I recently attended MECLAB’s Landing Page Optimization Summit where Dr. Flint McGlaughlin presented his research to a sold-out audience. Through colorful analogies and real-world examples, McGlaughlin explained a series of lessons around landing page optimization and writing highly effective copy. Among the laundry list of insights I recorded in my notes, here are the most memorable:
1. Headlines are Like Pickup Lines. Don’t be arrogant!
The idea here is to start a conversation with your website visitors without sounding pretentious or arrogant. You don’t want to be "that guy". You know the one - the guy who loves to tell girls the joke about the gun show. When a visitor arrives on your page, you have only a short period of time to convince them not to press the "Back" button on their browser. If your headlines have too much hype (e.g. "An Event You Can’t Afford To Miss!!"), it will turn people off. Headlines play a critical role in convincing a visitor that it is worthwhile for them to stick around and get to know you better. A good headline clearly and honestly states the value of your offer.
2. Clearly & Honestly State the Value Proposition
If the visitor doesn’t know what you’re offering, they won’t care enough to continue reading, much less convert on your landing page. Your web page should clearly state 1) where they are on your site so they know they are in the right place, 2) what they can do on that page, and 3) why should they should care about what is on that page. It sounds simple, but it’s surprising how many landing pages do not clearly communicate these points.
As with the headline, it’s important not to be too pushy. Avoid statements that command visitors to “download now”. Instead, focus on the value to the visitor, such as “gain immediate access” or a “free download”.
3. Be Specific
The more specific you can be about why your offer is valuable, the better. Bulleted lists of the benefits and features of your offer will not only guide the reader’s eyes, it will also demonstrate the tangible value of your offer. This is even more effective if you can state them with numbers. Quantified proof gives you credibility. Many of your visitors are probably already jaded from seeing too many false promises and exaggerated claims online. If you can provide them with concrete numbers supporting your value proposition, it will be easier for them to trust you.
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