Why are we bringing up landing page copy? Copywriting comes up a lot in marketing articles.
It’s one of the foundational building blocks of ANY marketing campaign.
There is literally nothing you can do, from a marketing perspective, that doesn’t involve copy.
In this article, we are going to provide a comprehensive guide to writing copy for the central piece of any marketing funnel: the landing page.
While we might have discussed landing page headlines (aka value propositions) in the past, you probably have no clue what to write after the headline.
Cause literally no one writes about this.
Google landing page copy and you’ll find 100 articles describing copywriting tips and value proposition techniques, but what do you write next?
There’s a lot more to your page than just the headline.
Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Or you can skip ahead and get landing page secrets that cover more than just writing the copy…
Here’s our step-by-step guide to writing copy for your ENTIRE landing page.
Landing Page Template
It’s helpful for most people to have a visual reference for WHERE this copy is supposed to go.
Fortunately, I’m in the process of redesigning my copywriting homepage, so I decided to show you guys the base template I’m working off of, allowing you to follow along with each step.
Step 1: Identify the Audience
The first step to creating landing page copy is to identify who you are targeting.
This won’t necessarily be your business’ target audience, as different landing pages will be targeting different audience segments with different offers.
For example, if your business offers parenting info products, you will probably want to set-up landing pages for each of your products or channel visitors through a free-offer optin-page.
Step one is to identify the exact segment you are targeting.
Step 2: Choose the Desired Action
Now that we know our intended audience, it’s important to identify the exact action we want them to take.
Your landing page should NOT be a brochure.
It should NOT be informational.
The entire point of a landing page is to generate action.
We want visitors to do “convert” in a specific way.
What action do you want?
- Do you want visitors to call?
- Do you want them to buy?
- Do you want them to give you an email address?
- Do you them to donate?
For service businesses and businesses offering highly customized products, the goal is often a phone call.
Businesses offering a more consistent product or service package will often prefer to automate the sales process.
They may attempt an immediate sale, attempt to get emails and convert later via an autoresponder, or do a mixture of both.
Nonprofits will often use emotional pitches to generate immediate donations.
The important thing is to know exactly what action you want.
ALL your copy will be written with this action in mind.
Step 3: Identify the Core Problem
Once you’ve determined your targeted audience segment and desired action, your next step is to identify the key problems facing this segment that might be solved by your product/service.
When identifying this problem, think in terms of emotion rather than utility.
Using our parenting example, let’s say you are targeting first-time parents with an intro to parenting ebook.
What problems should you focus on in the copy?
Make a list of common problems and concerns:
- Children throwing frequent tantrums
- Children being mean to other children or siblings
- Can’t get your child off the cellphone
- Can’t get any sleep
- Concerned they won’t be good at parenting
- Worried about children getting sick
Once you’ve assembled a list of problems, it’s time to go deep.
Writing expert copy is all about going past the “what” and into the “why”.
We aren’t simply looking for “what” parents seek help on.
We are asking WHY do parents want help in the first place.
Looking at the above list, #5 stands out as being more of a “why” issue.
At the core level, parents are most concerned about being good parents and doing the best possible job of raising their kids.
The most pressing fear is that they somehow won’t accomplish this, whether by ignorance or error.
Our copy should use this central theme in our value proposition and as a filter for the rest of our copy.
Step 4: Write the Value Proposition
Now that we’ve identified the core problem for our target audience, it’s time to write our value proposition.
This is your business’ chance to demonstrate the value you bring to the table, IN THE CONTEXT of your audience’s needs.
Don’t talk about you.
Talk about the customer.
“Be The Parent You Always Wanted”
Since I’ve already written an entire article on writing value propositions, I’m not going to spend much more time on this topic here.
Just remember to be very specific about what you’re offering.
Use explicitly clear language.
The goal of this hero shot value proposition is to assure readers they are in the right place (as opposed to creating curiosity, and to attempt immediate conversion for those ready to close.
Finish off the your value proposition with a targeted CTA that encourages/requests/demands the exact action desired.
Step 5. Write the Follow-Up
After the hero shot, I highly recommend creating a “follow up” section.
You are very limited with your wording in the value proposition.
It needs to be a headline.
It needs be clear, simple, and powerful.
In all honesty, it’s not the easiest thing to create.
But if you can succeed in getting visitors interested enough to scroll down, YOU ARE NO LONGER LIMITED.
You can follow up with an in-depth paragraph that explains exactly who you are, what you’re offering, and why visitors simply HAVE to get it.
