How To Create Landing Pages That Convert!
It’s so much more than a web page with some text and a sign up form.
Your landing page is an opportunity — to turn followers into subscribers, to provide incredible value to your prospects, and to engage with them on a deeper level.
How visitors experience your landing page can make or break what they think of you. Because, they have two options once they’ve made it to your landing page: They can opt-in to receive emails from you, or they can leave. There’s no in-between.
When done correctly, landing pages are a wonderful tool to optimize your marketing funnel. That’s why we put together this guide — to help you create high-converting landing pages that grow your email list and your business.
How to use this guide.
We will walk you through everything you need to know about landing pages, starting with the basics.
First, You will learn why landing pages help grow your email list, when to create one, and the elements that make up the anatomy of a fantastic landing page.
Next, we’ll dive into how to write attention-grabbing headlines, descriptive copy using easy-to-follow copy writing formulas, and calls-to-action that convert.
And finally, we’ll uncover the tactics you can implement to drive traffic to your landing page.
We hope this guide gives you the foundation you need to create amazing-looking landing pages that help you build your email list, connect with your audience, and grow your business.
Let’s get started!
Landing Page Basics
What is a landing page? How is it different from a website? Do I need both? When should I use one?
We get it. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ll be answering all of these questions — and more — in this first section.
What is a landing page?
Let’s start by defining some basic terms.
A Landing Page is a single web page that drives visitors to take one, specific action. It intentionally limits where visitors can navigate, because it is built with a very specific purpose in mind: to get people to take an action, like subscribing to your email list or buying your product or service.
(Note: In this guide, we’re focusing on landing pages that convince people to subscribe to your email list. But you can apply much of what you learn in this guide to sales pages as well.)
Landing pages are a powerful part of the marketing funnel. This is the moment when engaged prospects become subscribers. They’re actively seeking out your expertise and agree that your offer is worth handing over their email address to get.
Landing pages always include a sign up form (otherwise known as an opt-in form) to collect subscriber information, such as email addresses, names, interests, location, and more. It all depends on your offer and what information you need to send personalized content.
You may have also heard of a squeeze page within the context of landing page creation. A squeeze page is a very specific type of landing page that is still meant to collect subscriber information, but often includes minimal text or imagery on the page.
But how are landing pages different from websites? And do you need both?
A Website is made up of several web pages and provides all the information potential customers need to know about your business. The purpose of a website is to encourage visitors to navigate around the site to learn more about your products and services.
The problem? Websites can be distracting and overwhelming. There are so many options for your visitors to take. Landing pages, on the other hand, focus the reader on taking one action.
A landing page can be a part of your website. But you don’t need to have a website in order to have a landing page. In fact, a landing page is a great way to quickly establish a web presence without investing hours or thousands of dollars into building a multi-page website.
While landing pages are an important part of any effective marketing strategy, understanding the terminology and differences between the tools used to collect subscribers or leads is key to figuring out what works best for your business.
AWeber’s email marketing platform includes unlimited landing pages with every plan — no technical skills required! Just drag and drop images, text, buttons, videos, and forms into one of our professionally designed landing page templates. Plus, you’ll also get unlimited emails, email automation, sign up forms, and email analytics. Start my 30-day free trial!
The 5 reasons all businesses who want to grow quickly use landing pages
Landing pages provide you the opportunity to:
1 Elevate visitors into leads: When visitors are willing to hand over their email address to you, they are inviting you into their inbox. They’re opting in to receive your content because they believe it holds value. As these visitors become leads, you are one step closer to converting subscribers into paying customers.
2 Message directly to one, specific audience. Landing pages are highly specific. Meaning, high-converting landing pages focus on messaging to one specific segment of your audience, with one focused purpose in mind. Write clearly, concisely and directly, and drive your audience to take one defined action.
3 Grow your email list without a website. No need to invest in a website if you want to collect email subscribers. Save on startup costs and use landing pages to drive traffic and grow your email list.
