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.
If you have young kids, you’re likely intimately familiar with Finding Nemo from 2003. The movie had the biggest opening weekend for any animated film at the time, and was the best selling DVD of all time for a couple years after.
Director Andrew Stanton pitched his idea and story to Pixar head John Lasseter in an hour long session, using elaborate visual aids and character voices. At the end of it, the exhausted Stanton asked Lasseter what he thought.
Lasseter replied, “You had me at ‘fish’.”
This is the first Copyblogger post by Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers.
Today’s “I want it now” culture dictates that you make people happy by providing what they want, when they want it.
Need information? Google it.
However, is it really wise for marketing folks to satisfy people’s desire for instant access?
M. Scott Peck describes delayed gratification as a sacrifice of present comforts for future gain in his book, The Road Less Traveled.
By NOT providing people what they want, when they want it, you can actually improve your image, enhance your branding and increase your sales.
Are you stressing over writing killer headlines?
Do you write your copy and then agonize, tweak, and rewrite the headline, only to rewrite it again?
Do you often go so far as to publish your article or sales page even though you’re still not sure the headline is the best it can be?
Well, you’re not alone. People who know how important headlines are often do overly dwell on them, and for good reason.
Wrong. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.
Those who are making a living directly from blogging (as opposed to using a blog to promote an existing business) know that it took a lot of hard work to get there. Those that think the secret is cranking out generic “content” that does little more than fill up space are quitting in droves or desperately searching for the answer that will get them over the hump.
Have you ever known what you want to say, but just can’t figure out how to say it? It’s certainly worth the extra effort to get it right, because the how will make the difference in the way your what is received and acted upon.
Some people are never short of words. Personally, I have good days and bad. Yet there are definitely ways to to get yourself out of the ditch when it comes to finding the right words and getting started.
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.