By Kevin Gault
You work hard to craft great white papers. Don’t weaken their impact by promoting them on a landing page that doesn’t make readers respond.
Superstar copywriter Bob Bly gave us some tips on creating landing pages that convert web traffic into leads and sales.
Bly says the main ingredient for an effective landing page isn’t fancy graphics: “When you strip away all the bells and whistles, the success of your landing page depends mainly on the copy. When all is said and done, a landing page is basically a long-copy sales letter posted on a server at a specific web address or domain.”
Bly adheres to this rule of thumb for landing-page copy: Short copy for lead generation; long copy for order generation. For example, use short copy for giving away a white paper to get qualified sales leads.
Simple Graphics Are Best
Though copy is the main focus, graphics have their place. Bly cautions, however, not to overdo it. “Simple graphics work best,” he says. “For example, just show a picture of the white paper you’re offering. For a landing page offering a white paper, I split it into two panels with a vertical line down the middle. The left side offers the white paper; the right has brief company branding and messaging copy.”
Bly provides many tips on landing pages at his comprehensive website: http://www.thelandingpageguru.com
Here’s a sampling:
* Build credibility early: put one or more great testimonials above the headline on the first screen. Use an official seal in a banner at the top of the page.
* Capture email addresses of non-buyers: there are many ways to capture the email addresses of visitors who click on your landing page but don’t buy your product. For example, use a window with copy offering visitors a report or e-course in exchange for submitting their email address.
* Use a lot of testimonials: testimonials are even more important online than offline because people are wary of Internet marketing scams. The latest technique is the video version that lets you click on the customer’s picture to get his or her testimonial.
* Use lots of bullets: build lots of selling points into your products, then on your landing page have a great bullet item for each. Online buyers like to get a lot for their money, so longer bullet lists are better than short ones.
* Arouse curiosity in the headline: the headline should either arouse curiosity, make a powerful promise or otherwise grab the reader’s attention so he or she has no choice but to keep reading.
* Use a conversational copy style: most corporate websites are unemotional and sterile—they just present information. But a landing page is a letter from one human being to another. Make it sound that way.
Don’t pen a powerful white paper then promote it on a weak landing page. A well-written and well-designed landing page will promote your white paper and convert website traffic to leads and sales. Follow Bly’s guidelines and you’ll get it right.