4 Learn about your subscribers. Customize your sign-up form on your landing page to collect information about your subscribers that lets you categorize them based on their interests, demographics, or other information.
5 Easily automate your email marketing campaigns. Set up automated email campaigns to trigger based on what subscribers disclose about themselves in your sign up form. Tag your subscribers upon sign up to segment them into groups. This lets you deliver personalized content to their inboxes.
The one rule you need to follow to create a high-converting landing page — and 4 times landing pages come in handy.
When it comes to creating and using landing pages, keep this rule of thumb in mind: Landing pages are used when you want to drive visitors to take one, specific action.
That’s why landing pages are great tools when promoting the following:
Drive visitors to register for an event or sign up to receive conference updates.
Ebooks, guides, contests or giveaways are just some examples of lead magnets that encourage visitors to sign up for your email list. Side note: Need some lead magnet inspiration? Check out these 22 brilliant lead magnets that will inspire you to grow your email list right now.
If you’re encouraging visitors to register for a webinar, landing pages help keep the messaging focused on the value you will deliver during the webinar and drive them to sign up to either join live or receive a recording.
Special offer or discount
Drive visitors to a special offer by creating a landing page with specific messaging and a call to sign up for a coupon or discount code.
Anatomy of a Landing Page
Every landing page includes a few crucial elements. Take a look at the image below for a peak at what an excellent landing page looks like.
Let’s start here. This inner drive for more life is inherent in all of nature, including you and I. Everything we do as a species is an outward expression of our inner primal urge to live more fully. For a better way of being in this world. Leveling-up if you will. We all want more. We all want better, and that is a good thing. We are expressing our internal drive for more life and to live it well. This internal drive is how your customers, clients, co-workers, and services providers choose to do business with you or not. All of our choices and decisions are based on our desire to live better, for increase. To live life more fully. We are looking for better food, nicer clothes, more comfortable homes, more luxury in our lifestyle, increased knowledge and understanding, more fun and entertainment. A more efficient, streamlined, secure, and less stressful way of doing business, We are looking for increase in something, and that something is a better way of being.
How to write landing page copy that convinces people to sign up.
Why you should focus most of your time on writing a great headline.
Many businesses quickly write their landing page headline without putting much thought into it.
This is a mistake.
Advertising and copy writing legend John Caples once said, “If you use a poor headline, it does not matter how hard you labor over your copy because your copy will not be read.”
Prioritize your headline and spend more time on it than you do on all of the other parts of your landing page combined. Write dozens of headline options. Read through them all and then choose the best one.
What all great headlines have in common
In his first year working in advertising, Caples wrote one of the best-known direct mail headlines of all time to advertise a music course:
“They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play!”
While you probably wouldn’t use a headline like this on your landing page today, the techniques this headline uses to grab attention remain effective even now.
Great headlines immediately grab a distracted reader’s attention and get them to keep reading, and often they accomplish this by doing one — or all — of the following:
● Making the reader curious.
● Mentioning a pain point the reader has or an undesirable outcome they’d like to avoid.
● Referring to a desired outcome.
● Removing doubt the reader might have about achieving a positive outcome. John Caples’ famous headline applies many of these concepts:
● It alludes to a desired outcome — impressing friends with skillful piano playing.
● It makes the reader curious, because the headline is the beginning of a story. Once the viewer reads it, they want to hear the end of the story.
● It references a pain point the reader might have — their friends laughing at them or not respecting their skills.
● The second part of the headline also subtly removes the doubt the reader might have about their lack of piano playing skills. The headline is the story of someone who didn’t know how to play. Their friends laughed at the thought of it. But once they began playing, their friends’ opinions changed. The reader can feel encouraged that if this worked for one person, it may work for them.
And you can use these same, tried-and-true psychological concepts to grab visitors’ attention from the moment they read your landing page.
