The 10 Rules You Must Follow to Create an Effective Landing Page

From content to layout, your landing page needs to be seamless representation of your brand that demands action. Follow these 10 rules to ensure your landing page gets the results you want.

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The following excerpt is from Susan Gunelius’ book Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

Your landing pages should include an opt-in form for lead generation. To develop your landing pages, you need to understand how to create designs and content that make people want your lead magnet enough to submit your opt-in form to get it. To ensure the landing pages you create deliver the best results, follow the 10 rules of landing page design:

1. Stay laser-focused on a single, specific goal. Your landing page should have one specific goal: some type of action that you want visitors to take. For lead generation, this desired action is submitting the opt-in form on the page. Before you create your landing page, ask yourself what you want visitors who land on your page to do. That action should be the only thing you talk about on your page and the only thing visitors can do on your page.

2. Prioritize your messages with the most important information above the fold. Don’t make people scroll to learn what you’re offering and why it should matter to them. Your most important messages should be above the fold so there’s no chance visitors can miss them. Throughout the rest of your landing page, lead with your most powerful messages and use the remainder of your landing page to provide important supporting information. Be sure to repeat your powerful, action- oriented messages to keep visitors engaged as they read.

3. Write an irresistible headline. Use your landing page headline to answer the most important question in copywriting. This is the question that every prospect will ask when they arrive on your landing page: “What’s in it for me?” Be clear and succinct. Visitors should instantly understand that the information on the landing page addresses their problem or pain point and the solution they’ve been looking for is at their fingertips if they follow your call to action (such as submitting your opt-in form).

4. Provide specific benefits to your target audience. Consumers don’t care about brands or companies. They care about how brands and companies can help them or make their lives better or easier. With that in mind, your landing page should clearly highlight the benefits prospects will get when they access your lead magnet. Will they save time or money? Reduce their stress level or improve their peace of mind? Be able to acquire more customers of their own or make more money? Make sure they understand the benefits with no room for confusion.

5. Explain desirable features. What are the most desirable features of your lead magnet? Provide a bulleted list of features, such as a list of chapters for an ebook or the topics covered in a webinar. Benefits may sell, but features prove that the lead magnet can deliver those benefits.

6. Provide a clear call to action and repeat it. What do you want people to do when they visit your landing page? For lead generation, you most likely want them to submit your opt-in form and provide their email addresses. This call to action should be clear and obvious. That means it should appear above the fold and again at the bottom of your landing page (if it requires scrolling to view the entire page) at a minimum.

7. Include relevant images and videos. Images and videos add color and interest to your landing page, but they can also communicate important messages visually. Charts, icons, screenshots, ebook covers, presentation slides, images of your checklists, and so on can provide additional information, and they can pique visitors’ interest in your lead magnet and increase their trust and your conversion rate.

8. Use proper formatting for a focused user experience. There should be no distractions from your call to action on your landing page. So remove your website’s top navigation bar and any other irrelevant links, images, or text. Your design should use a single-column and a lot of white space to ensure your key messages are easy to see. Use bulleted lists, headings, and subheadings to guide visitors through your copy. Always include a hero image at the top of your landing pages. The image should be of your lead magnet if possible so visitors can see what they’ll get in exchange for their email addresses.

9. Offer social proof. One of the best ways to build trust with visitors is to include testimonials on your landing page. This type of social proof makes visitors feel confident that your lead magnet is valuable enough to provide their email addresses to you. If other people had success with your lead magnet, then visitors are more likely to think they’ll have success with it, too. As a result, they’re more likely to follow your call to action and submit your opt-in form.

10. Display an easy-to-complete opt-in form. It should be extremely easy for people to follow your call to action and opt into your email list from your landing page. To increase conversions, keep the form simple with as few fields as possible. Simply asking for an email address will yield the best results; your opt-in rate will decrease with each additional field you add.

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