In the last article we talked about the anatomy of a killer offer, looked at examples of a great offer and what to consider for your own irresistible offer. It’s a big step to have the offer finalized, and once you get it all set (or know which ones you’re going to test), you need to figure out where that offer is going to live. That’s where the killer landing page comes in. An effective landing page will convert prospects to qualified leads. There are 10 elements that are essential to building a killer landing page. First, let’s look at what a landing page is and more importantly, what it is not.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is very different than a website or even a squeeze page. A landing page has one job – one goal – to get someone to take specific action, whether it’s to:
- Buy your product
- Sign up for a free trial
- Leave their information
- Download a cheat sheet
- Sign up for a consultation
- Download an ebook
- Join a program
But how is that different than a regular website or even a squeeze page? A website contains a lot of information about your business, including things like product information, services, about, jobs, press releases, a blog, events, and so on. You get the idea. It’s for this reason you don’t want to drive traffic to a home page; there’s just too much information on it and it would be too confusing for the visitor. And let’s face it, if it’s confusing, they’re going to leave and find your competitor. Websites could contain hundreds of pages where visitors can get lost. If you’re paying for advertising, you don’t want to leave any room for missed opportunities.
A squeeze page also has one main function, generally just an email opt-in. And while that’s good, it’s not the best you can do. A landing page, on the other hand, prompts an action, and could point to a free trial, a download, a demo, or even a purchase. Direct action is taken, and the prospect is now a qualified lead. Each part of the landing page should be designed to take the next action. We’ll examine the individual components next.
On a landing page you don’t necessarily want to have a lot of links to the remaining pages of your website. You can add a few for navigation at the very bottom of the page.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect, look at how you browse the web and how you look at ads and click through things. This is exactly what your prospect is going to be doing, so you need to set up your landing page in a way that guides them to take the exact action you want them to.
Template of a Killer Landing Page
While there is one main goal of a landing page and you want it to be clear to any prospects, that doesn’t mean it’s simple. There are a lot of different elements that we’ll look at here, each designed to drive the action. Kissmetrics offered a great graphic that we’ll use as a reference point.
- Headline – A good headline is the #1 thing to focus on. What makes a good headline? The person will stay on the page and continue to read. The headline has to get the prospect’s attention and get them to want to continue reading. It needs to address the problem your product is solving, and should be congruent with the ad that brought them to the page to avoid any confusion. Take the lessons we shared in our last article about Creating an Irresistible Offer, that should be part of your headline (“Looking to solve this problem? Here’s how you can solve it.”). Don’t just settle on the first headline that comes to mind. Write out 30 or more different headlines, then of those, pick the top 5 to test in your marketing.
Numbers are always great in headlines (20%, 75% of, 5 ways to, 7 steps to, etc). One of the best places to look for inspiration for your headline is BuzzFeed. While their content is often light and entertaining, they put a ton of testing into each headline on their site, often testing 20-30 different ones per content piece. So follow their lead – take one of the headlines from one of their top shared pieces and use it as a template for your business. You can learn more about their headline strategies here. We also recommend the book Great Leads: The Six Easiest Ways to Start Any Sales Message by Michael Masterson and John Forde.
Some of the best performing headlines are (as taken from Copyblogger):
- Direct headlines – Straight to the matter, no cleverness
- Indirect headlines
- How to headlines
- Ask a question – “Interested in increasing the productivity of your sales team?” People have a natural tendency to answer the question in their minds and will be curious to read your answer
- Command headline
- News headline
- Testimonial headline – “20,000 users use our CRM, here’s why you should too.”
- Subhead – This is a statement supporting the headline; it is either a benefit, fact or more explanation, it makes prospects read more and keep going. It can address any objections or reasons why someone would not believe the attention-getting headline. It also makes the headline copy stronger and makes reading the rest of the sales copy easier. For a Saas company, for example, a subhead might taut the “12 secrets of increasing sales revenue in less than one month.”
“Every great promotion, at its core, has one single powerful idea, and that’s the headline. Your secondary headline supports that idea.” ~ David Ogilvy
- Description – This section often includes a list of benefits, like the ones we saw in the Salesforce example.
The important thing to remember is the information has to be about them, not you! You can use this section to address any objections of why they would not believe you, you can hit them with facts, talk about how your solution solves their problem, and so on. A quick way to test this is to read the benefit and ask yourself, “So what?” Make sure your benefits are addressing their “So what” questions. No matter what, it always has to be about the customer and how your solution can solve their issue.
- Testimonial – Use testimonials from other users, clients or buyers to showcase what you’ve done, how you’ve solved problems for clients. Is possible, try to use bigger, larger brands. Don’t edit them – cut and paste exactly what someone said about your company because they are speaking the language that your customer can understand. If they have similar problems and when they read the language of someone else who has the same problem, it resonates with them. Be conversational because it is more authentic. If you can, include pictures of logos, along with the person’s full name and title. This will serve well for social proof and credibility.
- Call to Action (CTA) – Include a strong CTA, not just something innocuous like “Submit the form.” Use this as a chance to tell them exactly what to do: Schedule My Demo, Increase my Sales, Make Me More Efficient, Send Me My Free Trial.
- The Button – The button should reflect the main benefit the person will receive. You could even leverage a company who is super credible in your prospect’s eyes and use their credibility by association (“Join Free with Google”). Here’s a tip: Don’t use “Subscribe,” it’s played out and people don’t want to just subscribe anymore. Newsletters aren’t working as lead magnets anymore, so you need to provide something with a higher perceived value. You also want to make sure the button stands out by being a different shape or color to get people’s attention. Look how some of the top companies do this on their CTA buttons:
- Evernote = Sign Up
- Dropbox = Sign Up For Free
- Netflix = Join Free For A Month
- Square = Get Started
- Prezi = Give Prezi A Try
- Panthera = Join
- OKCupid = Continue
- The Image – This is often a video, and is in the middle of the page. An entertaining video will work well; you don’t want anything boring. Talk about the problem, how you solve it or how you can make their lives easier.
- Above the Fold – whenever possible, you want to keep everything we’ve talked about “above the fold” on the page. This is an old-school newspaper term meaning the most important headline is visible when the paper is folded in half. In the online word, this means content that is visible without having to scroll. The most important elements are right on the screen. This means it has to look really nice on mobile, which is another challenge. It’s worth it to spend the extra money to design a separate page for mobile and desktop – start with mobile first! This is relevant especially when you’re buying traffic on Google and Facebook since more people are now clicking through from a mobile device.
- Always Be Testing – We keep talking about the importance of testing, and we’ll keep saying it. There are software tools out there that allow you to test and see which iteration of your landing page is working best. Test the headline and subhead first; start testing one thing (like the offer, ebook vs. free trial, webinar vs. download, checklist vs. free trial) at a time before moving to multi-variant testing (usually done once you have at least 10,000 clicks for a landing page). The goal is running two pages every month and trying to beat the best performing page every month. This will involve allocate a percentage of your budget to beating your control – the one that is working very well. Pause the lower performing one and try to beat the control.
- Using your own in-house designers to give you a different page
Like everything in marketing, having the right message is as important as the right strategy. Knowing how to build the most effective landing page will bring more qualified leads that you can then convert to buyers. If you’re stuck, let us know and we’ll help develop a killer offer and landing page for your business.