What is a landing page? Why is it important? And, ultimately, what makes the difference between a successful landing page and an unsuccessful one?
You need to sell more products and you need to get more leads.
That is, after all, why you’re in business — to make money, have an impact on your industry, and support yourself, your family, and your team members.
All of that, though, requires selling more products to more people more often.
And landing pages won’t solve all of your problems, but they will definitely help you grow your business and have a bigger impact in your industry.
What is a landing page?
In online marketing, a landing page is a web page which has been intentionally crafted for a specific organic or paid advertising campaign to either collect contact information from prospects and generate leads or to convert cold traffic and warm leads into paying customers.
Sometimes, a landing page is also referred to as a “lead capture page,” a “squeeze page,” or a “static page.”
Ultimately, a landing page helps you get more leads and make more money — perhaps the two most important parts of growing your business.
And that’s exactly why using landing pages is so darn important…
Why is a landing page important?
A landing page is important because by intentionally crafting the prospect’s entire experience — from traffic to lead or from lead to customer — you will increase the conversion rate of your marketing campaigns, make more money, and generate more leads.
Think about how you buy stuff online. Imagine that you click on a Facebook ad for a product that interests you. But then imagine that clicking takes you to a confusing page where you’re not sure what next step to take or even if the company selling the product is trustworthy.
You don’t stick around to figure out what action you’re supposed to take or what you’re supposed to read first — within seconds, you leave. Plain and simple.
Unfortunately, so do your prospects.
It only takes about 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about a webpage.
By intentionally crafting a landing page that grabs your target market’s attention, creates a seamless experience, and builds trust immediately, you can make a stunning first impression and increase your conversion rates — which means generating more leads and making more money.
Landing Pages, Websites, and Sales Funnels (Oh My!): What’s the Difference?
Since the 1990s and the first mention of Digital Marketing, marketers have been hard at work learning how to sell products online.
The first real progress toward digital marketing was the creation of the business website — this would be a place where businesses could share company information, explain their mission and vision, and, most importantly, sell their products.
Websites are still a primary marketing tool for most businesses around the world.
And so that became a new sort of digital gold-rush. By the early 2000s, if your business wasn’t online, then you were behind the times.
But as social media, search engines, and influencers offered go-to advertising strategies, companies started dishing out cold-hard cash to drive traffic to their websites. The only problem was… their websites weren’t converting that traffic to sales very well.
As dollars were wasted, marketers racked their brains for how to convert more visitors into leads and leads into paying customers, so they came up with the landing page.
The landing page was a single page on the same domain as the company’s website, but what made it unique was that…
- There was no top menu navigation.
- It was built for a single purpose — to sell one product or to convert a certain kind of person.
Whereas a website is a sort of directionless digital brochure, the landing page was created to seamlessly guide prospects from clicking on an ad to entering their contact information and/or making a purchase without any distractions.
And for the most part, it worked.
Conversion rates increased, sales skyrocketed, and marketers celebrated.
Still today, landing pages are wildly effective for simple marketing requests — opt-in for this lead magnet, download this free resource, or purchase this inexpensive product.
But as time went on, entrepreneurs started selling big-ticket products and services online for thousands of dollars. At the same time, consumers became increasingly comfortable with buying online products but also increasingly wary of who they were buying those products from.
As a result, selling online with only a single landing page became difficult — how do you build immediate trust with those prospects and compete with other highly credible online businesses?
Which is why, at ClickFunnels, we invented the sales funnel.
What is a sales funnel?
Rather than being a single sales page with a single goal, a sales funnel is an entire experience; a series of sales pages with a single goal, each intentionally crafted to guide the prospect one step closer to conversion.
There are lots of different sales funnels for different things — there are sales funnels for generating leads, for making sales (even from cold traffic), and for running an online event (you can check out our library of templates for more ideas).
And sales funnels receive the highest conversion rates in almost every industry.
Check out, for example, what happened when Jaime, an online entrepreneur who hadn’t made any profit for years, created one simple sales funnel and made $160,000 in 6 weeks and more than $750,000 in 5 months.
Ultimately, websites, landing pages, and sales funnels are all useful for different things.
Websites are great for teaching people about your business and building brand awareness, landing pages are great for generating leads and making easy sales, and sales funnels are great for… well, pretty much everything — from generating leads to making sales, there’s a funnel for that.
Still, a sales funnel is really just a series of high-converting landing pages.
But that brings up an important point… what elements make the difference between a high-converting landing page and a low-converting one?
