excited about coming to CTAConf… and we’ll send you fo’ free.
TL;DR: Create a landing page telling us why you deserve to go to CTAConf and you could win an all-expense trip to Call to Action Conference in Vancouver (a prize valued at over $4000).

You read the Unbounce blog regularly. You’ve taken the landing page conversion course, know the recipe for the perfect landing page and have seen many landing page examples.

Now it’s time to show us what you’ve got.

Your challenge

Create and publish a landing page in Unbounce (sign up here – it’s free) that answers one very simple question:

Why should we send you to the Call to Action Conference?

You can start from a template or just piece together a page from scratch. Surprise us. Impress us. Anything goes! Create your page and then submit it via the form at the bottom of this post.

What are we judging you on?

We are judging you on your landing page chops. #duh

But what does that really mean? Let’s break it down. We’ll be looking at:

  • The persuasive power of your copy
  • The clickability of your call to action
  • The expanse of your creativity (really, go wild and impress us!)
  • Your conversion rate. What are you doing to make us click? Or better yet, what are you going to do to make a bunch of people click? Drive a bit of traffic to your landing page and we’ll be really impressed. *hint hint*
  • Bonus: The early bird gets the worm. The earlier you get us your awesome landing page, the more time we have to look over it.

Mark your calendars: The deadline for entries is Friday, August 28th.

Our panel of judges will pick the best overall page (using our top secret algorithm) and we’ll post them on our blog in early September, just in time for the conference. Look out for a roundup of awesome reader-submitted landing pages (with a landing page optimization tip or two from some of our expert speakers and in-house marketing experts).

What does the Ultimate CTAConf Package Include?

In other words, why should you put your blood and sweat into making the best landing page ever?

First of all, you’ll win your way to Call to Action Conference (ticket, airfare, accommodation and more), hosted by Unbounce this September 13th – 15th.

The prize package includes:

  • One CTAConf ticket and one ticket to give a friend
  • One flight to Vancouver (up to $1000)
  • Three nights stay at the Granville Island Hotel
  • Your choice of a white water rafting excursion, stand up paddle boarding or a craft beer tour around Vancouver during the “Sunday Funday” before the conference

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. Second and third place will also win free tickets to the Call to Action Conference.

Need inspiration?

Last year we held a similar contest and asked conference hopefuls to submit a landing page. If you need some inspiration check out some of the awesome submissions we received:

Ready?

Create and publish a landing page in Unbounce (sign up here – it’s free) telling us why we should send you to CTAConf, and submit it via the form below.

Happy landing page building!

PS: If you don’t want to make a landing page but still wanna come to the conference, we’ve got a special discount for our blog readers. Get an exclusive 30% discount at checkout by using the promocode “UnbounceBlog” until the landing page contest submissions end on Friday, August 28th.

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Win Your Way to CTAConf [Prize Package Valued at $4000]

Infographic: How to Design Websites That Engage Customers

If you’re thinking about redesigning your website for engagement, this infographic cuts right to chase and highlights the three main areas you need to focus on: design, copy and calls-to-action. One important thing to consider is that a complete website redesign may throw your well-earned conversion rates out the window. Have a thoughtful strategy session […]

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Infographic: How to Design Websites That Engage Customers

Emojis and Emails, a Match Made in Heaven (Maybe)

I don’t like emojis. There, I said it. I think they’re juvenile and ugly, but whenever I say as much I get called a fun sponge. You can imagine how my heart sank the first time I saw a brand using them in an email subject line. But, because I’m a copywriter, I’m of the […]

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Emojis and Emails, a Match Made in Heaven (Maybe)

Web Design Conferences Are Booming: But What’s Next?


Every year there are around 100 web conferences in the UK, and there are new ones emerging all the time. With a conference catering for every design and development niche, you’re rarely more than an hour away from your nearest event. If you’re interested in JavaScript, then Full Frontal is a must. If you like to geek out on typography, then you should hit up Ampersand. If you’re bored of the traditional format, then why not go camping in Wales or hack from a boat on the Thames?

Web Design Conferences Are Booming: But What's Next?

The picture across the rest of Europe looks just as abundant, with at least half a dozen conferences in every major city from Berlin to Barcelona. At the same time, smaller towns like Malmö, Faenza and Freiburg have become surprise hubs, hosting events like The Conference, Kerning, and SmashingConf.

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Web Design Conferences Are Booming: But What’s Next?

