Create a Landing Page from Scratch (all items you might have forgotten)
This is not a complete copywriting guide. This is an inventory. The basics of landing page creation with a copywriter’s eye.
This article will help you be ready with your landing page, and know exactly what to write and show.
How will you distribute it?
The first important point we need to clarify is how you plan to let people know about it, because it will influence how you build the page.
It doesn’t matter if you’re directing potential leads from a newsletter campaign, a Facebook ad, or just about all your channels at once.
If you use one landing page for a single marketing channel (recommended), you can better segment your unknown leads. Not to mention, you can use the message match better (I’ll explain that later). Yes, it means 10 different landing pages for 10 different marketing channels.
You can even call out your audience based on where their interest came from. In the first paragraph you can write “I’m glad you saw me in your Facebook newsfeed because” and link to all your Facebook ads there – or “it was the best decision of your life to open that email and click” – sending email subscribers to another version of landing page. This lets them know that you pay attention to them, exactly where they came from and why, so it builds trust.
Let’s move to the page itself.
What, why, how?
There are 3 basic types of information that your reader should clearly understand after reading (or even skimming) the landing page.
- What do you offer them?
- What do you want in return?
- What should they do?
Your answers to these questions should be very specific on the page, so you need to be clear before you write a single word.
Let’s start with what you offer. Your offer (the lead magnet, or the product) has to be clear. The benefits should be listed, and what it brings to the customer’s life.
It should be written simple, so that a 10-year-old can understand.
What are you offering and what do you want in return?
I’m not just thinking about examples like don’t ask for their blood type on a simple newsletter signup – it’s also a problem if you give too much in exchange for so little. In fact, it can raise a number of problems.
- It might undervalue your product. Teleshop has been with us for far too long to believe them: buy get the $500 worth knife set for $49.99 and thousands of other items are added as a bonus.
- On the other hand, it may raise suspicion. If I believe that the product is really that valuable and yet it has a ridiculously low price tag, then I assume that there is some trick and I am being lied to.
If you are asking an unbelievably low price, it is better to give something for free – like those typical ads on Facebook where you can only order small products (watch, beer opener, etc.) for free plus shipping costs. Clearly, the point here is not the product, the cost (which is usually very low) works as an investment in lead acquisition, as this will generate a lot of traffic to their website. Plus, when a customer comments about the products on social media, the company instantly gets real testimonials.
Finally, what do they have to do to be a lead? How do I get your bait or product?
Don’t assume that they are stupid, but walk them through the process. Tell them which button to click, where it will take them, how long it will take, and what the end result will be. Are you sending them an email with an e-book? Will you ship something to their address? They will be more confident if they know in advance why they are taking the time to fill out your forms and go through the checkout process.
Anatomy of the landing page
First of all, consider exactly what content blocks your landing page should contain. Usually blocks that go on a landing page are:
- Your logo, brand elements
- Product Benefits
- Product Features
- Credibility elements
Let’s see why they are important, one-by-one.
Logo and brand elements
If you’re new to “message match”, it’s time to learn more about it (and use it of course). The point is that in a specific campaign (but preferably throughout your whole communication), certain elements must match and show throughout the whole campaign to build trust.
Your logo or graphic elements visually ensure that your landing page visitor is not misled by the ad, and they are on the right page.
I won’t go into detail on this, because we’ve written several articles and created video courses on how to write a good headline.
A headline certainly has to be eye-catching. In this article you will find the best headline formulas that can help you.
And, of course, you need to pay attention to the message match here too. Include terms that you used in your ads or in your newsletter CTA.
The most obvious function of subheads is to break the copy into different sections.
The two most important functions of subheads on a landing page are:
- Catch the attention of those who flip through the text and bring focus to each block
- Encourage those who have actually begun reading your copy to read more
The first few paragraphs on a landing page are just as important as in an article. The visitor will then decide whether or not to spend more time on your page.
A proven technique for this is the APP formula:
- You write a general statement that the reader can easily identify with, creating sympathy and credit for your words (agree)
- You promise what results and favorable outcomes you can achieve for them (promise)
- Then, for the sake of authenticity, give a short preview of what they will read (preview)
Here’s an example where we used this:
- Headline: 15 copywriting secrets that bring more visitors to your site.
- Agree: It’s a good thing if you know about SEO, and it’s also good if you know about copywriting. But you can be unstoppable in your marketing if you combine the two.
- Promise: We share something with you that you make you feel like an SEO superman.
