A month ago, one of my clients asked me to write a 3,000 word blog post about landing pages.
My first thought was, “What the heck is a landing page?”
I’ll sum it up for you: a landing page is a single, self-contained webpage designed to collect customer information or sell a product.
Unlike a “home page,” which might contain links to your blog, your brand’s journey, or your entire store inventory, a landing page contains only the essential information a visitor needs to decide that they want what you have to offer. Usually, that’s a specific product or service (not everything you have to offer, just one baited hook).
A home page is for your customer. It’s for them to gather all the information they want about you.
A landing page is for you. It’s for you to to bag just one piece of information: your customer’s email address.
How does that work?
Landing pages have two things going for them: they’re beautiful, and they have limited navigational options.
The visitor is taken into your pitch because your landing page is attractive. Once she is taken in, there’s only one destination for her. She’s on a beeline to your call-to-action (“send me my free eBook!” “subscribe to get release updates!” “sign the petition to stop deforestation!”)
Of course, the visitor could always close your landing page and drift away on the ethers. But it’s less likely that a visitor will refuse your call-to-action, at the end of your landing page, than it is that they will overlook or forget about your call-to-action, hidden on your home page.
So what do landing pages have to do with writing?
Glad you asked!
The number one way that writers sell books is through an email list (discussed this recently with Lee Constantine from Publishsizer; check them out!) The number one way to build an email list? You guessed it. Landing page!
Use a landing page to tease readers with your story. Then, give them the old landing page ultimatum: enter your email address to continue the story.
Once you’ve got an email address, send a follow up email. Tease a little more. Let the reader meet your characters. Give them the option to go see your blog.
Wait a day or two.
Then, come back with another email. More teasing. Maybe you’ll even include the first chapter of your book.
Wait a day or two more.
In your third email, ask if the reader is ready to buy your book? Chances are, you’ll get a resounding “yes!”
Now! A big, important question…
What do you all think of this landing page? (And how about the business idea?)