Your Landing Page Sucks! Here are 46 ways to make it better...

18 replies
Landing page copy has been by bread and butter for a number years now, and I do believe, I've become pretty damn good at it. I've posted this one one other forum, but wanted to share it here, because Warriors could definitely take advantage of it.

I think this is the best place to post this, but if not, feel free to move it.

Recently I've been attempting to streamline and standardize my business and all the work that goes into it. Part of this was attempting to define what exactly goes into creating a successful landing page. Though I'm sure the list still needs some work, I think I've covered most of the big stuff.

As I was turning my notes into something more usable, it dawned on me that this may be of valuable to some of you here. I've added to the list, so that it makes sense to people other than myself. I think it will help the beginners here in particular, but I hope some of you more seasoned pros can gain something from it too.

Background and Research

Before you jump into creating your landing page, you need to do your research. Here are some things to consider beforehand, so the rest of the process can go smoothly.

__ Define your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Without going into too much detail, your UVP is a brief description of what you have to offer, and why it is better than all your competitor's. This is probably the most important step, and will be one of the main focuses of your landing page. If you are unable to define your UVP, it's probably a good idea to go back to the product development phase and figure out a way to make your product better than all the others.

__ Define your offer and benefits. What exactly will you be offering to visitors of this page? In what specific ways will readers benefit from your offer?

__ Define your audience. Who are the people that will be receiving your message and what are they like? You can shine some light on this question by either analysing your own traffic, or using a service like Quantcast to see the demographics of authority sites in your niche.

Creating Personas. One extremely helpful exercise for me is to create a number of personas to whom you'll be selling to. This helps to visualize your customers and get in their heads a little bit more. While you're writing your copy, try to imagine how your various personas will react. I've included an example persona for a skin care product below. It's stupidly simple, but it does help.

"Mary"
-24 year old
-College student
-Has had bad skin for a long time now, and was teased about it in high school.
-She has yet to find a solution to her skin care problems, but due to tuition costs, she can't afford to try new products very often.

__ Define buyer objections. The whole point of your copy is to help the buyer mentally progress from wherever they are in the buy cycle, to the point of conversion. A big part of doing this includes breaking down any objections they may have to making that purchase or entering their email. Define them early on so you can uncover other possible objections as the copy develops.

__ Define the purpose of your landing page. You probably know what you'd like to accomplish at this point. It's still a good idea to write it down now, so you don't lose focus once you dive in. Go for the direct sale, or offer them something in exchange for their contact info, but don't attempt to accomplish both with a single landing page.


The Headline and Subheadlines

It's no secret that a strong headline is essential to the success of your campaign. So important that I often spend more time on the headline than I do on all the rest of the copy. A good headline will grab the reader's attention, and will evoke an emotion that entices them to read on.

__ Is your landing page's headline relevant to the ad/source they arrived from? You want to make sure there's a smooth transition between the ad and your landing page. Don't entice them with a story about a 34 year old mother of two, that llost 40 lbs., and then direct them to a review of the product.

__ Does the headline include your product's primary benefit?

__ Does the headline tie into the first paragraph of the main body of copy? Most of the hard work is drawing the reader in with your headline. Don't waste it all by throwing them off at the very beginning with some irrelevant point.

__ Do your subheadlines help the reader transition between paragraphs/id0eas?

__ Reading through the headline and subheadlines, from start to finish, does the offer/pitch still make sense? Many visitors will skim through your landing page, paying attention only to headlines, and largely ignoring the copy in between. This is especially true of long form sales letters. Copy that can be basically understood, with the headlines/subheadlines alone, will help keep skimmers engaged through to the final call-to-action.


Call-to-Action (CTA)

After the headline, your CTA is arguably the next most important element on your landing page. Its purpose is to gently nudge the visitor to convert into a customer. CTA can refer to the button or link itself, or more generally, anything the prompts the user to take action.

__ Is your CTA above the fold? It may be more appropriate to have your CTA near the end of your long form landing pages. However, when it comes to short form (and sometimes long form) formats, you should almost always place the CTA above the fold, so the visitor can start mentally preparing for the next step, right away. Be sure to keep the action itself consistent throughout.

__ Is your CTA repeated throughout your landing page? I'll often include multiple instance of my call to action, particularly when dealing with long form sales letters. If you're utilizing a short form lander longer than a single page, it's a good idea to include a CTA at the end of your page as well, in addition to the CTA above the fold. The saves the visitor from having to scroll back to the top.

__ Is your CTA free of generic verbs? Action words like "Submit" or "Click Here" are so cliché that many readers are likely to subconsciously block them from their minds, resulting in a lower CTR. Substitute these duds for more descriptive actions like "Get Your Free eBook" or "Claim Your Free Trial Now"

__ Does your CTA promote a sense of urgency? You want your reader to convert right now, so don't readily give them the option to come back later, while they think about it. Give them an ultimatum such as "only 300 copies left" or "On Sale for Only 24 Hours!"

