...then your chances of seeing a successful campaign are very slim.
This isn't a "best practices" blog post...
The truth is, once something becomes "best practice," it tends to lose its competitive advantage as more people implement it.
Online marketing is all about competitive advantages.
A landing page is your chance as a marketer to gain that advantage.
It's incredible how many large companies I see on a daily basis spending massive amounts of money sending traffic to their....
Then ask me, "why doesn't this campaign work!?!!"
Linking to your homepage and sending traffic to it may have worked a few years ago.
Times have changed...
This technique can work for branding campaigns.
It should never be used for performance-based campaigns.
So before we get into how to make a kick-ass landing page...
Let me first answer the question...
What Are Landing Pages?
A landing page is a custom page build specifically for the interests of your target visitor. Having a particular landing page allows you to tailor the experience and provide the visitor with exactly the information they're seeking. This also lets you more easily direct that specific visitor to perform the action you want them to take. Landing pages help improve the experience for the user, which will result in boosted conversions and, in some cases, lower ad costs.
Types of Landing Page
There are two basic types of landing pages - "pre-landers" and Lead Generation pages, also known as lead gen or lead capture pages.
A pre-lander, just as it sounds, is a landing page seen before the actual offer. The pre-lander helps warm up the visitor to your offer, so they're more likely to convert by the time they finally click through.
Lead Generation Landers
Lead gen pages, on the other hand, are used to capture information about the visitor. This information will then allow you to market to and connect with the prospects at a subsequent time. There are many uses for lead gen landing pages, but they're generally used when a larger product or service is being sold.
Landing Page Research
Before you open up your favorite text editor or landing page creator, you must first do some due diligence.
Determine Your Landing Page Goal
In a perfect world, every visitor would turn into a conversion.
Even though this isn't the reality, we can build our pages to encourage a vast majority of them to convert.
To do this, we must first identify exactly what it is we want them to do.
This could be as simple as entering their email, downloading an eBook, or even making a purchase.
In this example, my landing page goal is to collect emails in exchange for downloading my campaign launch checklist. Visitors are given two options - download the list, or lose money... and no one wants to lose money.
The goal of your landing page will be to have your visitor complete one very precise action.
To do this, we must remove any resistance they may face while achieving our desired action.
Our marketing goal must be precise and speak to our audience directly.
To do this, we must understand exactly who our audience is.
Identify Your Audience
Everyone is different - we all have different hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
The better you understand your audience's needs, wants, and current problems - the more success you'll have.
Our job as marketers is not to "sell" our products or services. It is to move our visitors from a "current" state to our desired "after" state.
Currently, our potential customers might feel bored, frightened, in pain, or simply unhappy.
It is our job to identify what pain points our visitors are facing and give them get a taste of what the "after" state can be like.
Once they acquire your product or service, life is better. They're now entertained, unafraid, no longer in pain, and happy. The "after" state has been achieved, and their life is better.
If your landing page can properly make your visitors visualize how much better life is after they consume your offer... A successful conversion will have been made, lives are improved, and you make money.
To answer these questions, we use prospective buyer personas to identify pain points.
|Prospective buyer personas are very much like buyer personas. However, assuming we don't have any current buyers, we must build what I call "prospective buyer personas." These personas will allow you to strategically target specific groups of people, without existing buyer data, in order to test whether or not they turn into buyers.|
Depending on where you plan on getting traffic, your landing page can greatly change the dynamics of the campaign.
For example, if we were buying search traffic from Google for the keyword "Buy XYZ," we know they're more likely ready to purchase the item and are at, or close to, the final step of the purchase funnel.
Since we know the visitor's intent in this scenario, it makes sense to have our landing page focused on the ability of comparison.
This may mean comparing our product to other competitors, or perhaps even comparing different models that we offer.
Our landing page would also likely feature more reviews or testimonials about the product from previous customers.
If the traffic is coming from a display or social source, we don't know if the visitor is ready to purchase just yet. They're more likely in the "awareness" stage of the purchase funnel rather than the buying stage.
Our landing page, in this case, should introduce to the visitor, for the (potentially) first time, how our product or service could benefit them.
Learn From Your Competition
Find your largest competitors and go through their funnels.
Take note of their marketing messaging, placement of various trust factors, calls to action, and style.
Do they have a lead magnet? - e.g. 7 Carrots For Lead Capture
What information do they capture about the user?
How do they re-attract or message to exit traffic? e.g. New lead magnet, coupon code, etc.
Are they using dynamic call-outs to capture the user's attention?
What color scheme are they using? Generic or "trust colors" (more on this later)?
Duplicate their landing page as much as possible without just ripping it.
Pro Tip: Personally, I'll take the top 3 or 4 competitor landing page styles and split test all of them.
By starting with a landing page very similar to your proven competition, it will give you a baseline of conversion rates. So you can split test against it to see if it is performing better or worse.
Tools that can help you with competitive research are:
Be sure to modify your marketing messaging to fit your goals
Orginal post: Landing Pages: How To Create High Converting Landers