Entrepreneurs don’t have to be copywriting experts. Heck, even marketers who call themselves marketers aren’t really copywriters. Landing Page sales copy tips don’t have to delve too deep into customer psychology, consumer behavior, and David Ogilvy’s level of genius.
For most things — including these landing page sales copy tips for entrepreneurs, marketers, and everyone else — things can be simple and effective (most things in life are simple; only we complicate everything).
Do you know why some books go on top become bestsellers while others don’t even move off the shelves? It’s because of the choice of words, the pacing, the tone, and the fact that it’s easy to read some of those books (even if they are non-fiction and were essentially meant to be boring).
What You Say.. (content meant to relate to the audience you are trying to influence, content that’s relevant, and content that can build trust)
How You Say It.. (voice and tone, just make it easier to understand and absorb)
How You Structure it.. (point A to Point B?)
Now, when it comes to landing pages, your copywriting has its work cut out for it. You have to be short, sweet, succinct, and nail it at the word “go”. You can’t drift. You can’t dilly-dally. You don’t have all the time in the world.
Your Headline: This Will Make It Or Break It
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
– David Ogilvy, ad guru
We know that people just skim. It’s not until they are totally invested in what you are writing about (or offering) that they’ll read (or listen to) every word you write (or say).
By default, we’ll only assume that people only have time to quickly scan your copy on the landing page. For that reason alone, your copy should be “scannable and still be compelling”. Joanna Wiebe has a few headline formulas for you.
Here’s the gist of it:
Focus on 1 thing that your prospects believe to be highly desirable (that you provide)
Create Your Target Persona (& Communicate Like You Normally Do)
Forget jargon. Don’t even think of trying to impress. Get to the point quickly by using the simplest words possible and then try to do it a little faster than you thought you’d. Once you create your target persona (like Jaqueline, aged 34, works as the head/VP/owner of a digital agency, drives a Lexus, and attends church each weekend, etc.), learn how to write to her directly.
Or maybe you’d want to speak to her (with a Podcast). Or perhaps communicate with her using video.
Pick your poison. The best kind of copy is the kind of communication you and I do when we are at our persuasive best while using the language of the customer.
I’ve been working for over 17 years of working with clients on blogging, content marketing, sales copy, landing pages, and more. This is what I usually see:
“write sales copy for landing pages that get us leads are sales”
“Create stellar copy that makes us a million dollars in revenue, at a minimum”
See, this is how it goes: for the money you are willing to spend ($15 per hour?), you won’t get to hire a professional ad agency. You won’t get the likes of Dan Kennedy, Joe Coleman, Brian Clark, or the likes of any of those World famous copywriters.
You’ll usually get regular copywriters or marketers who can also write sales copy for landing pages: this is markedly different.
Take the best of what you get. However, don’t sweat over perfection, finesse, and the world’s best copy.
You might not be able to wrap your head around this but the fact remains: the world’s best sales copy is usually simple. So simple that a kid could understand (did you know that the food industry — everything from Burgers to soft drinks — targets kids in their advertising?).
It’s by split testing (also called as A/B testing) that anyone who isn’t a Dan Kennedy, John Carlton, or a Gary Halbert moves from point A to point B in advertising success.
Let’s suppose you want to know if a particular element on your landing page — such as the headline, the subheading, the call-to-action on your button, or an image — is effective or not. Test out each of those elements against incoming traffic to measure the success against the other variant.
It’s by regular testing (and over a period of time) that you’ll arrive at your champions. If and when you do arrive at specific ads, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns that work, you’ll see a positive ROI.
How do you know whether or not your conversion rates are good or bad? According to research by Wordstream, the average conversion rate is 2.35%. Be proud of any landing page that has a higher conversion rate, and rework landing pages with lower conversion rates. Use this tool to see how well your landing pages convert
Got a landing page ? You have no idea how well it’s doing or what it’s capable of unless you put your pages to a test. Use this landing page analyzer and see for yourself
If you are worried that A/B testing takes a lot of traffic to make sense of it all, you can also use smart features like Unbounce’s Smart Traffic™ to allow testing with significant results even with less traffic.
Your landing page has a singular goal: get leads. That wasn’t hard, was it? But landing page faux pas — you’d do it or others will do it for you — is holding all that potential back.
What’s hard is the work that goes behind-the-scenes to make your landing pages work the way they should. The toil, the labor, the art, the creativity, the copy, the designs, the graphics — it’ll all matter.
That’s why landing pages aren’t just something you’ll create and throw into a campaign. They are a labor of love leading to specific results.
To get something specific, you’d have to start with something specific — like a specific goal, a specific offer, a specific agenda, and a campaign that targets a specific kind of customer persona.
