Tag Archives: Landing Pages

Ethical Marketing in an Age of Creeps

The phrase “ethical marketing” has always struck some folks as an oxymoron. Isn’t “marketing” just another word for lying, deceiving, and manipulating someone into buying a product or service? Yeah, no. There have always been plenty of good folks in the selling and marketing game. They just tend to be a little less noticeable than
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Web Personalization: The Future of Digital Marketing and Sales Is Now

In the beginning, the business website was a mere brochure. Low value, low shareability, low findability. Around 2005, a big shift happened thanks to content. Cutting-edge business websites became educational resources with valuable content that ranked well in search engines and benefited from the sharing functionality of emerging social media. Soon, “cutting edge” became the
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3 Tips on High-Conversion Copy from a Sales Page Specialist

"The better you are at addressing your prospect’s concerns, doubts, and objections, the more sales you’ll bring in." – Beth Hayden

I know what some of you are thinking.

You’re asking:

“Do I really need a sales page anymore? Can’t I sell using social media/webinars/live events/blog posts/podcast episodes?”

I don’t know the details of your exact situation, but I will say this:

If you need to spell out the benefits of your product or service in order to make more sales (which you do), a sales page will drive more positive results for your business.

Unfortunately, writing sales pages has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Some people get wildly anxious when they sit down to write one. Or worse, they fill their sales pages with rambling copy that doesn’t persuade anyone to buy.

These days, I’ve developed a specialty as a sales page copywriter — so I wanted to give you three quick tips for improving your own sales pages.

But first, I want to tell you how I fell in love with writing them.

Why I love writing sales pages — and how you can learn to love them, too

About a year ago, I took Derek Halpern’s Sales Page That Converts course, which was a game-changer for me. I studied the course closely, and used that advice to craft sales pages for my next six clients.

As it turns out, I’ve got a knack for it. One page I wrote for a client resulted in a $70,000 launch. That one felt good, I gotta admit.

I’ve learned to love writing sales pages by doing it … a lot. I understand what my goals are and what I need to accomplish in each section. I know what questions to ask my clients. And I understand the writing process.

These days, sales pages are like giant puzzles that I get to put together.

You can learn to love writing sales pages, too — you just need practice.

I understand the struggles of facing a blank screen when you’re writing, so here are my three best pieces of advice to jump-start the process for you.

Tip #1: Thoroughly explain your offer

The most important thing any persuasive copy needs to do is give your prospects the information they need to make a decision.

That means you’ve got to clearly explain the features and benefits of a product or service, and why your product or service is different from your competition.

For example, if you’re selling hot air balloon rides, you’ll need to describe the features by explaining how long the ride will last, whether it’s appropriate for kids, the safety measures you employ, and what riders can expect on the big day.

Then you could show one of the benefits of your service by describing it as a potential gift for a loved one. If your prospect gave the ride as a once-in-a-lifetime gift to a spouse, you could describe the joy and gratitude on her face as they lift off into the air on a crisp autumn morning.

Or you could talk about how excited the prospect’s kids would be if they got to go for a balloon ride and how his kids would think he is the world’s greatest dad. You could mention that one of your balloons would be a wonderfully memorable place for a proposal!

You’ve also got to explain why your balloon rides are better (or different) from your competitor’s. Do you cater to people who have a fear of heights? Do you do Disney-themed rides that are perfect for kids? Do you provide longer balloon rides than anyone else in your area?

Whatever your product or service, don’t be afraid to spill all the beans and share all the juicy details of what the prospect gets, why it’s awesome, and why you’re the right choice.

Tip #2: Answer all of your prospects’ questions

One of the most important parts of a sales page is the “Frequently Asked Questions” section. This is the place where you get to address all of the nagging little questions on your prospects’ minds.

When many prospects ask questions about your product, what they really want to know is:

“Is this going to work for me?”

For example, let’s say you’re selling an online program that teaches people how to start their own online hot air balloon ride company.

When your prospect lands on your sales page, she’s going to have some concerns. Almost all potential customers do.

  • If she’s a newbie entrepreneur, she’s worried she doesn’t have enough experience, and she’ll be completely lost in your program.
  • If she has lots of experience with ballooning, she’s concerned there won’t be enough useful material in the program for her.
  • If she’s from some far-flung corner of the world, she’s worried that the information in your program won’t apply to her, because the ballooning regulations may be different in her neck of the woods.

