How to Make Great Landing Pages That Get Amazing Results
What exactly are landing pages and why are they so important? Landing pages are web pages that people visit that have one purpose — to get them to buy a product, opt in to download an eBook, or opt in to subscribe to a newsletter.
Landing pages come in many forms and they flat out work when you follow the simple tips I will talk about in this post.
A landing page that converts traffic needs to be persuasive, it needs to grab attention, and it needs to have one call to action. Also, you need to take notes because this stuff can change your life. With that said, let’s get to it!
Tip #1 — Don’t Overdo It
A great landing page that gets amazing results is simple, clean, and very organized.
How your landing page looks is just as important as the copy on the landing page. If you have a great call to action, but a terrible layout with too many columns and text, the page will convert far lower than if you keep it simple, clean, and minimalistic.
A cultured landing page isn’t going to work. For example, a cultured landing page might have one or more calls to action. A call to action could mean that the page is asking you to sign up for the live event and at the same time asking you to buy product X.
Two calls to action that ask the prospect to perform actions that are completely different from each other will significantly lower conversion.
For those of you that don’t know what a conversion is, let me share that here quickly. A conversion is the prospect taking action on the landing page. If your landing page is offering a product to buy, then the conversion will be buying the item. Another form of a conversion would be getting someone to subscribe to your newsletter if the landing page was asking them to perform that action.
Landing page conversion simply means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do, whether that is to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, register for a webinar, download an eBook, or fill out a simple contact form to have you follow up with them.
Conversions come in many shapes and sizes.
Just remember that your landing pages should only have one call to action and purpose.
Tip #2 — Color Does Make A Difference
We’ve all seen those web pages that look like this:
It just speaks, “I don’t know what the hell I am doing.”
Terrible colors that clash will affect your conversions significantly. As a matter of fact, if you get the color wrong and everything else right, it won’t matter. Color plays such a huge part in making people feel safe and that you’re a trusted source.
No one wants to enter their email address into a scary looking page that’s plastered with dozens of colors. I’ve helped some pretty big businesses with their landing pages and all we did was change the colors.
As The Daily Egg puts it: “As with everything else in marketing, the process of selecting the best color design begins by understanding your target market.”
For example, if your landing page is trying to get someone to opt in for a free eBook that’s on the subject of “Men’s Style,” what you don’t want to do is have the color palette of pinks. I’ve seen it before and it’s just terrible!
Pink is the favorite color of many women. For that reason, it’s often considered a feminine color and it usually doesn’t convert well unless your target market is women. Even better if your target market is women that are makeup fanatics. 😉
If your landing page is about offering makeup styles for women, then it would be far better to have pink colors then greys, whites, and blacks. Makeup is about color.
Take a look at two landing pages below; they’re the exact same page, but one has color and the other is all greyed out.
The color one above works far better because the target market is makeup and young women. Not to mention the lipstick is kinda pointing to the button and the color one stands out more.
Understanding your target market will play a huge part in not only what you offer, but also the colors that you use.
Tip #3 — Headlines (and Copy) That Doesn’t SUCK!
The headline on your page is probably the single most important part to a first-time prospect.
Having a terrible headline will make them want to instantly click the back button (which means leaving the landing page). A headline’s purpose is to get them to stay on the page and keep them interested enough to keep reading.
I’ve seen landing pages that have such good headlines that they instantly make the prospect want to perform the call to action. Headlines matter!
What makes a good headline, you ask?
The first thing to making a good headline is spending enough time on brainstorming headline ideas. The best and most experienced copywriters don’t just pop out a winning headline. What they do is come up with 10, 20, and sometimes even 50 headlines.
You’ve got to realize that not all headlines are winners and most of your work when it comes to creating juicy headlines will fall flat.
There’s something that I like to call the four quadrants of desire. When you can make a headline that hits all four, you’ve got a winner.
Let me explain how it works.
Now, this is just a taste of using the four quadrants of desire.
Every impulse fits perfectly into these four quadrants. The even better news is that every sale ever made was generated by two or more of these quadrants acting in unison.
Sometimes it can happen when just one is working. But, most of the time it’s due to two or more working together in unison. The top marketers use all four, although they might not know they’re using all four because they don’t understand the terminology of the four quadrants.
Here are the four quadrants:
These are the four quadrants that we base our decisions on — about buying anything and everything.
Now, most people take this for granted because it’s common sense. However, most sales copy ignores two of the four. When you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you see plenty of sponsored posts that miss the boat by missing two or more of the four quadrants of desire.
Sometimes you come across headlines that miss all four! Missing all four is just terrible and you don’t want to be doing that.
Don’t ask me how someone can create a headline and sales copy and miss all four. It’s just silly, but it happens all the time.
Now I am going to show you how to hit all four using some real-life examples.
First I want you to understand that: Over 75% of all sales are made emotionally and justified logically. Now feel free to write that down: 75% of all sales are made emotionally and justified logically.
The second part is that: Only “Needs” are left-brained dwellers; the rest are charged emotionally. So please write that down as well: Only “Needs” are left-brained dwellers; the rest are charged emotionally.
Only “Needs” are left-brained dwellers; the rest are charged emotionally.
The only logic quadrant of the four is “Need.” It’s the only left-brained one.
The truth is that decisions are emotional, not logical. You hear it all the time if you’re a closer on the phone. “I need to talk with my wife about it.” That’s being logical.
The thing is, if the salesperson would have done their job right, they would have tried to close them with emotion rather than logic. For example, are your dreams going to change after you speak with your wife? Prospect: Well, no. Then let’s do this.
That’s a simple example and that’s not hitting all four of the quadrants. You need to hit all FOUR!
Even though all decisions are made in the mind, you can think of it like this to help you remember the four quadrants: Logical Mind vs. Emotional Heart.
75% of all sales are made emotionally and justified logically. Who would have thought, right?
Wants, Fears, Pleasures are all right-brained.
Needs = left brain logic, that’s the only one that’s left-brained like I mentioned a moment ago.
So let’s use an example on how you can use the four quadrants of desire within your headlines. I am going to be using how to be healthier for this example.
So let’s use this and get into the heads of our prospects to get them thinking we are reading their minds.
Now, let’s first start with something that’s simple and not too great as far as a headline goes:
eBook on Becoming a healthier and a better you.
Now this headline is pretty bad; it could use some work to get into the minds of our prospects.
The first rule that this headline breaks is that it mentions the product.
It’s narcissistic and no one cares about you! People only care about the value that they will get out of it for themselves. People only care about themselves when it comes to buying, opting in, and performing the call to action.
Remember: People only care about themselves, not you. 😉
Some people don’t get it that people only care about themselves when they sell. It’s not about the product, it’s about the prospect!
Again, just to be clear, no one gives a damn about your product. It doesn’t matter how awesome it is, no one cares. Trust me, no one cares.
What people care about is the benefits it gives to them. Let me be very specific here. They care about the pain it relieves and the pleasure it delivers to them. Those are the two primary benefits — pains and pleasures.
The second part to my example headline above is the word “better” which doesn’t give out any real value to the prospect. Yes, on its own, becoming “better” at anything is awesome, but why is it awesome?
Well, let’s change the headline only using the fourth quadrant, which is the “need” quadrant. We won’t be adding any other quadrant to it, only the fourth one.
No emotion, just pure logic.
eBook on Becoming a Healthier You for the Rest of your Life.
Becoming a Healthier You isn’t all that hard. Doing it for the rest or your life is what most people need.
It’s a better headline, but it still has problems and we can make it so much better. However, just that little “need” added onto the end of the headline has significantly changed the headline for the prospect.
People know that they can become “Healthier,” but what they really want is lifelong change. The real need for change. You see it all the time, people getting gym passes at the beginning of the new year and having it never work.
The second week of January is almost always the busiest of the year for gyms. However, 80% of the New Year’s Resolutions crowd drops off by the second week of February.
You see, people crave to be “a Healthier them,” but what they want even more is long-lasting health.
Let’s make our headline better because, again, it’s still breaking the first rule which is mentioning the product and being narcissistic.
You need to remember that your job isn’t to sell the product in the headlines that you create; the headline is to get the attention of the prospect and keep the prospect reading. It’s one of the biggest mistakes marketers make, which is trying to sell in the headline — don’t do it!
People don’t like to be sold. 🙁
The prospect’s attention is so important and that’s what the headline’s job is 100% of the time, which is to, again, catch their attention and keep them reading.
So let’s get rid of some stuff with the headline:
Start to Live Out The Rest of Your Life by Becoming a Healthier You.
This headline isn’t all that great still, but it’s way better than the first one we started with. There’s nothing really AMAZING about this headline. However, the prospect now has to wonder how someone can live out the rest of their life as a healthier “them.” Is it a diet plan, trainer, is it buying a book, or perhaps it’s about some secret underground source that no one knows about.
You see, by removing the product (eBook) in the headline, it opens up their mind to think. It opens their curiosity.
How something is done is logical, but without defending clearly how it’s going to come to be opens the door and promotes curiosity. The prospect’s curiosity is knocking on the door of the four quadrants.
With this happening, let’s bring in the other three quadrants. Now I am going to show you the steps to make sure you can achieve this with any headline.
First thing is, what does your prospect want?
There are many “wants,” but for this exercise I want to show you just “one want” for the sake of time because we’re covering a lot in this post.
For the “wants,” I use a technique called the three whys to further clarify the wants underneath the want. It will make sense here shortly what I am talking about and once you start doing it for yourself.
Here’s a secret that most marketers don’t know. What your prospect thinks they want isn’t what they really want. Sounds crazy, right? It’s not crazy at all.
For example, since we’re talking about being healthy, there are plenty of ads out there that state something like: Want to lose weight?
This one is something lots of people think they want and that’s why people advertise it everywhere. However, when we introduce the three whys we find out what they really want.
So here’s the first. “Why” do you want to lose weight?: Because I want to look better and be healthier.
Second. “Why” do you want to look better and be healthier?: Because I don’t feel all that sexy anymore and I want to feel sexy.
Third. “Why” don’t you feel all that sexy anymore and why do you want to feel sexy?: Because I want to look good in front of my friends and family. You could even make that last one, Because I want to look good in front of women, men, my girlfriend/boyfriend.
That last one is a really powerful one.
Now, each time you go deeper with the “why,” it’s asking it to the one before.
Why do you want to lose more weight? Because I want to look better and be healthier. Then we ask why do you want to look better and be healthier. Because I don’t feel all that sexy anymore. Then we ask why do you want to feel sexy? Because I want to look good in front of my friends and family or look good in front of women, men, my girlfriend/boyfriend.
You get the idea of how it works.
You see… the three whys are digging really deep. Even though someone says they want to lose more weight, what they really want is deep under the surface.
Do you see how the psychology unlocks the real desire. The three whys work just like an iceberg. What you see on the surface isn’t really the entire iceberg. You have to go much deeper to get to the real pain.
When you ask the three “whys” you can really start to get somewhere. And you can see just how powerful it is because I only used one example. You could try 20 headline options and dig deep using the three whys. You will start to get some crazy pain points with what the prospect wants.
It’s some powerful stuff, but let’s move into the fears quadrant, which is next in line.
Again, I am only going to use one for this exercise, but keep in mind you can do this dozens of times. For the fears quadrant, I like to use a technique called expression to question to really clarify the fears. Also, I base fears off wants because they’re far more powerful, and the good thing is most of your hard work is already done because all you do is base the fears off the wants list we just did.
So here’s fear #1: looking fat and eating bad foods everyday.
And you do this exercise by finding the expressed fear and the question of that fear like this.
How is this expressed (looking fat and eating bad foods everyday)?
I feel out of shape and I’m sick of eating bad food.
Then you express it as a question like this: Do you feel out of shape and are you tired of eating bad food?
