Did you see the interview with Madonna on 20/20 Friday night? I’ve always been a big Madonna fan (even dressed like her for Halloween one year in the ’80s), so I definitely watched it and wasn’t disappointed. There was a conversation about Lady Gaga’s Born This Way sounding a lot like Madonna’s Express Yourself. 20/20 interviewer Cynthia McFadden asked Madonna if she found it annoying. Madonna replied, “It felt reductive.” McFadden asked, “Is that good or bad?” Madonna replied, “Look it up.”
There are several definitions for reductive, but this is the one I’m going with for purposes of today’s article. Reductive is an adjective that means: Tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form, especially one viewed as crude. So is your landing page reductive?
Not sure what a landing page is? According to Wikipedia, a landing page, sometimes known as a lead capture page, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on an advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link. Landing pages are often linked to from social media, email campaigns or search engine marketing campaigns in order to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales leads.
So what should your landing page look like? You have an average of 8 seconds to capture the visitor’s attention. In bull riding, this seems like an eternity; but when it’s a visitor to your website, it feels like a blink of the eye! Here are a few key elements you want to follow.
- Your landing page needs to clearly show the visitor where they are. Whether you’re doing email marketing, social media promotion, advertisements or search engine marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your page, make sure your design and promotion match. You don’t want them to click a link, go to your landing page, and then wonder if they’re in the right place.
- Your offer needs to be clearly visible. Whether you’re selling a product, an event, or have a free offer, make sure your visitor can easily see it. And be sure to repeat the offer in your email, advertisement or promotion on your landing page.
- Be clear on what you want the visitor to do next. If you give them too many choices, then they will likely do nothing and you’ll have lost capturing their information. Repeat your call to action, if necessary.
- WOW your visitor! You want to make sure your landing page packs a punch, but too much written content will lose them. You need to find a balance between going over the top and being too reductive (i.e., simple, crude). Silverpop did a study of 150 landing pages and found that 36% of the pages surveyed used 100 words or less and 38% used between 100 and 250 words. That’s 75% of the landing pages surveyed using less than 250 words.
- Use headlines and sub-headlines to remind visitors what makes your offer awesome and outline the benefits to them. Headlines and sub-headlines capture the reader’s eye so use them to highlight text.
- Add video to your page, but be sure to not set it to start automatically. You never know where your visitor is standing when viewing your website, especially nowadays with mobile devices. And you never know how loud the speakers are — you don’t want to scare them out of their chair with a blaring video that suddenly, unexpectedly starts playing!
- Use pictures. When you use the right pictures, they not only break up the text but also entice the visitor to read more.
- Have a strong call to action. Be sure your opt-in form is easy and not over-complicated. Use as few fields as possible. The more information you request, the bigger the chance they won’t bother. Rather than using “Submit” use a stronger call to action like “Get it Now!” or “Send My Free Gift”.
Just because you’ve followed all the above tips doesn’t mean you’ve gotten the best landing page you can. Test, test, test. Your ideal market may be different from my ideal market. There’s no tried and true rule for everybody and every product. If something’s not working, make some changes. Test your colors. Test your graphics. Test your text. Find what works for you.
If you’re having problems with your landing page and need a change, give us a call! You want to make sure it’s not overly complicated or too reductive!