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How to Not Suck at Landing Pages, Part 2: Getting the Building Blocks Right

lego bricks

Last week, we focused on the absolute basics of starting landing pages. We covered the experimentation process and the all-important trial-and-error process needed to gradually optimize campaigns through careful measurement and adjustment.

However, we purposefully glossed over the finer details of what makes a great landing page. Rather than stifle your initial creativity with do’s and don’ts, we opted for the Montessori approach where every marketer is a wonderful snowflake in their own rite.

Now, we will recreate the experience a Montessori-raised kid encounters when switching to a magnet school, where structure, discipline and getting it right matters. So get out your #2 pencils and prepare to write down what makes a good landing page that really works.

1. A Compelling Hook

Fish-hookPeople are burnt out on ads. Estimates for the number we see every day range anywhere from 362 to 5,000.

For your pitch to stand out, it’s going to have to make an impact in just a few milliseconds. You are already lucky enough to have converted someone to your landing page; now’s your chance to not screw it up.

Your best bet with a hook is to speak to a particular pain point your service or product can heal. So, instead of saying “Print out your own postage right at home!” you can say: “Never go to the post office again.” Think about what a customer needs to stay interested and what would convince them that your business as a viable thing to give money to. If you sound corny, hackneyed, insincere or similar to hundreds of pitches they have already heard, you’ll lose ‘em.

So be smart and be pithy, but above all else be real so that they know your solution is meaningful and worth consideration.

2. Statement of Benefits

So you got them past the header? Good. Now you need to bury the hook even deeper.

A short follow-up phrase or a few bullet points is the traditional method of stating additional benefits. For example, a hook like “Stop wasting money on printer downtime” can be followed by “Managed print services reduce costs by 30%, improve service, and keep your equipment running like it should be.”

Using numbers or promises of concrete results makes your pitch all the more persuasive. Video explanations are becoming popular, as well, and they complement well-written copy quite nicely.

One thing to consider when writing benefits is to focus on actual benefits, not just features. Always ask, “Why should they care?” For example, a thermos product that has “double vacuum insulation” as a feature would be able to “keep beverages hot or cool for 12 hours longer” as a concrete benefit.

3. Clear Call to Action

social media call to action buttonsA call to action (CTA) is a critical component of a landing page since it sits parallel to the content. Essentially, every time the visitor reads something new, they should be able to visually revisit the CTA and decide if it’s time to opt-in yet.

Keep your CTA highly visible above the scroll, preferably just next to the header. Your opt-in should connect one distinct, clear action to a distinct benefit. So, instead of a saying “join our mailing list,” a stronger CTA would say “give me the fast-track to industry insider information!”

A CTA should ideally be a single button that leads to an information capture page, or it can be an incredibly short form entry that they can complete in seconds. You want as little friction as possible between the desired action, else you risk them closing the tab instead.

4. Social Proof

Of course a company recommends its own product, but seeing real people recommend it is another story. Testimonials and images of happy customers connects the ideas promised in the benefits to the actual experience of reaping those benefits.

A large “hero image” banner accompanied by a testimonial works wonders for instilling trust. Giving opt-in leads the option to post on social media about their decision adds further weight and spreads the discussion past the landing page.

Including video testimonials in your explainer pitch is also a nice touch, although the investment in B roll interviews can get pricey.

5. Organization and Conciseness

roller coasterThe main goal of a landing page should be to get a pitch out of the way in less than two minutes so that the lead can make their final decision. To facilitate this desired outcome, pages should always be short — less than 500 to 600 words — and they should always have well-organized information that is easy to digest.

Test your page to track visual movement, and get feedback on usability. The best landing pages do their job akin to an amusement park ride: one controlled experience with a linear outcome that leaves people feeling satisfied. The worst ones are like a bad story being told at a loud party: no one remembers what was said or why they should care.

So agonize over every minute detail, see what you can cut when possible, and test, test, test.

If you want help mastering your digital marketing strategy, you can always enlist the help of true pros like EverSpark Interactive. We can consult with you about your landing page strategy and even help you build pages or connect them to your other campaigns. Visit our digital marketing services page to learn more and get started.