Want to grow your email list?
The best way to do that is to drive traffic directly to your landing page. But how do you create one?
That’s exactly what we are going to discuss today…
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a web page that is designed with a single conversion goal in mind.
Today we are going to be talking about lead generation landing pages that are designed to persuade the potential customer to provide their email address.
There are three types of landing pages:
Short-Form Landing Pages
Short-form landing pages are also known as squeeze pages. They are characterized by being just one screen long and are used exclusively for lead generation.
This is the most basic type of landing page that includes these three key elements:
- A headline that conveys the value of your free offer.
- An opt-in form where the potential customer can type in their email address. It can be either shown immediately or displayed once the potential customer clicks the call-to-action button.
- A call-to-action button that encourages the potential customer to get your lead magnet.
You can also experiment with various additional elements such as a subheadline, a few sentences of copy, social proof, images, video, etc.
Medium-Length Landing Pages
Medium-length landing pages are longer landing pages that are several screens long and require scrolling to reach the bottom of the page. They are used as both lead generation pages and as sales pages.
They have all the key elements of a squeeze page as well as various additional elements.
However, when it comes to those additional elements, there’s just more of everything: more copy, more social proof, more images, etc.
Long-Form Landing Pages
Long-form landing pages are the longest landing pages and seemingly go on forever.
They are almost exclusively used as sales pages, the one exception being “FREE + Shipping” lead magnets where people can get a physical product for free if they cover the shipping costs.
They have the same elements as medium-length landing pages but there’s even more of everything.
This is especially true when it comes to copy because long-form landing pages typically feature several thousand words of text.
What Is the Value Ladder Sales Funnel?
Landing pages don’t exist in isolation.
They should always be viewed in the context of your overall sales funnel.
That’s why we recommend designing your sales funnel first – once you understand the big picture, it will be much easier to create landing pages that convert.
But there are several popular sales funnel models out there. Which one should you choose for your business?
We believe that the most effective way to sell anything online is the Value Ladder sales funnel.
It was created by our co-founder Russel Brunson who then used it to take ClickFunnels from zero to $10M+ in annual revenue in just one year (it’s at $100M+ now!).
This sales funnel has four stages:
- Bait. You offer the potential customer your lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
- Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product or service.
- Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and more valuable product or service.
- Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product or service.
Ideally, you also offer a continuity program of some sort, meaning, a subscription product that generates recurring revenue.
The reason why this sales funnel works so well is that it allows you to:
- Start the relationship with that person by offering free value.
- Nurture that relationship by continuing to provide free value via email.
- Build trust by providing progressively more paid value at each stage.
Here’s how Russel explains it:
If you want to learn more about growing your business with sales funnels, check out Russel’s best-selling book “DotCom Secrets”!
How to Build a Lead Generation Funnel For Your Business
The first stage of the Value Ladder sales funnel – the Bait stage – is also known as the lead generation funnel.
Here’s how it works:
- You create a lead magnet.
- You create a landing page for that lead magnet.
- You start driving traffic to that landing page.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these three steps:
Step #1: Create a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer to potential customers in exchange for their email address.
It can be anything that they can either download to their device or access online:
- A report.
- An ebook.
- A video class.
- A video course.
- An email course.
- A webinar.
What matters is that:
- Your lead magnet provides an effective solution to a problem that the potential customer is struggling with.
- That problem is either the same one or related to the one that your frontend offer addresses.
Ideally, you want your lead magnet to not only serve as bait but to also set the stage for the upcoming frontend offer pitch.
There are two ways to do that:
Free Sample Approach
You know how you sometimes see those free sample stalls in grocery stores where you can try some food item for free and then buy it if you like it?
You can use the same approach with your lead magnet. Say, if your frontend offer is a book, you can use a free chapter as a lead magnet. If the potential customer likes that free chapter, chances are they’ll be interested in buying the book.
Free Information -> Paid Tools Approach
Alternatively, you can give the potential customer the information that they need for free, then pitch them a tool that can help them implement what they learned.
For example, one of our lead magnets is an ebook called “The Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook” that outlines Russel’s top 22 sales funnels.
Once the potential customer downloads it, we pitch them our funnel building software ClickFunnels 2.0 which they can use to build sales funnels for their business.
Start With a Minimum Viable Lead Magnet!
Producing a high-quality lead magnet is a resource-intensive endeavor that can get expensive.