There’s just too much vague shit going on with marketing that you should not follow.
Here are some principles that’ll make your landing pages work harder, avoid landing page faux pas and get you the results you seek:
Don’t link to a website (or use other links)
You might think you know this already. Many businesses (even freelancers, agencies, and digital marketing specialists) don’t know this. Or at least, they care less.
There’s a reason why we are so passionate about landing pages, and the reason is this:
Here’s an ad (SEO people?):
This is what the ad points to:
Landing pages exist to free you from making this blunder. Pointing to your websites is an absolute no-no.
It’s a crime.
It’s a sin.
You are a criminal if you do this and you don’t have the right to advertise. You can hate us all you want but we’ll stick with this, regardless.
Landing pages aren’t websites. Landing pages are not built for “drooling over”.
No one cares about your colors, your brand, your logo, the fancy custom graphic that you had someone on Fiverr design for you.
You aren’t building your landing pages because you hope to win Awwwards. You don’t want your visitors to say “wow” and exit the page. You’d care less if your page was ugly as a rat’s butt but can still convert at 40% or more.
Stop doing that mistake. You’ll be forgiven for building a landing page that looks ugly but converts.
You’ll never be forgiven for “no conversions. ”
Use Two, large, simple fonts Max
Stick to a maximum of two fonts — one for headings and one for the body copy. Pick any two fonts but don’t go beyond it.
If you are using Helvetica as headlines and Lato for body copy, stick to it. Don’t bother experimenting with fonts because you’ll ruin the visual appeal of the page. Plus, it’s easier to use two fonts than “many”.
Inconsistent typography is a deal-breaker and it’ll break your bank sooner than you think.
If it’s a landing page, you can’t have links in there. No navigation menus. No images that are clickable. Absolutely no social media buttons (you have a choice of having those social buttons on the pages that show up after someone signs up as a lead — like a thank you page).
Sometimes, you might want to make extra information available for some elements on your landing page, such as:
More information about a property listing for a real estate landing page.
Details about actual work done for a client you are showing as proof of work or as a testimonial.
More information about a product.
In any of the cases where you’d need to show more information, use a button that opens up a lightbox with that information thrown in.
If you must have links, they should not let visitors go away. Have them browse through extra information while they are “ still on the page” using lightboxes or click-trigger pop-ups.
No Pop-ups, Slide-ins, Pop-outs, and Pop-unders On Landing Pages
On your landing page, the only thing that should pop is the Call to action — the one thing you’d like your visitors to do.
Pop-ups are awesome by themselves (and that’s why we sell them too) but you can’t have a pop-up on a landing page. You obviously also can’t have something that slides in or pops out or pops from under there somewhere.
Don’t even bother with live chat on your landing page (that’s meant to be on a much more engaging web property like a website, you see?).
On your landing page, visitors are meant to arrive and take action. Not sit there, lounge, think, discuss, and chat.
Unless you are selling something that requires a massive input from your visitors (which is never), short forms always work best.
The shorter the forms are, the better your conversions are going to be.
Think carefully about what you are asking and why. Don’t ask for anything you don’t need from your visitors.
If you sell online exclusively, you don’t need form fields such as “phone number”, “address” etc. If you sell locally and if you have targeted campaigns focusing on a single demographic location, you don’t need to ask for “location”.
Sounds obvious? It’s really not. Even if it is, several business owners and marketers don’t even have landing pages to begin with.
Create awesome landing pages — without the landing page faux pas — using the following tools and avoid the need to wait for designers (who shouldn’t even be getting anywhere close to your landing pages at all).
The trouble with advice and landing page tips specifically? It’s all over the place.
So, if you really needed advice, take it from those who make landing pages a part of their life. Pick landing page tips from real marketers (who put their own money on it all, and not others who just write or talk).
As such, you’d need to test everything with landing pages. But to save you the trouble, you could also learn from true experts who’ve been there and done that.
They aren’t experts just because they know how landing pages work or because they follow the rules to bring in the results.
They’ve spent a lifetime what regular business owners only do when they have to launch campaigns or what regular marketers do when they have to work for their clients’ campaigns.
I went looking for landing page heroes and I found them. Here are a few tips on landing pages from landing page experts:
Just create More Landing Pages
HubSpot’s Marketing Benchmarks Report reveals that companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.
Simply put, the more content, offers, and landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to generate leads for your business.
It makes sense anyway. You’d need multiple landing pages – each page for a specific offer. Now, given than you’d have multiple products, the number of landing pages you’d need only multiplies.