Continuing with our parenting example, if your value proposition said something like:
“Be The Parent You Always Wanted”
You could follow that up with a paragraph touching on multiple concerns parents have (the ones we listed earlier) and how this info product takes you step-by-step through the first 5 years of your child’s young life.
You Want The Best For Your Kids
“As a parent, your children are you number one concern. You want to be everything your kids need you to be… and more!
Unfortunately, none of us start off as experts. How do you prepare to be a parent? What do you do when sleep eludes you? What is the healthy way to address tantrums or smartphone obsession?
In this course, we answer these questions and much, much more, giving you everything you need to be the parent you always wanted.”
This follow up is kind of like a 30 second elevator pitch, but think less “hard sell” and more “friendly explanation”.
SumoMe is one of the few great examples I’ve seen of this in action.
The following is the landing page for their Share bar.
With 135,000 users, they must be doing something right.
Step 6: Write the How
Moving forward along our landing page, it’s time to talk a bit about HOW we can fulfill our promises to our customers.
Never lead with the “how”.
People don’t care about how until they resonate with you on “why”.
But once we’ve resonated with them at a core level and promised a central benefit that solves their problems, it’s important to touch on how we plan to deliver.
I used the typically icon-themed approach in the example above, but you certainly aren’t limited to that.
You might want to create separate sections for each service.
The danger with that strategy is that you can start to drift away from the main themes of your landing page optimization:
- Solving your target audience’s core problem
- Getting that audience to take a specific action
If visitors aren’t converting, it’s typically not an information problem.
Either they believe you can help them solve their problem, or they don’t.
It’s really that simple.
The “how” section of your landing page is all about finishing out the narrative that you are the answer to their problem.
Going back to our parenting example, this section could discuss some different elements of the parenting course that facilitate success, like quizzes, month-by-month plans, recipes, etc.
You could talk about the different solutions needed at each stage of parenting, from pregnancy to toddler.
You have the most freedom to get a bit off-track in this area, but try your bring everything back to that central problem in a way that drives visitors toward the targeted action.
Step 7: Include the Social Proof
Your landing page is a narrative.
It presents a story that says YOU are the answer to your audience’s most pressing problems.
One of the easiest ways to evidence this story is social proof.
Anyone can make claims, but if you can show people that you’ve already solved these problems for others, they are far more likely to buy into the narrative.
When a lot of people see the phrase “social proof”, they think social media icons with “like” counts or tweets or a whole slate of other random stuff.
Don’t do that!
There are only two ways to make social proof work for you:
- Influential reference
In other words, you need one of two things.
- One reference from someone influential
- Proof of a massive, approving audience
If your business has 5,000 Facebook likes, literally no one cares.
Online, 5k is NOTHING.
Displaying that number could even work against you.
On the other hand, getting ONE recommendation from someone known by everyone in your industry is like winning Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.
That recommendation is worth its weight in Bitcoin.
When using social proof, you either need an impressive volume to display (think 30k likes, 50k twitter followers, 15k Instagram followers, etc.), or you need one highly influential name/brand to associate yourself with.
If you can get a direct recommendation, perfect!
If not, something like this will work:
I’ve worked with each of these brands on some level.
For marketing my site, highlighting these brands is better than showing a recommendation from a “no-name” business owner.
In fact, highlighting “no-names” would actually hurt my marketing, as it would imply that the I haven’t worked with any highly successful clients… aka… my clients don’t become highly successful.
If you don’t have a big audience and you’ve never worked with any reputable brands, go guest post for some popular publications in your industry and slap an “as seen in” tag next to their logos on your site.
Step 8: Write the Final CTA
By now, you’ve written the copy for your entire landing page.
But there’s one last step.
Don’t forget the final CTA!!!
I can’t tell you how many landing pages I see that give an amazing pitch and then just… end.
If your visitors have read all the way down to the bottom, it’s time for the hard close.
It’s time to tell them to take that desired action.
They are interested.
They read your entire pitch.
If we were finishing up that parenting page, we could end with something like:
This Is EXACTLY What You’ve Been Looking For!
Enter your email, and we’ll show you EXACTLY how to be the parent you always wanted.
Don’t be generic.
Don’t be bashful.
Tell visitors precisely what you want them to do.
It’s that simple.
Well there you have it.
That’s everything you need to write copy for your entire landing page.
Take some time with your value proposition.
Get team feedback.
Have a few 3rd parties take a look and describe what it conveys to them.
Run some A/B tests.
You get the idea.
The rest doesn’t need to take that long.
And if you’d prefer to just spend your time doing what you’re good at – and let a professional handle the copywriting – drop me a line here.