Email Marketing Basics: What Is a Landing Page? Everything You Need to Know

Melanie Balke
June 17, 2024

Starting your email marketing journey is scary, and it’s even scarier when you don’t know what everything is.

Email marketing is an extension of digital marketing and another part of your online presence. Alongside its companion channels, a well-rounded email marketing strategy supports an ongoing source of growth. However, these marketing efforts must have a funnel. You must send your customers somewhere, and that’s the landing page!

Now, before I begin, I want to be clear: Landing pages are not optional.

A well-designed landing page is the difference between success and failure. It divides engaged consumers from disinterested prospects. Think of it as the equivalent of a phone number in old-fashioned traditional print ads.

So, what is a landing page?

The Basics of Landing Pages

An airplane on a runway. The loading bay is docked against the right side of the plane. "The Basics: What Is a Landing Page?"

The second thing you must know about landing pages is that they are not the same as a website homepage. They’re targeted pages with specific actions. Yes, that’s “actions” — as in multiple actions!

Many erroneously think of landing pages as exclusive e-commerce features. They picture storefronts full of specific products or one-click order forms. However, a one-trick pony is rarely adored by digital marketing professionals. Effective landing pages perform one of many jobs, including conversions.

How Do Users Find Landing Pages?

While users may stumble upon landing pages through search engine optimization, most dedicated landing pages are part of specific marketing campaigns. Generally, a user finds a landing page by clicking a campaign’s call-to-action link (CTA).

How Is a Homepage Different?

Unlike a homepage, a landing page has few distractions. A well-optimized landing page may have only one link to the desired action or be restricted to a small selection of items or services. These restrictions may seem contradictory, but the limited options are more likely to convert visitors.

Nonetheless, both have similar spots within your sales funnel, resting firmly near the entry to your sales process. Both web pages also have pre-planned business goals.

How Do Landing Pages Track Visitors?

Most digital marketing platforms include integrations to track click-throughs. Alternatively, your marketing strategy may only track how often the CTA button gets clicked. Both are valid ways to tally information in your marketing automation platform.

However, redundancy is critical. Clever marketers build landing pages with internal tracking to flag visitors from your marketing funnel. This simple act promotes increased accuracy and circumvents concerns from more private users. It also decreases inaccuracies caused by reusable or “recycled” landing pages.

Can Any Web Page Be a Landing Page?

Redundancy also separates your organic traffic from your digital marketing campaigns. Using unique tokens for each campaign will further decrease metric confusion.

While it would be nice to create a dedicated landing page for every campaign, that’s not feasible. There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, and landing pages are no different. Moreover, not every campaign requires a fully developed landing page. Often, you can use  “regular” web pages. You can even use an all-purpose sales page to encourage users to take action.

Some common “catch-all” examples of non-unique landing pages include:

  • Blog posts
  • Contact forms
  • Individual product pages
  • Product categories
  • Videos

Why Should You Use Landing Pages?

An airplane taxiing down the runway. "The Benefits: 5 Reasons to Use Landing Pages."

Knowing that, many jump to the following question: Why should I use dedicated landing pages?

Often, an advertising campaign can skate by with CTAs linking to product categories or blog posts. Sometimes, you can even use social media posts as landing pages. So, the standalone page may seem useless. After all, it takes time and money to develop an effective landing page. You’ll need someone to program the content and populate the page with gorgeous visuals. You may even improve your search engine rankings by generating more web traffic.

Certainly, potential customers won’t care either way!

Well, don’t jump to conclusions; that standalone web page still has its place on your website!

1. Target Specific Content

Above all else, a landing page is a highly targeted, purpose-built tool. It’s the difference between a run-of-the-mill hammer and a jeweler’s hammer. One could work for that delicate metalworking, but it probably won’t get the job done properly.

A good landing page has one goal. It funnels users to a specific endpoint and boosts your inbound marketing strategy. Moreover, it has a dedicated landing page experience. For example, a conversion-based page often has one prominent purchase link. Likewise, lead gen landing pages often center around a simple sign-up form.

2. Improve Metric Performance

Landing pages work because they’re specific. That streamlined funnel emphasizes the most important content and increases conversion rates. And a high-converting landing page won’t be limited to a single metric; it will also boost your other key performance indicators (KPIs).

3. Streamline Operations

However, it’s not enough to improve metrics. An ideal tactic should be worth its operational costs. If your $50 earns only $25 in conversion rates, you’re looking at a worthless marketing strategy.

Fortunately, landing pages are an efficient and cost-effective way to convert visitors. While they may have once been a pain to set up, modern landing page builders have streamlined their creation. You can use pre-made ideas and recycle landing page templates to encourage visitors’ interactions. Sometimes, you can even copy existing landing pages to amplify your efforts.

4. Meet and Exceed Expectations

Consider, too, that landing pages provide potential customers with an ideal starting point. In some respects, they act as an icebreaker. A successful landing page delivers what the user expects — be it a discounted item, informative content, or subscription page. It props up the marketing campaign by indulging the whims of your target audience.

5. Fulfill Multiple Goals

Finally, thanks to the many types of landing pages, these marketing tools can fill multiple roles.

You don’t necessarily need separate landing pages for every product, but you’ll want dedicated pages for high-value marketing campaigns.


Well, let me explain…

5 Types of Landing Pages for Your Business

The London Underground. "The Uses: 5 Useful Types of Landing Pages."

I’ll begin where every brainstorming meeting starts: the goal.

You should always have a goal in mind when creating landing pages. Otherwise, you’re bound to craft an unwieldy, all-purpose abomination. Remember: You’re not making a homepage. You want purpose-driven destinations for your audience.

