A web designer started a blog where he shared his ideas and knowledge about the best practices in the online world. He also shared information and viewpoints on particular pieces of software as well as the Internet.
His primary goal was to help businesses in creating their website. The blog eventually became famous, and readers grew in number. Before that, he wanted to know if anyone else was going to like his project, which was to start a web design firm.
His future firm at that time would present a project management app for his blog readers, which included software enthusiasts, web designers, and small businesses among others.
The blogger had some problems he needed to solve right away if he wanted to penetrate the industry he was eyeing on:
He needed to validate his idea.
He wanted to inform people about his idea.
He wanted his target audience to know about his upcoming project and convince the people to use it.
Social media sites and apps were his focus during those times, especially Twitter. This particular site was an ideal place for him to build an audience. Twitter already has millions of users and contains well-defined communication channels such as the use of hashtags.
He later found out that it was difficult to gain attention on a place like Twitter, in particular for people like him who was just starting out. Nevertheless, he spent a lot of time tweeting and interacting with other users, eventually leading them to his blog posts. He also built something that would achieve the same thing but with automation.
As soon as his blog became famous, he launched his product. He had no traction at first, and then he started earning $5,000 to $10,000 monthly in recurring revenue.
Just like this blogger, you could create a way to build an audience before you build your product. It is a fundamental concept that many small businesses fail to grasp. It is why they also fail in achieving their goals, including achieving their revenue goals.
The “Audience First” Approach
For most businesses, they believe in the “product first” approach where they simply introduce a new product and wait for people to buy it. As an entrepreneur, your goal should not only be about making products; it should also be about creating a brand.
Think of it this way: Apple, Samsung, Nike and Rolex all have legitimate fans, which makes it easy for these brands to have more exposure for their companies. Having these fans is undoubtedly great, but you cannot get that unless you have an audience.
When you go for the “product first” model, there is a chance that you will bring in revenue much quicker than the “audience first” model. However, you can have a poor product-market fit because you could come up with something that not many people would find to be interesting.
In contrast, the “audience first” model is where you build your audience first. You find the people who may be interested in your future project, lure them in, and interact with them. Only then can you launch your product. The best way for you to do this is through content marketing.
How to Use Content Marketing to Build an Audience
In content marketing, you will be able to create a readership buildup in a particular niche. You can use this to your advantage, especially in finding out what this niche’s biggest problems are. Once you have discovered the problems, you can offer a solution to those issues through the use of your great product. Believe it or not, this tactic can help you gain truly high conversion rates.
In the world of content creation and curating, there is a saying that teaching sells – and it is true. Teaching builds trust between you and you customers. It is the essence of a brilliant blog, which is to provide information, share resources, and do roundups of useful products in the industry the company belongs to.
When you provide valuable content to your readers, it will automatically help you build an audience, which consists of your ideal customers. Later on, you can introduce your product once you have found your audience.
You can start with a blog where your goal is to attract your target audience. To achieve this goal, you should provide content that is compelling, valuable, and educational. The key here is to make sure your content is easy to find through a Google search and on social media sites.
7 Fundamental Steps on Building an Audience
Often, you cannot build your audience by accident. It is not something that occurs overnight. It involves a methodical approach, which is represented by the steps below:
Step 1: Choose an audience you care about. An important rule to follow here is to pick an audience you are also interested in. You should care about what you intend to post and the people who will be reading it. Remember that you will create high-value content for this audience. Often, you are required to come up with content for several months, and there is no real benefit yet except the promise of becoming profitable in the future. This alone can make it difficult for you to stay motivated.
Step 2: Understand your audience before you create content. To understand your chosen audience, take some time to research on information about them, especially demographics and psychographics. Demographics include their location, age, gender, education level, income, and ethnicity. Your goal here is to define relevant demographics for them. As for psychographics, it is about the thoughts and beliefs of your audience.
Step 3: Eliminate your competitors. After you have chosen your audience, you will have competition. It is not something to be scared of because you can still be successful. It all depends on your positioning, which the way your audience associates you or your company with a certain aspect of their life or interest.
Step 4: Drive people to your blog. Before you start blogging, it is important that people will come to your site to read your content. You can try promotional techniques, or you can use other methods, such as guest posting and paid advertising.