People respond to emotional cues. Make them happy, sad, excited, vulnerable, or make them fear. Emotions play a huge part in marketing and nothing beats video (next only to you, in person) to portray those emotions.
Use videos to provide a glimpse into your actual product. Show how it can be used, for instance.
Disable Autoplay. It’s a no-brainer.
On that note, you don’t really have to create videos with high-production quality. Simple videos where you share what you know are more than enough. Want a really easy way to create videos? Use the following tools:
Dubb: Create personalized videos for landing pages, sales pitches, outreach, or to just get in touch with your clients or customers.
Hippo Video: Videos help you win and grow your business. Get your prospect’s attention with a comprehensive video engagement platform like Hippo Video and create personalized landing pages with videos.
Way too many marketers and businesses complicate the living pixels out of a landing page. Too many links, unnecessary navigation menus, gigantic social media buttons, redundant links to other pages, too many form fields, or maybe just extra clicks to get somewhere instead of just a click or two.
Friction on landing pages is an enemy of your otherwise straightforward conversion.
Some of the things you need to remove from your landing pages is evident and it doesn’t require us to go pointing to all sorts of research.
More than necessary form fields. The lesser, the better. Asking for anything you don’t need is disastrous for your conversions. Read more about what the research has to say about form fields by Shanelle Mullins of ConversionsXL
Social media links
Page Speed Matters
Considering building landing pages? Think twice. You can’t stick with the same old, bloated landing pages and try to make them work for you. Page speed matters today.
Stay Fast, Or Make Everyone Furious. Google is serious about page speed, and it should have been evident from way back in 2009 with its Let’s Make the Web Faster initiative.
Unfortunately, we are all stuck with websites and landing pages that take 8 seconds to 19 seconds to load. The good thing about leading Landing Page builders like Unbounce, Leadpages, and Instapage is that you now get AMP ready landing pages, faster load times for landing pages are more.
Colin Loughrin of Unbounce has some advice for speeding up landing pages:
If mobile loading times don’t get much faster, then we can expect more pressure from Google. This could take the form of further changes to indexing or Google Ads, another round of benchmarks, or the addition of new features and tools.
There’s a growing sense of urgency among marketers, and the major players are already moving to improve their loading times. Even if you’re in the small business space, these things tend to have a trickle-down effect. If you don’t work to improve your performance, chances are your competitors will.
As development on AMP continues, the standard will gain new flexibility while maintaining optimal speeds. It’s already overcome early limitations, and it’s likely we’ll see adoption rates accelerate across all industries.
Maybe you have everything to do with GDPR. Maybe you don’t. But it comes to affect all of us. One of the most important things to do about GDPR when you are doing marketing (aside from the actual legal aspects of it) is to stay clean, transparent, and respectful of data on visitors, leads, or customers.
GDPR isn’t here to throttle you. It’s an opportunity for you to serve better and to protect user data.
There’s money in GDPR too: “the actual monetary value of complying to the new EU regulations is 4% of your annual revenue or 2 million euro (whichever is higher).”
Do Social Proof, the right way
You know that people buy with their hearts. Your buyers will need some reassurance that you are trustworthy. That comes from social proof. The trouble is that most people do social proof the wrong way.
You’d be surprised just how many big name brands screw up with social proof and testimonials. A few, however, do it right.
Aaron Ordendorff, Editor-in-chief at Shopify and founder of iconiconent.com, has several snippets of advice:
Be specific, in context with your actual products and services. Don’t be lame. Don’t be vague. Don’t write like those testimonials mean nothing.
Using testimonials? Remember to show “Rock-solid, it’s-been-done-before, here’s-the-numbers proof.”
Keep social proof relevant, detailed, include product or service specific statements, and keep them problem-solution focused.
Copywriting is truly underrated when it comes to landing pages. Too many business owners and marketers jump right in to write copy that they think will work. Effective copy “talks” to the right audiences, pulls at the heart of your target audience, and makes your visitors take action.
For that, you’d have to know who your target audience is and how to get into their head.
Nicolas Scalice — landing page specialist and founder of EarnWorthy — swears by using quantitative and qualitative research, to begin with.
If you use tools like Unbounce to make Unbounce Landing Pages or Sales Funnels (or alternatively use Leadpages or Instapage ), the design part is quick and easy.
But that’s also a part of a bigger problem: since it’s so easy to “create” any landing page or sales funnel, most marketers and entrepreneurs think that all that they have to do is to create a pretty page, and fast.
Pretty pages won’t work. You aren’t in a race to create pages “fast”. The only thing that matters is that you create landing pages that get you results (leads? Sales? or both?).
