Landing Pages for the Ages

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to Master Class in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages for the Ages brought to you by WebMechanix, in partnership with HubSpot

Building landing pages for your B2B SaaS product can be a daunting task. While there are plenty of templates and theoretical articles available, swimming through the sea to strike gold can get pretty tedious. In this guide, we’ll show you exactly where to focus your efforts to sell more and worry less. And whether you’re already using HubSpot, thinking of adopting the platform, or working with a completely different solution, there’s plenty of great advice here for you.

Here’s a brief overview of what we’ll cover:

  1. The Basic Anatomy of a B2B SaaS Landing Page
  2. Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Headlines
  5. The Almighty CTA
  6. Forms Advanced Form Tactics (and a nifty HubSpot trick)
  7. Video
  8. The Silent Conversion Killer: Page Speed
  9. Mobile Optimization Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, though, let’s talk a little about why investing in high-quality landing pages is so critical. I see one common mistake made innocently by marketers the world over, and that’s sending traffic they’re paying for straight to the homepage. I call this practice the Bus Driver Method because it’s a lot like dropping people off at the bus stop down the street from their destination and expecting them to find where they’re going. Driving traffic to a homepage instead of a landing page dedicated to the content or offer that your ad is promoting is no different. Users get the subtle clue that it’s up to them to find whatever they’re looking for that made them click your ad in the first place and will likely bounce if they are simply driven to your homepage. So unless you’re running a brand awareness campaign and are okay with the genuine possibility of not getting conversions, avoid the Bus Driver Method at all costs. The better approach is to ensure that the messaging between your ad copy and landing page is congruent, which is why the best method is to leverage landing pages tuned to the specific benefits your ad is touting. So if you’re selling a productivity tool, your ads may say something like, “Reduce time spent on TPS reports by up to 58% and never come in on the weekends again.” The resulting landing page that a user is taken to should reinforce that ad copy with something like, “Spend less time reporting and more time relaxing.” Okay, off the soapbox—onward with the guide :)

Bus drivers: great for driving buses, potentially not so great for driving conversions on your SaaS site

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Basic Anatomy of a B2B SaaS Landing Page Justin Kalaskey, our resident UX guru and an all-around lovely person, will yell at me for what I’m about to say. He rightly believes that no cookie-cutter landing page will “work” 100% of the time. I don’t disagree with him. However, it’s important to remember that this guide is about best practices and highlighting common themes employed by the best SaaS landing pages. Since there’s a lot of overlap in the industry, it’s possible to identify the “line of best fit” that we can use as a starting point to help you generate more leads. So here goes (sorry, Justin :) )... If you check out a ton of landing pages for SaaS products, you’ll notice a pattern emerging quickly. That’s the line of best fit. And it looks something like this:

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There are a few key ingredients in a SaaS product landing page: Hero Image There is pretty much always a large section at the top with a fullscreen image underneath a headline, some intro copy, and a call-toaction (CTA) button. Sometimes, that image is actually a full-screen video that I advise against—more to come on the topic later on. Once upon a [not-that-long-ago] time, this precious real estate was most commonly dedicated to an elegant screenshot of the product in action, a trend that has faded in favor of images of real people. According to subscription analytics provider ChartMogul, which analyzed 100 B2B SaaS landing pages, 73% of companies are using imagery of people on their landing pages. And most of these images are “above the fold” in the hero image.

People buy from people, which is exactly why a product-dominant hero image has shifted to a people-dominant image. You have customers. Use real images of your real customers using your real product… I know, I know. It’s hard—not to mention expensive—to get those real-life photos, but they’re worth their weight in gold and can be used for virtually any kind of marketing asset. It’s like achieving Marketing Nirvana.

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Social Proof LOGO FARM Sure, nearly everyone is touting the customers they serve on their website and landing pages in the form of a row or two of greyed-out logos of companies you’ve likely heard of. And they’re usually at or just below the fold. Adding this little element can make a pretty big impression (though we may be getting “logo blindness” in addition to “banner blindness”). It says that you’ve earned the trust of companies large enough to go through a complex, competitive selection process. This subtle clue can influence conversion positively. It hasn’t gone out of style yet...for a reason.

