(Note: This post is part four in a series about How To Build A WordPress Framework)
A landing page is a web page optimized to convert the user from visitor to a lead or buyer. They are designed to answer all of the user’s questions, remove all of the resistance, and give the user the easiest path to completing the action we want them to complete without distraction. Landing pages are often used in conjunction with email or online advertising. The rule of thumb is the less clicks to complete the desired action, the better. Each click is another chance for the user to change their mind and leave.
The example at left (from one of my landing pages) comes close but is not perfect. The user must click the Buy button in order to get to the payment information. A click on the image will take you to the actual landing page.
On the old Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, the process of membership signups and donations was inefficient and largely ineffective. It relied on donors taking several extra steps and used a combination of postal mail and phone calls to complete transactions. I wanted to automate these as much as possible and quickly. Landing pages were the answer. The new landing page for memberships is at right. Click on the image to see the actual page.
The landing page service I chose was LeadPages. LeadPages allow me to design landing pages any way I wanted. LeadPages also offers a WordPress plugin that makes it appear as if the landing page is actually on your website. Handy for branding purposes.
You’ll note the Membership Landing page example is even less ideal because the user has to choose which level of membership before they actually see the form I want them to complete. You can see the membership landing page at right. Click the image to see the actual page.
Let’s take a look at another example of a landing page and what makes a great landing page.
In this next example (no longer available online – so no link), you can see most of the elements that make a good landing page. I say good because even though it’s getting closer, it’s still not at the level it should be.
Elements of the Perfect Landing Page
So what elements make up a GREAT landing page? Take a look at this final example. This landing page – for Ryan Levesque’s ASK Method book – is the perfect landing page on steroids. It’s a text book example of using sales techniques laid out by Ray Edwards in his book “How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System For More Sales, to More Customer, More Often.”
One of the most important principals of writing copy that sells – or generates a lead – is the concept of micro-commitments. Getting the user to take a step so small they’re almost guaranteed to do it. Edwards maps this process out in detail in his book (I highly recommend you buy his book no matter what industry you’re in). In his book, Edwards uses the acronym P.A.S.T.O.R.:
P – Person, Problem and Pain: the audience, the issue they’re dealing with and what happens if they don’t find a solution.
A – Amplify and Aspirations: remind the user of the consequences of not solving the problem and their aspirations for the future.
S – Story, Solution, and System: Tell the story of how the problem can be solved with the system you offer.
T – Transformation and Testimony: People aren’t buying what you’re selling – they’re buying the transformation it provides. Testimonials from others that have made the transformation is critical.
O – Offer: The details of what you’re offering
R – Response: The call to action – what is the response we want the user to have? Fill out a form? Buy the product? Download the freebie?
Let’s unpack this landing page and compare it with the principals of PASTOR so you can see how it was built and why it works.
Person, Problem and Pain
Without actually stating it, this landing page makes the assumption the user is a business owner or marketer for someone else and has trouble getting email signups and generating revenue.
Amplify and Aspirations
It’s right there just below the basic landing page area
- Discover exactly what your customers want to buy
- Create a mass of raving fans
- Take any business to the next level
Story, Solution, and System
While Ryan’s copy is light on the story, he drives home the Solution (the book) and the system (through all of the FREE Bonuses). The line “the proven, repeatable, (yet slightly counter intuitive) Ask Method has quietly generated over $100 Million in online sales” let’s you know the book will teach you a system that is successful. Each of the bonuses matches well with the initial offer so your perception of value keeps growing with each FREE bonus listed.
Transformation and Testimony
This is where Ryan’s copy shines. Many, many quotes from people that have purchased his book. They talk about their own transformations:
- “I have already put pieces of the formula into practice (imperfectly) and already seen some awesome results.“
- “…the impact on my business has been immediate.“
- “…I had three times more sales than I originally anticipated.“
- “I took my funnel … to over $25,000 in less than 12 weeks (with a 40% profit margin).“
Testimonials like these are powerful. One thing to note is that not all of the testimonials are about the book. Ryan has mixed in testimonials from his online course as well.
The offer here is repeated over and over again. You get a free book if you pay the shipping and handling fee. $4.95 – a small enough amount to pay for something that seems to have overwhelming value. So much value you’d feel foolish if you didn’t take advantage of the offer.
The expected response – or call to action – is to click the button and pay for the S&H to get your FREE copy. Again, a simple, easy to complete step that seems so minimal by comparison to the value perception that has been built up in your mind.
Outside of the formula, there is one key point I bare in mind whenever I create a landing page – the audience. I know my audience and their perception of the museum I work for. We cannot seem too slick or pushy so building the landing page for membership the way I did – with an extra step the user must take – works for my audience. It’s what they expect. Over the next year or so, I can polish the process but for now, going from where we were 8 months ago to what you see is a huge step for those that know us.
I’d also like to point out the landing page Ryan built for his book may look like a random collection of testimonials, offer, and other components. I assure you it is not. If you take some time with what I’ve shown you and look carefully at it, you’ll see the clever use of repeated patterns and choice of words. A good marketer knows her/his audience VERY well and that is what Ryan’s book is all about. Knowing them that well, you can design a landing page that will overcome their inhibitions and make it easy for them to do what you wanted of them in the first place.