Step 5: Grow your audience. Next step is to create your content and aim at growing the number of visitors consistently. Techniques include coming up with good content ideas that you should be able to provide on schedule. You should also know how you can stay in touch with your audience.
Step 6: Come up with product ideas based on your audience. You generally have three options here. First, you will pitch ideas of products to your subscribers to know if they are interested. Second, you can create a survey to learn about the problems of your readers and then you can propose solutions (products) for their problems. Finally, you can read the comments to know what your audience is looking for.
Step 7: Convert your readers into purchasers. When you already have your product, the last step is to sell it. Surprisingly, you do not need a sales pitch that should be so fancy. You already have a relationship with your audience, which makes the audience-first model beneficial over time.
While you can create a product and find people who may be interested in buying it, you can also flip this traditional approach and build your audience first.
Success Stories to Encourage You to Use the Audience-First Model
Some startups build their audience first before they launch a product. They were able to reach their goals by investing heavily in creating a blog and filling it up with useful content. Here are some success stories to inspire you to do the same:
In 1999, 37signals was simply a classic firm that offers web design services. Then, in 2001, they introduced their blog where they shared their insights about web design and other related information. The blog became popular for aspiring and professional web designers, as well readers who were interested in their topics. It was only in 2004 when the company launched their flagship product for their target audience.
It was in 2004 when Rand Fishkin introduced SEOmoz.org. He simply launched the blog to share his thoughts about SEO and the things he learned from and about it. Eventually, he released his first ever guide on his blog. It was covered by some online newspapers, including Newsweek and he used that to continue developing his consulting business. After three years, he was able to launch his subscription product, which is exclusively for premium members. At that time, he already had an existing audience, which allowed him to create a product that about 10,000 marketers paid for right away.
The primary purpose of Mint.com was to build a finance tool that can be used by young individuals and professionals. It targeted those whose needs were not met by standard finance services and software. The creators knew that these people whom they chose as their target audience would leverage the Internet to know about personal finance news and other information about it.
For that reason, they decided to build MintLife, which was their personal finance blog. It delivered valuable content for the target audience, which was comprised of young professionals. The content focused on providing help for an audience when it comes to managing finances. All the posts were independent of the upcoming Mint.com product at that time. When the product eventually launched, there was already an audience, and it was easy to convert most of them into buyers.
Before Nathan Barry created ConvertKit, he presented online courses for designers and marketers as well as for people who are interested in the topics. He also authored a book called Authority. Nathan Barry used his blog to provide free education for his readers. He would talk about what he is passionate about, and he made small revenues with the help of his online courses. His book helped him establish himself as a leader in web design and marketing.
It was only later when he launched his tech startup, which he eventually turned into a SaaS business called ConvertKit.
Before Ryan Hoover introduced his product to the public, he first thought of a way to reach out to people. He did not want to write a single line of code, so he used the email first strategy. With this strategy, he talked about the new products that would help his target audience. He sent the emails daily and was able to build a good amount of subscribers.
After a few days, there were over 100 people signing up for his email newsletters. He used these newsletters to validate some of his assumptions. At the same time, he was able to observe the behaviors of his subscribers without the need for automation. He offered his product only after he found his target audience.
Start Building Your Audience Today
Perhaps the most difficult part about finding and building an audience is determining the kind of audience to build. It is not always easy to find your topic, but asking yourself these questions can help you get started today:
What are you really interested in? If you know about your passions and what you enjoy doing, it can help you build an audience. Everything is hard in running a business, which is why most people fail. You can make a difference by working on something you naturally care about.
What do you want to help other people with? The audience-first model is about helping other people.
Do you think you can make money with it? While your highest priority is helping others, you also need to make a living out of it.
Of course, there is social media for you to use in interacting with your intended audience. You can use social media websites to help redirect your audience to your blog. You can also use these sites to talk to your potential customers, while you slowly build a community where you can ask about what products they may want from you.
To hit new heights in growth, we are looking to change the game in business. So here’s an example of why.
Go and play a game of volleyball. Now you must add an additional rule to the game that makes the game better than before. Smaller nets? Only be on 1 Leg, or how about using your head only.
