I found these great 20 steps that can really help you [newbie or advanced] in creating a successful landing page. (Cheers to Luca for the steps!)
In this post I would like to point out the importance of "landing pages", that I consider as those pages where users get to after having clicked on a link from a search engine, a promotional e-mail that you have sent, an advertising campaign or from any other means you are using in order to promote a product or a service.
It is easy to guess that these pages have an essential role in the attainment of your goals (selling of an on-line service, of a product, registration to a newsletter, etc.). The user finds himself at an important crossroad: "register or not register?" or "buy or not buy?"
If you aren't able to direct, comfort, stimulate or motivate him adequately, it is unlikely that his choice will be positive.
20 guidelines to create successful landing pages:
(1) The more you inform, the more you sell
In order to push someone to make an action or a purchase it is essential to include as much information as possible; the user will have to find answers to his questions, see his doubts solved and feel the need to do something straightaway!
Your job will be to tell and show him everything he would expect to find in the best product in the world; you will have to give him enough information to persuade him, make him feel ready, firm and comforted to make the purchase. Plan meaty pages provided they are interesting and motivating.
(2) The product is the only protagonist
Don't waste a single pixel of your page talking about anything that isn't about the product you intend to promote. Every sentence, image, multimedia content that isn't of use to sing its praises is only a waste of time for you and your users. The product must be the only protagonist of your page.
(3) Show your product
The web is not a shop; users can't touch what they are seeing. Do all you can to show them just how beautiful and irresistible your product is using all the means at your disposal (2d/3d images, photographs, videos, interactive films, audio, music etc.).
If what you are promoting doesn't physically exist, carry out an ad hoc graphics that can make it as real as possible (e.g. for a software only available in download, create a winning 3d box that represents it).
(4) Show your product
Appearance is very important but the user needs to see the product in action!
Always remember to make a demonstration of the potentialities and functionalities of what you are promoting and you will be able to sell more than with any other technique. A demonstration attracts the attention and stimulates the user’s need.
(5) Use graphics to support the promotional messages
Users understand and remember messages better if they are repeated several times and provided with various techniques. Make sure that they appear both in textual and in graphic form the same number of times. A good idea is also to provide messages in audio format.
(6) Include a winning offer
It is not essential to include an offer but remember that it can turn a normal commercial proposal into an occasion that simply cannot be missed.
In most cases offers, especially “time offers”, increase the purchases and generate the wish and the hurry to buy.
Offers work well because they induce the user to think that if he doesn't buy, he'd miss an unrepeatable occasion (the cost of the non-purchase)!
The better the offer the larger the reply.
(7) The power of the "perceived value"
The effectiveness of your offer depends on the perception that the user has of it, more than the value itself. This is the reason why many offers include products free of charge that increase its perceived value.
(8) Say it again, Gasparuccio
After having finished reading this article try and write on a piece of paper all the rules you remember. You'll understand why repeating messages is so important. Draw attention to messages that are meaningful if you want users to remember (check guideline 5)
(9) Be persuasive
I know, it's not fair, but you will seldom find someone holding his credit card waiting to purchase or to register to a newsletter. If you want users to do something persuade them into doing it!
You will have to convince them that what they are seeing is really what you are describing.
You have to persuade them that their lives will be more exciting, richer and simpler if they buy your product and the exact opposite if they don't.
(10) The importance of "details"
You'd be surprised by the number of hesitations and wrong ideas that arise in the user’s mind when he looks at a commercial offer. Every one of these ideas is strong enough to distract him from the decision to act.
Make a list of all possible reasons that a user may have not to make a purchase and try and answer as many things as possible. Concentrate on the details and on all that at first sight may have been taken for granted!
On internet there’s no tomorrow; if users want to buy, they must do it straightaway!
(11) Give him good reasons to believe you
If what you're offering is better than anything else a user can find elsewhere, you have to tell him why. What science is hidden behind your product? What technological innovation or recent discovery does it use? Always remember to give good reasons to make what you are saying more credible.
(12) Reinforce your credibility
Creating a good credibility is a very complex job but just as important. Take advantage of as many testimonials as you can, known graphic icons (e.g. logo visa, w3c, etc.), mentions from third parties or everything you own that can help you reach an aim (e.g. press release, reviews etc.)
Take into account the fact that the coherence between what you say about your product and what it really is will help you improve your credibility towards the user.
(13) Testimonials work
It is comforting for users to hear about what other people say about your product, especially if they underline how their life has improved since they’ve bought it (e.g. the “before and after” effect).
Use various techniques to give proof: simple textual comments written by who has tried the product, audio files with the real users' voices, films and what more can pop into your mind.
In order to realize whether this technique works and is effective, try to compare a page with testimonies with one without.
(14) Don't give him any possibility to choose
Everyone appreciates having a choice, but what would happen if you asked a user to choose between 2 or more options? Exactly! He would start wondering what is best for him instead of buying.
Users must only have one choice to take, to act or not.
(15) Often repeat what to do
Tell the user exactly what you want him to do and do it often. Repeat the message regularly perhaps using different methods.
(16) Look at them straight into the eyes
When you create contents (text, audio, multimedia etc.) remember to address the user being on first-name terms with him. This makes him feel protagonist and gives him the impression that you are considering him unique and important.
(17) The content is all you have, treat it well!
Make sure that:
• the text doesn't contain mistakes, the grammar is correct and it uses adequate words
• text blocks are not too long and the page is not too heavy
• any link works correctly
• buttons and links are well recognizable
• all messages are clear and comprehensible
• the page is compatible with all the browsers and operating systems
(18) Show problems and then solve them
Show the user the problems he could face if he doesn't buy the product and show him how the product could solve them.
(19) Minimise the user's risks
The lower the risks for the user the higher the sales. A way to reduce risks is to offer a warranty, what we call "satisfied or refunded within 30 days", to include a note on privacy, etc.
(20) Try, verify, modify and verify again!
Good, now the moment to verify that everything works has come:
• create at least two pages that differ for some details
• put the first one on-line and leave it there until it receives 500 unique visits for instance
• analyze and keep the results obtained
• substitute the first page with the second one and keep the latter on-line until it reaches the same number of unique visits the first page has.
• verify which of the two has given better results
• create a third page applying what you have learnt from the two previous experiences and carry on testing until you obtain the "perfect page" (the one that gives you the best results!)
I hope this could be useful!
If so hit Thanks!