There’s the conception that writing is this zen thing that requires divine inspiration and aha moments. There are also opinions that writers should fuss and then test and then test some more in a never ending search for depth and emotional connection.
While those sentiments are true for some kind of writing, it isn’t absolutely necessary in all types of writing. You don’t need to go on a leisurely walk in the woods during a beautiful sunset to write an email or your resume.
A lot of the time, writing is merely to communicate, not to evoke emotions.
Landing page copy is one of those types of writing that just involves clear communication. Because you’re trying to convince someone to take action, you need to resonate with them and then write copy that will motivate them to buy from you.
David Ogilvy wrote an ad for Rolls Royce in the 60s and he spent three weeks searching for a tagline he could use for the ad. Now, there are some cases in which you need inspiration to write great taglines for ads, but for the majority of the time, you only need to put down your thoughts in a logical and clear manner.
When it comes to writing copy for landing pages there are different approaches you can take as there are quite a number of things you can use landing pages for. You can use landing pages to communicate a brand’s UVP (unique value proposition) and establish the things that a brand stands for.
You can also use landing pages to try to convince users to take the action you want them to—this is usually to get them to buy something from you. This type of copy is usually hundreds of words long and aims to persuade the reader to take an action, specifically that of making a purchase.
In this post, we’ll examine landing page copy, especially copy designed to convert the lead to a loyal customer.
What you should aim for when writing copy.
Because you’re trying to convince the user to buy your product or become part of your online community, your copy needs to:
- State the WIIFM (what’s in it for me)
- Resonate with the readers
- Sound humane
- Quell Objections before the readers even become aware of them
- Be simple and speak to the reader.
State the benefits
Thanks to the advent of the internet, customers these days are empowered , now more than ever before with information and that they need.
When customers come to buy from you, they already know what the solutions that they need, the features it should have, and a benchmark pricing. It becomes redundant when your marketing message tells them what they already know.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t mention the features or the other amazing aspects of your product. In fact, when you do mention your know features and the superpowers of your product, you show the customer that they are in the right place and that you know what you’re talking about.
What you should do, however, is to mention both the features and the benefits of your product. That way, you prove your expertise and you can convince customers to buy from you. You should emphasize the benefits of your product rather than its features.
Resonate with your readers
I don’t usually sign-up to most newsletters as most websites look as though they’re trying to sell me something without offering any real value. Some of these spammy sites that spook me begin to try to tell me to buy something without first showing that they understand my needs and are willing to commit to seeing that my needs are met.
On the other hand, quite a few businesses have impressed me with their marketing. By resonating with me and showing me that they really know my needs, I have excitedly put down my email address every single time.
With your marketing message, your aim should be to resonate with your audience by showing them that you understand their pain by writing copy that specifically addresses their pain points. You know you’ve done a good job of this when you get comments like “Wow! It was as though you read my mind!”
This is an extension of the section above. .Writing in a humane way sis one way to connect and resonate with your readers.
People love another person and would rather read stuff that sound human rather than something that sounds stiff.
When you’re writing copy for your landing page, you can do the following to make sure that you sound like a human:
- Write the way you speak.
- Use normal words, like the ones you’d use if you were talking to a ten-year old. For example, why use “convivial” if you can use “friendly?”
- Use short sentences.
- Break grammar rules if the writing still sounds good and natural.
- Be funny.
- Use first person.
- Use expressions you’d use in a normal conversation. “Seriously.” “I’m thinking…,” “Wait a second.” “It was crazy.” “Wow.” “It was pretty awesome.” “It’s like…”
This is one thing Jorden Makelle, founder of Creative revolters does really well. Her writing is just the way she would talk to a friend. It even contains the occasional F-word. Her work is so human.
If your copy sounds like a human wrote it, it will move humans. But if your copy sounds ‘robotic’, the only reader of your copy will be Google.
Quell the objections before your readers can even think about them
What is an objection you ask? Objections, or more properly, sales objections, are the things that the customer sees as barriers to making a purchase. Objections could be anything from “It’s too expensive” to “I don’t understand your product” to “I’ve heard complaints about your company”.
Many business owners are afraid of objections, or choose to ignore them because they secretly hope they’ll go away or hope (against all hope) that the customer won’t have any objections about their product or service. It rarely works out that way as customers will always have objections, no matter how sophisticated or simple your product is.
