Welcome to Part 2 of our series, Getting Your First–or next–1,000 Subscribers.
(If you didn’t catch Part 1, you can dive in here.)
At this point you have an enticing, value-packed lead magnet (high-quality content that delivers a tangible result). This is, as we discussed, the heart and soul of building your email list.
Now that you have it, what do you do with it?
Glad you asked…
The First & Most Important Step
If you visit my home page, chances are you’ll notice my lead magnet offer. Then again, you could notice my coaching program. Or links to my about page. Or links to this here blog. Or links to get in touch. In other words, you have a lot of options.
When it comes to building your email list, this is a problem.
Too many options create distraction and confusion. And distraction and confusion create inaction. When given too many choices, most people won’t make one. The solution is focus. The solution is a landing page.
The term “landing page” is tossed around in countless contexts online, but in essence it’s a page built around a single desired action: subscribe, join, register, purchase.
For our purposes, your magnet landing page is a single webpage whose one and only focus is to offer your lead magnet in exchange for a visitor’s name and email address.
As you’ll discover, highlighting only one action on the page will greatly increase your conversion rate (number of people who subscribe out of number of people who visit), but there are other benefits as well.
- A Place to Send Them All: Whether I’m writing a guest post byline, crafting a promotional piece for a colleague’s newsletter, doing an interview, or somehow spreading the word about my brand and business, I point all visitors to a single page: my lead magnet landing page. Having a single point of focus makes it easy on me as the expert (same link every time) and effective for me as the marketer (the #1 objective is to turn new visitors into subscribers; nothing does it better than the landing page).
- A Full Description: As you can see, I promote my lead magnet on the home page of my site. I also promote it at the bottom of blog posts, on the side of my internal pages, and in my emails. The problem with these locations (aside from including it in a world of too many options) is space. There simply isn’t enough room to fully explain the benefits of my lead magnet, not to mention the results the testimonials it has garnered. A landing page, however, gives you more than enough room to tell the complete story.
- Easy Tracking: If you’ve been with me a while, you know I love numbers. In the end, good business is ALL about the numbers. A landing page makes for easy tracking of those all-important digits. You can quickly measure how many unique visitors land on the page and how many of those visitors subscribe, giving you a crystal-clear conversion percentage. Send the masses to your home page and your numbers will be flawed; some may have signed up for your magnet, but did the others even notice the offer?
- It Works: My favorite reason to use a landing page? It works. You will sign up more people to your list than you would without one. It offers one action, it outlines the full benefits, and it gives you complete control over tracking your numbers and testing changes.
My Landing Page Recipe
Like the crafty snowflake, there are countless combinations of size and shape when it comes to your landing page layout. Below are the most effective building blocks, many of which have helped grow my list by thousands (and grow my previous list to 135,000 subscribers).
- Headline: The top of your landing page, the header, should feature a benefit-filled headline that speaks directly to your ideal audience’s needs and wants. Avoid at all costs hype-filled exaggerations or tacky marketing gimmicks; they may pressure visitors into taking action, but you and I both know it’s not the way to run an honest business based on value. You’ve created a valuable lead magnet, so you simply have to tell them what it will do for them in words they can appreciate.
- Graphics: Include a high-quality graphic of your lead magnet. Design matters. The right image alone can lead to a visitor signing up, so be sure to invest the time or money in a graphic that pleases the eye and excites the mind. I recommend using an image of the cover or package of your lead magnet at the top and internal “product shots” in the body or sidebar.
- Opt-In Form #1: The most important element of your landing page is the opt-in box, the place for visitors to enter and submit their name and email address to receive your magnet and join your list. The first one must be “above the fold,” which refers to the top portion of your screen, visible without the need to scroll (offline is refers to the section of the newspaper that is, literally, above the fold). A few tips to boost conversion: Include privacy information within the box, use compelling button copy, and tell your visitors exactly what to do to subscribe.
- Headshot: To boost authority, you can also include a professional headshot in the header. Putting your face up front demonstrates your willingness to stand behind your work. It also allows your visitor to connect with you as a person and not as a faceless corporation.
- Introduction: Below the header is the body of your landing page, where you deliver the meat of your message. Begin by welcoming your visitor, calling out your ideal target for pre-qualification (You’re in the right place if…). Quickly demonstrate your expertise to establish credibility. Finish with the ins and outs of your lead magnet.
- Benefit Bullets: The next section answers the question: What will your magnet do for me? Think not of features (adjustable bed), but of benefits (a better night’s rest). While you can use teasers to entice your visitors, make sure you don’t plunge into the territory of the typical Internet Marketer who promises heaven and earth to squeeze your name and address out of you. Be honest, but do trigger curiosity.
- Call to Action: You’ve welcomed your visitors with open arms and offered your magnet’s tantalizing benefits. Now it’s time to ask for action. As above, tell your visitor exactly what steps to take in order to receive what you have to offer and join your list—“Get your free video series now by entering your name and email address into the form above and clicking the submit button.”
- Opt-In Form #2: Offer your second and final opt-in box, including your privacy information as well as compelling button copy (ex: Get Instant Access). Some experts place this box beneath their body message while others place it in the sidebar with additional graphics (like me).
- Sign Off: At the very bottom of the body, thank your visitors for their interest and offer one last call to action.
- Social Proof: Sprinkle testimonials, endorsements, and social proof throughout your page to establish the value and desirability of your lead magnet. You can share how many times your lead magnet has been requested, describe the incredible results it has delivered, feature the high-status names who have endorsed it, or highlight positive reviews from people just like your visitor (with name, location, and photo if possible).
- Share Buttons: Equally important are social share buttons. The easier you make it to share your landing page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest, the more likely your visitors are to do it. You can include them below your sign off, in the sidebar, or in the footer.
- Welcome Video: Instead of using text, you can also use a video to welcome your visitors, establish your authority, outline the benefits of your magnet, and make a call to action. You can even use both, reiterating the points made in your video below. I suggest testing each type to pinpoint the most effective strategy.
- About: After you’ve made your case in the body of your message, you still have an opportunity to gain a few more subscribers with added authority, credibility, and social proof. Kicking things off is your about section. Briefly describe what makes you the expert, including a professional headshot, bio, and places you and your work have been featured.
- Comments: Using code or a plugin for comments is a quick and easy way to skyrocket your social proof. I’ve visited some landing pages that have hundreds of comments singing the praises of the expert and their offer. The power that has on a visitor cannot be overstated.
- Links: To add credibility to your page, include the appropriate links in the footer. Common links include terms, disclaimers, privacy notices, contact links, and a link to the home page.
Before letting you get to work on your new (or improved) landing page, here are a few more tips that have helped me in the past.
- URL: Remember that the link you use to promote your magnet will be seen and considered by thousands. In light of this fact, it’s a good idea to name it something that boosts your chances of a visit. For instance, www.yoursite.com/squeezepage wouldn’t get as much interest as www.yoursite.com/FreeTrafficReport.
- No Outside Links: Aside from the footer links, do not include any additional exits on your page. You must remove all distractions, which means no menu bar, no header links, no Hello Bar. The sole purpose of your landing page is to present your lead magnet and offer subscription. Including your normal links in the header will only drive away the very people you want to bring into your tribe.
- Pre-Qualify: Use your headline, your copy, your bullets, etc. to pre-qualify your subscribers. You don’t want everyone on your list—you only want the right ones, the ones you can and want to help. Speak to the people in your ideal market and kindly turn away the rest.
- Study the Market: How do other experts in your market present their landing pages? Knowing what’s out there will make it easier for you to stand apart from the rest, not to mention add a few tips to your bag of tricks.
- Design Matters: Make your page look clean, inviting, and professional. Looks matter online and off, so do what it takes to ensure a design that helps, not hurts, your efforts.
Below is an example of my landing page, using many of the elements covered above.
I have some very exciting news! But first, it’s my great pleasure to congratulate Nina Lewis, chosen at random last week from the comments, for winning a copy of Barrie Davenport’s latest book, The 52-Week Life Passion Project. I hope you enjoy the book, Nina!
Barrie Davenport is an incredible woman, so much so that she has agreed to give away–not a copy of her book–but full membership to her online training program, Path to Passion, which begins August 17. This is a $397 live course that will open your eyes and change your life–guaranteed.
For a chance to win this amazing gift, simply post a comment below answering today’s Question of the Day!
Question of the Day
If could snap your fingers and change one thing about your business, what would it be? More subscribers–how many? More sales–how much? Clarity about your topic? About your target? Peace of mind? Let us know in the comments below and one lucky expert will be gain free membership to Barrie Davenport’s Path to Passion course.