Part 1: Get visitors to the website. Part 2: Get them to do something. Two basic marketing steps. Yet somehow, Part 1 gets disproportionate attention. Brand marketers burn so many calories luring visitors (with SEO and other means) that they often get skimpy with Part 2. New arrivals, it is assumed, are blessed with ESP and therefore will know what to do. They won’t. Not unless you tell them … right off the bat.
That’s Why Landing Pages Were Invented
The landing page is the airport lobby of a website; a first-stop in new territory. And who wants to hang around an airport lobby? Visitors are eager to sight-see, and brand marketers are the designated tour guides.
Maybe you want the new arrivals to obtain a price quote, sign up for emails, enter a contest, or plunk down hard-earned cash for a product. Whatever the to-do, marketers must tell visitors quickly.
Why the Rush?
Because visitors are impatient. They’ll yawn and bolt without something to propel them in another direction. Brand marketers must motivate action with an unstoppable force.
Two Components of the Action Force
Number one is the headline. This natural attention-getter derives strength from an irresistible emotional appeal – a package of clear benefits to the (hopefully) intrigued reader. Without an intrinsic benefit, headlines are page debris.
Strategically positioned below the headline is some sort of factual amplification appealing to the rational, info-hungry side of humanity. A brief explanatory paragraph or detailed sub-heading are common forms.
The second important component is the call-to-action (CTA). This crucial directive must be placed in obvious spots, clearly visible and readily accessed. The ideal location is front and center, near the top of the page.
An effective CTA limits itself to a single request. Asking this, that, and the other thing will confuse readers irreparably. Ditto for page clutter. Hence, remove all extraneous filler, including dazzling graphics, from the CTA zone. The directive must occupy a private space and stand out unmistakably.
If you have any questions or comments about maximizing the effectiveness of landing pages, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.