Introduction to Landing Pages
Before you begin the attempt to build a successful list or create a powerful sales page, you will want to start with a rigorous introduction to landing pages. In stark contrast to undifferentiated, unfocused home pages, landing pages focus specifically on capturing leads for a newsletter or making sales for a specific product – and not attempting to give visitors a different option.
Another common word that is often used to describe a landing page is “squeeze page” (or “lead capture page” in some circles). A squeeze page is a page designed to get names and email addresses. Usually, however, a squeeze page is a smaller type of landing page, which usually has an opt-in form in sight when the page loads.
So what is important to learn in an introduction to landing pages? First, it is important to recognize that all successful marketers use these. If you plan to sell a product over the Internet, you will want to use one, too, rather than relying on sidebar opt-in forms and unfocused pages that do not convey a single point and a single call to action.
Another important thing you will want to take away from this introduction to landing pages is that every landing page contains the same parts and is focused on a SINGLE goal – getting the visitor to become a subscriber or buyer.
These parts are as follows: an opt-in form (or sales prompt), a brief or lengthy introduction, a picture of the list/product owner, the signature of the list owner, and a call to action (or multiple calls to action).
Determining which model will work best for you can simply only be done through testing. While many boast a conversion and attribute it to the shortness of their introduction (many will be one short paragraph), otherwise will boast a high conversion rate because they use lengthy, thorough, and compelling copy.
If there is anything you absolutely must take away from an introduction to landing pages, it is that you cannot create a landing page or squeeze page that isn't focused.
Planning Your Landing Page Theme
Perhaps the most important part of creating a landing page is planning your landing page theme. How you select your theme, of course, will all depend on how you plan to generate traffic.
If you decide to generate traffic through search engine optimization, planning your landing page theme will entail finding phrases within your niche that have a high demand (aggregate search value) and a low supply (small amount of competing sites) and then creating multiple landing pages, each which is optimized around a different phrase.
If, on the other hand, you decide to generate traffic through pay-per-click (PPC) programs, such as Adwords, planning your landing page theme will again entail tuning several different pages to fit the keywords you are purchasing.
Chances are, if you create a quality product or newsletter, it can benefit several people. So why not communicate the exact benefits they will derive from subscribing or buying?
Going one step further, in addition to planning your landing page theme, if you are creating a landing page for a newsletter, you may also want to segment your list, so you can send information specifically about your offer to those who request it – and information about blocks to those who request it.
How to Write a Landing Page that Converts
Most people have no (or simply the slightest) idea how to write a landing page that converts. Instead, they slop together elements that they have seen used in other landing pages – but usually do not put them together in the same way the owner of the successful landing page did.
One major problem is copy. And that's fine. Not everyone is going to be an excellent writer – never mind a copywriter. But as someone selling a product or trying to build a list, it is important that you know your strengths and weaknesses – and that you either spend the time to overcome them or hire someone else to do it for you.
With copywriting, for instance, it is important to use a mix of compelling sales points with powerful psychological triggers. Most people who create a sales page miss either one or both of those elements.
For instance, they might concentrate so much on building hype that they don't actually explain what solution they are providing – and for whom they are providing it. If I don't have a specific problem that your product solves, why would I buy it? I wouldn't.
Now, if they fail to sprinkle in psychological triggers, such as “scientifically proven,” “guaranteed,” and “shocking,” no one will feel compelled to continue reading, as the benefits will have a low or average perceived value.
In addition to these two problems, some sales pages lack coherency and direction. The copy looks amateurish and it doesn't slowly grind forward, breaking down the visitor's resistance to the sale – and compelling him or her to buy more and more at each sales point.
Additionally, if there aren't multiple calls to action – another form of psychological trigger – then a potential visitor might never feel compelled enough to pull out his or her credit card on the spot and make the purchase.
In addition to careful copywriting, there are other important things you must take into consideration when writing a landing page that converts. For instance, it is important to build a compelling case for a time-bound offer.
Now, this doesn't mean you have to invent fake deadlines and constantly revise them each week. This is a good way to guarantee your complete loss of credibility in the shortest amount of time possible.
However, when planning your copy, you will want to make sure that you constantly urge the reader to act immediately by inserting a number of “calls to action,” as I've mentioned previously.
You may want to consider using fly-ins or pop-ups to create more urgency – or to make a time-bound offer. Perhaps you can use a countdown to build urgency (i.e., when someone arrives at your landing page, they have five minutes to purchase the product at the lowest price).
Now, if you're creating a squeeze page, you might want to employ slightly different tactics. Rather than building a compelling case with multiple triggers and calls to action over the course of 1000 words, you may want to simply condense that all into a compelling headline and one paragraph of “benefits.”
For a completely free-to-join squeeze page, you more than likely wont have a considerable amount of resistance to joining, unless the visitor:
a) Doesn't see any benefits; and
b) Suspects that you will sell their email address to spammers.
Both of these problems are relatively easy to overcome. In your headline, simply state the exact benefits they will receive for joining – as always, mixing in psychological triggers.
In your first paragraph of copy, give them a compelling reason to join now (i.e., the price might go up, the list might become private, you'll get this amazing report).
Now, to overcome the second problems, simply include a short line under your opt-in form that explains that you will not – under any circumstances – spam them or sell or give away their email address and name.
Follow all of these steps and you will significantly increase your landing page conversion rate. If you need any assistance with landing page builds, we are the marketing experts to contact!