In my desperate attempt to relate landing pages to famous movies, today’s topic is “What do landing pages and E.T. have in common?”.
Are my findings billionfold far fetched? Absolutely. But bear with me.
E.T. was an alien farmer who came to earth to harvest plants, eat M&Ms and pizza, two of mankind’s greatest achievements. He got left behind, but got lucky by befriending a sympathetic Elliot. He then set up a machine made from random kids’ toys to phone home, but subsequently got LOST and was found mostly dead down the end of a river.
This is undeniably the saddest scene in movie history. Fun fact: In some edits of the film it has been removed completely.
So whats the angle? It’s about designing a page in such a way your prospect can’t get LOST like E.T.
Pre-empting the experience the prospect wants (and the experience you want them to have) makes it effortless for them to understand your offer. This, combined with a clear call to action, results in what we call a “conversion”. Nobody gets distracted or LOST (which is what we call a “bounce” in the landing page cosmos).
Clicking from an ad straight to a company website is regarded as an inefficient way to generate leads and can be a big drain on your marketing budget. Why? Because there is a plethora of distractions, options, menus, images, and other areas that demand a viewer’s attention. From ET we can easily see the pitfalls of dropping someone into an unknown world – which a good parallel for when a person visits a website for the first time.
This is why we use landing pages. They’re like a hot-rodded, stripped-back web page with a single mission in mind. There are no distractions and no little things to click out to. Every element on the page supports the goal – to have a prospect easily understand an offer and respond to a call to action.
So what is a call to action? It’s the one thing you want a prospect to do. As an example:
“Join our mailing list and receive our free recipe ebook”
At this point, everything in the design/copy needs to support this sole action. Typically, a call to action (CTA) will be used to generate leads (e.g. get potential customers’ emails).
A landing page is at the very top of your sales funnel. Its job is to build an email list in your CRM/ESP which can be used to create an automated flow of emails designed to turn prospects interested in your product/service into paying customers. Your offer needs to have a give and take element (e.g. a lead magnet). You get permission to communicate with a potential customer, and they get something that interests them. It’s a win-win situation – like any worthwhile relationship.
An optimized call to action should occur before the prospect reaches the landing page. It should start from the ad or link they clicked in from and be “message matched” on the landing page for continuity. The path should be paved all the way to the final call to action button on your sign-up form and followed up with an immediate thank you message.
So, to recap. We use landing pages to focus a prospect’s attention towards doing one thing and only one thing. We remove all distractions. The page’s purpose can be understood in a few seconds and the call to action is clear. Nobody gets lost, confused, or bounces out, and you get a higher return on your ad spend.
Huge shout-outs to E.T. for providing us with better insights on designing landing pages which has earned him the esteemed title “Employee of the month” at XadorLabs.