29 Experts Share Their Conversion Optimization Wisdom

We recently published an expert Q&A on conversion optimization, and it got us to thinking: what else do the top CRO peeps say about the topic? To find out, I trawled their blogs and, no surprise, there was some great advice. Here are 29 of the best CRO quotes 1. “Writing won’t help sell unless […]

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29 Experts Share Their Conversion Optimization Wisdom

Understanding Critical CSS


The web is slow, yet there are a few simple strategies to make websites faster. One of them is inlining critical CSS into the <head> of your pages, yet how exactly do you do it if your site contains hundreds of pages, or even worse, hundreds of different templates? You can’t do it manually. Dean Hume explains an easy way to get it done. If you’re a seasoned web developer, you might find the article obvious and self-explanatory, but it’s a good piece to show to your clients and junior developers for sure. — Ed.

Understanding Critical CSS

Delivering a fast, smooth web experience is an important part of building websites today. Most of the time, we develop websites without understanding what the browser is actually doing under the hood. How exactly does the browser render our web pages from the HTML, CSS and JavaScript that we create? How can we use this knowledge to speed up the rendering of our web pages?

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Understanding Critical CSS

Generate More Leads with These 7 Content Marketing Campaign Ideas

content-marketing-tactics
Use these content marketing tactics to draw up strategies that help you achieve your lead generation goals. Image source.

What sets content marketing apart from other forms of content creation is that every piece of content you produce needs to serve a business objective. For many content marketers, that goal is lead generation.

But what types of content should you create? And how will you capture the leads once you’ve created it?

We’ve assembled seven content marketing tactics that anyone can get started with right away. In addition, we’ve got landing page templates for each tactic so you can collect leads once you’ve published your content.

Let’s take a look!

1. Create an engaging ebook

In the last couple of years, the ebook has become a remarkably popular method of capturing leads. A 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks Report states that 34% of marketers are using ebooks in their marketing strategies.

Done properly, releasing an ebook can help marketers do the following three things, according to Ramesh Ranjan writing for the Hubspot blog.

A. Educate your leads

An ebook should provide actual value to readers. By the time they’re done reading it, they should be able to walk away with information that answers a specific question they have.

That ebook download may be the first point of contact you have with a reader, so in order to build a relationship built on trust, you have to deliver on whatever you promised on your landing page. If you do that, they’ll come back for more information.

B. Demonstrate your knowledge

You want to demonstrate to your readers how knowledgeable you are about what you do in order to establish trust and loyalty. Well-written ebooks that provide a lot of in-depth information help you do just that. According to Ramesh:

The more quality information you provide the reader, the better the education they’ll receive from your post. They’ll associate you with providing great information and possessing a breadth of knowledge on it.

C. Get ‘em in the sales funnel

In order to get the ebook from you, they’ll have to give you their email address – which is where your landing page comes in. This is where you’ll tell your customers what the ebook is about, and why it’s a fair trade for their email address. And the good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch.

The Lido landing page template is crafted to give visitors enough information to understand what they’re going to get when they download the ebook.

With a nice big headline, you can announce the main subject of the ebook and quickly break down what they’ll learn. There’s a spot for a front-and-center hero shot of your ebook, which you can punctuate with a CTA button that speaks directly to your visitors.

There’s even an area to provide author credentials and a reader testimonial, giving readers further incentive to provide their email address.

2. Get more leads through webinars

Webinars have proven to be a remarkably effective lead generation tool here at Unbounce. We’ve even taken the lessons we learned and created a webinar about how you can make webinars a super powerful acquisition channel for your business, too. #meta

One of the reasons our webinars have been successful is that we’ve managed to partner with some very knowledgeable people whose presentations provide attendees with real, actionable insights into a variety of subjects. And we’re sure to brag about our speakers’ credentials on our registration landing pages.

The How To landing page template below has a sparse feel to it that allows readers to focus on the copy:

See the section in the middle for presenter headshots and bios? Credentials can go a long way towards convincing people to attend a session. And with testimonials at the bottom as a last reminder of what you can get out of attending, you’ve got a page that convinces and converts.

There’s also ample space to tell attendees what they’ll get out of the webinar. The more you can convince them that the information they’ll be getting is valuable to them, the closer you’ll be to getting them to sign up. In our own experience, this page has had up to an 80% conversion rate!

3. Host events in real life

Our Event Marketing Manager Stefanie Grieser is fond of saying that events are an essential aspect of any content marketing strategy.

Events help you get to know your prospects at a level that just isn’t possible through email lead nurturing. Events are an amazing lead generation tool, provide amazing branding opportunities and help you to make personal connections with your leads.

But to get people to your event, you’re going to have to put together engaging and inspiring sessions – and then you have to flaunt them on a high-converting landing page.