You see as entrepreneurs, this is what we are trying to accomplish.
The Secrets Behind Steve Jobs and How He Change The Game In Business
Steve Jobs famously said.
When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world.
Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life.
Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
This really resonates with me and I hope it does for you as well. Ashton Kutcher tried to use this quote in a speech and I face palmed. I feel that he is a wannabe in the startup scene. Sorry, I had to say it.
Ok, Back to the point. We are looking to change the game in business. Figuring out ways to make it better than what exists. Search engines in the 90s were rendered obsolete when Google hit the market for an example.
When we change the game, it needs to be something insanely great. People don’t like to change so you need to make them go “WoW!”. Think of what Elon Musk is doing with Tesla. It’s a simple example of someone who is changing the game. Electric cars that are super fast, no gas, eco-friendly, and luxurious status icon. They are changing the game for many many different types of people.
Now, this is a billion dollar problem and it was tackled with someone who made a billion dollars.
If you aren’t going to build an insanely great product and your product is only 10% better then the competitors. You are going to need a huge sales force in order to compete because why would they switch away from a company they currently use and trust?
I love my iPhone, good luck trying to get me to switch to something else. You have to really prove me in a logical way that another phone in my view of what I think a better phone is.
Understanding Your Customers
Customer feedback is the vitals of your business. If you don’t even have a business started then start conducting customer interviews, figure out their problems and get to the root cause of them by asking why as many times as possible.
If you don’t know who your customers are for an idea you haven’t thought of. Come up with a simple hypothesis. Pick something you are passionate about and start talking to potential customers.
Once you listen to your customers or potential customers, you’ll start to understand what they value and what they are willing to spend their money on.
If you currently have a product and it’s too hard to sell, you are talking to the wrong person or you have the wrong product. Selling should be easy when you are talking to the right people with the right product. You may want to consider building an audience first if this is what is happening to you and collect feedback from potential buyers to build a killer product.
Similar companies are such a key ingredient to a successful business. With my mobile apps and before it is created, I use a service called AppBot and I setup on my future competitors. The reason why I would do this is that I am monitoring all the positive and negative feedback on my competition’s app. By analyzing all the reviews, the messages also reveal the target demographic for my competition and how I should craft my marketing narrative.
You will be able to see what is working very well for them and what they are really complaining about. Another thing you should do is find successful companies in your field or a similar field and use a service like Prospect.io. This service allows you to put in a company’s website and find their email address. When you get their email address, cold email them and try to get an interview, ask them about their beginnings, their problems and how they became successful. This could lead to a great partnership. (or them trying to hire you, like what has happened to me haha)
One last trick you can do is try to find failed companies and get an interview with the founder. Since stories aren’t normally written about failed companies, you gotta dig deep. When you get an interview, this is valuable because their company is done and they are willing to talk about their huge successes and their failures with the company. You’ll be able to learn from their mistakes and come out on top.
Onboarding is about reducing all the friction between someone who is new and get them up to speed on using your product or service. You may onboard a new hire by teaching everything he needs to know in order to hit the ground running or onboarding a new product or service. I’ll be discussing the latter.
Onboarding is one of the most important things you can do to grow your product. It’s so important for people to understand how to use your product as fast as possible because this is to get them to that famous “Ah Ha!” moment. Once a customer or a user hits the “Ah Ha!” like “Ah Ha, I get it!!” They are stoked and will actively engage in your product.
People naturally have this fear of change and a fear of learning things such as old Grandma’s
The iPhone’s are pretty easy to use but Apple’s Retail Stores are there to help grandma’s use their iPhone’s and iPad’s. This is a target demographic that can benefit from an iPhone but are not tech savvy. They will have people on-site to sit and walk with them through out the entire process.
Removing the friction as fast as possible is the number one priority. Remove any growth engine’s when onboarding. Remove all the social shares. If you have an email opt-in or any kind of special offer, remove that too. It’s all about getting them up to speed as quickly as possible. Onboarding is your growth engine.
Guide Your Customers
I get asked all the time on how to write software and my advice is always the same.
Just read and do, read and do.
