4 Copywriting Principles That Will Make Your Landing Page Convert Like Crazy
by Nick Waghorn last updated on 0

4 Copywriting Principles That Will Make Your Landing Page Convert Like Crazy

You’ve put in lots of time developing a bullet-proof content marketing strategy and spent a sizable budget on paid advertising  —  all to direct people to your new landing page.

But uh-oh. It’s not converting. Like in a shady night-club, people are bouncing left, right and centre.

It’s not that the product is bad. Or that your company isn’t addressing a relevant problem.

It’s just that the copywriting is, well… a little blah. 

No matter how much you switch around the phrasing and reword it  —  it’s still dull and uninspiring. And to make it worse, if you landed on the page, you secretly know you would bounce too.

The truth is that writing converting copy for landing pages can be a difficult endeavor. 

Great results often require both writing talent and rigorous experimentation. It’s why so many top-level copywriters are able to charge such expensive fees  —  they do it because they get results. 

And to be frank, if you’ve got the money it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

But if you’re bootstrapped or not yet ready to hire a copywriter, there are lots of things you can do to fix your landing page on your own. 

It doesn’t require lots of experience and months of split-testing. It just requires you to be open-minded and ready to put in some effort.

In this post, I’m going to share 4 simple copywriting tips that will boost your landing page conversions. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and let’s get started.

Table Of Contents

1. Master the headline

David Ogilvy famously said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Pretty crazy, huh?

And according to Copyblogger, it’s even more than that, “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” So actually when you’ve written your headline, you have already spent 87.5 cents out of your dollar.

That’s right, you’ve spent the majority of your marketing budget before they even reach your opening sentence. 

Your headline is perhaps the most important piece of your landing page, so you need to perfect it.

There are 3 types of great headlines:

1. The big promise

When your audience browses your landing page, it must be immediately clear why they should read on.

It can be an amazing benefit or a huge problem your product solves. The point is to make it crystal clear what they will gain from reading your page. 

In most cases, a good start when you’re writing a big promise is to focus on your biggest selling point  – your USP. 

Is it your cheap prices? Your exceptional quality? Your popularity? Or your product’s ease of use?

The brand Casper does a great job sharing a clear benefit-driven headline:

Casper's landing page and heading screenshot that says "Designed for great sleep, awarded for excellence."
Source: https://casper.com/uk/en/

For Casper, clearly the biggest selling point is the superior quality of their mattresses. Just look at those happy faces, who doesn’t want to feel like that?

Or if you’re thinking about a Pain-point focused headline look at Happify:

Screenshot of Happify's landing page with a heading that says "overcome negative thoughts, stress, and life's challenges."
Source: https://my.happify.com/

They decided to go the other way and stress the pain points that we can avoid, namely mental health issues.

But regardless of whether you use a benefit or a pain point, the main goal is to make it obvious why people should invest their time reading the page. 

2. The slippery slope

Another type of successful headline is one that draws the reader into the body copy.

As the copywriter, Joe Sugarman, said, “Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slope.”

And the best way to create a slippery slope with your headline is to create curiosity. By building tension and creating a sense of anticipation we can entice people to read further. 

Notice how CopyHackers utilises the slippery slope with conversational language. By using the line, “Dammit, that should be me” we wonder what the headline is about and before we know it, we’ve been drawn in… 

Screenshot of CopyHackers' landing page that says "Dammit, that should be me."
Source: https://10xfreelancer.com/

3. The no-nonsense qualifier

There’s no point wasting your hard-earned money attracting customers with no interest in your product. Once we’ve invested our time and money into getting traffic to our page, it’s vital that we maximise the number of high quality leads.

The no-nonsense qualifier aims to specifically address your ideal customer. The beauty of this type of headline is that it’s self-selecting. It interests those that might actually buy your product and deters time-wasters.

Look at how Nauto qualifies their audience, if you’re worried about Fleet Collisions, this is the eBook for you.