So by doing this exercise, you’re digging deep with what people really fear.
Next quadrant is what pleasures does your product deliver? Now there are dozens that you can dig deep into, but for this example I am only going to list one.
As you can start to see, there’s a pattern happening here because with the pleasures quadrant we base them off the fears, so again your homework is done for you by using this framework.
So pleasure #1: Looking sexy and eating good food everyday makes me feel good about my life.
Now I could do 20 or even 30 different pleasures, but I am just using one here because we have a lot to cover and I’m sure you’re starting to catch on.
So the pleasure here is “feeling good about life.”
Now that we’ve done all this with all the quadrants, the real magic starts.
First, let’s create a positive headline from our quadrants.
I do think fear-based headlines are better, but I want to give you an example of a positive headline. The real truth to fear-based and positive is that you should always test your headline to see which one comes out on top.
Now that you know how to do all of this with the stuff I am showing you here, you should be able to come up with awesome headlines (and sales copy).
So first, a positive headline from our quadrants: Start Feeling Good for a Lifetime by Being Fit and Eating Healthier.
Now we’re getting somewhere from the first headline we had.
So here’s what I did with figuring out this headline, which I didn’t take too much time on because I only used one example for each quadrant.
So what other words convey the idea of Happy? Now the “Happy” is the pleasure. Keep in mind if you’re not fully understanding this, you will get it once you start doing it for yourself. You can always go back and read this article again cause this stuff can change your business for the better.
Again, with the pleasure, you can have dozens, I just gave you one for the sake of time.
“Happy” was the pleasure. Here’s some other words that off the top of my head would convey “Happy”:
I only used the one in our headline which is feel good. Now what I then did is use a power word “Lifetime.” Ever notice how some writers have an uncanny ability to toy with your emotions and make you feel deeply? Within the span of just a few sentences, you can go from deep, heartfelt emotion and then all of a sudden to a rage and throwing your hands up in the air.
This is what we want. To really push those emotion buttons for the prospect.
It’s the hallmark of great copy, proof of mastery of the craft, and the yardstick by which aspiring copy is really measured. And it goes beyond storytelling, which is thought to be the diamond in the rough of copy writing.
Here’s how you can instantly become a better writer. It’s simple: Use power words!
Power words trigger an emotional response and pack some serious punch to the allure of any sales page, headline, ad, or email subject line. People are utterly seduced by power words and that’s because they’re powerful. They get us to click, share, and buy – what more could a marketer want!
Power words invoke emotion and can trigger your curiosity.
Once I had “lifetime” in the headline, the rest was simple: I asked “what is the primary objective?” Being Fit and Eating Healthier.
Now we need to add dimension into the headline. Now this is basically distilling into the headline an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing that’s going to occur.
You see them all the time, “lose 10 pounds tomorrow by taking this pill.” You see, it’s adding dimension to the headline. It’s adding a timestamp and putting into the prospect the dimension of that headline. It’s called dimensionalization.
In some cases you can’t dimensionalize it, but in the case of our example headline: Start Feeling Good for a Lifetime by Being Fit and Eating Healthier, you can dimensionalize it. You need to come to realize that specificity is much better than being vague. Specificity is the state of being very specific rather than being general or vague as I just put it.
Now the headline: Start Feeling Good for a Lifetime by Being Fit and Eating Healthier is an okay headline, much better than the one we started with. If you do some research, you’ll see that people want to not only be more fit, they also want to eat better.
The two go hand in hand and yet a lot of marketers only have either the “being fit” aspect or the “eat healthier” metric in their headline.
Let’s move on though, because this headline still can get much better.
What we need to do is create a negative headline, because for some reason fear always catches the attention more than pleasures do.
So let’s use the second “Why” that I put together which is: I don’t feel all that sexy anymore and I want to feel sexy. Then the fear was: looking fat and eating bad foods everyday.
Now that we know what our product does and we know what our objective is, this is the headline we’ve come up with:
“Are your friends saying ‘you don’t look that sexy’ the moment you go out to dinner?”
