Love him or hate him, there is no doubt that Howard Stern is an incredibily accomplished entertainer, businessman and marketer.  I’m a newly converted fan, and his show on Sirius channel “Howard 100” is often a source of landing page inspiration for me, which I know sounds odd, but is entirely true. Here’s a list of my favorite Howard Stern-inspired landing page lessons to help convert more of your traffic into leads and sales.

1. Sell baby, sell.

Are your landing pages actually selling? Howard understands that people tune in for the entertainment, but that selling stuff pays the bills.  From pitching the Siruis iPhone app to doing a commercial for one of his advertisers, he does it with flair—it’s never a dry or boring.  Similarly, it’s important to think of the landing page as a virtual sales person. It’s easy to get caught up in the content or layout of the page and forget that the actual purpose of the page is to get the user to take action. Take a step back and ask yourself if your landing pages are persuasive.

 2. Landing pages for all.

Are you using landing pages for all of your campaigns or just PPC? Howard Stern didn’t become the self-proclaimed King of all Media(™), by sticking only to radio—his footprint extends to books, movies, TV and the web. One of the most common uses for landing pages is for paid search traffic, but don’t stop there. Successful conversion programs almost always incorporate some form of landing pages for other types of media & traffic, from email to display to social and beyond. Think big!

3. Maximize your best content.

Are you re-using your best converting content in creative ways? Howard is an absolute master at re-using his content. From just a single 4-hour show he’ll have photos, articles, a Howard TV show, and fodder for a wrap up show. Not to mention the replays. When you find content that converts well for you, slice it up into other formats to capture even more conversions—for example, content from a popular whitepaper can be turned into a webinar, SlideShare presentation and strategy brief. 

4. Be attention-worthy.

Are your pages grabbing the visitor’s attention? Howard didn’t get labeled as a shock jock by being tame. We’re not suggesting you put on a sparkly costume and adopt foul language (although, whatever works…)! A small does of humor, emotion, surprise or authenticity can be enough to grab your visitors attention and connect with them. 

5. Test everything.

Are you testing to see what works best? Howard Stern is a brilliant interviewer and what makes him so good is his ability to get people to open up. If a guest doesn’t initially answer his question, he’ll keep asking it in different ways until he gets the answer. It’s very subtle. And very effective. He tests his questions to see what will get the answer ‘conversion’. Likewise, you can test to see what works best at getting visitors to convert. 

6. Be social.

Are you being human? Howard connects with his fans by involving his audience into the show with games, contests and listener phone calls.  Likewise, social proof on your pages can build visitor confidence and trust in your brand.  Small things such as placing a testimonial near a call to action, providing an RSS feed of your blog or twitter account, or pulling in FaceBook ‘like’ can help make your brand appear more human and connected. 

7. Never give up.

Are you ready to dig deep if you are stuck in a rut?  There have been a couple of times when it seemed like Howard was ready to quit— from his time at CBS to his recent contract renewal at Sirius. But he always comes back stronger and more motivated.  In your own landing page program, you may sometimes hit a bump in the road or come up against what seem like an unsolvable problem. But the most successful marketers know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And it’s through this that success is found. Look for the lesson in a failure and move forward.

8. Evolve.

Are any of your landing pages old, stale, forgotten?  The Howard we hear on the radio today is very different from Howard in his early days – the content is different, the cast is different, Howard himself is different. The show has evolved to stay modern and relevant and so should the message, content, visuals and user interaction of your landing pages. On the web, user expectations are constantly evolving—your landing pages should keep pace.

9. It’s not just about you.

Is your landing page team comprised of you, your keyboard and your desk? Howard’s got a large, loyal cast that helps make the show better than it would be if it were him alone. He knows that the show is about more than just him.  Your landing page results will be elevated when you involve other teams in your process. Talk to sales (remember, your landing pages are like your virtual sales people, after all). Talk to product marketing. The CFO. Get help from all the expert resources around you to help plan and execute your program. A good conversion initiative, based on solid landing page strategies, often requires a village. 

10. It’s serious business.

Are you totally dedicated to higher conversions?  When Howard talks about the early part of his career at Hartford and Detriot and all of the other stops along the way to becoming the King of all Media(™), his steadfast dedication is what stands out. He had a one-track mind for becoming #1.  Do you have a one-track mind for higher conversions? Companies who execute effective post-click optimization outperform their competitors by 5-30x on the web.  The most effective post-click marketing programs aren’t something that you do on the side when there’s extra time in the day.  Get the eye of the tiger and get more conversions. 

To close, I’ll leave you with this video of a popular Howard Stern lesson on how to beat your competition. Apply this same ‘fire in the belly’ attitude to your landing pages and you’ll be on your way to great results: