Your goal is to activate them. Here are some of the distinct characteristics of a landing page and why you would use one: Limited Navigation If someone comes to a landing page from a specific campaign then this means that you can hide many of the navigational elements, since this will just distract people from completing the goal you have decided on. Single Call To Action A landing page only needs one call to action for the same reason that you don’t need many navigational elements. A launch page is a landing page that you put up before your product is even public, and the goal is to collect email addresses of visitors so that you can inform them about your product when you do go live. Copywriting If you want people to take a certain action, and not bounce, then the words you use are more important than you realize. Different Audiences Will Respond to Different Kinds of Words Don’t just imitate someone else’s copywriting style. Twitter has one of the most talked about onboarding experiences because they carefully guide people from creating an account to using an account, and it’s all through the onboarding. If you want to activate visitors, making them take certain actions, then you must carefully craft your onboarding experience. You are getting a visitor to take a certain action, that action just happens to be making a purchase. There are a number of best practices around activating people to make a purchase.
Now you have visitors to your product, but that’s the problem. They are just visitors. You’ve found a way to get them to come to your product, but if this is all you do then they will bounce at an incredibly high rate. Your goal is to activate them. Activation is the act of getting them to take an action in your product that you are guiding them toward. Activation is not just the act of them clicking around randomly and not bouncing. Activation is when they do something that you’ve decided beforehand that they should do, something which furthers your goals. Here are some possible activation goals:
- Email address
- Create an account
- Read something
- Comment on something
- Share something
- Buy something
- Fill out something
- Watch something
- Interact with someone
- Friend request someone
Some of these activation goals may seem silly, while others seem relevant, but your particular goals will depend entirely upon your product. If your product is a blog that makes money from advertising then you may want to focus on numbers 1, 3, 4, or 5. If you have an email address then you can message them in the future about new articles. If they read what is already on your site they will see the quality of your journalism and want to read more. If they comment on an article then they will be more apt to come back, especially if others respond to them. If they share your article on Twitter then it will get you more readers. All of these goals lead to eyeballs that will make you more money with advertisers. A different product will have completely different goals.
It is also important to recognize that the fewer goals you have, the more likely you are to achieve them. If you have 5 activation goals then it’s difficult to use the tactics in this chapter to achieve any of them effectively. At a minimum, for a given section of your product you should have one primary activation goal.
When someone visits your website the use of a landing page can greatly increase your chances of activating them. A landing page is different than your homepage. It might have some of the same elements, but not all. A landing page is a page you create within your product that you can direct people toward for certain campaigns. For instance, if you are always tweeting about certain kinds of things from the company Twitter account then you might make your Twitter bio URL send them to a landing page that highlights those same topics. Here are some of the distinct characteristics of a landing page and why you would use one:
If someone comes to a landing page from a specific campaign then this means that you can hide many of the navigational elements, since this will just distract people from completing the goal you have decided on. They’ve already shown interest by being on a landing page in the first place, so you can focus their attention.
Single Call To Action
A landing page only needs one call to action for the same reason that you don’t need many navigational elements. If you give them options then you will lose them, and no one can end up on a landing page unless they came through a specific campaign, which means they are ripe for activation.
Since you know the source of a person that ends up on a particular landing page then you can tailor the experience for them. You should use language which will appeal to them, even if it doesn’t appeal to your visitors at large. The language, and even imagery, of your landing page should be congruous with their expectations based on the source they came from.
There is a specific kind of landing page which is becoming very popular, and it has some distinct characteristics, and that is the launch page, or coming soon page. A launch page is a landing page that you put up before your product is even public, and the goal is to collect email addresses of visitors so that you can inform them about your product when you do go live. Here are some things to understand about this kind of landing page:
Use it to Get Traffic, Not Just Activations
Before you actually launch is one of the best times to get traffic. You can tell people that they will be let into your product first if they share your launch page with others, or you can only let them sign up on your beta list if they tweet about you first. Get creative.
The Headline and Subhead is Everything
Since you haven’t launched yet you probably won’t have much detail to add to the launch page. This means that the headline and subhead become very important. If those few words don’t get someone’s attention then they will bounce.
Emotional Imagery is a Must
Besides the headline and subhead, you also need a very emotional image. A fullscreen background image is the common practice. Make them feel emotion, despite your lack of content.
Don’t Let the List Grow Cold
As you build a list of people that are interested in the launch of your product you must not let the list get cold. If you don’t email them for months, then suddenly tell them about your launch, your click through rate will be very low. Stay in touch with them through the process of building your product to keep them warm, or don’t even take email addresses until you are within a month (or less) of launch.
If you are trying to create landing pages quickly then you can use a service like unbounce.com, and if you are creating a launch page then you can use a service like Launchrock.
If you want people to take a certain action, and not bounce, then the…