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How to Make Landing Pages That Don’t Really Suck

I recently attended a General Assembly online class on good landing page design. My instincts were that simpler was better and less was more; but I didn’t have backup to fight the good fight. Chris Catiglione () from General Assembly provided that, in spades. Here are my takeaways.

Any good landing page should do one thing and be two things. What you want it to do is work: That is, convert visitors whom you don’t know into customers whom you do know. What you want it to be is testable and flexible.

These baseline requirements imply a couple of things for marketers.  A landing page is not a sell sheet PDF converted to HTML with a form tacked on. All that text just isn’t going to be read by online visitors. And all those links to all the really important extra information we couldn’t fit on the standard 960px x infinity web page? They’ll encourage people to click off and forget about us. And since we’re saying everything about what we’re selling up front, there’s really no way to test which messages work, and which fall flat.

A good landing page has a single focused objective — telling the visitor why he or she should take the time to fill out the form. Instead of presenting every possible feature and benefit of the product, focus on one creating one really good value proposition.  Stick it in the headline, back it up, and tell the user what to do.

Square's Landing Page

Keeping it short, simple and strong takes more effort than copying and pasting from the sell sheet, but it’s my new mantra. Some other tips from @castig:

  • The call-to-action button should not simply say “Submit,” but should be the exciting action you want your customer to take.
  • It should be above the fold.
  • It should be a contrasting color.
  • The messaging — value proposition and call to action — should map back to the outbound marketing.  For example, if you’re targeting two different ads to two different LinkedIn groups, each should click through to a different page.  Another reason to keep things clean.
  • Shorter forms (having fewer fields) work better. Collect the least amount of information you can to do the business logic.

Let me know if you’ve seen any good landing pages lately. What makes you click?  Here’s one that got me:

Manpacks Landing Page