Are your landing pages a dark, consuming forest where all your prospects come to die? Have your Billy Mays-inspired sales pitches driven potential leads to the point of extinction? Have you promised them the moon when all they’re looking for is a bed bug estimate?
If that’s the case, it’s time for a quick crash course in effective landing page writing. So let’s forge a clear path through the forest, and invite your prospects to come back out of the woodwork.
Keep Your Eye on the Goal
It’s the final half and the heat is on. You feel the sweat running down your neck as your eyes focus in on the net ahead with laser precision. You’re hungry for a victory.
As you zig-zag down that soccer field, weaving in and out of your opponents with Pelé-like precision, you’ve only got one thing on your mind – getting the ball into that goal. It’s just you and that net. You approach as your beating heart thuds in your ears, drowning out the screaming fans. You pull back for the windéup, deliver a power kick, and POW! Bulls-eye straight into that net! The crowd goes wild! You’re suddenly lifted onto someone’s shoulders, cheering…
Okay, I’m sorry, I digress. So soccer isn’t your thing. I get it. You’re here to learn about landing pages and I’ve gone off into “sports announcer land.”
So what were we talking about again?
Landing pages. Right. So. Here’s the thing. That soccer segue wasn’t as ill-timed as it might have seemed. It was included to demonstrate a point about having a goal. A focus.
The number one rule of landing pages is that they must have a focus.
Did you already start writing, or worse yet, finish writing your landing page, only to discover you had no idea what your goal was? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor and please just STOP. Right now, Just put the pen down or stop typing and think for a minute:
What are you trying to achieve with your landing page? Why should someone come there? Why should they care about what it is you’re providing?
If you can’t answer these questions, I’m sorry to say you have no business writing a landing page. And if you insist on writing one anyway, good luck trying to get someone to read it, let alone fill out the form.
Your landing pages need to ensure people that they are in the right place and that you can deliver what it is they’re looking for.
There’s no pie-in-the-sky, life-altering lesson here. You need to simply state what it is you’re delivering, why someone should care, and then deliver what you promise. It’s that simple.
Stop Trying to be Funny
A horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks, “Excuse me, why haven’t you filled out the form on the landing page?”
The confused look I guarantee you have on your face right now is exactly the face your prospects will have when they arrive at your cheeky landing page.
Remember: be direct. It’s simple.
But don’t people want to come to your landing page to have a little chuckle or see how innovative your company is?
No they do not.
They simply want to receive what it is you’re offering them.
Landing pages are not the place to be creative. They are for capturing email addresses, not imaginations.
Think about it.
The stakes are super high on landing pages. You’re either going to capture the coveted golden crypt of Egypt (a.k.a their email address), or you’re going home leadless, with nothing but your wasted time and efforts.
So the choice is abundantly clear.
Save the creative stuff for your emails, your ads, whatever is capturing their attention and driving them to your landing pages. But once they’re there, for Heaven’s sake, DO NOT distract them from giving you the very thing it is you need from them.
Let Visuals be Your Guide
But that’s not to say your landing pages should emulate stark white medical forms, either. They shouldn’t be void of visual appeal and interest.
In fact, it’s a smart idea to include a visual that supports your page goal and helps assure people that they’re in the right place. Just as long as its relevant and appropriate to your content.
If you’re offering a generator consultation, you’re not going to display a basket of kittens sunning themselves or a zesty burrito oozing with cheese.
But you get the idea.
Flattery Could Get You Everywhere
What do people like talking and hearing about more than anything else?
Use this valuable piece of knowledge to your advantage and talk to your reader as though it’s them and only them you’re talking to.
Say things like: “Here’s how you can get control over rodents” as opposed to “Here’s how people can get control over rodents.”
Your reader doesn’t care about Mary Sue’s horrifying rat infestation because it’s not relevant to their life. They just want to know that you can help them.
Also, don’t talk down to people. No one wants to hear that they’re an idiot and that you’ve come along to save the day and make their lives right again. You’re not performing surgery here; you’re just helping them solve a problem.
Do Your Best Impression of a Human
When you first start writing landing pages, you may find it’s a little challenging to sound like an actual human person, and your “pitch” may be more akin to a salesy-robot machine:
Yeah, not so super effective for getting people to fill out the form.
Think about it this way. You’ve been talking and acting like a human your whole life up until now, so why should that be any more difficult on your landing pages?
After writing, read back your text as though you were speaking to a friend in a coffee shop. Think about what you’d actually say to another human if they were sitting right in front of you.
Keep this pointer in mind: If you can’t explain something easily, you don’t understand it well enough.
So if that’s the case, go back and reeducate yourself on what it is you’re talking about. Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and try to imagine what they would respond to.
Now, here’s my best effort to not sound like Sales-O-Tron:
We’d love to help you write more effective landing pages and improve your overall marketing efforts. If that’s something you’re interested in, get in touch for a free marketing assessment and we’ll help you communicate more clearly and humanly.