Your site’s landing pages can make or break a sale. By following best practices and drawing inspiration from effective landing page examples, you can position your site for success. Through the use of persuasive copy, high-quality visuals, and strategic use of CTAs, trust signals, and lead capture elements, your landing pages can better convert site visitors.
What are landing pages used for?
In the purest sense of the term, a landing page is any page where a visitor can arrive, or 'land on." A more useful way to think of a landing page is as a web page that stands apart from the rest of your site, a page designed with a single, focused objective in mind.
A landing page guides visitors to conversion, whether it is buying a product, liking a video or a photo, commenting in a forum, or simply visiting more pages on your site.
The whole point of landing pages is to increase your conversion rates. A landing page has a single objective. That objective needs to be in alignment with the ad or the link that brought visitors to the landing page.
A landing page is not the same as a home page
Home pages are designed with a general purpose in mind. The objective of a home page is to get you to click on a link, but there will be many links from which site visitors can choose. Home pages are typically loaded with navigation to other parts of your site.
Landing pages aren't loaded with links. Putting too many links on your landing page dilutes the impact of your main message.
6 parts of every landing page
So, what goes into a landing page?
The landing page is the place to state your unique selling proposition. It's the place where you explain what makes your product or service different from the product or service offered by your competitors.
FedEx, for example, differentiates itself on the basis of reliability. "When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight."
M&Ms focuses on the product itself. "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand." Domino's Pizza attracts customers on the basis of convenience. "Delivered in 30 minutes or it's free.”
Southwest Airlines unique selling proposition is price. "We are the low-fare airline."
Your unique selling proposition is stated in a single sentence. It's concise. It's to the point. It should be the first thing people see on your landing page. It may also become the keyword for ad campaigns.
You have probably heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words." The hero shot on your landing page is how you create the imagery that sells your product, your service, or your idea.
A hero shot doesn't have to be a photo. It can be a video. It is preferable for the still photo that visitors click on to be a hero shot, leading to a video that features your product.
Don't use stock photos or stock videos. Make sure your hero shot features you or your product. Get the most professional photography or cinematography that you can. Never use an image that site visitors will recognize from other companies; the more unique the information and visuals you provide, the better.
Site visitors must trust you before they convert to customers or members. Trust indicators are not always stated in words.
For instance, if you are doing a landing page for a restaurant, a photo that shows customers lined up at the door is a better trust indicator than an indoor shot of mostly-empty tables. A Better Business Bureau logo, or wallpaper you make from a photo of delighted customers, or the right social widgets can all build trust.
Call to action
Every landing page needs a call to action, also known as a CTA. Your CTAs should call a reader’s attention, and entice them to make a purchase. Highlight your CTAs via color, or tone down other elements on the page to draw a user’s focus.
Lead capture elements
Capturing leads for future conversions involves persuading visitors to your landing page to fill out a form. For instance, you might want to capture a name, an email address, and some consumer information that you can use to match your offerings to potential customers.
To persuade site visitors to fill out a form you can capture them as a lead, you need a form that stands out from the rest of your landing page. The form should be in a box. It needs a different font or background color to distinguish it from the rest of your landing page.
And you should offer something in exchange for the information you capture with the lead. Offer site visitors who fill out the form a discount coupon, or early announcements of products they desire, or an eBook or a consultation with you. Make sure everyone who offers you a new lead is rewarded for their time.
A benefits statement provides additional impact
Benefits are the reasons the visitor to your landing page should click on the link and buy your product. Or buy two of your products. Or maybe three.
The benefits statement is not just a list of the features of your product, but rather tells your site visitors exactly the value your product or service provides.
For instance, if you were building a landing page for a pizza place, you would not say "Our pizzas have cheese and tomato sauce." You might as well point out that your pizzas are round. Or square.
Instead, you would state the benefits of your pizza place in terms of "piping hot in 20 minutes," or "every topping you could ever want."
Keep the list of benefits short enough that it is scannable. Between three and seven benefits is enough.
If you need more inspiration, check out our landing page templates to get started.
5 landing page examples
How do you put all the elements of a great landing page together? Here are some landing page design tips from five of the best landing pages.
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw Curiously Delicious Ice Cream Delivered Right to Your Door rewards lead capture with a subscription to their monthly newsletter with information about new flavor launches, special offers, coupons for partner shops, and 10% off the customer's first order. The visual on their landing page is simple, memorable, and yummy. It's scoops of ice cream flanked by rows of ripe summer berries.
Herb & Wood
The landing page for Herb & Wood Private Events uses advertising and off-page SEO to funnel traffic with one goal in mind: Their landing page seeks people who want to host a private event near their venue, which is in San Diego. A banner on the landing page announces "Herb & Wood is a stylish and versatile event space in San Diego." and the page offers visitors only one possible action, to click on the Private Events link.
REI Co Op
REI Coop uses a carousel of messages encouraging landing page visitors to "shop now," "shop now," and "to save 40%" they shop now, or to get a $25 gift card for shopping now. There is a link to the site for the nearest brick and mortar store, and there are links for 10 kinds of merchandise. But all of the featured links on the page lead to immediate shopping.
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital inspires monthly giving with the stories of the children it helps. Their landing page features a link to emotive stories of successful treatment of childhood cancer.
Philosophy features skincare products and fragrances. Its landing page is arranged so scanning the page gives two opportunities to shop, either for skincare products or for fragrances. If you are "just browsing," every time you scroll down, you see two more links to shopping.
Measuring the success of landing pages
There are three ways to measure success after building your landing page. Conversions, conversions, and also conversions.
The proof of good design in a landing page is the number of times page visitors navigate away from it only the one page—or the very few pages—where visitors make decisions about your products.
Should you use a landing page builder?
Building landing pages does not have to be complicated. With Mailchimp's landing page builder, you can have the page you need to drive website traffic to generate the clicks you want in just minutes!