Source: https://www.nauto.com/roadmap-for-a-safer-and-smarter-fleet-ebook-2

How to write your own compelling landing page headline

1. Idea generation

The secret to writing a great headline always starts with brainstorming. In fact, David Ogilvy was famous for writing at least a hundred headlines before he picked one. 

For something like headlines, it’s much better to go overboard and write too many and strip it back than be left with too few options. The choice will be a luxury later on. 

So get creative and try to come up with at least 30 ideas. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Outline a benefit :  “Cloud Computing — once difficult, now easy”
  • Outline a pain-point : “Never run out of computer space again!”
  • The slippery slope: “They never said being a first-time parent was going to be easy…”
  • The qualifier: “Calling all men over 60 suffering from back pain”
  • Ask a question : “What if I told you, I could cut your electricity bill in half?”
  • Share a testimonial : “I used to hate A/B testing, it was always too much hassle and I was always left with dismal results. But thanks to [company name] I love it, I’ve boosted my conversion rate by 150%!”

2. Evaluate them with a checklist 

Now it’s time to review your headlines and narrow down the selection. 

A good way to do this is to compare your headlines against the four U’s checklist:

  • Uniqueness: How original is the headline? Will it stand out amongst your competitors?
  • Usefulness:  Does the headline clearly convey the value of the offer?
  • Ultra-specificity: Is the headline appealing to your target audience?
  • Urgency:  Does the headline compel us to take action?

Write down each of your headlines onto a list and rate them based on the criteria. The maximum score is 4 which is achieved if you think the headline adheres to all four objectives.

Note:  Your headline doesn’t need to feature all four elements, but it’s a good way to whittle down the list.

3. Split-test

Of course, if you can, the best way to find out the effectiveness of your headline is always to split-test it. Instead of guessing, we can land on a data-backed conclusion.

Often the results can be surprising, what you expected to be deal-breaking may be outperformed by a simple fact-based headline or a testimonial.

At the end of the day, the quality of your headline is always decided by your customer, so it makes sense that we should be guided by them.

2. Focus on the reader

The heart of enticing great copywriting is always about focusing on the reader. As Jay Abraham said, “Sell the benefit, not your company or product. People buy results not features”.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and try to oversell your product by cramming your landing page with product features. But the secret is to always display an obvious benefit to the reader in every sentence.

When we write copy, it’s essential that we frame everything around the reader. It should satiate the reader’s biggest problems and burning desires. 

They want to know how you can help them  —  that’s all. If you can create a landing page that does this, you’ve got a converting landing page on your hands.

Here are three key techniques you can use to write compelling body copy:

1. Benefits vs features

The first and most important part of any landing page copy is to be clear on the benefits that you offer. 

So let’s start with the difference between features and benefits.

  • Feature: A fact about your product. 
  • Benefit: The reason we should care about the fact.

For example, let’s look at clothing brand Finisterre’s waterproof jacket:

  • Feature: “Made with an inexpensive microporous membrane”.
  • Benefit: “A performance waterproof that doesn’t cost the earth. The Rainbird is lightweight, versatile and recycled throughout  —  taking care of both you and the planet.”

It may take time to translate your product’s features into enticing benefits, but when you do it will completely elevate your copy. 

Check out how Khan Academy shares their three biggest benefits. Notice how they don’t stop at “personalised learning”. They do a great job getting us to really visualise the value of these benefits.

Screenshot of Khan Academy's landing page that showcases benefits of their features.
Source: https://www.khanacademy.org/

At the risk of tooting our own horn, the GetResponse landing page effectively makes use of simple benefit-focused features. It makes it really easy for users to understand exactly what they’ve got to gain when they sign up for a free trial.

Screenshot of GetResponse landing page showing off benefit-focused features.
Source: https://www.getresponse.com/

2. Show don’t tell

If you’ve got a product that can be shown in action  —  do it. 

With video rapidly becoming more crucial to marketing strategies, it can be a great way to convey your product’s value. 