That’s why we don’t recommend going all out in terms of production value until you have validated your lead magnet idea.
Ultimately, what matters the most is the content, not the presentation, so it’s best to go the minimum viable product (MVP) route:
Create a lead magnet that offers high-quality content, put it in front of your dream customers, and see what happens.
If your lead magnet resonates with your target audience and people are giving you their email addresses, then you can start investing resources into increasing its production value.
Say, if your lead magnet is an ebook, just write the text and compile it into a PDF document. Then, if your ebook does well, you can hire an ebook designer to make it look good.
Or, if your lead magnet idea is a video course, film the first video with your smartphone and use it as a standalone lead magnet.
Then, if people are interested in it, you can film the rest of the videos with your smartphone.
Finally, if your free video course does well, you can hire video professionals to help you reshoot it and edit it so that it would look polished.
Just to be clear, the content of your lead magnet needs to be top-notch right from the get-go, but you should only invest the minimum viable amount of resources into its production value until you have validated that idea.
Step #2: Create a Landing Page For Your Lead Magnet
Okay, so now that you have your lead magnet, it’s time to create a landing page for it.
We recommend following the MVP approach with your landing page as well.
Start with a minimum viable landing page – a simple squeeze page – and use it to validate your lead magnet.
Once you know that your lead magnet resonates with your target audience, you can create a medium-length landing page for it and see if it converts better than the initial squeeze page.
We don’t recommend designing your landing page from scratch unless you have previous landing page design experience. Why?
Because online marketers have been relentlessly optimizing landing pages for at least two decades now.
At this point, we know what works and what doesn’t. Or, to be more precise, we know what’s most likely to work.
That’s why when it comes to the initial design of your landing page, it makes sense to follow the established landing page design best practices.
And the most straightforward way to ensure that your landing page complies with those best practices is to use a proven, high-converting landing page template.
Our software, ClickFunnels 2.0, includes a template library that features landing page templates for all of the most common use cases.
So why waste time reinventing the wheel when you can simply do what’s been proven to work?
The headline is the single most important copy element of your landing page. Why?
Because it’s your one and only opportunity to grab the potential customer’s attention.
If you succeed, they will feel inclined to read the rest of your landing page copy to learn more about your free offer.
If you fail, they will leave within seconds, probably to never come back.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a copywriting genius to come up with a compelling headline.
All you need to do is convey the value of your free offer. How will it make the potential customer’s life better? Emphasize that in your headline!
And if your free offer is self-explanatory, you can simply describe it in the headline, like we do in our “The Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook” landing page headline:
“Get My Top 22 Sales Funnels for FREE Inside of the NEW FUNNEL COOKBOOK!”
If the visitor wants to learn how to grow their business with sales funnels, this headline will surely get their attention!
And what about the rest of your landing page copy?
Arguably the most important copywriting principle that you need to understand is the distinction between features and benefits:
- A feature is a quality or a function of a product (e.g. “These shoes are waterproof!”).
- A benefit is the value the customer will derive from that product (e.g. “These shoes will keep your feet warm and dry!”).
No one buys waterproof shoes because they want to have waterproof shoes, people buy them because they want to keep their feet warm and dry in cold and wet environments.
And if you dig deeper, you will find that different people are motivated by different desires:
Some live in a rainy climate and want to get to work without getting soaked, others want to be able to play in puddles with their kids, yet others want to go hiking in the snow, etc.
So if you want to sell waterproof shoes, you need to understand the desire that drove that person to look for waterproof shoes in the first place and emphasize how buying waterproof shoes from you will help them to realize that desire.
This is what copywriters mean when they say “Features tell, benefits sell”. But what does any of this have to do with landing pages??
Your lead magnet might be free but you still have to “sell” it, meaning, you still have to persuade the potential customer to give you their email address in exchange for it.
So the same “Features tell, benefits sell” principle of persuasion applies to your landing page copy.
Identify the primary benefit of your lead magnet and emphasize it in your landing page copy. If you have enough space, introduce the additional benefits as well.
How will your lead magnet help the potential customer realize the desire that is driving them? Emphasize that!
Also, if you want to learn more about copywriting, we highly recommend Jim Edward’s book “Copywriting Secrets”.
It was designed to serve as a shortcut for busy entrepreneurs who want to learn copywriting FAST!