Objections aren’t entirely a bad thing as they indicate that the customer already has some interest in buying from you, doing whatever you want them to do. Objections are just simply doubts that need to quelled. You need to reassure your audience about whatever objections they may have about your product.
Because they’re hanging around (and objecting), they’re literally begging for you to convince them to buy. In fact, they’ll literally tell you all the reasons they don’t want to buy from you.
You only have to listen and reassure them.
So how do objections affect how you write copy for your landing page?
Quite simply, you should aim to find out all the objections potential customers may have about your product; you can do this by either asking them through surveys or by just looking at the common things your customers have problems with.
Then, you should address every one of those objections with the copy you write on your landing page.
Although customers don’t have the same objections, it is wise to address all of them on the landing page as there’s really no way for you to know which customer has which objection.
Address those objections!
Have you ever read a piece of writing, and somewhere along you come across a line and you reflexively say ‘huh?’ and then retrace your steps to reread the line? Yeah, that’s one case where intricately structured sentences or difficult words are undesirable.
In the battle for attention, you need to write clear uncomplicated copy to maintain the hold on your reader’s attention. The ‘huh’ factor is enough to send them running.
Your copy needs to be simple. As simple as you can make it, and then some more.
To write simply, there are many things that you can do, but there are a few things that stand out. For a start, you should only choose a simpler word. Use buy instead of purchase. Use simpler words whenever you can.
There is also something to be said for shorter sentences. Shorter sentences are easier to understand and grasp. There is no reason to write winding, convoluted sentences that can only bring about brain freeze.
Remember, the persuasive process should be seamless and two ways to do this is to use simpler words and shorter sentences.
How to write good landing page copy
Now that we’ve looked at the things that you should aim for with your landing page copy, we’ll proceed to examine the process of writing good copy for your landing page that persuades your reader to take the action that you want them to.
The steps are as follows
- Figure out your ideal customer
- Plan your message with your ideal customer
- Start with the goal and then work backwards
- Distill your UVP (unique value proposition)
- Address objections (again!)
- Add testimonials
- Edit to perfection
- Test, and then test some more
Figure out your ideal customer
Personalized marketing, that’s where it all starts. To ensure that your copy has the maximum impact, you need to be highly focused in who your landing page reaches.
No dilly dallying or floundering here.
Start with some demographics so you can understand the person you’re selling to. Is she in her 20s or 40s? Does he drive a family minivan or a super sleek sports car? Are they enjoying the single life or do they have boisterous kids? And that’s just demographics too.
You also need to consider things like psychographics (their personality, attitudes and lifestyle) , as well as their behavioral information (how they act as cus
You need to find out who your ideal audience is and try to get into their minds; what are they thinking of? What do they hope to achieve? How will they measure success? What keeps them up at night?
You cannot write effective copy without getting to know your customers. Whether through phone calls or surveys, take the time to truly understand your audience.
Only then can you write copy that persuades them to take action.
As B2B copywriter Roseta Rosenberg says, “you can’t “kitchen sink” your copy. Your product can’t be everything to all people”.
You need to be ultra-specific with who you want to target with your landing page.
Plan your message with your ideal customer
This next step is only an extension of the first step. After you determine who you want your message to reach, the next step would be to plan your copy and draw inspiration for the things that you want to write.
There are a few ways to do this.
You could call the existing customers and then ask them what they like to about your service or product and why they chose to use your services instead of another company’s.
You can also check online reviews for your own (or your competitor’s) to see what your customers are saying.
Another place you can go to for inspiration is Amazon. Amazon book reviews can be a surprising source of information for the copy that you want to write.
Writing winning copy is just basically joining the conversation in your customer’s mind and then showing them that you thoroughly understand their needs. Speak their language and their money is yours to infinity and beyond.
Start with the goal of the landing page and then work backwards
You need to first ask yourself, “what is the purpose of this landing page?” Do you want users to try a demo of your product, sign up for your e-newsletter or buy your online course?
Only after you’ve figured this out can you can then reverse engineer the plan and then work backwards, using the goal as a skeleton and then fleshing out your copy.
One advantage of working this way is that it helps you to eliminate clutter and make your copy very focused. You can remove every bit of information that doesn’t support your end goal.
Clarity goes a long way in making your copy more effective by reducing friction and distraction.
Clarify your UVP
UVP here means Unique Value Proposition and refers to the “clear statement of the benefit of your offer”.
