I’m writing this post from The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is commonly regarded as the ‘birthplace of Harry Potter’…the spot where J.K. Rowling went to write the first book in the series. Since I’m now on hallowed ground for many of the people reading this, I’ll do best to make to show a little bit of magic…
The heart of a successful online business is the landing page. This is a single page where you offer a freebie, often called a lead magnet, in exchange for a prospect’s contact information. (If you’re unfamiliar with this concept then I recommend you read part 1 and part 2 of my posts about lead magnets)
Landing pages are highly effective because you have multiple chances to make a sale. In fact if you’re good at building relationships people will stay on your list for years to come. This means lots of repeat business.
As you can see, landing pages are extremely important. What’s funny is I don’t see too many Internet marketers using them. I think this is mostly due to the fact that there’s a lot of misinformation on this subject.
So today I want to describe what makes a good landing page. Specifically I’m going to give a 13 part dissection of the landing page I created for my “41 Hot Internet Marketing Niches” Report.
As of today, this landing page gets a 46% opt-in rate. This isn’t anything special. But I feel it’s a pretty good start, considering I spent less than hour on it. Okay, let’s talk about what you need to include…
Step 1- Focus on your Most Wanted Response (MWR)
The goal of a landing page is to build a list. It’s not about educating people or making money. Your only goal is to get the prospects name and email address. That’s it.
A favorite concept of mine is something called the Most Wanted Response (MWR). This means you’re giving prospects two simple choices- Yes, they’ll subscribe. No, they’ll leave your site. Every part of the landing page centers on the MWR. If something doesn’t increase the likelihood of a subscription then you get rid of it.
Step 2- K.I.S.S (Keep it Simple Stupid)
Simplicity goes hand in hand with the MWR. You don’t need a fancy landing page filled with graphics. In fact, I’ve had better response with the basic text on a white background style. Simple pages outperform because they’re free from distractions. There’s the offer, with a video and a few blocks of text. If people like what’s there, they subscribe.
Step 3- Good Enough is Good Enough
I’ve never been accused of being a perfectionist. I try to do my best. But at a certain point I think good enough is good enough.
Don’t worry if your landing page isn’t perfect. Sometimes it’s just better to get it out there and then make changes as time goes on. Here’s an example of what I mean…
When recording the video, I didn’t notice that I was pointing to the right and saying the subscription box was on my left. Unfortunately this wasn’t picked up till long I was miles away from the shooting location. I felt the imagery was a critical part to the video, so I decided to keep things as is.
Yes, this is a minor detail. But I feel a lot marketers would wait another couple of days to reshoot another video. Instead of doing this, I simply had fun with my mistake and even put a block of text pointing it out:
At some point I’ll make another video. But…I didn’t want to use this as an excuse for why I wouldn’t release my freebie for another week. I feel the content of the report was good. In my opinion, this is more important than a flubbed line on my part.
Step 4- Test and Track to Perfection
It’s important to get an exact count of your raw clicks versus number of subscriptions. This gives you the opt-in rate. As time goes on, you want focus on continuously improving your landing page to increase this number. The program I recommend is a simple tracking script you can get through AdTrackZ.
You can see how this works, if you click on this link:
It automatically redirects to this link:
Furthermore, you can use AdTrackZ to split test the landing page. This means 50% of people will see version A (the original) and 50% get version B (one change to the original). Ultimately this gives you hard statistical proof of which page converts better.
Like I said before, you don’t have to start with a perfect landing page. But over time… you should try to get split-test it toward perfection. Keep tweaking it till you maximize the response rate.
Step 5- Important Information Above the Fold
One of the biggest killers of an opt-in rate is to put the subscription form below “the fold.” The fold is that invisible line separating the top of a webpage from everything else. The landing pages with the best conversions have all the important information above the fold.
For instance, take a look at a screen shot of the fold on my landing page:
You probably noticed that four critical elements are included:
1) The headline (Attracts the reader’s attention)
2) The video (Creates interest)
3) The graphic (Shows the report)
4) The subscription box (How they get it)
Everything a prospect would need lies above the fold. Sure they get more information when scrolling down the page. But this supplements the critical stuff they get with the four critical elements.
Step 6- Headline
I’ll admit my headline isn’t the greatest:
In all likelihood, this will be the first thing that’s split-tested.
With that said, there are a few things I like about the headline. First it gives an action the reader needs to take- ‘WATCH this Video.’ Next, it describes a benefit the reader receives from watching the video- ‘Discover How to Build a Profitable Internet Business.’ Finally, it tells them when they’ll receive the benefit- ‘…Starting Today!’
This headline is a little different from the one I’ve used with my other niche sites. Probably what I’ll do is adapt a variation of this headline and see which gets a better response. Here’s what this would look like:
The headline is an extremely important part of the landing page. So it’s important to keep tweaking it till you find one that does really well in split-tests. Your ultimate goal is to craft the perfect headline that makes people want to subscribe without reading the rest of your page.
Step 7- Video Introduction
I learned a valuable lesson in the last year. Videos get a much better response than standard text. This is probably because putting a ‘face’ with the product creates more trust and credibility.
