Gotta Write Landing Page Copy, But Don’t Know Where to Start?
Hey, we’ve been there.
Maybe you’re a fresh-faced copywriter who’s just getting started. Maybe you’re a veteran marketer who’s more comfortable with graphs than grammar. Heck, maybe you’re a comma-swingin’ wordsmith who just wants a refresher.
To all of you, we say: you’ve got this.
Copywriting isn’t high art. You don’t need to be Shakespeare or Tolstoy to write landing page copy that drives conversions. There’s a basic formula, and we’re not talkin’ E=mc2. Think adding Mentos to a bottle of Coca-Cola. Anybody can do it and—more often than not—the results are explosive.
At its core, copywriting is about persuasion. It’s communicating the right message at the right time to convince your audience to take action. In the context of landing pages, this means carefully framing and structuring information so that more visitors accept your offer, whether it’s a lead-generating ebook or a hot new product. Persuasion means conversion.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about copywriting for landing page conversions. From laying out your structure, crafting high-impact headlines, toning your body copy, and wooing with social proof, you’ll have everything you need to write your highest-performing landing pages ever.
How Do You Write a High-Converting Landing Page?
Find Your Value Proposition – Before you start writing, you need to think about who you’re talking to (and what makes ’em convert). Learn how to craft messaging that resonates with your target audience.
Plan Your Information Hierarchy – You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, wouldya? Create an information hierarchy and figure out the content your landing page needs to be most impactful.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines – Your headings are the most visible copy on your page, so you’ve gotta make them count. Learn how to write headlines, sub-headlines, and subheadings that capture your visitors’ attention.
Craft Persuasive Body Copy – Your visitors don’t care about features, really—they care about the benefits your features provide. Write body copy that puts your audience’s needs first and persuades them to take action.
Find Social Proof that Resonates – Sure, you think your offer’s great—but does anyone else? Use social proof (like testimonials and review scores) to reinforce your copy and earn your visitors’ trust.
Convert with a Call to Action – You’ve convinced your visitors that they want what you’ve got, but you still need to seal the deal. See how to write calls to action that attract visitors’ attention and drive results for your business.
Find Your Value Proposition
Before you can start writing your copy, you need answers to some important questions. Why do you want to create a landing page? Who’s it meant for? How are you driving traffic to it?
These are all things that you need to know in order to determine your value proposition. Sometimes called a unique selling proposition, a value prop is a clear statement that describes what you’re offering, why people should want it, and how it separates you from your competitors. But your value prop doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it’s gotta be tailored to address the specific audience you’re talking to.
Your value proposition influences every bit of copy you include on your landing page. That means before you start writing, you’ve absolutely gotta figure out what it is.
By the end of this section, you will:
Identifying Your Page Goal
Every landing page should have one—and only one—page goal. This is the objective your landing page needs to complete as part of your broader marketing campaign. Its raison d’etre.
By the time you’re thinking about building a landing page, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want it to achieve. If you’re running a lead gen campaign, for instance, your page goal might be to get people to download an ebook (in exchange for an email address). Or maybe your page goal is to get visitors to add a product to their cart and start the checkout process. Whatever it is, your page goal will inform your landing page’s information hierarchy and show up in the copy you write—especially your call to action.
Why just one page goal? It comes down to attention ratio. Landing pages aren’t like your website, which needs to serve different kinds of visitors from tons of traffic sources. Instead, your landing page should be laser-focused to support its corresponding campaign. Any information or links that don’t line up with its page goal are just distractions.
Communicating with Your Target Audience
We’re not gonna get into the nitty-gritty of market research here. (Heck, we don’t have the space.) But as you get ready to write your landing page copy, it’s important to remember that you’re addressing someone in particular—the people you’re aiming your ads at or sending emails to. That’s your target audience.
Think about their pain points, or the problems that (you hope) your offer is gonna help them solve. If you don’t know these already, try asking your existing customers. Set up interviews to find out directly how your product or service improves their lives. Ask your sales team which benefits resonate most in conversations with prospects. Look back at past marketing campaigns and see what kinda messaging worked best.