Okay, UVP can also be called USP (Unique selling proposition).
Your UVP signals to your customers that your offering is worth their time and is the solution to their problems. A UVP typically contains a headline and a subhead followed by a short explanation of how your product works. You can use text, a combination of images, a short video, or a combination of text and images to communicate how your product works and how your product differentiates your from your competitors.
Trello, a project management software does this brilliantly.
With the headline, Trello communicates that with their software, you can work collaboratively and still get more done. This is followed by a subhead that gives a small summary of how the whole things works.
One thing that they include really makes this landing page work is the inclusion of an animated slider that illustrates how the software works.
Brilliant, just brilliant!
As Justin Rondeau, director of marketing at Digital Marketer says, “if you’re talking about your offering more than you’re talking about how it impacts the visitor, your conversions will suffer”
Like we have pointed out in an earlier section, customers will always have objections that will stand in the way of them making a purchase, and to make the persuasion process as simple and as straight-forward as possible.
Ideally you should anticipate all the objections that your prospects will have and then address every one of them as Linkedinfluence did with the ad for their training courses.
They addressed the following objections:
- LinkedIn is only for networking, not for finding jobs or getting business leads.\
- Facebook ads are more effective.
- Marketing on LinkedIn will take too much time
- I don’t have the budget to market myself of LinkedIn.
Or in another point in case, Smartblogger uses the FAQ section in their landing page to address objections in their course designed to help writers write more words per day.
They address the following pain points:
- What if I don’t want to give up my life for writing?
- What if I’m not writing full time?
- How do I know this system will work for me?
- I have a crazier life than most people
- I’m not a great writer yet.
And then Jon (I presume) says something along the lines of “ I have taken all the risk away’
He did a spectacular job of removing the barriers to buying the course that writers may have had.
After writing your seducing headline and writing immersive body copy, and quelled all the objections you can think of, your readers still ask “why should I believe you?’ “why should I buy from your company?” “Is your company trustworthy”
One way you can answer these questions and address this type of objections is to use social proof, or more specifically, testimonials.
Testimonials are a powerful way for you to increase your brand’s credibility. There is also an art to using testimonials too. You use testimonials to address objections.
When you’re asking your customers for testimonials, make sure to ask them why they hesitated to buy your product and how they feel about your product now that they’ve received it.
Ask them to outline specific ways that your product made their life better. This way, your testimonials kill two birds with one stone: increase your credibility and address objections.
The Two Effective Forms Of Social Proof
- Influential reference
In other words, you need one of two things.
- One reference from someone influential
- Proof of a massive, approving audience
getting ONE recommendation from someone known by everyone in your industry is like winning Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.
That recommendation is worth its weight in Bitcoin.
When using social proof, you either need an impressive volume to display (think 30k likes, 50k Twitter followers, 15k Instagram followers, etc.), or you need one highly influential name/brand to associate yourself with.
If you can get a direct recommendation, perfect!
If not, something
like this will work:
(*Image* tREELLO foornote)
If you don’t have
a big audience and you’ve never worked with any reputable brands, write guest
posts for popular publications in your industry. Then slap an “as seen in” tag
next to their logos on your site.
Edit and then edit some more
No one gets it right the first time, even Stephen King, hence, editing.
After you’ve written the copy for your website, you should edit and then edit some more, just for good measure.
The reader is elusive and only has an attention span of about 30 seconds. These days, there are so many things competing for a readers attention like the TV, email and their cell phones. Let’s not forget the most potent competitor; sleep.
To keep their attention, you need to achieve clarity and ease with your landing page copy.
Perhaps a sentence is so cluttered that the reader hacking through the verbiage and the muck you’ve created cannot make sense of it; perhaps the sentence has been poorly constructed and can be interpreted severally, perhaps the writer has switched tenses or pronouns mid-sentence and the reader is left bewildered and confused; perhaps the logical link hasn’t been provided and the reader cannot catch the flow of the piece.
There is always something you can to make your copy clearer, tighter and more efficient. Editing will help you achieve this.
The following are things you can do to make your copy better.
- Keep sentences short and keep to one idea per sentence
- Change long difficult words into short and simple words
We’ll explore these points in detail and then give examples so you can have a firm grasp on these tips.
Keep sentences short
The period is yours (and your audience’s) best friend. Sometimes, you need to just stop and give the reader a break. You also need to consider the length of your sentences. 2o words is usually long enough, but to give variety, you should vary the length of the previous sentence and the next sentence to give the kind of variety you would normally find in natural speech.