7 Elements That Every High-Converting Landing Page MUST Have (With Examples)
1. Enticing Headline
According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your sales copy.
Your headline is the first thing that people see, it’s the first thing they read, it’s the first thing that either catches the prospect’s interest or falls flat. And like many copywriters have touted, the only goal of your headline is to get the visitor to read the next line of your sales copy.
In other words, do not let their attention go.
Your headline must be enticing to your target market, it must catch their interest in such a way that they can’t help but find out more about what you’re offering.
Put yourself in your target market’s shoes and ask yourself “What kind of headline would I not be able to resist?”
So long as it’s not dishonest, write a headline that’s absolutely irresistible for your ideal prospect.
The headlines on this landing page, for example, are very enticing for someone who struggles with acne or wants to have better skin…
Similarly, this headline would be attractive to someone who’s trying to get leads through Facebook…
Spend as much time as you need on your headline to make it enticing for your target market. Because if your headline doesn’t catch the prospect’s attention, then everything else on your landing page is pointless.
2. Promising Subheading
There are a lot of different ways to write a subheading. You could use your website’s tagline, you could tell people what they’re going to get if they sign up, or — perhaps the most effective strategy — you could make a compelling promise that pulls them further into the sales copy, a promise that makes them think “Wow, that would be awesome!”
Because if the prospect thinks, “That would be awesome,” their next thought is going to be “How is that possible?” (which is where your sales copy and social proof come in).
Consider this headline/subheading combo…
The headline is enticing to people who feel lost and confused and then the subheadline comes in with a haymaker of a promise — a promise that will make some people sign up right away and other more skeptical people read the rest of the sales page, which is exactly what you want.
Here’s another example where a single headline is enticing the target market and making a compelling promise…
Hey — less is more. If you can entice your target market a nd make a compelling promise with a single headline, do it. But don’t be afraid to use a headline and subheadline combo if you feel it will make your landing page more enticing.
The main takeaway here is, make a promise.
Then, with social proof and sales copy, you’re going to prove that what you promised is actually possible.
3. Social Proof
This element of your landing page is so important that at the risk of being trite, I’m tempted to tell you to not even publish a sales page unless it has some sort of social proof.
To illustrate just how powerful social proof is for making online sales, consider these statistics…
- 87% of buying decisions begin with online research.
- The average person reads 10 online reviews before buying.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they’ve never met before.
- 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a friend.
- Buyers require an average of 40 online reviews before believing a business’s star rating is accurate.
The point is, social proof is really important.
You made a promise with your headline and your subheading and now it’s time to prove to people that you can fulfill that promise. Testimonials, credibility badges, and star-ratings are all effective ways to accomplish that.
Here, for example, is a testimonial that HubSpot uses as social proof on the page where they promote their CRM.
Here’s another example from Growth Tools. The top of their landing page looks like this…
And then they use social proof like this…
On the B2C side of things, Bean Box simply uses customer reviews on its landing page to build immediate trust and credibility.
However you do it, you must use social proof to show prospects that you can make good on the promise you made in your headline.
4. Storytelling Sales Copy (Or Video)
You’ve enticed people with your headline, you’ve made a compelling promise with your subheadline, and you’ve even built trust with testimonials, badges, or customer reviews.
Now your target market is thinking, “Okay. This sounds awesome and it seems like it can really work… but how does it work?”
That’s where telling a story with your sales copy, with a video, or both (depending on your preference) comes in.
What story should you tell?
Ideally, tell the story of how someone just like the prospect went from where they’re at now to where they wanted to be by using your product.
Put another way, tell the story of how your product or service can save the prospect from the hell they are experiencing and deliver them unto the heaven they desire.
Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be.
Consider this video from MIGs landing page that does a wonderful story-telling job of explaining why traditional plant-based skincare products don’t clear up blemishes and why MIG products do…
Or consider this example from SEO expert, Brian Dean. Here’s what the top of his landing page looks like…
And here’s the story he tells (which is perfect for his audience)…
Again, this is the how of your landing page — this is where you tell a story that shows prospects how your product or service takes them from where they are to where they want to be.
So tell a story, use a case study, be empathetic, get imaginative, and show the prospect that you can take them where they desperately want to go.
5. A Single Clear CTA
As we mentioned earlier, every landing page has a goal — that’s what separates it from a directionless and go-where-you-want website. And that goal should be clear, easy-to-see, and singular.
In other words, you should only have a single CTA on every landing page and visitors should know exactly what that CTA is within just a few moments.