The #1 goal of your headline is to keep people reading. As you write headlines, consider: Would reading this alone convince my audience to continue reading?
7 fill-in-the-blank copy templates that make writing headlines effortless
Need more guidance on writing a headline? Try one of these fill-in-the-blank headlines on your landing page.
Keep in mind: Specific headlines are more compelling than vague ones. And if you make a promise in your headline — like saying a reader will achieve a desired result by subscribing to your email list — make sure you deliver on that promise. Otherwise, you will lose your audience’s trust.
● [Number] ways to [desired goal or outcome]
Example headline: 7 ways to afford your dream vacation house before you turn 35
● How to [desired result] without ever feeling [undesirable emotion]
Example headline: How to write a book without ever feeling overwhelmed
● How to [desired result] even if [barrier to accomplishing desired result]
Example headline: How to lose weight even if you don’t have a gym membership
● Do you know these [number] ways to avoid [undesirable outcome]?
Example headline: Do you know these 13 ways to avoid losing your hair?
● How to [desired result] with [plan, strategy, method to reach desired outcome]
Example headline: How to read 52+ books this year with a foolproof “quick-read” method.
● Get rid of [current pain point] forever.
Example headline: Get rid of late-night food cravings forever.
● Want[desirable outcome] and less [undesirable outcome]?
Example headline: Want more time and less stress?
A simple formula to quickly write interesting landing page copy every single time
The goal of your landing page copy is to convince people to take an action — subscribe, sign up, convert, buy.
Writing your page from scratch can quickly become overwhelming. When staring down a blank page, it’s very easy to get distracted or overwhelmed and put off writing.
That’s why most copywriters don’t start with a blank page. Instead, they rely on copy writing formulas to give them a proven outline from which they can create their copy.
While there are dozens of excellent copy writing formulas out there, there’s one you can use again and again to create interesting copy that convinces people to take action. It’s simple, yet very effective — P.A.S.
In fact, marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls it the most reliable sales formula ever invented.
Let’s take a look at how it works:
● Problem: State your audience’s issue.
● Agitate: Agitate the problem by talking about why it’s a problem in the first place. This is where you explain the details of the problem and the negative impact it has on your reader’s life.
● Solution: Solve your audience’s issue by presenting your email list, content, product, or service as the solution. (The solution is whatever your audience will get after they take action and convert on your landing page.)
Here’s how you could use it:
State a problem: Sick of eating unhealthy fast food?
Agitate the problem: This type of food decreases your energy, hurts your health, and can even damage your psychological wellbeing and your relationships with friends, family, or your partner. But your time is precious. After a tiring day of work, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a healthy meal and then cleaning up the aftermath.
Present the solution: Thankfully, you don’t have to. Subscribe to my email newsletter, and you’ll get a weekly meal plan filled with dinner recipes you can cook in less than 30 minutes. The best part? You’ll only need one cooking container — like a pan, sheet, or pot — for each recipe. (Which means less cleanup time!)
While the above example convinces someone to subscribe to an email newsletter, you can also use this formula to sell your products and services.
It’s a formula you can repeatedly use to eliminate the overwhelming blank page and write convincing copy that gets your reader to take action.
Your call-to-action button copy convinces people to click — or not. Here are 2 ways to optimize it.
Vague and boring call-to-action (CTA) button copy is common. How many times have you seen buttons that say “sign up,” “click here,” or “buy”? None of these options explain or reiterate the value your reader is getting by taking action.
Instead, your landing page CTA button copy should be specific and benefit-focused.
Instead of using “sign up” or “click here” as the CTA on a lead magnet or email newsletter landing page, try mentioning the lead magnet you’re giving away in exchange for people subscribing or touching on the value people will get from your email newsletter.
- If your lead magnet is a guide, try “Download my guide.”
- If your lead magnet is a free course, try “Enroll for free.”
- If your lead magnet is a webinar, try “Save my spot.”
