Why You NEED to Collect Email Addresses and Start a List Everyone wants more visitors to…
What is a Landing Page?
A Landing Page is a stand-alone webpage that is used in digital marketing campaigns.
It’s called a Landing Page because it’s where a visitor ‘lands’, usually after they have clicked a link in an email or a link in an advert.
A landing page is somewhat different to a normal webpage because it’s designed with only ONE specific goal in mind. Typically that goal might be to try and get people to sign up for a news letter, an ebook, or a webinar, or it might be to encourage people to buy a product or course.
You might be asking yourself, but isn’t my homepage a landing page?
Well technically, yes it is… because when people come to your site that’s where they often ‘land’ first.
So you’re probably scratching your head by now and wondering…
Why do I need a stand alone landing page?
Lets try and illustrate this.
Suppose you realise you’ve run out of coffee… (which is always a bad thing in my house)… and let’s say you go down to the local store to buy some more.
So you enter the store and while you’re there you see your favourite snack on offer, so you pick some up… and then you see someone you know, so you get talking… and before you know it, you’ve got back home and forgotten to buy the coffee that you went for in the first place… You got distracted.
A similar sort of thing happens online.
Let’s say that this time you’re the one selling the coffee, and you’re running a facebook ad campaign and sending visitors to your website homepage where hopefully they will go and buy the coffee. So far, so good.
However, this is where the problem starts… because what happens when the person comes to your homepage?
Well, if your coffee is the first thing on your homepage and they can buy it from there, then you might be in with a chance of a sale. But what if it’s not on your homepage?
That visitor has seen your facebook ad and they may be interested in buying, but now they have to hunt around your site to find it.
What happens if they can’t find it?… Or what happens if they get distracted with other things on your site and forget all about the coffee?
Now you have lost the sale, and possibly the visitor for good.
In order to prevent that happening you need a Landing Page, a landing page that has ONE specific purpose in mind, and that purpose is to get them to buy the coffee… WITHOUT them getting distracted.
Protecting your ad account
Another good reason to use a landing page is that social media sites such as facebook don’t like people sending visitors straight from facebook directly to an affiliate offer, it’s against their terms.
If you break those terms don’t be surprised if your ad account gets blocked or maybe even your social media account is banned.
The way round this is to use a landing page. That way the visitor is not going directly to the affiliate offer, instead they are going to your landing page and from there you can send them wherever you like without risk to your ad account.
The difference between a landing page and a homepage
As I’ve just mentioned, a landing page only has ONE specific goal in mind.
That being the case it needs to be focused, simple, and to the point. It’s also needs to have what is known as a clear ‘Call to Action’ or CTA.
A Call to Action is basically where you tell the visitor to do ONE thing, and one thing only.
On the other hand your homepage is less focused. It’s usually designed to give the visitor a general impression of what you’re about and let them explore and discover what interests them.
A homepage will typically have lots of links to different parts of the site, whereas a landing page will often have none.
A homepage will usually have a navigation menu at the top and maybe a search box, whereas a landing page will have none.
The key thing to remember about a landing page is that it needs avoid anything that is going to distract the visitor from buying the coffee you were advertising on facebook!
Here’s a quick summary of the key differences…
Types of landing page
There are various types of landing page depending on what specific goal you want to achieve. So before you even think about designing your landing page, you need to think about what your goal is.
Here are a few examples of goals…
- Product sales
- Email list sign-up
- Webinar sign-up
- Ebook or PDF download
- Software trial
- Membership promotion
Once you’ve decide on your goal then you will have a better idea of what your landing page ought to look like.
Now you’ve got an idea of what type of landing page you want, you also need to think about some other important aspects.
The most important of these is…
1) Keep it simple
Remember, your landing page has only ONE specific goal, so you need to maximise the chances of that goal being achieved.
Everything on your page should have a purpose, so cut out anything that isn’t necessary.
- No navigation menus
- No search bars
- No unnecessary images
- No unnecessary videos
- No unnecessary text
Don’t waffle, just keep it short and get to the point.
