5 main pillars of a successful landing page

That's a terrific formula for optimizing your landing page. It looks daunting, let me break it down for you. If you hang in until the...


That's a terrific formula for optimizing your landing page. It looks daunting, let me break it down for you.

If you hang in until the end,  I"ll show you how this formula gives you insight into marketing on the internet that very few people understand.

First, I'll tell you that it's not arbitrary and not a guess. This formula was refined by http://marketingexperiments.com from over 10,000 trials. You can find lots of terrific information on their website. They're very well respected.

Ok, here's how to interpret it.
The formula helps you maximize the probability of getting a conversion - in other words, the likelihood that someone will take action on your page.


OK, how does this translate then?
The likelihood that your page will get someone to take action is a function of primarily:
m = the motivation of your visitors. This is why you have to be thoughtful about your traffic sources. If your visitors don't care, you won't convert.

This is why the great direct marketer Gary Halbert always said, if you have a hot dog stand and I have a hot dog stand and we're in competition with each other, the greatest advantage I can have over you...is a hungry crowd.

v = the clarity of your value proposition. Once they get to your site, they have to get right away - what they can do, and why they should do it on your site instead of the 10,000 other sites they could get to easily.

One more note on value proposition. Notice it's the clarity of the proposition not the cleverness. In fact, http://marketingexperiments.com has written articles on the importance of clarity and weakness of clever taglines or slogans. Here's a great one. Clarity Trumps Persuasion. I can't overstate the importance of speaking clearly.

And part of the clarity is an explicit direction to take action - "Click the button below to get your download instantly" or whatever is appropriate for your site.

i-f - i is the incentive and f is the friction. So there needs to be an incentive for them to act. And all the mailing lists, other offers, and images that aren't relevant are just distractions, other things to click on, that will reduce your conversion rate.

a - anxiety. You can see by the "-" that this is a negative. Visitor anxiety peaks right at your call-to-action (the button that says click or buy). You see guarantees and social proof near the call-to-action as a way to decrease visitor anxiety.

OK, here's the insight embedded in this formula.

Notice that the first three variables are all interrelated in a very specific way. They include: the motivation of your visitors, a clear presentation of something your visitors value, and an incentive that will make your visitors want to take action.

The big mistake most marketers on the internet make is thinking they can optimize the different parts independently. They ask, where can I get cheap traffic, what's a headline that really works, what's a great offer I can make.

You can see from the equation how you will be more successful with your landing page by thinking of all the parts of the equation as a marketing campaign.

Who is a hungry market that I can find and bring to my site, and what is the value proposition THEY would find attractive, and what is an offer THEY would jump at.

Rather than looking for someone who promises lots of traffic cheap, or who can write a great headline, or who can develop a great offer you can give away, look for a campaign that optimizes all those for one given group of visitors.

Here are two examples.

This first example is about as weak as you'll find, though there's a good reason for that.


It's Mozilla's Firefox home page. You'll see the page does just about everything wrong, if they mean to convert visitors.

m - The visitors are not hungry. Or rather they're hungry but not for the offer Mozilla is making. If I go to a search page, I'm driven to get results for whatever I'm curious about, not whatever Firefox is pitching.

v - Their value proposition is not clear at all, except for a particular group. "On November 10, Firefox is celebrating 10 years by stoking the embers of online independence. Sign up to fuel the fire."

Some of you will know what the means. Most of you won't. And even those who know what it means probably couldn't say exactly what they'll get by "fueling the fire". This is a great example of "cleverness" over "clarity.

i-f - Their incentive is very low (see above) and their friction is very high. First, because if I click that button, I'll be taken away from the search I came for, and I'll go down some path I'm uncertain of. Second, because there's a HUGE distraction, the big search bar which is why I really came to this page.

a- Anxiety is probably not terribly high. I'm not concerned about giving my email away.  I just don't know how how much I'll be sidetracked if I click the hyperlink they offer.

So, with all this stacked against the page, why are they running it? Because Firefox owns 19.6% of the browser market. And this page gets shown to anyone who comes to Google using the Firefox browser. So, even though the page certainly converts terribly, it gets a HUGE amount of traffic for free.

Here's a good converter. This is LeadPages Software - Mobile Responsive Landing Page Generator's highest converting page currently. Leadpages.net does nothing but design landing pages. And they have a very big user base that tests constantly. So whatever their hot page is, that's going to be effective.

Let's break it down.



This page is for a webinar. Webinars are very hot these days.

m - The target audience is probably the house lists for these guys. Their house lists (their own email databases) have deep trust for them (Clay Collins owns Leadpages and is an acknowledged guru). And you're not on their list unless you're trying to get your landing pages to convert. So the audience is super well qualified and very motivated.

v - The value proposition is actually a little implicit (rather than explicit). We'll tell you how to triple your leads. That's clear. And you have to know these guys to know you'll be getting better information that you would from most webinars.

Notice, the pitch is very clear. There are NO cute slogans anywhere to be seen. It's backed up by benefits statements that make it clearer. And, it has two call to action buttons that are very clear.

i-f - Incentive. Get your webinar. Friction is low because the visitors know these guys. You'd also find a long facebook comment section under the bottom call to action. They provide social proof right at the major point of commitment.

a - Anxiety is pretty darn low. Yeah, I have to give you my email address but I wouldn't be here if I wasn't already on your list. So you already have it. Even at that, they use a "2 step opt in" to lower anxiety.

The call-to-action button makes it look like you can  just click and get what you want without giving your email address (giving your email raises anxiety). When you click the button, though, you'll get a  form to enter your email address. But you've already made a commitment  by clicking the button once, so you're more likely to fill out the form. And, in fact, a 2 step opt in reliably increases conversion by something like 15%.

So, there are your pillars in action.  Go put them to use for your business.

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