Check out how Flyhomes uses their headline to address an all-too-common homebuyer frustration of getting outbid by competing offers. Flyhomes could just focus on the features of their platform. Instead, they’ve honed in on a pain point that clearly resonates with their audience.
Unless you’ve got access to some pretty advanced (and expensive) analytics tools, it can be tough to say what messaging is gonna work on your target customers. That means you’re often relying on things like anecdotal evidence and best practices. Not exactly scientific.
To write the most effective copy, marketers need mathematically-validated insights that explain what actually gets visitors to take action. That’s why Unbounce created the Conversion Benchmark Report. Based on a machine learning analysis of 186 million visits to more than 34 thousand landing pages, this research shows how copy influences conversions across 16 major industries with actionable recommendations you can apply right now.
Before you start writing your landing page, check out the full report to see what you can learn about your audience.
Your Traffic Source Matters—Here's Why
People coming from different places have different expectations when they hit your landing page. That’s why it’s so important to write with your traffic source in mind.
For example, a traffic source will often dictate your visitors’ stage of awareness. People arriving at your landing page from paid social ads are usually what you’d call pain- or solution-aware—they’ve identified there’s a problem to be solved, but they don’t know about your product or service specifically. That means your landing page copy needs to provide a higher-level intro to your company and your offer.
Compare that with someone coming via email, who’s likely product-aware. They’re already familiar with your brand (or they should be—they’re on your mailing list), so you can skip the preamble and go for a harder sell.
On this landing page, Dinnerly goes as far as directly calling out the traffic source (Reddit) to create targeted pages for individual audiences. The copy explains what Dinnerly is and how the service works, indicating this is a top-of-funnel page for people who’ve probably never heard of it before.
The Importance of Message Match
There’s another reason to keep your traffic source in mind, and that’s message match.
In short, message match is all about ensuring that your landing page reflects the traffic source that brought visitors to it. You need to deliver on the promise you made that got them interested in the first place. That means if someone clicks a search ad for “15% Off Commuter Bikes” (or a Reddit ad for discount meal kits), the copy on the following page should have a similar message and phrasing. Same goes for emails, or anywhere else your traffic is coming from.
The idea is to provide visitors with a consistent experience on their path to conversion. The less context switching people have to do when they’re sent to your page, the less likely they are to bounce, the more likely they’ll follow through on your offer. Simple, right?
Writing Your Value Proposition
Think of a value prop like an elevator pitch. It’s a short statement that instantly tells people what your offer is and what makes it unique. It’s refined to appeal to a specific kind of person and motivate them to take action.
Your value proposition should be framed in a way that puts your visitors’ needs first. What are the benefits they’re gonna get from your product or service? What problems are you solving for them?
Say you’re marketing a subscription box for organic, fair-trade coffee beans. Where the beans are sourced, how they’re roasted—these could be important differentiators, but they’re not your value prop on their own. Instead, frame your offer so the value is immediately clear to your target customer. “Get the world’s best coffee beans delivered (without destroying the world in the process).” Something like that.
If someone skims your landing page and can’t figure out what your value proposition is within a few seconds, they’re gonna bounce. Make sure it’s clearly communicated at the top of your page (usually in your headline and sub-headline) and reinforced throughout the rest of your copy.
Already got a published landing page you wanna improve? Well heck, why didn’t you say so?
We used the AI-generated insights from the Conversion Benchmark Report to create the Unbounce Copy Analyzer. It’s simple: just point the Copy Analyzer at your page and you’ll instantly get a personalized report with recommendations for how you can optimize your content for your audience.
Plan Your Information Hierarchy
Now that you’ve figured out the important details of your landing page like your value proposition, you can get working on your copy… right?
Not so fast. Any copywriter worth their Grammarly subscription can tell you what happens when you open a new doc without a plan. You’ll get a few hundred words in, then you’ll start to wonder: “Should this section go here or further down? Is this my headline, or is it a subheading? Do words even exist, really?”
Before you start you need an information hierarchy, which acts as a blueprint for your landing page copy. It takes the guesswork out of writing by helping you sort out the exact info you need (and the order it needs to show up) to get your visitors to convert.
