What happens after the click? In the world of digital marketing, this is a critical question. The moment someone takes interest in your offering and either visits your website or loads your instant experience ad, you likely have one shot to either win them over or lose them forever.
We don’t generally believe in a cookie-cutter approach. What works for one business may not work for another. But, there’s no question that certain patterns of psychology exist and tend to generate predictable responses. Recognizing this, we can apply common principles for just about any industry, product, service, or cause. I’m going to share with you six elements to consider when building any landing page.
You might find some similarity here with Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion, because they are both rooted in human emotion and psychology. However, the following are more for use on landing pages, or in sales strategies in general.
If connection is one side of the “trust” coin, credibility is the other side.
You’ve probably heard the adage, “They don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” It’s important to show that you understand the problem someone is experiencing and that you care about making their life better. That requires a deep understanding of your audience in the first place and a message that resonates. When in person, you can ask questions and tailor your response to their exact needs, but you can mimic this online using a chatbot, as long as it’s actually useful. Another strong way to establish connection is simply by giving something away. This lines up with Cialdini’s first principle, Reciprocity. By giving something to your visitor, you demonstrate value to them, but also they instinctively feel that they owe you something back.
Once your prospect knows you care about their problem, they need to believe you can actually solve it. If connection is one side of the “trust” coin, credibility is the other side, and we could pair this with Cialdini’s principle of Authority. There are many ways to establish credibility:
- Credentials – third-party institutions that have given you degrees, awards, titles, and other recognition
- Testimonials – third-party individuals that can attest to the value they experienced with you
- Experience – evidence that you’ve been doing this for many years or for impressive customers
- Examples – evidence, often via a portfolio or case studies, of exactly how you’ve done this before
Assuming we are effectively establishing connection by showing we understand the problem, how we frame the value of what we are doing is important.
- Benefits – How will this change my life? How will this equip me to achieve my dreams? What are the outcomes I can expect from this? These are the questions you have to answer first. Afterward, you can drill down on the details of how you do it.
- Features – How it works, the process, the specs, and whiz-bang tricks. In a crowded market with many others evidently solving the same problem, it may be appropriate to highlight features even more than benefits.
- Pricing strategies convey value relative to benefits, features, competitors, and market demand.
- Free, add-on accessories that are relatively high value but low cost to the business can help seal the deal.
De-risking essentially lowers the perceived potential cost of a product or service. Money-back guarantees are a great example. Even the pricing strategies and free add-ons mentioned above can lower risk by making the audience feel like potential dissatisfaction would be offset by not having lost too much or finding value elsewhere.
If you want to get someone to take a leap that they might not be ready for, just offer them a small step instead.
It’s easy to walk away if you know you can just come back and get something later. Creating a sense of urgency relies on Cialdini’s second principle of persuasion: Scarcity. If time or supplies are limited, there is no guarantee the thing you want will be there when you finally decide to act, so there is more pressure to go ahead and take the jump. Consider the power of short-term sales promotions. Even if the item is always in stock, the opportunity to grab something at a discount before the sale ends is compelling.
The Next Step
Never lead your customer to a dead end. There has to be a call-to-action (commonly referred to as a CTA) that clearly shows audiences what to do next. However, I’m going to add a sub-principle here that I was taught by an old mentor: the Law of Gradients. If you want to get someone to take a leap that they might not be ready for, just offer them a small step instead. After enough small steps, the thing you originally wanted them to do won’t seem like such a jump. If your audience isn’t ready to purchase, switch out the “Buy Now” button for “Add to Cart.” If they aren’t ready to sign up for your subscription product, see if they’ll sign up for your free email content or follow your social profiles, through which you can offer discounts to the subscription itself. Give them a way to benefit without commitment. The larger the commitment, the more crucial this is.