__ Does your CTA accurately represent the action that follows? People hate to feel like they've been deceived, so tricking your visitors into clicking isn't likely to do you much good. If your product is going to cost something, don't be afraid to claim so.

__ Does your CTA focus on what they'll receive, rather than what they'll need to get it? Although you want to be upfront about the price of your product, that doesn't mean you have to remind them that they'll be forking over their money. The CTA, if effective, is the last thing they'll see before buying. To put it bluntly, the final thought you want running through their brain is how they'll be benefiting, not what it will cost. Try "Get the Solution To All Your Acne Problems" instead of "Buy Your Copy Now for Only $19.95".

__ Is your CTA graphic sufficiently eye-grabbing? Bigger is almost always better when it comes to the size of your CTA image and/or text. Increase the size of your CTA until it's almost too big, then make it 25% bigger.


Social Proof and Credibility

If you want your visitors to take your offer seriously, and trust you enough to give you their payment information. You can contribute to your credibility by incorporating symbols that carry authority into your design. But when it comes to credibility, social proof is king.

__ Are there any authority symbols that you can include in your design? Verisign, credit card logos, Consumer Reviews, awards, etc.

__ Are there any testimonials already available? If not, are there buyers that testimonials can be elicited from?

__ Are there photos that can be paired with your testimonials? Given that testimonials can be so easily fake, photos add a great deal of credibility. Stock photos work, but real photos are better.

__ Do you have a large social network following that you can utilize? Showing off your 5000 Facebook fans lends a lot to social proof. Facebook also epitomizes distraction, so be careful with this one. You probably want to test the benefits of adding such proof, to make sure you aren't just bouncing all your traffic off to Facebook.

The Guarantee

Put your money where your mouth is.

__ Does your offer include a guarantee? Though not required, backing your offer with a guarantee shows you have faith in your product.

__ Are you offering more than a 100% guarantee? 100% guarantees have become the standard, so your offer will need a little more zing in order to stand out. This can be done by dressing up your guarantee with simple adjectives like "Iron-Clad" or "Unconditional". Another popular tactic, often utilized when selling info products, is to let the buyer keep the bonus products, even if they request a refund. This show that you have so much faith in your product that you're essentially willing to bet money on it.
  • Some people like to use conditional guarantees like "Give our supplement an honest try. If you aren't 100% satisfied with the results, tell us why, and we'll send you a refund." Though this may reduce returns, it also gives the impression that they will have to explain themselves to you in order to receive a refund. I prefer to employ a "no questions asked" return policy, as it isn't as likely to bring rise to any new buyer objections.

Capturing Leads

__ Is lead capture the primary goal of your landing page? If not, don't include a form. Directing your visitors towards two separate points of conversion will dilute the effectiveness of both. That said, I do believe capturing a lead, and then selling to them (multiple times) is generally the best way to go, rather than going for the upfront sale. However, both should be utilized.

__ Are you offering them something valuable in return for their information? Asking visitors to enter their information, so you can contact them is all fine and dandy. But, obviously, offering them something in exchange can be quite enticing. A full eBook, free white paper or consultations will suffice, but the more unique the offer, the better.

__ Are there any unnecessary fields that can be removed from your form? If you're slinging local services, you may need to ask for a location. Nine times out of ten, getting just their ZIP code will suffice, so can probably remove the fields for their full mailing address. The same goes for email collection. You need their name and email, AT MOST. Sometimes just the email will do.

__ Is your "submit" button descriptive? "Submit" and "Send" area as boring as you can get. Add some excitement and remind them again why they're filling out their information. Try something like "Yes, send me my FREE eBook!" instead.

__ Is your form headed by a strong call to action? This should be somewhat of a hybrid between call-to-action and headline. It should call the reader's attention from the rest of the page, inform them of the main benefit, and tell them what to do next.

__ Are you calling attention to your capture form? You want to call attention to your form, so it's reader knows what they're expected to do next. A simple change in background color or adding an arrow could work. Or you can really step it up, and position stock photos of people that appear to be looking/pointing at your form.

__ Have you assured your viewership that you won't share their info? Assuming you won't be sharing their info, let them know that their info is safe. This may be the only thing keeping visitors from converting, so help eliminate this objection for them.


Landing Page Copy (General)

__ Is your copy short, sweet and to the point? Long form sales letters aren't successful because of their word count. In fact, long form sales letters that ramble on without purpose are almost guaranteed to be failures. Get to the point, move on, and don't repeat yourself too often. Every word must serve a purpose. Remove any that don't.

__ Are your paragraphs short? I always try to keep my paragraphs down between 1 and 3 sentences. Great for skimming.

__ Have you backed up your claims? Making extravagant claims about your product is fantastic, but only if you have the facts to back it up. Consumers will take mental note of claims that you have failed to back up, and is likely to hurt your credibility.

__ Have you avoided cliché one-liners? Lines like "Once-in-a-Lifetime opportunity" and "But wait, there's more...!" aren't going to do your sales pitch any justice. They are tacky, and are likely to be ignored by readers, or worse, turn them off altogether.

__ Is your voice/tone in sync with your audience? This one is hopefully obvious, but here it is just in case. Starting off your letter with "Hey bro" isn't likely to hit home with jewelry shoppers, though it may be exactly what you need for your NO2 workout supplement offer. You want to appear to be "one of them" and speaking to them in a familiar language will accomplish just that. Using industry-specific phrases and slang that only a true enthusiast would know helps in this regard as well.

__ Can you personalize the visitor experience? A personalized message can grab their attention and entice them to read more. You see this often when people sub in city names with dating and local lead gen offers.


Landing Page Design (General)

__ Do all elements of the design serve a purpose? Remove unnecessary clutter to avoid distracting your visitors from the path to conversion. Plain, monochrome designs can perform just as well their bubbly, web2.0 counterparts, if not better.

__ Are there any unnecessary links or navigational elements that can be removed? The purpose of your landing page is to direct your visitors to conversion. Unless you have an unusually complex offer, a single page is ideal for maintaining their focus down the path to conversion. If you must link to additional information, consider including the info in something like a jquery popup or blending the links so much that they're barely visible.


Pre-Launch

__ Have you edited your copy?

__ Do all your links work?

__ Do you have terms/privacy policy pages?

__ Have you sought feedback from peers?

__ Have you have installed tracking software? (Google Analytics, Piwik, P202, ClickTale, etc.)

__ Do you have variations of the landing page copy lined up to test?

__ Do you have variations of the landing page design lined up to test?

__ Have you completed the above checklist?



Congrats, there's a good chance you just created a killer landing page!

As I said, this is a work in progress, so please let me know what you think, and I'll try to keep this updated with new suggestions.

Also accepting criticisms and questions.
#conversion optimization #copywriting #landing #landing pages #make #page #squeeze pages #sucks #ways
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Chris Ramsey has a list working here...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...-critique.html

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Wow! All of that without reading a book.
    Great work!
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by LP Copywriter View Post

    __ Have you completed the above checklist?

    This ^ is my favorite one.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Originally Posted by LP Copywriter View Post


    __ Is your copy short, sweet and to the point? Long form sales letters aren't successful because of their word count.
    I and others acknowledge the effort and value what you have posted.

    Lot's of great tips.

    However, buried in it is the above quote.

    It can be easily glossed over as gospel.

    So I felt it needed to be addressed.

    Here's an example of a long form sales landing page...

    Bencivenga 100 Seminar

    Sold out the seminar at 5k.

    Recordings of it have been sold for the same price tag.

    However we are getting into the never ending debate,
    which around here keeps popping up.

    Brian just closed down a recent one.

    Don't want to derail the good stuff you have posted.

    Best,
    Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author ECTally
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      I and others acknowledge the effort and value what you have posted.

      Best,
      Ewen
      Ditto .
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    • Profile picture of the author LP Copywriter
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      I and others acknowledge the effort and value what you have posted.

      Lot's of great tips.

      However, buried in it is the above quote.

      It can be easily glossed over as gospel.

      So I felt it needed to be addressed.

      Here's an example of a long form sales landing page...

      Bencivenga 100 Seminar

      Sold out the seminar at 5k.

      Recordings of it have been sold for the same price tag.

      However we are getting into the never ending debate,
      which around here keeps popping up.

      Brian just closed down a recent one.

      Don't want to derail the good stuff you have posted.

      Best,
      Ewen
      My point there was that word count doesn't automatically make something a great piece of copy. Every word should have purpose.

      Long form sales letters aren’t successful because of their word count.
      Now that I give it a second look, I can see how the above sentence reads as if I don't believe long form can ever work. In fact, I write long form copy all the time.

      Perhaps this is better?:

      Long form sales letters aren't successful JUST because of their word count.
      By the way, thanks for the new addition to my swipe file!
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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    good stuff... but (and this goes for ALL marketers) when you come in and say you're an expert at something... people won't believe you without seeing PROOF... especially if you have no "name" in the biz.
    Signature

    “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

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  • Profile picture of the author Jen Eick
    I will be saving this post!! It's a gem. You could've easily sold information with this much value as a WSO!
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  • Profile picture of the author lthom951
    "Hey bro" isn't likely to hit home with jewelry shoppers, though it may be exactly what you need for your NO2 workout supplement offer.
    This one cracked me up..

    I used to work in supplement stores and would read TONS of copy from the muscle mags. NO2 supplements were really hot at the time, not sure if they still are though.

    Thanks for the awesome list!

