By David Alpern
Crafting an effective landing page is not as simple as one might think. There are many elements to address, being mindful of the psychology lurking beneath the surface as it relates to what the prospect ultimately wants and expects, and there is no practical and universal step-by-step guide that is applicable across industries.
Keep in mind that at the end of the day your company’s landing page is unique so you need to understand your target audience in the context of the 5 keys presented below. Yet, some things do remain constant across high-converting landing pages:
Key #1: Powerful and Compelling Headline
The headline is the magnet. That is true in any environment, in print, in an email subject line, as well as on a landing page. It needs to grab the reader’s attention with a short, punchy message that informs the reader what the product or service is all about. If you feel too limited in accomplishing this with just a headline, it is okay to also include a persuasive sub-headline. If the headline makes one look, the sub-headline should be designed to lure them to stay and go into slightly more depth.
Key #2: Pictures
Not just for the design enhancement of balancing the written content on your landing page, the brain actually processes images 60,000 times faster than text. The reader will be affected by the image(s) immediately. Best practices include using high-quality large pictures, have them be relevant (so using a cute baby, if irrelevant to your product or service is not effective), and making sure the image is not subtle. It needs to drive attention and stimulate.
Key #3: Explain the Value Proposition
Provide a straightforward explanation about your product or service. Interestingly, the explanation need not be integrated with your headline but should have some relation to your picture. An explanation should be benefit-oriented in a user oriented functional manner. For example, in place of “We make advertisements” go with the more compelling, value-oriented: “Get advertising that makes you money.” This addresses the important “What’s in it for me?” question. Another good way to convey the value proposition is through a list of benefits that are clearly focused on the user, rather than talking about yourself as a company. Ultimately, end with the CTA (call to action) with nearby testimonials, if available. CTA placement is a critical component and is okay to place the CTA in multiple locations on a single landing page, typically positioned at the end of various sections on the landing page.
Key #4: Pain & Pleasure
The fear of loss is a much more powerful motivator than the prospect of gain. Humans are wired to avoid pain, so if your landing page can cause the user to think about their pain, that can motivate them subconsciously to seek relief and thereby be more likely to convert. Pain can be communicated by discussing what will be lost as opposed to what will be gained. Pain references can appear in the testimonials as well as in the copy. Be sure to explain how your product or service can relieve the pain, as well as how it provides pleasure. Pleasure is often the by-product of what you are selling. For example, software performs tasks more efficiently, so it in effect is offering freedom, relief, and joy. Clothing is selling not just fabric but respect, trendiness, security, vibrancy, and fulfillment. A successful landing page identifies how to inspire and convey a sense of wonder and surprise.
Key #5: CTA Lead Generation Form + Contact Information
The CTA button is the most significant copy element on your entire landing page. It’s more than a “submit” button, so use a bold color that separates it from the rest of the content on the page. The CTA should be physically big on the page, powerful in value, compelling, and attractive. Yet, some people will want to bypass the CTA and contact you. Make sure you have multiple methods of contacts — phone, address, email, chat feature, as well as that cherished contact form. These help eliminate any friction in the conversion funnel and the physical address and phone help assure that you are a real company.