Landing pages serve as entry points for building relationships with potential customers. To enable this relationship and eventually reward both parties with significant value, landing pages need to be crafted carefully.
They need to convert visitors into leads by asking for information in exchange for something of value. This could be as simple as a free taste of your product or service, or just a premium piece of valuable content.
Landing pages need to set the right expectations for the offer and clearly communicate the value for the customer. First impressions all too often double as last impressions. It's up to your landing page to make the difference.
Items Your Landing Pages Must Include
Marketers often have long lists of things we want customers to know about our brands, products, and services, but these lists might not overlap fully with what prospects most urgently want to know.
Since you want visitors to your site to convert into loyal customers and, even farther down the line, brand evangelists, it’s a good idea to put aside your list and focus on providing customers with the information they want instead.
We’re all for minimalism, but we’ve found these four elements to be absolutely essential to every landing page we create:
1. Honesty in Determining Fit
Your brand's solution is primed to be perfect for a specific audience, right? Logically, this means it's going to be a less-than-perfect fit for the general public.
Let's accept this fact and move on with creating signposts that help visitors assess the likelihood your solution can deliver value to them. It’s far better to lose a few prospects at this stage of the buyers’ journey than to encourage the wrong people to opt in.
You want to avoid nurturing leads that will never convert, or worse, will eventually convert and end up disgruntled; telling their family and friends, on and offline, how bad your solution is.
Your landing page should make it very clear whom this product is valuable for. You don’t have to say outright what types of people are bad matches, but your text should eliminate the guesswork.
2. A Clear, Compelling Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
People won’t spend long on a webpage unless it grabs their attention. You need a clear, concise, and prominent "micro elevator pitch" which informs readers what they stand to gain by forking over their contact details. This is your UVP.
Whether you are asking them to exchange an email address for a free e-book, or the name of their first pet for a free sample of some kind, let them know exactly what they will get and why it's good for them.
Use a single phrase or short sentence so the customer can understand your UVP at a quick glance. You should elaborate a bit with some bullet points, but keep the supporting copy to a minimum to avoid "Too Long; Don’t Read" bounces.
Here’s a tip for your UVP: State the benefit of converting in one sentence. Then, try to shrink that statement down to as few words as possible. Direct and to the point is always better than abstract.
3. Set The Right Expectations
Brand trust is a fragile thing. Don't risk squandering the limited goodwill you have with new prospects. Landing pages are opportunities to explain exactly what's going to happen next, throughout the lead nurturing process, and even after prospects become paying customers.
When brands make promises, delivering on these promises is what makes or breaks trust. If you ask prospects to opt in so they can access an e-book, let them know how and when they'll get the download link. If you offer a special deal or a free trial, let the customer know if there are limitations. Always make it super clear what your paid solution does and doesn't do.
The lion's share of the lead-nurturing process hinges on delighting leads, so put yourself in position to over-deliver.
Be sure not to over-commit and fall short. Doing this will generate bad sentiment about you on social media and beyond.
4. Address Their Needs, Fears, and Wants
What does your ideal customer seek to accomplish?
What are the pain points your brand's solution solves?
What are they looking to avoid at all costs?
Speak to these fears in your landing pages to get visitors to identify with your offer. Are they going to get bombarded with unwanted emails or annoying “follow-up” sales calls? Does anyone else trust you with their contact details and/or business?
Use landing page design and content to explain how your solution will make their lives better and why they should trust you. List the benefits of working with you. Adorn lead capture forms with micro pledges to respect leads' privacy and to never sell them out to third-party marketing lists.
Security seals and SSL certificates actually work well for building trust. Include statements of "social proof," specifying just how many of your prospects' peers already love what you're offering.
Make sure your visitors feel like they're in good hands, and they'll be far more likely to convert.
What Did We Miss?
There are many more elements inbound marketers might swear are equally or even more pivotal to landing page success than these four.
Additions to this list may include great calls-to-action, testimonials from satisfied customers, social sharing buttons, and prominent explainer videos.
What landing page game-changers do you see as deal breakers?
Leave a comment below and loop us in!
A content and social media marketing specialist, Ben Jacobson joined the Lean Labs team in the summer of 2014. Ben has been active as a digital branding professional since the early days of social media, having overseen projects for brands including MTV, National Geographic, Zagat and Wix. His writing has appeared in Social Media Explorer, Search Engine Journal, Techwyse and the Mad Mimi Blog. Ben resides just south of the Carmel Mountain ridge in Israel with his dashing wife and two sprightly descendants.