An Effective Landing Page Begins with Result-Driven Web Copy

by Michelle Salater on October 25, 2010

For those who might be unclear about the definition of a landing page, here it is:

A landing page is a single web page that is used to encourage prospects to take one specific action—whether that desired action is to purchase from you or register for an event.

Below is an example of one of Sumèr’s landing pages:

Landing page web copy should be . . .

Client-centric: Prospects want to know what benefits they will receive from the action you want them to take. You need to tell them how your service or product relieves their pain or solves their problem—not in terms of you, you, you, but them, them, them. They don’t want to know why your services have won awards because, most of the time, they don’t mean much to anyone outside of your industry.

Companies that put the client first and foremost throughout the sales process and beyond are wildly successful. Those that do not focus on the client will fail. That’s just how it is.

Result-driven: Your landing page has only one mission: to encourage readers to take one specific action. When you provide them with several links and options to click, it gets much harder to encourage them to take your main desired action. Don’t increase the variables on a landing page—stick to one action, and so will your prospects.

Depending on the purpose of your landing page, you may want prospects to sign up for a webinar or mastermind or purchase a product—not all 3, just 1.

And always, always, always repeat and bold (underline or italicize) your call to action throughout the landing page. Your readers are much more likely to soak in your call to action when you mention it several times throughout the page and give them the option to take that action at any time while they’re reading.

Complementary of your brand personality: It’s crucial you allow your brand personality to shine throughout your landing page. Putting on your superserious business hat when writing your landing page is the quickest way to turn away prospects. Do you blame them? Who wants to be bored to tears with industry jargon and overindulgence of accolades?

When you share your company’s personality and celebrate your brand story in all you do, clients and prospects feel privileged to gain an insight into who you are and why you do what you do. And your brand story is what gets people talking about your brand and encourages them to take your desired action—they believe in what you can offer them.

Organized: If you don’t have landing page web copy that is easily digestible and to the point, you risk losing prospects.

Have you ever seen web copy that went on and on, with paragraphs that had 20 or 30 lines? You get lost and tired of reading. For example, a long, rambling paragraph is the written version of the annoying person who walks up to you at a party and talks and talks.

We usually write in paragraphs of no more than four to five lines or four or five sentences. Those who write in long rambling paragraphs also write long sentences and never use punctuation because often they’re writing exactly what they’re thinking and they don’t realize that when they write a long sentence their reader needs them to take a literary breath and use commas and periods to separate thoughts plus they don’t understand that the reader forgets what was at the beginning of that long sentence and then he or she has to go back and that’s frustrating.

Don’t do that. Keep sentences to less than 20 words as much as you can. Use spacing liberally. People like white space because it’s easy on the eyes and less stressful and intimidating.

Also, bulleted sections on your landing page are highly effective. Often, the first few words of a bullet point are all your readers need. Even if they don’t read the web copy following the first phrase or sentence, they can apply each point immediately.

In addition, help your reader get to the point with headings. If you have a landing page covering several areas of conversation, set off each point or section with a bold heading.

Story-oriented: Your landing page must not only present a complication to prospects but also tie it to their state of mind, situation, and desires. They’ve come to your landing page because they believe you have something that will fulfill a need they have.

If you present a complication to your prospects and manage to tap into their desire for more, the resolution you provide is what will get them to act.

Stories without resolutions are not read, and, if they are, no one remembers them. In literature, we remember most books for their endings, a resolution to a complication. The same can be applied to your landing page (and other marketing materials for that matter). If you don’t offer a resolution, prospects will move on to your competition.

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