Day 3 – Creating the Landing Pages for your Campaign

Welcome to Day 3 of the ‘How to run a Valentine’s Day Promotion Campaign’ workshop.  This workshop runs between 27th January to 17th February 2010.  Designed specifically for Zen Cart store owners, each day we will focus on one task to guide you as you run a Valentine’s Day promotion campaign.

Today we are looking at getting your online store itself ready for your Valentine’s Day Promotion Campaign.  This means making sure your campaign offers are promoted to all visitors when they visit your store.

blog_post_edit Jump to today’s task – Creating the Landing Pages for your Campaign

Let’s quickly recap on yesterday’s task first.  Yesterday we talked about implementing your Valentine’s Day Promotion Campaign Plan in your online store.  For example, if your promotion campaign offers free shipping for all orders over $75, online shoppers expect to be able to see your offer at the time of checkout, reflected in the total order amount.  This means configuring Zen Cart to support your promotions and testing the promotions in action.  Once you start promoting your Valentine’s Day offers, you need to be confident that customers are getting the experience that they are expecting.  Which brings us to today’s task – ‘setting the scene’ so that your store is ready for the marketing and promotion activities in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.

What is a landing page?

Your online store would see a certain number of visitors each day.  These visitors reach your store in a variety of different ways.  Some visitors may follow a link to your store from a search engine results page while others may have your store’s address already bookmarked.  Or they may have followed a link from another website or they may have clicked on a link in an email message.  It is also more than likely that your visitors do not always enter your store via the home page.  Search engine results, links from web sites and bookmarks could take your visitors straight to a product information page, your ‘About Us’ page or a category listing page.

I’m sure you can see the problem if your Valentine’s Day offer is only displayed on your home page.  Potentially, visitors could enter directly to a product page in your store and then leave again without ever knowing that you were running a not-to-be-missed promotion.

During a promotion campaign, all aspects of your marketing will involve a link to your store.  You may be tempted to use your main store address (home page) however this is where the power of landing pages is revealed.  Unlike other visits to your store, visits as a result of your promotion campaign can be directed to a specific page and you control what page that would be.  You decide which page you would like visitors to ‘land’ on and generally a link to a purpose-built page, a specific ‘landing page’ will yield better results than a link to your home page.  Don’t assume customers will spend time searching for the products or offer details that you have highlighted in your email.


Tips for effective landing pages

The goal of your landing page is to guide the visitor through selecting a product and moving through the checkout process.

  • The landing page should be the next step along from the email message or advert about your promotion, not just a repeat of the same information.
  • The landing page should be what was promised in the email message or advert.  In other words if the link is for ‘more details’, the landing page should provide additional details.  If the link is ‘buy now’, the customer should have the ability to Add to Cart or Buy Now directly from the landing page.
  • During a specific promotion campaign, the landing page will tend to be themed.  In this case we will include images and content relevant for Valentine’s Day.  However, be careful to keep the general tone, your logo and the main elements consistent to ensure a connection with your store.

Another effective strategy is to think creatively, beyond just the promotion details.  Popular landing pages have included things like a short video collage of a number of people answering ‘what is love?’, a range of responses from staff on ‘favourite Valentine’s Day gift’, a fun, every-answer-is-correct, love quiz or even a range of ‘how we met’ stories or ‘how he proposed’ videos from customers.


Options in Zen Cart for Landing Pages

  1. EZ Page

    A new EZ Page provides the most scope in designing a brand new landing page.   You can combine themed images or photographs with Valentine’s Day content as well as highlighting products, special offers and/or discount coupon codes to create a whole ‘Valentine’s Day experience’ for your visitors.  Include ways for your visitors to be able to ‘connect’ to your store, engage them to stick around and want to browse your store, even provide them with something that they may be keen to want to send to all their friends.  Embedding a funny and relevant YouTube video can be great for this.  Just remember to keep the goal in mind – visitors still need to be able to get to those Buy Now or Add to Cart buttons easily.

  2. Campaign-specific Category Page

    For promotions with selected products on sale, an option for a landing page is the category listing page for a campaign specific category.  In Zen Cart Admin > Catalog > Categories/Products, create a new category.  Think about using a category name that may be helpful in attracting additional visitors from search engines such as Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas or Valentine’s Day Gifts under $50.  Then link your selected products to the new category and style the category name separately with CSS to make it stand out from the other categories.

  3. Home Page – Define Page

    The home page can be easily customised using the Define Page Editor in Zen Cart Admin under the Tools menu.  The editor allows you to add text, images, embed flash movies and more without the need for editing template files.  The contents is added to the Home Page within the section indexDefaultMainContent.

  4. Zen Cart Banners

    Using the in-built Zen Cart Banner Manager, display your Valentine’s Day campaign offers using one or a series of banners.  My tip, banners are a very effective way of promoting special offers easily however I would recommend a much deeper banner than traditional advertising banner sizes.  The banners then look less like ‘banners’ and more like a design element of your store and less likely to be ignored due to ‘banner blindness’.  For this same reason I would recommend Header Position 2 or Header Position 3 over Header Position 1.  Check the default locations of Zen Cart Banners.

  5. Zen Cart Sideboxes

    Using the Zen Cart Add On Blank Sidebox,  create and style a sidebox to promote your Valentine’s Day campaign offers.

  6. Template Changes

    You may choose to install a Valentine’s Day themed template for the period of the promotion campaign and/or customise template files to suit your specific campaign offers.  Always remember to take a backup of the template files before modifying as a precaution if there are any problems and also to make reverting back to the non-Valentine’s Day template files quick and easy.


Today’s Task

  1. Select your preferred approach for a landing page – home page, custom page, or custom category, home page with index define page info, home page with banner, home page with sidebox or home page with custom template changes.
  2. Customise your landing page as required.

Coming up later today – Valentine’s Day themed images and banners for you to incorporate in your landing pages. You may choose to use them as is, use them as inspiration, customise them with your store or promotion details or you may choose to ignore them all together 🙂

Good luck!  Any questions, please use the comments section below.



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