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The 3 types of landing pages you should be using if you want to build your email list fast

3-landing-pages-to-build-your-email-list

Last week I opted in to two new email lists.

Now let me make this clear: I am super picky about who’s email list I voluntarily opt-in to. Sure, I tend to end up on more than I’d like, because I’m a webinar junkie. But actually entering my name and email address on someone’s homepage to get their free PDF? Very rarely happens.

The only ones I do, on occasion, hand over my deets to, are ones that have very specific solutions to my immediate problems.

Which is how I ended up on two new email lists last week.

Neither of them were general “sign up to my email list for updates” opt-in boxes. They were landing pages for free resources that gave me the exact information I needed at that time.

Landing pages are one of my favorite things. They are vital for list building, but they can be either sorely underused or not used correctly.

In order for them to be effective, landing pages need to be:

  1. Super-focused — ONE call to action, ONE link and ONE message.
  2. Not distracting — your landing pages shouldn’t have headers, footers or any other links besides your ONE call-to-action link.
  3. Mobile-responsive — more people are viewing landing pages from their phone (via Facebook ads, tweets, etc) and having a mobile-optimized landing is more important than ever.

 

If you want to build your email list fast, here are the three most important landing pages you should be using for your business:

1. Squeeze pages for people interested in your new offer

Instead of bombarding your main email list with countless promotional emails during your big launches, get the people who are really interested in your offer onto a separate email list so you can nurture them.

These pages are especially great if you’re not a fan of the hard sell and would much rather focus on talking to a smaller group of eager fans.

They’ve already expressed their interest by handing over their sacred email, so you know they are waiting to hear from you.

Here are a few examples…

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IRRESISTIBLE SALES PAGES

I’m using this page to collect information from awesome people who are interested in learning more about the new course I’m launching in the fall. Hint. Hint. Nudge. Nudge. ;)

These landing pages are meant to be very basic and meant to serve one purpose — get people on your email list so you can follow up with them and keep everyone up-to-date on a product they are interested in.

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FINDING YOUR WORTH FROM WITHIN

This opt-in page actually serves 2 purposes: gather interest for a new program and deliver a free resource (in this case – a 4-part video series). The opt-ins are mainly be used to drive people to her full online course.

 

2. Opt-in pages for free resources

This one is definitely the most popular. If you have something you are giving away for free, like an eBook or video… or are holding an online event, like a webinar or video training series — you need a landing page.

Regardless if you have opt-ins set up throughout your site like on the homepage, sidebar, footer, etc, I also recommend having a separate landing page for each of your freebies.

This makes it really easy to link to the page no matter where or how you’re promoting the freebie.

Examples…

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DIGITAL PRODUCT ROLODEX

Sorry, you’re probably seeing a lot more of my face than you were hoping for today. ;)

But this is a good example that I had to share, because I’m actually practicing what I preach! (!!!) Hallelujah! But really, this one is currently converting at 38% and rising everyday that it’s out there, which is pretty good according to typical landing page conversion rates averaging anywhere from 5-15%, depending on what industry you’re in.

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GET YOUR WEBINAR DONE CHECKLIST

Again, Jackie has set up a separate landing page for one of her free resources, so she can link them directly to this page.

PS. This is one of the two email lists I opted into last week. Webinars are coming soon!

 

3. Guest Post Landing Pages

These pages might be the exception to one of the “rules” — I don’t believe that you need to remove all headers, footers and external links from these pages.

The purpose of these pages is to engage with readers from the brands and networks where you’re guest posting and invite them into your world so you can nurture them and turn them into new fans.

You can create hyper-focused landing pages to invite the readers to continue talking about the guest post subject or offering them a free resource related to the guest post topic. I even recommend calling the readers out by “name”. For example, if you do a guest post on Design Sponge, create a landing page that says, “Welcome Design Sponge readers!” right at the top. They’ll instantly know they’re in the right place and your conversion rates will be significantly higher.

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DR. MICHELLE MAZUR

Michelle included the link to this page in a Slideshare presentation she did for a guest post and it converted at 50%. That’s amazing!

 

How to create these landing pages

On your own website

You can create these landing pages on your own site if you have a page template already built into your website theme. If not, you could also hire a developer to create one for you, at a low cost.

The most important thing is that you’re able to remove the headers and footers from your landing page, because it really does make a difference to your conversion rate.

 

Using landing page software

There are also tools, like LeadPages, InstaPage and Landing Page Monkey that make it superrr easy for you to create these landing pages.

As a designer, I actually prefer to use LeadPages, because they are really fast to set up and are much easier to see how well your page is converting by diving into their built-in analytics.

The best part about using a tool like LeadPages is you can integrate it with your WordPress site so it looks like the page actually lives on your site. All you have to do is install the LeadPages plugin, connect your account and create new LeadPages pages in your WordPress site. Here’s a tutorial to show you how to do it.

The only downside with LeadPages is you won’t have as much creative control compared to the page being built on your own site. InstaPage and Landing Page Monkey give you more control… just make sure you are signed up for pro accounts so your pages are mobile responsive. Test your landing page to make sure it’s responsive by using this free tool.

