Getting a prospect to successfully click on an ad is only the first step of a relationship that can continue for days, months or even decades. If you’re going to establish a long relationship with a customer, you must first survive the first 15 seconds of his visit.
Within 15 seconds, your prospect is deciding whether to stay with you or press the back button and abandon your presence forever. If you paid a dollar for a click and you lose your prospects in the first 15 seconds, you just paid $240 per hour to fail to engage the people who clicked on your ads.
You can’t afford to spend that much money on lost leads. Once prospects click on your ad, your landing page has to capture their attention, trigger their interests, and not let them go. Your very livelihood depends on it.
First and foremost, you must establish a clear, measurable goal for your landing page. In some cases, that goal will be to actually have the prospect complete an order. However, we always recommend an intermediate goal to capture prospects’ information so you have more than one chance to connect with them and complete a sale. Landing pages are often called “lead capture pages.” Remember that name because it implies the real goal of the landing page is to capture contact information.
A quick way to establish credibility and build a relationship is to offer something in your original ad that you instantly deliver in your landing page. In a digital world, the offer and the delivery is frequently some form of information. You may deliver the information in videos, in papers or on web pages. The benefit of delivering digital information is that it’s easy to provide without incurring additional costs.
Look at your landing page. It should have the following:
- A captivating headline
- A compelling offer
- A short description or video describing what it is you are offering and what’s in it.
- An explanation of how to get what you’re offering. Do prospects fill in a form, make a phone call, or do something else?
- The opt-in form itself
Approaches to Landing Page Copy
1. Minimal copy. A minimal landing page may not have much more on it than a restatement of the original promise in the advertisement, an opt-in form and a request for a “like.” The prospect isn’t distracted by other offers or lots of text. Just a simple call to action.
The thinking behind this is straightforward. If someone clicks on an ad that makes a specific offer, then he or she has already expressed his or her interest in that offer. Don’t keep selling after the prospect is ready to buy. Instead, provide the simplest opt-in form imaginable to complete your delivery.
If you enticed your prospect with an ad that promises “Avoid embarrassment. A simple test to discover if you secretly have bad breath,” then, on the landing page, you may not need to do much more than say, “Enter your name and email address and we will send you the simple test!” Perhaps add some bullet points for just a little emphasis.
Or if your landing page is on Facebook, you may say, “Like this page to get access to our free video: ‘How to know if you have bad breath!’”
It’s highly likely that anything more than a minimal opt-in page will decrease your subscriber opt-in rates, not increase them. Of course, you should split test this claim.
2. Long copy. There’s another approach to landing-page writing that asks “Why stop writing if the prospect is willing to keep reading?” Some marketers have a great deal of success spinning a story and drawing the reader into very long copy with multiple headlines, bullets, teasers, testimonials and multiple calls to action.
What type of business might want to do this? A high-end consulting business with limited delivery capability would. If your delivery system doesn’t scale, then you really do want to focus on finding the best customers—best for them and best for you. Prospects who read your long copy and then request a white paper are really interested in what you’re saying.
If you are selling a complex product that requires deep understanding from your customer to make a purchase decision, test long copy messages. Even if the long copy isn’t in your original landing page, it may be appropriate in your emails, videos, articles, white papers and blog posts.
In long-copy landing pages, the prospect may be given multiple opportunities to respond. The page may tell a bit of a story, provide some testimonials, and then provide an opt-in. If the user doesn’t opt-in, then the copy continues offering more stories, more testimonials and more opt-in opportunities. This could go on forever.
There is another benefit to long copy for some customers, especially corporate ones, who are looking for a specific solution to a specific problem. They may be wary of providing their contact information unless they are convinced you have something they want.
Long copy can convince them you have the answer they are looking for. They need to read and think about your long copy in order to become comfortable enough to trust you with their name and email address.
These customers would likely never be captured with a short-copy landing page, and they can be some of the most lucrative customers because they control multimillion-dollar budgets.
Although short copy may convert to more opt-in leads than long copy, it may not convert some of your best leads. Therefore, it may be wise to test both short-copy and long-copy landing pages to catch both ends of the spectrum.