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Quick Ways to Increase Conversion Rate TODAY!

More than 90% of websites get something on their landing pages seriously wrong.

It might even be closer to 95%…

And they’re practically kicking people away from opting in.

The few sites that get things right include the likes of Apple and Amazon. Big companies with gargantuan amounts of traffic. Not to mention huge teams of highly trained employees working night and day to perfect landing pages.

But it’s not really that difficult to get the basics right – even a solopreneur can make a very highly converting landing page – all on their own.

If you’re serious about running a business online, you should check that you aren’t making these easy-to-fix mistakes on your landing pages so that you can increase conversion rate.

Some Examples

It’s always easier to understand what you should do, after you’ve seen how NOT to do it.

Here are three landing pages that showcase three different, very common, mistakes.

https://youtu.be/wq2QPw94ol8

And check out the pages that we featured in the video:

1.Make the Next Step Easy

When you’re asking the reader to do something, anything, they’re more likely to do it, if it feels easy to them.

The easier the next step seems, the less you seem to be asking.

There are a few ways how you can make the offer feel like a bigger “investment” than it is (and you should generally avoid these):

  •  It sounds like it’s going to take a lot of time.
  •  It seems like you’re selling something even when the offer is free.
  •  You’re asking for more information than is necessary (e.g. last name, phone number)
  •  The page is unnecessarily long and the first “call to action” is far from the beginning.
  • Go through your copy and check that you’re not making the investment sound bigger or more difficult than it really is.
  • Be honest and accurate about what the next step requires from the reader. But simplify it as much as possible.

2. Give Enough Detail about the Offer

No one will ever say: “It was too easy to understand how I’ll benefit from your offer.”

NEVER.

That’s why intriguing promises go only so far.

Most people won’t take the risk of finding out more, if they don’t have a good idea of what they’ll get.

For example, “You’ll learn how to get people to read your posts” is a vague promise for an eBook about headlines.

But, “you’ll get 101 headline formulas that capture attention” is something that tells you clearly how you’ll benefit from the eBook.

You don’t have to tell the reader how they’ll get the benefits in the headline. But you have to make it clear at some point in the copy.

Make sure you tell enough about what the reader will get to prove that it’s valuable.

They shouldn’t ever have reason to think: “I wonder if I’m going to get something valuable or something useless?”

3. Make it All About “You”

Remember the first rule of copywriting, “The reader doesn’t care about you.”

Try not to use the word “I” at all, unless you’re sure you’re using it right.

There’s a fine line between building your credibility and sounding selfish (which leads to losing the reader’s interest.)

The main purpose of copy is to make the reader understand the benefit they can get from your offer.

It may be tempting to explain it by telling how something has helped you personally.

But unless you’re a great writer, it’s very difficult to make “your story” interesting enough to keep readers engaged.

That’s true especially if you tell your story close to the beginning of the page before the reader is engaged in the text.

Go through your copy and check that you’re not talking about yourself (unless you’re sure you’re doing it right).

If you have the word “I” used repeatedly, change the idea to something more reader-focused.

4. Keep The Page Focused

Few things drive people away from a page faster than a confusing design.

One place on the page should clearly be the first thing to focus on.

And then there should be the obvious second place that you’re supposed to focus on.

These “focus points” make the page easy to read, and enable you to direct the reader to the right ideas in the right order.

What the first focus point should be depends on what the page is about.

But the main idea is to first give the visitor a good reason for staying on the page. (You can get another great sales letter example from Wayne Mullins – there are some excellent tips and swipe copy available.)

Look at your page from 10 feet away. Is it immediately clear what the visitor should focus on first?

If not, increase the size of the most important element, or change it’s color, or do something else that gives the page clear structure.

And make sure that that element gives the readers a good reason to stay on the page.

Ask 1 Question

Ask a question about conversion or landing pages in the comments.

Ask THE question that you believe will help you the most.

The question that, when answered, will get you more subscribers and/or customers.

Ask it right now… I’ll answer as soon as possible.

About Peter Sandeen

Peter Sandeen dreams of sailing with his wife and dogs on the Finnish coast-unless he's helping someone build a clear marketing message and strategy that creates sales consistently. Download the quick 5-step exercise that shows what ideas are most likely to make people want to buy your products and services.

36 comments

  1. Thanks, Peter!

    I’ve been considering using those two, less-obtrusive page elements on my own site; so your opinions are very helpful.

    The site I referenced is owned by a good friend and guest-poster here on Firepole Marketing, Gary Korisko. His early efforts have shown great results and earned him some notice from AListers like Danny, Mary Jaksch and Jon Morrow.

    I’m sure Gary wouldn’t mind if you stopped over and cast your critical eye on his current home page: http://www.RebootAuthentic.com . If you do have feedback, I’ll make sure Gary sees it here.

    BTW, you articulate just fine. I’m going to ask my son to send me his link to another highly-respected video host who narrates interesting chess matches. Like yours, his English reflects the accent of his native tongue (Russian, perhaps?). This chess expert’s accent actually makes his narration even more intriguing and engrossing. My son can’t get enough of him!

    Thanks again, ~Jim

    1. Hey Jim,

      I’ll take a look and come up with something 🙂

      And you’re not the only one who’s said something along the lines of, “Your not-perfect accent is interesting—not distracting.” That’s why I haven’t been stressing about it anymore 😀 (But if I enunciated English like an average Finnish person, I WOULD be stressed out of my mind…)

      Cheers,
      Peter

    2. Oh boy.

      My home page needs a lot of work, but if you’d like to dissect it here, I would semi-reluctantly take it on the chin 🙂

      Also – a slight correction. While I’m a huge fan of Jon’s, I do not know him. We haven’t corresponded or anything… although he’s been kind enough to Tweet a couple of my guest posts.

      Ok Bessey…

      1. Hi Gary,

        I’ve noticed you in several blogs 🙂 And we exchanged a couple of emails, didn’t we?

        I think the basic idea on your home page works. The “banner” is often very effective and yours is clear enough to work (which is one of the typical mistakes).

        But I wouldn’t direct the attention to the sidebar opt-in form. Especially not before people have read the bullet points (the arrow is now above the bullets, which makes people look at the sidebar before reading the bullets). Instead, I’d have the opt-in form under the bullet points or next to them within the same box. That would make the two more clearly connected and create a natural eye-path (and conversion path, but that’s another discussion).

        I’d also change the headline “Join us to learn” because it doesn’t promise anything or sound unique. It could state the high-level promise of your site rather than just give general context to the next sentences. In other words, it should at least hint at your value proposition.

        What do you think? I hope your chin is still in place and you feel it was worth it 🙂

        Cheers,
        Peter

        1. Peter:

          It’s very possible that we may have corresponded before since we seem to know a few of the same people. If not – nice to meet you now!

          I agree with both of those observations… and I do have putting the opt-in under the bulleted text on my to-do list. And good point about the headline. It really doesn’t say anything compelling. I’ll work on that.

          My chin is fine, thanks 🙂 I’m just always a tad reluctant to hear from design experts since I, like many others I’m sure, kind of wing my design. At the end of the day, it’s better to know and correct the issues, though isn’t it?

          Thanks very much, Peter!

          1. Hey Gary,

            I checked, we have sent one email both ways, but not more.

            I’m not a design expert by any means. I know conversion though and the things about design that make the biggest difference to it 😉

            And yes, I really think it’s better to know what’s wrong so you can do something about it. That’s what people pay coaches for, don’t they?