Your job is to address all of these concerns in your “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Brainstorm every question you’ve ever been asked about your product or service, and then narrow down your list to the 10 most common questions. Next, write down your (honest) answers to those queries in your sales page’s FAQ.

You’re particularly looking for questions that stop people from buying. The better you are at addressing your prospect’s concerns, doubts, and objections, the more sales you’ll bring in.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid of writing a long page

If you do everything I described in tips #1 and #2, you’ll need to use more than a couple of lines of copy. It’s just a fact.

Don’t fear the long-form sales page! If you need eight pages of copy to give your prospects everything they need to make a decision, so be it.

I promise — you’re not going to content marketing hell for writing a long sales page. (Actually, Copyblogger has always advised that you make your copy as long as it needs to be.)

That doesn’t mean you’ll fill your sales page with pointless fluff just to meet some imaginary word count requirement. Every word needs to count, and every phrase needs to pull your prospect closer to your desired action.

Longer copy sells because it provides all of the right information.

Your sales page can be one of your best business assets

When you write a high-conversion sales page, you create an “online salesperson” that can bring in sales for your business — month after month and year after year.

As you keep practicing, you’ll notice that one day, writing sales pages won’t be scary. Pretty soon, you might actually be crazy enough to enjoy writing them.


Writers: Ready to position yourself for greater success?

Beth Hayden is one of Copyblogger’s Certified Content Marketers. Our Certification training is a powerful tool that helps you learn new writing strategies and position your business for greater success. We’ll be re-opening the program shortly — add your email address below to learn when we reopen to new students.

Find out when our Certified Content Marketer training program reopens:

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The Top 5 Most Shared MarketingExperiments Content from 2016

Yes, yes. 2016 was a bad year. We get it.

But it wasn’t all bad. We published some fairly exciting stuff here on MarketingExperiments. It was so exciting that a good portion of our audience found the time to share it with their followers. Just these five pieces from 2016 were shared 1,435 times.

Read on to view what our audience felt were the top five most shareworthy pieces in 2016.

#1: How Does Page Load Time Affect Conversion Rate? New Research Shows Significant Correlation

Most marketers understand that a slow page produces low conversion rates. But how significant is the correlation? How fast do customers expect sites to load? Are customer expectations for page load time changing?

Continue Reading…

#2: The Best Conversion Rate optimizers do NOT make changes to webpages…

I remember I once I designed and ran four tests in a row — two product page tests and two homepage tests — for a Fortune 500 industrial supply company, and lost every time. The designs were solid — better navigation, easier to find buttons, improved copy and value proposition — but they all lost.

When I look back at it, these four tests lost because I was trying to optimize webpages.

Continue Reading…

#3: Copywriting: 3 tips for optimizing your next direct mail campaign

It might come as a surprise, but according to research conducted by our sister site MarketingSherpa, 54% of U.S. consumers would prefer to receive regular updates and promotions in the mail. That’s the highest percentage of any other method.

While we know stated preferences and actual behavior can differ, it’s still extremely interesting that physical mail ranked higher than email.

Continue Reading…

#4: Homepage Optimization: 5 Marketing blind spots that inhibit conversion (and how you can correct them)

We all have blind spots. Some of us more than others. But if we’ve learned anything from the last 100 years or so of marketing and advertising, it’s that marketers have some of the worst blind spots imaginable.

Continue Reading…

#5: Build a Better Home Page Strategy: How multiple objectives on a homepage increased clickthrough to a single page by 52%

In a test from the MECLABS Research Library, a large healthcare company was dealing with all of these issues and more. Their homepage was originally focused on a single objective — to get customers onto the “find a treatment center” page further down their funnel.

Continue Reading…

You might also like:

Optimizing Software Landing Pages: How to minimize anxiety and maximize conversion in a free download

Do Rotating Sliders Work? Optimizing the first 4 to 6 inches of your landing page

Ecommerce Optimization in 8 Minutes: How to increase the performance of your category pages with a clear value proposition

Do Rotating Sliders Work? Optimizing the first 4 to 6 inches of your landing page

Best practices on the internet are often just pooled ignorance. Rotating sliders (or banners) are considered one of these so-called “best practices” by many. It’s one thing if you’re using them for page views, but quite another when using them for a conversion-focused landing page.

In this video, Flint McGlaughlin, CEO, MarketingExperiments, discusses how Robert from TransUnion can optimize the first four to six inches of the company’s landing page, including how to use the space currently devoted to a rotating slider.


