Landing Page Fundamentals for Product People
A landing page helps people understand what your product does and why someone should care about it. People of the internet have been building landing pages for a while now and have established a pattern that works. Don’t deviate from this pattern unless you have a good reason. Save the fancy stuff for the rest of your marketing efforts.
A Helpful Headline #
Imagine a five-year-old finds your product and asks you what it is. Your response should help the child understand what your product does and who it’s for. Prioritize clarity and brevity.
People don’t read much online. Typically, they just want information quickly. They look at stuff that is either new, unusual or helpful. New gets old. Unusual can be good if it works. Helpful is a solid bet. Use your headline to tell people how your product helps them.
Defining who your product is for in your headline is also a good way to filter out people you cannot help. You only want interested people to continue reading. Avoid getting people to read stuff only to discover that it doesn’t apply to them at the end.
A Supporting Byline #
Our hypothetical five-year-old understands what your product does, now explain how it does it in ten words or less.
The Core Problem #
Imagine the five-year-old challenges you and asks you why someone would need your product. You must highlight the core problem it solves.
Our brains are fine-tuned to detect problems. A giant piece of cake on the sidewalk might get your attention but a tiger will stop you dead in your tracks.
When you have a specific problem, a specific group of people and a solution you can construct a trigger.
People: 5-year-old children
Problem: Being scared of the dark
Solution: A bedside lamp that projects a faint night sky onto their ceiling.
Trigger: We help kids enjoy going to bed by letting them explore the universe on their ceiling before they fall asleep.
When deployed well, a trigger will prompt someone to ask “What do you mean by that?” which actually means, “Tell me more”.
This idea of a trigger is taken from a book called The Brain Audit by Sean D'Souza. He says that the ‘kiss of death’ is when someone says ‘oh! that’s interesting’. What they are actually saying is ‘No thank you, I want to escape this awkward interaction now’.
If our five-year-old thinks your product is “interesting” then it’s game over. You’ve lost them. You need to start from the top and rework your trigger.
On the other hand, if her response is akin to “What do you mean by that?”, then it’s time to explain what your product can do for her.
What Your Product Can Do For Me #
One way to communicate the benefits of your product is to list out everything people resort to when they don’t have your product. Then outline all the problems with each of these alternatives. Finally, explain how and why your product is better. That’s what your product can do for me. Now pick your top three.
If you are still left with a bunch of features that describe your product and not its benefits, another solution is to add “which means that…” to the end of your feature sentences. For example: “Our products are only made with organic ingredients which means that they are good for you and they taste delicious”.
The Call To Action #
The child is excited. Now they want to get involved. What is the next step?
Your call to action button text should start with a verb and describe what will happen next ( Start trial, See pricing, Join waiting list). The button should be obvious twenty steps away from the screen.
The child’s parents just showed up. They are sceptical and want to know what is going on here. You need to back up your claims and disarm the most common objections with facts and specific data.
Objections are good by the way. They are an indicator of interest. Disinterested customers won’t object, they won’t ask questions, they just walk away. When someone engages with your product, that’s when they start asking questions. Objections mean engagement.
If the objection is valid and you can’t address it then they are not the right person for your product. Work on eliminating them well before they get to this stage. Be clearer about who your product is for in your headline.
Brainstorm all the possible objections to your thing and then address them one by one. If you can get someone else to address the objections for you, even better.
Testimonials always come sugar-coated. People can taste sugar. A good testimonial starts with scepticism. They describe the fear and uncertainty going through people’s heads when they first considered your product.
A reverse testimonial works because it speaks to us, in the way we speak to each other. When we’re recommending a restaurant, we intrinsically lace our recommendations with doubt.
The five questions you need to ask to get a powerful testimonial are:
- What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product initially?
- What happened as a result of buying this?
- What did you like most about the product?
- Would you recommend it? If so, why?
- Is there anything you’d like to add?
Once you link each objection to a testimonial, you can bring it home with a guarantee.
The Guarantee #
If you’re getting lots of complaints, it means your product isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. Complaints are valuable feedback. Listen to them so that you can fix the problem.
Generally, someone who complains wants you to improve. People who don’t care won’t complain but will leave anyway.
A guarantee lets people know that they can complain and something will happen. Refunds are an early warning system. Use them.
If you’d like to read more posts about conversion optimisation you can follow me on twitter @joshpitzalis.
This is post 3 in a series. The rest of the posts are listed here.
Almost everything I’ve shared was stolen from a book called The Brain Audit by Sean D'Souza. This is a very very good book. Read it.
I also stole a few ideas from one of Julian Shapiro’s excellent handbooks of knowledge. Specifically the landing page sectionin the growth marketing handbook. Also very very good, do yourself a favour and check it out.
Finally, there is a sprinkle of Neville Medhora’s Kopywriting Kourse. This one is a different fish compared to the first two, but it’s solid.