Words that Convert: Writing a Persuasive Landing PageBy Elisa Silverman on June 5, 2014
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Congratulations! You’ve successfully gotten someone clicking through to your landing page. Don’t lose them now. Use persuasive copy to get your readers to take the action you want. A number of landing page components need to work together to convert your readers into action-takers: A compelling offer, good design, purposeful formatting, and persuasive writing. Think of them as the four wheels of your landing page. You may be able to drive some people up Conversion Mountain without all four wheels, but it will be a lot tougher – and many people will give up along the way.
Setting yourself up for success
Before you write word one, you have some work to do first. For every landing page you create, you should know exactly:
- Where readers clicked through to get to your landing page
- What their main challenge and/or pain point is
- How your solution is uniquely placed to resolve that challenge or pain point
- What you want the reader to do on your landing page
Write down the answers as simple bullet points. Once you can answer all four of these questions with specificity, you’re ready to start writing. In case these four questions don’t make it clear – you do want different landing pages for different feeder sources and market segments. The design and format of the landing pages may be similar, but you want to craft a compelling offer and use language that literally speaks directly to one segment of your market.
Speaking their language
The last bit of prep work you want to do before writing is to research how your readers talk about their challenge or pain point. This research helps you focus your content on addressing the issues they’re really discussing AND use the words they use. Writing to your readers about their challenges in the same language they use to discuss communicates two critical messages: First, the explicit message you’re trying to send (sign up for my service – it’s awesome!). Second, the implicit message that you understand them, are one of them, and therefore are worth listening to. The second message goes to your credibility. Showing you’re a credible voice to your readers is vital to the task of getting them to take action. Fortunately, social media, review sites, and online forums make it very easy to read what your target market has to say in their own words. Spend some time in all these areas to learn best what language will resonate with your readers.
Now for the actual writing
The structure of persuasive copy isn’t complicated, so we’re going to focus more on what makes the language persuasive. However, landing pages that follow the persuasive copy structure (which you can read about in more detail here ) will convert better, so here it is:
- Get the reader’s attention – use the headline and sub-headline, if used, to do this.
- Maintain their interest – present a success or a benefit that they’d like to read more about
- Create the desire for your solution – this is where your credibility builders really do their work
- Present a strong and compelling offer – in addition to providing genuine value with your offer, make it easy and low-risk to take advantage of
OK, now is the writing part – really Without further ado…
Write in the second person (you, you’re)
You want to write directly and explicitly to an actual person. Writing in the more formal third person (he, she, his, hers) creates a barrier between you and your reader. In any case, you don’t want some mythical other person to click on your “sign-up” or “buy me” button – you want that person, the one reading your landing page right then, to do it. So write to them.
Write as you talk
In this same spirit, write to your readers as you would talk to them. You’re not presenting an argument in a debating society, you’re telling someone how and why this offer is good for them.
Use action words and active tense
The whole point of the landing page is to get people to take action, so use active language. Writing that the meditation techniques they’ll learn in your eBook will help them “feel better and get more done” isn’t nearly as powerful as writing that they can “tap into your natural energy and boost your productivity.”
Be descriptive and specific
Did you notice that the action-oriented language was also more specific, more descriptive? The more detailed picture of results and benefits you can paint with your words, the more effective they’ll be. Being detailed and descriptive also boosts your credibility. Telling people that using your project management software will keep their projects on-track isn’t as valuable as writing that your software has been used by over than 285,000 companies to finish more 2,000,000 projects.
And last… don’t forget to use the same kinds of words, phrases, and imagery that you read your target market using when they wrote about their challenges, pain points, and hopes for a solution themselves.
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.