I don’t know about you but have you ever seen those sales pages that just go on… and on… and on… and on…
They call it the ‘long form sales letter’ and they think that by giving you loads of info it will make you buy the product. It’s almost like they are trying too hard to get you to buy, a kind of desperation.
I guess for some people it might still work, but it’s starting to become rather dated… especially when you consider that people’s attention span is shorter than ever before.
2) Have an attention grabbing headline
Your headline should grab attention and cause your visitor to want to know more.
It could be in the form of a question that makes the visitor stop and think, or it could be a powerful statement that makes them want to read on.
Whatever the case, your headline is one of the most important aspects of your landing page and has a major impact on how successful your landing page will be in achieving it’s goal.
If the headline is weak, then people won’t be inspired and they will just leave your page very quickly, so spend some time thinking about your headline.
After the headline it’s often good to have sub-headline or reinforcing statement that supports the main headline and expands on it.
3) Use a hero image
No, not like that!
We’ve all seen those ads where a cool looking guy in a pair of shades drives around in smart looking car. He’ll drive for miles along empty open roads in an amazing landscape before finally picking up a fabulous looking girl.
It’s a car ad, so why don’t they just show the car?
After all they could just have a parked car and show various views of the inside and out. So why don’t they… why the man, the girl, the landscape?
It’s because they want you to imagine yourself as that man or woman driving that car. The subliminal message is that if you drive that particular car, then you’ll be the one enjoying a taste of freedom as someone cool or fabulous looking.
They’re selling you an aspiration, not a car. That’s why James Bond is so popular.
Men want to think of themselves as James Bond, and women want to think of the guy they’re with as being cool like James Bond.
It’s called the ‘hero image’.
So on your landing page it’s often good to have someone using the product or service you’re selling. If that’s not possible then you could have an image of a person looking or pointing towards the product.
Having a human face on your landing page is proven to increase conversions.
Of course there are times when a human face doesn’t really fit with the objective of your landing page so it’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s certainly something to think about.
4) A clear Call to Action
When designing your landing page you know by now that you need to have a specific goal in mind. In order to make that goal more successful you need to have a CLEAR Call to Action (CTA).
In other words, you need to tell a visitor to your page what action you want them to take.
Think about Amazon… When you’re looking at a product on their website, there’s a big orange button on the right of the page which says, “Buy now”.
That’s a Call to Action. It’s telling you what you need to do in order to get the product.
Of course your CTA doesn’t always need to be to telling people to buy a product. It could be telling them to sign up for a news letter, a webinar, or something else.
The important thing with a CTA is that you need to think very carefully about your choice of words. You want to try and use power words that are going motivate people to take action.
For example, suppose you want people to sign up to your email list. One of the worse things you can put on your button when they sign up is the word ‘Submit’.
Who one earth wants to ‘submit’ to someone or something?
You want your visitor to feel important or exited about signing up to your list, not feel as if they are ‘submitting’ or giving in to something.
It’s much better to saying something like, “Yes I want to receive FREE tips”.
Or if you gave away an ebook to get them to sign up you could say, “Send my FREE ebook now!”.
See the difference.
You are making your visitor feel important, that they are going to receive something that benefits them, not that they are giving away information that benefits you.
5) Pay attention to the fold
On a webpage, the top part of the page that you see when you first arrive is often referred to as ‘above the fold‘.
When you scroll down the page what you see next is ‘below the fold‘.
You know yourself that when you visit a webpage, if you like what you see ‘above the fold’ you are more likely to want to scroll down ‘below the fold’.
That’s why it’s vital that you put the most important stuff on your landing page above the fold.
Above the fold you should have…
- Your headline
- A brief description
- An image or video
- Your Call to Action
Of course you can have some of those elements below the fold as well. For example, you should always have a Call to Action above the fold, but it’s also good to have a repeat of your Call to Action at least once below the fold as well.
You might also have more text, images or a video below the fold too.
The main thing to remember though is that the really important stuff always needs to be above the fold.
6) Collecting email addresses
Collecting email addresses should be an important part of your marketing strategy. (If you want to know why this is so important check out this other article… How Important Is Having An Email List?)
That being said, if you are collecting customer information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers and the like, there are some important points you need to be aware of.