When the mind knows how to use something, there is no learning to be done and this allows them to engage. I am not battling how to figure out on how to program, I am just writing software and creating. The same is also with a product. When your users know how to use your product, they start to engage.
The smallest details make the biggest difference. When a person engages with your product, it’s important that there is some kind of feedback to let them know what is going on.
Notice in this picture below, the password rules become display as the user starts to type.
The people who use this app do not need to guess what is right or wrong for a person. They know right away.
The best way to get someone to start engaging with the product is to have the product engage with them when getting started. Slack does a phenomenal job at this. You setup your account interacting with the slack bot. This not only fills out the information needed but it gets you messaging and using the app.
Sometimes your product isn’t easy to engage with like slack. For an example, Facebook. Before Facebook, finding your friends and family on the internet was not simple. Facebook’s “Ah Ha!” moment was for you to find your friends and family on the internet as fast as possible. Zuckerberg knew this and when their growth was slowing down, he told the team that their users needed to connect with 7 friends within 14 days. Why 7 friends? This pumped the newsfeed up with enough content for the user to want to keep coming back and stick on the dart board.
A lot of people are pulling their teeth trying to figure out how to keep their users coming back to the application.
Evernote does a fantastic job on this with their on boarding strategy. With Evernote, they setup their drip email campaign not to get the people back into the application and engage but instead Evernote they link their emails to their help articles.
This is brilliant because it’s about getting your users to fully understand how to use your product so that they naturally want to come back and depend on your product every day.
Creating your Onboarding Experience
Every product or offering is going to have a different onboarding experience and it’s not clear on day one how the user on. You need to collect that feedback. Try to meet the people using your product in person or schedule a one-on-one phone call with a new client.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of onboarding people into the way we want them to be onboard but this is a mistake. You need to get into their head and understand their needs in using the product and then tailor the onboarding experience on how they want to use the product. You want them to be successful and to really depend on you for their success.
People don’t like change so when someone is fully on board with your product, they are more likely to stick around and not switch to a competitor.
When You Should Start Your Thinking about Onboarding Experience
Onboarding new users do not need to happen all at once. If your product is not released, spending all your time on the perfect onboarding is not the right path because you don’t even know how your users are going to react yet. It’s more important to focus on product market fit first and getting your MVP out the door then to focus on immediately on your onboarding experience. Break out your onboarding efforts into smaller chunks, start with the registration screen and adding password messaging. It’s more important to get the product out the door. Make a continuous effort to always improve your onboarding experience. As you add more features to your product, you are increasing the complexity.
People are the ones who buy your products, and people are the ones who read your emails and, people are the ones who talk about your company. It’s all about the people, not numbers on a graph.
I follow someone on Twitter, and I immediately get unsolicited messages. They are trying to get me to click on the link in their message. My first response is to unfollow them. In my opinion, this automated robotic response does not work.
I asked one of the companies that sent me a message, and he says, 10% reply back. Out of the 10%, how many people click on the link and then how many people make a sale. For the rest of the 90%, what do they think of that company? Was it worth it if 90% of the people you message now do not like your brand? There is a better way to handle this.
A Few Ways to Build Customer Trust
Let’s say someone signs up to your SaaS product. A lot of companies “auto check” the opt-in box during their sign-up process. Or, they don’t have an opt-in box, and you just get a random email a week later. When you get this email about a new product, it feels unsolicited. These kind of emails are a sure way to get you to hit the “Mark as Spam” button or the unsubscribe link.
This same goes for newsletter emails after registration to an app. Why send someone a promotion when they never asked to receive it? You see, it’s a cold promotion. A cold promotion is only acceptable when it’s just not cold. There are other ways to handle on how to get your message across from people you do not know.
You see, it boils down to trust
Do you trust businesses that you have never heard from, so why buy the product?
To build customer trust and the best approach is to be genuine, how would you get your message to them if they were your friend? Would you send your friend a 5 paragraph essay on why your product rocks or would you just talk to them like a human being?
A great tactic to build customer trust is to show that you are human. Your marketing emails should have the person’s name instead of the company. It should contain the author’s picture instead of a company logo icon, and this is how you build a loyal following.
People trust People.
