What the heck is a landing page (and why do I need one)?

We have all had a variation of this question running through our heads at one time or other.

Some things I hear all the time are:
– What is a landing page?
– How is it different from other pages on my site?
– What is the deal with LeadPages, Unbounce, GetResponse, etc? Do I need it?
– I don’t understand how all these pieces fit together.

Coming up in this introduction to landing pages, I’ll shed some light on all this!

What is a landing page?

A landing page is designed to capture people’s contact information so you can keep in touch with them through e-mail. Usually, just someone’s first name and e-mail address.

You’ll link your landing page with your email marketing provider, so any information captured on the landing page is saved by your email marketing provider (like MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse, etc).

A landing page is super basic. No menus. No links. Limited text.
Nothing to distract from the main goal – to get people on your list!

By only giving one thing to do, it forces a decision: get on the train, or stay at the station.

This is different from a regular page because…

The pink triangles show potential options for people to click on. The regular website has a handful, while the landing page has only one.

On the regular pages of our site, we want to entice people to stay as loooooong as possible. There’s menus and links to other posts and pages to make it easy for people to cruise around and stay for a bit.

Kick back! Stay a while! Read this! And this! If you liked that, how about THIS? Why not share it?

You can see how different this is from a landing page where there’s only 2 options: C’mon and join the party… or don’t!

A regular post says, “And…!”
A landing page asks, “Are you in?”

Anatomy of a Landing Page

The 4 basic elements of a landing page:
– Headline
– Brief description
– Call to action
– Opt-in box

The Opt-In Box

The opt-in box is a fancy name for the part where people actually sign up for your list.  The less information you need, the better (simplicity is a repeating theme here!).  The opt-in box may be on the landing page itself, or it may be a pop-up.

The highest-converting opt-in boxes have 2 fields:
– First name
– Email address

Can I make my own landing pages?

In short – yes. 

Your email marketing provider can provided you with a code which you can copy and paste into one of your webpages – poof, Instant landing page!

You can absolutely give this DIY solution a try.

Confession: I straight up admit I’ve tried this method with zero success.  I tried for months and got no sign ups. Zilch. Zip. Nada  (Though that doesn’t mean that you won’t have more success than me!)

I decided to step it up with a landing page provider – and am I ever glad I did! Suddenly, the rubber hit the road and I started gaining traction.

Why use a landing page provider?

This is their thing
Entire businesses are built on landing pages. They are constantly following trends and tweaking their pages to provide the highest conversion rate. They do a lot of (super boring) stuff so you don’t have to. This way, you can focus on your business and not fiddling around with tech troubles.

 

Easy to make lots of landing pages
When you have a lot going on in your business – multiple lead magnets, webinars, challenges, events… You’ll make a lot of landing pages. Trust me, make it easy on yourself.

 

Lead magnet delivery 
Some providers will also deliver your lead magnet. I prefer this over having it delivered by your email marketing provider because you can have multiple lead magnets funnel into the same list.

 

Ability to test landing pages
Want to get really fancy? You can test variations of landing pages to see which converts the best!

Landing page providers

Like everything, each one has their own pros and cons.  They vary in service, customization, and prices – try a few to find the right fit, Cinderella!

– LeadPages
– OptimizePress
– Unbounce
– GetResponse
– Instapage

How does the landing page fit in with my website?

Self-hosted landing page

Your landing page may be self-hosted by the provider.
Instead of having your own web address, it will have the address of the landing page provider, followed by an extension (like your business name or website address).
It’s totally OK if your landing page is not directly connected to your website – they usually aren’t pages people will be browsing to; instead, you’ll provide links to landing pages where you need them.

Landing page with your own domain name

Your landing page provider may host (or have the option of hosting) through your own website.

Which one’s better? po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

There isn’t a big difference between the two. 

The biggest difference is if you’re doing Facebook ads. Sometimes with the self-hosted sites are considered ‘spam’ by Facebook and the ad gets rejected. In this case, it’s better to host it through your own website.

In summary:

What is a landing page?
A landing page is designed to capture people’s contact information so you can keep in touch with them through e-mail.

 

How is it different from other pages on my site?
A landing page is super basic. Headline, brief description, call to action, opt-in box. There aren’t any links or menus to distract from the main goal – getting the visitor to join your list!

 

What is the deal with LeadPages, Unbounce, GetResponse, etc? Do I need it?
You do not technically need a landing page provider. You can build one yourself on your site.

HOWEVER…
You may not want to.

You get a lot of value out of a landing page provider. You get better conversion rates because they tweak their pages for best possible conversions, it’s easy to make landing pages, you can easily test pages against eachother to find the most effective version, and it can deliver your lead magnet for you.

Considering how much work you’ve put in to developing your lead magnet and the effort (and cost) it took to get people to your landing page, it’s often well worth it to invest in a landing page provider to maximize your conversions!

 

How does the landing page fit into my website?
Your landing page doesn’t have to be connected to your website.

The important thing is that the landing page connects with your email marketing provider so it collects all those lovely names and emails.

I hope you enjoyed this (rather lengthy) introduction to landing pages.

Wishing you awesome conversion rates,

What landing page provider is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments below – I may just check it out for myself!

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