 

You might also like:
Ecommerce Optimization in 8 Minutes: How to increase the performance of your category pages with a clear value proposition
Homepage Optimization: 5 Marketing blind spots that inhibit conversion (and how you can correct them)
Homepage Optimization: Tips to ensure site banners maximize clickthrough and conversion

 

Ready to Sell Your Products or Services? We’re Here to Help

copyblogger weekly

Hey there — welcome back to the Copyblogger Weekly!

So, I’ve been known to lean a bit toward the “kumbaya” side of content marketing. (“Kumbaya” meaning, “Let’s all join hands and sing songs about our feelings!”)

But I have bills to pay, just like you do. Selling is an integral and important part of business. And content marketing is as much about marketing as it is about connection.

This week, we’ve got some content to help you unapologetically, effectively — maybe even joyfully — sell some stuff.

On Tuesday, I was tickled to see Beth Hayden riffing on a presentation I did at our live event in 2015, cracking open the three essential elements your landing pages need to make more sales.

Yesterday, we revisited a classic Brian Clark post on how to motivate audiences to buy. He has some fascinating insights into what we really mean when we say we “sell from emotion,” and about the emotional states that prompt us to act.

And The Showrunner podcast this week dives into how to use empathy (very kumbaya) as a map for creating the products and services your audience will love (very pragmatic). Which is really what we’re all about.

Digital Commerce Academy closes to new students on Friday

Quick reminder that Digital Commerce Academy (DCA) is going to close to new students on Friday, October 28 so we can put all of our focus into developing some killer new courses for our members.

Don’t worry, DCA will be back … but not until 2017, and with a substantially higher price.

If you’re into the mix of ethical connection and pragmatic business solutions, DCA is a great resource for you.

We’ll be adding the videos from our recent live Digital Commerce Summit, as well as a live workshop I taught with Brian Clark that walks you through how to plan, execute, and market a digital course.

The annual price for DCA will be rising quite a bit, to reflect the quantity and quality of new content we’re adding. But you can get all the great new stuff and today’s pricing if you jump in now. Get all the details here:

http://digitalcommerce.com/academy

Hope you enjoy this week’s content, and I’ll catch you next week!

— Sonia Simone
Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital


Catch up on this week’s content


The 7-part formula for winning contentMaster These 7 Essential Elements for Winning Content [Infographic]

by Pamela Wilson


Step-by-step for landing pages that convertBuild Landing Pages that Convert with These 3 Smart Steps

by Beth Hayden


What makes people purchase?How to Motivate People to Buy

by Brian Clark


The One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Creative BusinessThe One Thing That Can Make or Break Your Creative Business

by Brian Gardner & Lauren Mancke


Empathy Maps: A Podcaster's GuideEmpathy Maps: A Podcaster’s Guide

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor


How to Create Impact That Endures (Instead of Ending Up in a Landfill)How to Create Impact That Endures (Instead of Ending Up in a Landfill)

by Brian Clark & Jerod Morris


Announcing: An Intriguing New Tool for Collaborative ContentAnnouncing: An Intriguing New Tool for Collaborative Content

by Sonia Simone


How Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part OneHow Bestselling Sci-fi Thriller Author Blake Crouch Writes: Part One

by Kelton Reid


Understanding the Brain Science Behind Effective Persuasion, with Roger DooleyUnderstanding the Brain Science Behind Effective Persuasion, with Roger Dooley

by Brian Clark


Cool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book LaunchCool-Headed Advice for Keeping It Together Just Before Your Book Launch

by Pamela Wilson & Jeff Goins


this-week-in-authority

Behind the Scenes with Matthew Berry

with Matthew Barry and Pamela Wilson

Friday, October 28
What can you do when you have a nice-looking site that’s not converting as well as you want? And will content marketing really work to promote a thoroughly offline business like a fly fishing lodge in Idaho? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from someone who’s on the front lines, using content marketing to promote a strictly offline business.

Join Authority to attend this session

The post Ready to Sell Your Products or Services? We’re Here to Help appeared first on Copyblogger.

Build Landing Pages that Convert with These 3 Smart Steps

step by step for landing pages that convert

It was May 2015, and I was sitting in the audience at Rainmaker Digital’s Authority Rainmaker conference in Denver, Colorado.

Sonia Simone was about to give a presentation called “Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design and Optimization,” and I was excited to learn from one of my personal copywriting heroes.

At the time, I was familiar with certain landing page “rules” — like writing compelling headlines, testing different button colors, and eliminating distracting design elements — but other than that, writing the copy seemed like some magical activity.

