Hey- if you’re interested in learning about how to get your online business off the ground and convert visitors to your site into customers, then you need to check out a video interview I did with Andrew Warner over at Mixergy on How To Ensure Success Before You Launch.
Now, I also want to share some things I didn’t share on the call- one of which is an easy Landing Page Formula. With the theory and insights and tips I gave about Positioning your business, finding your market online and “framing” your product to a hungry crowd… when it comes to actually sitting down and deciding what’s on your landing page, it can be a challenge knowing where to start.
Before I show you where to start, you should remember what I said in the interview-
Creating a great landing page (given time) is not all about being a great copywriter or designer. It’s also a function of being a great tester. (Although talent and experience are the ultimate time savers and leverage – considering time and expense)
So… with that, here’s a quick formula to follow as you’re developing your landing page and the elements to include and test within:
Element #1: Lead With “Finished Story” Benefits
Every page needs a place where the visitors eyes are initially drawn that focuses their attention. Traditionally this is a headline, image or tag line. Make sure that you have this initial element be an attention grabber that let’s your visitor know what they’re going to get out of staying and engaging with you. Remember, you only have a few seconds for a user to decide if your page (and your site/service/product) is or isn’t for them.
The way to make sure that this initial attention element has the result of making your visitor stay and then convert is to talk about what I call “Finished Story” Benefits. These are benefits about what the finished story will be for the visitor after they engage and/or take the action you’re suggesting with your product.
Making your visitor visualize and imagine what they will get and how they will feel after using your product is your goal.
Again, on our call I talked about the company I helped with their business plan template marketing. The “finished story” here wasn’t the obvious – a finished business plan. It was farther removed than that. It was having raised money successfully with the polished and professional business plan.
Long story short, make sure you’re not talking about all the work that might go into your visitor getting the result they’re after. Make sure you’re getting them to connect then ultimate end goal – the finished result and REWARD.
Do this well, and you end up tying the purchase of your product directly to their desire for that end result. Once this happens, most resistance and objections from your visitor will have been removed.
Element #2: Social Proof
I’ll run through these quickly. There are LOTS of examples out on the web of each of these you can find if you just do some Google searched and click on the Paid Adwords ads and see the landing pages there.
Element #3: Credibility
If you didn’t know, most people online are very very hesitant to click on links that they don’t know where they’re being taken… and they’re even more hesitant to share their email.
When it comes to buying and pulling out their credit card number, it’s a whole other ballgame.
As I’ve talked about before, for a visitor to your site, everything you want to ask them to do represents something very “risky” to them. For more on this check out some of what I wrote about removing risk in online marketing , along with some thoughts about how this applies to the current state of marketing music online.
Anyways, how can you reduce this risk? In short, start by demonstrating your Crediblity (building Trust)
There are a few simple ways I’ve tested, and that lots of other people have tested to this end.
An easy thing you can do and test along these lines that are likely to increase your clicks, signins, and sales is getting approved by some of the institutions that protect consumers and make users feel safe.
Bottom line- new visitors to your site don’t know who you are. Make it easier for them to take the risky move of sharing something with you and inviting you into their world.
Element #4: Offer/Value
You can write great copy on your landing page, and design a great layout… but if what you’re asking for and offering on your landing page doesn’t boil down to a great offer then you’re wasting your time.
A lot of people these days are trying to build their list, or build their social friendships or “followers.” If you’re asking for anything like this, let alone asking for a sale, on your landing page, you better make you’re visitor feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal.
So what do I mean by a great offer, and what does one look like?
A bad offer, if you’re looking to drive email signups from your page, is essentially offering nothing but the chance to “sign up” in exchange for the visitor giving up their precious email and expose their inbox to you.
Arguably, that’s not an “offer” at all. But the crazy thing is, most people’s email sign up forms on their landing pages are framed in this manner.
Instead, what can you create and provide in exchange for a user putting in their email? And how can you tie this directly into their “finished story.”
This question is exactly what I love the “free report” give away or white paper type free line content. It creates an instant “offer” that makes a visitor feel like simply sharing their email address in exchange for this information is giving them the better end of the deal.
Element #5: Call To Action
This is what inexperienced copywriters and marketers have the most problems with. They either don’t even use a call to action, or they make it so weak and passive that they might as well not have one.
A great call to action does the following:
Gives specific instructions on exactly what action you want the visitor to take
Tells the visitor exactly how to do this
Uses the already “anchored” benefits you’ve put in your visitors mind and reminds the visitor of what they’ll get by taking this action
Here’s a bad call to action if you’re trying to drive email subscribers-
“Sign Up Here And Get Our Emails.”
Just what we all want, more email. No thanks!
Ok, now go out and get on the web and look at 30 or more landing pages by doing all kinds of searches and clicking on paid ads. This will start to bring some of these 5 elements into your awareness and give you ideas on how to go about writing and designing your landing page.
And don’t forget to test, test, test.
Let me know how it goes.
And here’s some Recommended Reading:
To better understand how and where to “frame” and place your business in your market, read Position by Al Reis and Jack Trout.
For a great overview of the psychological principles and operators to be aware of and use in your landing page copy and offer read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Cialdini
For design guidance and insights, go get Universal Principles of Design (design insights with the psychology behind them) by Lidwell, Holden & Butler.
For your copywriting bootcamp, get all 3 of these books and study them regularly as you’re writing copy: Ogilvy On Advertising, Tested Advertising Methods and The Ultimate Sales Letter.