Notice, for example, that on Lyft’s landing page, their CTA is the only pink element on the entire page.
We’re not telling you to use neon colors for your CTA or big giant words, but your CTA should stand out on the page and tell people what’s going to happen when they click.
Having said that, it’s okay to sprinkle your CTA with a little bit of curiosity. “Take the first step” and “Find out more”, for instance, can do really well with certain audiences and guide people further along the sales funnel.
Just make sure that you consider who your audience is, what they want, and that wherever they go after they click is consistent with what they clicked on.
6. Branded Design
Imagine this… you click on an ad for a product that you’re interested in. When you visit the landing page, though, you’re confused — there’s no logo on the page and the colors and fonts are different than the typical brand colors and fonts you expected.
At a glance, you’re not even sure if this is the brand you thought it was. Maybe you leave without a second thought or maybe you do some more investigating — whatever the case, that is not an experience that you want for your prospects.
So this to-do is simple. Keep your landing page on-brand with the rest of your marketing materials. This is not the time to try and surprise people with new colors, fonts, or logos — show people exactly what they expect from your brand.
And if you’re still not convinced that branding is important, consider some of these stats…
- Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
- Presenting a brand consistently on all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
- Brands with poor branding pay 10% higher salaries to employees.
7. Risk Reversal
Assuming that you’ve done everything else right — that your prospect has been enticed by your headline and promise, that they believe your promise because of the social proof you offered and the story you told, and that now they’re ready to buy from you — the final question they’re going to ask is, “Okay — what’s it gonna cost me?”
And the more that you’ve built up the perceived value of your product with storytelling and social proof, the more that they’re going to expect it to cost (which is a great way to set and then exceed expectations, by the way).
This final step answers that all-important question by taking the buyer’s perceived risk and placing it squarely on your lap.
Risk reversal in the form of 30-day money-back guarantees, 14-day trials, and free returns are three of the best and most common ways to remove this final obstacle.
Here’s an example of how Nike uses risk reversal in their email campaigns…
How can YOU reverse risk for your customers? How can you make purchasing a total no-brainer? How can you topple this final paralyzing obstacle?
The kind of risk reversal you use on your landing page will largely depend on what kind of product you’re trying to sell. Free trials are great for SaaS companies while money-back guarantees or free returns work well for many B2C products.
If you don’t want to deal pesky returns, then think of some other way to reduce the risk for your customers. Coupons, discounts, or flash sales, for instance, that create urgency can be an effective substitute for risk reversal (if people feel like they’re getting a good deal and that they must “Buy now!”, they’ll think less about the risks involved with purchasing).
And if you don’t want to offer a money-back guarantee, then maybe a free trial will fit the bill?
Whatever you choose, decreasing perceived risk and/or increasing perceived urgency is an absolute must for every successful landing page.
3 Of The Best Landing Pages We’ve Ever Seen
We love the simplicity of this landing page by Natalie Hodson, a health and lifestyle leader for women. Here, she’s selling a 12-week training program called “A Stronger You”, which is exactly what the program and landing pages promise.
In terms of how customers are going become stronger, this landing page explains that this is the “exact same training style and nutrition philosophy that Natalie uses herself” (and look how fit she is!).
It also tells the customer exactly what they’re going to get and how much the program is going to cost. Then it has a big, clear CTA right at the bottom.
If you click that CTA, then this is the next page…
Notice the “Secure Payment” badge she uses to add a sense of security for potential buyers.
And that’s it!
This landing page is perfect for selling to an audience that already knows you and trusts you (your email list, for example) — it doesn’t oversell itself but it’s appealing to the person who trusts Natalie and wants to lose weight.
Garrett J White is a coach and consultant for men who want to step up their game and become the best that they can be.
And we absolutely love his WarriorBox System landing page.
At the top of the page here, Garrett does a lot of things well. First, he creates scarcity by mentioning that there are “Only 500 WarriorBoxes Available.” Then, on the right side, there’s a big and easy-to-spot CTA with a bit of urgency: “Don’t Risk Missing Out: Get Access Early!” And let’s not forget the enticing video, the social-proof pop-ups in the lower-left corner, and the radical promise:
“The life you want. The marriage you want. The family you want. It is all fueled by the business you commit to build. And it all begins with the business of you!”
Scroll down a bit further and Garrett makes it abundantly clear what action he wants you to take…
Also notice how, at the bottom, he adds tons more social proof with his “As seen in” section and some pretty compelling stats about how many men he’s helped.
Mindy and Mandy are twins who’ve built a consulting business that bridges that gap between female entrepreneurship and make-up.
