Sean from MailerLite

Sean23 min readTips and resourcesFebruary 5, 2021

How to write high-converting copy for landing pages

How to write high-converting copy for landing pages

Elevator pitches. You have about 30 seconds—roughly the time it takes for an elevator to move between floors—to tell a story so compelling that the listener wants to know more after stepping out.

It’s the same with your landing pages. They’re working tirelessly 24/7 to make an elevator pitch to every visitor that drops by.

And the persuasiveness of your landing page copy will determine whether you convince the visitor to take an action or to do nothing at all. Are you ready to convert more visitors?

This is your complete guide to nailing your landing page pitch. We'll cover:  

  • Landing page overview
  • Building blocks of a successful page
  • Important homework before you start writing copy
  • Best practices for writing high-converting copy
  • Lots of landing page examples to get the creative juices flowing!

Firstly, what exactly is a landing page and how is it different from a website homepage? We like to think of it as a web page that visitors “land” on after clicking a link in a pop-up, online ad, search engine page, social media and so on.

Landing pages exist for one purpose only: To convert visitors into leads and eventually customers.

For this reason, the strategy, visuals and copy for landing pages are different from website pages.

  1. Strategy: To offer something compelling enough for the visitor to take an action.
  2. Copy: Focuses on delivering the pitch and persuading the visitor to take the action.
  3. Visuals: A distraction-free design ensures that visitors immediately get the message and see the next step.

In Australia, the Equality Project’s conference page is an example of a great landing page at work. It’s a single page with an offer and a signup form. Unlike a website page, you’ll notice there are no navigation links to distract the visitor. Just a straightforward message with one possible action.

Equality Project’s conference page

The persuasive nature of landing pages means that they are flexible and adaptable to just about any purpose that can convince a visitor to share their email address. Popular uses include online marketing campaigns, lead generation, email list building and e-commerce.

Landing pages are also a useful content marketing tool in your digital marketing strategy. Bring your prospective visitors to the next level of the customer journey by sharing downloadable guides, email newsletters and online webinars. Check out more examples in the following article.

Here are some things you can have visitors do with landing pages:

  • Join a waiting list
  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Download an eBook or guide
  • Get samples or freebies in the mail
  • Enter a giveaway or competition
  • Register for a course, event or webinar
  • Take part in a challenge
  • Ask someone to follow-up with a call
  • Receive a discount coupon
  • Participate in a survey
  • Buy a product or service

James Fuertes, a realtor, designed an effective lead capture page with several form fields. The landing page headline, color scheme and elegant background all work together to attract like-minded buyers—and qualify leads for him.

Lead capture landing page from real estate agent James Fuertes - MailerLite

The important thing to remember is that all the elements of a landing page work together to convert visitors into leads. Similar to website design, there is no one single important element. A jaw-dropping design alone will not save a new landing page if the message is muddled and confusing.

The main landing page elements include:

  1. Headline. Needs to be punchy to grab the visitor’s attention.
  2. Subheadline. Expands on the headline and provides details.
  3. Offer. Give something in return for their email address.
  4. Image. Eye-catching graphic or hero image.
  5. Call-to-action (CTA). Prompt a course of action with a CTA button.
  6. Thank you page. A separate page that presents the offer.
  7. Aligned branding. Landing page design should be consistent with your brand.

Let’s study this good landing page for The Independent Girls Collective (IGC), a community for female business owners. It’s offering a free course to help you make your next business launch a success.

light pink countdown Landing page signup for The Independent Girls Collective - Mailerlite

Let’s see why it has all the elements of a successful landing page.

1. Powerful headline

One way to engage your audience, and make them sit up, is to invoke curiosity. It’s done here by posing a question to you. If it had said, “Make your next business launch a success”, much of the impact would be lost.

2. Supporting subheadline

The subheadline complements the headline and expands on its message. It provides more details and includes your value proposition. Here, it’s about achieving repeatable, successful results for business launches. That’s the outcome we want right?

3. Compelling offer

Offer something of such value to your page visitors that they are willing to share their details with you in exchange for it. A free course is offered here along with the use of a countdown timer to inject a sense of urgency.

4. Eye-catching image

The landing page image should complement the headline as well. IGC uses a simple wallpaper of rocket emoji that ties-in with the landing page’s theme. Plus, the repeating motif looks fashionable and it's certainly memorable.

5. Firm call-to-action

Tell visitors what you want them to do on your landing page! If they stayed with you for this length of time, show them how to accept your offer. Here, the CTA copy is clear: Join the course with a signup form. And the CTA button adds to it by saying “Count me in”!

