10 Tips for Creating Landing Pages That Convert the Most Prospects Once you've attracted prospects to your website, you need a way to get them to pull the trigger and buy. These 10 tips help them do just that.

By Robert W. Bly

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly's book The Direct Mail Revolution: How to Create Profitable Direct Mail Campaigns in a Digital World. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound

Here are a few suggestions for sharpening up your landing page content to increase conversion rates:

1. Build credibility early

People have always been skeptical of advertising, and with the proliferation of spam and shady operators, they're even more skeptical of what they read online. Therefore, your landing-page copy must immediately overcome that skepticism.

One way to do that is to make sure you clearly display one or more credibility builders on the first screen visitors see. In the banner at the top of the page, use your logo and company name. Within or immediately under the banner, put a strong testimonial or three above the headline on the first screen. Consider adding a prehead or subhead that summarizes your company's mission statement or credentials.

2. Capture the email addresses of nonbuyers

There are a number of ways to capture the email addresses of visitors who come to your landing page but don't buy the product. One is to use a window offering a free report or online course in exchange for their email address. This window can be served to the visitor as a pop-up (it appears when the visitor arrives at the landing page) or a pop-under (a window that appears when the visitor attempts to leave the landing page without making an inquiry or purchase).

The problem with pop-ups and pop-unders is that if the user has a pop-up blocker installed on their browser, they won't ever see them. The solution is to use a floater—a window that slides onto the screen from the side or top. The floater is part of the website HTML code, so it's not stopped by the pop-up blocker.

Related: How This Direct-Mail Piece Packs a Small But Powerful Punch

3. Use lots of testimonials

Testimonials build credibility and overcome skepticism. If you invite customers to a live event, ask if they'd be willing to give you a brief testimonial on video. Have a professional videographer tape it, get a signed release from the customer, and post the testimonial on your landing page as streaming video.

For written testimonials, customers may suggest that you write what you want them to say and just run it by them for approval. Politely ask that they give you their opinion of your product in their own words. What they come up with will likely be more specific, believable, and detailed than your version.

4. Use lots of bullets

Highlight key features and benefits in a list of short, easy-to-read bulleted items. I often use a format where the first part of the bullet is the feature and after a dash comes the benefit. For example: "Quick-release adhesive system -- your graphics stay clean and don't stick together."

Online buyers like to think they're getting a lot for their money, so when you're selling a product directly from your landing page, be sure you cover all major features and important benefits in a comprehensive bullet list on the page. When generating leads by giving away white papers, use bullets to describe the contents of the paper and the benefits that information delivers can raise conversion rates for download requests.

5. Arouse curiosity in the headline

The headline should either arouse curiosity, make a powerful promise, or otherwise grab the reader's attention so they have no choice but to keep reading. The headline for a landing page selling a training program on how to become a professional property locator made a big promise: "Become a Property Locator Today --and Make $100,000 a Year in the Greatest Real Estate Career That Only a Few Insiders Know About."

6. Use a conversational copy style

Most corporate websites are unemotional and sterile, offering just "information." But a landing page is a letter from one human being to another. Make it sound that way. Even if your product is highly technical and you're selling it to techies, remember that they're still human and you can't sell something by boring people to death.

Related: The Secret to Getting Direct-Mail Prospects to Reply Immediately

7. Incorporate an emotional hook in the lead paragraph and headline

Logical selling can work, but tapping into the prospect's emotions is much stronger, especially when you correctly assess how the prospect feels about your product or the problem he needs solved.

8. Solve the reader's problem

Once you hook the reader with emotional copy dramatizing their problem or a powerful free offer, show how your product or free information can help solve that problem. For example: "Now there's a better, easier, and more effective solution to wobbly restaurant tables that can irritate customers and ruin their dining experience: Table Shox, the world's smallest shock absorber."

9. Make it timely and current

The more your online copy ties in with current events and news, the higher your response rates will be. This is especially critical when selling financial and investment information as well as regulatory compliance products in fields where laws and rules change frequently. Periodically update your landing page copy to reflect current business and economic conditions, challenges, and trends. This shows that your company's on top of what's happening in your industry.

10. Stress the money-back guarantee or lack of user commitment

If you allow customers to order products directly from the landing page, make sure you clearly state a money-back guarantee on that page. Your competitors probably offer strong money-back guarantees, so you must do the same. If your product is good and your copy accurate, your refund rates can be as low as 1 percent or less. If you're generating leads, stress that your offer -- whether a white paper, online demonstration, or webinar -- is free. Say there is no obligation to buy and no salesperson will visit.

Robert W. Bly

Author, Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

Robert W. Bly is an independent copywriter and marketing consultant with more than 35 years of experience in B2B and direct response marketing. He has worked with over 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Embraer Executive Jet, Intuit, Boardroom, Grumman and more. He is the author of 85 books, including The Marketing Plan Handbook (Entrepreneur Press 2015), and he currently writes regular columns for Target Marketing Magazine and The Direct Response Letter.

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