Sometimes it’s a little too tempting to make our landing pages visual diaries of all our hard work, complete with Call to Actions (CTAs) that say, in big, emblazoned letters: “Please buy me! I promise I’m awesome!”
Unfortunately, life isn’t always that simple (unless you’re of the very bold sort). Despite our most earnest intentions, we have to be less overt when selling ourselves on our landing pages.
Conversion is a science. Someone was actively seeking out a service, and somewhere in the search engine wonderland, they found your website. The next step requires you to convince them, with exactly the right words, why you are worth their time. You do this with brevity, clarity and a faint hint of persuasion.
Here are some tips for producing copy that converts.
Unfortunately, your headline is one of the few things on your page that people will actually read. While advertising in the print realm is all about creative and eye-catching text, websites make their living on clear-cut copy that says what it means.
It takes about seven seconds for someone to decide whether they’re going to stay on your page or leave it. If they can’t figure out what it is that you do in that amount of time, then you’ll be quickly be traded in for Facebook or Fruit Ninja.
That’s why the most important element of a headline is how understandable it is.
Here, simplicity is king. Rather than sporting a harmonious catchphrase, write what you do in the most straightforward way.
When designing your headline, make sure it’s easy to read and understand. Cushion it with a subhead that solidifies the message, and be careful of burying your message under too many words.
Contently, a service that helps brand generate content, does a great job of this with their headline: “Transform The Way You Create Content,” and their subhead: “Contently empowers the world’s best brands to produce engaging, accountable content for every step of the journey.” The headline captures the user’s end goal, while the subhead expands on exactly what Contently does.
One of the best ways to sell yourself is to highlight your benefits as opposed to your features. This shift in the marketing paradigm emphasizes how your customer will be affected by your services, as opposed to how remarkable said services are. It can make all the difference between a visitor converting or leaving.
Focus on how your product will impact people. Do this in everything from your headlines to your captions to your CTAs.
Evernote, an archiving and notetaking app, does this perfectly with its homepage, which simply reads: “Remember Everything.”
It plays into our hectic lifestyles by highlighting how easy it would be to have all our files stored in one place, “making modern life manageable.”
While you can obviously mention your features too, make sure the core focus of your landing page is your benefits.
A CTA is that button that gets users to act – the reason you created your landing page in the first place. The strongest landing pages are designed around only one CTA, because bombarding people with multiple requests – buy, download, sign up, try – will only overwhelm them with option paralysis. You might think you’re targeting a larger variety of people, but you’re really only increasing the distance between a user and a conversion.
The first step in writing a clear and powerful CTA is to make sure people can see it. In this case, size really does matter. It’s not enough to throw in a “Sign Up” button somewhere in the midst of your page’s content and hope it’s enough. You should use contrasting colors to set your CTA apart from the background. You can opt for a minimalistic design with a white background to really make it stand out.
When you’re writing your CTA, the trick is to focus on short, comprehendible terms. Keep your copy goal-oriented, guiding a visitor directly to your ultimate intention.
You can also tout the benefits here by emphasizing your services: “Make Your Landing Page,” “Find A Tutor Now,” “Learn The Recipe.” This type of content drives your purpose home.
Netflix’s CTA is straight to the point, encouraging users to try out their services for free for one month.
There’s a reason we look at user reviews before making a decision – sometimes what others have to say about your product is more important than what you have to say about It.
Incorporating testimonials into your landing page is one of the best methods for obtaining conversions. Doing so showcases what visitors can directly gain from your services, and what better way to convince people that than to let them hear it from those who have already experienced it?
First, compile your evidence. Even if you’re a startup, see if you can find a testimonial from a few of your beta test subjects. Get quotes! Photos, if possible. Link to press clips if you’ve received them. This social proof corroborates your initial claim and lets you show how great you are without having to say it yourself.
Basecamp did a good job of this by placing quotes from satisfied customers beneath statistics about their overall results.
Develop your voice
Gone are the days where it was acceptable for advertisers to sound like digital machines throwing out overused expressions and marketing jargon. Now, one of the most important aspects of any landing page and marketing campaign is to sound human. Giving your brand a distinct, relatable voice makes people want to stay and read what you have to say. Keep it warm, or funny, or witty, or deep – whatever your persona is, play with it.
Cultivated Wit, a comedy company, does this effortlessly throughout their website by using sass and humor to cultivate their image.
A good way to guarantee you have a strong voice is to read everything you write out loud. If you find yourself tumbling over long sentences or saying words that no one really uses in conversation, cut them out. You can also ask someone to read your copy to you. Chop up your paragraphs and sentences as much as possible, and try to adopt a conversational tone throughout.
Most importantly, test, test and retest. Landing pages give you the opportunity to try out new phrases, so take advantage of that to see which type of copy really converts.