By the end of this section, you will:
How to Outline Your Information Hierarchy
Information hierarchy is exactly what it sounds like—figuring out which pieces of information are the most important to getting your visitors to convert, then presenting it on your landing page in a logical order.
It can be helpful to work backward from your page goal. Think about the action you want visitors to take, then how you can convince ‘em to take it. What are the most compelling benefits of your offer? What objections might people have—and, more importantly, how can you counter them?
Here’s a simple framework for mapping your information hierarchy. It’s all the stuff you need to address to get your visitors to convert:
- Pain Points: What are the problems that your offer helps people solve?
- Benefits: What does your product or service let people do? What’s the value they’re getting?
- Differentiators: What makes your offer unique? How is it different from those offered by competitors?
- Objections: Why might people not accept your offer? What could be preventing them from acting?
- Call to Action: How does someone get the thing you’re offering? What happens when they click the button or fill out the form?
Try listing out topics under each of these categories, being as specific as possible. When you’re finished, you’ll have a good idea of what needs to be on your landing page in order to get people to act.
Next, it’s as easy as mapping each of these talking points to your page elements: highlight your value proposition in your headline, address the top-most objection in your sub-headline, commit a subheading and section to your differentiators, and so on down the page.
See how analytics platform Singular structures information on this Unbounce-built page. Right away, they get people’s attention with an appealing promise: an automated alternative to muckin’ around in spreadsheets. The sub-headline reinforces that by elaborating on the value of the service. Then, Singular follows it up with some social proof to address a top objection (“who the heck are these guys?”) and gets right into the benefits-focused body copy.
There’s a clear flow to the copy that keeps persuading visitors as they scroll down the page.
Choosing Your Page Elements
Once you’ve got a sense of everything you need to include (based on your information hierarchy), you can choose the specific landing page elements that you’ll write content for.
This diagram shows some of the different pieces that can make up the anatomy of a landing page. There are all kinds of elements: headlines, hero images, features, and benefits, to name a few. And while no two landing pages are the same, there are a few essential pieces of copy that every page should include:
- Headline: This is the short statement near the top of your page that summarizes your offer in a compelling way. (Usually, it’s some version of your value proposition.) This includes your sub-headline and subheadings.
- Body Copy: The copy throughout your page that comes after your headings, providing further information about whatever you’re talking about in each section.
- Social Proof: Testimonials, customer logos, reviews—social proof is evidence that other people have acted on your offer and realized the benefits you’re promising. It helps instill trust and convince others to do the same.
- Call to Action: The link, download, or signup button that visitors click on to accept your offer. This is the step visitors need to take in order to complete your page goal.
We’ll get into how to craft impactful copy for each of these elements starting in the next section.
What About Design?
This guide is about copywriting, but having a wicked design is just as essential to a high-converting landing page. (Heck, that’s why we created a whole other guide on the 7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design.)
Consider how your design could impact the way you arrange copy on your page. Think about whether the structure aligns with your information hierarchy. To get some perspective, try sketching a quick wireframe to see how you can improve the flow of your copy by adding visual elements.
You can also plan ahead by choosing a landing page template before you start writing. That way you’ll have a pretty good idea of the sections you need to write for (even when you customize it later on). Oh, and bonus: It’s way easier than designing something yourself.
Get Started Faster with a Template
Unbounce lets you choose from more than 100+ high-converting templates for tons of different industries and use cases. Just pick a template, add your copy, and publish. Simple.Browse Landing Page Templates
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
You’ve planned your information hierarchy. You know which landing page elements you need. Now, you’re ready to get down to business—and the best place to start writing is your headline.
Headlines do the heaviest lifting of any part of your landing page. They’re the first and most visible pieces of copy—the introduction to your offer. A compelling, descriptive headline can be the difference between a visitor thinking “I need this thing, like, yesterday” and “how the heck did I end up here?”
When your landing page header isn’t pulling its weight, your visitors are more likely to bounce. On the other hand, a strong headline keeps
visitors scrollin’ and ensures all the work you’ve put into getting them here doesn’t go to waste.
By the end of this section, you will:
What Makes an Effective Headline?
Sharpen that pencil. It’s time to do some copywriting.