6. Follow-up thank you page

While it is tempting to show an in-line thank you message on the landing page, we recommend that you display a dedicated page. Why? A thank you page continues the conversion process:

  • It shows the offer that you promised the visitor and allows them to download it.
  • It makes a secondary offer, such as a free consultation, and helps to nurture the lead.

IGC’s thank you page confirms your submission and extends an invitation to a secret Facebook group. You feel like you’re being welcomed into a special community. Doesn’t it make you feel great?

Thank you page for The Independent Girls Collective - MailerLite

7. Brand alignment

IGC’s landing page is a natural extension of their website below. You’ll be right at home with the consistent user experience, typography and signature pink color! There’s no doubt that you’re dealing with the same business and person here.

Website for The Independent Girls Collective white and pink find out now button - mailerlite

In fact, aligning your brand helps to usher a visitor along the customer journey, reaffirming your story in their mind. Putting it all together, look how a prospect makes their way from the website to the landing page and, finally, converting into a lead.

lead capture for landing page sequence The Independent Girls Collective aligned branding - mailerlite

All in all, IGC’s landing page conversion rate should be decent as they’ve ticked all the right boxes for a high-converting landing page: A laser-focus on their target audience and a consistent story between the website, landing page and thank you page.

By now you’re probably thinking, “What about social proof, customer testimonials, search engine optimization (SEO) and A/B testing?” Well, they’re all part of putting together an effective landing page. We explore some of these topics in the following blog post.

SEO, in particular, is about ranking for long-form content whereas conversion rate optimization prefers a less-is-more philosophy. Here, we’re focused on the role of a copywriter—writing high-converting text for your own landing page.

So, that landing page case study fired you up and now you want to start writing copy for your landing pages. Wait! There are two important things to cover before we can jump into writing landing page copy. You need to know who you’re writing for and the stage of the marketing funnel that they’re at.

Understand your visitors and their pain points

Ask yourself: Who is your ideal customer? Picture them in your mind and then create a customer persona. This is your target audience. Take a good look. You’re going to write copy that speaks directly to them.

Here are some things to consider when you’re building your customer persona.

  • Are they baby boomers or Generation X, Y or Z?
  • What’s their job title and likely responsibilities?
  • What’s their highest education level?
  • How about their interests, cultural background and marital status?
  • Which countries do they live in?
  • What are their goals and tasks that they’re trying to complete?

By creating a persona, you’re stepping into the shoes of your potential customers and thinking like them. Most importantly, personas help you to brainstorm and identify the pain points, or problems, that your ideal customers are experiencing.

When you start writing high-converting copy for your landing pages, you are tailoring your message to these personas. Your copy must be focused and targeted: one landing page for one customer persona.

​👉 Tip

If you have multiple customer personas, prepare a landing page for each one. If not, your message will not resonate with any of them—along with your conversion chances.

For example, The Intentional Influencer’s landing page literally calls out to their ideal customers: Content creators. They know that being a creative entrepreneur can be challenging and lonely at times—so they created a support network.

The Intentional Influencer’s high converting landing page orange background homepage

Align your message to the customer journey

Visitors to your landing page arrive with varying degrees of buying intent. Some may just be aware of your brand after clicking on an ad. Others have done their research and want to compare solutions. And then there are those who are ready to buy.

A single landing page can’t possibly address the different intentions of all of these visitors! You need to tailor your landing page copy and content to match their stage in the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration and decision.

1. Awareness

In the awareness stage, people are experiencing symptoms of a problem and they’re trying to identify it. So they’re passively researching and reading about it. Your landing page should introduce your brand to them and offer content such as eBooks, guides and reports.

For Amy Lynn, a consultant for mom-focused online businesses, she’s offering a free eBook that helps female business owners find an idea and launch it. Notice how she targets moms who are aware of online opportunities but unsure how to start.

Amy Lynn's high converting landing page example - mailerlite

2. Consideration

For the consideration stage, people have identified their problem and they’re actively looking for a solution. Here, your landing page must convince them why you’re the best choice by offering free courses, workshops, webinars or videos.

The landing page for Rachel Evans, an expert on eating disorders, targets visitors who know they have an unhealthy relationship with food. As a solution, she offers a free online class where she shares tips, techniques and answers any questions that her target audience may have.

Landing page for Rachel Evans emotional eating green colors - mailerlite

3. Decision

Finally, at the decision stage, people know about what’s available and they have shortlisted a few solutions. They’re going to make a decision soon and they just need a little nudge in your direction with product information and demos.

Huckstepper, an e-bike retailer, knows that you’re looking for a cool electric bike. Their landing page doesn’t waste time and shares product and pricing information with you. You’re now ready to compare your shortlisted e-bikes and make a decision.