Firstly, it’s best to keep the amount of info you ask for to a bare minimum. The more info you ask for, the less likely people are to sign up. For most purposes their first name and email address is all you really need.
Secondly, there are privacy and data protection laws you need to consider.
For example, GDPR regulations state that you can only collect the minimum amount of data for your purposes. So you can’t collect a ton of data points simply because you think you might find it useful at some point in the future.
These regulations apply to you if you target, collect, or process data from citizens of the UK & EU, even if you yourself don’t live in those countries.
In some circumstances you may have to register and pay a small fee to give you legal authorisation to collect customer data. If you are not sure if you need to do this there’s a simple online quiz that you can take here
You should also make it clear on your sign up form that you intended to email people again and tell them what they can expect in future. It’s often good to get them to tick a box saying that they agree to receive future emails.
7) Test your landing page
Once you have finished your landing page it doesn’t end there.
It’s very unlikely that you have created the perfect landing page right out of the gate, so you’re going to need to test it and tweak it.
There are a number of ways you can do this, but whatever method you chose you need to make sure that you have some way to track your conversions. That is, you need to know how many visitors are coming to your landing page and what percentage of them convert into buyers or subscribers. Once you know that you can begin making changes.
A popular way to test is by using something called A/B split testing. If for example you’re collecting emails, A/B split testing might be offered by your email service provider.
What happens is that you have two different versions of the sign-up form. Version A and version B.
When visitors come to your landing page, half of them are shown version A and the other half are shown version B.
Lets say that version A gets a higher conversion rate than version B. What you can do next is tweak version B and then test again against version A to see which one is better. Then you just rinse and repeat until you get to the point where there is no real difference in conversion rates between the two.
If you don’t have A/B split testing you can just run one version of your landing page and see how it converts. Then when you have enough data you can tweak it and see if conversions improve. If not just put it back to how it was before and tweak something else.
There are two important things to consider when testing.
1) Sample size
This is the number of people who have been shown a particular version of your landing page. If the sample size is too small then the data won’t be accurate. You really need a least 300 visitors or more before you even think about making any changes.
The bigger the sample size, the more accurate the data will be.
2) Only change ONE thing at a time
We all want fast results, yes?
Well remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a high converting landing page.
As you tweak your page you should only change ONE thing at a time. If you start making too many changes you won’t know if it was your headline, the image, or the CTA that made the difference.
Where to get more help
What I’ve discussed here is only scratching the surface of how to create a great landing page. If you’d like to go deeper and really nail your landing pages then I highly recommend the ebook Landing Page Hot Tips.
What’s really good about it is that you can download the book in different formats, so there’s a PDF version, an audio book, and even an interactive version.
If you’ve got any questions you can also contact the author of the book before you buy.
At the time of this writing the book is currently priced at just $29, so by implementing the tips you learn, the book will pay for itself many, many times over.
You can get your copy here.
Where to get FREE landing pages
There are lots of companies offering expensive services for creating and hosting landing pages, but if you want to create your own for free AND have them hosted for free then I highly recommend Groove.cm
They have loads of templates to choose from for different types of landing pages. You can select one for an ebook offer, a health supplement, a webinar sign-up, a membership sign-up and a whole lot more.
Here’s a sample of what’s on offer…
Once you’ve selected your template you can change the headline, the copy, the image, the colours, in fact you can change anything you want.
The good news is that they are mobile responsive, which means they will display correctly on either a desktop or mobile, and they also load quickly.
The really great thing about Groove is that it’s not just landing pages you can get for FREE, you can also create sales funnels, email, eComm stores, membership sites, automations, and much, much more… all for FREE!
Click here to… Sign up for your FREE Groove account today!
There’s a lot to consider when designing a high converting landing page but here’s a quick summary of the main points…
- Keep it simple
- Use an attention grabbing headline
- Use a great image, if possible a ‘hero’ image
- Have a CLEAR Call to Action
- Keep all the important stuff above the fold
- Collect customer data carefully and responsibly
- Test your landing page
If you’d like to know more about Groove’s other services then please check out this article… FREE Funnels, Webpages, eComm Stores, Email & More for Your Business