Over the past few months, I’ve been hustling my ass off freelancing as a content marketer for multiple online-business’ and blog publications.
From writing witty blog posts to copywriting engaging landing pages — you could say that I’ve done it all!
Disclaimer: This is a massive 3000-word article. Feel free to skip through sections that interest you the most.
What's on the agenda:
Is this guy a landing page expert?
If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely come across a “How I used this landing page to increase my revenue by 26345%” article.
I’m afraid this article isn’t going to be like that. In fact, I am no expert and only started copywriting about four months back.
However, as a freelance content marketer I have built over 50 landing pages for clients from various industries. This experience has taught me a great deal about writing sales copy.
What works, and specifically — what doesn’t!
Bottom line I have done this long enough and now feel confidently sharing my two cents on the same.
A landing page has multiple uses, but you primarily want to use it to convert your prospects to do what you want!
This can be anything from sales, building email lists, brand awareness, and yadda yadda yadda!
Hold your horses!
What’s a landing page article without a success story?!?!
Alright, for the sake of that oomph…
My XYZ% landing page success story!
Back in July 2018, I was just starting my freelancing career and accidentally created my very first landing page!
Long story short, I had spent three whole months learning how to build websites. I reached a point where I was confident in my skills and wanted to start freelancing as a website developer.
The only problem? I had no portfolio— Nada!
I didn’t even have a degree that would get me an internship and the competition in the freelance website industry was (is) merely intense.
I tried to get clients locally, but when you live in some village in India — NOT many people need websites…
BUT I couldn’t give up
— I spent three whole months learning this stuff!
So what did I do?
I created Media Berry, a (fake) digital marketing agency website.
The idea was to brand me as a digital marketing agency so that I could stand out from the rest.
But this wasn’t just any website
. Instead, this was an AMBITION!
My friend (a cinematographer) and I had set out to build our very own digital marketing agency!
(Anyways, that’s a story for later and beyond the scope of this article)
My point is I had spent countless hours building not JUST a website but also — ideating the best way to present our service!
I was accidentally writing copy for a website!
And, you what happened?
That website got me my very first client!
And you know what? That client not only hired me to develop his website but also — to write the copy for it!
Looking back now, I write significantly different but even though this landing page has a lot of flaws — there are a few things that it does right!
If you go to that website, you will notice that every bit of copy is optimized to do one thing: showcase my services and get YOU to contact ME!
As you can see, it did precisely that, and this is my XYZ% landing page success story.
Now, that we’ve established that landing pages work, let’s focus on exactly that! — WHY my landing pages work!
In this article, I will cover the essentials of good sales copy and what are the essential elements of high conversion landing pages. I even talk share techniques to optimize your landing pages to boost conversion!
By the end of this article, you will have an excellent understanding to write a killer landing page copy that gets inside the mind of your prospect (like inception).
Let’s get started!
Five tips for writing a landing page that converts in 2019
There isn’t some secret formula to write killer landing pages that, and this is not an exhaustive list.
However, utilizing as many or all of these tips each time you write sales copy should most likely increase your conversion rates!
Tip #1: Sell a story NOT a Product
Consumers in 2019 have a limited attention span paired with an unlimited level of skepticism. A deadly combination that — hates the direct sales approach!
A landing page copy written with a goal to sell will just not work in 2019!
Instead, you need to find a story that describes your offer. Now, that doesn’t mean you go ahead and create a fake story. That’s just going to do you more harm than any good. Your target audience is smart and can sniff out inconsistencies from a mile away!
Instead, all products and services have a story. The great writers find it and tell it well. Remember, stories sell better than any other text can!
This article from Entrepreneur states that “Best Storytellers Achieve the Most Brand Awareness” — and I second that!
Remember the first half of this article? That was me using a (genuine) story to reel you into reading the other part of this post.
Would you be interested in reading further, if I just started with something dry and dull?
There’s a ton of articles and guides to landing pages but you’re still reading this because of its exciting, right?
Good landing page copy is about finding a genuine and authentic story that describes your offer and being consistent throughout your copy — from header to CTA!
Tip #2: Place your product between heaven and hell!
Now, don’t write copy that tells your prospect they will go to heaven if they buy your product or hell if they don’t — that’s insane!
Instead, I mean always place your prospect between heaven and hell:
- The heaven of using your product or service
- The hell of continuing to do things the way they currently do them.
A perfect implementation of this is in the FHS sales copy from Clickfunnels.
Here’s another tip from my friend The Lazy Writer, a fellow content marketer. Take the subtle approach, and show them your offer. Don’t eforce it and let them decide where they want to go.
Create a value proposition that positions your prospect between heaven and hell — the heaven of using your product and the hell of continuing to do things the way they are.
