Your landing pages are one hurdle short of a win: getting the client to download your White Paper or thinkpiece and harvesting their name and email in the process. Some do it with text, a hot offer, even video. But like all hurdles, it's possible to fall at them - and many prospects do.
Here are eight landing pages we think are winners, with our reasons why.
Focus on what matters
If there's one thing that marks out the best landing pages, it's the way they minimise the impact of web page detritus like navigation and footers. Many, like this one, jump off their site in a lightbox. Whatever you do, make sure your landing page marks out its territory.
Keep it lean, keep it clean
Take a look at this one. The headline and body copy occupy distinct areas; the words aren't crammed and have space around them. The page invites the reader in, before he's read a word. In a cluttered world, this landing page is a breath of fresh air. If your page looks like it's wearing clothes two sizes too small, reduce the word count or shorten average word and sentence length.
Write memorable headlines
Let's make like the poets. The best landing pages (and the greatest copywriters) make use of the stuff you learned in English class: alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia... simple repetitions of vowel and consonants that "sing" in the reader's head, rather than plod. Simply because people remember them better.
Take your (business) partner by the hand
The best landing pages lead the reader along: there's a clear path from entry point (usually the visual or headline) through copy to the call-to-action, as obvious as if there were an arrow pointing the way. That's why many good landing pages look similar: they pay homage to "reading gravity," the principle that (for native English readers) the eye enters a page at top left and sweeps diagonally down. For pages that perform, obey the laws of gravity.
Always avoid the abstract
A curveball here: this is, of course, a BAD landing page. It's a quirk of English that words derived from Latin tend to be abstract, encapsulating ideas, whereas words with Germanic roots tend to be earthy and concrete.
A simple trick: look over your copy and double-check Latin-looking words. The goal of your copy is to create vivid pictures and evoke emotions in your customers' mind - when selling, concrete sells better. Even when you're selling concrete.
Display social proof
Customer plaudits, particularly from independent sources like Trustpilot, raise your social capital hugely. They're visual detours so don't overuse them, but a couple of well-placed dynamic elements can really clock up those conversion clicks: they're the final proof the reader needs to shake hands on the download deal.
Create urgency and scarcity
If the phrase "I'll do it later" enters your prospect's head, you've lost. To get him to click that button NOW, use a (genuine) time or stock limited selling point - perhaps in a bomb-blast or sidebar. (It's not the main show, just an additional reason to click.) Content on the web has a shelf life, so you may as well turn it into a plus point.
Don't submit to Submit!
The very last hurdle to leap is the Submit button - so why do so many sites use a button that uses this awful word? Submit connotes failure. Giving up. Going home. Use an active call-to-action, like "Start increasing conversion rate today," instead of the dreaded Submit.