The good news is, if you’ve been following along to this point, you’ve pretty much already written your landing page headline. That’s because your headline should be a direct expression of your value proposition.
You might feel pressure to come up with something super clever or inspired when you’re writing a headline. Don’t. A turn of phrase or sly witticism is more likely to confuse your audience than get them to convert.
Instead, your headline should very clearly tell visitors what you’re offering and why they oughta care. Like this example from Ruby—it’s short, simple, and right to the point.
If you wanna get the headline juices flowing, try following the 4-U formula. Developed by copywriting expert Michael Masterson, the idea is that a persuasive headline has four elements—and if your headline hits at least three of ‘em, you’re in pretty good shape.
Try writing a headline that communicates your value proposition, then ask yourself these questions:
- Is it useful? Does it explain the problem you’re solving for visitors? Does it tell them how it improves their lives?
- Is it unique? Does it present your offer differently than what visitors have seen before from your competitors?
- Is it urgent? Are you encouraging your visitors to act quickly—to accept your call to action right now?
- Is it ultra-specific? Are you communicating the details of your offer—the precise benefits someone is gonna get?
This formula can apply to your subheadings, too—so be sure to add it to your copywriting toolkit.
Stay On Target
The power of a landing page is in its ability to bring focus to a campaign, and a headline should represent that. Avoid vagueness or leaving anything up to interpretation. Get to the point.
Tell Us a Story
This is in relation to other elements of your campaign (like your traffic source) as well as the rest of the landing page copy. Your page will be most effective if it flows as a cohesive story—and that starts with your headline.
As with all landing page copywriting, your headline should be about your audience—not about you. A headline phrased as a customer benefit (rather than a product feature) shows you understand your visitors’ needs.
How to Reinforce Your Headline
Once you’ve written your headline, think about backing it up with a supporting headline, or sub-headline.
Sub-headlines are like your headline’s trusty sidekick. They go just underneath, expanding on what you said in your headline to clarify your offer or reinforce it with another persuasive message. A sub-headline might be just a few words, but it can be as long as a paragraph.
This is your opportunity to convey any important information that you couldn’t squeeze into your headline. (In fact, discarded headlines often make strong sub-headlines.) Refer back to your information hierarchy. Is there a can’t-miss benefit or differentiator you can speak to that’ll capture visitor attention and move them down into your body copy? That’s a potential sub-headline.
This landing page targeting job-seekers is a great example. HiredHippo uses a headline that speaks directly to the pain they’re solving (“no resume required”), then follows it with a sub-headline that explains how they deliver that value.
Can’t decide which headline is your best option? Well, why not use all of ’em?
No, we’re not talking about A/B testing (which requires a ton of time and traffic to get meaningful results). Unbounce’s Smart Traffic is an AI-powered optimization feature that lets you run a bunch of variants simultaneously, automatically routing visitors to the page where they’re most likely to convert.
Here’s how it works: Each time someone visits your landing page, Smart Traffic evaluates their attributes—their location, their device, and so on—then sends them to the page variant where people like them have converted in the past. That means you can try different versions of your copy (like multiple headlines) and let the machine decide which works best for who. Neat, huh?
Add Structure with Subheadings
Next, you’ve got your subheadings. These are kinda like headlines for each section of your landing page. They introduce new benefits (or counter specific objections) that tie back your overall value proposition.
Again, check your info hierarchy. Figure out what crucial information you haven’t included in your header and start breaking it into topic groups. You’ll probably find that most of what you still need to communicate falls into a few categories, like unique product features or secondary benefits. Under a shared subheading, these can become your page sections.
For example, Mixmax has devoted a section of this page to all the features that improve productivity, marked by subheading that clearly states the value for customers: “Mixmax accelerates email productivity.” But they’ve also got a bunch of cool features that don’t necessarily support that benefit, so they’ve bucketed them under another subheading: “More reasons to love Mixmax.”
Here’s a pro tip: Skim your landing page (or better yet, ask someone else to) and see if you can tell the value of your offer from just the headline and subheadings. If not, you may wanna circle back and make ‘em extra clear.
Craft Persuasive Body Copy
You know what they say: every head headline needs a body. Whether your landing page is short and sweet or long and bitter (hopefully not), you wanna be sure you’re persuading visitors to take action with your body copy.
