No matter how enticing your ads are or how cool your landing pages look, the words on the page are what visitors use to decide if your product or service is really for them. Copy is arguably the most important aspect of your landing pages, and it’s often marketers’ biggest problem area.
“The real problem here is that you only have a limited amount of space to explain what you do and also a limited amount of time before people get bored and leave without ever converting,” says Pedro Cortes on the Prototypr Blog. It’s true. Despite the amount of effort we put into creating interesting copy for our visitors, most won’t meticulously read it. At best, your landing page visitors will skim the text on your page. That means writing eye-catching copy with only text that really adds meaning to your pages is key.
The good news is, you don’t need to be a ninja copywriter to create successful landing page copy. By following a few smart guidelines, anyone can write great page copy that actually converts.
Your Audience and What You Can Do for Them
You’ve done something right to get visitors clicking on to your landing pages. Once they’ve arrived, though, they might be unsure about whether your offer is something they need — or what your offer even is. It’s the copy’s job to get those points across, and doing so is imperative for conversions.
To make sure your copy is clear and relevant to your visitors, start by zeroing in on who your ideal customer is. If your product is a meal delivery subscription, your target audience might be working parents, families of four, or people looking for an easier, healthier diet. Understanding exactly who has the problem that your product solves is necessary for moving on to the next stage: understanding how your audience perceives their problem.
Say you’re creating a landing page targeted towards working parents because you think they can benefit from your subscription service. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how they perceive their own situation. Do they feel they don’t have enough time to go to the grocery store? Do they feel that they’re dropping the ball on family dinners because they work too much? Understanding how your audience views their problems allows you to write copy that resonates with them and shows them how your product solves those problems.
Writing a draft as if you’re speaking directly to your audience and explaining how your product is a solution to their problems will help you get in the right mindset to create your most compelling landing page copy. You can ask yourself questions to get into the mind of your customer:
- Why do my customers feel they have this problem?
- What options, besides my product, would also solve this problem?
- What other products are out there that would fix their problem?
- How big of a problem is this in their life?
- What about my product specifically relates to them?
- Will my product solve their whole problem, just part, or just alleviate some of the stress from the problem?
- What is the number one reason they need my product?
- How can my product take them from where they are now to where they want to be?
After you’ve gotten a good feel for who your visitors are, you’re set to write copy that really resonates with them. Using the strategies we’ve outlined below, coupled with your knowledge of your audience, anyone on your team can easily create compelling landing page copy.
General Tactics for Conversion-Driving Copy
When writing your landing page, it’s important to be unique and try out different conversion strategies. You might use an emotional appeal or a scarcity tactic to convert more leads. Whatever theme you choose to go with for your copy, though, there are a few basic ideas to keep in mind.
First, you want to make every word in your copy focused on your leads and the outcome they will get from converting. When you have a product or service you really believe in, it can be difficult to remember that your leads don’t really care. What they do care about is the outcome that the product or service will give them.
For example, in your meal delivery business, your leads care about the time they’ll save cooking, the money they’ll save on groceries, or the health benefits of eating your food. When they buy, they’re buying that time, money and health benefit, not your subscription. Focusing your copy to specifically reflect those outcomes and not your product or service will give your leads a clear image of what their life will be like if they convert.
Using second-person point of view in your copy is another helpful tactic for focusing the copy on the leads and outcome. Stephen Covey’s famous book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says people love to talk about themselves. By using second-person pronouns like “you” and “yours,” you show your leads that converting is about what your offer does for them — not about you and your product.
You also want to create copy that exudes simplicity. Your leads are busy and want to find the solution to their problems quickly so they can reap the benefits quickly, too. Digging through your copy to find the important content isn’t on their to-do list. Creating copy that is simple and to-the-point ensures that your leads don’t get overwhelmed with fluff words or irrelevant text. They can see the value in your offer right off the bat.
Your copy should also be specific. For the meal delivery service, terms like “food” would be considered too general. What kind of food? Does the food come prepared? How much food is it? You should specify that you deliver fully-prepared dinner for two to four people. Using specific, informative copy makes sure your leads don’t leave without converting purely because they didn’t understand the offer and how it would help them. If a lead wanted prepared meal delivery for four people, but your copy only said “Food Delivered to You,” your lead might immediately leave your page, assuming you only delivery groceries or restaurant food for one person.
When writing your outcome-oriented, simple and specific copy, you can ask yourself these questions to keep your copy in line with your goal:
- Who are you?
