In some ways, building a landing page is like baking a cake. Certain people prefer chocolate, and others like cream fillings, but there are some fundamental formulas (for both cakes and landing pages) that are tried and tested, and proven to produce positive results.
Here are the formulas we’ll cover in this post, using examples from great landing pages:
- Action words + Product reference = Winning headline
- Your exact offering + Promise of ease = Winning subheader
- Your best offerings + Worded in the form of benefit statements + Appropriate sectioning = Winning body content
- Active words + ‘I want to…’ + A/B testing = Winning call to action
Want to test the formulas out for yourself?
Action words + Product reference = Winning headline
The header is always active — it wants you to do something. The header almost always directly references the product or service, as well. As Kurt Vonnegut said,
To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
In the same way that active voice makes a sentence stronger by shifting focus onto the subject, active words help to promote action and create urgency. Active words in headers are usually |bab09a2812ece55871ccac929bb3fcc2|.
Here are a few examples of effective, action-led landing page headlines.
Your header is an active statement, introducing your product. Your subheader is the second wave, there to support the header and give visitors a reason to continue reading. In the subheader, you tell your audience |abe91c592cc4c5a4c94755ce6e02dfe7|, and highlight how incredibly |346c62bca23e0fafacb7626d8057fc71| the whole process will be.|972956a9f5c5b7abcd3884e081186b49|
Online, all it takes is a few taps and a few clicks to make a potentially big decision, but if it’s not easy, a lot of us won’t bother doing it. That’s especially true of a landing page, which is essentially a 24/7 elevator pitch for your business.
As a visitor to your landing page, |3dfe0008fb8a8fab6714a53ab6bee831| (at least to begin with.)
In our model for the no-fail landing page copy, the relationship between header and subheader looks like this:
|ede761f3fb7389afd3c21eea7eaaaf08|Introduces the idea or service in an active way (inspire your audience to do something).
|0563277fe6f9a031c4dafa48fda83374|Backs up the header by giving a reason for your visitor to read on.
This example from Outbrain might not have the prettiest header or subheader, but both illustrate exactly what we’ve been talking about. The header is active, and so is the subheader, which tells you exactly what the main benefits of using Outbrain are, along with the promise of an easy setup.|d66674bf61ca031a52abf9a5026e788e|
The bulk of your landing page copy does the same job as the header and the subheader: it presents the benefits of your product to the user, and encourages them to act.
It’s tempting to go off-piste in the body content, to talk about your values and how you donate half of your profits to charity, but hold off. You need to make sure that your product is one your audience wants first. |4d9666518b28d33dfccec223df45f0ce|.|ffa65f7a81f99a58fa7e9442dddfcc1c|
You’ll probably have more than one point to make on your landing page, but even if you don’t, breaking content up with headers and bullet points increases the chances of something catching your reader’s eye. It’s the equivalent of a supermarket arranging its products into categories and shelves, rather than bundling everything together in a big bargain bin.
With your body content, just like with your subheader, focus on what you have to offer, why it’s |a44352d02d6451c62edbc1ba5b2db102|and how you’ll do most of the heavy lifting should your prospect hand over their valuable email address. Let’s take a look at how MuleSoft connects header, subheader and body content.
|5c269d68c0c2a8a4a70afa88d7b7057d| In this case, the header is just what the product is, which is likely the most appropriate approach for this audience.
|b2c7f531fecb567efa784a43c8dce0dc| The subheader — or supporting header — focuses on the main benefit of the handbook. Clearly, MuleSoft knows its audience, and is giving it to them straight.
|c0b7de82528cf7e1d43070a45285a8b3| It’s still laser-focused on those main benefits, giving visitors ample opportunity to become engaged.
|2a1f99e9e6c3c07e76492a54bee2f4ff|A landing page is a pitch, and like any pitch, your job is to put forward your best offerings and do your best to secure a follow-up. If you’re struggling to prioritize your offerings, consider the following:
- What does your product do, and how does it make your prospect’s life easier?
- What are your product’s most ground-breaking or useful features?
- Who does your product help?
- How easy it is to get started?
- Who else uses your product?
Here’s a great example from Startup Weekend. The body content answers all of the main questions, with no BS:
Since we’re talking about no-fail copy, like blueprints for you to riff from, we’ll tell you straight up that the most common call to action phrase that makes it to live landing pages, is |cd21246a45a5ac9ba64e98ea2ac91777|That’s followed closely by anything with the word|2dcbcd0eeff599853d8fec70b3301ce9| in it.|7cbb62e1a7cfddea8926af3efcdf0e2b|
It needs to be clear that your call to action is where the next step happens. If you want serious leads, then the call to action button is not the place to test out your funniest one-liners. Just like the header and subheader, the call to action is active, it’s job is to create momentum.
“Get started” suggests a journey, it suggests self-improvement, which is probably why it works better than “Submit” or “Subscribe.” It could also be that “Get started” works because it finishes the sentence we’re thinking when a sign-up is close: “|235f78464a0c67f755958dea40a21522| get started.”
Let’s look at all of the formulas together:
- Action words + Product reference = |911064204c1292666ea3a2bc35cda737|
- Your exact offering + Promise of ease = |ea2c3dc10f74ff79bc3110197f69f0be|
- Your best offerings + Worded in the form of benefit statements + Appropriate sectioning = |d8e7a452f9d0bda93a71e74538f5e7cd|
- Active words + ‘I want to…’ + A/B testing = |8d443a51ad324977a16c54230669dfda|
What you’ve got in these formulas, is the recipe for a basic vanilla sponge — the foundations of a successful landing page. Put them together and then — like any good marketer — your job becomes testing that landing page to see what works best for your audience.
What are your favorite copywriting formulas? Share ’em in the comments!
~ Master Yoda