If you're looking for how to create a landing page that converts, you've got a lot more options than were available even a few years ago. And the good news? They're all pretty easy to roll out!
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.
You want to make sure you've got sales pages that convert, of course. Generating revenue is important to grow your business! Having lead capture pages that convert though runs a close second...
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, to get your drip email and email automation rocking 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 lead 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 your 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 visitors see your optin box and 50 fill it out, you’re conversion rate is 50%.
If 100 visitors see your optin box and 5 fill it out, you’re conversion rate is 5%.
Well, typically when you put your email 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 the Axis Page Builder).
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 reciprocity.
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 convert visitors to prospects. 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 Axis's Page Builder, but I’ll keep this simple.
If you want one piece of software that you can use for all of your landing pages and your marketing automation CRM, sign up for Axis. 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 Page Builder 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. Landing Page Hosting
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 landing page hosting service that is run by the landing page provider. In other words, it's a function of the landing page software to host your pages for you.
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 Page Builder
To create and host your own website, you absolutely need two things:
- A domain name
- Website hosting
Website hosting and having your own domain answers the question about where to host landing pages...
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!
There are other landing page builder scripts like OptimizePress, which we use on occasion. ThriveThemes has some lead generation plugins as well.
That brings me to my next point... App-Hosted Landing Pages.
Landing Page Hosting
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 Axis that makes setting up landing pages and sales pages that convert much easier and way more effective. And, of course, the landing page hosting is done for you if you'd like... You can also install the landing page on your own website.
To put it simply, it's squeeze page builder software or lead capture page software that'll make lead generation easier.
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.
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?
That's a lead magnet.
Recap: How To Create A Landing Page That Converts
To recap, the number one page on your website is not your homepage. Nor is it your about page, your contacts page, or even a blog post.
The number one most important page on your website is your landing page. And the reason being, your landing page is really the gateway into your digital world. When somebody hits your website, clicks an ad, hits a button, or follows an in-post link; they should be directed to a landing page where they have the opportunity to download something for free.
That, my friend, is a lead magnet.
Lead generation in most industries is the number one marketing activity. Your sales pages are important because your sales pages and webinars are what generates revenue. More than anything though, you want to be able to reach out to folks whenever you want to release something new. You want to be able to send an email out to your list, engaging them in whatever new offer you have to sell.
That's why your landing page is so important.
3 Options For Landing Pages That Convert
Now, when it comes to landing pages, there are a few ways you can go about creating landing pages that convert.
- Self-hosted landing page. Your self-hosted landing page is really the page that you have on your website kind of natively. You can install WordPress, install a landing page plug-in, and get it built out. That landing page will be hosted by you and native to WordPress.
- You can also go the more complicated route and you can hire a developer or a designer, or both in some cases. And they will put together the pages for you. It's more expensive. It's a lot longer process. It's much slower to test it.
- (BEST OPTION) Creating landing pages with a landing page builder sofware, like Axis. The Page Builder app inside Axis creates marketing pages, landing pages, confirmation pages, sales pages, and webinar registration pages. It even has an automated webinar function to it.
Any of those three options are very good solutions for building sales pages and marketing pages that convert.
Why Landing Page Software Is The Best Option
The big thing with landing page builder software is that it hosts the landing page for you, as part of the service. The same as Axis. The Axis Page Builder hosts the landing page for you. So you have a page that you can just link right to and it's already set up for your business, ready to accept leads from the traffic you're driving. From there, it all ties into marketing automation.
Now, with a landing page builder that has hosted landing pages, you don't have to worry about the technology or the tech setup. Nor do you have to worry about the page design. All that stuff is done for you. You've just got to go in and you change the text, images, the opt-in box and all the other stuff that you want to make it a little more personal to you. As soon as you hit publish, it is live on the internet, ready to start accepting leads.
So that's the beauty of a landing page builder. You can deploy more quickly, so you can test stuff more rapidly.
You don't necessarily need to go and learn a new plug-in, mess around with themes, get your own graphics, or any of that stuff because all of it is already built into the landing page builder itself. That's really the big difference between self-hosted landing pages versus landing pages that are hosted by the software company themselves.
What We Use For DFY Clients
98% of the time, we use a landing page builder, especially when we're deploying campaigns at first. We don't just deploy one landing page. We deploy four or five and then we test them against each other. Usually, it's easier to create those on a landing page builder, alter them slightly, and roll them out with paid traffic.
With the landing page building software, it's equally easy to install the pages on a client's website or our own website, as opposed to creating brand new landing pages from scratch every time.
The most prominent landing page inside the Axis Page Builder, we have actually done over 45 split tests on. We've spent over $50,000 just testing that one page, and we cannot find a page that actually converts better... Including any other landing page builders or pages that we have designed! That page just rocks when it comes to a PDF lead magnet. It tests better than anything else we can find.
So that's why it is in our page builder, and it's always the control that we launch clients with. It's always the first page that we put out there. We might test some other pages, depending on the niche or the vertical or the category, but that is the one that ends up converting the best, most often.
In terms of building landing pages that convert, your choice of self-hosted landing pages or using landing page software is totally up to you.
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!