- If you’re a fitness business promoting your email newsletter, try “Get fit.”
- Be specific, keep it short so your button doesn’t span 2 lines on mobile, and tie your CTA button copy back to the benefits of taking action.
How to get more people to see your landing page — even if you don ’t have a massive budget
4 simple ways to start driving traffic to your landing page
1 Share your landing page on social media.
Chances are, you already have a network of followers on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Some of those people are probably interested in subscribing to your email list or buying your product or service. To make that happen, share your landing page on social media. On Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Instagram, post about your lead magnet, newsletter, or offer. Mention how it will make your reader’s life better. Include a link to your landing page. You can even highlight this post on certain social media platforms, For example, on Twitter, you can pin the Tweet about your landing page to the top of your profile. On Instagram, include the link in your bio. Then, everyone who visits your profile pages will see your landing page right away.
2 Work with other companies to increase your reach.
To grow your own audience, you can promote your landing page to other people’s 12 audiences. Write a guest blog post for an established blog and link to your landing page within the post or in your author bio. Find a similar sized company in your industry who you don’t compete directly with. See if they’d be open to promoting your landing page in their email newsletter or on social media in exchange for you doing the same for one of their landing pages or offers. Send a pitch email to a podcast host asking to be on their podcast and explaining why you’d be a great guest. During the show, you can mention your lead magnet or offer. The show host may add a link to your landing page in the show notes.
3 Promote your landing page on your website, blog, or content platform of choice.
Have an established website, blog, podcast, or YouTube channel that people are currently visiting? Add a link to your landing page in all of these places! If you can convert these visitors into email subscribers, you get the opportunity to communicate with them again and again.
4 Use paid advertising to get more exposure for your landing page.
Paid advertisements are a great way to get more eyes on your landing page. And you don’t need thousands of dollars to advertise your landing page. Most advertising platforms allow you to limit your budget. Only have $10 to spend each day? Set that as your limit. Test out Google display advertisements, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Instagram ads, or LinkedIn ads. Not sure how to get started? There are hundreds of online courses you can take for free to learn the basics.
The A-to-Z landing page creation checklist
To guide you in creating your own landing page, we put together a step-by-step checklist you can follow as you build landing pages. Print it out and use it every time you create a new page!
❏ Header: Does this page include an intriguing header that captures the attention of visitors so they have to read on?
❏ Descriptive Copy: Does this page describe my offer? Do I explain how often subscribers will hear from me? Do I lay out the information they will receive? Do I explain the benefits of subscribing?
❏ Call-to-Action: Does my page include one — and only one — clear call-to-action?
❏ Opt-in Form: Do I include a sign up form that collects subscriber information? Do I need more than their email addresses in order to send personalized, tailored content?
❏ Social proof: Does my page provide evidence that others have benefited from my offer in the past?
❏ Design: Does my landing page look visually appealing? Does it include my logo? Are there any videos or images that explain the offer?Is my branding consistent?
❏ Social Buttons (Optional): Do I link to my social media pages? Do I link my social media pages to my landing page?
About the authors
14 About AWeber For over 20 years, AWeber has been a market leader helping over 1,000,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses accelerate their growth through powerfully-simple email marketing tools. Ready to build your own landing page? Start your 30-day free trial of AWeber today
Marketing Communication Specialist at AWeber
A professional marketer and PR expert, Kelly is a relationship-builder and storyteller at heart. Throughout her career, Kelly has worked with key journalists, influencers and partners to drive brand awareness and maintain positive brand reputation through an education-based, cross-channel marketing approach.
Senior Content Strategist at AWeber
Liz Willits is a keynote speaker, professional copywriter, and marketing expert. Through her webinars, online courses, speaking gigs, and email campaigns, Liz has taught hundreds of thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs how to successfully grow their businesses online. She’s sent millions of emails and knows what it takes to create messages that convince subscribers to open, click, and convert.