TESTIMONIALS Testimonials are good. Use them. But use them wisely because not all testimonials are created equal. Some are very general and belong on the homepage (right next to the bus stop we discussed above). Others are relevant to a very specific vertical or buyer persona. Select testimonials that further build congruency between your ad copy and landing page. And don’t forget the headshot. A testimonial without a face is always questionable.

For handy reference, keep a spreadsheet of who said what, when, and where, along with a link to their headshot, vertical, and license type. This will help you not only keep track of the bounty but also identify whom to ask for a review next.

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AWARDS AND CERTIFICATIONS Used in concert with logos and customer testimonials, awards and certifications provide a highly robust social proof system. Logos prove that you can outmaneuver competition in a complex buying process. Testimonials show that folks are happily using your product to their great benefit. And awards and certifications show that independent organizations view your company and product as a market leader and you as the best practitioner. So if you don’t have any “metal” yet, find some competitions to enter or certifications to earn.

General Design Advice What works well for one company can fail miserably for another. Some buyer types convert best on super plain stuff with zero fluff or flash. Others want to be wooed into buying your cool product and will resonate best with a little bling. The structural elements mentioned above are tried and true, but you still need to figure out what works best for your particular business. Test and tinker until you have a conversion rate you’re happy with. And then test some more. In general, keep your landing pages as simple, scannable, and straightforward as possible. Don’t go too overboard with color and other visual cues that can distract users from converting. Here’s a pretty good read on designing for conversion that includes critiques on a couple of SaaS pages, too.

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Navigation

This is definitely a good item to test. There are pros and cons to including navigation on your landing pages. One thing’s for sure: if you include navigation, keep it minimal and only point to core pages. When ChartMogul took a closer look, it found that the average number of menu items was 4.3 in a sample size of 100 pages. On that note, what cases can be made for and against including navigation? THE GOOD

THE BAD

Users may want to learn more about your product or company than what’s presented on the landing page. Giving them curated options can avoid alienating these more discerning folks and promote a modicum of brand affinity.

Including navigation is widely believed to destroy conversion rates because you’re giving users an escape route from your carefully crafted landing page.

THE VERDICT It depends a lot on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to ensure the best possible user experience, then say yes to navigation. On the other hand, if you’re good with taking a hit on user experience to increase conversions, you’ll need to ditch the menu. The breakup may be a little tough at first. It will sting. You may get a call in the middle of the night from Ol’ Nav asking why you broke its little heart. Perseverance is key, as with most things in life.

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THE VERDICT (continuted) It’s also worth considering this through the lens of the marketing funnel—including navigation is often good for upper-funnel brand awareness campaigns because it allows users to explore everything you have to offer. But if you’re using a lower-funnel tactic, like asking users to download a resource or get a demo, it’s best to nix the nav so users can’t get distracted with other content and second-guess themselves. Either way, try to resist linking out to other stuff within the content of your landing pages. Doing so is probably not completely necessary, and the upside is that you’ll reduce distractions and questions for the user.

HubSpotted: It’s super simple to show and hide your landing page navigation with HubSpot’s module-based layouts. Edit the individual landing page and delete the Simple Menu or Menu modules. And fear not— they can always be added back later.

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Content

You’ve heard the expression that “Content is Queen,” right? Well, it’s true here, too. Having the right amount (and kind) of content on a landing page is tricky business. Too much or too little content will negatively impact conversions. People want to know what they’re getting if they sign up for a free trial or demo. They want to know how your product will benefit them and fulfill their unique needs. This is a great time to put yourself very squarely into the mindset of your users. What’s in it for them? Focus on the Benefits First of all, every word of copy we write for landing pages should always be about the user and how they can benefit from your product. Shy away from headlines like, “Use Our Software and Get More Revenue!” Instead, you can flip it so the “you” comes first: “Get More Revenue With Our Product!” That way, it’s no longer “i” before “e”—it’s “you” before “me.” With that said, the next step is to be judicious with the overall tone of your copy. There are four basic types of messaging: •

Love-based: sews some positivity and educates

Duty-based: obligates a user to fulfill a time- or

or reminds users how your offer will benefit them

value-oriented goal

Ex: “Automate at Twice Your Current Speed”

Ex: “Are You in the Loop? Here’s What You Need to

Fear-based: highlights what happens if a user

Know About the Latest AI Feature”

fails to take action

Greed-based: conveys something new and

Ex: “Don’t Get Left in the Dust by Your

enticing to elevate the user’s status or wellbeing

Competitors. Offer Ends Tonight”