On the topic of Twitter and people auto messaging me. I wanted to try something different, and I added an auto messenger. Instead of trying to sell you something or trying to get you to click a link. The auto message just says “Hey, how’s it going?”
The results are amazing, and I am just striking up conversations with many people. If I have the opportunity to share them something that I am doing; sure I will. My reply rates are higher than a company or a person trying to make a hard sell because it’s genuine.
It’s important to understand that not everyone is a buyer. When you find people who are buyers, listen and talk to them. Use the tactics in this article to create your first sale. You have two ears and one mouth. So ask them questions, have a conversation and listen to their needs and see if your product can solve it for them, it’s okay to ask for the sale. You want them to champion your message and trust you, your company, and your product. If you do not solve their needs, do not try to sell to them because building the customer trust is so crucial to your business to succeed.
Some people will say, well then why do big companies like Sony do it? That’s because their brand is well known. They build their customer trust from their past products over the course of 50 years. Their previous products dictate the sales of their future products. That’s why people will buy the iPhone 7 even though there is no headphone jack!
Growth hacking has been around for just a few years, but it is now the buzzword for startup businesses. It is catching fire that it is so common for startups to look for growth hackers. Here is the obvious reason for this: they want to grow so ridiculously quick, get millions of users, and obtain high revenues.
For decades, startups had a hard time competing with those that have been in the industry for some time, mainly because they did not have large budgets for promoting themselves or adequate training and experience. Those days are gone, thanks to growth hacking. Today, anyone can use this marketing technique to gain exceptional benefits. Of course, having technical know-how is essential, but having the right mindset trumps that kind of expertise.
How to be a Growth Hacker
Yes, you can be a growth hacker. A marketer can be a hacker, but so can an engineer. What really matters is the focus. There is no need to follow a set of rules or memorize a series of steps to successfully become a growth hacker. The one thing you need to do is to simply think about growth at all times. As soon as you have a business idea, growth should be ingrained in your mind.
Being a growth hacker means you have to have passion and focus in driving a metric through the use of scalable and testable methodologies. That does not have to sound so intimidating. Simply put, a growth hacker uses a set of tactics, along with best practices for creating and accomplishing user growth.
Mass media is indeed fading away and marketing as having known it for the last century has died. There is just too much information that customers have to deal with, causing marketing fatigue. Due to this, people’s attention is hard to catch and they will not really pay attention even if you have the best product. Distribution is a huge problem for every startup business.
With the help of a growth hacker, there is now a modern way to reach a market and spread an idea. The startup culture calls for a growth hacker to have the following traits:
He or she also has the ability to use inexpensive methods that will help the company’s customer base to experience exponentially grow.
Growth Hacking vs. Traditional Marketing
In truth, a growth hacker is simply a marketer. However, he or she has a different set of tools and challenges to tackle. In growth hacking, the tactics used are economical and flexible. Here are some examples:
Blogs and content marketing
Search engine marketing
On the other hand, traditional marketing uses tactics that generally require planning and a larger budget for the advertisements or promotions. Some examples include:
Commercial and print ads
The difference is quite clear. In traditional marketing, the channels used involve high cost per acquisition. Their lifetime value is also quite low due to high saturation. Meanwhile, growth hackings require finding a strategy that is scalable and repeatable to achieve growth. The strategy is driven by the company’s product and is data-inspired. The goal of this technique is just like with traditional marketing; however, it is stimulated by product instincts.
Some Tactics You Can Use to Pull In Users
For your website to have new visitors, there are several ways to get traffic. In growth hacking, there are 3 Ps that used to help you achieve this purpose:
Pull:The very first method to gain visitors to the website is to pull them in.In this method, you give the people a reason to visit your website. This means you have to entice them, give them an incentive, and draw them to your site. You do not have to find them; rather, they will find you. Some examples include:
Blogging or guest blogging which is one of the tried and tested ways of acquiring traffic since blog posts are often keyword rich, easily indexed by Google, and have a compounding effect
Podcasting or guest podcasting which uses audio that has inherent inbound traits
EBooks and guides which are often perceived to have high value and can draw in a lot of readers
Infographics which can entice readers to a product because they can display your authority and at the same time, a startup’s aesthetic taste
Push: This method is the opposite of the first one and is a bit more aggressive. Instead of pulling them in, you will push them to your site. You go get people to your website. For instance, when someone does a Google search and they see your paid result, leading them to your site. In this technique, you go out, look for the people who may be interested, and you push them to go to your product. Some push tactics include:
Purchasing ads which may not seem like growth hacking, but ads can definitely hack into product distribution
Promo swapping which is an easy and free method to drive traffic where you use cross promotions with other businesses such as swapping Facebook posts, tweets, and dedicated emails.
