How to Convert 24% of Visitors into Leads (My Landing Page Playbook)

In the earlier years of my career I worked as a freelance direct response copywriter.

I built a decent track record (working across 20+ industries), getting clients good results with my writing. 

But as I evolved in my craft, I came to realise there was an important factor influencing the effectiveness of my copy. 

One that could virtually make or break how well an ad, Landing Page, email or sales page performed. 

And worst of all, I realised it was totally out of my control. 

So what is it – that can take winning copy and turn it into a flop, or average copy and turn it into a high performing asset?

Design. 

In my opinion, the design of: 

  • Ads
  • Emails
  • Lead magnets
  • Landing Pages
  • Websites and web pages
  • Sales pages
  • Etc…

Contributes up to 50% of it’s conversion-ability.

(The other 50% comes from the messaging & copy).

This realisation was so important that I ended up spending 2 years self-teaching myself Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign

During this odyssey I dived deep into Conversion Orientated Design:

Which is the art of designing in a way that encourages the user to perform the desired conversion action (while removing as much friction as possible).

In the process, I began picking up Landing Page design tools, such as Instapage, Unbounce, and later even WordPress and Webflow

The result: 

I became a more valuable weapon for my clients. 

Not only could I write the words, but I would also design the assets for maximum conversion. 

Over a period of about 12-18 months that followed, I personally wrote and designed 50+ conversion Landing Pages

And later as I started managing a team, I supervised the production of many more. 

So after designing so many, these were the kind of Landing Page results I was becoming accustomed to:

24% conversion rate 

  • From a cold audience LinkedIn Ad campaign offering a lead magnet (more on this below).

 

12%+ conversion rate 

  • For a finance company offer medium term loans. 
  • Traffic was from cold searches from Google Ads and converting into completed loan application.

 

38.2% conversion rate

  • For a professional services firm offering a lead magnet
  • Running a mix of cold Adwords traffic and visitors from the client’s house email list

 

Are these results decent?

If the average website converts visitors at 4%, and you introduce a high converting landing page that converts at 15%, here’s the difference: 

  • 1,000 visitors to website converting at 4%: 40 leads
  • 1,000 visitors to Landing Page converting at 15%: 150 leads

Same traffic, massively different lead-generation result.

So in this post I’m going to share everything you need to know to create high converting Landing Pages so that you can maximise your own lead-gen.

Grab yourself a ☕, this is my Landing Page Playbook

What is a Landing Page and why do I need one?

A Landing Page is a standalone web page designed specifically to drive a conversion action.

Typically we’re talking about 3 types of conversion actions (we’ll be focussing on the first two):

  • A quote / consultation (lead generation)
  • A Lead Magnet (lead generation)
  • A sale

Landing Pages are designed to capture the visitors’ information for the purpose of developing a marketing relationship with them. 

Essentially we are converting visitors into leads.

Luckily for you, most financial advice firms are not (yet) using these marketing strategies, so they represent an awesome opportunity to get ahead in your market. 

Here’s a couple of examples so you can visualise Landing Pages in the wild: 

Alright, no it’s not in the financial advice industry. But this page does follow all the principals you’re going to learn today. And I happen to know that this very page played a key role in driving $20 million in revenue for Eban Pagan’s dating offer here. 

 

Crazy simple right? Don’t think less of it. Notice how conversion-orientated this page is. It’s super clear what action the user should take, and where they need to click.

 

Here’s a free consultation Landing Page for an accounting firm. Now you wouldn’t put an Ad on Facebook to strangers and direct them straight here (that would be too soon). Instead, you might create a remarketing campaign to offer a free consultation to visitors who have already engaged with your content. You might also link to this page from your email marketing automation campaigns. 

 

Now I can’t show you any live client Landing Pages in the financial services space, but I can show you a campaign from another vertical. We ran this Lead Magnet offer to a cold audience using well targeted LinkedIn Ads, and converted over 24% of all Landing Page visitors into leads. 

In this very successful campaign we generated leads from Woolworths, Masters, Christian Dior, Dolce Gabbana, Samsung, Office Words, Dick Smith, Ted Baker, Hair House Warehouse, Coles, Yale, Billabong, Spec Savers, Chubb, Harrods, 7 Eleven, and more.

 

So why are these pages superior to your standard web page?

4 reasons why:

  1. Specific: They’re hyper targeted to your promotional campaign (perfectly matching the messaging on your Ads)
  2. Optimised: They’re stripped from unnecessary website elements (such as navigation bars and other links) that distracts users completing the conversion goal 
  3. Forms: They’re designed solely for conversion with prominent user input fields (in a way that I bet your website is not)
  4. Fast: They’re generally built on design software (which means you don’t need a software developer to build each page). This give you speed and flexibility when rolling out new marketing campaigns

Whenever we want to progress the relationship with a visitor (i.e convert a visitor to a lead, or an email subscriber to webinar registrant, or a prospect to a client), we’ll use a Landing Page.

 

Ok so now you know what Landing Pages are and why you need them, I’m going to take you through my 6 steps to building high performing Landing Pages for yourself:

1. Defining the conversion goal

The first step to crafting a Landing Page is to define the conversion goal.

What action do we want the user to take?

Here’s some examples:

  • Request a quote
  • Make an enquiry
  • Book a free consultation
  • Register for an information pack
  • Download a Lead Magnet
    • eBook
    • Checklist
    • Tool
    • Video Series
    • Etc.
  • Subscribe to your email list
  • Book an appointment
  • Buy a product / service
  • Etc.

When we refer to the action we want the user to take, we generally call it the Call to Action (CTA).

We start the development of the Landing Page by deciding what action we need the user to take. 

Then, everything from the layout of the page, to the form fields required, to the messaging will be geared to getting the user to take that action.

2. Convincing users to take action (plus a handy conversion formula)

Landing Page copy is the single most important factor to success (followed closely by design).

The job of the copy is to:

  1. Signal to the user that they are in the right place
  2. Convince them to take action

These two goals, while simple, can be achieved in an almost infinite number of ways using different messaging in different combinations.

 

1. Right place, right time

Letting people know they’re in the right place is simple enough. 

It’s done by ensuring message-matching.

We make sure that the Call to Action or message that they clicked on (on a PPC Ad, email, social media post, etc.) to get to the Landing Page, matches the headline at the top of the Landing Page.

This gives the users confidence that they’re in the right place (lowering anxiety – more on this below). 

The flip-side is, if someone clicks on a link for something specific, then gets taken to a web page that talks about something completely different, well it’s both confusing and doesn’t deliver on the promise.  

Message-matching means providing a relevant user experience:

  • With a PPC Ad, it means using the search keyword in the Headline of the Ad, then once again in the headline of the Landing Page
  • For email, social media and web content, it means aligning the ‘hook’ of the message, with the headline on the Landing Page

 

2. Convince them to take action:

Where message-matching is about 10% of the Landing Page, the other 90% is dedicated to convincing the user to take the action we want.

I use the following formula to predict conversion:

C = M + V + I – F – A

Where:

C = Probability of Conversion

M = Motivation of the user (i.e. how much does the user care about the removing the problem or achieving the result)

V = Value presented by the offer (i.e. how appealing, exclusive, credible and clear is the Value Proposition)

I = Incentives to take action (i.e. bonuses, limited time savings, etc.)

F = Friction (i.e. giving out personal information, committing to time, spending money)

A = Anxiety (i.e. lack of trust or security)

So:

Conversion = User Motivation + Value Proposition + Incentives – Friction – Anxiety

 

Where we can, we’re looking to reduce friction and anxiety, and convey the maximum value of the proposition through clear copy and proof elements. 

When writing the copy for the Landing Page, our job is to move the users’ mindsets from:

Their state of awareness when they land on the Landing Page.

To:

Wanting to take action.

 

The job when writing copy is to systematically move people through all the questions they need to answer from where they are now, to where we need them to be to take action.

A large part of the work is understanding the state of mind of the user. 

How much information needed to convince the user depends on a few factors:

  • Relationship: visitors already have an established relationship with you? If so, there’s trust there, so less persuasion is needed. However, if you’re driving cold PPC traffic to the page, then you’ll need to do more to convey credibility and build trust.

  • Complexity: how complex is the offer? Consider a Landing Page for a free quote for house painting vs. a Landing Page offering a consultation to manage all of your financial assets. The level of information, explanation, and convincing required are completely different.
  • Commitment: If you’re asking for a bigger commitment (i.e. booking in a several hour initial consultation), you’ll need to do more to convey the Value and reduce Anxiety. Compare that to a Landing Page to download a free guide, and the ‘ask’ is a lot less.

Ok now let’s switch to some of the things you’ll need to think about when designing the page:

3. Conversion orientated design principles

The best design and page structure supports messaging clarity:

The purpose of design is to get the copy (messages) read.

Any time the page structure makes it difficult for users to digest the message, it increases the Friction and Anxiety, hurting overall conversions.

 Design tips to increase messaging clarity:

  • Large headlines and sub-headlines for each section (or screen) of the Landing Page that convey the core benefits or message
  • Use short, punchy copy
  • Use bullets where possible
  • Make the Landing Page easy to scan and still understand the message
  • Use Call to Action buttons in each page section
  • Use Call To Values (button copy that stresses benefits) on the page, until you’re at the point that the user is convinced to take action
  • Large buttons with contrasting colour to the rest of the page
  • Use professional images (limit stock images)
  • Use positive images that support the points in the copy
  • Use happy people to convey the emotion you want the visitor to feel
  • Use people looking at the CTA buttons that you want users to click on
  • Use diagrams that show process
  • Use different background colours to separate page sections (making it easier for the user to follow along with the questions they have in mind above)
  • Follow the branding guidelines so that the Landing Page looks and feels like part of the brand
  • Make sure it’s perfect on mobile devices!

 

Visitors make snap judgements as to the credibility and professionalism of the Landing Page in seconds. 

Design plays a huge role. 

If the design is less than professional, it’s an immediate red flag that increases Anxiety.

So how do you decrease anxiety and increase trust?

That’s what we’re going to look at next: 

4. Proof elements

Arguably the most important aspect of modern copywriting.

While it’s obviously important to stress the benefits and WIIFM aspects of the offer (including secondary benefits about how the primary benefits make customers’ lives even better), today’s consumers have a powerful BS-meter.

💡 Benefits won’t be believed if you don’t prove they’re true 

Due to the sceptical nature of everyone on the internet, we have to go to extraordinary lengths to prove that the claims we make about ourselves, our offers and services.

That’s what proof elements do.

They give users a reason to believe (ideally both rational and emotive reasons), in the claims and benefits on the page.

You could have the most powerful Value Proposition, but if the users don’t believe you can deliver it, you won’t convert (just look at any of the scammy make money online or diet pill offers).

Here’s a simple rule:

🔑 Takeaway: you can never use too many proof elements

Take from this list of 34 proven proof elements and feature as many as you can onto the Landing Page:

  1. Associations
  2. Awards
  3. Before and after
  4. Call to action
  5. Case studies
  6. Charts & graphs
  7. Clear fees
  8. Client list
  9. Client reviews
  10. Comparisons
  11. Contact information
  12. Demonstrations
  13. Empathy
  14. Human stories
  15. Logical argument
  16. Make it easy
  17. Metaphors and analogies
  18. Newsletter
  19. On-site chat
  20. Podcasts
  21. PR & media exposure
  22. Research
  23. Social media proof
  24. Speaking
  25. Team experience
  26. Testimonials
  27. Tools
  28. Track record
  29. Trust seals
  30. Useful resources
  31. Valuable content
  32. Video
  33. Visualisations
  34. Webinars

Want to dive deeper into these proof elements? Check out this post for a quick rundown of each, along with examples.  

5. Integrating with your CRM for marketing automation

Landing Pages don’t work in isolation. 

They’re used in conjunction with a number of other marketing systems to deliver a digital campaign.

The technology, user flow, and data requirements for your Landing Page will depend on the campaign objectives.  

💡 It’s helpful to create a digital campaign ‘user flow’ map to understand the requirements for your Landing Page

Here’s an example of a user flow for a common lead generation campaign:

Free Lead Magnet Offer

A typical user flow for a Lead Magnet offer might look like:

  • User clicks on a Facebook Ad promoting a blog post
  • User reads blog post which includes a Call to Action for a Lead Magnet
  • User is taken to Landing Page
  • User fills in form providing name, email address and phone
  • Landing Page sends subscriber data to CRM or email platform
  • User is placed into Lead Magnet segment in CRM or email platform
  • User is redirected to a Thank You page
  • Thank You page confirms they have successfully requested the Lead Magnet, and that they will receive an via email shortly
  • Thank You page has a download link for the Lead Magnet
  • The Thank You page can be used strategically to build trust (more on this in the next section)
  • CRM or email platform triggers a follow-up email with a link to the Thank You Page (useful for people on mobile devices who can’t download PDFs or other files)
  • Further follow up emails are programmed to send at later dates

💬 Always include a follow-up email that confirms to the user that they have correctly opted-in for an offer. The follow-up email is often the start of your relationship, so it should work to build trust, establish credibility and set expectations for what’s to come.

 

As you can see, there are a number of creative assets required to execute the campaign:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Blog post
  • Lead Magnet
  • Landing Page
  • Thank You Page
  • Email Follow Ups

And you’ll also need the following platforms:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Your Blog
  • Landing Page platform
    • We recommend the following (as they all feature easy integrations with the leading CRMs and email platforms): Instapage, Unbounce, Leadpages or Click Funnels
  • Email Platforms:
    • Active Campaign (also a basic RCM)
    • Mailchimp
    • Campaign Monitor
    • Get Response
    • Constant Contact
  • CRMs:
    • Active Campaign
    • Infusionsoft
    • Salesforce
    • Zoho CRM

Mapping out the campaign lets you visualise the user flow and data required for the form.

Understanding data capture requirements

Thinking about how you’ll follow-up with prospects (or segment messaging) is a great place to establish the data fields you need in your form. 

For example:

  • If you want to follow-up with prospects on the phone, you’ll need a phone field in the form (also in your email platform or CRM)
  • You may want to send specific follow-up emails based on something you learn about the prospect (i.e. if they are first time property investors they get one email, vs. if they are established investors they get another). In this case, you might need a drop-down box in the form asking them to select their investment history

In the case of a Lead Magnet offer, you’ll likely just need the ‘name’ and ‘email’ fields, so your form would be as simple as possible:

🔑 Takeaway: forms are points of Friction that decrease Conversion. Therefore, use the least number of fields possible to get the Conversion.

6. Maximising your thank-you pages

One of the most under rated digital marketing assets is the humble Thank You page.

Think about what happens when you sign-up to download an eBook, guide, tool, checklist or any other Lead Magnet. 

If you’re anything like us, you download the Lead Magnet to a Dropbox folder, then never read it again. 🤦

However, your Landing Page offer will be different with a carefully crafted Thank You page.    

Depending on the nature of the offer, the Thank You page should be used strategically to progress the relationship with the prospect:

  • Lead Magnet: the Thank You page is an opportunity to actually get the user to consume the content in the Lead Magnet (instead of download it and forget it). This is where you use a short video walkthrough of how to get the best out of the information found in the Lead Magnet.
  • Request a free consultation: why not direct prospects to your online calendar to book a meeting with you right away? I use Harmonizely. Calendly is good too.
  • Subscribe to your email list: now that they’ve joined your list, it’s important to set expectations around the type and regularity of information they will receive. Share what happens next. Then send them some of your best material to quickly build trust. 
  • Book an appointment: After they’ve successfully booked an appointment with you, direct them to a page that confirms the time, date and how to get in touch with you (via phone, Skype, in person, or carrier pigeon).
🔑 Takeaway: use the Thank You page to continue to develop the relationship, build trust and move prospects closer to doing business with you.

A Landing Page Go-Live Checklist

Would you love a fool-proof way to build a high performing Landing Page? 

For a limited time, I’m making my 43 Point Landing Page Checklist available: 

Featuring 43 best practice checks on an easy-to-use Google Sheets template, you’ll be able to quickly review your Landing Page against industry best practices. 

👉 Click here for instant access. 👈

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