5 Killer Landing Pages and the Science Behind Why They Work
Landing page is the most important piece of puzzle of any well-designed marketing campaign. It’s where the visitors see your offer for the first time and decide to give it a go, or close the window and forget about you. You only have one shot to make a killer first impression, so you’d better do it right.
Grab their attention or die. And I mean it literally – your business may seriously suffer if the first part of AIDA principle is not there. If you don’t grab visitors’ Attention, you’ll never get a chance to Interest them with your product. This cuts out the part when they decide they simply want to use it – the Desire. And without desire, there is no Action — no clicks, no registrations, no sales, no referrals and no downloads.
So, how to create a killer landing page that converts? Others have done it successfully, you can do it. All it takes is just a little bit of landing page optimization.
1) Call To Action For The Win! – Unbounce.com
No matter what the goal for your campaign is, a great landing page needs to push your visitor to take a specific ACTION. You need to communicate the action you want the visitors to perform in a clear and precise manner. Why? Because without direction, they won’t know where to click.
The most eye-catching way to state this on a landing page is by using Call To Action (CTA) buttons. A great CTA button is made out of two ingredients — attention-grabbing design and good copy. What makes Unbounce’s CTA buttons great?
- They use good color contrast for the background and the CTA. The button pops out against the background.
- According to Impact of Color in Marketing study, orange color represents enthusiasm, energy and a ‘get-it-done’ attitude.
- The other elements of the page create an impression of pointing at the button — the main value proposition and the sub-headline’s sizes correspond with the CTA button. Notice how the ‘Publish it’ arrow is placed strategically below the CTA as an additional pointer.
- The copy is to-the-point and builds an instant understanding of the value one may get if one decides to click.
- The CTA copy uses a verb that communicates clearly a specific action.
- Adding the word ‘Now’ creates a sense of urgency, pushing the visitors to act the very moment.
2) Value, Value, Value – VWO.com
We’re all customers. And we’re all looking for the best offer in the market. What makes an offer the best for us? The value we get out of it. If you want your landing page to convert, your visitors needs to know what they will get in exchange for their money or contact details. They need to feel the exchange is equal and know exactly the benefits they will get.
So, communicate your value proposition clearly. Describe the problem your product solves and how it can improve your visitor’s life or business. Be very specific. Don’t say ‘You’ll save money’. Be direct and say, ‘You will save $30/month on your phone bill’. Cut out the comparison process and say outright why your offer is the best – “The only product on the market that gives you…”
VWO’s website gives its visitors a clear and great value proposition. Here’s why it works:
- Landing page is very simple — the value proposition is easy to understand.
- Copy doesn’t unnecessary create hype. There is no use of superlative language (the best product!), hence it’s building trust in the offer.
- Language is easy to understand for a novice. It doesn’t use jargon, so it’s not intimidating for prospective clients and makes the offer widely understood.
- The website clearly states why the product is different and better than competition’s offer (minimal IT help).
- People don’t read – they scan websites. The VWO homepage can be read and understood in just a few seconds.
3) All the Other Kids Are Doing It – LeadPages.net
Nobody wants to be first or the only one to do something. This is why we all feel safe sitting in an audience on any conference and why our system makes us freak out to speak in front of a crowd. There is a safety in numbers. If all the other kids are doing it – I need to do it too. Social proof dictates this must be the right way to act.
This real-life rule applies to online as well — you will most likely read the article with a high number of social shares or webpage views than the one with just a few. You decide this subconsciously BEFORE reading the content. LeadPages have nailed the social proof strategy and it works like a charm. Why?
- You see the number of customers they have up front (over 14k) and it triggers a reaction in your brain — “If these many people use it, they all can’t be wrong… it’s a good product, it helps a lot of people”.
- They use famous brands as proof. People always follow a lead and want to emulate the successful strategies of others. It makes them feel they are on the right track.
- Website mentions individual testimonials from the users. Putting a real face to the words makes us think we could get the same value and be equally happy with the product.
- They display the media in which their product was mentioned. If a product is mentioned in a prestigious publication, it connotes trust and more professionalism.
- All of these social proofs are featured at the same section of the website, making it more impactful.
4) It’s All About the Design – Mint.com
The attention span of humans is about 8 seconds. During this short period of time, it takes about 50 milliseconds for our brain to snap judgments. This is how long it takes for someone to decide to ‘take it or leave it’. This is why we scan websites for the most relevant information only and why the design itself needs to push visitors to act on a feeling. It needs to be persuasive.
That’s why all unnecessary attention-grabbers and useless CTAs needs to be removed, leaving the core CTA as the only real star of the design. Mint is a master of distributing attention. I’ve studied their website using Attensee (a tool for testing the visitors’ attention distribution on a website), and here is what I’ve discovered:
- Mint makes great use of whitespace, making the value proposition and registration box more appealing to visitors. If there is sufficient unused space, the individual elements are able to grab more attention.
- Mint’s website is easily scrollable, the design makes people look for more information. And it’s not an easy thing to achieve. According to Jacob Nielsen, people spend 80% of their time above the fold.
- The Orange CTA button stands out against the rest of the page due to the contrast.
- The sign up box is the second most engaging thing on the landing page, just after the value proposition.
- The design adheres to all the rules of landing page best practices. It manages to get visitors’ attention and visually favors the most important information.
- The visitors are not buried under a lot of information about the features of Mint. Though they offer a lot of cool stuff, they only feature a few since our memory is only capable of holding 6-7 pieces information.
5) Copy that Builds Motivation – woopra.com
The rule of Fogg Behavior Model clearly states that people only take action when three things happen at once — you present a trigger, they are highly motivated to do something and when it’s easy to take the action. A persuasive copy can help you build visitors’ motivation, make them act on the desire and convince them that it’s easy to do so.
Woopra’s website is a great example of this model in action. They use this principle to present visitors with a motivational story that is divided into five easy-to-consume segments with no unnecessary distractions in between. The copy speaks for itself. Here’s why it works.
- There are no CTAs above the fold, hence the visitor attention is only on the motivational story. There is only a small button in the header that is not that attention-grabbing.
- The copy starts with a great value proposition.
- The copy is to-the-point and gives out right away why their offer is potentially the best and what it offers in accordance with the What’s In It For Me rule.
- The minimal design helps manage attention and makes sure the focus remains on the really important message.
- They use the Hope/Fear motivator – Find your conversion killers – So now I know that something’s killing my conversion, pretty scary if you ask me! But no worries, Woopra is here – Identify the danger zones in your conversion funnels so you can improve them.
- They use social proof to boost motivation and present their product as a more professional and trusted brand. What’s more, this is used at the very end of visitor’s scroll-action that serves as additional motivator.
So as you can see — behind every great landing page, there is science that makes it work. Do you know of any other proven tactics to optimize landing pages and make them convert like crazy? Share them in the comment section below.