Creating a Landing Page: Before you begin
Before creating a landing page, there is one piece of advice that you hear pretty often – Know Your Objective. If you haven’t heard that advice before, it’s a great piece of advice to keep in mind.
By knowing your objective before you start creating your landing page, you have a better shot of creating a clearly defined funnel for your visitor.
For example, if you are offering a free whitepaper or ebook in exchange for a newsletter subscription or email address, your objective would be boiled down to “Get More Subscribers”.
While that’s good, I want to expand on it a little bit and challenge you to further define your objective by breaking it into 3 separate plans.
So, before creating a landing page, I want you to define the following objectives for your page.
1. Global Objective
As mentioned, your global objective is the base essential action that you want to achieve. In the example of offering a free whitepaper in exchange for an email address, your objective is to “Get More Subscribers”.
With that objective in mind, you can start to think of the copy that you need to write and the types of graphics you will need for your landing page, e.g. “Download Now” , “Free Download” or “Subscribe for Instant Access” buttons.
2. Short Term Objective
Now that your global objective is defined, let’s start to refine it for the short term. When you start creating a landing page with a global objective in mind, it’s pretty easy to stop at the global objective.
That’s often the reason why many campaigns fail. Sure you want more subscribers – but how many more? How soon do you want them?
Technically 1 new subscriber in the first week has already accomplished your global objective.
Would you consider that a successful campaign? Would you consider that an acceptable “payment” for the 10-20-120 hours you put into your new whitepaper or ebook?
Probably not in most cases. That’s where your short term objective comes into play.
You need to define a short term objective. Something that lets you measure the success of the launch of your campaign. Something that drives you to focus on your campaign.
Using the same example, your short term objective could be to get 100 new subscribers in the first week of launching your landing page. Now you have a metric to measure the success of your landing page and your overall campaign.
Knowing your global and short term objectives can provide a great amount of insight into the copy that goes into your landing page. Maybe you want to try to create a sense of urgency by limiting your whitepaper or ebook download to the first 100 people who sign up.
It also helps you determine where you might focus your marketing efforts. Perhaps you know of a few forums where people who are interested in your subject matter hang out. Maybe you have a Twitter list that would be perfect for your whitepaper.
Defining your short term objective can help you define your marketing plan and make it easier to hit your short term goal.
3. Long Term Objective
Now that you have defined your global and short term objectives, it’s time to define perhaps the most important objective, the long term.
It’s great when you start to learn how to build your list quickly and attract targeted leads (using the same example) but what do you with them when you have them?
Now that you have your 100 new subscribers, what’s the next step? Are you going to log into your CRM or AutoResponder service and just count the emails each day?
Defining your long term objective can not only help in creating your landing page and campaign, it can help create an entire business if you plan well.
You already hit your short term objective so you now have 100 excited new subscribers. Let’s walk through how to turn your free whitepaper into a business.
1. Write a Premium Content Product
Write a new whitepaper, ebook or training course in your chosen niche. Make this one much more valuable in terms of content. Offer up a trade secret or anything else that would be considered very valuable to your subscribers. Set a price that is reasonable for the information and your work.
2. Set up an account that allows you to create an affiliate program
Create an account with any of the number of services that offer payment processing and affiliate management. Services like Clickbank and PayDotCom do both. You’re going to use this service to sell your new product and allow your customers to become an affiliate of your product so that they can in turn sell your product and make a commission.
Now you’ve turned your happy customers into a sales force.
3. Email your subscribers and tell them about your product
If your subscribers enjoyed your free whitepaper or ebook, chances are they will want to take a look at your new one. Send them an email to tell them that you have created a new product and include a link to the new landing page.
If you can, send them to a link that has a discounted price as a thank you for being a subscriber. Everybody loves a deal. A subscriber coupon is a great way to justify buying something. It also makes people aware that you actually do appreciate having them as a subscriber.
4. Offer 90 – 100% commission on your product
Set the commission rate to 90 – 100% of the profits. Send an email to your subscribers about your new affiliate program and include a link to sign up.
It sounds crazy to give away all of your profit to your affiliate but it’s actually a great way to build a highly qualified list of customers.
By giving very high commissions to your subscribers, you do two very important things:
1. You create a sales force that becomes eager for your next product. High commissions are very motivating. Your new sales force will be looking for you to create a new product for them to sell.
2. You qualify your growing list as customers. This list is now a list of people who have paid for your product. You know that your new list is based on people who have already converted. Chances are they will purchase again if you produce more quality content.
5. Start the process over
Do it all again. This method is one of the ways to turn free content into a paying customer base. It’s a great way to turn free content into it’s own small business.
So, before creating a landing page, make sure that you define your global, short term and long term objectives. Before writing any copy, make sure that you have a plan for how that landing page is going to be the stepping stone into a bigger picture.
Remember that your landing page is a door into something more.