It’s time to stop talking about “landing pages”

By Stephen Pratley. Posted September 3, 2021

I wanted to write something on the subject of landing pages because most of what I see on Twitter is downright confusing, if not misleading.

People over-think the simpler landing pages like ones for email list building, and don't put effort in to the big ones – sales pages.

First, What is a landing page?

A landing page is literally just the first page of your website or funnel that someone arrives on. Usually they've clicked on an ad, a link in a social post or an email, or on a result in Google.

It could be literally any type of page. A homepage, a blog, a sales page or something else entirely. So we need to go a step deeper.

Next, What are you trying to do with your landing page?

Here's where the discussion gets more useful.

You want someone to do or feel something because of your content.

In ascending order of difficulty, you might want to be doing any of the following:

  1. Read / watch the content.
  2. Click through to another page.
  3. Give you an email address, or some other data.
  4. Give you money.

Let's go through them in detail…

  1. Content consumption

As a direct response marketer, I'm horrified if your content doesn't have a goal of even a click, but occasionally you just want to qualify someone as being interested and maybe drop a tracking pixel to advertise to them in the future.

Either that or you might be on an ad-supported model, where page views pay (like those awful clickbait lists that are unreadable by the time all the ads load).

Either way, speed is your friend, make sure your page loads as fast as possible and the content is engaging enough to get read from start to finish.

  1. Getting a clickthrough

OK, now we're getting somewhere.

Often you won't want to put your lead form or your sales page on the first page the user lands on.

This is pretty common for affiliates who want to send the reader off somewhere else to make the transaction.

They also get used a lot by anyone advertising sensitive products like supplements. For these product types, the advertiser wants to keep the more outrageous claims one step away from the rules of an ad network.

for example, Facebook doesn't allow before / after shots for weight loss products so you need something for the first page after they click the ad.

Clickthrough pages aren't talked about enough in my opinion but if you're an affiliate then learning how to write advertorials and reviews that both get the click and get the reader hot under the collar about what you're promoting, is a super-power.

Keep the page simple, and fast, and try to keep the call to action above the fold.

Advertorial-type pages are a great way of framing the same product as a solution for different markets.

Fort example, see how Aculief is presented as a solution for PMS and a solution for screen-time headaches, without changing the final sales page at all.

If you want to see more of these, Google “advertorial examples” or “native advertising examples”.

  1. Getting an email address.

Now we're on more familiar territory for landing pages.

Opt-in pages, or “squeeze” pages as they're also known by internet Marketers, are a low-level transaction. Your email address in return for some content, or maybe a trial of a product.

Generally the advice is to tell them what they'll get, and get out of the way.

It depends a bit on where they came from though. If they came from a long blog post, they shouldn't need much selling.

If they came from a shorter ad or a tweet, you might need to “sell” them a bit more on the transaction.

You also need to think about how much commitment you're asking for after this step.

A short 5-10 page ebook isn't a lot of commitment. Trying out a complex SaaS product is a much bigger ask.

How much “selling” you do in return for the email address has a lot more to do with getting them to actually use whatever you're giving them in return.

  1. Getting a sale.

Getting all the way to someone's credit card in a single page is quite a feat.

For this you'll have to pull put all the stops of a full-blown sales page.

A great offer, testimonials, guarantees, and all the other tools of the copywriting trade come into play here, especially if you're a relatively unknown name.

Calling a sales page a “landing page” doesn't really do it justice when you see a good one in action.

Take a look at the sales page for this simple gadget and the effort that's gone into selling it and you'll see what I mean.

What to do instead

For personal brands on social media, the main pages you'll want to pay attention to will be:

Each one of these has a different objective and needs a different set of building blocks to achieve it

Let's all stop giving generic advice about “landing pages” and be clearer about what type of page we're talking about.

Stop wondering
"Will my offer sell?"

...and follow a predictable system to find out.

Let's Talk...