$7,475 in 10 Minutes: 8 Must-Know Tips for Great Landing Pages

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landing pages

Last week I published a landing page for my Private Coaching (now closed).

Once it was live, I emailed my subscribers (I love all of you) and in around 10 minutes sold all five places for a total of $7,475. Seems like a lot of money at first, but when you factor in the hours the go into coaching five bloggers for two months it starts to seem more reasonable.

But the point is that the landing page did its job. It worked.

In this post I’m going to show you why I think it was so successful, as well as giving you examples of some of the best landing pages that I’ve ever seen.

My goal is to give you an article that you bookmark and open up every time you want to remind yourself how to make a great new landing page.

Let’s go!

What exactly is a landing page? Do I need one?

A lot of people might think that a landing page is something reserved for e-commerce sites, or blogs that have a product to sell.

Not true.

In fact, every single blog on Earth should have at least one great landing page: the one that promotes your mailing list.

You see, a landing page is just a specific page that you use to promote something.

It might be a product, an affiliate or it might just be a rant about why people should sign up to your weekly newsletter.

We all need to learn how to craft great landing pages because it’s something that we will all use at some point in our online careers.

Tips for making great landing pages

Here are a list of tips that I’ve learned over the years.

Keep in mind that I have built a lot of really, really shitty landing pages that performed miserably. I like to romanticise this process and say that it’s all part of getting good at it.

But, if I can save you that time and trouble with this post I’ll be very happy.

1. A landing page is only as good as its product

It’s really important to remember that you’ll only have a successful landing page if you have a good quality offer at the end of it.

Sure, an excellent landing page will still sell crappy product, but you’ll end up with a lot of refunds and bad reviews. And that’s not what we want.

Before you get too deep into landing page design and conversions you want to make sure that the thing you’re offering is something that people want – or something that you can convince people that they need. This means a lot of research and understanding before you launch.

2. A great landing page has lots of social proof

One of the reasons you see big marketers running BETA versions of their products is because it gives them a chance to get testimonials and endorsements while sorting out bugs.

A good landing page should completely remove any fear that a potential customer has by showing them that other people have already bought the product and really enjoyed it.

If you have a look at OptinSkin by Glen Allsopp you’ll notice that there is a huge percentage of the page devoted to endorsements and testimonials.

twitter landing pages

A lot of people say that using Tweets as testimonials is a good idea because there is less chance that they have been faked. The above screenshot is only about half of the Tweets that they use on their landing page.

3. An endorsement is better than a testimonial

Having someone well known endorse your product is, in my opinion, a lot more powerful than just testimonials from people that may or may not be faked.

On my About page I have the following endorsement from Glen:

viperchill

I’m mates with Glen so I can’t tell whether he’s taking the piss or not but either way it has had a positive effects on sign ups. I have it sitting right above the opt-in form on that page and, I think, this has the effect of reducing the fear associated with sharing your email with someone.

Something I wanted to add here is that most of these “famous” guys and girls are really picky about handing out endorsements. I talk to Glen almost every day and still felt a bit nervous/dirty asking him to give me one.

I’ve even heard Shoemoney state that he never does anything unless he’s met the marketer in person. But as I talk about all the time it’s a really good idea to make friends.

4. The story and the fears outweigh the features and the specs

Something that took me a long time to learn is that the story always sells more than the specs.

This is something that Demian Farnworth calls a ‘promise’.

Most of us would have heard of the marketing adage: focus on the benefits, not the features. This is exactly what we are talking about here.

Instead of telling people that your eBook is 137 pages long with HD photos you should tell them that they can finally stop worrying at night about when the next bill is going to arrive.

Your landing page should relate to the customer by describing the common fears that we all have and then showing how your product can solve those fears.

Storytelling always wins.

When I wrote the copy for my Private Coaching landing page I spent a lot of time revising it to talk less about what customers would get and more about the problems that I would help them overcome like not knowing what key words to target, fiddling endlessly with their blog’s layout and so on.

5. Testing will make you more money

It’s a steep learning curve for some but it is so important to get into the habit of testing your sales pages. Even the weirdest, smallest little details can make a huge difference. Here’s a quick overview of the difference between a multivariate test and an A/B test to start with.

Some of the simple but relevant things you could test include:

  • Headers and titles
    Do your headers and intro texts have an impact on end sales?
  • Button colors and text
    If you change your red ‘Buy Now’ button to a green ‘Add to Cart’ do you get more sales?
  • Length of page
    What about if you have a super short landing page with a video? Does that convert better than the traditional one-column long form letter?
  • Photos and images
    A lot of people have seen big results by changing the main photo on a sales page. Check out this case study about faces on landing pages.

The best place to get started with split testing and the like is with Visual Website Optimizer. They have a really simple set up that allows you to do multivariate testing, A/B testing and so on.

The really interesting thing about this is that the results often make no sense at all. You’ll scratch your head wondering why it’s working. That’s why it’s so important – because you likely would never have known to do it based on all the conversion information out there.

6. $97 or $197? Free trial or monthly payments?

One of the hardest things about landing pages is the pricing and payment arrangements.

It can drive you nuts.

And it’s one of those situations where you might change the price by a few dollars and see conversions go through the roof because of some perceived value that you really didn’t think about.

Neil Patel talks about testing a free trial vs a money back guarantee and comes up with some really interesting results.

The thing about pricing is that it is based not only on your target audience (banker or student?) and your product (Ferrari or ball point pen) but also the impact that numbers and pricing can have on the sales process itself. As mentioned, sometimes the most random number changes can have dramatic effects on how people perceive the value of your offering.

So what do you do?

Test.

7. Colors, branding and drawing the eye downwards

The best landing pages are a professionally designed mix of perfect colors, messaging and a layout that draws the eye downward towards the check out area.

landing page Kiss Metrics

The KISSmetrics homepage is perfect.

Everything on the page is designed to get your attention towards the one action that they want you to take. Notice how the guy is even looking at the opt-in form. This is one of the most cohesive and effect landing pages that I’ve seen.

And it’s insanely simple.

8. Build up to the event, create scarcity and pre-sell the page

When you look at people who have really successful launches you notice that they always drum up excitement before the event and then pre-sell the landing page.

Before anyone even sees the darn thing there is a buzz in the air!

This is a perfect scenario.

It is especially powerful when there is some scarcity involved.

When I opened up Private Coaching I dropped hints for about a week beforehand. I then made sure that when I emailed my list I emphasized the fact that I would only be taking on five participants and that it was a first come, first serve kind of deal.

Here’s the actual email if you missed it:

landing page email

This turned out to be extremely effective for pre-selling the landing page and I think it had a lot to do with why the purchases happened so quickly. Some of the participants purchased so quickly that there was no way they had time to read through all the copy!

Here’s an interesting read from the Harvard Business Review about scarcity. Note that I’m not at all a fan of creating fake scarcity which seems to be what a lot of people do online.

The best landing pages from around the web

I really like to finish off these types of posts by pointing you towards some people/companies who actually know what they’re doing.

Here are a few landing pages that I borrow and learn from all the time.

1. Copyblogger – drawing the eye down and fear of missing out

You know that Copyblogger’s landing page is going to be good when they teaching courses on landing pages and sell products that make them for you!

copyblogger landing page

This is the perfect example of drawing the eye downwards and reducing the friction that is created when you ask someone to subscribe. You’re also hit with the painful idea that you might get left behind if you don’t sign up.

Awesomely done.

2. Smart Podcast Player – live demo and ultra-strong branding

This beautiful plugin is the latest creation from Pat Flynn – and it’s awesome. I finally got my copy this week and although I haven’t put it in place on Blog Tyrant yet I’ve seen it around the place and know how sexy it is.

smart podcast

The landing page is no different.

You have scarcity as well as a tightly branded design that shows off the plugin in real-time. This is one of the best tech-based landing pages I’ve ever seen.

3. HelloBar – breaking all the rules with testing

I almost wasn’t going to include this one because it goes against most of the good advice that you get given about landing pages. But given that I know Neil Patel is behind their attitude to testing and tweaking, I know this thing is converting well.

hellobar

All you get is a place to enter your website details.

That’s it.

It then very smoothly takes you through the set up process and before you even know whether you’re interested or not, you’re being shown a live demo of this beautiful little widget for your website. This is a truly great landing page.

4. Crazy Egg – single call to action and endorsements

Another Neil Patel creation, this landing page is super simple and is centered around the ideas of social proof and a single call to action.

crazy egg landing page

It simply tells you to get started on receiving your free map and then shows you some massive clients like Hilton, Dell, Intel, Yahoo, Ebay and so on. The effect is very powerful – you can use the same software that these hugely successful companies use.

5. BlueHost – human faces and reducing anxiety

As an affiliate partner of BlueHost I know that when the right traffic hits their homepage they can sell very well.

blue host landing page

The new design that they launched this year is a huge improvement – faces looking at the conversion area, discount pricing, money back guarantees and a huge amount of social proof.

This is really one of the best examples you’ll see of a landing page that reduces anxiety for potential customers through a variety of means.

6. Unbounce – jargon-free with case studies and social proof

The Unbounce landing page better be awesome given that their whole business is about conversions!

unbounce landing pages

The first thing you notice is how they are simplifying the language to really appeal to their target market – marketers as opposed to tech people.

They then do an excellent job of interspersing testimonials and endorsements (really strong ones) with the features that you inevitably need to know about when looking at a feature-heavy service that might seem complicated.

A very solid landing page that a lot of money and testing would have gone into.

Have you seen a great landing page?

The topic of landing pages can go on and on – there was no way I could cover it all in one post. I hope it gave you some nice ideas and guidelines. If you’ve ever built a great landing page or seen one around the place I’d love to know about it. Please leave me a comment below.

Top image Β© Pressureua.

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46 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Shaun

    Well done mate, completely worth it for those who opted in.

    A solid opt in page is definitely a must, but I’d hazard a guess that you could have done it with less given how engaged your audience already is πŸ˜‰


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Shuan! How are ya?

      Yeah, I tried to get that point across in the article a little bit – the traffic and positioning is so important. It’s also a bit more touch and go when it’s a high priced product.


      1. Shaun

        Good mate, keen to catch up for lunch. Be in touch soon!


        1. Ramsay

          No worries. Give us a bell next month or beyond. This one is brutal.


  • Noah @The Non-Accountant

    I personally think that the reason why you sold out so fast wasn’t due to your landing page but was due to your honesty on this blog and due to the fans you’ve grown on this site.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Noah.

      Thanks for sharing. I would normally agree with you except for the fact that I’ve run similar promotions on here before that totally flopped. The landing page has made a huge difference.

      Thanks for sharing.


  • Matt

    Thanks for the article Ramsay, it’ll definitely come in useful once my product is finished.

    I recently discovered this landing page on Twitter that looks like it’s converting pretty well:

    http://weeklydesigngrind.com/special/


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Mat..

      Interesting. Looks good. Not a huge fan of the Times font though.

      Thanks for sharing!


  • curt rice

    glad to hear the coaching offer worked out so well for you. the landing page stuff here is interesting, and unbounce and opinskin both look great. i’ve recently re-launched and it’s interesting to realize that one kind of stat has been greatly improved, namely bounce rate, which is now under 2%, but sign up has been non-existent, suggesting that my landing page is a waste. thing is, i so dislike getting email that i can’t quite bring myself to threaten others with it. on the other hand, 20k viewers a month should probably be monetized somehow, i just haven’t seen the route yet. i hate pop-up sign-up things myself, even though i’ll confess that every once in a while, i take the plunge. love to hear suggestions from others on this. should i just drop the sign-up thing i have at curt-rice.com, or make it different? thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Mate, if you made that area where you have the spinning top article current and opt-in form you would get sign ups like crazy. Site is looking beautiful. I’d personally lose the three categories from the top and focus on a Start Here or explainer page so people know where to go.


      1. curt rice

        Thanks, Ramsey. Chewing …


        1. Ramsay

          No worries Cert. πŸ˜‰


  • Diana Marinova

    Great post, Ramsey – as usual! I took your advise and bookmarked the post πŸ™‚

    I would love to hear more on the topic of photos… Yes, i clicked through to the links you supplied but i want to hear what YOU think. I was kinda surprised by the photo you chose to include in your coaching landing page – it’s somewhat smirking (vs smiling) – don’t you think?

    I remember reading recently that a smiling face and showing your hands (however that’s possible) predisposes trust. Glad your coaching landing page worked so well for you – go coach now! And i hope you won’t forget to blog here, too! πŸ˜‰


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting – that’s just kind of how I smile. Ha ha.


      1. Diana Marinova

        oh, yeah? my bad then! I picture you more of a teeth-out-smile of guy hahaha. I will Google you thoroughly to see is this REALLY how you smile πŸ˜‰


        1. Ramsay

          I had REALLY bad teeth as a kid. Got them fixed but still tend to smile like I’m hiding them. πŸ˜€


  • Michael Gorman

    It is staggering how much these small elements contribute to conversions Ramsay, the old school marketers had it down – at least the direct response people- very interesting. For sure you have a solid reputation and a big following, deserved, but I know you are right about your page. People are influenced by so many factors, I continue to learn and experiment. What do you think about ‘Lead Pages’ – they seem to be very popular with marketers?


    1. Ramsay

      Lead Pages is awesome! No two ways about it.

      I don’t know if you saw my post with Marina but she used Lead Pages to awesome success. Here it is: http://www.blogtyrant.com/how-to-launch-a-blog/


  • chris

    Learned a lot but disagree on the CrazyEgg landing page – because it’s a con. Look, I think Neil creates great posts and products but the landing page tells you that by entering your web site that you’ll instantly see a heat map of the site. (We know that heat maps are only created after page scripts are added and data is logged.)

