Whether you would like to generate more leads or increase sales, persuasive landing pages are a must. However, copywriting that is genuinely persuasive requires subtlety and nuance to encourage your prospects to take action. So, let's look at some persuasive techniques you can use for landing page optimization.
Grab Your Prospect's Attention
Make believe you're attending a networking event. You're sipping a glass of mellow pinot noir when a smartly tailored man walks straight up to you, grabs your hand, and shakes it just a little too firmly before launching into a speech about his new startup. There's no introduction, no conversational repartee – this guy simply dives right into his elevator pitch.
Regardless of how impressive or revolutionary it might be, it doesn't matter what the fellow's startup is actually doing. Why? Because he did not attempt to grab your attention before jumping full tilt into his monologue. You may not realize it, but this is a big mistake made by many marketing professionals on their landing pages.
You should never take it as given that just because a user clicked on your product page or ad, they are automatically interested in whatever you are selling. Therefore, it's a mistake to try to impress or persuade your prospect without ensuring that they're actually interested first.
Master the Hook
Even if your product or service is truly unique and incredible, it's vital to get your prospect's attention before trying to persuade them to buy. By far, the most effective way to accomplish this is by manipulating their emotions. Landing page optimization means understanding the following:
People don't want to buy things - they want to solve their problems
Understanding and leveraging this principle is important not only in your ad copy but also on your landing pages. If you can capitalize on the promised emotional payoff that you can solve a prospect's problem, they are far more likely to convert.
Hooks can come in many varieties. Let’s look at how fear can be used as a hook, for example.
This landing page has some shortcomings, but take a look at the language used in the banner image. See how the inclusion of a single word makes a powerful impact.
If the banner had just said, "Make Home Feel Safe" that is not particularly powerful or persuasive. However, by adding "Again" to the copy, the seller is massaging the emotions of its prospects. The word "Again" implies that the prospect used to feel safe in their home, but no longer does. This copy also suggests that by opting for a home security system from SimpliSafe, a homeowner will feel safe again. This is the emotional payoff a prospect is seeking.
This example of persuasive copy does precisely what it's intended to do. It grabs the prospect's attention (by manipulating their fears) and prompts them to read more about the company's services.
Use aspirational and sensory language (painting pictures with words)
Let's suppose you are someone looking for a company to remodel your kitchen. There are likely several issues you're looking to solve, e.g., poorly-fitted cupboards or insufficient counter space. Or, you might want your kitchen to be completely remodeled to create an entirely new space in your home, a place not just devoted to cooking but also to spending time with family and friends. So, click here to see an example of landing page optimization using persuasive copywriting that addresses the aspirational qualities of this type of prospect. Here’s the copy in question:
“Kitchens have changed since 1950.
No longer does apron-clad Mom cook alone as the family waits in another room. Today, you're just as likely to see a couple cooking together, or the whole family pitching in on Thanksgiving dinner, or friends gathered around sipping wine as you finish making tapas.
However, many Boston homeowners make do in cramped kitchens designed decades ago.
We at New England Design & Construction love bringing kitchens into the 21st century. Our kitchen remodels include the following:”
Notice how the introductory wording draws the prospect's attention to the austere contrast between today's modern kitchens and those kitchens of years ago.
“No longer does apron-clad Mom cook alone as the family waits in another room.”
This language points to NEDC's modern concept of kitchen design and also the company's understanding of the emotional response that memory of old-style kitchens creates in a prospect's mind.
The copy then goes on to take a more tactile approach by using a combination of aspirational and sensory language:
“Today, you're just as likely to see a couple cooking together, or the whole family pitching in on Thanksgiving dinner, or friends gathered around sipping wine as you finish making tapas.”
This wording puts the prospect right there in their new kitchen, sipping wine and preparing tapas with friends, or making the cranberry relish while the Thanksgiving turkey roasts in the oven.
This approach creates a powerful emotional response that can help spur your prospects into action. By helping your prospects imagine a possible future scenario, you prod them to step out of their current problem they're trying to solve, making your solution much more appealing.
Landing page optimization: final thoughts
Landing pages have low conversion rates for many reasons, but the main road to improvement lies in understanding what problem your prospect is trying to solve. If you are unable to anticipate your website visitor's desires, needs, or expectations, your conversion rates will suffer.
What is your competition doing?
One thing you should do is take a look at your competition. Conduct a search for the same or similar product or service your landing page is offering. Then click through the landing pages of your competitors and take note of places where you feel some confusion or are tempted to leave. Return to your own landing page and consider what you might do to get rid of the confusion you felt when looking at the other websites. Be certain to assess as many competitors as possible.
If you're still stumped on how to improve your landing pages, check out these landing page examples for some inspiration.