The Most Indispensible Page On The Internet
As an online copywriter, you’re going to be asked to write landing pages. And that’s good news for you -- because a copywriter who knows how to write a landing page that quickly engages and establishes trust with its visitor, and then leads him, either indirectly or directly, towards a purchase -- will never be short of work.
So what is a landing page anyway?
The broad description of a landing page is simple: a single webpage that someone “lands” on as a result of clicking a link and its purpose – similar to a direct-mail package – is to evoke a response.
To provide a more focused view of different types of landing pages, we’ll divide them into two categories: reference and transactional.
According to Don Nicholas of Mequoda.com, there are three types of “reference” landing pages (or what he calls “organic” landing pages) and five types of “transactional” landing pages
Let’s take a look at the reference landing pages first. As the name implies, it’s a page that contains information. Here are the three types as defined by Nicolas:
- Glossary Landing Pages list definitions of terms, phrases or concepts.
- Directory Landing Pages hold a directory of links to articles or news stories.
- Article Landing Pages contain articles, editorial content or news stories.
Keep in mind that businesses don’t typically add reference or information pages to their website as a public service. Their ultimate goal is to generate sales. They know if their website contains relevant and informative content, it will be ranked favorably by search engines, which will in turn draw more visitors to their website …
And the more visitors to their website potentially means more people signing up for their ezine, buying their product, and/or clicking their banner and text ads. (But we’ll talk more about that when we tackle the search engines later this month!)
“Transactional” landing pages take a much more direct sales approach.
Here are the five main types of transactional landing pages:
“Rapid Conversion” Landing Page
This landing page’s single purpose is to start an online relationship with the visitor. Its entire focus is to get you to “opt in” by entering your email address, in exchange for something. Most often that something is a subscription to their ezine, but it can vary from free reports and online courses, to gift certificates and eBooks.
A landing page like this is also called a “squeeze page” or an “email squeeze page.”
“Sales Letter” Landing Page
This landing page closely resembles a traditional sales letter, with a goal of getting the reader to buy. And in order to keep the visitor focused on the sales message, the page is typically link free -- other than the links required to place an order.
“Up-Sell” Landing Page
Smart marketers always present an additional offer to newly acquired customers, and most often incorporate this into the “thank you” page that appears after customers have completed their transaction. It’s usually a one-time, deeply discounted offer that expires once they navigate away from the page. According to Nicholas, depending upon the offer a well-worded up-sell landing page can have a conversion rate of 20% to 30%.
“Priority Code” Landing Page
This landing page offers people a special offer once they input a priority code. The prospect is presented with a special discount or offer in an external source, like a newspaper, magazine, radio spot, or television advertisement. To take advantage of it, the prospect has to visit a webpage and input a special code. This page then sends the prospect to another landing page that encourages them to complete the transaction.
Companies also combine this page with the “rapid conversion” landing page, in order to give prospects something for free. To claim their free gift, they are instructed to go to a webpage and input their code … as well as their email address.
“Access Challenge” Landing Page
This landing page offers the prospect premium members-only website content. If the prospect is not a member, the page then attempts to convert him into one.
A good example of this is an article or news story appearing in a search engine result – yet when you click to access the story, you find that in order to read the full transcript, you have to sign up for site membership or paying for the article or story.
Regardless of the type, the right landing page is one of the keys to online success. And if you’re a copywriter who is planning to specialize in writing online copy, becoming an expert at writing landing pages is a great way to make sure you’re always in high demand.
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