    Instead, the visitor is presented with a screenshot of their web site with random heatmap images changing over it. Then, they see that only by entering their email and creating password (and added stuff to their site) that they have any chance of seeing a heatmap for their site.


    1. Ramsay

      Con is a very strong word. But you’re right, that seems a little dishonest. I’m going to ask him about it.


  • Kulwant

    Ramsay, this was an insane guide as usual.

    Making landing page is a complete science which you learn only after too many hits and trials. I have seen that few landing pages are so converting that usually we fill them without even thinking for few seconds.

    Your tips are going to help me to make my landing page for the first premium course on my blog.

    Thanks. πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate! Glad you enjoyed it.


  • Salman Ravoof

    Is a landing page necessary for a personal blog too?

    What are the things that we can include in it so that it doesn’t sound too “markety”? Isn’t a call to action in the sidebar enough?

    I mean, we all love to have more readers and a huge list of subscribers, but a personal blog is something that you do out of passion.

    This post has partially changed my mind, but I’m still thinking it over.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Salman.

      Perhaps think of the landing page as where you “sell” your story. It’s also where you clearly explain to readers what they are going to get from your blog. So from that point of view it’s actually a really nice thing to do for them.


  • Tia Kelly

    Great tips & examples Ramsay! Plus thanks for including Unbounce πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for stopping by after all the banana stuff! πŸ™‚


  • Michaela Clark

    As one of the lucky 5 private coaching clients I can say these landing page tips work!!


    1. Ramsay

      Ha. Thanks.

      As your coach, get a Gravatar!


  • Andrew Park

    Yep, great post. Really like the point about downplaying the specs–very tempting to put the feature set bullet points front and center but if readers aren’t feeling a real connection to what they’re seeing and their own needs…it’s basically just a wall of text they’ll ignore and be more likely to use as a jumping-off point to someone else’s website.


    1. Ramsay

      Yep. Well said. Glad you enjoyed the post!


  • Tim

    Hi Ramsay,

    Greetings from Guatemala – and good job!

    Quick Question: What was your subject line for the Private Coaching email?

    I didn’t get it for some reason.

    Thanks!

    Tim Magee


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Tim.

      The subject was “Announcement: Let’s grow your blog… together.”

      I’ve heard a few people saying that lately about emails from AWeber. Not sure what to do about it, actually.


  • Rodney Robinson

    As usual reat post, Ramsay. Something to experiment with for my landing pages! Thanks again.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Rodney. Do let us know how it goes.


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Ramsay,

    Amen to #3 and congrats on getting Glen’s endorsement!

    Just today, Chris Brogan, New York Times Best Selling Author and Business Advisor to moguls like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins and also Google, and Disney, well, he tweet-endorsed my eBook for a 2nd time.

    I was beyond honored. I mean, he endorsed the first 2 eBooks in my series and when you think about it, I was able to create something inspiring, but like GA said about you, I honestly, and genuinely, do my best to build authentic connections with the pros of the world.

    Get these endorsements from power brokers on your landing page and blog you’re golden.

    As you may imagine it hurts not to have Chris endorse my first 2 eBooks because if the guy has Richard Branson signing his praises, I gotta be doing something right πŸ˜‰

    Dead on advice here Ramsay. Keep on tweaking and testing, work smart, and help folks, to score powerful endorsements and of course, as noted, make sure your product rocks to make the greatest impact.

    Thanks much Ramsay πŸ™‚

    Tweeting soon.

    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      Nice work!

      Chris is a really nice guy too. I remember reading something he wrote about his depression a few years ago and became an instant fan. Never knew he advised those guys, though. Pretty cool.

      Thanks for the great comment.


  • Zack Lim

    Hi Ramsay,

    Thank you for this great post.

    I totally agree with your point number 5: Testing will make you more money

    It still amazes me on how a little changes like changing colour of the headlines or changing the fonts on the text will affects the conversion of the landing page.

    For me personally, I like to create at least 2 different versions of the squeeze page and I will put them on rotator so that I can split the traffic equally to the 2 squeeze page.

    Thanks again for sharing this blog post πŸ™‚

    Zack


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Zack! Awesome tip.


  • maxwell ivey

    Hello; I followed you here from a post by lorraine reguly where we were both mentioned. I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for a good way for a blind computer user and blogger to determine this. Or is it something that I would be better off hiring someone to do for me. Perhaps you could visit my site and give me some opinions. thanks for the post, max


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