The landing page is perhaps the most important part of an email marketing campaign, as it is the final step in the process of securing the lead. It is “do or die”, where the potential prospect makes their final decision to enter their data and download the content or to close out the page and move on to something else. We are down to the wire with a single shot at impressing, so it has to be right.
Landing Page Components
A landing page is constructed of various segments which each play a role in the prospect’s decision making process. These building blocks include:
- The Headline
- The Sub-header
- The Introductory Paragraph
- Bullet Points Presenting Points of Interest, Benefits or Topics Covered
- The Call to Action
- Prospect Info Form
- Privacy Statement
- A/B Testing
The Keys to a Successful Headline
The headline is usually the first thing that the prospect sees upon the opening of the landing page. It makes your first impression and sets the tone for the page. Being a solid believer in the “What’s in it for Me?” and “Get to the Point” schools of thought, I recommend wording your headline as succinctly and briefly as possible, while poking their pain points or creating a sense of urgency. The example “Thwart System Intruders & Go Home Early Tonight” conveys the topic – system security, pokes their pain point – regularly leaving work late, and has a sense of urgency – tonight.
The best sources of collecting pain points are your customers and your sales team. Your sales team has heard it all and are experts at “poking the pain point”. Generating a sense of urgency is as simple as using a phrase such as limited number only, don’t be left out, available for a limited time, or perhaps printing “Act Now” on the button that engages the download.
Effective landing page will employ three elements:
- Clarity – Focus on keeping it simple and to the point
- Connection – Should be relevant to your offer
- Benefit – Easily convey the problem the offer solves
Tip – The goal of the headline is to prompt the prospect to continue engaging with the page’s content, prompting them to click the Call to Action link.
A sub-header is a single sentence that supports and reinforces the subject the header is conveying. If we were to reference the header example used above, “Thwart System Intruders & Go Home Early Tonight”, an appropriate sub-header might be “Learn how to combat time consuming cyber-attacks with these new security protocols.” The sub-header elaborates upon the header, as a supporting statement to add clarity, further detailing what is to come.
Opening Paragraph Content
Words are the most important part of the landing page. They are the first thing that the prospect sees as the page loads and the last thing before they decide to engage with you or not. The words are what impacts their decision. Sure, snappy colors and a nice layout do factor in, but in no way impact the final decision as your words do.
The opening paragraph is where you establish your credibility and cover off in more detail on how their pain points can be resolved. Your choice of verbiage should be straight forward and simple. Make it as easy for them to understand your points as you possibly can, and avoid clichés at all costs. Write the way you speak, using normal words and short sentences.
Bullet points are used as a tool to feature points of special interest so they stand out and do not get lost in the body of paragraphs. They are for the cream of the crop information that will peak customer interest. Reserve your bullet points for information that shows the customer what is in it for them such as increases in conversions, productivity or profits, as well as decreases in expenses, time investment or costs. The bullets are an at a glance, easy to read depiction of why the prospective customer should be interested in reading your white paper further or discussing your product or service.
Whenever possible use numbers or statistics to help substantiate your claims. Which of these two examples is more credible to you?
- Your conversion rates will rocket!
- Over the last 90 days, conversion rates have increased by 70.4%
Obviously, the second sentence is far more credible as it provides metrics for a specified period. Being specific adds to its believability. After all, anyone can make unfounded claims
The Call to Action
Everything we have done up to now has led us to this point. The Call to Action may be the single most important aspect of the landing page. It is where we finally ask the prospective customer to fill out the form and download your content, agree to a meeting or buy a product. It should be direct and to the point. Sometimes the Call to Action can be just a simple button that says “Get your e-book now!” on it. Regardless, you’ve worked hard thru the various steps of composing your subject line, email and landing page content. Now is not the time to be shy about asking for what you want.
Prospect Info Form
The Prospect Info form should be simple and only ask for the information you really need. Generally, you should ask for the prospects name, title, email address and phone number. If you ask for too much, they may not take the time to fill it out and your hard work goes for naught. When you compile a list of your responder’s information, be sure to check the email address given against the address you sent the email to. This will let you know if the format or address has changed over time, allowing you to update your data base, or detect whether or not they gave you an accurate address or not.
Directly below the Prospect Information form, be sure to include a statement that assures the prospect that the information provided to you will never be sold or distributed to another party. You’d be surprised how this simple little thing can overcome a fear or doubt just by being there. Giving up your email address or direct line phone number is not something that people do easily anymore.
Testimonials validate that you are what you say you are, can do what you have promised and are worthy of their time, trust and involvement. Often, when a prospect is sitting on the fence, deciding whether to click the button or close the page out, the testimonial will be the deciding factor. So use the best three customer statements about your firm’s services or products that you have. If you do not have a testimonial, ask three of your best customers if they would consider writing one for you.
The best way to understand your audience and what it responds best to is to do A/B Testing. You can test for all types of things such as headlines, sub-headlines, images, image placement, number of questions asked on the info form, the layout of the page, the bullet points selected, the call to action copy, right down to the font type used. Simply divide your data base in half and monitor which half gets the best conversions. Just change one single item, so that you know which got the greater return.
Other related material that you may be interested in reading:
- The Importance of a Pre-header
- The Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing