How to Write a Landing Page That Converts: 10 Secrets That Really Work

On Target

Image by via Flickr

If you don’t already know, a landing page is a special sort of page on your web site.   It’s a page designed for one thing, and one thing only – to generate action. This could be a sale, a newsletter signup, or a lead generation form.

Here’s how to write a landing page that converts.

In order for your landing page to work, you’ll need these ten essential components.

1. A great headline

The  headline pulls people in and tells them that there’s something on the rest of the page that they will be interested in reading.  It promises to solve a problem, help them learn something, save money, or perform better.  It’s the most important part of the page – blow the headline and you’re sunk.  Luckily, there are some proven ways to write great headlines.

2. Testimonials

This is proof from other people that what you’re selling or offering really works.  It’s called social proof. It helps you build credibility online (or off) with people who don’t know you. Include full names (Bob L., from Kansas isn’t very reassuring), and a photo (if you can). The testimonials should be as specific as possible. For instance, “My teeth used to be dull and yellow, but after using Dr. Rick’s super-bright smile booster for one week, they’re now dazzling white and beautiful.”

3. A photo of the product

People like to see what they’re getting.  Put in a picture.  If it’s an e-product, create a representation of it (such as a book or a CD).

4. Ask for one thing

And one thing only.  Don’t try to get a newsletter signup, a tweet, and an ebook purchase all on the same page.  Even if it’s something that’s going to be in front of lots of people.  You’ll just confuse people. You’ll also dilute the response you get, as it will be spread out among two or three things.  And make sure it’s absolutely clear what you want them to do.  Make it a big red button.

5. State the benefits

Tell your readers what they’ll get.  You made the promise in the headline, now explain how it works.  What results will they get?  What problem does it solve?  How long does it take?

6. Sub-headings

It’s tough to read a big block of text (especially online).  Plus, there are two ways people read.  Some read every word, many just skim the headlines and sub-heads – and then stop to read the full paragraph when they find something interesting.  Allow for both.

7. Multiple order buttons

People click more when there’s more than one button – even if it goes to the same place.  Use two or three and distribute them throughout the page(depending on how long your page is) .

8. A big, fat guarantee

Stand by your work. Offer a money-back guarantee.  This is another way to show credibility – you’re so sure that your product will work, that you’re willing to risk a refund.  You’ll actually make more sales with a refund.

9. A value statement

Explain how much the product(s) are worth, compared to the actual price.  If it’s an e-book, compare it to  your hourly consulting rate. Or several products (sold separately) to the price of one product.

10.  A thank you

After someone fills out your form, or buys your product, thank them.  You might also suggest they do something else, such as read your blog. Or, explain what will happen next – whether someone will call them, or how the rest of the delivery process for the e-book works. Besides, it’s polite.

Freebie Friday: Using LinkedIn to Get More Leads

freebie friday imageWe’ve all heard a lot about social networking; joined LinkedIn, commented on forums, or started to use Twitter.  But, can you actually get leads from all of this?  Or is it just a giant time waster?

Today’s Freebie Friday is a new case study from Marketing Sherpa.  It spells out how one marketer uses LinkedIn to raise awareness of their products, qualifies leads he gets, and shares marketing materials (without being pushy and obnoxious). Find out how LinkedIn is different from other networks and lead generation tools and how to tailor your marketing to get more (and better) leads from it.

Hurry to read  this (free access ends after August 5th)

Generate more leads with LinkedIn.

What You Ought to Know About Lumpy Mail Before You Send It

Last week, I wrote about lumpy mail. Greg said he’d sent out expensive gifts to some prospects, but used a format that only allowed for a short message. There was no room to explain what he did, or why the people getting the package should care. Nobody responded.

This is what probably happened:

Package received
Wow, this is great! Who sent it?
Greg?! Who’s Greg?
I don’t know any Greg. Why would he send me this?
Bet he spent a lot of money.
Hey, Joe, do you have that information on the Greenberg account I asked for?

Greg had a few seconds to connect, and he blew it. However, he knows better now.

Lumpy mail works, but just sending a package isn’t enough. The package, is essentially, the headline; it’s the introduction that invites people to find out more. Once the package is open, the rest of the contents (such as the sales letter or the brochure) have to make the case that your product or services are worth clicking on, calling about, and buying.

To quote David Ogilvy, “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

Photo: alvinman

An Easy Way to Get Prospects to Open Your Mail

A somewhat mysterious large brown envelope arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting anything, so I pulled it out from the pile and opened it first.

Why? Because it was “lumpy mail”. What’s lumpy mail? It’s something in a package (rather than a flat envelope). Seth Godin famously packaged his book Purple Cow in a purple milk carton. Catholic charities sent my mom a crucifix (good idea, very poor list selection).

In this case, the package was from Bill Roozie. Bill runs a design firm in Texas. I’d helped him out with some marketing advice on the Amex Open Forum, and he sent me a thumb drive as a thank you.

Sending something that stands out from the rest of the bills, the catalogs, and the brochures, increases the chances it will get opened. If you want to connect with your customers or your prospects, send them a thumb drive shaped like a camera (if you’re in the video business) or a purple milk carton. A plain brown wrapper doesn’t only protect privacy, it also makes the package more interesting and mysterious. It’s clearly not a bill, and could be a present (everyone likes presents).

Don’t you want to know what’s inside these boxes?

Oh, and speaking of presents, Happy Birthday Seth!

Photo: alvinman

How to Get More Business With Fewer Leads

platinum bar

Bodo has a client that manufacturers platinum laboratory crucibles. They’re small pots used to melt and analyze samples. They had a trade show coming up and he wanted to get noticed, without a big budget. He asked the members of “triiibes” (Seth Godin’s social network) and the consensus was skip the flashing lights and fancy displays. Instead, develop a story that matches the views of the people at the show and earn permission to contact them.

Bodo realized he didn’t know enough about what his client’s customers were thinking. So, he decided to use the trade show to find out.

His plan was to raffle a small bar of platinum to people who filled out a short questionnaire about their concerns and needs when buying platinum crucibles. This frequently led to a discussion, drawing out more information. He learned that price wasn’t the primary issue, durability and knowing how to use the products were.

Forget the Gimmicks

There were booths with long lines of people waiting to get digital cartoons of their faces or play Guitar Hero. Lots of people yes, but not people likely to buy.

He found that companies that have you on their list to see will see you no matter what. They don’t care about gimmicks or fancy booths. Your job is not to attract them, but to engage them, which he did with the questionnaire.

On the other hand, people who are browsing will give your booth a quick glance. You have only a few seconds to get their attention. You’ve got to draw them in with a brief, relevant message (in this case, “long-life platinum” since durability is an important consideration).

Fewer, But More Qualified Leads

The booth had significantly fewer visitors than the previous year, but many more of them were useful leads. The questionnaire pre-qualified people who were truly interested in his product, allowed visitors to interact with the company, and gave the company permission to contact them again. It also provided valuable information about what his clients’ customers really want and need and how they make purchasing decisions.

The customers saw that the company cared about their concerns and wanted to listen. They also got the opportunity to win something remarkable that they could talk about to colleagues and co-workers. How many people have bars of platinum at home?

And, now Bodo’s client knows how to focus and present future promotions, advertising, and trade show appearances. He now knows how to approach his market, because his market told him, and he has their permission to do so.

Less was more.