Ex: “Say Hello to 516% ROI”

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LOVE

FEAR

DUTY

GREED

When it comes to writing copy—and positioning your product in general—resist the urge to induce fear and duty in particular. Greedbased messaging will typically work best with your economic buyer. Regardless of your focus, you should always know your audience, or at least know whom you’re targeting with your ads. With a specific persona in mind, you can reverse-engineer a compelling message that will convert. With sentiment becoming more important than ever in our society, it’s crucial that you keep things real—especially since content is increasingly being consumed by AI, categorized and given preferential treatment accordingly across social media and the rest of the Web at large. And spread some joy while you’re at it—it never hurts to make people happy.

Show, Don’t Tell There has been a relatively slow evolution in the way tech companies position their products. We all know and love the treasured zig-zag approach that Apple pioneered… product screenshot on the left and microcopy on the right, alternating down the page. This layout has worked well and continues to show up on a seemingly infinite number of B2B SaaS websites. But this trend is facing a formidable foe (even though they go together, in my opinion): More and more software companies are showing a narrow glimpse of the product instead of a full screenshot, traditionally presented on a MacBook or mobile device. Here’s an example from our favorite project management tool, Asana:

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Coincidentally, the sample project is also about developing a

In 2015, tech-ubiquitous productivity company Slack launched a new campaign called “Animals!” with two 60-second ad spots that started showing up all over the technosphere. Here’s one of them:

web page!

https://youtu.be/x6sSa5NpqUI This ad is especially effective because you hardly see Slack or any of its myriad of impressive features. Instead, you watch a colorful story unfold quickly where a new idea (flying umbrellas, oh my!) is presented and brought to market in record time, by animals! It was dead simple, appealed to massive and tech-agnostic audiences, and got shared a lot. Plus, it made Slack’s early adopters feel cool and validated. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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The company launched another crafty, industry-shaping campaign in 2018. It’s not nearly as popular, but you have to admit that the mashup of Slack interface meeting campy, semi-real life is pretty clever:

https://youtu.be/7sqVXngvWbI Both approaches work really well to sell the product because they show the benefits of Slack rather than explaining the details of feature after feature. At a certain point, it doesn’t matter what your product does—it matters what your product does for your users.

Be Honest Honesty is the best policy. For starters, don’t sell something your product doesn’t do. Lying doesn’t make you a good neighbor to the Sales, Product, and Service teams that also work on your app—nor does it make for happy customers that retain and drive increasing monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Conversely, don’t oversell something your product doesn’t do well, either.

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Not sure what to write or how to position your product? Call up your customers and ask them what their tipping point was for buying. Even better, ask them what they would tell a friend if they were recommending your solution. Most people don’t remember the exact thing that makes them convert, so both data points can be insightful.

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Headlines

Ooooh… One of my favorite parts of a good landing page: the headline! This short sentence is likely the first real impression that users will get of your brand, so finding the right balance between cleverness and brevity is critical. There’s also an ocean of guidance available on writing headlines, so I won’t go reinventing the wheel. Instead, I’ll offer some brief advice that I’ve learned throughout my career that is most often missing in other reference material. Be Clever [But Not Too Clever] We all want to write better copy. Even amazing copywriters will generally admit that there’s always room for refining their craft. While you’re busy trying to out-copywrite headline wizard David Ogilvy, remember that there’s a subtle balance between wittiness and obscurity. Clever messaging is easily understandable by the general population but has an underlying “aha” moment. Maybe you chuckle a little. Most likely, the viewer can make an emotional connection with clever copy. EXAMPLE 1: “Make maps that move you” Nice. I especially like the alliteration. It’s short and sweet. While I have no idea how the product works from the headline, it’s interesting enough that I want to learn more because I connect with its witty play on words. I’ll also come back to this one in a minute :) On the other hand, copy that is too clever goes over the viewer’s head and risks alienating them. That’s just a bad play. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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EXAMPLE 2: “Power isn’t just for the pros” What kind of power? Who are the pros? Is this a headline selling supplies to electricians? It’s important to note that imagery can (and should) most certainly influence and reinforce messaging—even the cleverest of sorts. This headline is actually selling the iPad Air. So in context with the artwork, it makes sense. I’d still call it too clever because “power” remains a bit ambiguous. If I’m in the market for an iPad Air, I may not understand what separates it from an iPad Pro—a necessary detail to interpret the headline quickly. EXAMPLE 3: “This is your 365” I don’t even know where to start with this one. It’s a headline for Office 365. It reminds me of the “Army of One” slogan, which took years for the general public to understand (most people probably still don’t because it’s so contradictory). “This is your 365” would work much better on a customer-facing site (such as a user portal) where the product already belongs to the proverbial “you.”