As you can see, this headline is hitting the pain right on the head. I didn’t take much time to come up with this headline as you’ve been reading. If you spent a few hours on this you can really start to dig deep. The more headlines that you break down and dig deep into the four quadrants, you will start to see some amazing headlines come to light.
The headline: “Are your friends saying ‘you don’t look that sexy’ the moment you go out to dinner?” is playing into all four quadrants. The first is the prospect is wanting acceptance, they’re fearing that they don’t look good, the pleasure of having friends, and the need of feeling good.
The thing that most don’t notice in this headline until I mention it is, what word do I mention more than once?
It’s you/your, which are registered in psychology as the same thing. The fact is that this headline says it three times and now you can’t help but to see it.
Your brain just reads over these in a blink of an eye without really registering it. However, what’s happening as you do read the headline is that those subtle you’s and your’s are building rapport.
So to build rapport you need to use the word “you” or “your” in your headline at least once. You and your are the most powerful power words, just so you know.
You can take any headline that starts off sucky and break it down and perform the four quadrants of desire to it just like we went over. It doesn’t take that much time to start pumping out some kick-ass headlines; you can have much better headlines in about an hour.
The thing is that we just came up with a pretty good headline in a short amount of time right here on this post. Now if you’re brand new to this, you might have to write 10 headlines that don’t come up all that great, but once you get the bad ones out of the way, you will come up with some truly amazing headlines that grab the prospect’s attention.
Remember what I said: The best and most experienced copywriters don’t just pop out a winning headline. What they do is come up with 10, 20, and sometimes even 50 headlines.
In copywriting you have an amazing ability to create and iterate as much as you want without anyone ever seeing the final version that goes live. I’ve paid many copywriters to create sales copy and they sometimes spend days making 50 to 100 variations before giving me the final polished version.
I’ve had countless people tell me that it takes them this many times to come up with a winning headline. The fact is that you can do the same thing. It’s much the same way you write a book. You create a mind map, organize the chapters, write the content, go back and change it, cut what doesn’t hit home, and then edit everything a few passes and boom, you have a book!
Each one of those steps is important when writing a book. Some of the biggest names out there, as well as myself, use the four quadrants of desire strategy to create amazing copy.
It never fails. 😀
You can apply the four quadrants of desire to your email subject lines, blog posts, video headlines, social messages, and everything else that involves copy.
What you can do to come up with even better headlines in a shorter amount of time is to sit down and use this with a friend or another marketer to start busting out sales copy. Two heads are always better than one I say… and when you start doing this with another person, it gets your ideas really flowing.
You can come up many headline ideas and break them down with the strategy I just went over. If you didn’t catch everything I talked about or didn’t take notes, then you need to go back and take notes!
You need to take notes because this stuff can change your life.
Also, when it comes to writing any sales copy, you need to not overcomplicate it. If you make your offer, opt-in, or marketing confusing, it’s going to be really hard to get people to take action. Simplicity is key, just as we went over in Tip #1 — Don’t Overdo It.
Becoming a Mad Scientist
When it comes to building landing pages that convert, you want to have the mentality of a mad scientist. You want to test and change your landing page to see if you can get better results.
Testing is an amazing way to 10x your results.
Even if you create a landing page that seems to be converting well, you can create a variation landing page with a few simple tweaks to see if it outperforms the control (first version) landing page.
Here’s some things I’d A/B test when it comes to your landing page:
Call to Action
The subject of landing pages is something I could write an entire book about (multiple books). It’s just such a massive subject and I want to give you as much value as possible so that you can go out and kick ass!
With that said, here are a few more things I want to cover. 😉
Above the fold! This is where you have your call to action visible to the prospect without them having to scroll down the page.
You always want to have your CTA (call to action) above the fold. Also, you can have multiple opt in buttons throughout the page. For example, if your landing page is selling an eBook, you can have the buy button multiple times on the page. One buy button above the fold, one button midway, and one at the bottom of the landing page (if it’s a longer landing page).