- Preview: 15 clear and ready-to-use copywriting techniques.
But it can also be effective to simply introduce storytelling: start telling an interesting story that will hypnotize your reader. Make them aware that you were already in a similar position to understand your problem. It will show empathy.
Before you start writing, find out the product benefits that can really be important to your customer. Some of these provide a good foundation for further storytelling, others can be displayed in bullet point lists or even in video format.
Here is an article about how to find features and benefits (and which to use)
Keep in mind that one of the fundamentals of sales copywriting is that the benefit is not the same as feature. It is a feature that an office chair’s backrest is ergonomically bent. The benefit, however, is that it eliminates my back pain that comes from office work.
Product Properties (Features)
Features are much less interesting, but the most important ones must be on the page. This is due, among other things, to the fact that because your buyer or lead can’t personally inspect the product, more information is needed to convince them.
Features give credibility to benefits, but the benefits are always what sell the product.
Pictures and videos. You should create these AFTER writing the features & benefits section, as pictures and videos are there to illustrate these.
If you have an info product, it’s not something you can touch, turn, or feel. If you show it as a physical product (even if it has never existed), it will make it easier for your prospects to convert (they can identify your info product as a book, they can imagine how it looks and feels).
In the video, it is worthwhile to show you how to use the product. A shorter how-to content is effective in this case, and you can also show the desired “after” state.
And photos should be unique (avoid stock photos), high resolution, and showcase the product from every angle, even on a simple product page.
If you include a person in your image, make sure they are happy and look where your product is, (this is a common trick to guide the reader’s eye on the part of the picture you want). When we see a person in a picture, we follow his gaze with ours.
Just don’t add a picture because you feel the page is blank without it. If you can’t clearly tell what your purpose is with an illustration (filling space is not a goal), don’t use it.
Collect in advance anything that can support your claims about product benefits.
- Positive letters sent to your customer service
- Reviews and feedback
- Evaluations by industry experts, such as magazines, bloggers, or testers
- Comments from social media sites
- User Content, for example customer created demos, customer results (like recipes or completed projects), and user tips and tricks
In fact, even negative opinions can be a benefit – especially if you can respond to it in a positive way that demonstrates the great customer service your potential customers can expect.
Your final offer. This is a very short block of 1-3 sentences right before the CTA – it makes the visitor click. This is a great opportunity to re-emphasize the three factors mentioned at the beginning of the article: what you’re asking for, what they get in return, and exactly what they have to do.
Don’t overdo it, make sure you have a call to action, a form, and a button.
In our experience, most companies lose most conversions here simply because the offer is not clear. Describe exactly what your visitors have to do, and in return what they will receive. It may seem obvious, but we have seen a lot of landing pages where, even after reading it, we couldn’t figure out what it is about and what we should do.
It’s a tricky element because it makes a difference how many fields you put in it. Experience has shown that 2 or 3 work best. With too many fields to fill in, the conversion starts to drop steeply.
For example, if you only want dedicated, serious leads (also known as quality, or qualified leads) because they sign up for a free webinar, then ask for as much information as possible. Once you have communicated how valuable your product is, and how it solves their problem, they will happily give you a range of personal information and contact information.
However, if you are offering a free ebook, the name, email address is the most practical info to ask them to fill in. For serious, or B2B list building, also ask for company name and/or position. Avoid getting a phone number, with the next intended step being is that you call your lead, because most people hate such calls today.
For each field, think about whether you will actually use the requested information.
If you’ve been asking for a phone number for 2 years, but you didn’t usually track leads on the phone, take out the phone number field. The other question should be if you can get the desired information any other way (for example later in a newsletter).
Be simple, clear, and noticeable. A big, high-contrast button that, rather than saying something like “learn more” instead says “sign up”, “get the e-book” or “don’t miss out!”
Where you want to put it depends mostly on the complexity of the offer – at least according to some best practices, I would recommend placing several relevant CTA on every 1.5-2 screen lengths (as the reader scrolls) , because you convince different readers at different times, through different copy. Don’t force your evangelist to read the whole long sales pitch when they would click right away, but guide the doubtful stranger all the way through the form so they can learn everything they need to make a decision.
How long should it be?
It can be determined by the complexity of the offer. An eBook can simply have a logo, a headline, some benefits, an offer, and a CTA.
For a more expensive product or service, such as attending a conference or an expensive consultation, you will likely need the full arsenal of persuasion.
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