I'll be honest right from the start: landing pages, these essential elements of inbound marketing, are difficult to get right, at least in the beginning. You're used to filling them up yourself when you see a great offer on the internet, but when it comes to doing it for your business, it's really not that simple. However, the new rules of digital marketing say that landing pages are one of the foundations of effective inbound marketing, so if you do inbound, landing pages are a must.
Landing pages need a special recipe to convert clicks into leads... but what are the secret ingredients?
Landing page secret #1: A really great offer
Don't just use a landing page for anything. People are getting savvy with their email addresses, and they don't share it willingly unless there's something truly amazing at the other end. Whether it's a really interesting free ebook (and when I say interesting, I mean unique, with new information or a perspective you don't find anywhere else) or a free consultation, there needs to be something worthy coming to your visitors in exchange for access to their mailbox.
Here are a few ideas for great offers that your target audience won't be able to resist:
- eBook answering a common question, or one that your audience didn't know it had
- Subscription to an exclusive newsletter
- A free, focused consultation with you over the phone
- A free personalized report or evaluation
There are plenty of things you can do with just these three ideas, and each can target a different persona or sales funnel position. If your offer is really great and targets the specific needs of your audience, you'll have a better chance of converting.
Landing page secret #2: Tight, convincing copy
Here's the difficult part for most businesses who want to do inbound: the landing page copy. It's not a blog post or a sales page; it's not an email or a static web page. A landing page is an entity of its own, with its own copywriting needs.
Here's a little model we've developed to help you write your landing page copy.
The first paragraph should describe the problem in a sympathetic way. Questions that make your audience nod in agreement are great, or even a little story (2-3 sentences) of someone with a similar problem.
The second paragraph introduces the offer and its benefits. Say what you're going to deliver and why it matters that your audience ask for the offer right away. This is the perfect time to use bullet points to list the benefits of your offer.
The third paragrah reiterates the offer and explains why it's different from similar ones offered by other companies.
The final line prompts your visitor to action. Use call-to-action strategies to get them to sign up.
Follow the example of landing pages that convinced you; if they worked on you, the model is likely to work on other people too. Just make sure to personalize using the vocabulary and tone that your target audience finds attractive.
Landing page secret #3: Catchy design
So you've got your offer and great copy. But if you page looks boring, it's likely that people are going to take the offer from the page that is more visually attractive.
Use your company's colors for visual consistency, but don't be afraid of bold headings, punchy headers and colored buttons. Changing the size and font of your text when appropriate can help keep the audience's attention.
Again, look at the design of those landing pages that converted you. What are they doing with space, colors and shapes? How does it attract your eye to the form? Taking a moment to analyze what works will help you reproduce it in your own landing pages.
Landing page secret #4: Social proof
When it comes to accepting offers, people like to know that others have tried it and have been satisfied. Whether it's a ticker with the number of downloads for eBooks or testimonials from consultation clients, it's reassuring to know that you're not getting an untested product.
Of course, it's hard to get social proof when you're just starting out. A low number (under 1000) can actually become negative social proof, so don't use it unless your download or subscribe count is high. As for testimonials, one is good, but several is better, so again I would hold off until you have at least 4 or 5.
Landing page secret #5: A good broadcasting strategy
Now that you have your landing page, the only thing missing is visitors. To get people to see it, you need some kind of sharing and broadcasting strategy. You can drive traffic to your page through:
- Social media
- Press releases
- Links from your blog posts
- Links from guest blog posts on other sites
- Website calls-to-action
- Email promotions
Vary your message according to the audience segment you want to reach, especially on social media. Use lists and your personas to choose the right words for each target audience.
What's your landing page secret? What have you done that worked really well? Share your successful landing page techniques with our readers in the comments!
Anabelle is Stikky Media's official wordsmith and grammar police. She loves writing, social media and learning how this wonderful thing called the "web" actually works. Officially known by her ex-colleagues from grad school as "the jargon killer", she loves combining plain language with complex ideas. When she isn't writing for Stikky or grading student assignments, you can find her knitting a lace shawl, finding occasions to speak French, sipping tea or making stories up. If you have any questions, comments or fan mail, you can reach her at [email protected].