Creating Landing pages that work for your business is no joke — there’s the design aspect to it. Then, there’s copywriting, the endless A/B testing, the patience you’ll need, and the never-ending waiting period until your data gives you insights to help you make decisions?
Now, that’s the hard part. It’s not surprising why most campaigns don’t even last a few weeks, let alone months.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
When you start building landing pages with Unbounce, you have to start by asking the right questions:
What do I intend to do with my landing page(s)? [What are your objectives?]
Are my objectives realistic? [Putting up a “Buy Now” button on your landing page doesn’t work in the long-term]
What’s the “ultra compelling offer” I can make?
What do I start testing first? [Most Landing page tools like Unbounce and LeadPages allow you to do A/B testing for everything you want to test]. Further, email marketing service providers such as MailChimp, Drip, and Convertkit can help you test subject lines for emails as well.
How will it flow? [ What does the landing page offer? What are people signing up for? What happens after they sign up for my offer? How do you deliver what you promised? How will you nurture your leads?]
Don’t even start without asking yourself those questions. Don’t start without knowing why your landing page exists in the first place.
Forget about results if you don’t know how your landing pages or sales funnels will flow (like page 1, page 2, page 3, then action 1, action 2, and action 3…).
One Page = One Offer = One Objective
Have you seen landing pages with multiple Calls to action? Like do this, or do this, or maybe do that? Any landing page built like that is a disaster waiting to happen (or maybe it’s already a lost case).
Here are a few fundamental rules for building landing pages with Unbounce:
Each landing page you build must have a single offer or CTA (call to action). Examples? Download a 15% coupon, download a PDF checklist, or Sign up for a free trial.
You’ll never know what works with your target audience. That’s why Unbounce has A/B testing built-in. So, be prepared to test out Headlines, Sub-headings, Hero images, Calls to Action (CTA), and more. (Unbounce allows you to do A/B testing regardless of the plan you are on, including the free plan).
Connect your Unbounce landing page to your email service providers such as Convertkit, Drip, or MailChimp and trigger your autoresponders as soon as someone signs up. In a way, it’s reassuring for your leads when they get an email instantly to be acknowledged. Your autoresponder also helps deliver what you promised (a coupon, a PDF checklist, an eBook, a whitepaper). There’s no excuse for not doing this.
If you are a marketer, you still have a business to run. If you are a business owner, your business is your business and you can’t hope to become a hobby statistician. A/B testing landing pages is not for the faint-hearted, it won’t make sense unless you have millions of data-points to pull (lots of traffic, lots of leads, and lots of purchases?).
Why should you do all the heavy lifting when artificial intelligence can do it for you?
Pages that use Smart Traffic™ can start working for you with as few as 50 visits to your page. Landing pages that use Smart Traffic™ see an average lift of 30% (on top of the already juiced up potential that landing pages have).
Using Smart Traffic™, you can make the best of Unbounce’s Conversion Intelligence to get the following benefits:
You don’t have to spend months or years trying to get to a meaningful level of traffic for your A/B testing to make sense. You can pick your champions soon enough. Smart Traffic™ starts optimizing fast—even when you add new variants or change traffic sources.
Smart Traffic™ looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends them to the version of the page that’s most relevant to them based on their unique context.
Smart Traffic™ is a machine learning tool that tests, predicts, and optimizes your campaigns for you. You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t think anymore. These split-second routing decisions are more accurate than a human-powered test could ever be.
For Unbounce Smart Traffic™ to work, all that you need to do is to create your Unbounce pages, create your variants (like variant A & B), turn on Smart Traffic™, and let artificial intelligence and machine learning do all the magic for you.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is the next best thing to sliced bread. They are built for mobile, optimized for speed, and are guaranteed to boost your conversions by leaps and bounds. In fact, using AMP landing pages is imperative now since most of the traffic to your pages comes in through mobile.
Unbounce allows you to build AMP landing pages easily and quickly, for the same campaigns that you want to launch.
Here’s how Unbounce explains what AMP landing pages are:
“Accelerated mobile pages use a restrictive HTML format to serve up web pages almost instantly to your visitors, with the added benefit of pages being cached and pre-rendered by third parties (like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing News, and Cloudflare)”
AMP landing pages aren’t just for online publishers; they are for every business. While AMP landing pages projects started as “mobile first, and for mobile only”, AMP landing pages help you create super-fast landing pages for desktop as well.
Whether you are a blogger, an eCommerce business owner, a marketer, an agency, or even a local business, AMP landing pages apply to you.
Simple, clean, easy to navigate (even if it’s just one page), colorful (maybe?), and on-brand.
