Landing pages have been around for ages, and are designed to direct visitors to take a single, specific action, whether it is downloading something, or subscribing to a mailing list.
And here is why they are so effective — there is a single goal.
Compared to say your site homepage, landing pages only contain elements that are directly related to users taking a specific action. The idea is to minimize any and all distractions (like the navigation menu, for example) and focus on that single goal.
Here is what a typical (well designed) landing page looks like:
Since landing pages are the first thing that visitors should see after they click your banner ad, PPC advertisement or links in emails, they pretty much determine the success of your ad campaign. A good landing page nets a good return on investment. A poorly designed one, and you are wasting money.
Surprisingly, many businesses still waste money by sending visitors to their home page.
You should never drive traffic from your promotional campaigns to the home page of your website. They are usually cluttered with information, with several possible actions a visitor can take.
And this lack of focus often results in the most important ones being missed.
So if you are indulged in any sort of direct promotion for your website, blog or online business, just make sure you have leading this traffic to your landing page — or landing pages, for that matter. Stick a link to the home page, or redirect them after the action is complete.