- What are your offering?
- What does it matter to them?
All of the copy on your page should be answering these questions. If it’s not, it’s probably not relevant to the offer and doesn’t need to be there.
Approaching Your Audiences’ Problems From Different Angles
Your offer should consist of only one clear solution to one clear problem — nothing more. But as long as you’re focused on the leads and keep the copy simple and specific, you have free rein on the tone of your message. There are different ways you can adapt your offer to be more enticing to your page visitors.
Some copywriters like to use an emotional appeal to convert leads. Creating stories can help leads connect with your offer on a personal level and imagine their own lives after receiving your offer. In the meal delivery example, this might look like descriptive copy painting a picture of their lives with more free time and readily available meals to keep their family happy and healthy.
You can also use fear as a powerful motivator to push leads to convert. By making leads think, “What would happen if I don’t take this offer?” they will imagine themselves in the future after passing up this opportunity. Assuming your product solves a problem they have, this image will not be as pretty as it would be if they didn’t pass up the offer. When using the fear tactic, however, you should be careful to not cause too much fear. Negativity can steal the focus away from your offer.
Urgency and scarcity are other powerful motivators for landing page copy. You might have seen an event page that counted down the number of tickets left, or a sales page with a discount that will only be valid until Sunday night at midnight. This type of copy makes people think they’re going to miss out on this opportunity if they don’t act now.
There are many different tones, themes and tactics you can test in your copy to find what works for your business and what doesn’t. A depleting discount code for a meal delivery service might be a great way to get visitors to purchase, while a scarcity tactic might seem feigned or forced. Playing around with different ideas and testing them using A/B testing will help you convert more visitors overall.
Perfecting Individual Components of Landing Page Copy
When writing your landing page copy, you can break up the text into its different components: headline, call to action, body copy, and social proof. Your tone and message should be consistent throughout each component of the copy, but the actual words should offer different value in each section.
For the headline of your landing page, you want to be specific and focus on one thing that your leads will find the most desirable part of your offer. As the headline is usually the first thing a visitor will read, it’s important that it’s not vague or irrelevant. It should clearly show who you are and what you’re offering, in an eye-catching way.
For example, “Your Path to a Healthier Life Starts Now” is vague and could be for anything from vitamins to exercise. The subhead “Food Delivered to Your Door With One-Click” is also vague, since “food” doesn’t clarify that it’s pre-made dinners. The headline “A Healthier Lifestyle Starts With a Healthier Dinner” and the subhead “Get Junk-free, Ready-to-Eat Dinners Delivered to Your Door” clearly show you are promoting healthy dinners that are delivered already prepared.
Keep in mind when writing the headline that clarity should always trump catchiness. Although it’s ideal to have both, you should never settle for a headline that isn’t 100% clear to your visitors. If you’re stuck trying to think of something both catchy and relevant, you can try one of these ideas:
- Use a testimonial.
- Give a teaser of the most important part of your offer.
- Show how your offer takes customers from Point A, where they are, to Point B, where they want to be.
Call to action
A call to action on a landing page can be many different things, from “Learn More” to “Buy This.” The key to writing a call to action that converts is making sure it directly corresponds to the other messages on the page. Telling leads to “Buy Now” when you’ve offered them a free ebook to list build, would clearly be inconsistent copy. But it’s not always this obvious, so reading through your messages to be clear on what you’re asking leads to do is ideal before writing your CTA. You also want to be sure there’s only one call to action. Your landing page visitors should be able to read your messages and easily pick out one thing you want them to do — not many different things they can do.
Your body copy can really benefit from pre-writing and qualitative research about your audience. Since this is the copy that will actually answer all of the questions your leads might have about your offer — specifically, “Why should I convert?” — it’s important to step into their shoes when writing your content. Avoid writing too much content in the body so that you don’t overload visitors. You want to get straight to the point, saying just enough to address your leads’ concerns but not so much that they know things about your product that don’t affect whether they convert.
Testimonials and social proof can be riddled throughout any components of your landing page copy. If you haven’t used any yet, though, a section all on its own would benefit customers and your conversion rates. How often do you buy something on Amazon.com or Sephora.com without reading reviews? People are often more willing to buy something that others have tried and recommended over something completely foreign without real reviews. Adding testimonials, reviews, users’ social posts or any other kind of social proof can make your visitors feel more comfortable buying from you.