The Evento landing page template has lots of space for the specifics of your event, including who your speakers are going to be. The agenda section shows them how their day will unfold.

events-landing-page-template

What you’ll notice about this landing page is that there is just one form field and call to action above the fold. You can use this form in one of two ways:

  1. In the early stages of promoting your event, you can direct people to “Save a spot” or “Stay in the loop” by simply adding their email address. As your event draws nearer, you can send them a series of emails as the event date draws nearer, reminding them to get a ticket.
  2. In the latter stages of the event, you can change that CTA to “Get my ticket now” and direct people to the ticket purchase page. By adding some text like, “Only one week to go!” you can create a sense of urgency, which nudges people towards your CTA.

4. Build a customer case study

Traditional case studies are a perfect storytelling tool. They’re proof that your product works. You can show your readers how you solved a very particular problem, and tell them what steps you took to get it done.

Presented properly, case studies can be an invaluable aspect of converting readers into customers, especially at the bottom of the sales funnel. For example, you might talk about how prospects can use one of your tools to create leads, like we did here.

You’ll want to send an email to your prospects directing them to a landing page, where you can tell them all about why they should download the case study. The Lead Generation Minimalist Light landing page template is well suited to that:

Reiterate what you’ve already told them in your email and break down the main points of the case study. You’ve also got a great spot for a quote from your case study subject just below that, which will provide further incentive to sign up.

Just change the well-highlighted CTA to “Get my free case study,” and let the downloads begin!

5. Use video to reach your customers

An article in the Guardian newspaper recently called video the future of content marketing. It’s an increasingly popular method of consuming content. The article cites a Cisco study that states that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.

Like all other areas of content marketing, the idea is to provide value to your audience. From the Guardian article:

Always consider the audience you are trying to reach and ensure the video is relevant to them. If it’s not the most appropriate means of getting your message across, you are probably wasting your time.

If you have videos that are relevant to your audience, you can publish them as gated content in order to collect email addresses in exchange for views. But to get those emails, you’ll need to prove that they’re worth that exchange. Check out how we used speaker videos to gather leads after The Conversion Road Trip, a four-city tour de force of one-day conversion optimization conferences.

You can repurpose the Mova template below for that very purpose. In the video area, instead of a demonstration video about a product, you could put in a short teaser of what a viewer will get from watching the video in its entirety — after they sign up.

video-marketing-landing-page-template1

Once they’ve seen the trailer, you can hit them with three main benefits they’ll get out of watching the video, and drive it home with a nice big testimonial from a happy viewer.

The simple form provides a relatively frictionless signup experience, making it easy for you to collect that all-important email address.

6. Create an informative whitepaper

According to this article by the Content Marketing Institute, despite the fact that marketers have been using them since the 90s, whitepapers are still an effective lead generation tactic.

But what should you include in a whitepaper in order to make it attractive to potential leads? According to that Content Marketing Institute article, there are four things that a whitepaper should provide:

  • Rich, substantive content that educates, not sells
  • New ideas that prompt and provoke innovative thinking
  • A clearly communicated point of view on issues that are highly relevant and timely
  • Statistically-sound data and well-researched findings

By presenting a new point of view, you flaunt your expertise and help prospects better understand how you’re equipped to solve their specific problems.

The Forward template below is a great example of a page that could serve as an excellent template for promoting a whitepaper:

This page has an area above the fold where you can clearly outline the main points of your whitepaper. You’ll also find the signup form right up top where you can get people to sign up right away (if you’ve managed to demonstrate the value of the whitepaper above the fold).

Make sure to experiment with a couple of different versions of your copy to see which one works the best!

7. Get more blog subscribers

Blogging is generally the first tactic that businesses turn to when rolling out a content marketing strategy. Consistently creating great content is a surefire way to establish credibility and attract leads.

But you already knew that. And now that you’ve got that great content, how do you get readers to keep coming back? Get them to sign up to receive updates about your blog so you can keep engaging them on a regular basis!

The A la Carte template could be turned into a landing page that simply and easily converts visitors into subscribers. Hit them first thing with your blog’s tagline and unique value proposition.

You can also use the area below the fold to tell people in more detail about what they’ll get as a subscriber.

With subscribers comes engagement, and once you’re regularly engaging prospects, you have a much better chance of converting them down the line.

What’s content marketing all about?

Content marketing is not just content for content’s sake. Though some marketers believe that just writing some things provides some form of value, the reality is that it doesn’t.

In this blog post on the Unbounce blog, Tommy Walker, Marketer at Shopify, says:

If your content doesn’t drive actions, it’s not really marketing. It’s just content.

Each of the content marketing tactics in this post are tools to help drive a larger strategy.

Remember that generating that lead is just the beginning. From there, you have the opportunity to start sending your prospects more and more valuable content in an email lead nurturing campaign.

Create great content to generate your leads, and then create more to keep on engaging them.

Originally posted here: 

Generate More Leads with These 7 Content Marketing Campaign Ideas

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