One of the most important sections of a business website is the opt-in landing page. Without it, there is no way to turn visitors into the leads which will ultimately turn into satisfied customers. While solid content is crucial to any good business website, and can be the driving force in attracting visitors to your site, the opt-in page is where you will turn those visitors into leads and conversions. The success of your online business hangs on the quality of your landing pages.
What Are Landing Pages?
A landing page, or opt-in page, is any page on a website where traffic is directed to prompt visitors into taking a predetermined call to action. Traffic to landing pages can come from a variety of sources, including blog posts, banner ads, or pay-per-click marketing campaigns. Typically, the object of the opt-in page is to get visitors to join an e-mail list or to fill in a “request for quote” web form. But whatever the call to action is, the landing page is where you will turn visitors to your website into new leads and potential conversions.
Now, let’s look at the basic steps for creating a successful opt-in landing page.
Step 1 – The Introduction
The first step in creating a successful landing page is writing a tantalizing headline, and following it up with an interesting, informative, and provocative introduction. This is where you will grab your visitors attention, explain your website, and persuade them of the value of your service. It is important here to understand the kind customer you are trying to attract, and to speak directly to them in their own language. For example, if your product or service is directed at the youth market, sounding like a stuffy history professor will likely lose your reader’s attention. Keep the copy bright and to the point, with an emphasis on how your product or service offers distinct benefits to your reader. Understanding your visitor “persona” is key at this step.
Step 2 – Show Proof
You’ve made certain promises in your introduction, and you need to back them up with proof. This can come in the form of customer testimonials, industry reviews, and media mentions. The amount of proof you should include in your opt-in page largely depends on the strength of your brand and the source of the landing page’s traffic. If your brand is well known, and people are searching for you specifically, you may not need to press this point to hard. However, if visitors are coming to your site cold, as the result of a keyword search, you may wish to lean heavily on subscriber testimonials and reviews.
Step 3 – Your Personal Story
Reserve a space on your landing page to give a little background on yourself and your business. The secret here is to connect with your customers, while reinforcing your experience and expertise in your field. Beware of being too self-deprecating, or downplaying your history or abilities.
Step 4 – The All Important Incentive
Offer an incentive with your call to action. This can be anything from access to exclusive online content, first access to new content, or access to free tutorials and webinars. You may even choose to offer discounts on a popular product or service. These little rewards offer an added incentive for visitors to sign-up for your mailing list, increasing your number of leads and creating new opportunities for successful conversions.
Obviously, the main focus of your landing page is the call to action (CTA), and you will want to include 1 or 2 opt-in forms within the body of the page. Don’t feel that putting more than one opt-in form on your landing page is being too pushy. You want an opt-in form readily available as readers scroll through your page. You’re not being pushy, your making it more convenient for potential customers to sign up for your mailing list. If however, you’ve placed a web form to capture the visitors name, email, and comment box, then a simple form to the right of the page will work great. Strong conversion rate optimization, such as using contrasting colors, will work wonders.
The web forms or buttons should be clearly marked, and easy to fill out. Avoid asking for too much information. The more information you ask for up front, the less likely people are to complete your opt-in form. Keep it simple, and keep it clear.
A well designed landing page is crucial to the success of any online business. The landing page is your opportunity to build a growing e-mail list and create a pool of leads from which you will draw your paying customers. Following these simple steps will set you on the path to creating a landing page that will get the results you’ve been hoping for. It really doesn’t stop with just the design. For a much more in-depth look at creating a landing page, take a look at these 50 points by Unbounce. Also, don’t forget to make sure to have a “thank you” page to track conversions.