4 Key Conversion Tools: The ‘what, where, and when’ to use each one in your digital marketing

There’s not a lot of magic to digital marketing. In fact, most of it comes down to delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time—it really is that simple. But what about choosing the right marketing conversion tools? 

At Leadpages, we offer a number of resources on how to increase conversion rates and lead generation. But how do you know which tool is right to use at different points of your customer journey? And what tool is right for your particular campaign? 

Whether you’re looking for e-commerce CRO tips or any other industry, we’ll help you successfully navigate some of the most important conversion tools within your Leadpages account so you know exactly what tool to use and when. We’ll cover the strengths of each tool—landing pages, pop-ups, trigger links, and alert bars—and provide new ideas to put them to use in your business.  

The Basics of Leadpages’ Conversion Marketing Tools

Let’s start with an introduction to each of these handy tools.

Landing pages

A landing page refers to any one of our mobile-responsive, customizable lead pages (or conversion-optimized landing pages). A landing page is a standalone page where a visitor “lands” after an initial impression of your brand. 

For example, they might click on a social media post or a pay-per-click (PPC) ad and come to your landing page.

Pop-ups

A pop-up appears as a window when site visitors click on a designated link, image, button, or text. This is where potential subscribers opt-in to whatever you’re offering on your landing page, like downloading a free eBook or signing up for a webinar. 

Trigger links

Trigger links allow your current subscribers to join a list or sign up for new offerings with just one click. A subscriber doesn’t have to opt-in again since they’ve already done that in the past (and are already included in your email database). In plain English, this type of is basically a one-click sign-up page or link.

Alert bars

An alert bar allows you to capture your audience’s attention and boost conversions in a non-intrusive, mobile-friendly way. Without punting your visitors away from primary content on a page, alert bars pop up while a visitor still remains on your ever-so-important page. 

All four tools are tailor-made to generate leads for your business, but they each have different functions and uses. So how do you know which of these tools to utilize at any given point of your sales funnel?

You’ve come to the right place… Below, we’ll walk you through the specific uses and benefits of each tool. Then, we’ll simplify the decision-making process so you can start implementing these slick conversion tactics… Like right now.

Landing pages

Landing pages is our core tool at Leadpages. In fact, each month small business owners and marketers create tens of thousands of landing pages on our platform.

Conversion-optimized and mobile-responsive, our pre-designed landing pages are the best way for small business marketers to make the most of their digital marketing efforts. Examples of lead pages include:

Want to see a full gallery of pre-designed pages? Feel free to lose yourself in these enticing and oh-so-pretty landing page templates.

Unlike what you’ll find with other landing page builders, our templates can be completely customized to fit your business: simply input your content, connect to your favorite marketing tools and/or email service provider, and you’re ready for launch.

When to use landing pages

1 – When you’re selling or making an offer

You want to use a lead page when:

  1.  You’re selling a product or service
  2.  You want to own your post-click (post-advertisement) experience
  3.  You need more space to explain the offer

Landing pages tend to be full-size web pages, while other tools come in other forms. This means you have more room to play around with copy, content, and images of the page. This comes in handy if you need additional ‘web real estate’ to convince your visitor to purchase or opt-in.

Say you want someone to purchase a $1999 yoga retreat. That’s a high ticket item, so you would likely need to include more content in order to overcome some barriers to conversion. So, you should educate your audience about what’s included and the features/benefits in order to justify the price point through a landing page.

But it doesn’t always have to do with justifying a price. You may even be offering something for free, but you might need a little extra content to persuade your customer. For example, you’re offering a free webinar. They would have to spend an hour of their Saturday morning watching your webinar, so you need to show them the value they would get by signing up.

Basically, you want to use the length of a landing page if you’re asking the visitor to invest their money or time in your brand.

This is especially important if the customer is new and doesn’t yet have a relationship with you or your brand. In general, “cold” traffic needs a little more content in order to be convinced, which is where landing pages shine.

2 – When you’re replacing a web page

You can actually use landing pages to replace entire sections of your website. For example, you might use a “coming soon” page as a filler to get people jazzed about a new product or blog launch. Or you can use a landing page as a 404 (not found) page to capture more customer data!