You’ll be able to see how your page looks on different sized devices. Here’s a preview of how my Digital Product Rolodex page looks:

Screenshot 2015-04-13 10.22.53

Which new landing page are you going to create first for your biz?

If you create one and want to share, I’d love it if you popped the link in the comments below so we can all take a look!

Like this post + want to share with your tribe?

P.S. I’m considering doing a full review of the 3 landing page tools mentioned above, so let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d be interested in reading! 

  • Great tips Amanda!

    • Amanda Genther

      Thanks for reading, @alexrossdesign:disqus!

      • Not for all! It’s very useful post :)

  • This is wonderful insight! I’ve recently read a few articles on landing pages and I’m working on not only a post on them for my site, but my own landing pages. Thanks so much for sharing your insight!

    • Amanda Genther

      That’s awesome, @Tenns:disqus! Thanks for reading :)

  • Lori Harrosh Christensen

    Thanks for the tips and expertise on this subject. I am wondering how this may apply to small businesses that are not blogging (at the time being). And do you have suggestions for call to action items for retail businesses that may help drive people to sign up for the newsletter? Thanks so much.

    • Amanda Genther

      @loriharroshchristensen:disqus I don’t think you have to be blogging in order to use landing pages in your business. For example, you could easily be communicating with your community exclusively through your email list and providing value that way. You could use landing pages for things like free webinars and online workshops, free PDF downloads or videos on how to use stationary in your everyday life and little things like that. So many possibilities!

  • E Michelle

    Great tips. I haven’t had the opportunity to utilize any of the landing pages you mentioned but Unbounce has worked really well for me. Question for you though: I read the Hubspot blog connected and was wondering if you had any reservations about not including a “Headline” on your opt in page? When creating your copy, the headline is the very first thing I notice even when I’m reading your posts. Couldn’t this very well hurt the conversion rate as well? Looking forward to your response.

    • Amanda Genther

      @disqus_RxAUnrDDM5:disqus My opinion: I think every landing page needs to have a headline! It’s what grabs the attention of your readers.

  • These are great tips! I’m planning on really getting to work on my email list during May, so thank you so much for this timely post! I love the idea of not having headers/footers on your landing page…I actually haven’t seen that a lot and it’s a great way to get readers to focus only on your email sign ups!

    • Amanda Genther

      That’s great, Chloe! The sooner, the better with all things email lists. :)

  • This whole post is so helpful Amanda! Love the examples that you’ve shown to really help explain landing pages so well. I’m definitely saving it for my own near future reference, and so I can share too.

    • Amanda Genther

      So glad to hear that @robynpetrik:disqus! Thanks for reading and sharing :)

  • This post came at such a perfect time! I am preparing (way in advance) for an e-course, so this is so helpful! I was curious about Leadpages from a designer’s perspective, so I love having your input! I was also curious about integrating into my current site, so thank you for addressing the plugin!

    • Amanda Genther

      @disqus_oBOgPDiWpJ:disqus Yep, I’m big LeadPages fan, even as a designer. There are other tools out there that have much more customization options, but it’s all about what is the most efficient tool in my books!

  • I wouldn’t have thought of doing a landing page for guest posts, that’s genius – great advice here.

    • Amanda Genther

      That’s one of my faves, mainly because not many people think about it. It’s a great way to really leverage those guest posts!

  • Beth

    Awesome info. I especially like the idea of creating a specific landing page for the opt-in freebies. Plan to implement that one!

    • Amanda Genther

      Yes, so important for building that list :)

  • Kathryn

    Great post, Amanda! Your examples of the different types of landing pages have really got me thinking about what to create for a new opt-in I’m thinking about! Thanks!

    • Amanda Genther

      Awesome. So glad it helped @disqus_QO3YkJ4gC9:disqus!

  • Melanie Christner

    Great article, Amanda…and I’d love to see a review of the 3 landing page tools mentioned :)

    • Amanda Genther

      That’s a great idea @melaniechristner:disqus! I was actually thinking about doing screencast tutorials for each of them :)

  • juliesbeautydish

    I’d love to know more about the landing page tools! Great, helpful post.

    • Amanda Genther

      @juliesbeautydish:disqus – definitely going to do a blog post on these soon!

  • Sam Wu

    Great article! I’m creating an opt-in that will lead into an online course right now so this is perfect. I was just going to add the sign up to the end of blog posts, but now I’m going to create a landing page!

    • Amanda Genther

      So glad this helped, @disqus_tLY08lt8aU:disqus!

  • I’m just about to launch a free 7 day day photography course with its own specific landing page, similar to the squeeze pages above. Can’t wait to test and see how it converts!

  • Girlfriend, you just opened up my eyes to something I didn’t even know you could do! Create landing pages for guest posts?!?!?!

    I guest post as regular as some drink their coffee in the morning and it hadn’t even occurred to me that this was a possible option. How do I go about this?