Clarity Rules Many smart folks make the innocent mistake of relying on secondary copy or subheadings to explain their headlines. The following advice cannot be understated. Please don’t make this same mistake. My litmus test for most copy is to ask myself if an alien could beam down from outer space and understand what I’ve just written (assuming they know languages of Earthlings like us). Is there just enough context while still being short and catchy?

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EXAMPLE 1: “Send better email. Sell more stuff” This one is great. It’s written in very plain English. There’s a crystalclear benefit in “Sell more stuff.” The product presumably relates to email and somehow making it better. The “how” barely matters, though, because the company just spoke my language with “Sell more stuff.” Looking back, I realized I’d been using this strategy myself—just the other day, I had a call with a client’s sales team wherein I said, ‘With HubSpot, we can automate the heck out of [these super-tedious tasks] for you, freeing up your time, empowering you to sell more stuff and make more commission.’ EXAMPLE 2: “Build & Connect” This just isn’t good. It raises all the questions and answers none of them.

Reinforce Ad Messaging We talked a little about ensuring congruence between ad copy and landing page copy in the intro. Here’s another mistake I see smart marketers make in complete innocence: If your ad promises a free trial and clicks through to your generic features page, it’s most likely not the most stellar user experience. At best, folks will be annoyed. At worst, they’ll bounce immediately. And that means you just lost precious budget. Many of us also use landing pages beyond the world of paid ads. Sometimes we even get organic traffic to them. If you’re getting nonpaid traffic, re-imagine the page titles and descriptions that will show up on Google’s search results. Why? Because those little page titles and snippets are ads, too. Users click on what’s most appealing in the results. The more you can do to Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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stand out and get to the point of whatever folks are really searching for, the better your content will perform. This little bit of advice is particularly obscure. I’ll tell you quite honestly: I never even thought about my search results as ads until I started working at WebMechanix. And I’m going into Year #13 as a marketer!

While we’re on the subject, Google Search Console will give you an idea of how many times your pages show up in organic searches versus the number of clicks they get in a given period. So that means you can get click-through rates on your organic content, too.

The Duality Principle Oh, the double entendre, how I love you so! When copy has two interpretations, it can easily mean the difference between clever and too clever, so be careful. Below are just two quick examples. EXAMPLE 1: “Pretty. Freaking powerful” You have to look closely at this one. The headline is attempting to describe both beauty and brawn with the use of a period. But it’s the smallest of punctuation and is Pretty. Easy to overlook. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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EXAMPLE 2: “Make maps that move you” Told you we’d revisit this one! Notice the wordplay? In a sense, maps can “move” us emotionally. Maybe this product makes exceptionally compelling maps. I feel inspired by it—even though a map is rather mundane.

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Calls to Action (CTA)

We can’t talk about landing pages without talking about CTAs. It’s like talking about puppies without obsessing over how cute they are. On that note, time for a shameless puppy break:

Now back to CTAs, albeit reluctantly. Just kidding. I <3 data-preserve-html-node="true" CTAs! Your CTA is the lifeblood of the page. It’s the thing that compels users to take the final step and convert. Up to the point of answering the CTA, the user has made a series of microconversions like: •

Clicking your ad.

Reading the headline.

Viewing imagery.

Reading supporting copy and so forth.