Your goal will drive your landing page copy and design. It dictates the desired action and determines the page’s final destination. For the less creatively inclined, that goal also helps you determine the page title.

There are countless ways to use landing pages, and I can’t cover them all. So, I’ve narrowed the field down and outlined the five most popular and widely applicable examples in digital marketing.

1. Click-Through Landing Pages

One of the most basic ways to utilize a landing page builder is to create multiple click-through landing pages. These optimized web pages capitalize on prospective customers’ excitement and funnel it toward a defined end goal — usually a conversion. They may integrate elements from other web pages, but their primary focus is hype-centric.

Click-through landing pages are intermediaries between prospective consumers and their “target.” Many are tied to email efforts or social media posts, although you can also optimize the landing page’s SEO to create an inbound marketing funnel. Anyone looking at a click-through landing page is already interested in your offer; to re-introduce the basics would be pointless. Instead, focus on catchy bullet points and emphatic language to hammer home those pain points.

An optimized click-through page will include — at a minimum:

  • A clear CTA leading to the target destination (e.g., a purchase page or sign-up form)
  • Educational content highlighting the value of the product or service
  • A valuable offer or lead magnet to further entice paying customers

Notably, these are not sales pages. You may include some pricing information, but your goal is anticipation. Focus on building readers’ expectations and excitement, then introduce the purchase page with your CTA.

2. Lead Generation Landing Pages

Sometimes, you’re more interested in growing your audience. In these times of need, you’ll want a handy landing page form and some lead generation tactics. If this seems overwhelming, you might want to consider how to outsource your digital marketing to ensure your strategies are as effective as possible.

A lead generation landing page provides customers with opportunities to subscribe to your content. It may be bundled with direct-response marketing campaigns or in-person events. Alternatively, it may be a generic, perennial source of growth. Either way, your lead capture page should include:

  • Adequate verification (or double opt-in) to prevent email list bloat
  • Clear instructions and a pre-planned confirmation flow
  • An engaging value proposition to motivate consumers
  • A functional sign-up form with appropriate fields
  • Strategic information gathering to protect your audience’s privacy

Some brands may need multiple landing pages for different lists.

For example, you may want to separate general consumers from your wholesale buyers. In that case, you’d create a landing page for each audience and link the forms to different segments. Alternatively, you could create a squeeze page — a more focused, bite-sized subset of lead generation landing pages — to capture your general audience.

3. Pricing Pages

Informative content is often the impetus for building landing pages, and pricing pages are no exception. These web pages do precisely what they claim to: inform customers about a product’s pricing options. They’re usually deployed by software-as-a-service (SaaS) brands with multiple pricing tiers, although anyone can use them.

Conventional landing page design mandates defined “zones” (or columns) for different pricing tiers, and most marketers add separate CTAs for each. A final CTA, which links to a general purchase or inquiry page, is often added at the bottom of the page. However, you can be more creative. At a minimum, these pages often include:

  • Informative content and (potentially) expandable FAQ sections to keep readers engaged
  • On-page tracking to evaluate patterns and user behavior
  • Optimized content for search engines to promote organic traffic
  • Short, simple bullet points to explain each pricing tier

4. Sales Pages

When creating separate landing pages, businesses should also consider the medium’s ability to deliver long-form content. A sales page capitalizes on a landing page’s ample space to secure that coveted conversion. It recognizes its place within the sales funnel and acts accordingly, assuaging any final fears consumers may have.

The most successful sales pages usually begin with informative interactive or video-based content, although neither is strictly necessary. It’s more important to hit the “essentials” than spend years polishing your presentation to meet the standards of industry giants. Ideally, your checklist should include:

  • A direct CTA to the respective service or item purchase page
  • Customer testimonials and social proof to emphasize the product’s value
  • Informative content (usually an FAQ) to reassure prospective buyers

5. Splash Pages

My final category isn’t actually a landing page per se, but it’s often confused for one.

A splash page is a full-page popup or separate web page preceding your primary website content. It’s often used to advertise upcoming sales, promote “exclusive” deals, and verify user information. Most splash pages are superfluous additions with varying functional impacts on the site, although some are necessities.

Alcoholic beverage brands are legally required to have impassable splash pages with age verification. Similarly, cannabis companies must verify a user’s location before allowing access.

Functionally, splash pages may add or subtract content to suit users’ location preferences. Many international companies use splash pages to ascertain and apply the reader’s preferred language. These pages often include forms, interactive elements, and links to relevant content. It may even have links to a particularly high-converting landing page.

Many splash pages adhere to landing page best practices, although they’re rarely optimized for search engines. After all, they’re not technically part of the website. Brands may even choose to hide their splash pages from search indexing.

Let the Professionals Create Your Landing Pages

Overlapping leaves. "Get a Boost: Let the Pros Create a Landing Page for You."

You can spend months scrolling through countless landing page examples. You can study the art of the squeeze page for a year. You can debate your new landing page for weeks, never getting anything done, and you won’t reap the benefits.

So, forget the work. Stop seeking out perfect landing page examples. Instead, hire a team of marketing experts.

I founded The Email Marketers to give every business a chance to succeed. My hand-picked team of professionals has tackled countless challenges, including landing page optimization, and they’re ready to elevate your brand. They know how many landing pages your site needs and how to handle the search engines. They’ll seamlessly integrate your new content with other pages on your site.

Skip the stress and hassle. Schedule a free strategy session to learn more about how The Email Marketers can help your brand improve its landing pages.

You’ll get more than a landing page builder. You’ll get on-demand access to a team of professional email marketing experts. You’ll find ways to make lead capture worries a thing of the past. More importantly, you’ll have a chance to start a lucrative email marketing journey.