            -Peter

          2. Hey Gary,

            Thanks, that’s great to hear 🙂

            And you’re right, there’s a demand for help with improving conversion rates. People are realizing that traffic is pretty much worthless if it’s not converting, and so their hard work goes to waste…

            Cheers,
            Peter

          3. Very true, Peter.

            All of your posts I’ve read have been really useful. I think you’re positioned very well in an area where most of us need a lot of help. Thanks again Peter. (And Jim for volunteering me)

  2. I enjoy the heck out of your videos, Peter!

    Of course, we Americans love people with interesting accents, but you also use great pacing, emphasis, and word/phrase choices. I’m glad that you and Danny have partnered-up on this topic, because the advice you each offer complements the other’s.

    What is your opinion of the use of plug-ins like Opt-in Skin to add “Landing Page” elements to blog pages (as Piers alluded to, earlier)? ~ Top banner opt-in = good/bad? ~Lower/right slide up&in window = bad rehash of popup ads or brilliant marketing?

    What about the idea of installing a static landing page element on your blog’s home page? I noticed you called for the removal of one of your sample site’s top-nav, for clarity and focus. So, would the distractions of a standard home page limit the effectiveness of a large opt-in section front&center on a blog’s home page? (I have a good friend who is using this approach, so I do care about your answer)

    Anyway, as a guy who’s done some voice work, my main point was to comment about your superb videos. I’m really really tempted to get your whole 5-part set. I’ll come back in the morning and decide then — it’s Final Four time here, and my team is losing badly…

    1. Hey Jim,

      Thanks 🙂 I still feel like I’m not being articulate enough. But I don’t stress about it.

      What works best depends on the site, so testing is well worth the effort. But top banner opt-in forms often perform very well. And so do those lower/right slide up forms. I’m going to be testing both on my site in the coming weeks after a couple of other tests have run their course. I’m expecting good results.

      Home page as a landing page tends to do better. However there are exceptions. And often when you change the home page of a blog to be a “landing page,” you’re going to see a dip in results because your readers need to click one more time to get to new posts. But that’s usually temporary because people quickly figure out they need to bookmark the newly created blog page instead of the home page.

      If you have an example, leave a link. I’ll give some ideas 🙂

      Cheers,
      Peter

  3. Hey Peter – Danny sort of gave us a formula of message for our free offer on our Landing Pages. I’ve just watched your video on Lesson 4 and read this page. You seem to advocate far shorter, snapper copy. Which should I follow?

    1. Hey Bobbie,

      Short vs. long copy is an age-old battle. In direct mail advertising long copy quite consistently beats shorter competitors.

      But in online world, especially when the offer is free, short copy usually (though not always) creates a higher conversion rate.

      Another variable that makes a big difference is the traffic source. Assuming your traffic is coming from guest posts or your own blog’s articles, shorter page is likely to win.

      But as I said, it’s not always like that. Only a test can tell for sure what works best for you. Fortunately, it’s crazy simple to test 🙂

      1. I think I’ll go with the shorter copy – your simple page layout on the video I watched for the Firepole course looked good to me. The longer copy I’ve written has been feeling wrong – too hard a sell for a freebie.

  4. great blog. I never new such great information exist on the web until i found this blog. I have just started to learn affiliate marketing and this article has really helped me a lot . I can now start implementing some of this tips in my internet marketing journey which i have just started.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Thanks so much for the landing page review. I’ve made a few of your suggested changes and am carefully weighing the others.

    @Ruth and yourself suggested that the page is too long. Maybe, maybe not. To some degree I’m using page length (and concept complexity) to limit the users to those who might actually benefit from the product and become prospective customers for future products we have in the pipeline.

    When it comes to personal growth, I don’t see having an extremely short attention span as a recipe for success. I’m looking for people who actually are committed to self-improvement and willing to learn something about how to do it successfully.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. For any of you Firepole Marketing readers also interested in Personal Development, please click through on the Happiness International link in the article and give the product a try. It’s free and people tell me that it’s helpful.

