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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

How to Craft Killer Website Landing Pages

Last week, FEI marketing guru Marka taught marketing greenhorn Lucy how to apply the 12 most persuasive words in advertising. This week, Marka gives Lucy some tips on writing better landing pages for FEI’s website. Remember, fire = print.

Several members of FEI’s marketing department—researchers, copywriters and designers—were gathered around Lucy, right outside Marka’s office. Distracted, Marka decided to see what all the hubbub was about.

“My neighbor got this in the mail from Flintstone’s Fire yesterday,” Lucy said, holding up a postcard for all to see. “It’s a postcard promoting a new two-for-one torches special. The postcard includes a QR code that recipients can scan to visit Flintstone’s website.”

“I still don’t get why it’s so interesting,” Marka interrupted.

“The QR code just goes to Flintstone’s website homepage,” Lucy explained. “The two-for-one special isn’t even mentioned there! Flintstone’s wasted $1,000 Drachmas on a promotion that probably just confused a lot of people. I doubt it did much to drive sales.”

Many of the junior marketers chuckled in agreement.

“Yikes,” Marka said. “That reminds me; this week, we’re scheduled to develop a postcard promotion to help drive sales for our new ZX-10 torch. We can put a QR code on our postcard too, but let’s be smarter than Flintstone’s was. The postcard will be just the first leg of a recipient’s journey toward placing an order. We need to send them to a customized landing page that helps complete the sale.”

“I admit I’m not a landing page expert,” Lucy said. “Enlighten me, please.”

“Coal, please,” Marka said, as she went to the whiteboard. “Let me give you three quick tips for writing a landing page that stands out.”

1) Make sure your landing page headline refers directly to where your visitor came from.

“Reference the postcard, and any offer it mentioned,” Marka explained. “Even mirror the postcard’s language as best as you can. If the postcard’s headline says ‘Discover how the ZX-10 Torch Can Help Your Business,’ our landing page headline might read: ‘How FEI’s New ZX-10 Torch Can Help Your Business.’
“We should provide a smooth, logical bridge between the postcard and the landing page,” Marka continued. “This will help ensure our prospects come along for the whole ride, from reading the postcard to placing an order.”

2) Provide a clear call to action.

“An obvious tip?” Marka asked rhetorically. “Perhaps. Essential for any landing page? You bet. I recommend using at least two calls to action on short (two to three paragraph) landing pages, and three to five for longer (four plus paragraphs) ones.

“Make sure each call to action is a clickable button—a simple link works, but you may want to create a special, colorful graphic that stands out. The call to action should be simple and unambiguous like, ‘Order the ZX-10 Now!’ not ‘Here is the ZX-10 Torch.’”

3) Stick to the point, and be crystal clear about what’s being offered.

“Keep your copy on point,” Marka advised. “Smoothly move prospects through the benefits of our ZX-10 torches, and address any buying objections specific to it. Don’t waste readers’ time by discussing ancillary products, or other less relevant topics. Then, provide an easy way to order.”

“This isn’t so hard!” Lucy exclaimed.

“Keep in mind that writing the copy is only half the battle,” Marka cautioned. “Let me give you some design tips before you run off to create the new landing page.”

FIRE! Point
Most promotions intended to drive traffic to your website—Google Adwords campaigns, broadcast emails, print marketing pieces with QR codes, etc.—should send prospects to a landing page written and designed specifically to move recipients closer to a sale. Some quick landing page tips: use copy that refers directly to where readers came from, provide a clear call to action, and stick to the point.

FIRE! in Action: Sales Landing Pages Wins Customers for Social Media Consultant
Toronto-based Jaime Almond created a series of sales landing pages aimed at getting people to attend her social media workshops. She sold out her first five workshops, generating more than 200 new customers.

Next week: Landing page design tips from Marka.

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