When it comes to building landing pages, a lot of people follow the same checklist and set of guidelines. However, even with those recommendations, you may still end up with a landing page that won’t convert. How? How can you fail when you're following every rule?
Often, the issue comes back to conveying an ineffective message to the customer.
If you’re looking to establish an actual connection with your customer, you can’t only follow best practices and mimic what other companies are doing. You won't get significant results that way. You need to create a landing page that fits your customer, and deserves their attention. And building this kind of landing page starts with landing page copy that's written just for them.
Lead Conversion: What You Need to Know
Writing landing page copy that doesn’t come off as self-promotional or boring is difficult for everyone. You have to be persuasive without being too aggressive and need to demonstrate authority and expertise. For one single landing page, this is a lot to accomplish.
However, because of our current economic landscape, you need to have excellent landing page copy. In the day to day clutter and chaos of the Internet, messages get lost. There’s too much content for customers to process.
In Seth Godin’s book, “The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?”, Godin elaborates on this further. He uses a phrase, “connection economy,” to explain how connections create value, and if you want to engage your customer, you need to establish a relationship with them. When it comes to your landing pages, customers don’t have the time, energy, or motivation to interact with one-size-fits-all copy.
That’s why generic landing pages will not work. You need a landing page that inspires potential customers to act, and if you follow my advice, you can do it.
#1. Don't Sell Bathtubs
Confession: one of my guilty pleasures is the Home Depot gardening section. When I go to the gardening section of the store, it's because I'm ready to buy a new plant (or replacing one that I have unintentionally killed.) In that section of the store, I know I'll find a variety of succulents, bamboo, and bonsai, as well as related items like hoses, pots, soil, etc.
Now, if I walked into the gardening section and saw bathtubs for sale next to the brown mulch, it would distract me. It would detract from my objective. But Home Depot wouldn't do that, because no Home Depot executive thinks, "Well, she's already out there looking at herbs! Let's make sure she sees we have other stuff, too!"
When it comes to your landing page copy, the idea is the same. When a customer clicks on a PPC or retargeting ad promoting a free trial, they expect context about that trial on the landing page. At that point, they are walking into your garden center (your landing page) to look at your plants (your offer.) You can help guide their decision with related topics (fertilizer, gardening gloves, a hose), but you shouldn't go beyond that.
#2. Find Your Jimmy
When I went to Digital Marketer's Traffic and Conversion Conference this year, one of my favorite speakers was John Lee Dumas, the host of the podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire. John has a ton of followers and listeners, and he credits that success to a guy named Jimmy. Jimmy is not a real person, but an imaginary buyer persona of John's creation, or what he calls an avatar.
The Jimmy character reflects John's ideal listener and has the same characteristics as the people John wants to become a podcast follower. When John creates content, whether it be a landing page, blog post, or podcast, he uses Jimmy's preferences and interests to inform his thinking. That way, he's creating something of real value for the listeners that fall into the Jimmy persona category.
You can do the same to inform your landing page copy. If you create buyer personas and invest time in building them out, you can get specific about the actual objections, challenges, or fears your customer is experiencing on your landing page.
If your personas need work, check out our SprocketRocket Strategy Kit for some one-page templates that help define personas with more detail.
#3. Stop Focusing On Your Solution
One of the trickiest parts of writing landing page copy is demonstrating value without being aggressive. When you're focusing on writing about your solution, this is where you might get stuck. My best advice? Don't focus on the solution at all. Instead, write a majority of the copy with the customer's problem in mind. If you can understand the issues the offer will help solve, you can use those insights to inform your landing page.
Another way to curate this kind of copy is by understanding the psychology of why someone would convert. What is happening in your customer's day to day life that makes them download your offer? Get specific, and focus on emotion over logic. If you can identify what challenge your customer desperately wants to solve, you can get in front of them with compelling copy that guides them towards the action you want them to take.
#4. Trust The Differences
Your landing page needs to build trust with a visitor that very likely, doesn't know you very well. They don't have a lot of knowledge about your brand, your values, or your expertise. A lot of companies understand this, so they use proof points to earn trust, such as:
- Adding social proof, such as tweets or Facebook comments talking about your brand
- Inserting quotes from previous customers, discussing a positive experience with you
- Taking reviews from customers from sites such as Capterra, G2Crowd, and TrustRadius
- Incorporating insights or stats from or about your offer
But you probably know all of those tactics already, right? Your competitors already have landing pages with those points. As a result, I always recommend avoiding generic stats and leaning towards points that demonstrate how your brand is different. Every customer will have existing assumptions about your industry or brand, and if you can identify what those are, you can provide stats that help your customer overcome any hesitation.
#5. Use Triggers Wisely
You've probably gotten an email that swore your time was running out or a letter in the mail that told you to take immediate action "or else." The first time that happens, you panic and start to respond. Then, you realize it's only someone trying to steal your attention, and you feel foolish. That's how your customer feels when you use emotional triggers to get them to do something they're not ready to do.
When you use emotional triggers in your landing page copy, you need to strike a balance. Emotional triggers can help get customers to convert. If you take it too far, you'll lose credibility with a potential lead. Get started by skipping any language that seems like a trick, and focus on customer pain points.
You can get more guidance on what your customer pain points are with a customer journey map. In this exercise, you can walk through the start to finish experience of a customer, and see where their frustrations lie, as it pertains to the offer on your landing page.
#6. Keep The CTA Simple
Every landing page has a call-to-action. It's the action you want the user to take on your landing page and can be anything from signing up for a free trial to downloading an ebook. Getting your visitor to click on that button is the goal of your landing page, so you need to be strategic about language.
Do you go generic, and stick with language like "Start Now," or "Click Here"? Or do you try something direct, such as "Download EBook"? The answer depends. There's a lot of ways to write a call-to-action, but it's best to stick with simple, straightforward language that tells the user exactly what to do. Stick to two to seven words, and give the visitor an explicit action that communicates what the next step should be.
Writing Copy For Lead Conversion
When writing your landing page, specificity is gold. If you can get very specific about who you're targeting and what problem you're solving, you can make the entire landing page about your ideal customer. You can show what's at stake if they don't overcome their problem. Otherwise, you're working with a landing page that's too generic and will fade in with every other landing page out there.
If you're fine-tuning landing page copy to increase conversions and get closer to your revenue goals, your entire marketing strategy may need a refresh. To gain more precise insight into the key performance indicators that you need to hit to achieve your revenue goals, check out our Goal Setting Guide. The Goal Setting Guide will help you assess where you are now, and where you could be in a few short years.