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Engagement pages versus landing pages

Internet Marketing and SEO, Marketing and PR, social media, social media tips

Engagement pages versus landing pages

This is another (unedited) excerpt from Guerrilla Social Media Marketing a new book by Jay Conrad Levinson and Shane Gibson set for release in September 2010.

Engagement pages are designed to capture hearts and minds, not just e-mail addresses.

Traditional internet marketers rely heavily on controlling the behavior of their visitors. This means reducing options and choices. What is commonly referred to as a squeeze page is a good example of this. Squeeze pages usually are completely void of navigation buttons or links to other pages or websites, and give the visitor one of two choices: to read the marketing copy and then make a choice to either fill in their personal information and give consent or to leave. Although this will capture a percentage of visitors who are ready, willing or able to buy or give consent right now, it also repels visitors who could have become good clients if they had only been engaged in a credible manner.

Engagement pages have some similarities to a squeeze page, in that their purpose is also to gain consent and generate subscribers. The difference is: the engagement page offers the visitor multiple options, mediums and pathways to learn more about how the guerrilla’s business can benefit and add value to the visitor’s life or business. It also provides multiple subscription options.

As a reader what are your thoughts on this? Do you use landing pages or engagement pages? What is your impression or sentiment toward organizations that funnel you into squeeze pages?

  • seanlocal

    I absolutely agree with the concept of engagement pages – it's in line with giving content away and establishing yourself as valuable for the end user. That value will keep the user coming back for more and lead to more permission/access to be granted/given to the marketer.

    Traditional companies, like Yellow Pages or Newspaper media companies, have long since been against this. They want to control information or customers believing that this will provider higher leverage when it comes time to sell the customer something. As the web opens up, however, and as it becomes increasingly easy to access content and this takes away the power controlling content once provided.

  • seanlocal

    I absolutely agree with the concept of engagement pages – it's in line with giving content away and establishing yourself as valuable for the end user. That value will keep the user coming back for more and lead to more permission/access to be granted/given to the marketer.

    Traditional companies, like Yellow Pages or Newspaper media companies, have long since been against this. They want to control information or customers believing that this will provider higher leverage when it comes time to sell the customer something. As the web opens up, however, and as it becomes increasingly easy to access content and this takes away the power controlling content once provided.

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  • I think it depends on the objective. If you want to build trust, want to build long-term relationships with people and invite them to be engaged with what you're about, an engagement page makes the most sense. You're also promoting trust – if people stick around long enough without jumping on one of the other options, you know they're serious about you.

    On the other hand, if you're in some kind of commodity market, you can probably make your quota through the sheer volume of visitors who just don't know any better or don't care what they sign up for. It's probably effective with a large enough sample size.

    I find engagement pages preferable, but they both have their places depending on the end goal.

  • Dave, I like your take on engagement versus squeeze marketing pages. Still, I can't help thinking that as the sheer volume of commodity (product/service) sites continue to grow, end users/customers will continue to demand and require more information to engage with. I believe the number of visitors who “just don't know any better or don't care what they sign up for” are actually shrinking – evident in the growth of user community shopping/referral networks as a niche industry.

  • Thanks, Sean.

    That commodity market on the web is definitely in decline and there's a lot of talk (and action) around the future of authentically engaging customers online. You wouldn't be in the business you're in (had a brief look at your site) and Shane wouldn't be in the business he's in if that change wasn't taking place.

    At the same time, I'm not sure that “being in decline” translates directly to being “irrelevant.” My comments are really based on that argument, but we'll definitely get to the time when that squeeze method just doesn't work at all.

    I think it's important to meet people where they're at while also being on the cutting edge. If I'm doing well with a squeeze marketing page, I don't need to rush into an entire engagement process just because it's the thing to do, even if it's inevitable. I can afford to do it right and perhaps do something innovative rather than following the trend. Conversely, if I'm not doing well with a squeeze page anymore, I need to get with it…

  • Dave, agreed – I think companies need to adapt and transition but one of the key points to transitioning successfully, and you hit the nail on the head with this, is timing. Continue working with that which as rewarded you and still is… experiment with new and innovative. Transition in phases….

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