And while their landing page breaks one of our fundamental rules (only have a single goal), it does so in a way that works well. In fact, they guide you to take all of the actions that they want you to take.
First, signing up for their email list…
Then, join their social media communities…
Learn a little about Mindy…
All the while, the main CTA on their landing page is a “FREE Color Match” for your make-up palette. This is great for getting leads and building their email list.
Finally, at the end of their landing page, they’ve posted a video to introduce themselves…
What’s so genius about this landing page is that it does a great job of introducing you to who Mindy and Mandy are, why they’re in business, and what action(s) they want you to take. Plus, the design is gorgeous and the CTAs stand out.
How to Drive High-Quality Traffic To Your Landing Pages
At this point, you understand what it takes to create a high-quality landing page and you even know how to use multiple landing pages to create an entire sales funnel.
But what good is a high-converting landing page without traffic?
Yeah… no good.
So here are some tried-and-true tactics for driving high-quality prospects to your high-quality landing pages. Specifically, paid strategies and then organic strategies.
Paid ads are probably the most common way to drive traffic to a landing page. For social media paid ads, marketers most love Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Practically everyone’s target market is on Facebook and YouTube, and LinkedIn is particularly effective for B2B advertising.
But let’s not forget about Google Ads…
Google ads are particularly powerful when you’re trying to sell something. Consider, for instance, that Google Ads receive 65% of the clicks from purchase-intent keyword phrases.
But don’t let the prominence of Facebook and Google advertising cloud your vision as to other advertising opportunities. For most industries, there are thousands of reputable sites wanting you to advertise with them.
And sometimes, you can stumble upon a goldmine.
When you’re thinking of advertising with a new site, the main things you need to consider are…
- Will anyone ACTUALLY see your advertisement? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about exactly how the site advertises, average click-through rate, impressions, and what sort of advertisements seem to do the best.
- Will the people who see your advertisement be interested in what you have to offer? Are they your target market?
The best way to find little-known advertising opportunities is to do a Google search for top podcasts or blog in your industry…
Choose a listicle and then click on a few of the blogs or podcasts within that listicle…
Search for the sites advertising, sponsorship, or collaboration page…
And then contact the appropriate email address with questions and inquiries…
You can definitely run ads on Facebook and YouTube and LinkedIn, but don’t forget about the myriad opportunities available to anyone who searches hard enough… you never know what sort of opportunity you’ll stumble upon.
The great thing about paid ads is that… well, you pay for traffic. And so long as you’re paying for high-quality traffic and driving them to a well-built landing page, you’ll generate leads and make sales.
The caveat there is “high-quality traffic.” Getting high-quality traffic from paid ads is easier said than done. There are hundreds (thousands?) of online articles which explain tips and tricks for targeting the right people with the right message at the right time.
And it can certainly be done — many marketers do it every single day.
But the big benefit to organic traffic is that people find you, you don’t interrupt them while they’re doing something else. Because of that, organic marketing tends to drive higher quality traffic than paid ads.
What are some examples of organic marketing?
Maybe people find you through Google (the most popular organic marketing strategy)…
Or maybe they click on your forum profile and then to your landing page…
Or maybe they click on the P.S. in your email…
Or maybe they click from your organic social media post…
Or maybe an influencer shares your special offer just because you asked them to (and then the influencer’s audience clicks)…
My point is, there are tons of different ways to organically market your landing page, whether for generating leads or making sales. Your imagination is the limit and the more creative you are, the more organic traffic you’re probably going to drive.
The biggest downside to organic marketing is that it can take a long time to start working — SEO is the long-term house-hold example. But not all organic strategies take a long time to work. Asking micro-influencers to share your offer with their audience, adding a P.S. to your email signature, and even trying to rank for some long-tail keyword phrases can all start driving traffic within just a few weeks.
5 Easy-To-Use Landing Page Tools & Software
Here are 5 of the best-rated tools for creating landing pages, generating leads, and making more sales.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $97 per month.
Price: 14-day free trail and then $25 per month.
Price: $149 per month.
Price: 14-day free trial and then $99 per month.
Price: $49 per year.
Ready To Build a High-Converting Landing Page?
Your sales funnel will only ever be as effective as your landing page.
It’s the first thing that people see when they click on your ad, which means it makes the mission-critical first impression (good or bad).
What does your landing page say about your business? Does it inspire them to opt-in or does it make them want to leave?
You can use the above guide to build a high-converting landing page that helps your business… become the best that it can be.