You are after all speaking to your audience. You should make it feel as natural as possible by introducing variety in your sentences and keeping them short.
Change long difficult words into short simple ones
Choosing the right word is one way you can make your writing that much better. When you’re editing your work, you should replace words that are complex with words that are easier to understand.
An airline pilot says he’s presently anticipating experiencing considerable precipitation; he doesn’t think to say “it might rain’. The first sentence is too simple—something ought to be wrong with it.
A university professor tells his students “we have been experiencing very considerable potentially explosive expressions of dissatisfaction on issues only partially related”. He meant to say that students had been hassling them about different things. But no. That would have been too simple.
Prefer the short word which is as good as thes long word: “assistance (help) “numerous” (many) “facilitate (ease), individual (man or woman) remainder (rest) initial (first) attempt (try) implement (do) ‘referred to as (called) and hundreds more that cannot be mentioned. The wrong words are weeds that will smother what you write and make your marketing message muddy and mucky.
Simplify your landing page copy and you risk increasing your conversions.
Closely related to choosing simpler words is weeding your writing. Your landing page copy needs to be clear so that your customers can easily make up their mind about buying your product.
Any words that do not contribute to your end goal as we’ve stated, you should enthusiastically uproot.
Nothing should stand in the way of making your copy effective.
One last tip
Nominalization occurs when a writer uses a weak noun equivalent when a stronger verb or adjective replacement is available. Like expletives, nominals usually introduce other unnecessary words when used.
Count the number of words in the before-and-after examples below, and you will witness how badly nominals weaken your writing:
- Give your post a proofread — Proofread your post (verb form)
- Alcohol is the cause of hangovers — Alcohol causes hangovers (verb form)
- The plane’s approach was met with the scramble of emergency crews — The plane approached and emergency crews scrambled. (verb form)
- He shows signs of carelessness — He is careless (adjective form)
- She has a high level of intensity — She is intense (adjective form)
Test your landing page
After you’ve written the copy for your landing page and you’ve gone over everything with a fine tooth comb, you should then test so that you can optimize it for maximum impact.
Testing will help you validate any assumptions you may have made and help you increase your conversions too.
Consider testing the following:
- Headlines and subheads: These contain the UVP and they need to tally with what the reader is already thinking. When DCFinder changed its headline from “Pinpoint and Eliminate Duplicate Content” to “Avoid Losing Rankings, Traffic and Money,” their click through rate increased by 68%
- CTA: Your call to action must be clear and logical. It should always be a logical extension of all the copy that you’ve wound up writing so far. Joanna Wiebe found that changing the button text had more impact than changing the headline.
- The amount of information: In a bid to be detailed, you may end up overwhelming your audience. You may sometimes need to reevaluate the amount of information that you publish on your landing page. For instance, By removing FAQs from their landing page, Assessment Day increased conversions by 62%.
- Trust elements: As we’ve established, lack of trust is a type of objection that can be handled in a particular way. By including social proof on your landing page, your conversions have the chance to increase as there are less barriers to buying from you. By simply moving around testimonials on his ebook landing page, Michael Aagaard increased conversions by 64.53%. Mess around with the placement of the testimonials on your landing page and you have a shot at increasing your conversions.
Now that you’ve had some tips on writing landing page copy, let’s proceed to show you how to format and ‘arrange’ your copy for the best results and highest conversion rates
How to format your copy so that it looks logical and appealing
When it comes to formatting your landing page copy, it all boils down to taste and common sense.
However, the following are just a few tips on properly formatting your landing page copy:
- Use bold fonts to separate the headlines from the subheads.
- Use lots of bullet points when you’re making lists.
- Use shorter quicker sharper sentences
- Use italics and bold fonts for emphasis.
- Use bolder fonts for subheads so the reader can scan and always have reference points in the copy.
How your landing page copy reads and looks is a crucial factor in conversion rate optimization. Even if your landing page is designed by the top designers in 99 designs, you still have to pay attention to your copy as that’s what is going to convince the reader to convert.
Write clearly and simply in a way that resonates with them. Remove any and all clutter that will hinder your message from being passed across smoothly.
Remember to speak to your audience or visitors like people and you will almost always get them to convert.
You can win your customers over. You only have to put some more thought into how you speak to them with your copy.