That’s all you need to get your landing pages to work. You don’t need anything fancy. You don’t have to think over the top. There’s no need to spend 6 months trying to be “perfect”. The only way to know if your landing page works (or not) is to send people to your page and see if they are signing up for your offer.
If they aren’t signing up, chances are that it’s not a “design problem” but it’s a more strategic one.
Build an Audience (Even If They Don’t Sign Up)
So, you designed your landing page and you let the world see it. You get 100 visits a day. Let’s also assume that your Unbounce Landing page has a conversion rate of 30%.
More than 70 visitors per day leave your landing page without doing anything. Most marketers and business owners leave it at that.
You are not “most”.
The smart thing to do is to build an audience (for each landing page) on platforms such as Facebook, Google, or third-party tools such as Adroll so that you could retarget to this audience later.
Even if you aren’t actively trying to generate leads, to sell, or to hustle, you could still be building audiences in a way that you can use for retargeting later on.
Create Pop-ups & Sticky Bars To Boost Your Lead Generation
First, ignore all the noise about whether or not you should use lead generation elements such as pop-ups, slide-ins, sticky bars, and exit pop-ups. People can make all the noise they want but all businesses need results.
Using Pop-ups helps boost conversions, period (and you don’t have to be passionate about them. You don’t even need to like them. You just need to respect them and use them for what they do best).
You don’t really have to fall in love with a hammer, you know what I mean?
Unbounce — on top of the landing pages and sales funnels you’ll build with it — also has pop-ups and sticky bars that you can create to augment your efforts to generate leads. Pop-ups from Unbounce come fully-featured (with the same outstanding ability to create pop-ups with a drag-and-drop landing page builder).
All leads generated from pop-ups and sticky bars can be assigned to specific landing pages also created for the same campaign.
For instance, if you were giving away a free PDF or an eBook, you can use landing pages for this. Plus, you can also create exit-intent pop-ups and a semi-permanent sticky bar for the same campaign (thereby augmenting your efforts) to help drive even more conversions for the same effort.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is an incredibly powerful level that you can pull. If you are using Unbounce or if you plan to use Unbounce, here’s how you add a countdown timer in Unbounce (simply because there’s no widget readily available).
According to Eventbrite research, Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) millennials experience FOMO. In a world where life experiences are broadcasted across social media, the fear of missing out drives millennials to show up, share and engage.
More than half of social media users (56 percent) say they’re afraid of missing something such as an event, news, or an important status update if they don’t keep tabs on their social networks, according to data from MyLife.com.
You do know about conversion rate. But you really didn’t give it the importance that you should have given it.
Did you ever think about “a good landing page”, a “beautiful landing page”, or a “landing page that kicks ass”? You’ve been thinking wrong. The only thing that makes a landing page good, bad, ugly, worthless, or just alright is the “conversion rate” of that landing page. It’s all aboiut landing page conversions.
The average conversion rate of a landing page (if at all there exists one, and if you are using landing pages in the first place along with metrics, tools, and features available for you to measure) is about 4.02% (source: Unbounce Conversion Report)
The 4% is just a little more than the average “website conversion rate” — complete with the code bloat, content clutter, extra information, and the usual slow loading nature of websites — is at 2 – 3% (that too for eCommerce stores, built for purpose).
What about the average conversion rate of a “website” that you use for your business right now? It’s horrible and I don’t even want to go there.
Don’t know how your landing pages stack up? Use this landing page analyzer and see how your landing pages are stacked up. Pick the industry benchmarks from this Conversion Report (with Conversion rates across industries worldwide).
Build Landing Pages With a High Conversion Rate (Improve over time)
He advocates using the conversion rate in a way that is in line and in context with other parameters as well. He right in pointing out that not all visitors to your site are equal, higher conversions don’t always mean more sales, and that your conversions decrease with increase in traffic.
But Dan is talking about websites that are already established, get millions of visitors in traffic, and have a history of data to analyze performance.
For most other businesses, there’s nothing to talk about — no landing pages, no traffic, no data, and no conversions.
If you haven’t done it yet, stop right now. Go ahead and create landing pages (use Instapage, Unbounce or LeadPages) and create landing pages with the sole purpose of growing your conversion rates. A great idea is to give away something of value (called Lead magnets), coupons, or access to your products for free. You can use an email service provider such as Drip to help with email marketing automation.
The best part about all of the examples above (and below)? They look good and they convert really well. There’s no dearth of inspiration if you really look around. The next time you go about creating landing pages, take a cue or two from these landing pages that you wish you’ve built them.
All this talk about conversion rate won’t even matter if you don’t even have landing pages or sales funnels to begin with. In fact, if you just had a regular web page and if you call that a landing page (you don’t even have to read this).