Developing landing pages that convert for sales can be a tricky, frustrating and time consuming task. Although many individuals in your organization will look upon it as a trivial process, rest assured it isn't!
We spend many hours writing, creating wire frames, designing, testing and optimizing landing pages that convert. We've put together some handy tips to get you started down the road of successful landing pages. Let's get started debunking some common landing page myths.
Myth #1: Long form is ineffective
There is a common conception in the world of design and online marketing that everything needs to be "above the fold". In the case of sales landing pages the goal is engagement - once we have a consumer's attention we can open a dialogue with them. The long form strategy gives us an opportunity to tell a story.
This is where the long form is most effective, it gives us the opportunity to address consumer objections, questions, and comments on a longer single form page. Length in these case is good and will provide a central location for future reference during a purchase or registration decision making process.
Myth #2: We have to do the "hard" sell.
Calls to action do not need to be "Buy Now" or "Register before it's too late!" - quite often these hard selling techniques illicit a barrier in the consumers mind and drive them away. Rather, try to lead the consumer through your "story" using techniques such as questions, referring to other customers or proof points for your product.
Here's an admittedly very generic example:
Yup! "What do saavy individuals do when they need a solution to their problem?"
Hmm? "Buy now and get 50% off our awesome solution!"
Try to remove any "hard" selling techniques, soften and create engagement through questions and enticing headlines. It's a tough hurdle to jump, but once you're there, you'll see the benefits!
Myth #3: Once it's written, we're done.
Landing pages are always in a state of flux, what worked today may not work tomorrow.
Be flexible and open-minded to testing various copy iterations, never become too deeply attached to one message or angle when describing your product. Testing the copy and variants of that copy to determine what resonates is key to our success.
Myth #4: You know the message.
I'll guarantee you one thing, you're too close to the project.
You've possibly spent years thinking about your product, determining features and benefits and in the course of that process have become "attached" to those sentiments.
Let them go and understand that the customer you're talking to knows a heck of alot more than we do about the product or service. Here are a few pro tips to illicit feedback to refine your message:
- Have sales ask customers and leads what they like, don't like, what made them leave or not join.
- Ask paying members what they liked most about your product, what ultimately convinced them to sign up, and how they would describe your service to a friend.
- Next, ask non-paying members many questions, including what would make them sign up for the service, which tools they liked the most and the least, and what their most time-consuming travel tasks and issues are.
- Talk with customers who have canceled or gone inactive, asking them the obvious question: “Why did you cancel?” We also wanted them to tell us the one thing that would bring them back.
Myth #5: Offline sales are irrelevant.
Learn from face-to-face selling. We can sell a product or a service face-to-face but quite often our website is not nearly as effective at communicating in the same way. Why is that? Because we view a website as something separated from real life when in fact it is not.
Here's an exercise to help you through the process: pretend someone in your office is the prospect while we record the sales approach taken by the CEO, VP Sales or your rock star sales person.
Then, compared what was on the current landing page (and website) with the details used to sell your product face to face. It's a simple technique that will enable us to identify what is missing from the message, and it's highly effective!
Pro tip: using video in your landing pages is a massively effective way to both humanize and convey your message. More on video in future conversion optimization posts. 🙂
Bringing it all home.
A landing page is a channel used to convey a message, and in order to be effective we have to "become the customer", it's a great way to see first-hand the good and not-so-good aspects of the actual customer experience.
It's a non-technical and very useful way to view your online marketing, conversion and sales efforts. This is our starting point for developing extremely useful and highly converting landing pages that will address the current brand and messaging direction of your company, regardless of what you're selling.
One last piece of advice for the marketer: we <3 Unbounce for landing page development, monitoring, and optimization. You don't need to be a code guru to create some very effective landing pages that are quick and easy to update!