As an email marketer, there is one page on your website that is at the epicenter of your entire business, your landing page.  Single handedly, your landing pages predict your success or failure when it comes to sales and conversion.

It’s not your home page.  It’s certainly not your contact or support pages…  Nor is it your blog or the countless articles that you spent hours putting together.

Now, your landing page goes by many different names, depending on who you’re talking to.  It might be a ‘squeeze page’ or a ‘lead capture page,’ or even an ‘optin page.’  Regardless, the point is that the landing page’s purpose is to take a visitor and turn them into a bonafide lead (or sale) for your business!

Today, I’m going to walk you through what you’ll need to do to get a landing page set up, with or without a website…

You’ll also want to reference this article on email marketing software to make sure you’ve got what you need to tie your landing page with your email list further down the page as well…

Do You Need A Landing Page?

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Do I really need a landing page?  I’ve got an optin box in my sidebar – that should be enough…”

Collecting leads in the sidebar of your website or at the bottom of your post is effective, but it’s going to be hard to build a huge list that way unless you have hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.

Let me put it this way.

When you put your optin box in your sidebar, it’s easy to miss.  A reader will check out your content and unless they really want to hear from you again, just leave.  If you’re content is stellar, then they might sign up if you give them an incentive.

That means that your ‘conversion’ rates are going to be really low!  So let’s start with that…

Understanding Conversion Rates

Conversion rates are pretty easy to understand when it comes to landing pages.

Very simply, your landing page conversion is the number of people who SEE your optin form compared the the number of people who FILL IT OUT.

So, if 100 people see your optin box and 50 fill it out, you’re conversion rate is 50%.

If 100 people see your optin box and 5 fill it out, you’re conversion rate is 5%.

Well, typically when you put your optin box in the sidebar, you’ll get less than a 1% conversion rate; meaning that less than 1 person out of 100 want to hear from you again!  That’s pretty dismal considering that we use a landing page that gets 52% conversion on average (available inside Scriptly).

With landing pages, there are really very few places to go if you don’t enter your email address…  That’s the idea.  If the person wants the information on their other side, they have to give up an email address!

That begs the next question, “Jason, what can I give someone to make them sign up?”

I’m so glad you asked :0)  We’re getting to that…  But first, let’s talk about landing page psychology.

Landing Page Psychology

Landing pages (or squeeze pages as they’re called) do something very simple – they collect email addresses from people who may or may not be willing to spend money with you in the future.

They give you their email address with the express consent that you can contact them in the future through email…

You give them some kind of something that incentivizes the prospect to sign up.  That ‘something’ is called a Lead Magnet.

Lead Magnets can be:

  • A special report that talks about something they’d be interested in.
  • A free video or a series of videos that are related to a problem that they’re facing…
  • A mini-course or tutorial series delivered through email helping them overcome some of the roadblocks they’re facing.
  • Answers to a question that they’re struggling with…

It goes a little deeper though.  If you read the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini, you start to see something else at work…

That something is repricoty.

Basically, the Law of Reciprocity says that if you do something for someone else, they are morally committed to doing something for you.  They feel like they have to…

So, by giving you a free download, you are committing them to read a report, watch a video, or otherwise spend money with you.

That, my friends, is the biggest key behind why squeeze pages work.  Sure, you have the person’s name and email address…  But the true power lies in the Law of Reciprocity.

Landing Page Setup

If you went through the email marketing software article that we linked to above or you know how to get your ‘lead form’ code from your email marketing platform or autoresponder platform, then it’s time to create a landing page!

There are quite a few ways of doing it from custom code to WordPress plugins to standalone landing page tools like Scriptly, but I’ll keep this simple.

If you want one piece of software that you can use for all of your landing pages, sign up Scriptly’s Page Builder.  Not only do the landing pages, sales pages and webinar registration pages convert really well; Scriptly’s also got other apps for writing email autoresponders and webinars.

If you’d rather work with WordPress, there is a Scriptly plugin that you can add to your website so all of your pages look like their hosted right on your website!

You can of course code up your own if you know HTML and have Photoshop!  I’m sure not that ambitious though…


Self-Hosted vs. App-Hosted

There are two different ways to set up a landing page – on your own domain with your own web hosting (AKA. self-hosted)…  Or with a service  that takes care of that for you (AKA. app-hosted).

There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and you’ll have to decide for yourself which you’re more comfortable with.  After all, the leads that you get will be going into your own email marketing software, so those are yours for good…

First, let’s talk about self-hosted landing pages, or setting up and maintaining your own website….

Self-Hosted Landing Pages

To create and host your own website, you absolutely need two things:

  • A domain name
  • Website hosting

The easiest and fastest way to get set up is to go through HostGator.  Choose the domain that you want for your website, pick a hosting package, and then install WordPress.

Now, once you have WordPress installed, adding landing pages is as simple as activating your free Scriptly account, setting up your landing pages and installing a plugin!

Click here to download the SCR Page Plugin >>

That brings me to my next point…  App-Hosted Landing Pages.

App-Hosted Landing Pages

At the end of the day, we know that setting up and maintaining a website is difficult (albeit a very valuable skill if you take the time to learn it!)…  Not to mention all the issues with backups, corrupted databases, faulty code and poorly constructed themes…

We’ve worked with a number of clients who run into issues either in terms of compatibility of plugins, or the simple fact that a theme can’t do what it needs to do to convert traffic into leads.

So, what we did is create software inside Scriptly that makes setting up landing pages and sales pages much easier and way more effective.

Click here to learn about Scriptly’s Page Builder >>

Here’s how simple setting up a converting landing pages is…

Other Necessities For Landing Pages…

Once you start building an email list, there are some things that you need to do to take care of it…

Not many people do ‘email list management’ justice.  Just because someone opted into your newsletter doesn’t mean that they want to hear from you three times a day!  Here are a few things you’ll need to pay attention to make sure your emails get delivered, make you money, and keep you out of the doghouse.

  • A/B Testing – Do split testing on your landing pages and make sure to always be improving your landing page optimization.
  • Double optin – make sure that people click a verification link in their email to actually optin to your list.  This is BIG when it comes to spam complaints.
  • Non active subscribers – In OfficeAutoPilot we have it set up so that after 120 days of not taking action, subscribers are automatically deleted off of our lists.  We do this for two reasons: it keeps our costs down and only people who care about our content actually read our stuff!
  • Relevant subject lines – Make sure the subject line of the email is relevant to what’s in the email (and stay away from ‘Notification of Payment Received’ subjects’)
  • Advertisement announcement – Include somewhere in the email, preferably the extreme bottom, that the email message is an advertisement, and for the reader to assume that you are somehow making money from anything that they do.
  • Email frequency – take note of how often you email, and what your responses are from your list.  Some lists mail daily.  Others a few times a week.  We’ve found that it’s best to take breaks, and then follow that up with a 3 or 4 day sequence of emails.

What To Give Away To Get The Lead

The next thing need to talk about is what we need to give someone in exchange for their email address…  In other words, we’re going to need a lead magnet.   So, we need to talk about how to create them, distribute them, and find an interested group of folks who will sign up for them.

You can read all about that here >>

The idea with a lead magnet is to give something (of value!) away for free in exchange for their email address.  And yes, this strategy has been around for ever.

Think about the last infomercial or commercial you watched that offered a ‘Free DVD’ or ‘Free Brochure’ for signing up?

Guess what?

That’s a lead magnet.

For now though, go ahead and grab a Scriptly account and get your first landing page set up.  And when you’re doing with that, it’s time to get cracking on your lead magnet!