Tip #3: Easy-to-read formatting
As I already mentioned, consumers in 2019 have a limited attention span, and this is changing how people read, interact, and engage with content.
A study from HubSpot states that 43% of people admit to skimming an article blog. This study was back in 2016, and this number is probably much lower in 2019!
Moreover, the whole point of a landing page is to deliver a powerful message efficiently. So, it doesn’t make sense to have big content blocks that make it hard for a visitor to read.
Take a look at this post. You will find that I don’t keep my paragraphs more than two to three lines long. Why? Because it’s easy to read a post that uses shorter blocks than big text blocks!
Proper formatting is an essential element of landing page copy. Keep your paragraphs between 2-3 lines, use bullet points, and emphasis.
Tip #4: keep it simple, stupid (KISS)
Image by Agile leadership
Unless your copy targets a highly technical or corporate audience, sophisticated sales copy that’s just dull and boring — will not work!
Most copywriters charge too less and as a result, focus on churning more thoughtless words to charge more. However, more words make your offer inefficient, and this — reduces conversions!
This is why I am moving away from charging per word into charging per project. I hate turning my time and words into a commodity and want to value research and energy over standard words.
Fact: It takes more time to write a compelling sales copy of 500 words over a fluffy copy of 2000 words.
Why? Because clear, easy and straightforward writing is an art that takes a ton of time, ruthless editing and skill to accomplish.
An easy and straightforward copy helps the readers to understand the topic without consuming too much of their energy.
Tip #5 Use a customer persona
Imagine this: You’re thinking about something, and your friend accidentally speaks it out loud — how would you feel?
Like they’re in your head, right?
That EXACT feeling is how you want to make your prospect feel!
Why? Just because consumers love brands that understand them. As human beings, we like being around people that we can relate to and the same phenomenon applies to products we want to buy.
Without customer personas, we can’t write copy that connects its target, and this is why a customer persona is pretty darn important!
A customer persona is a reference tool that helps a copywriter understand their target audiences — their language, vocabulary and all the stuff you need to connect to them.
In my opinion, writing copy without a customer persona results in a poor sales copy that doesn’t connect to its audience.
Always use a customer persona BEFORE writing landing page copy. If you (or your client) don’t have one, make a simple customer persona defining everything you know about your target audience.
Elements that make a great landing page Copy
Now this section may go beyond the copy of a copywriter’s job, but I believe a good copywriter should know the in and out’s of a great landing page.
After all, a good landing page is not just about the copy but also about how the design and copy works together to form a powerful funnel.
If you’re a copywriter, use this section to broaden your knowledge on how landing pages work. Trust me, having a good understanding of the schematics of a landing page does wonders to writing compatible sales copy.
On the other hand, if you’re a business owner, use the content here as reference to build or rework your landing page.
Element #1: unique selling proposition
The foundation of any good landing page is to convey the USP of a product or service effectively.
A Unique selling proposition or the USP of your offers’ main differentiation point. Your USP should answer the following question:
“What makes my product or service unique to its competitors?”
Take a look at my first landing page copy for mediaberry.
There’s a ton of digital marketing agencies in the industry so to stand out I decided to position mine as “the storytellers of the internet.” This tells my prospect that I offer a unique marketing service as opposed to a generic digital marketing agency firm.
A well crafted USP clearly sets you apart from your competitors and allows them to understand why they should care about your offer. As a good copywriter, it is your job to communicate this USP in a concise but compelling manner.
Pro Tip: Break down your offer to its most basic level, and then describe exactly how it benefits its prospect — this is your USP
The USP can be broken down into four major elements of your landing page:
1A. Main Headline
The headline is one of the most critical aspects of your landing page. It is the first thing your prospect will see and read.
As a copywriter your goal with the headline is to answer the following question:
“Does this message concern the prospect?”
Answer this quickly and undoubtedly for your prospect. It’s vital to clearly define what the visitor will get from that page so — they know they are in the right place!
Take a look at my home page.
I don’t mess around and stick to a detailed and straight-forward headline. Some copywriters’ use a shorter and easily digestible headline, but in my case, I didn’t want to make my prospect spend time learning what I do.
Instead, I wanted them to know what I am all about instantly, and that is — a content writer for SaaS and online-business brands!
1B. Supporting Headline
Now, a headline can only say so much and especially if you keep it short. This is where a supporting comes in and serves as an extension to the main headline.
The goal of the supporting headline is to merely add an additional persuasive message to support the main headline.
1C. The reinforcement statement
The reinforcement statement is another headline that reinforces your main headling. The best position for this statement is at the halfway mark of your landing page copy.
Take a look at my content writing service page.
Midway into that copy, you will find that I use a reinforcing statement to make my prospects’ to hire me over other writers.
