Do you remember watching Beauty and the Beast? How Belle is terrified and intimidated by the beast at first because of his… well beastly etiquette and then as time passes she realizes that he was once a human who’s now been put under a terrible spell, she warms up to him.
No, I’m not on a fantasy roll – even though I was all about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus last week. What I’m trying to explain through the Beauty and the Beast example is that humans respond better to humans, we familiarize with them and hence are convinced by them – that’s just how we’re wired.
A lot of the landing pages one comes across nowadays are just confusing, this just doesn’t apply to me and my wandering brain, the pages are confusing because they have been designed in such a way that no human (aka your customer) could possibly understand what message they’re trying to get across.
When you sit down to create your landing page just ask yourself who’s going to look at your landing page; a real live human being or a creepy crawly internet spider.
Who’s going to click on your CTA button, a breathing customer or a complex software; because if you design a landing page that’s as cluttered as the one below no customer of yours will have the time or the patience to go through it, understand it and then click on your CTA button.
What you and all marketers out there need to do is humanize your landing pages, by humanizing I mean target your pages at actual human beings, make them fit for their consumption – you need to humanize the copy and the images to persuade your human customers.
Many of you must be confused about how to approach your landing page copy, what tone should you maintain and how much is really too much.
As I have already gone in a lot of detail about the length of the landing page copy in one my previous posts, for now I’ll just stick to the tone and style of writing that you adopt for your landing page.
Before I begin with that however, it’s important that you understand a few basic facts about landing pages. Visitors are only likely to spend 8 seconds on average on your landing page before they decide to exit your page. It’s in this short window of time that you need to hook your visitors in for the sale, and the only thing to do this with is persuasive human copy.
Dry technical writing only does one job well and that is putting your visitors to sleep; this kind of language doesn’t convince, it digresses your customer from your conversion goal because your customers actually have to spend the time to understand what you’ve written.
Go through the landing page below and tell me how long it took you to understand what was being offered to you on that page.
It was difficult to get wasn’t it?
Now read the copy of this Zapier landing page.
Of course it is and there are a number of reasons why this is so. First, the second landing page reads better because the copy has been designed and arranged in a more visually appealing way. The second page has white space while the first one has very little space, sure they have added bullet points to space their content out but the second page is easier to read because the words have additional room to breathe.
Secondly, in the case of the first landing page the tone is very technical and impersonal, they only use the word “you” at the end for crying out loud. It’s like “we also offer classes on campus and online”; and the customer is thinking well great but where am I in all of this.
In comparison, the Zapier page copy has a more personal feel, they start off with “you” in the first paragraph, plus they use the power of imagination which is a potent persuasion tool with the line “Imagine capturing Wufoo leads automatically into Salesforce…” You can actually imagine doing that and therefore you click on the CTA button with no qualms at all.
Technical jargon or serious and dry marketing talk don’t really get you conversions. If you want to write copy that sells you need to write as if your customer is sitting in front of you and you’re explaining to him everything that he needs to know.
Write like you talk so that visitors can listen and not just hear what you have to say.
We now come to images which are another central element of a landing page’s success. When one talks of images and humanizing stuff, the first thing that pops into mind are stock images. Well what can I say about bad stock images, they make me cringe, literally make my teeth hurt because they have the power to take a perfectly good page straight to the dump.
Like before, let’s take two landing pages and compare their images to see which one has more human appeal, however instead of looking at actual human images on pages let’s make it more fun and analyze animated images and see which one has more human appeal.
Because “humanizing images” doesn’t mean that you should have “human” images, it simply means that your images should be able to emotionally connect with your customers, help them make the purchase.
First up we have the Super Quick Tech Support page.
It has the support rep with the headset and the big teethy smile and while she’s really cute and I do get the tech support feeling from her, my first reaction is, “what’s so funny?” no one can in their right mind enjoy doing support this much. To me she’s not believable, not human in her role.
In contrast to this have a look at this Basecamp page.
The scene is adorable, the copy is funny and the expressions are genuine, the customer/juggler is smiling but not forcefully and the crowd is cheering just the right amount. This image connects with you, it urges you to do what the Call-to-Action says, “Give Basecamp a try” because who doesn’t have to juggle a lot of projects at a time and who wouldn’t want to do this with a smile on their face?
If your landing page succeeds in connecting with your visitors, it succeeds in reducing friction and so it succeeds in getting conversions – just understand this one simple fact and humanize your landing pages for better conversions.
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