“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child,” Pablo Picasso said.
Experience has its benefits, don’t get me wrong. But…ah…to see our marketing campaigns through fresh eyes.
The next time you don’t know where to begin, don’t just tap into the same old thing you’ve always done. Look at your challenge anew.
To help spur new creative ideas, read on for examples from a home improvement company, B2B jewelry packaging, and a travel agency.
This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
I create a lot. Emails. Landing pages. Podcasts. And articles like this one.
And sometimes the challenge is simply – where should I begin? How do I start to make this better? Or create something from scratch?
To help you come up with your next great idea, we’ve created this checklist PDF – Landing Page Creation and Optimization: 6 key questions for the marketer (instant download, no form to fill out).
And we bring you these three case studies to get your creative juices flowing as well. First, a home improvement company that improved its landing pages with breadcrumb navigation. Then, a jewelry packaging company that filled a customer gap with a new product to generate sales on its landing page. And finally, a travel agency that consolidated information onto main landing pages to improve SEO.
Cabinet Select added a breadcrumb navigation feature to its landing pages. The breadcrumb navigation feature allowed customers to easily return to a page they previously visited, making it easier to navigate the website.
Creative Sample #1: Breadcrumb navigation on landing page for provider of RTA (ready-to-assemble) kitchen cabinets
The initiative reduced bounce rates by 24 percent, helping the team increase sales by six percent.
“It is a simple feature, but it has a massive impact on the experience that we can give our customers. As a result, it made our customers stay longer, increasing their chances of becoming paying customers,” said Chris Alexakis, Co-Founder, Cabinet Select.
When a product truly serves a customer’s unmet need, the most important think a landing page can do is just let customers know.
I’m not including this next example because it is an amazing landing page or email. I’m including it specifically because there is nothing spectacular with the marketing here…yet it still drove results.
Because the company truly served a customer’s unmet need.
“Customers are the best source for market research,” says Dov Baum, CEO, Allure Box and Display. Here’s how Baum puts that into practice – if several customers ask for a solution to the same issue, he instructs his team to continue to the product development stage even if competitors are not sourcing a similar product at that time.
When customers repeatedly reached out through emails and phone calls asking for something to store their larger pendants in, the B2B company in the jewelry packaging industry manufactured large pendant trays.
Seems obvious, right? But so many companies just aren’t listening to (and prioritizing) their customers.
To introduce the new product, the team sent an email to its overall list – most campaigns only target engaged email subscribers.
The subject line was “How We Solved the Large Pendant Dilemma -The Size You Were Looking For!” The email also invited customers to share additional feedback with their needs (much better than those awful no reply emails). While it didn’t generate new ideas, it kept the line of communication open for customers to communicate their needs and some took the opportunity to do so.
Creative Sample #2: Email from jewelry packaging company announcing new product
The call-to-action in the email sent customers to this landing page.
Creative Sample #3: Landing page for jewelry packaging company for new product
The email garnered a 14.8% open rate even though it was sent to an overall email list that included unengaged subscribers.
The company has two lists of opt-in subscribers. One is the total list of subscribers, and the other is narrowed down to subscribers who have engaged with the brand in the last 90 days. “The platform used is Klaviyo, who defines ‘engaged’ as opened email in last 90 days, or clicked email at least once in last 90 days, or ordered product at least once in the last 90 days,” said Esther Lander, SEO & Content Strategist, Allure.
“The conversion rate was not particularly high; however, remember this was not a promotion plus it's the total list, so it's considered good at 1.1%,” Lander said.
The team sold $2,800 worth of trays for $22.95 each.
“Other marketers can learn to include emails targeted to customer needs in a way that comes across genuine and not pushy. Since this was a real product developed based on customer requests, customers recognize it – even from the subject line!” she said. “Of course, there are many campaigns that performed better, such as significant promotions. (Who doesn't love a good deal?) But I think it's important to bring attention to other types of campaigns that bring much value to a brand.”
Central America Fishing is a boutique outfitter that provides luxury, customized fishing vacations throughout Central America. The company has been in business for eight years and 40% of clients are repeat and referral guests.
“Previously we survived almost entirely on Google Ads and repeat and referral clients, but for the past year that model has flipped and now the vast majority of our leads come from organic searches,” said Chris Atkins, Owner & Angler, Central America Fishing. This change happened in 2020 during the pandemic when borders were shut and worldwide tourism came to a complete halt.
Instead of letting the travel shutdown kill the small business, this lull finally gave Atkins time to step away from the busy day-to-day and focus on updating his website and improving both onsite and offsite SEO (search engine optimization). The travel agency came out of the pandemic more profitable than ever thanks to improved marketing and SEO efforts.
The website is built following the “pillar-cluster” model. There are main landing pages for each country they operate in (the pillars), and then on those main landing pages there are thumbnail images that link to more specific destinations/fishing styles/species that interest anglers (the clusters). These cluster pages for each country can and should generate their own organic leads, but they do so on a smaller scale as they are for more specific search terms.
The main search terms the site is interested in ranking for are the broader, country-wide searches like “Costa Rica Fishing” or “Panama Fishing” as those have a much greater search volume and lead to a better ROI over time.
When he first built the website back in 2013, Atkins didn’t know much about SEO nor did he care to know about it; he was eager to get the site live and start attracting clients right away. “Like so many other startups, that meant paying a fortune to Google for paid ads and hoping organic leads came in from time to time somehow,” he said. The problem is, they never did.
Prior to the pandemic, every single one of the website’s country-wide pillar pages had one picture, one or two paragraphs of content, and then thumbnails so visitors could view a more detailed vacation package. “It was hardly enough to attract potential clients, much less the good grace of Google’s mysterious algorithms,” Atkins said.
Creative Sample #4: Previous pillar landing page for travel agency
During the pandemic with borders shut and airlines grounded, for the first time in 16 years Atkins had no clients in-country to care for and didn’t even really need to worry about making future bookings; no one was traveling, like it or not. Instead of watching cash reserves dwindle and wallowing in the “travel doomsday,” he did a deep dive into SEO and content marketing so that the company could come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.
“I learned about Google's E-A-T philosophy (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness), and then something clicked,” Atkins said. His most important pillar pages were nowhere near good enough, and worse, in no way reflected the decade and a half of experience that has made him a successful and trusted outfitter. He knew that he was a subject matter expert on fishing in Central America, but if that wasn’t instantly obvious to visitors it did not matter.
That was of course assuming they could find the website in the first place.
He decided that instead of having multiple blog posts covering different topics and important info offline that the travel agency shares with clients before they arrive, it would be better to concentrate this all onto one page. “This would directly appeal to Google’s E-A-T so I could finally start ranking better, it would attract visitors AND keep them on the page longer, and it would consolidate any potential backlinks onto those important pillar pages.” He changed three landing pages – the main pages for each country.
Creative Sample #5: Top of new main pillar landing page for travel agency
“As the chart in Google Search Console shows [see Creative Sample #6], at the start of the pandemic last year I was receiving about 15 clicks a day off of 2,500 impressions [on search engine results pages]. Today we receive 70-80 clicks per day on nearly 7,000-7,500 impressions. The work is not done, there are more pages to update and content and design can always be improved, but at least today I know that the hard work makes a difference,” Atkins said.
Creative Sample #6: Google Search Console results for travel agency
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