Landing page for Huckstepper yellow and black motorcycle example - mailerlite

Now, it's onto the fun part—learning to write landing page copy that converts! Let's walkthrough each best practice shall we?

1. Impress with a strong headline

Your headline in big, bold letters is the first thing a visitor will see when they land on your page. And you want to grab their attention and continue the momentum so that they read the rest of it.

​👉 Tip

If you’re stuck writing an attention-seeking headline, leave this task to the end. It’ll come to you after you write the subheadline, CTA and put the rest of the landing page together!

The famed Dead Rabbit bar in New York uses a captivating headline that’s also a clever pun. Not only does it mean asking for a stiff drink, it also refers to the two bartenders delivering the virtual cocktail class.

high converting Landing page example countdown timer black bar background for the Dead Rabbit bar

2. Use the active voice

Use an active voice to convey a strong and confident tone. This is where the subject of a sentence performs the verb’s action. A passive voice, on the other hand, sees the subject acted on by the verb. For example:

✅ Active: Podcasters save editing time with our AI software
❎ Passive:
Our AI software saves editing time for podcasters

​👉 Tip

To help you remember how to write in the active voice, think subjectverbobject.

We love the adrenaline-fueled copy at Epic Man Trips’ landing page. The active voice here—you → ride → snowmobile—gives it a vigorous and assured tone, perfect to showcase their transformative adventure retreats for men.

Epic Man Trips’ landing page example text listing details what to find

3. Be positive

Remember our elevator pitch story? Let’s say you begin your pitch eagerly, “I’m so glad I didn’t miss you in the lobby this morning!” What kind of tone did you just give the listener? It’s better to start on a positive note like this: “I’m so glad to bump into you this morning!”

Likewise, the best way to influence behavior with landing page copy is to say it in a positive way. It takes practice to unlearn any habitual use of double negatives! Aim to write to inspire visitors to take a certain course of action.

👉 Tip

The positive version of your sentence will often be shorter than the negative one. Try it!

JennyRebecca, a singer and songwriter, frames artistic burnout in a positive way for her free workshop. She doesn’t mention “burnout” in her headline at all. Instead, she focuses on using the opposite word: pursuance.

Landing page for JennyRebecca workshop minimalist signup form red cta button

Here are more ways to put a positive spin to your landing page copy.

Replace negative words with positive ones

❎ You won’t regret taking up this challenge!
✅ You’ll love taking up this challenge!

Unlearn double negatives

Please do not hesitate to contact us
Please feel free to contact us!

Present solutions instead of problems

❎ You can’t seem to get enough time in a day
✅ You can get more time in a day

Say what you want, not what you don’t

Don’t forget about mental health week
Remember mental health week

Avoid exaggeration

❎ You’ve never seen a beach like this!
What a beach!

❎ Are you always suffering from muscular pain?
Keep muscular pain in check

4. Write like how you speak

Have you noticed how your spoken words are more casual than the way you write? That’s because we’re talking in real-time. We don’t have the luxury to draft and revise our conversations on the go.

Now transfer this conversational tone to your writing. Your readers will feel more engaged. You’re writing in a way that feels real and natural. So drop stuffy words and just speak to your audience.

​👉 Tip

Write your landing page copy and then read it out aloud. Then find a cat or a friend and read it to them. Does it sound like you’re having a casual chat with them? If not, rewrite it again.

Read the following introduction from Chynna Benton, a virtual assistant consultant. Now read it out aloud. Its heartfelt sincerity would be a perfect pitch to someone asking her in an elevator, “So, what do you do?”

Chynna Benton's high converting landing page example purple background girl on laptop

5. Talk like your audience

Connect with your target audience by using words, phrases and acronyms that they use. They’ll see you as a BFF because you know them. By establishing rapport, you’ll increase conversions and turn them into customers and raving fans.

Adulting With Pam, a lifestyle blogger, says it all! Millennials will instantly know what Pam is talking about while the rest of us are left a little puzzled. She engages her Gen Y audience with grown-up topics like buying your first home and paying off debt.

Adulting With Pam's high converting landing page example white and light rose

6. Write with conviction and certainty

Back to our elevator pitch scenario. What if you deliver your pitch without meeting your listener’s eyes, speak in a shaky voice or trail off with a hopeful shrug? To convince an audience you need to first believe in what you’re saying.

If visitors to your landing page sense that you’re not confident with what you’re saying, they won’t be confident handing over their email address either! Tell them that what you are writing is true and correct. Back it up with figures if you have to.

​👉 Tip

Start by removing weak words such as “appears”, “seems” and “really”. Replace them with strong words such as “can”, “will”, “must”.

At Journey to KidLit, a resource for children’s book authors, they back up their claim to being a more productive writer with Grammarly statistics. If they can do it by following their tips and writing challenge, you can too!

