I’m going to share a secret. I’ve written here before that the most effective landing pages are geared specifically to a single target market coming from a particular source. Using a different landing page for each of these pairings (referral source + target market) in your marketing campaign lets you deliver to each the message most relevant to them.
Here’s the secret: Even if you follow this advice (and you should!), your landing page is still always being read by three entirely different types of people. If your landing page doesn’t speak to all three of them, you’re losing conversions.
Who are these three different audiences: Readers, Scanners, and Bottom-Liners.
Allow me to introduce you…
The rarest of all landing page visitors, the reader will actually read nearly every word of your copy. For the reader, you need copy that holds their attention and flows into the logical final step of clicking your call to action button.
Far more common, the scanner challenges you to give them a reason to continue paying attention. They’re speed-scrolling through your landing page to see what stands out and intrigues them enough to read more.
Eye-tracking studies show time and again that people scan through web pages in an F-pattern. If you want to convert a scanner, tell them your complete story with left-aligned, descriptive subheaders, strategically bolded phrases in your copy, and visually irresistible, well-placed call-to-action buttons.
If you’ve caught them with your headline, the first thing the bottom-liner does is scroll right down to the bottom. The bottom-liner has no interest in all your carefully constructed prose. The bottom-liner wants to know what you’re exactly offering and how much it’s going to cost.
To convert a bottom-liner, you need a stellar summary and postscript at the bottom of your landing page. The summary is a slightly more expansive headline, which you know already caught the bottom-liner’s attention. Present your most important benefits and offer details. You can also use a different design element around the summary to separate it from the body copy.
How to draft your landing page copy with all three audiences in mind
Making all three reader types happy with the same landing page doesn’t have to be complex. Their different reading styles actually align nicely with an effective process to develop good landing page copy.
Step 1: Craft a clear, compelling, and specific offer. If you don’t know exactly what you’re offering and on what terms, you can’t convince someone to take it.
Step 2: Create a three-column table with the following column headers: Feature, Benefit, Emotional Driver. Now list every feature of the product/service being offered. For each feature, identify at least one benefit (a feature can have more than one benefit). Then for each benefit, identify what emotional driver underlies that benefit. Here’s an example for our organic seed company:
|Labeled “Certified Organic”||Validation that seeds were grown under organic conditions||Reliable, trust-worthy|
|Certified organic → No pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used||Results in a richer tasting corn||Values the highest quality; sees themselves as connoisseurs|
Step 3: Prioritize the features/benefits list for the specific referral source + target market pairing this landing page is intended for.
Step 4: Sketch out the story you want to tell that delivers your key message, and layout the features/benefits as you want to present them.
Step 5: Summarize your story and key message, with the highest priority benefit. Use this as the basis for developing your headline (including subheadline, if you’re using one) and your ending summary. You need the killer headline for all three audiences. The summary you develop here should tell the bottom-liner everything they want to know. Draft your postscript here.
Step 6: Convert your Step 4 sketch into an outline of subheaders and key phrases to be used under each subheader, using language and an organization that supports the key message/summary you wrote in Step 5. Review your subheaders and phrases – do they tell a full version of all the relevant features, benefits, and main points in support of your key message/headline? If the answer is “yes,” you have the scanners covered.
Step 7: Flesh out the rest of your copy around your Step 6 outline. This is the full landing page copy for your readers. Stay true to your message and content developed in Steps 5 and 6, so your copy flows while remaining clear and targeted to this pairing’s needs and interests.
Using this process
This is a process for developing copy. Tips and guidance on how to write effective headlines, subheaders, calls to action, and all the other copy components on a landing page is beyond the scope of this article. Indeed, these discussions on such topics are available in voluminous detail elsewhere.
However, my hope is that with this article, you now have a clear process for developing copy that fits the landing page consumption styles of all three of your audience types: the readers, scanners, and bottom-liners.
You’ll only maximize the conversion potential of your landing page once you do.
Elisa Silverman is a B2B content writer with a background in law and technology, who’s spent a career helping diverse groups of people communicate well with each other.