With RezTrip, hotels can create distinct Special Offers landing pages in order to run special promotions and deals on a separate URL. Creating the page and tracking conversions is quite easy with our software, but did you know there is an art to creating a landing page so that it will drive conversions? In the design world, we call this conversion-centered design.
Oli Gardner, co-founder of conversion marketing company Unbounce, developed seven key principles of conversion-centered design, a discipline that uses persuasive design and psychological triggers to achieve a singular business goal: making that sale. Here we detail how to apply these principles to creating a stunning and highly effective landing page for a hotel special offer:
1. Attention Ratio
A simple rule to remember is that when the attention ratio goes down, conversion rates go up. When too many choices are presented to the customer, this often results in confusion and shopping cart abandonment. (We have previously detailed this phenomenon in one of our past blogs on marketing psychology.) When designing your hotel deal landing page, allow your potential customer only one option to click on–the one that allows them to book.
2. Conversion coupling
Consistency is key when it comes to conversion-centered design. Your pre-click experience (i.e. perhaps an email marketing offer or a PPC or Facebook ad), should match exactly the post-click landing page in both message and design. Use the same headlines and similar imagery so that there is continuity from when customers click on the offer to when they make it to the landing page. The benefits of conversion coupling include lower cost per click, higher ad position, better ROI, and most importantly — a higher conversion rate.
3. Contextual Design
Think of the entire landing page conversion funnel as an ongoing conversation. From the point of capture to the landing page to the point of sale, it’s important to maintain a contextual flow throughout each click. As we can see from the illustration, Zipcar’s Facebook ad promises its users not to have to deal with paying for gas or insurance. On the landing page, it answers this promise by showing how that works. If you start a conversation with your audience, make sure to finish it.
For hotels, say you run a PPC campaign for “romantic getaways in NYC.” If the ad copy playfully suggests “Cozy up with a bit of bubbly by the fireplace,” the landing page should continue that conversation by promising complimentary champagne with the booking. If you run a Facebook ad offering 15% off any booking, the landing page could reference that ad by saying “Now that you ‘Like’ us on Facebook, come and ‘Like” us in person!”
Does your landing page tell a story, and do all the parts fit together? One important thing in conversion-centered design is to make sure that your copy is free of negative words and that there are no extraneous elements that may disrupt consumer confidence and cause your visitor to abandon the landing page. For example, if you were to have a landing page for your hotel’s family getaway package, don’t include information on how the hotel is within prime distance of nightlife, bars, and clubs. Provide only the information necessary to convince the visitor that this hotel package is the right one for their needs.
When it comes to laying out the graphics, text, and imagery of your landing page, remember to keep the principle of clarity in mind. Clarity is always important in websites, and is even more so when it comes to conversion-centered design. Make sure that your landing page makes good use of whitespace and uses contrasting colors so that the call to action shines through. Consider the content hierarchy as well — remember that the message should always come before your company brand. This is especially true for hotels, where imagery really sells. Let destination and rooms photos convey what your company logo cannot.
Credibility is an extra added touch that can boost consumer confidence on a special offer landing page. For hotels, this could mean include hotel reviews and ratings, or logos of publications where the hotel has been featured in the press.
Now that you’ve created a killer landing page optimized for conversions, don’t be afraid to ask for a little extra. Once they’ve clicked on the button to check date availability, take the opportunity to present an add-on such as valet parking or late check-in, or even alternate booking policies. At RezTrip, we present these options toward the end of the booking process as a way to sweeten the deal. After the booking is complete, you may also ask if your user would like to sign up for your mailing list to hear about future offers.
Although these seven principles of conversion-centered design serve as strong guidelines for creating ideal landing pages, it’s important to remember that there is no single formula. So make sure to keep detailed statistics of every campaign, and consider A/B testing each marketing campaign that you do.
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