I’m resuming a series that asks three questions of an expert whose answers can help marketing communication professionals. Today, I’m talking with Paul Venuto, an experience designer on Padilla’s digital team.

Paul led development of client University of Mary Washington’s recruitment campaign page last fall. The site, umw.edu/marywash, earned “award of excellence” honors recently from district three of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. I wanted to know Paul’s thoughts on designing a landing page that delivers. 

  • For a student recruitment campaign landing page, what’s more important, user experience or design? 

The answer is both. It’s not a question of one over the other, but how each can coalesce into a memorable, effective digital touchpoint, since each has its own role to play. A campaign landing page needs to provide students with an inspiring and unique first impression of the university, while also giving them answers to crucial questions to continue along their decision-making process. 

  • If a landing page’s goal is to capture prospective student leads, what functionality is imperative and why?

Answers to questions. We’ve learned through experience that prospects typically have questions in four specific areas: academic programs, location, community and price. We designed the @MaryWash landing page with these questions in mind, connecting each to its own dedicated section accompanied with a clear call-to-action for the student to request more information. Since we developed the campaign’s visual identity and view book, we were able to bring those design choices over and create a consistent experience through all the campaign touchpoints.

  • What’s the single most important “best practice” for a recruitment campaign landing page?

Clear, consistent messaging. The landing page needs to reinforce the messaging used to bring the user to the landing page in the first place. It also needs to deliver the value the user expects after answering the call-to-action and clicking over. Be intentional and clear with this, otherwise expect a low-performing campaign landing page.

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