Are Your Landing Pages Failing To Convert?

When I get asked questions about building landing pages, I’m always left with the impression that affiliates are searching for an exact science.

Unfortunately in affiliate marketing, there’s rarely such a thing as an exact science. If something works, it’ll make you money. If it doesn’t, it won’t. Everything between the margins is a matter of testing, being creative and sometimes copying what others are already doing.

Everybody has their own opinion for what makes a great landing page. But this is my blog so fuck everybody else, here’s how you do it. Finding the magic formula is a question of ticking three little boxes.

1. Am I writing in a way that my intended audience can understand?
2. Am I writing in a way that sells my service or product to that audience?
3. Am I writing in a way that gets them to act now?

If you can answer yes to all three questions, congratulations. Puff your tits, buy your copywriter some lunch and look forward to making some profit.

If the answer to any of those questions is no, it’s back to the drawing board. Your landing page probably sucks as many balls as you feared it did when the conversions failed to lift off.

There’s a fourth factor to any successful landing page. The artistic and graphical layout of the page can make a huge difference to ROI. I’ve seen landing pages with a yellow background convert irritatingly better than those with a white background. I could get deeply entrenched in the effects of changing tiny details for boosting conversions, but I don’t have the attention span today so we’re going to stick with the language.

The actual meat and potatoes of your page – the shit that’s going to dictate whether you can actually afford any meat and potatoes when the wife goes shopping – is the writing. The words you use and the language you choose. Nothing sells an offer like some badass sales copy driving daggers through the consumer’s “will I or won’t I?” doubts.

How do I write in a way that my intended audience can understand?

Just because you’ve got a full English degree, doesn’t mean you should be busting out fucking Shakespeare wordplay on a 13 year old kid.

I’ve lost track of the number of landing pages I’ve seen where the language is quite blatantly phoned in from the notepad of an affiliate marketer who expects his language to be universal. Always write to the lowest common denominator.

If there’s a good chance that 40% of your target audience is too retarded to pick up a book – and let’s face it, CPA and Retards are a match made in heaven – BE SIMPLE!

I know you want to sound impressive and knowledgeable, but most landing pages are simply a medium of showcasing what makes a product such a fantastic solution for your target. If the prospect doesn’t understand, or is struggling to digest the copy, you’re letting your artistic greed ram a fist up your own jacksy. It’s never going to make you money.

Use short sentences. They’re much easier to read. Most of America can understand this. Simple sentences increase your reading speed. They also encourage people to read more. So they’ll learn more about your product. And this can only be a good thing, right?

How do I write in a way that sells my service or product to that audience?

See the question at the end of the last paragraph? This is probably my favourite use of language for selling any service or product. It doesn’t matter what you’re promoting, if you can get consumers to answer “YES” over and over again, half your job is done.

So much of writing to sell is about building up momentum and creating a positive image in the consumer’s head. The greater the momentum and the stronger that image becomes, the more likely you are to push the final sale.

Asking questions where the consumer has no choice but to agree or nod their head can really ramp up the effectiveness of your landing pages.

We’ll take a landing page promoting a dating offer to women over 50 as an example. Of course, it helps to hit them with the features and benefits of your service. But you can also generate that helpful momentum by getting the target to agree with you.

“You’ve waited long enough for love. It’s your turn, wouldn’t you agree?”

“If you leave love to fate, it might never happen. But if you join us today, you’ll be taking one step closer to happiness. Do you care about your happiness?”

“Our women were much happier with their lives after we helped them find loving partners. Are you searching for that new spark of romance?”

After each of these sentences, the user is forced to agree. It’s just a natural flow that builds momentum and keeps them interested. It makes them aware of their weaknesses indirectly and thus much more likely to snap at your bait.

Get your targets to say yes repeatedly and they’re much more likely to say yes when it matters.

How do I write in a way that gets them to act now?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Would a charity worker ever get you to sign up to donate if she just left her phone number? Of course she wouldn’t. She’s harassing your arse outside the train station, backing you in to a corner and plying you with horrific imagery until you can see no light at the end of the tunnel when she asks for your financial help.

I remember the last charity worker I met in Shepherds Bush, we had an amusing conversation where I was pretty much filling in her next sentences. “You’re gonna ask me how I can afford to eat these McCoys but not donate £3.50/month to orphan monkeys in the jungle wilderness, aren’t you?”

I laughed because it works. It always works. The reason charities gets donations is because they have the balls to get in your face and ask for them.

So many landing pages out there fail miserably at the last hurdle. They do a fantastic job of selling a service but they forget the importance of a Call To Action. No CTA is effective without promoting the scarcity and urgency of what you’re offering. Yet you already know this because it’s all around you.

“Sale Must End Tonight”, “If you call in the next 20 minutes, ’cause we can’t do this all day…”, “Now accepting [7] new affiliates”

You know what they’re trying to do and still you can’t fight it. Scarcity manipulates the human desire not to miss out, while urgency rams the point home and seals the sale. Combine the two attributes with an unflinching Call To Action and what do you have? Profit.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

9 Comments

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  • Good post as ever – as well as instilling urgency in your call to action, building a sense of affinity is also extremely powerful and works well.

    For example “xx million other people use this every day” or “x,xxx already purchased today – don’t miss out”.

    Build that in with something like ‘rated 5/5’ and 5 nice big gold stars, and its a winner 😉

  • Nice post.

    Do you design all your own LPs or do you outsource them?

    Have any tips on how to be efficient with LPs and quickly get them done and pump them out?

  • I outsource them if I’m looking for something design-heavy. But when it comes to split testing, I’ll normally make the changes myself.

    I’ve got a few landing pages that have served me well across a whole bunch of dating offers for about six months now. If you find something that works, it’s normally pretty easy to adapt…

  • Another nice post, Finch.
    Another easy way to get the visitor to start saying “yes” is to simply rattle off “yes questions” in a list of bullets, but you’ll want to be specific. It’ll work even better if your final question can get the reader to act.

    Like you said, once they start saying yes it almost instantly becomes a habit.

    Open ended question will force the reader to stop and think, something you want to avoid. Asking “What are you waiting for?” and “Are you ready to get in shape?” will only fill the readers head with excuses. Your copy should be doing the thinking for them.

  • I liked your 3 questions. I need to start asking myself these questions every time I create a new page or make a modification. I’m sure it would really help me make sure my information is focused on my readers. This looks like a good habit I need to develop.

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