An example: Take a look at our current Leadpages 404 page as an example. We don’t just let our customers fall off the grid when they reach an unknown page. We actually use a landing page to redirect them where they might be looking and we then encourage them to download more resources.

Never waste an opportunity to grab leads!

Pop-ups

Pop-ups are a favorite amongst marketers because they’re easy to implement and highly effective at converting traffic. In fact, we estimate pop-ups improve opt-in rates by an average of 30%. Our own blog has increased opt-ins by 32% simply by switching from a regular opt-in to a pop-up.

Pop-ups are windows that encourage your customer to make an immediate decision about opting-in. Case in point: when a box pops up, a visitor has two options. One, to sign up, or two,  to exit the screen. This means they are at the micro-moment of a decision—and you have just a few words (and seconds) to convince them to take action.

Pop-ups are so impactful because they streamline the opt-in process. Visitors can quickly and securely opt-in in just a few steps. And the easier it is for them to opt-in, the more likely they will.

#DYK a pop-up can improve opt-in rates by an average ~30%. Click To Tweet

This type of marketing conversion tool calls for an immediate decision. While other areas on a page are tucked away amongst other content with a more passive call to action. But a pop-up forces the visitor to decide between signing up and exiting the screen. If they see enough value in signing up, they will right then and there.

When to use pop-ups

1 – When driving traffic from a webpage

A lot of marketers link homepages, blogs, and other website pages to landing pages in order to capture more leads. 

While this can help capture more leads, it also pulls customers away from the core website. Pop-ups help avoid this catch-22. Our research shows that transitioning visitors from a webpage to a pop-up actually increases conversions and retains the visitor longer. That’s because a box pops up then and there, forcing them to make a decision if they want to stay on the site.

Why not try it out? If you’re already sending visitors from a webpage to a landing page, try an A/B test. Send half of the visitors to the landing page, and the other half to a pop-up. See which ends up working better for you!

2 – When utilizing sidebars or banners

Many websites have some sort of sidebar or banner, often offering a promotion or stating a call to action. Whatever the case, you are probably already using one of these methods to encourage visitors to hand over their email address in some way.

Pop-ups enhance the conversion rate of sidebars and banners. Rather than a static call to action sitting on your webpage, a form pops up on their screen and demands an immediate response.  

This also works well for images. People tend to click on photos that intrigue them. That makes it a great opportunity for a pop-up because your site is further engaging with visitors who are showing interest in your images or buttons.

3 – When blogging or guest posting

The purpose of blog posts is to pull in high volumes of traffic. Then, it’s your website’s job to redirect that traffic to the next stage of your sales funnel.

Pop-ups are the strongest way to capture blog visitors and turn them into subscribers. This is true for guest blogging on other websites as well.

You simply embed a Leadpages Pop-up link within the blog post and the final call to action. When a visitor clicks on the link, they’re brought to a fast and furious form that entices them to opt-in right now. They’ve already seen the value of your work through the blog post, so they’re more likely to make the immediate decision.

4 – When using social media

Pop-ups work well on social media it opens up a separate link. So, if you’re engaging with traffic from Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you might want to consider sending them to a pop-up.

Trigger links

Trigger links help existing subscribers register for something with just one click. Typically, they are used while re-engaging your leads and attempting to move them further down the sales funnel—like registering them for a webinar or signing them up for early-bird access to an upcoming product launch. 

Unlike landing pages and pop-ups, trigger links assume you already have your customer’s information on file. Therefore, the objective is not to get their information; it’s to make the process streamlined enough for them to register with you a second time. 

This is one of the best ways to encourage repeat customers and boost your retention rate.

The goal of trigger links is to break down barriers to entry and make it easy-as-pie for your community to maintain engagement.

When to use trigger links

1 – When you’re emailing your subscriber list

Because you’ve already registered this user as a customer or subscriber, you already have their email address on file. That means that when you’re emailing your subscriber list, you know everyone on the list opted-in with you. This makes them the perfect candidates for the one-click trigger links.

Moreover, emails are the “space” you need to sell your audience. Similar to a landing page, some product launches, events, or offerings need to be explained in order for the customer to take the next step. The email itself gives you the opportunity to convince your already-subscriber they need to click through and move to the next step in the funnel.

2 – When you’re generating leads from affiliates’ lists

You’re not the only one who has email addresses for your target audience. Your partners and affiliates also build similar email lists with subscribers who could also be interested in your products and services.

Trigger links allow you to generate leads from your affiliates’ lists. You simply ask your affiliate to email their list and include your particular trigger link. Then, once your affiliates’ subscribers click on that link, they automatically become your subscribers and register for the event in just one click.

Think of it as a shared pool of emails. The affiliate’s subscribers don’t even have to opt-in to automatically join your list, as long as they click on the trigger links.

Note: Explain in the email that they are opting in when they click the link, so they know what they’re getting into and take extra care to make sure that you remain GDPR compliant in doing so.

3 – When you’re sending emails to your members

A membership site is like a revved-up subscription list. You already have your members’ emails, information, and even their interests populated in your system.

Members expect it will be easy to sign up for events with just a single click since they’ve already given you all of their information. That makes trigger links a must when you’re encouraging members to sign up for something.

Alert bars

Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy way to tell your visitors about a new product, announce a recently published blog article, celebrate free shipping, share a discount/ coupon, or grow your newsletter email list—alert bars are awesome add-ons to any web page you own. 

As mentioned above, an alert bar allows you to capture your audience’s attention and boost conversions in a non-intrusive, mobile-friendly way. Without making your visitors flee from the primary content on a page, alert bars pop up while they remain on your page.

These full-width site banners are one of the best ways to effectively reach your audience without distracting them from the content they came looking for in the first place. You can deliver a message in a single line of text and your visitors can opt-in or click to make the bar disappear from view. 

Alert bars are one of the CRO tools helping you turn more clicks into customers and make the most of every web visitor who comes across your content.

When to use alert bars

1 – When you want to create an opt-in opportunity

Have a lead magnet? Highlight it in your alert bar! Include a simple opt-in form and call-to-action button to boost conversions and reduce bounce rates.

2 – When you want to unobstructively alert visitors of a deal or promotion


Whether you’re announcing a discount sale, an alert bar will get the headlines across without jarring the visitors’ user experience

3 – When you want to promote new content


Just published a notable blog post or eBook? Put it front & center on your site to capture people’s interest and get them in the sales funnel

4 – When you need to boost social media followers


If you are fearful that your audience is unaware of your phenomenal social media channels, then Invite them to click, friend, and follow your preferred platforms.

(Extra, extra) Applying the marketing conversion tools in the wild

The situation: Let’s say that you’re hosting a free live webinar and your goal is to encourage sign-ups for the webinar. You have two avenues of engagement with your audience: social media and email.

The solution:

1 – Use a landing page where your visitors will land after they see social media posts about the webinar. You share a social picture of the webinar’s hosts and the discussion topic. 

2 – Use a click-through link that brings them to the landing page, where you’ll provide them with more details about the webinar and a spot to signup.

3 – Send an email to your current subscribers about the webinar. Since they already are subscribed, you use a trigger link to have them sign up for the webinar without going through the entire subscription process. You also don’t need the landing page to convince them to join the webinar because you have the space on email.

4 – To grab new prospects, you generate interest through a pop-up. You integrate the pop-up on your homepage, blogs, or even on a recent guest blog. This emphasizes the “free” aspect as well as the urgency of the event, which is what encourages them to sign up quickly.

5 – To further draw attention to the webinar, you add an alert bar to your website. This offers a subtle yet effective way to remind visitors to register. 

As you see, you can hypothetically use every CRO tool for one event if they fit in with the audience, the engagement of the audience, and the placement on the web! 

How to choose the right conversion tool

Still not sure which is right for your purposes? Check out this decision map to select the perfect CRO tool for your funnel.

flow digram which strategy to use

Rise up! 

Conversion voodoo is a myth. Conversion tools like landing pages, pop-ups, trigger links, and alert bars can do wonders with improving your conversion rates and bottom line. For more resources on them, gather more intel on our Leadpages products page.

Have you used these marketing conversion tools? How did they work for you? Let us know in the comments below!