As with any sales pitch, the goal is to get your customer to visualise the benefits of your product and one of the best ways to do this is video. We can see the value of the product ourselves.

For example, Asana does this effectively with a simple product tutorial:

A screenshot of Asana's landing page with a video tutorial.
Source: https://asana.com/

Or, if you’ve got the budget, it’s even possible to bring your product to life on your landing page with animation. 

The great thing is it removes any continuity issues caused by having to click onto a video, and it fits seamlessly into the page.

For inspiration take a look at Muzzle. They’re a notification silencer for people using screen-sharing which uses animation perfectly. 

Within a few seconds, Muzzle outlines its value proposition in an amusing way. As you browse the landing page, you’re greeted with humorous notifications that pop up in the right-hand corner of the screen.

A screenshot of Muzzle's landing page with humorous notofications.
Source: https://muzzleapp.com/

3. Establish trust and credibility

Once you’ve sold your prospects on your product’s benefits, it’s time to establish proof that your brand will deliver on your promises.

It’s no secret that consumers are wary about advertising. Thanks to the influx of information that we all have to deal with on a daily basis, research shows we’re far more discerning and suspicious than we used to be. 

In fact, a study by the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that just 4 percent of consumers believe that advertisers and marketers practice integrity.

So what does that mean for writing our landing page? 

We’ve got to do everything we can to establish trust and credibility with our readers. 

Here are two effective ways to do it:

1. Tell a story

Every story has three steps: 

  1. Problem: The character experiences an issue.
  2. Exacerbation: After several failed attempts, the issue gets worse.
  3. Solution: Finally the right solution is discovered – much to the relief of the character. 

By outlining the problem and emphasising the pain points before you pitch your product, people will be much more attentive. It also allows us to marvel at the solution and feel inspired to act because we’ve emotionally connected with the problem.

The beauty of stories is that they are all about the character’s transformation. And if you can develop a story that shares the transformation that your customers will experience after using your product – they’ll love you for it.

Stories are a great way to create a connection with your customers without making your copy feel overly “salesy”.

For instance, instead of blatantly trying to oversell his exercise product, The Renegade Diet captivates us by telling his transformation story. 

Even if it’s his story, the transformation inspires the reader that the solution is possible.

First, we empathise with his problem, “I’ve always had crappy genetics and struggled to make any gains at all”. If we’re also struggling with putting on muscle, this problem will feel particularly resonant.

Next, he gives us hope with a solution. “Until I finally discovered the secret…doing the EXACT OPPOSITE of what every other fitness guru tells you to do”.

Finally, he inspires us with a transformation and makes us believe we can do the same. “At 45, I look and feel better than ever… and I can help you achieve the same results.”. 

A screenshot of a landing page telling a tory.
Source: https://go.renegadestrong.com/thank-you-378442751586441885396

2. Customer testimonials and brand endorsements

With research showing that 92% of people trust their peers over traditional advertising, including testimonials in your landing page is a great choice. 

It demonstrates that other people, like us, have had a positive experience and that trustworthy brands also have faith in your product. positive customer and big brand experiences.

TasterClub does an amazing job establishing their credibility:

A screenshot of customer testimonials on Taster' Club's landing page.
Source: https://tastersclub.com/
A screenshot of brand endorsements on Taster's Club's landing page.
Source: https://tastersclub.com/

So, if you can include any sparkling testimonials from either loyal customers or notable brands, it will go a long way.

Tip: An important consideration when working on your testimonials is specificity. If you can quantify the results that customers have experienced, it’s a great confidence booster for prospects. It makes it much easier to picture the potential benefits of making a purchase.

4. Create an irresistible offer

Legendary copywriter Gary Halbert once declared that, “Your offer… is by far the most important element in the entire sales message.” 

That’s right, the heart of the landing page comes down to the strength of your closing offer. 

The reality is that if your offer doesn’t convince readers to take action  – it’s failed. 

But have faith, as Halbert shares, “Know this: Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but… In many cases, a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy”.

