Writing and designing a conversion-powerhouse of a landing page is a science – a shifty, constantly evolving science that is, frankly, hard to pin down. While trends in landing page design may change (and they do), there are a few basic tenets that the most successful ones share that can increase landing page conversions. And they’re not difficult to implement.
You can boost your conversion rates right now, just by putting these 5 basic techniques into place.
Don’t believe me?
We can test it.
Where Landing Pages Go Wrong
Landing pages go wrong primarily because people treat them like:
- They’re product descriptions (they aren’t)
- They’re blog posts (they aren’t)
- They’re white papers (they aren’t)
- They’re a diner waitress, whose personal motto is “Here’s your lunch. You’ll eat it and you’ll like it.” (they really aren’t)
A landing page is specifically designed for a marketing campaign. Its purpose is to convert leads – that’s it. One purpose, one message. Lets repeat again the purpose – increase landing page conversions.
Think I’m kidding? Landing pages with multiple offers get 266% fewer leads than single offer pages.
When to use a Landing Page
You’ll want to use a landing page (rather than a product page) for each marketing campaign you do – it’s all about getting the customer to engage with your brand.
Three Types of Landing Pages
- Lead capturing landing page: On this type of landing page, customer engagement happens as a result of collecting email addresses of potential leads, in return for something valuable.
- Free video tutorial on something related to your product. For example, if you sell orchid pots, your video could be how to get an orchid to re-bloom (a major pain point for orchid lovers)
- Promotional offer
- Event signup, like a free webinar
- Newsletter signup
- Entry into a contest
- Click-through landing page: This landing page is a page between your ad and your shopping cart, directing the visitor straight to purchase. Unlike a product page, which can have a few options, like “save for later” and “move to wish list,” this landing page has one job: To make the sale.
- Thank you landing page: This is the landing page users find when they submit a form, opt-in, or buy. Don’t think of this page as the “end” of the process – it can be a great conversion tool.
Upgrade #1: Simplify
This is true for every landing page: It has one message, and one specific purpose.
But that’s not all that should be simple about your landing page. Your landing page will convert best when what you’re asking of users is simple too.
Think about the simplest, smallest, easiest step you can ask them to take (towards becoming a customer). Which step that is depends on how you typically reach customers best. That might be through:
- Your email list (see Upgrade #2) – ask them to join
- Your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) – ask them to follow
- Your video channel – ask them to watch
- Your sales and deals – ask them to sign up for notifications
Why this works: People love doing something easy to get something they want. The lower your bar for opting in, the more conversions you’ll get.
Upgrade #2: Get that email
Did you know that e-mail is 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined? Each email address you collect is a lead to whom you can now send targeted email campaigns. It’s well worth the price of a giveaway, like BrilliantEarth has done.
Why this works: Just like with the first upgrade, this works because it’s so easy to do. That will get you that first conversion. But why this *really* works is that it allows you to start planning lead-nurturing email campaigns, like announcing sales, specials, and limited-time offers.
Upgrade #3: Have your customers segment themselves
Simplicity is always a winner, but if your offer is strong enough, you can ask for a little more information from your visitors. The rule of thumb is: The more you offer, the more you can ask for.
What should you ask for?
Information that lets you automatically segment your customers into groups.
In the BrilliantEarth example above, that would mean adding on a drop-down menu question, like:
I’m interested in jewelry for…
- Presents for myself
- Presents for my significant other
- Presents for my bridesmaids
- Popping the question!
Using that information, you can then send emails targeted specifically at those groups. Those emails will be more specific, more relevant, and far more effective than mass mailings.
Upgrade #4: Develop the very best header (Clickthrough landing page type)
The Clickthrough landing page type is the hardest to pull off, because you are asking a lot. You’re asking them to decide now to invest their time and/or money into your product. This is where we can bring pain and pleasure.
No, this isn’t 50 Shades of Landing Pages.
