Marketo Lead Management Review
Review of Landing Pages and Forms
Leads are often sourced on website landing pages. Marketo uses a WYSIWIG tool to create landing pages and permits more experienced web designers to insert HTML and cascading style sheets (CSSs). Key landing page functionality includes flexible A/B testing, forms which recognize known visitors, progressive profiling and branding using subdomains on the Marketo network. There's a sad reality that approximately half of all B2B marketers don't A/B or otherwise test their landing pages for conversion optimization. The biggest factor behind this lost opportunity is the time required for testing and measurement. Marketo's A/B automation and reporting automates much of these tasks to help marketers make improvements which increase their conversions as well as their Google PPC scores. More specifics include the following:
- Landing pages can be created with the visual editor, from templates or by importing HTML. However, uploading HTML will lose certain functionality such as progressive profiling. If a landing page template is updated, the updates cascade through to landing pages based on the template.
- A/B testing can review both content and flow. This is helpful in understanding which content and flow paths deliver the highest conversions. While A/B testing is available for both emails and landing pages, it is not available for forms testing.
- Landing pages have limited personalization capability. They can pre-populate data values based on the referring URL parameters, but are not tailorable based upon lead database values.
- Forms are developed separately from landing pages so that they can be shared and reused among landing pages. Interestingly, Salesforce.com fields are available within the Marketo form designer. Upon a form submit, Marketo uses the email address to determine if the lead already exists. Administrators can define fields other than email address to determine if the lead is a duplicate.
- Some field intelligence and error handling can be assigned to fields on a form—such as making fields required, validating an email format or excluding freemail accounts. The system cannot confirm email addresses are actually valid. Forms can also deny access by the visitor's domain (i.e. for competitors).
- Landing page forms can pre-populate known visitor data which increases personalization and form conversions and supports progressive profiling—the process of gathering incremental information from known contacts over multiple website visits to continuously add data points to the contact record.
- Progressive profiling is easy to setup and particularly helpful for increasing landing page conversions. Rather than ask too many questions on a single form which is proven to decrease conversion rates, campaigns can use forms which are shortened to ask only the minimum essential questions, get the lead converted, and then pose additional questions on subsequent lead visits. Forms are intelligent enough to suppress form questions and fields where those data points are already known about the lead and instead substitute new questions and fields in order to grow contact intelligence over multiple website visits. A downside of Marketo forms is that they cannot be personalized by visitor. Nonetheless, keeping initial forms to a minimum number of fields, and steadily requesting add-on information in subsequent visits, is a proven best practice to increase form submit conversions while building out the contact profile.
- Landing pages can be hosted by the website owner on their own website to display the page within the brands domain, keep control of page utilities and maintain website analytics, however, certain functions such as A/B testing, form data population, progressive profiling and more will not work. While some marketing automation software vendors permit customers to display the vendor hosted landing pages and forms within an I-Frame on their website, this option is not available for Marketo customers. For these reasons landing pages are almost always hosted on the Marketo network using a sub-domain with the brands name and the Marketo domain (i.e. customername.marketo.com).
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