Your call-to-action (CTA) button should be:
- Of a color that contrasts with the overall color scheme of your landing page.
That will make your CTA button impossible to miss because the human eye is naturally drawn to page elements that are large and of a color that stands out.
As for the CTA button copy, we recommend using offer-specific copy (e.g. “Get Your FREE Ebook Now!”) as opposed to generic copy (e.g. “Subscribe”, “Sign Up”, “Download”, etc.).
The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” doesn’t really apply to landing pages because copywriting is what matters the most.
However, you can use your background image to support your landing page copy.
One way to go about it is to use an aspirational image that reminds the potential customer of what they are trying to achieve. You can find free photos on Unsplash.
This can help you evoke the right emotions that will then propel them into taking action (giving you their email address).
Another way to go about it is to use an image of yourself to lend credibility to your landing page copy. This will only work if you already have an established personal brand, though.
Example: “The Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook” Landing Page
Here’s a simple, yet high-converting squeeze page that we are using to promote our “The Funnel Hacker’s Cookbook” lead magnet:
Step #3: Start Driving Traffic to Your Lead Magnet Landing Page
Okay, so now that you have your lead magnet landing page, it’s time to start driving traffic to it.
We believe that the best way to do that is paid advertising because paid traffic is targeted, predictable, and scalable.
All major social media platforms allow you to run ads on them:
Choose the platform that makes the most sense for your business, create an ad campaign for promoting your lead magnet, and start running it with a small daily budget.
Once you figure out how to run ads profitably, you can begin scaling your campaign by gradually increasing its daily budget.
And once you have mastered running ads on that social media platform, you can start experimenting with other platforms using the same approach.
Use A/B Testing To Optimize Your Landing Page for Conversions
Once you have established the baseline conversion rate of your landing page, it’s time to start optimizing it with A/B testing.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the primary method that online marketers use to optimize web pages for conversions.
Here’s how it works:
- You create two variants of the same page: variant A and variant B. There should only be ONE difference between them (e.g. the headline). That’s the element that you are testing.
- You split your traffic into two and send half of it to variant A and the other half to variant B.
- You let the experiment run until it reaches statistical significance, evaluate the results and keep the winning variant.
Any software with an A/B testing functionality, such as ClickFunnels 2.0, will do the mathematical heavy lifting for you.
That being said, we still recommend reading up on A/B testing statistics, as that will help you with both experiment design and interpreting the results.
Also, in the online marketing world, A/B tests that yield incredible results get a lot of hype, but it’s important to not let that create unrealistic expectations.
The reality is that the majority of A/B tests that you run probably won’t yield any significant results and the ones that do will likely only produce tiny increases in the conversion rate, especially once you run out of low-hanging fruit.
However, those tiny conversion rate increases add up over time and can have a huge impact on your bottom line, especially in the long run. Moreover, if you keep running A/B tests, you will probably stumble upon a few big wins as well.
So go into A/B testing with the mindset of “Always Be Testing” and develop a habit of constantly running A/B tests.
What If Your Landing Page Isn’t Converting?
If you have implemented all the advice in this article and your landing page still isn’t converting, there are three possible explanations for that:
- Your free offer isn’t valuable enough. In that case, you need to scrap the whole thing, go back to the drawing board, and come up with something better.
- Your free offer is valuable enough but your landing page copy doesn’t convey that value. In that case, you need to improve your copy.
- Your free offer is valuable enough and your landing page copy does convey its value but you are driving low-quality traffic to your landing page.
In that case, you need to increase your traffic quality by improving the targeting of your marketing campaigns, specifically your ad targeting if you are using paid advertising to drive traffic to your landing page.
We recommend troubleshooting your landing page by examining these potential issues in the reverse order: first, look at your traffic, then at your copy, then at your free offer.
You might need to test several different lead magnets until you find one that resonates with your target audience. That’s completely normal.
So don’t feel disheartened if your first lead magnet falls flat. Keep experimenting and you’ll eventually come up with something that your dream customers want!
Build Landing Pages That CONVERT With ClickFunnels 2.0!
ClickFunnels 2.0 has everything that you need to create landing pages that convert:
- Proven landing page and sales funnel templates.
- Visual editor that you can use to customize those templates.
- A/B testing functionality that you can use to optimize your landing pages.
And we offer a free trial which means that you can check out our software without any risk!