Gone are the days when you could have someone go to your website and enter their email address in exchange for your weekly newsletter (bribe) delivered to their inbox.

That strategy worked well in the early 2000s.

However times have changed and nowadays that strategy isn’t as effective when it comes to building your email list.

In fact it’s counter effective because traffic hitting your website can disperse in two ways; 1) They could hit ‘x’ and be gone forever (you could re-target them using Facebook ads but that’s a topic for another time) or 2) They could get distracted and never get around to signing up for your lead magnet.

But what if you could send them to a targeted landing page that grabs their attention within seconds and they feel excited to give you their prized email address (the email address has become a prized possession today; not easily obtainable).

Now that’s the magic you want to create for ALL your landing pages.

A point I want to make here is that if your landing page does not convey a good impression at the outset, then it doesn’t matter how valuable your opt-in offer is.

You.have.to.hook.’em.at.the.landing.page!

So how can you make a ‘good first impression’?

It’s not so much about the aesthetics as much as it’s about the flow.

Sure the colors and good design boost its conversion rate somewhat.

But the copy has to flow from the top all the way to the bottom of the page.

This blog post will dive into the ten essential elements for a highly converting landing page that serves as a gateway to your email list and ultimately future sales.

Essential Element # 1 – The Headline

The decision to opt-in for the free gift is made after reading the headline.

A poor headline can cost you your audience.

But done correctly however and the reader will stick around to read the rest of the copy on the page.

Now if you’re worried that your headline needs to be cute or witty please take a chill pill.

A good headline is specific, gets to the point quickly, tells the reader what she’ll get and is benefit laden.

A highly converting landing page headline may:

  • Ask a question
  • Promise a result (think quick win, pain free, less effort)
  • Hint a solution to the burning problem
  • Provide numbers or statistics
  • Provide social proof

Now of course, the headline doesn’t have to do and be all of the above.

The simplest way to get started in writing your landing page headline is to use this popular (yet fail proof) formula:

The how to headline formula.

“How to (achieve something specific)”.

Writing great headlines like with anything else takes practice and a strong pulse on your target audience.

Essential Element # 2: The subheadline

You don’t have to use a subheadline but if you were to then a subheadline can intensity your reader’s excitement and give them a bit more context.

Since headlines are concise and don’t leave a lot of room for explanation, that’s where the subheadline comes in and saves the day.

The job of the headline is to hook your audience.

The job of the subheadline is to reinforce that value proposition made in the headline and there are three ways it can do this:

  1. Provide the answer to a question based headline. For example “Do you want an engaged and a thriving email list?” (Headline). So the subheadline would be something like this: Grab the 60-point checklist that I use to build my profitable email list
  2. Used when the headline is short and a subheadline gives more context.
  3. Reiterate the benefits.
  4. Pair the word ‘FREE’ next to your opt-in
  5. Answer any objections that are raised when one reads the headline with adding something like this; “even if you are just starting out

Essential Element # 3: Landing Page Copy

This is where the rubber meets the road.

It’s the quintessential meat and potatoes of your landing page.

If you’ve got the reader’s attention so far congratulations.

When she gets to this section of the page, your copy must captivate her and compel her to click on the call to action button which I’ll get to later in this post.

Here are the key elements for creating landing page copy that converts:

  • Create a list of bullet points that focus on how the lead magnet solves the problem and the benefits to your subscriber.
  • Use the “so you can” phrase to highlight why your reader needs to solve the problem. For example; “learn how to do ‘X’ so that you can make/save/gain/achieve such and such benefit.
  • Tell your prospects exactly what they’ll get when they enter their email.
  • Don’t talk about the features of the lead magnet
  • Stick to 3-5 bullet points.
  • You don’t have to use bullet points in your landing page but they are easy to scan and make an informed decision.

Essential Element # 4: Visuals

An eye-catching visual of your lead magnet or a relevant image boosts conversion rates.

People like to see visuals and a good design. The image used can be a mockup of the lead magnet or relevant to it.

Ensure that the landing page isn’t text, font heavy or color heavy. You can never go wrong with a white background and black text.

Essential Element # 5: The opt-in form

When it comes to opt-in forms just keep it simple.

The only two fields you need are the name (subscriber’s) and their email address.

For most coaches and consultants these are the only two fields required to get subscribers; asking for a phone number or a mailing address is a no no and a complete turn off.  

Remember to include a privacy statement in your opt-in form letting people know that you won’t spam them and/or sell their information to third party networks.

Essential Element # 6: Call to Action

Your call to action on the landing page is a clickable button that triggers the opt-in form prompting the reader to enter her information.

Two things that help your call to action button be effective; #1 it must be of a contrasting color to the background of the landing page and #2 the choice of words on this button.

In fact you need to be intentional about the words you use because you want the reader to take action a.k.a sign up for your lead magnet.

Some examples of effective calls to action words:

  • ‘I want more clients’
  • ‘I want more website traffic’
  • ‘Multiply my sales’
  • ‘I want sales on autopilot’
  • ‘Yes, please’
  • ‘Send me my free checklist’
  • ‘Sign up for instant access’

Essential Element # 7: Social Proof or Testimonial

How do you inspire trust in your target audience? You relieve their fears, doubts and skepticism by providing social proof or testimonials.

If someone’s used your lead magnet and gotten results with it, capture their testimonial on the landing page.

For extra credit, add their picture too next to their testimonial.

If you have over a thousand readers subscribe to your blog post, then include that number on your landing page.

Adding anywhere from 1-3 testimonials will boost your landing page conversion rates.

Essential Element # 8: Mobile Friendly

I recommend using LeadPages for creating your landing pages (I am not an affiliate for them).

LeadPages has several landing page templates that are easy to build using their drag and drop functionality.

Chances are a lot of your target audience will view your landing page on their smartphones or tablets. So it’s crucial that the landing page is mobile friendly and can be read easily as well as enter the information on the opt-in form.

Essential Element # 9: An about you section

You don’t have to include a blurb about you or a picture even but I believe it’s a big credibility booster.

People like to see the face behind the name. Especially if you are targeting cold traffic.

Here’s your opportunity to share why you created the lead magnet (keep it short) and how this resource will help your audience.

Placement for your picture plus a short bio is ideal if at bottom left or right on the page.

Essential Element # 10:

Eliminate all distractions.

Anything that comes in the way of the audience taking the desired action (clicking on the call to action button) is best removed.

Don’t include links to:

  • Your website
  • Your social media handles
  • Sidebars
  • Footers
  • Other people’s websites (if using testimonials)

The only link your reader needs to see click on is the CTA button for your lead magnet.

Conclusion

A targeted landing page works is essential if you want to direct your traffic and convert it into subscribers.

A well created landing page has a flow to it and can capture a reader’s attention long enough for her to part with her email address.

Now over to you, which of these 10 elements does your landing page have? Bonus points if you have them all.

I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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