How Crappy Landing Pages
Kill Email Campaigns

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“Oh, the humanity …”

The folks at SilverPop recently published a study, “Eight Seconds to Capture Attention: Silverpop’s Landing Page Report”, where it reviewed the email campaigns of 150 top online companies. Long and short? They discovered that email campaigns that opened with promise and decent click through ratios generally died on the vine with ill-conceived, poorly designed or just plain, lazy-ass landing pages. Bored, confused prospects quickly took their conversion clicks — and wallets — elsewhere.

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Beyond Conversion Tips and Techniques:
Do You Believe in What You’re Selling?

believe

We’ve spent a lot of time covering the conversion landscape through the multitude of landing page tips and techniques available – and we’ll continue to do so in future posts. But for now I want to take a step back and examine a deeper perspective.

Do you actually believe in what you’re selling or promoting? Is your interest genuine or merely a way to make a buck?

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How is an Effective Landing Page Like a
Direct Mail Letter?

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Answer: They’re both formatted for one column.

In his audio article, 6 Ways to Increase Conversions on your Web Pages, Nick Usborne, one of my favorite copywriter colleagues, talks about the multitude of testing he’s done on landing pages and column formatting. Long and short, the one-column format converts best every time.

This explains the stubborn effectiveness of everyone’s favorite (or not) online long-form sales letters. Garish? Sometimes. Too long? Perhaps. But they work, in part, because there are no other distractions for the reader. Even with all the insets, widgets and gadgets, each is firmly ensconced within the one column. Further, the one-column format lets readers know that there’s more to look for below the fold of the first screen. The convention of the letter-like, one-column design tells them so.

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Landing Page Makeover Clinic:
10 Tips for Better Book Sales

Landing Page Makeover

Since Brian likes me to cover the “conversion” beat for Copyblogger, I’ve been actively collecting spot-on quotes, resources, tip lists, etc. to help you make the most of your online sales/marketing copywriting efforts. So let’s start with a pretty good quote about our favorite topic, landing pages.

A landing page is communications, not advertising. Landing pages are where you communicate valuable information. Advertising gets people to click to your landing page, but once a prospect is there, the landing page should focus on communicating the value of your offering to the buyer.

I pulled this from Web Ink Now, David Meerman Scott’s blog, Web Landing Pages: Required for Search Engine Marketing. I like this quote a lot, although I’d add it’s where you communicate value AND direct a specific response/action from the visitor — even if that action is to click through to another page.

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“Keep it Simple, Stupid” Applies to Your Landing Pages, Too!

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There’s an old direct marketing axiom that states too many choices paralyzes your prospect into complete non-action. But does that behavior apply to landing pages? Marketing Experiments Journal did a recent study on the topic, Landing Page Confusion: How Does Having More Than One Objective to a Page Affect its Performance?

They tested their hypothesis using real-world companies to illustrate 5 fundamental principles of landing page design. They reviewed an online electronics retailer, large national newspaper, and a paid subscription site. Some pages started out better than others, but all had room for improvement.

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Seal the Deal, Part II: 5 Tips for Designing the Ultimate Landing Page

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In my first post on the subject for Copyblogger, Seal the Deal: 10 Tips for Writing the Ultimate Landing Page, I devoted most of my time to copywriting tips since, well, I’m a copywriter. I craft the words.

Unlike direct mail, however, the web is a strongly visual medium. Good design helps support the content, leading the visitor’s eye from here to there and directing them through your message layer by layer, step by step.

This is especially so in the formatting of an effective landing page. That’s why I’ll devote myself to the overall look, feel, and formatting of effective landing pages for this post.

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