How to Fix Your Funnel: Your Landing Page Sucks
What do you do when your funnel doesn’t work?
It could be that there’s a fundamental problem—you’ve misread your audience and they don’t want what you’re selling. It’s more likely that you’ve made some mistakes somewhere along the way and either your offer isn’t reaching the right audience, or it’s just not convincing enough. Figuring out what’s going wrong can be difficult. I suggest starting with the landing page.
The Landing Page is the Part that Makes it all Work
If you’re driving the right people to the page, a good landing page will convert at least a little. If you’re sending too broad of an audience—you’ve got the right people, but a lot of the wrong people as well—you’re not going to convert well, but you’ll convert.
Fact is, a good landing page is one of the tools you’ll need to triage the other parts of your funnel, so it’s imperative that you get it right first.
There’s an important caveat. We’re talking about a good landing page, not a great one. A great landing page is the result of a lot of testing and tweaking. You can’t do that testing until you have a page that works, so if your funnel isn’t working, make sure your landing page is up to snuff or nothing else you do will matter.
Take Care of the Obvious First
Sometimes we’re oblivious to the things that are right in front of our faces. We’ve spent so much time with our product or service that we unconsciously believe that everyone else understands it as well as we do. They don’t. You have to tell them.
State the Offer
You’re making an offer. You’ll give them X if they give you Y. They can’t decide unless they know what X and Y are. It’s utterly obvious, but it’s amazing how many so-called landing pages I’ve seen that don’t state the offer clearly.
Nail the CTA
In a similar vein, the Call to Action is the decision point. Don’t get clever. Be overly clear. Tell the customer exactly what to expect. If they have to click a button and fill out a form, tell them to click the button and fill out the form. If they have to confirm something in an e-mail, tell them that. Tell them how the process works and ask them to start it.
The Next Steps
People don’t care about you or your business. They care about their lives and their problems. If you can’t make your offer in terms of their problems and their lives, they aren’t going to care.
State The Problem
Your product or service should solve a problem. State the problem in a way that makes it clear that you understand where they’re coming from.
State The Benefit
Most problems can be solved in many ways and not all solutions are going to fit all people. Tell readers how they’re going to benefit from your solution. Convince them that their lives are going to be better. If you can’t, why should they give you their money?
Trigger the Triggers
Brains are weird. If you can hit specific triggers, you can get a much better response than if you ignore them. That’s decades-old science that marketers have been using since before you were born.
Make it Urgent
People have a fear of missing out that competes with a desire not to make decisions. If people can put a decision off, they will. You counter that by putting a deadline on the offer, or by selling a limited number.
Don’t lie though. If your product or service isn’t limited, suggest that having the benefit sooner rather than later is an excellent thing.
Someone else is offering what you are. Why should someone buy from you instead of someone else? Do you have a different way of doing it? Do you have different social priorities? Do you have a different way of doing business? What makes you different?
You can compete on price. You can compete on service. You can compete on quality.
If you make someone a part of your community, you don’t have to compete. You do that by making sure the customer knows you share a worldview. That doesn’t have to be political. It doesn’t have to have a social impact. It can be about having strong opinions on the right way to do business.
You believe something. Let it show.
We are absolute suckers for social proof. We want to keep up with the Joneses so bad it’s enough to make you weep for humanity. But it’s something you can use to your benefit. If you’ve sold a zillion units before, or if you have some outstanding reviews, let people know. It will go a long way to convincing them to buy.
There is a reason your customers are hesitant to make a purchase. Maybe it seems too expensive. Maybe it feels like a luxury they can’t afford right now. Maybe they’ve bought a million things like it and none of them have worked.
It’s different for every person, every product, and every landing page, but if you know your customers, you probably have a pretty good idea of what it is.
Take a few moments to reassure your customers that their fear isn’t real. Don’t lie—you’ll never get them back if you do.
Who is it for?
Your product is designed to solve a specific problem for a specific kind of person. Make it clear who your product is for and people who fit the description will feel more confident in making a purchase.
Who is it NOT for?
By the same token, making it clear who the product isn’t for can clarify who it is for. You’ll get bonus points if you make the people it’s not for sound like they’re the wrong sort of people.
Reverse the Risk
People are risk averse and giving someone money without knowing what you’ll get in return is a risk. If you can convince them that NOT pulling out their wallet is a bigger risk, you’re going to turn that risk-aversion into something that will increase sales.
Those are all things that have to do with the text of your landing page, but not everything on your landing page is text, and the non-textual matters can bollox things up.
Your landing page is there for one reason and one reason only. You want your potential customers to commit and become customers. You want them to make a decision. Our brains don’t like making decisions, so they’ll put them off if given half a chance.
So don’t give them that chance. Don’t put outbound links on your landing page, not even your regular menu or your regular sidebar.
Don’t give them any excuse to go anywhere.
There should only be two ways to leave your landing page—by making a purchase, and by closing the tab.
Use Great images
Don’t just pick a random image that kinda sorta conveys a point. Spend the time to find images that reinforce the things you’re saying in your text.
CTA Stands out
Format your CTA differently. When people are reading long things, they tend to skip out right before the end. Don’t let them do it. Draw their attention to the very last—and most important—thing on the page. Bold it. Center it. Make it purple. Whatever, make it stand out just enough that it catches the eye.
Optimizing every single post and page is a waste of time. Optimizing your landing page isn’t. If someone does a google search for the problem your product solves, you want your landing page to show up.
Install Yoast or something similar and make all those little tweaks the search engines like.
You can’t optimize your page before you run traffic to it—and it takes a lot of traffic and testing. But you can’t optimize a landing page that isn’t functional, so it behooves you to follow the industry’s best practices before your launch.
If your landing page has everything mentioned here, it should be functional, so if your funnel still isn’t profitable, the problem is probably elsewhere.