The trick here is to convey the essential information about your offer without overloading your visitors. Our machine learning analyses for the Conversion Benchmark Report showed that shorter landing pages that are easier to read tend to convert better in basically every industry. (Check the full report to see what page length is optimal for your audience.)
No idea where to start? Get your creative juices flowing with Smart Copy’s landing page copy generator. Keep in mind all the principles covered in this guide and your copy will be converting in no time!
By the end of this section, you will:
It’s Not About Features—It’s About Benefits
You’ve probably heard some version of “don’t sell the product, sell the outcome.” What that really means is that you wanna focus on the benefits—not the features.
Features are the matter-of-fact details of your offer. If you’re selling lawnmowers, some of the features might be the speed of the blades or size of the grass bag. On the other hand, a benefit would be how that oversized grass bag means you need to empty your mower less so you’re done cutting your lawn faster. (How’d we start talking about lawnmowers?)
See how Good Eggs frames the features of their service as benefits? They don’t just offer delivery—they make sure you’ve got “everything you need, delivered to your door.” It’s not just customer service, it’s “customer service you can count on” when you really need them. Good Eggs is speaking to the value these features provide.
Ideally, the benefits on your landing page should directly reinforce the promise of your value proposition. Your headline quickly and clearly communicates your offer, then your body copy illustrates how you’ll delivering the promised value.
Fun fact: Human beings are emotional and self-interested. (Hey, us too!) That means when they’re scrolling through your landing page, they don’t care too much about the how or why behind your offer. They wanna know what’s in it for them.
Trying writing in a way that puts your visitors’ motivations first— “you” and “your,” subtly woven through your benefits-focused copy. This’ll help people imagine how your offer could improve their lives, plus show them that you understand what they really want.
Good Eggs does this well in the last example, but here’s another from Indochino. Rather than simply outlining how their suit tailoring service works, the brand invites visitors to imagine themselves going through the process. Indochino promises to “walk you through all your suiting options,” let you “choose the fabrics you love,” and “ensure your garment fits just right.” Customer-oriented copy like this helps visitors better understand the value you’re providing.
Applying Psychology to Your Copy
Implementing some marketing psychology to your copy can make your landing page super impactful. No, we’re not talking about manipulating or tricking people. (That’s not a great way to win long-term customers.) Instead, think about it as presenting information in a way that appeals to visitors (even subconsciously) and accelerates their path to conversion.
The AIDA formula is a classic example. In the context of copywriting, the idea is that you can structure your message in a way that spurs readers to take action:
- Attention: Use an attention-grabbing headline (or subheading) that makes them want to keep reading
- Interest: Pique their interest by highlighting a crucial pain point or an irresistible benefit
- Desire: Hone in on how specifically your product or service is going to deliver the promised value
- Action: Present a clear call to action, harnessing the momentum you’ve generated to get the conversion
Check out how Promo uses the AIDA formula on this Unbounce-built page. They’ve got a concise headline that immediately tells us the value: “create your own promo videos.” Pair that with the striking background video and they’ve got our attention. Check.
Next, Promo’s sub-headline elaborates on the headline and layers in some additional benefits. They tell us the videos are gonna be high-quality, plus they’ll be ready super fast. Oh, hey—there’s some examples of the videos we can use just below. Yep, we’re interested.
Then we get to the features of the platform (and more value). Promo doesn’t just have videos, but music, too. There’s a support team in place to help us if we run into any issues. We get to keep the licenses to the videos we make forever? Alright, we want—err, desire—to sign up for this service.
Great timing. Just under the features that won us over, Promo presents another call to action, plus one more lil’ treat: we can try it free, no credit card required. That’s it—we’re totally sold. The AIDA formula strikes again.
Landing Page, Activate
Words that’re about doing something—verbs like “learn,” “get,” and “build”—are more compelling because they put the visitor in an active role. These are especially powerful in landing page headlines or calls to action.
Our brains crave closure and seek out endings. By introducing a question on your landing page and hinting at an answer on the other side, you can encourage people to convert to satisfy their desire for a conclusion.
