5 Elements of Engaging Landing Pages

This week, I will be taking you through the second dimension of R.E.A.D.Y conversion experiences, showcasing some examples of pages that engage visitors by communicating value proposition in a compelling, differentiated way.

How do you know if your conversion experience is engaging? Use the five elements of engagement to evaluate your effectiveness at persuading visitors to take that next step.

1. Compelling Value Proposition

Value proposition is defined by wikipedia as “a business or marketing statement that describes why a customer should buy a product or use a service…” A unique value proposition is what your product or company does better than any other competitor. I’ve looked at hundreds of landing pages and very few do a good job of communicating a compelling value proposition. StreamSend, however, does a great job of addressing their product’s value props even before presenting their free trial offer. StreamSend answers the “why” right off the bat and differenitates their solution with four really strong “reasons to believe.” Personally, I like this super obvious approach to value proposition. I don’t have to do a lot of searching or make assumptions, SteamSend tells me immediately.

2. Real & Tangible Benefits

Admit it, we’re all pretty selfish — when you click on an ad, you immediately want to know “What’s in it for me? (WIIFM). Creating a list of features is easy, but great landing page copy sells visitors on benefits, not features. One of the first techniques you can explore is transforming your major features into benefits. Write down your top five features and ask yourself, “what problem does this feature solve for our customer?” And, if you still need inspiration, you can check out Freshbooks.com. Pretty much all of the copy on Freshbooks’ website is benefit-focused. They know their target audience well and speak directly to them with small business/newbie language. For example: “Easy to use…accounting shouldn’t be intimidating.” and “Save time billing…get organized and get paid!” Customer testimonials reinforce real and tangible benefits as well. Freshbooks has benefit copy nailed!

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3. Emotional Appeal

Although we may feel we are rational folks, people are inherently emotional decision-makers. Often, we make judgements based on gut feelings, using rational justification to “back up” our intuition. Emotional appeal can be achieved with your landing page visuals — design, imagery, and strategic use of colors and fonts — but language is just as important when telling a great story that will resonate with your audience. St. Jude’s uses a pastel color palette, smiling/happy patient imagery and cursive fonts to convey their message of “Family First.” The “feel good” design and language encourage donation in a subtle, but effective way.

4. Persuasive Content

The ultimate goal of your landing page is not to inform, but to persuade. You have seconds to capture your visitor’s attention, and persuade them to convert. Apple really is the poster child for seductive landing pages. They focus on the desires of their target audience, connecting with their wants (versus their needs). In the iPhone 5 page below, conversational, honest headlines are enveloped in beautiful product imagery and iconic whitespace. Breathtaking (and persuasive)!

5. Intuitive Design

In the book “The Design of Everyday Things” (originally called “The Psychology of Everyday Things”), Donald A. Norman uses the term ‘user-centered design’ to describe designs that are based on the needs of the user. Whether you call it user-centered or intuitive design, creating  landing experiences that allow visitors to accomplish their goals easily, is a critical element of engaging landing pages. The multistep form experience below is one of my favorite examples because it is simple, progressive and intuitive. The form offers an easy entry point (I imagine the bounce rate on this page is quite low) and sets expectations with progress indicators above the form. Added bonus — a stylish hipster encouraging you to choose your program of interest with her intent gaze.

Here at ion, the R.E.A.D.Y conversion optimization framework is the foundation of our optimization services. My team and I use it every day to ensure that conversion influencing opportunities are utilized for high-impact results. Stay tuned for next week’s post, outlining the key elements of authoritative landing pages. Or, check out last week’s post on the 5 Points of Landing Page Relevancy.

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