If landing pages didn’t exist and you were designing one for the very first time, what ingredients would you need to make your new creation a success?
On day 1 of our 7 Days to a Better Landing Page series, we’re going to take look at the anatomy of a landing page, and we’ll define the building blocks of a successful online marketing campaign.
The purpose of this first post is to define the types of content that you should consider for your landing pages. As we progress through the week we’ll build on this foundation piece by piece.
So grab some paper and a pen and sketch out a page for your next campaign as we step through the 7 elements. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can create a basic page outline using this technique.
Our gallery of landing page templates show the elements applied to some different landing page layouts.
This diagram represents a sample layout with the 7 elements placed in fairly standard locations. Your specific landing page may vary greatly, but it’s helpful to look at this for reference as we walk through each element.
The starting point of a marketing campaign often revolves around defining a point of differentiation. What is it about your product or service that sets it apart from the competition? Often, this has already been defined at a higher brand level and you just need to re-iterate it in a succinct way on your landing page. If not, this is your first task. Try to break down your offering to its most basic level, to describe the specific benefit your customers will get by choosing your product/service.
A classic example comes from Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.”
A well crafted USP sets clear expectations for your customers and allows them to understand why they should care.
On your landing page, the USP should be delivered using a combination of the following page elements:
Following on directly from the USP is a more detailed description of your offer’s benefits and features. By crafting an effective headline you gained the attention of your customer, and now you have to provide a little more detail to the offer to answer any questions they may have. Try to focus on answering the question “What will this do for me?”, as this will help you to write copy that speaks directly to your customers questions.
It’s important to strike a balance here and not get into so much detail that your landing page feels like it’s full of text. Write a brief one paragraph summary and 3-5 bullet points for clarity. Come back to this section many times and edit the copy to remove any bloated or unnecessary verbiage.
The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true in the short attention span world of the landing page. The hero shot is the visual representation of your offer and can help people to gain a better understanding of what it is or what it looks like. It will most commonly be one of these types of visual element:
You should aim to showcase your product or service being used in real life. The idea here is to get your customers to empathize and place themselves in a scenario where they are using it. There are many ways in which to achieve this, including:
It’s common – especially in the B2B marketplace – for the main purpose of your landing page to be lead generation. Usually this will involve asking the visitor for their Name and Email in exchange for some sort of freebie (we’ll be covering this in Thursday’s post). If you are requesting data from your customers, keep the form as short as possible and include a privacy statement near the button or email address field.
TIP: There is some thought and opinion on the placement of lead generation forms that suggests placing them on the right-hand side of the page yields higher conversions. This is likely due to the way westerners read from left to right. As such, placing the form on the left is akin to asking for something before explaining the benefits involved.
Read more about creating the perfect length lead gen form.
Not all visitors will become paying customers after the first kiss. To give you the opportunity for a little extra foreplay, leave a non-committal escape route from the page. This is what’s known as a Safety Net, and its purpose is to capture the attention of someone who is interested but not ready to buy. Examples include:
The final part of your landing page is the all important Call To Action or CTA. This is the statement or copy that instructs your visitor to take a specific action. Often it will be the button on a form, or a large graphical button that takes your new customer through to a final destination somewhere on your main website. It’s critical that the CTA is very obvious and is written in a way that describes what clicking on it will actually do.
Poorly written CTA’s are the standard CLICK HERE or SUBMIT. A good example would be “Get your $50 spa coupon” which clearly articulates what you will be receiving in exchange for your precious click.
For a more detailed look at CTA’s download our 101 Landing Page Tips eBook which contains 10 ways to make them more effective.
By now you should have an understanding of what a landing page needs to function. As I mentioned at the start, you can use these 7 elements of a landing page to quickly produce a napkin sketch or wireframe for a marketing campaign. On particularly good technique for visualizing landing page design potential is to create a paper prototype. Do a quick sketch of the 7 elements on a piece of paper, cut them out and move them around on a new piece of paper. Try to lay it out so that they tell a fluid story with a strong focus on the CTA.
Check back tomorrow for in part 2, where we’ll be looking at “7 Landing Page Inspirations in the Real World”, and how you can become a better marketer by observing marketing in everyday life.