Although I’m not the greatest public speaker, I decided to go with a video introduction instead of the standard text. But to make it stand out a little, I recorded myself talking while overlooking a sharp cliff on the rugged island of Inishmore, Ireland. (To see what I mean, you can watch the video here.)
It’s not really that hard to make a video. All you need is a simple Flip Video recorder, a tool to reformat the file from MP4 to WMV, and the Windows Movie Maker to edit/add slides. The whole thing took me less than an hour.
Don’t be scared to put yourself in front of the camera. Trust me… I’m really not good at it. But I’m not afraid to look like an ass if it increases my conversion rates. Videos have become a standard with Internet marketing. So it’s important to get comfortable with them!
Step 8- Graphic Image
Having an eCover image definitely increases your opt-in rates. It’s a way to increase the perceived value of your lead magnet. In a way, subscribers subconsciously feel they’re getting a valuable piece of property instead of a simple download.
Step 9- Email Subscription Box w/Spam Privacy Statement
The words you put around the subscription area is extremely important. Here’s what mine looks like:
First this description gives instructions for what I want prospects to do. In this case, I’m telling them to enter first name and email address.
Next, it has a button with the words, ‘Free Instant Access.’ This has been proven by marketers way smarter than me to be the best text to put on a subscription button.
Finally there is an anti-spam disclaimer. These days it’s important to let people know you’re not going to bombard them with emails they don’t want. I tried my best to add a bit of personality to this disclaimer….hopefully it made me sound friendly and like a real, genuine person.
Overall, it’s important to give simple, clear instructions around your subscription area. Tell people what they’ll receive and how to get it.
Step 10- List Segmentation
My first lead magnet was called “Life Plan Mastery.” This taught people how to strategically get what they want out of life. The problem with this report is it’s kind of generic. I wanted something that really stood out from the glut of freebies other people offer. So I decided to cover a major problem in Internet marketing- Picking a niche topic.
What I’m trying to do is identify the people interested in an online business and get them on a special list. They’re automatically removed from the “Life Plan Mastery” list when they subscribe to the “41 Niches” list. This is known as list segmentation.
There’s a reason I remove people from the 1st list if they join the 2nd. I don’t want to bombard a person with emails from two different lists. This is the quickest way to destroy an email relationship. Now, I’m not an authority on list segmentation, but here’s a screenshot of how I set it up in the Aweber email marketing program:
It’s not mandatory to segment your list. But I’ve found it’s a useful way to laser target a certain population of your followers. That makes it easy to customize your content and give people what they want.
Step 11- The Text Area
Right below the video is a block of text which summarizes the main points of the video:
A text area is a great way to reinforce what you discussed and list the highlights for the people (like me) who hate watching videos online. The text doesn’t have be anything too fancy. Just give a quick description of what you’re offering and how it’ll help solve a major problem they’re experiencing.
Step 12- Use Personalization
There’s a graphic of my digital signature at the bottom of the page…plus I included a mailing address:
Both elements increase the trustworthiness of my site. I’m not some random guy on the Internet. People see my face and they see that have a real, legitimate address.
Step 13- The “Mini-Site” Concept
I want to really drive home this final point. The best way to leverage your web traffic is to use a mini-site. The idea here is to get people to subscribe to your mailing list and then push them toward your content or whatever makes you money.
As an example, I’m currently working with my brother on a variation of this page which targets a major keyword phrase. The plan is to rank high for the keyword, and get traffic through Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/article marketing.
Once people subscribe, I’ll dump the traffic back to my blog by recommending certain posts and product recommendations. This increases traffic to a blog because you’re training subscribers to read your blog on a regular basis.
To All the Bloggers Reading this Post…
Let me apologize in advance if I sound patronizing. But a HUGE mistake I see with bloggers is they don’t take the time to create a landing page. Most direct all their traffic back to their blog. Yes, this is a great way to temporarily increase traffic. But the ugly truth is most people won’t come back to your site unless you have a way to automatically let them know about your content.
By creating a landing page, you maximize the return on your web traffic. You don’t even need to promote a product in your emails. Instead you can build relationships by sending messages, updating subscribers about the best posts on your blog.
The point I’m trying to make is you should finish this article and immediately start on your landing page. Then direct certain types of web traffic to this page. You’d be surprised at how quickly you build an email list with this small tweak to your online business.
Whew… this has been an exhausting post to write. I’ll admit Harry Potter is one of my favorite book series. And since I wrote this in the place where he was ‘conceived,’ I tried to give my best to provide a little magic for you.
It’s my sincere hope that you don’t just read this article… you’ll take action. I wasted over two years spinning my wheels till I discovered the importance of landing pages. This one technique helped me create an online business that brings me all over the world, including this particular spot in Edinburgh.
Well…this has been a fun location to write a blog post. In fact, it just might inspire me to start my first novel. Here goes:
“There once was a boy named Harry Potter”
Oh wait. I think that’s been used already. Maybe I should think of something else!Take Action. Get Results.