1D. The closing argument with CTA
The end of your landing page is your last chance to communicate the benefit of your offer. Just like in the reinforcement statement, your goal is to support your main USP.
It’s a good idea to pair this up with a nice CTA that boosts conversions.
Element #2: hero shot
Humans are visual creatures; this means we are more attracted to multimedia over standard text.
In fact, the human brain processes image 60,000 faster than text, which means the first thing your prospect sees on a landing page is the image and colors you use.
In my previous article, I covered the difference between B2B vs. B2C content marketing and used a landing page example to depict the same.
Let’s go back to that!
This is Flywheel’s landing page copy and specifically the hero section.
A prospect that views this landing page is most likely an agency. So it’s a good idea to use an image of an agency to establish that relevancy and first-time connection.
Remember: Use images that are engaging, relevant, and consistent with your brand.
Element #3: social proof
These stats state that visitors are most likely to convert into consumers if they see an online review or testimonial on your landing page.
Go to my home page and scroll down a bit.
You will find a testimonial slider that clearly tells my prospect one thing — I have worked with other clients and they trust my services!
Now, there are many ways to show social proof:
- Customer testimonials or reviews
- Customer count: the size of your customer base
- Social signals: your social media reach?
- Features: Any features on popular blogs or websites
- Awards and recognition
In my opinion, Social proof is a powerful, persuasive tool that works great to build trust and authority with your prospect. As a copywriter, I always definitely leave a section that covers social proof.
How to optimize your landing pages
By now you should have a firm understanding of what makes a good landing page and what are the elements that boost conversion rates.
However, don’t expect to strike gold (read: xyz% conversions) especially on your first try!
The best landing pages convert at about 27.4 percent. However, the rest fall much lower between a median of 2 to 6 percent conversion rates!
To be honest, it takes a lot of fine-tuning to create high conversion landing pages. Improvement is key to the success of landing pages.
If you notice the performance of your landing pages staying the same, you’re simply not collecting enough data and more importantly — improvising.
This section is dedicated towards the fine-tuning part of landing pages and gives you the best ways to optimize your landing page copy.
1) A/B testing your landing page copy
Image by crazy egg
A/B testing is the act of simultaneously experimenting two or more landing pages to see which performs or converts the best.
Despite the name “A/B test” this experiment can be conducted with as many pages as desired. Now, most people choose to A/B test their landing pages solely on design elements.
Design plays a huge role in landing page copy. However, the copy of the landing page is equally as important, and can deliver similar huge lifts in conversions!
Even the slightest copywriting teak can significantly improve your conversion rate with little effort than a design tweak.
Here are a few copywriting A/B tests to boost your conversions:
- Page headlines
- Form headlines
- Button copy
- Changing the reader perspective
- Using different social proof
- Testing long and short copy
This list is definitely not exhaustive as the possibilities are endless!
In a nutshell, you merely create various versions of your landing page for A/B testing.
Your primary goal is to find the champion landing page or the best conversion page. Furthermore, you can challenge this page with another variant called the challenger page and keep working your way till you’re satisfied with the conversions.
I won’t cover how to do A/B testing, as that’s quite frankly beyond the scope of this article. However, this article by Neil Patel is a complete guide to A/B testing a landing page using tools like Crazy Egg.
2) Be minimalistic
As mentioned before, keep it simple, stupid!
When your prospects arrive on your landing page, your goal is to deliver a powerful message in the most efficient manner possible. Everything from the design to content needs to be concise and minimalistic.
Many landing page copies try to do too much. This ends up being counterintuitive and overwhelms their users with too much information. Remember, the more you add, the less likely your customers will convert.
So, if you think your landing has too much going on, either in design or copy — it’s purging time!
3) Try exit popups
At times your prospect needs a little more convincing, especially just BEFORE they try to leave your page.
I love exit popups before as they are much less intrusive and more importantly, boost conversions!
Take a look at Brian Dean’s exit pop-up.
This pop-up does a great job of incentivizing his prospects to share their email in exchange for his helpful Ebook. I wonder how big his email list is…
So if your landing page isn’t doing as well, fit in an exit pop-up. Use compelling visuals paired with a strong headline and CTA and test the difference.
It’s also a good idea to incentivize the exit popup with an offer your prospect most likely wants, like a discount, ebook, etc. etc.
By now you should have a good understanding of what makes a good landing page. Remember the internet in 2019 is the most crowded space on earth, it’s going to take a lot of fine-tuning to write landing page connects to your target audience. The next time you set out to build landing pages or simply rework your existing pages — make sure to keep a few of my tips in mind!
Thank you for reading this article. Have you created a landing page? What techniques do you use to write your sales copy? What is your conversion rate?