Once the user fills out your form and converts, that’s a macroconversion. When looking at the process through the lens of microand macro-conversions, it’s easy to see where the CTA carries so much weight. Let’s talk a little about how to distinguish these gems because the most important thing is to make sure that they stand out. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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Length and Specificity Chart Mogul’s research showed that 92% of CTAs on B2B SaaS landing pages are fewer than five words long. While the industry at large seems to have moved away from the dreaded one-word “Submit” button, keeping it short and simple is still best. Think along the lines of “Start My Free Trial Now” or “Schedule a Demo.” Sometimes, even just “Let’s Chat” can work if the rest of the content is compelling enough and creates the urgency necessary to win over users. When in doubt, be action-oriented, urgent, and specific, like “Download Your Free eBook Today.” You can always test variations on your buttons to find what works best. Placement Most of the best SaaS landing pages these days—particularly for companies that sell to other businesses—have a button in the upper right and another button (or two) on the page, like so:

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That top button will most commonly “stick” to the top of the page as a user scrolls. It will often change colors or size as well. The primary benefit to this method is that the CTA will always be present. So once the user gets to the area below the fold where the testimonials and features are in the example above, they can convert effortlessly at any point in between the buttons on the top and bottom. Color Also according to Chart Mogul, 68% of CTAs on landing pages for B2B SaaS products are either green or blue (sorry, remaining colors of the rainbow). And I bet that’s not so coincidental. Looking through their sample, you can tell that blue and green are probably the top two colors represented in B2B palettes. This might make an easy opportunity for you to break out of the mold and cut through the noise. A high-contrast color palette is a good thing—particularly concerning your CTAs. Notice in the screenshot above that the buttons are all orange, but nothing else on the page is. That’s highly intentional. Visual cues like color, size, and typography help set the most important actions apart. So be sure to differentiate the overall design from the look and feel of your CTAs.

Use a contrast checker to ensure that the color of your CTA stands out sufficiently from the rest of your content (particularly in the space immediately surrounding it). While you’re at it, this contrast checker will help ensure that your color palette is accessible to folks with visual impairments, too, which is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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HubSpotted: You can create and keep track of all your CTAs in HubSpot, allowing for split testing on any landing page. Plus, you can even personalize CTAs for users who have previously converted. For example, your button could say “Download a Free Trial for WebMechanix.”

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Forms

While forms go hand-in-hand with the CTA, they’re a totally separate beast, so they get their own section. First, we’ll cover some basics related to conversion. Then we’ll cover a couple of clever tricks I keep up my sleeve to tame these finicky little devils. Do I Really Need That? Ask yourself this question. At a bare minimum, what do you really need to best engage with new leads? What data points are you asking them for now? What element would be a game changer if you were to stop requiring it on your forms? Most likely, all you really need is email. Having a name helps, too, so you can personalize those emails without having to go through the trouble of figuring out things like someone’s preferred nickname (which is basically impossible to do). For example, think of all the Williams in the world. Now think of all the Wills, Bills, and Billys. And if you’re saying to yourself that you’re already using name and/or email only—well, then you’re done! But I bet I can still help you level up your data game. Read on. Friction Friction is the evil villain lurking in the shadows beneath an otherwise lovely user experience. And lovely user experiences usually mean high conversion rates. It’s really bad stuff. The harder we make it for our users to provide their information to us when they’d like to engage further, the less frequently they’ll do so. So whether we’re talking Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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about a basic email signup or the almighty Contact Us page, think about how you can reduce friction. This devious enemy comes in the “form” of things like: •

An excessive number of fields

Poor content placement

Vague button copy (like “Submit”)

Overly wordy privacy policies, though you should include something

A cluttered design

Which leads me to a trick or two for raising your data game.

Get Richer Data with HubSpot The world is a big place with no shortage of data available to us marketers. We made a change to our forms at WebMechanix to block email addresses from free domains. Admittedly, it makes some folks unhappy. And I feel great compassion for them. I wouldn’t particularly like it, either. So why draw this line in the sand? At first, I was pretty anxious about this change; after all, it was my idea. Then I saw lead quality go up overnight. Our sales team began following up personally with more and more folks. And lots of other vital numbers spun upward. Then I had another idea. We use HubSpot. (In fact, we earned the rare distinction of being a Diamond Certified HubSpot Agency Partner.) And this is how the magic started to happen. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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When a lead submits a form and uses an email address that comes from a business domain, HubSpot goes out and references that domain against a database of millions of business records and returns some very useful data. Assuming a match occurs, the platform will automagically create a Company record and then attach the Contact record to the Company record (HubSpot calls leads “Contacts”). Then that useful data HubSpot found in its magical database appends to the Company record in a process called “enrichment.” There’s just one problem: Most sales teams focus more on individual leads than they do on the companies for which those leads work. It’s a fascinating shortcoming of most marketing automation and CRM platforms to sort of just default to thinking in terms of leads as people, rather than companies. But if you’re in the B2B world, you’re most often selling to the company. The lead becomes the point of contact. So we talk to leads but sell to companies. But what if we could reflect all that juicy, enriched Company data on our Contact records in the CRM? Fortunately, HubSpot has tremendously flexible options for automation. So I cooked up a pretty sneaky recipe to pull that enriched data down from the Company record to the Contact record. Here’s a short video overview of that process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm-i0UdVwdI Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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So with enrichment, you can ditch a bunch of form fields you may be tied to, like company, phone number, etc. That’s a win-win for your business and your leads. Hidden Fields

