Copyblogger recently ran a wonderfully entertaining and well-crafted article on The 10 Commandments of Landing Pages That Work, by Steven Lowe. In the piece, Lowe explains the ten inviolable tenets of creating a landing page in a pseudo-Biblical vernacular. The points made are definitely worth engraving in stone for any online marketer, but for the sake of relating to a generation that may think a Thee is a hot drink and a Thou is a stack of $100 bills, here are the salient points from that great article condensed down to a quick seven tips that you can print out and stick on your office wall… or Mithraic altar temple.
1. It’s Not a Landings Page
There’s a reason it’s called a landing page instead of a landings page: It’s strictly intended for the sole purpose of welcoming a visitor from a single call to action to complete a single transaction. If your landing page has additional offerings muddying up the works, your customer is going to flee to a less schismatic competitor. In your rush to get more business you’ll end up getting less, so remember this simple tip: 1 offer = 1 landing page.
2. Don’t Emulate 90s Website Layouts
It’s easy for an online marketer to check out a few of the best performing e-commerce sites from overseas and come to the conclusion that flashing sequential lights, layouts that look like they’ve just gone through a food processor and images of frolicking cartoon farm animals are the way to boost business. These companies might sell billions of dollars of product, but not to the Western customer who is generally repulsed by irrelevant images and Mosaic layouts circa 1996.
3. Cater to the Attention-Deficit Majority
There was a day when avid readers would regale in the classics of English literature and their dense, rich paragraphs. That era is about as dead as the Paleolithic. Today’s web reader wants to skip and scan through your copy to pick up the salient highlights, so you have to provide the attention-deficit afflicted ample wads of white space, subheaders, bullet points and short snappy simple sentences (quite unlike this one).
4. No Images or Animations Larger than 1 MB
Many online marketers are surprised when they start seeing a spike in their customers clicking away from their entry page once they have implemented a new, complex animation splash screen on their landing pages. It may load in half a second on your hardwired fiberoptic broadband in your office, but on many slower or mobile connections it can take a dog’s age. If anyone on your staff or an outside web designer proposes any image or animation larger than 1 MB, send them to the corner with the pointy hat.
5. Cut Ties with Unsavory Affiliates
There’s a simple way to keep affiliates bordering on the illegitimate from besmirching your brand’s reputation: Don’t affiliate yourself with them in the first place. Your affiliations have to be fully disclosed as per FTC regulations, and if any of them are of the unsavory or otherwise negative sort, the best thing you can do is to cut all ties immediately. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that any landing page click is a good one, as the ones that originate from the borderlines cause far more havoc than they’re ever worth.
6. Hype Kills Sales
The critical aspect in the email and social media marketing galaxy is to nurture trust and confidence in your brand. Few things can demolish that trust better than stuffing your landing page with hapless hype from the snake oil school of selling. Your customers are not going to believe that buying that shoe is going to make them look taller, slimmer, cure their arthritis and make them win the lottery, so don’t even think of hyping your product with unrealistic scammy claims.
7. Don’t Say It if You Don’t Mean It
Can you really offer an overnight delivery guarantee to all 50 states? Can you really ensure that your 24 hour customer service toll free line will be answered Sunday at 3 AM? Can you really guarantee that you will accept returns for a full refund no questions asked? Unless you are 100% certain that you can live up to a promise on your landing page, don’t place it there (or anywhere else for that matter).
If your landing page is causing your customers to excommunicate your brand, apply these top seven tips today. Remember to always craft your landing page with tact, taste, restraint and respect, or face the fire and brimstone of the wrath of your customers! Hal hath spoken!