    1. Kenneth, you are right – some messages do need to be more lengthy – yet, they still should be concise and to the point.
      A good example – I sometimes submit articles to newspapers – and there is always word-count limit. I find that when I have a lot to say, but limited by number of words – the final product is way better, because I really have to weigh the necessity of each and every word.

      1. I agree.

        Being concise is part of writing well, not that I claim to write especially well 🙂

        I like this: “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal

        My father, who was a journalist for the Associated Press, told me long ago that writing well was about editing well.

        1. I agree; Writing short without losing impact is much more challenging than with no limitations.

          That’s why for example a short sales letter isn’t just 1/8 of the price of a long one; it takes surprisingly long to write 😉

          As for limiting the subscribers by making the “sales” page longer… There’s some merit to the idea, so I’m not saying you’re wrong.

          You do limit the people on your list to those who are more interested in the original offer, which most likely does lead to a higher-quality list. But at the same time many people who would be interested in your paid offer don’t ever join your list because you had the bar raised too high for them…

          There’s no “right” answer. I based my recommendation on the assumption that the people who are interested in the free offer are likely to be later interested in a paid offer regardless of how “easy” it was to join 🙂

          The other factor is “how much they will benefit”. And if that’s a priority, then a long and complex page does the job well 😀

          -Peter

  6. I’m wondering how do you know when you have too little or too much info in your headline. Because I thought “You’ll learn how to get people to read your posts” sounded pretty good.

      1. I agree, once it’s interesting it should work fine. I guess I always had an informal rule that is should be as short as possible being a headline. But I have seen some incredibly long ones.

  7. Hey Peter,
    Obviously, most pages on most blogs are not single focus pages like opt-in pages or sales pages, but content. Clearly we still want to use these to help increase opt-ins, but it can’t be the primary focus of the page, or we’re not delivering real value.

    I noticed Clay Collins was surpriingly suggesting a two step opt-in process, which seemed to work well for him. Modal popups weem popular (as Derek Halpbern over at Social Triggers have) although my concern is that if they’re not limited to beig seen infrequently, they could really annoy people.

    What do you feel is the most effective way to turn a primarily content focused page, into an effective opt-in source as well?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Piers,

      That’s an interesting question. We might do a critique of “ordinary blog pages”… Thanks 🙂

      The basic idea is the same; make opting in the next logical step. In other words if you possibly can, the post should leave people wanting to opt in. If you want to get fancy with this, you can create several different free offers, and then show the one that’s most relevant to the post, after the post.

      What do you think?

      -Peter

      1. I was thinking of something along similar lines, but having supporting material (and further updates) for each post promised with an opt-in at the end. The only issue with this is having to set up a new opt-in form per post to make sure people are redirected to the right download page… unless… you just had one download page that you constantly added more and more stuff to. That would be cool, but over time you could end up with a lot of people linking to it directly and avoiding opt-ins. Maybe that’s ok though, if the supporting material all encourage opting in so that they know whenever the page is updated…

        1. Hi Piers,

          You could also get fancy with the coding.

          1. Create several different opt in “gifts”.
          2. Make the opt in box at the end of the posts conditional; make it show the most relevant offer based on the post’s category or tag (or a custom variable).

          It takes some coding, but you end up with a great increase in conversions 😉

          -Peter

  8. Hi Peter,

    You always have such a great perspective on this topic! One of my pet peeves is a video on the landing page that is actually BORING. Yours is engaging and appealing – any tips on how to achieve that effect?

    Thanks, Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thanks, I’m really glad to hear that 🙂

      The way I’ve done videos is basically using the same method as with blog posts; start with a good hook. In other words get the viewer interested right from the beginning.

      I also do my best to keep the video concise; a lot of people make their videos longer than they need to, which makes them just more boring.

      Did I answer your question? 🙂

      -Peter

      1. Hello Peter,

        Does it mean that if I want the visitor of the page to enter his or her address and get a free piece of content, then the landing page should be rather short?

        Thanks

        Dmitri

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