There’s a lot of potential in passing hidden fields on your forms. And the endless possibilities can lead me to geek out and get overly technical, which I’ve already promised myself I wouldn’t do. Anyhow, here are two ideas. One excellent example of using hidden fields is to pass a user’s Google Analytics ID into your marketing automation and/or CRM platform. This involves a little magic and isn’t actually doable with every platform. We accomplish this with HubSpot and Google Tag Manager. With that data point, we can go back to Google Analytics and look up an individual user to check out their session info and make inferences about their interests and motivations. If you get really fancy, you could blend the data from your marketing automation app, CRM, or both with data from Google Analytics and have some amazing end-to-end reporting! A less technical example would be to pass something like a persona through. Let’s say you have ads that you’re targeting toward a specific buyer type. For example, if your product is expensive, you may have an influencer persona that can’t directly buy what you’re selling but can build the business case for it within their company. If they convert on your page from a specific ad, then you can pass a hidden value like “Persona = Influencer.” Then you could, of course, use the Persona Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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field to tailor follow-up content like “8 ways to sell your boss on selling more stuff.” Really, the takeaway here is that there’s no limit to what you can do— let your imagination run wild.

HubSpotted: Once a user becomes a lead and a persona is established, you can use Smart Content in HubSpot to personalize the messaging for that user on subsequent visits. For example, you could replace a generic headline and subhead with something like, “Howdy, Clare, welcome back! Grab your free copy of our business case template.”

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Video

I doubt I need to make a very strong case for video. Video conversion powerhouse Vidyard reports that 59% of decision-makers say video is their preferred learning format. The HubSpot workflow video tutorial I created above took just a few short minutes to produce, which is pretty quick relative to the time it would take to write a detailed explanation. Sure, that’s a very casual example. But you get the point about video. Most people in the world have a camera in their pocket and an internet connection to upload content. So video is here to stay play. Whether or not to leverage video on your landing pages is up to you, but here’s some quick advice if you plan to use this medium. Define the Purpose First, there are a few methods for implementing video on your landing pages: •

In place of the hero image, which I personally don’t recommend— more on that later… keep reading :)

As a company overview

For a product demo

To showcase customer testimonials

Keep It Short and Sweet Lowe’s famously managed to impart nuggets of home improvement advice in only six seconds of video, affectionately referred to as the “Fix in Six” series. That’s probably a little short for a B2B landing

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page. That said, resist the temptation to make anything over 60–90 seconds. If you sell something that takes longer than that to explain, make your own video series with several videos highlighting a specific benefit or solution. Then you can pick and choose what’s best to use on individual pages. Smile for the Camera! Only about 10% of human-to-human communication relates to the words you say. The other 90% or so is in your tone and body language, stuff that gets completely lost in translation on every webpage ever—unless there’s a video ;)

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The Silent Coversion Killer: Page Speed It AMAZES me that page speed is still so often completely ignored. It’s not even mentioned in the overwhelming majority of articles and research on how a landing page design affects conversion. But the reality of anything other than lightning-fast load time is sobering. Google talks a lot about page speed. Here are two quick stats from the web overlord: •

Roughly 1 in 5 users will never, ever return to a slow site.

Pages that load on a mobile device in 2 seconds versus 3 seconds experience a 27% higher conversion rate.

And a classic note from Amazon: •

For every additional second a page takes to load, Amazon loses $1.6B in sales annually.

Plus, we have a fascinating finding from our very own Camille Bosley who is also pretty jazzed about HubSpot. Here’s a mini case study: •

When we migrated a client’s key landing page from LeadPages to HubSpot, the page immediately began to convert at 29% compared to 17% previously. We rebuilt the landing page in HubSpot exactly as it had been designed in LeadPages, so the only difference was page speed.