Journey to KidLit's landing page sign up form example light blue

7. Put important things above the fold

When you pick up a newspaper, it’s typically folded with the headlines and main story at the top of the page. You’ll want to do the same for your landing page by putting all your persuasive elements on the first page that visitors see.

​👉 Tip

If you plan to have a long landing page, divide your copy into sections that fit into a web browser’s window.

Karla Myra, a success coach, brilliantly divides her landing page into color-coded sections that fill your screen as you scroll down. This way she communicates a lot of information without overwhelming you.

Karla Myra's landing page tricolor example white pink orange

8. Keep it simple

It’s well known that web visitors have short attention spans. However, unlike the leisurely movement of the elevator from floor to floor, your landing page has only seconds to put your message and value proposition across.

​👉 Tip

Avoid making visitors do work by reading long paragraphs. Summarize your offer and list bullet points below to show them what they can expect.

Kiwi Eco Box, a monthly subscription box service, uses an unconventional landing page template to get their message across in large type. By the time you scroll down and digest each point, you’re primed and ready to nod your head in agreement with the CTA!

Landing page for Kiwi Eco Box light green and white letters

9. Highlight benefits, not features

Visitors care about what you can do for them, not what you do. Write copy that explains how using your product or service (feature) helps your prospects achieve a certain goal or outcome (benefit).

👉 Tip

Your value proposition is not a list of features that outclasses your competition. Think about how you would reply if a visitor said, “So what?”

At Hey Gamer, a newsletter for game discounts and coupons, they scan hundreds of game platforms everyday so that you don’t have to. You save both time and money by enjoying the daily deals.

Landing page for Hey Gamer

10. End with a clear call-to-action

So, you managed to deliver your pitch in the elevator. There’s a chime before the door opens and your target is stepping out. Quick! What do you say? You’ll only be able to squeeze something like, “I’ll call you for another chat over coffee!”

Similarly, once your visitors make it to the bottom of your landing page, tell them what’s going to happen next. Most importantly, you should present them with one, and only one, call-to-action.

​👉 Tip

Increase your chances of higher conversions with your CTA button text. Instead of generic labels, let visitors know what to expect when they click on the CTA button.

The landing page for The Creative Accountant offers a free email course on how to launch a blog for accountants. Thankfully avoiding generic button copy such as “Submit” or “Sign up”, they pre-empt your behavior with “I’m in, let’s launch!”

Landing page for The Creative Accountant green sign up form yellow cta button

11. Bonus best practice: Make humor work for you

We feel that this one deserves a special mention. Your landing pages needn’t have a serious tone all the time. Bring a smile to someone's face with tasteful and appropriate humor.

​👉 Tip

Inappropriate humor will backfire spectacularly! You’ll get landing page traffic but not the kind you want. If in doubt, just google it or ask your friends for their opinion.

Valerie Neslen, a nutritional therapist, walks her visitors through a checklist of things that she’ll cover in her workshop. She then ends unexpectedly with a line that’ll bring a smile to any supermom!

Landing page for Valerie Neslen white and green sign up form reserve your seat

12. And finally: don’t forget to test!

Stuck between which headline to choose from? Or unsure which CTA text will get the highest conversions? We’ve all been there. With MailerLite, you can A/B test your landing page copy to statistically prove which version is the winner. It takes out the guesswork and lets you create optimized landing pages that you know will resonate with your audience. 

Tip 👉

You can test up to 5 different versions of your landing page with MailerLite. You could test product descriptions, CTAs, headlines, copy, images and videos. Traffic will be split evenly between each version, and the results will come straight through to your dashboard, showing you the highest converting landing page!

To learn more about A/B split testing your landing pages, check out this video tutorial from Marcin below. 

“So, that’s how it’s done,” you now have the skills to write high-converting landing pages and to pitch something to an elevator full of people (if that need ever arises!).

If you have to walk away with only one point from this article, make it this one: Unlike a website page, the success of your landing page depends solely on keeping it single-minded with persuasive and compelling copy that leads the reader to take an action.

Every element of a landing page—from the headline down to the CTA button—works together to achieve your goal. Use these eleven best practices and you’ll be on your way to writing high-converting copy for your landing pages!

Have you written copy for a landing page in MailerLite? Post the link below, tell us your target audience, their stage in the marketing funnel, and we’ll personally analyze it!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2020, and it has now been updated with some extra advice on A/B testing your landing pages. 

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Sean Cho

I'm Sean, a Copywriter at MailerLite. I like minimalist design and architecture but I draw the line at deconstructed food, thanks. I like writing about B2B topics in a way that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. When I'm not at my desk, you'll find me tinkering with my espresso machine in search of syrupy shots.