Here are five ways to create an irresistible offer:

1. Limit the number of options

Limit the options that you offer your reader – preferably to one. 

As Barry Schwartz, author of “The Paradox Of Choice” shares,

“The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better.”

In fact, according to a study by psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper, too many options can make people one-tenth as likely to make a choice. 

It turns out the more choices your customer has, the more likely they’ll postpone making a decision and avoid buying anything at all.

So don’t overwhelm your customers with hundreds of CTAs —  just offer them one.

Blue Apron’s sleek landing page does a great job simplifying the buyer’s journey:

Even though there is a range of choices based on the different plans, notice how we’ve got to commit to choosing a plan first. There’s one simple goal and it’s obvious where Blue Apron wants to take us.

A screenshot of Blue Apron's landing page with only one simple CTA.
Source: https://www.blueapron.com/

Note:  Research has also shown that including several CTA’s for the same action increases conversion rates. It provides the reader with gentle encouragement to progress through the landing page.

2. Remind the reader of the key product benefits

When writing your offer, it’s a good idea to remind the reader of your biggest selling points.

Crazy Egg does a great job of emphasising their core benefits, making signing up just that little bit more enticing.

A screenshot of CrazyEgg's landing page emphasising their core benefits.
Source: https://www.crazyegg.com/

3. Anticipate objections

As with any successful sales copy, it’s essential that all of your prospect’s potential concerns have been addressed before you get to the end of your landing page. By alleviating any of these concerns then you can maximise the chance of conversions.

Wistia closes their landing page with an interesting FAQ to clear up any possible issues. It’s clear, concise and helpful if you’re lingering on the fence about signing up.

A screenshot of Wistia's FAQ landing page.
Source: https://wistia.com/

Another great example is Netflix. Again they’ve stuck with the classic FAQ format.

A screenshot of Netflix landing page with frequently asked questions.
Source: https://www.netflix.com/

Note: This is particularly important if you’ve got a complicated product and there’s any possibility of confusion.

4. Reminder of free will

In multiple studies, researchers have found that simply reminding people that they have free will over a decision can improve their chances of action.

It’s subtle but notice how Moz applies this on their landing page, “Pick your plan. Cancel anytime”. It reduces the risk by reminding us that we have complete control of the purchase. 

Not only can we pick the right plan for us, but we can also leave at any point, therefore minimising any potential risks.

A screenshot of Moz landing page with a reminder of free will that says "pick your plan. cancel anytime."
Source: https://moz.com/

5. Offer a satisfaction guarantee

The ultimate goal of any sales offer is to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). In order to be persuaded it’s important to make inaction feel riskier than buying. 

And one of the greatest ways to encourage action is to go that extra mile and offer a guarantee. It signifies confidence in your product and will put your prospect at ease. Research shows companies tend to make profit with guarantees and increases their customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Notice how The Renegade Diet frames inaction as a bigger risk than the free trial, “Try this program for 30 days. If you don’t see awesome results and feel amazing, simply email us and we’ll cancel your membership immediately”. 

It’s a great example of how a guarantee can put us at ease and reduce any purchase anxiety.

A screenshot of The Renegade Diet's landing page offering a satisfaction guarantee.
Source: https://go.renegadestrong.com/thank-you-378442751586441885396

You’re done!

In this post you’ve learned how to master these 4 copywriting principles:

  • Create an attention-grabbing headline that draws your reader in with a compelling promise.
  • Get your reader salivating over your amazing product benefits.
  • Establish their trust with your raving testimonials and powerful storytelling.
  • And finally close your landing page with a kick-ass offer.

And if done correctly, you should have the recipe for creating your own captivating landing page that converts like crazy.

Are you ready to get started on your own landing page? Check out the GetResponse landing page creator.

Subscribe for fresh tips & top articles

GetResponse S.A. needs data contained in this form to provide you with materials you requested. For more information, read Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up!

We'll send you an email to confirm this shortly.