The argument for painful copy: Pain pushes us to act and react. That’s its purpose. Put your hand on a hot burner, and you’ll act very fast, because it hurts very much. The more something hurts, the faster we move to remedy the situation. This totally works on landing pages.
Did you know that focusing on pain actually makes it feel worse? We can use that. Joanna Wiebe uses this principle frequently in her copy, starting with a lengthy description of the primary pain point, and digging in to how bad it feels.
“You’ll need to provide sufficient copy to tap into the visitors’ motivation for coming, and amplify that motivation so they take your desired action.” – Joanna Wiebe, CopyHackers
What this looks like in practice:
The very worst thing you can imagine, short of this bug landing on your head in the shower, is it nibbling at your children’s cookies. What is the very worst thing your customers can imagine?
Why this works: You’re “twisting the knife” so to speak, before offering them a way to make that pain go away. It’s very persuasive.
The argument for pleasure-promising copy: From Epicurus’ “People make choices based on what will make them happy,” to Freud’s “Pleasure principle” (pleasure is the driving force behind the id) – mankind has figured out that pleasure is a key component to driving action. Just as key as avoiding or stopping pain.
For many e-commerce businesses, your product isn’t a pain-killer; it’s a life enhancer. Your product is all that stands between your customer and their ideal life (or so we’d like them to think!). And we can use this on our landing pages to produce persuasive copy that converts.
Let’s dissect this landing page from Dean Street Society:
The beautiful desktop, artfully littered with creative tools, immediately sets up the promise we see front and center: Make a Living Being Creative. This headline is supported by the second line which further sells the dream.
Then it tells you what you need to do to achieve the dream – just join the free workshop.
This lead-generating landing page is for a free workshop – and it only asks for name and email. But notice what it does from the beginning – it pre-segments. This offer is only for her ideal customer – the maker, freelancer, blogger, creative, etc.
- Start with your BIGGEST benefit – the dream you’re promising.
- Reinforce it with the second line.
- Show them how to get it.
- CTA button.
- Say who your offer is for – or, alternately, place some social proof, like a testimonial or user review, to let leads know that this is worth their time/effort/money.
Upgrade #5: Your secret weapon – the Thank You page
The art of using your Thank You page – the page your new subscriber/customer/lead is directed to after they opt-in – starts with using the momentum of their “yes” and building on it. That first “yes” is the hardest to get, but when your prospect is fresh from giving their affirmative, they are the most receptive to doing just one more thing.
You get to decide the thing.
Of course, you have to say Thank You on your Thank You page. But from there, you have some options.
- You can ask them to do a short survey about why they came and what they hope to find (valuable insights for marketing and product development).
- You can ask them to tell you about themselves (ie. self-segmenting, which you can use in targeted emails later).
- You can ask them…well… pretty much anything.
Or, you can nurture the lead further by:
- Adding links to your top-performing posts, resources, and tutorials.
- Giving a special offer to new subscribers.
- Asking them to follow you on social media.
- Asking them to share your landing page (maybe in return for 15% off their first purchase).
This Thank You page asks the viewer to do several things – which isn’t best practice (landing page = 1 action only!), but they get this part right: The most important CTA is also the biggest.
For post purchase Thank You landing pages:
You can suggest additional products frequently bought with the one they’ve chosen. Amazon uses this to great effect in their 2-stage checkout process.
Once you hit “Add to cart” on Amazon, you’re directed to a page like this.
It shows you what you’ve added, then presents you with offers.
You can “get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card Instantly” with their Visa card.
You can buy related products.
Or you can peruse “Frequently bough with” items.
Once you proceed to check out, you see this page:
This page shows you recommendations based on your order. A subtle difference, but a powerful one.
They don’t let their Thank You page go to waste – that’s for sure.
One final tip – the best landing pages are those that are tested
The best landing pages don’t convert by chance – variations have been tested until the clear winner emerges. A/B testing is integral to landing page conversion optimization. So try one or all of the above suggestions, one at a time, and see which ones work best for your audience.
For more information on A/B testing, check out this free resource.