Stay Informed

Sign up to receive exclusive first looks, blogs, and whitepapers.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Campus Tours and Info Requests. More Student Apps.

We’ve all been there. You’ve created a landing page and you see people going there, but nothing’s coming in… What do you do?

We looked all over the internet and compiled tactics from HubSpot, UnBounce, MarketingLand, and Forbes to bring you the best “How-To” to get better conversions from your landing pages.

First, understand your goals.

One of the biggest problems with landing pages is that they lack a single, clear goal! Multiple offers may seem like a good idea, and sometimes your audience can handle it, but often they just confuse your reader… Do I sign up for a book? Do I subscribe to their blog? Too much!! I’m not doing any of it.

So the first step is to define what you want your audience to do. Here’s a really good example of a clear CTA (Call-To-Action):

Good landing page example - Wistia

Even if you clicked here through an ad, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do here.

Second, use a clear design that plays well on mobile and TEST.

What does it mean to be mobile optimized? It means all the pictures, videos, etc. you have on your landing page should shrink to the size of the device being used, the text should be big enough so people don’t have to zoom (at LEAST 14pt font), and try the “fat fingers” test. If you can’t click on the smallest button with “fat fingers” then you need to make it bigger. Here’s an example from Unbounce of what you want it to look like:


Using a “clear design” means you shouldn’t have anything on there that would distract your students from following the Call-To-Action. The goal is to get them to go to the next step, whatever that is. Anything else is stopping you from achieving that goal. This is especially important when someone is engaging your content on a mobile device.

But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from providing quality content, benefits, and the value proposition of your college on the landing page.  It’s a delicate balance between providing enough content that’s practical and helpful to the reader, enough to make them want to give you their contact information or take the next step and keeping it simple.

You can do this by minimizing your navigation bar and having only the essentials (features, benefits, call-to-action) above-the-fold on your landing page.

Here’s an example from Muzzle – an app for mac.

Muzzle Clear Landing Page Without Distractions


And don’t forget to test! A/B testing is one of the best ways to get better results without wasting a ton of time. Try different wording on your call to action or different colored buttons. Even a drastically different headline can make a huge difference in learning which approach resonates with your audience the best.

We’ve personally seen the success of using this approach with our own campaigns. Each audience is different, so though we give you our example below your audience may resonate with different wording.


Third, give benefits and build trust.

Do you give your information out to just anybody? No. You’ll use a fake email before you engage with your real one! All because you’re not sure what you’re getting when you give it out.

When it comes to your school, speak to the benefits of being a part of your mailing list – or starting the application process. Or maybe start with something with a little less commitment – “Email a counselor” or “Watch our Hype Video.”

You need to communicate in 3 seconds why what you offer is valuable enough that your audience should give you their information. What are they getting in return? Be sure that your offer is compelling. What is valuable to your audience? And why should they choose to give their information to you versus to one of your competitors?

You need to include, in a concise way, what differentiates you, what makes you unique (USP).  Maybe it’s that your college has the most gorgeous mountain vistas one could imagine – well exploit that – add in images of that. Paint the picture.

For many incoming freshmen, don’t underestimate the power of a free t-shirt if they sign up for your open house event and actually attend.  Or maybe you offer a shout-out to that student on your university’s social media platforms.  Don’t underestimate the power of giving out a little social love.

Now… How can you build trust?

One of the easiest ways is to include a phone number, another option is to offer a live chat feature.  Live chat providers like HelpSquad or LiveChat Inc. could be possible resources to explore or perhaps your CRM provider provides a chat feature to consider.  Research from Kissmetrics has shown this to be true. Even just adding a phone number can create a .5% increase in sign ups.

Other ways you can build trust is by including testimonials – people who go there, have already gone through the process, and love it.

We’ve created a sample as an example:

Sample testimonial - testimonials make a big difference to credibility and building trust

Professional website design is another way to demonstrate credibility– it shows you’ve invested the time and money, you really care about what people think.  Privacy statements – show you value your audience’s information and you’ll protect it like it was your own.


Last, measure and repeat.

The way that we recommend to measure the success of your campaigns is against a goal.

Decide how many full conversions (applications received, information requests, tour sign-ups, etc.) you need to consider your campaign a success.

You might be amazed at how often goals are NOT defined going into a campaign.  Your goal might not be enrollment, applications, or RSVPs.  Your goal might be to increase traffic to your website by 5-10% over the course of the campaign.  Or you might aim to lower your site’s bounce rate by providing more engaging and practical content to your prospects.

Whatever your goal is, try to define it before the campaign starts.  And if you don’t know what your goal should be, talk to your digital partner or with your internal marketing team and set a goal to try and achieve.  That campaign might act as a benchmark for future campaigns if you see that you were just shy of your goal or you blew it out of the water!

“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time” – Zig Ziglar

Set a time period in which you’d like to achieve your goal – 1 month, 3 months, 6 months.

Now, work backwards: Say it’s 30 applications received within a month. You can break that down even further to a weekly goal to 7 or 8 each week.

As you run your campaign watch how many you’re receiving and tweak as you go. If you find that you’re not seeing your goal of 7-8 applications each week, take a look at where your prospects are falling short of submitting an application.

Take a look at the bounce rate on your landing page and use analytics to see if students might be getting to your application start page but then exit early because the prospect of creating an account is too confusing.

Make adjustments, or optimizations as we like to call it, and determine how you can remove any barrier that’s getting in the way.

And sometimes remember, you might need to adjust your goal.  That’s ok, it’s your goal.  What you determine is success for the investment is ultimately success for you.  If you’re setting a goal, then you’re ahead of most of the crowd.  Setting your goals and monitoring will help you to know if your campaign goals are realistic and to make sure you don’t get to the end of your campaign and say, “What happened?!”


Like this post? Are you busy and want more like it delivered straight to your inbox?


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.