Pictures! Aesthetic on your landing pages is always a good idea. Pictures show the prospect what they want.
The right kind of images can have a huge impact on your conversions.
Optimize your images! Whenever you’re creating web pages, you should always optimize your images. Here’s a great free tool that I use whenever I need to have my images optimized:
The great thing about this free tool is that you can upload multiple images at once and it will go to work. 😉
The proof is in the pudding (Trust Signals), if you can show the results of your offer. For example, if your offer has helped thousands of people lose weight, then you should include some of the testimonials.
Testimonials, data, and results are a powerful thing so try to include them whenever you can. You also want to make the testimonials, data, and results about the prospect. Talk to their pain points and make the landing page about them, not you.
If you’ve been featured in the news, put it on your landing page:
If you have a huge social following, then show your number. Trust signals make your prospects lower their barriers and make them far more likely to perform your call to action and become a conversion.
Mobile friendly! Let’s be honest, mobile phones are browsed all day long by your target market and if you plan to have a landing page that works well, you need to have it mobile friendly.
You don’t need to hire a designer in this day and age because you can have an amazing website with tools like WordPress. You can also have a professional landing page with an amazing tool known as LeadPages.
All LeadPages landing pages are mobile friendly and you don’t need to learn HTML or CSS to build amazing landing pages. LeadPages is the landing page software I use and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Remove the Menu/Navigation! If you’re new to landing pages, then having a website menu might seem like a good thing to prospects. No! It’s a conversion killer! You must understand that having navigation is inserting more calls to action.
Each and every link is a call to action and that’s why removing the navigation from landing pages is a good idea. The landing page’s job is to get them to perform one call to action, not to get them to click on your About us page, blog page, or contact you.
Remove the navigation from all your landing pages. 😉
Keep Your Forms Short! Having a form on your page that asks for ten things is going to lower your conversions significantly! If your landing page’s purpose is to get them to download an eBook, all you really need is their email address.
Asking for anything more on a landing page that is getting them to download a simple eBook isn’t going to get you better conversions. On my landing pages where I am offering an eBook, all I ask for is their name and email address.
Keep your forms short and by doing so your conversions will be far better.
Create a Great Hook! Taking the time to craft a great hook can mean the difference of converting a few people and making a few hundred bucks to converting tens of thousands and making millions.
Working on a great hook should be something you do first, before ever starting a landing page. A great hook is an enticing offer, clever phrase, or catchy jingle that captures the prospect’s attention. A great hook will arouse interest, and make the prospect receptive to the call to action that follows.
For example, here’s a great hook: Stephen King’s “Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully – in Ten Minutes.”
This is a great hook because if you’ve ever tried to write a book, you know it doesn’t happen in ten minutes. A great hook.
Creating landing pages that get amazing results doesn’t happen overnight. If you take the time to create an amazing eBook, product, or service, take 10 times longer to create your landing page.
I always try to create many landing pages all with different calls to action, colors, and images. I do this because I want to see what’s working. To have a winning landing page right out of the gate is highly unlikely.
If you don’t have the expertise to create landing pages, then you really need to follow this post and implement the stuff I talked about. If you’re not sure on something, then please leave me your questions below, I would love to help you.
Also, as I mentioned before, I highly recommend LeadPages as a landing page builder. I used to own a web design business and I know a lot about coding and building sites, but I still choose to use LeadPages.
Landing pages are an important part to growth for your brand and without them it’s almost impossible to add to your bottom line.
The thing you need to think about most when it comes to creating a landing page is very simple: Is your landing page asking the question your prospect is asking themselves? Or is your landing page hitting those points your prospect is thinking to themselves when they wake up in the morning?
Basically — Is this the question my prospect is asking themselves or saying to themselves when they wake up in the morning. If your landing page is asking the same question your prospect is asking in their head, you will win them over every time.
I hope this post will serve you well and there will be many more posts to come on the subjects of sales copy, landing pages, and conversions.
Scott “putting in the work pays off” Hurtado