But that day at the conference, Sonia broke down the entire landing page creation process into a few straightforward steps.

I had an epiphany in the middle of her talk as she gave us guidelines for writing landing pages, including the three main goals your landing page should accomplish.

Read on to find out about Sonia’s three steps and how to use them to create landing pages that convert.

What is a landing page?

Before we go over Sonia’s guidelines, let’s do a quick refresher on the term “landing page.”

A landing page is any page on your site where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result.

The goal is to persuade your prospect to take actions like:

  • Sign up for a free account
  • Opt in to receive a free autoresponder course
  • Sign up to download a free report
  • Join your paid membership site
  • Buy your product
  • Purchase a consulting package

First identify the singular goal of your landing page. Once you’ve got that, you’re ready to roll with the following three steps.

Step #1: Present your offer

If you’re giving away a free autoresponder course or free series of downloadable interviews, make that clear. If you’re selling a product or service, explain exactly what it is.

Where to put this element

Don’t wait to state your offer; make it explicit immediately. Often, you can write exactly what you’re offering in the headline of your landing page.

If you decide not to include the offer in your headline, place it close to the top of the page. People need to know what you’re offering right away, so don’t bury the lede.

Step #2: Explain how the offer will help your prospect

Why should your prospect care about your autoresponder course, downloadable interviews, or paid product? What exactly is it going to do for them?

Describe the main benefits of your offer — and remember the difference between features and benefits before you write this copy for your landing page.

Where to put this element

Subheads and bullet points are both great spots for spelling out the benefits of your offer. Otherwise, use short paragraphs for your copy.

Step #3: Clearly state what your prospect should do next

Many landing pages fall flat here. You must explain exactly what you want the prospect to do next.

This part of the copy is called the “call to action” for a reason. You are prompting the reader to take a particular action, and if you leave any ambiguity, you’ll likely confuse people and lose conversions.

Whether you need the prospect to click a button, fill out a form, or make a phone call, explain the action as clearly as you can. Your job here is to eliminate all possibility of confusion in your prospect’s mind.

Where to put this element

Powerful calls to action can appear in a number of places on your landing page. Select the most appropriate spots for your call to action text throughout the page as well as at the very end of the page.

For example, if you need the reader to click a big, red button, put your call to action right above that button. If appropriate, you can also include an alternative version of your call to action on the button itself.

Other elements to consider when creating landing pages

Once you’ve built the foundation of your landing page with the three steps above, you’ve got the basics covered! Now you can start testing different copy variations and design elements.

You can test:

  • Headline options
  • Long copy vs. short copy
  • Button color and text
  • How you describe benefits
  • The layout of the page

Master the art of creating landing pages that convert

If you’re looking for additional ways to test and fine-tune your landing page, check out Copyblogger’s free ebook, Landing Pages: How to Turn Traffic into Money. It’s nearly 50 pages of landing page tips and techniques you can start using right away.

If you’ve been feeling hesitant to write the copy for your landing page, pull out a blank sheet of paper and get to work using the three smart steps above. You’ll love having your own landing page epiphany!

The post Build Landing Pages that Convert with These 3 Smart Steps appeared first on Copyblogger.

Landing Pages Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]

content marketing glossary - what are landing pages?

You’ve probably heard us talk about landing pages a lot around here.

There is a good reason for that.

When executed correctly, a landing page is a powerful tool that helps you gain new subscribers, sell your products, and more.

But what exactly is a landing page?

Watch our short, fun video about landing pages

With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.

Here’s our video for the definition of a landing page:

Animation by The Draw Shop

And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:

A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. Think of a golf course … a landing page is the putting green that you drive the ball, or prospect, to.

Once on the green, the goal is to put the little white ball in the hole in the grass. Likewise, the goal of the copy and design of a landing page is to get the prospect to take your desired action.

The goal could be to sell a product. It could be to get email newsletter sign-ups. It could be to download an ebook. Watch a video. Sign a petition.

The variety of landing page goals is endless, but the important thing to remember is to have one goal per landing page.

One page, one goal. Nothing more.

Share this video

Click here to check out this definition on YouTube and share it with your audience. You’ll also find 11 additional Content Marketing Glossary videos.

Learn more from the Content Marketing Glossary

We’ll feature the rest of the videos soon, but if you’d prefer not to wait, you can watch all the videos now by going directly to the Content Marketing Glossary.

If you would like to learn more about landing pages, visit these three resources:

By the way, let us know if you have any definitions you’d like us to add to the glossary! Just drop your responses in the comments below.

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