It’s a Match
People want consistency and are naturally frustrated when their expectations aren’t met. Use message match to stay laser-focused on the specific messaging of your overall campaign, from ad to landing page and beyond.
Analyze Your Ecomm Page Copy
Using machine learning insights from the Conversion Benchmark Report, the Unbounce Copy Analyzer provides instant copy recommendations to help you optimize your ecommerce landing pages.Try the Unbounce Copy Analyzer for Ecomm
Convert with a Call to Action
Now that you’ve got an alluring landing page headline, kick-butt body copy, and a chorus of social proof, it’s time to drive all your efforts home with an irresistible call to action.
Your call to action is the bit of copy (plus button or form) where you ask your visitor to complete your page goal—and like a page goal, your landing page should only have one. (Remember attention ratio?)
That means you wanna remove any links that don’t support your objective: links to your website, to your social profiles, you name it.
The idea is to keep visitors focused on converting, and you don’t want to introduce any distractions that could prevent them from doing it.
By the end of this section, you will:
- Know how to write a call to action that tells visitors what to expect and gets them to take action
- Recognize the best place to position your call to action so it’s easy for visitors to find and click
Writing Your Call to Action
Like the rest of your landing page copy, write your call to action with your visitor’s perspective in mind. Frame it around them and what they want from you. If you can, try to:
- Be specific. Tell visitors exactly what’ll happen when they click your call to action. Respect their expectations and manage any anxiety they may have by describing exactly what’s on the other side of that button or form.
- Be consistent. Match the messaging that you’ve used for your headline, subheadings, and so on. This keeps your copy consistent through to the final step, and drills down on your value proposition at the most crucial point of conversion.
- Be straightforward. Don’t make converting any harder than it needs to be. If your call to action requires too much work on the part of the visitor (like extra form fields), it’ll add unnecessary friction.
- Be action-oriented. Motivate visitors by illustrating they’ve got something to gain. Use verbs like “get” and “start” to inspire action. Create urgency by indicating an expiration or emphasizing incredible results.
Check out this landing page from ClaimCompass. The headline and sub-headline explain that delayed air travelers could be eligible for compensation from the airlines. So, what’s the call to action? “Claim your compensation.” It aligns with the rest of the copy, clearly stating what’ll happen (and what someone’ll get) when they click the button.
Having just one call to action doesn’t mean you can only have a single link—it just means all the links on your page should point to the same place. Depending on the length of your page, it can be a good idea to have multiple calls to action sprinkled throughout.
It usually makes sense to place your primary call to action above the fold so anyone who lands on your page sees it right away, without having to scroll. From there, you can consider adding secondary links in sections where new benefits are introduced, testimonials are placed—wherever.
Remember: the goal of your call to action is to present a clear path forward, then persuade visitors to take it. Make sure it’s easy to spot, simple to understand, and too good to pass up.
Deliver the Right Message Every Time
Your visitors aren’t all the same—so why send them all to the same landing page? Use Unbounce’s Smart Traffic feature to “automagically” route visitors to the page variant with the message that resonates most.Learn More About Smart Traffic
Your Landing Page Copy Will Always Be a Work In Progress
Phew. By now, you should have a complete first draft of your landing page copy—or the key elements, anyways. Once you’ve given your copy a thorough proofread (and ideally had someone else to review it for clarity), you can add it to your landing page template and publish that sucker.
But maybe you launch your marketing campaign and find your page isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped. Or maybe it’s doing great and you wanna see if you can kick that conversion rate up a notch.
Here’s the thing: your content will always be a work in progress. Your job as a copywriter is to make sure it’s the most effective it can be today, and that means continuing to optimize even after you publish.
So, check out the industry-specific copywriting recos in the Conversion Benchmark Report. Run your landing page through Unbounce’s Landing Page Analyzer. Create a variant of your page and automatically route visitors with Smart Traffic.
The only way you’re gonna get the most possible conversions is through a continuous process of improvement informed by data. It’s a little something we call conversion intelligence.
See How to Optimize Your Entire Page
Persuasive copy is just one part of a high-converting landing page. Use the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer to find out how you stack up across five performance categories, including industry, advertising, and design.Learn how to optimize your landing page