    -Luke
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    • Profile picture of the author LP Copywriter
      Originally Posted by lthom951 View Post

      This one cracked me up..

      I used to work in supplement stores and would read TONS of copy from the muscle mags. NO2 supplements were really hot at the time, not sure if they still are though.

      Thanks for the awesome list!

      -Luke
      Glad you like it!

      If I'm not mistaken, NO2 is still selling, though definitely not like it was a year or two ago.
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  • Aside from the 3 small typing errors followed by the advice: "__ Have you edited your copy?"

    I thought this was awesome! (Don't worry, though, I'm not 'that guy' and make the same mistakes AAAAAAAAAALLLLL the time in my posts.)
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    Famous for my '$1000 dollar challenge,' I've been teaching people how to DOMINATE on eBay for YEARS. Sell 100% of your items FOR A PROFIT. Rank higher, sell faster, sell more, and DESTROY your competition with a data-based approach. Quit listening to Guru's-in-training! Click now below!
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememarketing
    That's a great list Paul, I think you tied in every element that I can think of while reading through it. I think the research is something that most people neglect, especially when it comes to the IM Industry. It has to be about more than just making money, growing a list, or here is the SECRET that the GURU'S have been HIDING FROM YOU!

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm so sick of BS products that people try to sell all the time. Usually they are trying to sell it to a new guy that started into IM about a month behind them, but to me, it just feels like scamming someone. I've also seen a lot of ad copy that says hey, I've been there and now I'm rich, so I want to help you to avoid the pitfalls I went through... Let me train you to be successful like me! For only $499.00 I'll show you how I got rich. Let me save you the time and your $499.00, it's probably BS..

    Okay, enough of my ranting..

    Great job Paul, I'm not sure how long you have been doing this but you seem to have a much better grasp on selling, marketing and using psychological triggers to get someone to act than most people on the Warrior Forum, and that's why I'd like to hire you to design some pages for some of my offline companies.
    Signature

    Hb

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  • Profile picture of the author TheSalesBooster
    You just had to post this on the WF... You should of kept it on the other site
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    Great stuff! Thank you.
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    Measure, manage and incentivize customer referrals with ReferralCandy.

    PS: Looking to get more repeat customers for a physical store? Check out CandyBar's digital loyalty cards!

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  • Profile picture of the author RyanGillam
    Printed this off and added to my 'copywriting' information folder. Going to check it out later!
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    • Profile picture of the author LP Copywriter
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      Aside from the 3 small typing errors followed by the advice: "__ Have you edited your copy?"

      I thought this was awesome! (Don't worry, though, I'm not 'that guy' and make the same mistakes AAAAAAAAAALLLLL the time in my posts.)
      Only three errors? Not bad considering I hardly did any proof reading on this one.

      Originally Posted by extrememarketing View Post

      That's a great list Paul, I think you tied in every element that I can think of while reading through it. I think the research is something that most people neglect, especially when it comes to the IM Industry. It has to be about more than just making money, growing a list, or here is the SECRET that the GURU'S have been HIDING FROM YOU!

      I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm so sick of BS products that people try to sell all the time. Usually they are trying to sell it to a new guy that started into IM about a month behind them, but to me, it just feels like scamming someone. I've also seen a lot of ad copy that says hey, I've been there and now I'm rich, so I want to help you to avoid the pitfalls I went through... Let me train you to be successful like me! For only $499.00 I'll show you how I got rich. Let me save you the time and your $499.00, it's probably BS..

      Okay, enough of my ranting..
      I know the feeling. I find this over-hyped approach is going after the low hanging fruit, if you will, of a target audience, but I think a lot of potential customers see through it pretty easily. That said, there's a lot of money to be made this way. As long as you represent your product honestly, I guess I have no issues.

      When I was starting out, I had to take on a lot of projects like this, and became quite good at it, so I still do when they spring up. Of course, working with products I really believe in makes my job a lot easier, which is why I'm excited to help out with your project!

      Originally Posted by extrememarketing View Post

      Great job Paul, I'm not sure how long you have been doing this but you seem to have a much better grasp on selling, marketing and using psychological triggers to get someone to act than most people on the Warrior Forum, and that's why I'd like to hire you to design some pages for some of my offline companies.
      Coming from a seasoned businessman like yourself, that means a lot -- thanks! I got your message, and will have some ideas over to you shortly.

      Originally Posted by TheSalesBooster View Post

      You just had to post this on the WF... You should of kept it on the other site
      Haha, who is this (message me here or there if you'd like)? I don't think it got as much attention as it deserved on the other forum...

      Originally Posted by ReferralCandy View Post

      Great stuff! Thank you.
      Originally Posted by RyanGillam View Post

      Printed this off and added to my 'copywriting' information folder. Going to check it out later!
      Glad to hear you two go something out of reading it!
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