Yep—that’s a 59% increase in conversion rate that’s solely attributable to how quickly the page loads! Yet we marketers hardly ever talk about page speed. You can have the most brilliant landing page that could convert at a rate well into the double digits… if only it would load. And I’m not trying to scare you. I really just want you to know this from the very bottom of my heart. Masterclass in B2B SaaS: Landing Pages

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How to Improve Page Load Speed So what’s a marketer to do? You can start with a page speed tester. Use one that gives you a grade or some kind of benchmark. We like GTMetrix a lot because it’s both detailed and free. If your prized landing pages load slowly, there are some quick things you can do as a non-developer that should help. Do them all once so you can see a clear before and after:

  1. Revise your file size. This is particularly useful for images. A lot of folks grab stock photography in the largest size and simply don’t know to optimize their files. If your page is slow, this is likely a very guilty culprit. Find an image compressor online—there are a ton to choose from. Compress and re-upload your files. Also, resize them while you’re at it. No website needs an image that’s 4,000 px x 3,000 px. Believe it or not, the maximum width should only be 1,440 px.
  2. Be conservative with the bling. Sure, it looks cool when things slide or spin as you scroll, but keep the pizazz to a minimum. Those effects use a whole separate file or group of files. Let your awesome design stands on its own with minimal bloat :)
  3. Slay the autoplay. You want your total page size to be under 1 MB. A 30-second video will require about 10 MB. The math just… doesn’t work. Video is good. A video in place of the hero image is generally not good. Move them inline and require them to be clicked or tapped to view. And consider hiding them on mobile devices, where video can take twice as long to load and play.

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HubSpotted: Once you optimize images that you’ve previously added to HubSpot landing pages, you can replace the images in HubSpot with these simple steps:

  1. Go to Marketing > Files and Folders.
  2. Find the file you optimized and click on it.
  3. Click the “Replace” button.

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Mobile Optimization

This is an important topic to consider but is actually a little nuanced when it comes to B2B landing pages, especially for SaaS. Where most of the web is going mobile, business people still tend to utilize a desktop experience. For example, with email, it’s very common for recipients to first view a message first on a mobile device and then move to desktop to click through or download an asset. Many web design shops take a “mobile-first” approach. And I advocate this because it matters a lot to have a superior mobile experience, and the Google Goddesses will reward you no matter what your site is about. My advice is to design for the experience the majority of your traffic is looking for. Google Analytics will tell you the breakout of your users between desktop and devices. Armed with that data, you can easily determine whether the level of effort it would take to do things like hide videos and other elements on mobile devices is worth it for only, say, 5% of your traffic (unless that happens to be the 5% that converts). If all else fails, pick a minimalist layout for your SaaS landing page that naturally lends well to both a mobile and desktop experience.

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Conclusion

Phew… We covered a lot of ground! I hope you learned everything you need and more to go about the business of building awesome landing pages for your business. It can be tough to get started and even tougher to revisit the landing pages you may already have. Just know that when it comes to best practices for SaaS landing pages, we’ve got your back. And if you have any questions or want to talk shop about HubSpot (because we obviously love to), drop us a line at hubspot@webmechanix.com.

About the Author

Clare is Head of Growth at WebMechanix and has been a SaaS marketer for over a decade at a diverse array of software companies. She is passionate about the power of using sales and marketing technology to save time and optimize the user experience. In her spare time, she goes to lots of concerts, seeks to make the world a better place, and adores her darling dog, Sunshine.

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About WebMechanix WebMechanix is a performance-based digital marketing firm on a mission to help middle-market companies move needles faster, more meaningfully, and more sustainably than any comparable solution on the market.

Founded in 2009 by Chris Mechanic and Arsham Mirshah, the company is headquartered in the Baltimore-Washington region. Today, WebMechanix is one of the fastest-growing digital forces on the scene. This exponential growth is fueled by the company’s focus on deeply understanding and exceeding unique client needs to measurably impact business results. The agency is ranked #85 in the world by clutch.co. WebMechanix is also a Google Premier Partner and HubSpot Diamond Certified Agency Partner, and consistently ranks on the Inc. 5000 list.

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