Hiring affiliates to help you achieve certain goals, such as getting visitors to your website or inviting a new member
Product: The final P is your product itself. With your product, it’s critical to have product market fit. The more people who use your product and the more time they are using it with an enjoyable experience the better the chance that they will tell their friends and colleagues. Facebook had 95% of it’s userbase always returning back and this lead to their explosive growth.
Network invitations where you use predefined and pre-existing relationships as leverage, such as phone contacts, LinkedIn connections, email addresses, and your Facebook friends
Social sharing where you attract other people to talk about your product using their own social media accounts for whoever may be viewing or reading the posts
API integrations where you incorporate your product using an existing social media network at the API level
Pulling and pushing tactics are a part of the growth hacking process which hinges on the new definition of distribution. A growth hacker knows and understands how users flow online, making it easier to accurate entice them to your website or your product.
Growth Hacking Stories and What You Can Learn from Them
Before well-known companies established themselves in the industry they are in, they were startups businesses at first. A lot of them used growth hacking as well, including the Mailbox App with its public waiting list and Easy, an online marketplace with a “Pin It” button for sharing items on Pinterest. Growth will definitely be rocky at first, but the trends will become apparent over time. Soon enough, variability will stabilize in the long run as it is evident in the following stories:
Stamped vs. Pre-Stamped
At a car wash, loyalty cards were handed out to the customers. The cards would be stamped each time a customer avails of a car washing service. There are two types of cards being handed out. The first one had eight spots for stamping. Once the customers gathered eight stamps, they would get a free car wash service. Meanwhile, the second type had 10 spots for the stamps. However, the first two spots were pre-stamped. Although both had equal numbers of spots for stamping to gain a free service, the pre-stamped cards actually resulted in getting more repeat customers than those that did not come pre-stamped.
Email Followed by Everything Else Later
A startup business needs to have more users. In order to achieve this, the first thing the owner needs is to get the email of a prospect. The email of a potential customer is the key to a long lasting relationship. Everything else can wait for later. The question is: what if you can get their full name, phone number, credit card data, social profile, and others? These details could be crucial to your specific case. The answer here is simple: get the email first. The next step is to get the rest of the information that can be supplied by your prospect.
Why is the email address important while the other pieces of information can come later? It is because the more fields there are, the lower the conversion rate. So if your submission form has several fields, such as the name, email, URL, and credit card data, simply removing one or two of these fields can actually lead to higher conversion rates.
Customer Pain Points
A company that makes fireplaces and woodburning stoves called Gr8tFires discovered that one of the biggest complaints of their customers is the cost of installation. As a result, the customers ended up looking elsewhere to save money. Some people did not like the idea that there was uncertainty when it comes to the services they wanted to avail.
As a solution, the company installed a popup before the customers leave the page. The exit popup offered the customers a way to calculate the installation costs. The calculator is free and can be used many times as long as the customer provides their email address. The result of this pop up gave the company a 300% boost in their monthly sales leads.
Pricing Options for Sales Increase
A website offers two subscription options. The first one is for the web only version, which is priced at $60. The second one is print and web versions, which can be bought at $125. According to their data, only 32% of their customers paid for the second option.
In order for them to boost their sales, they tried a new tactic with their pricing. A new reference point was added, so a third option was available. The print version of the subscription is also priced at $125. Because of this addition, the print and web versions, which had the same price of $125 became the most economical choice. As a result, the print and web sales hiked up to more than 260%.
In a supermarket, there was a jam tasting kiosk. Here, a variety of jam flavors were offered to customers. In the first test, there were 24 flavors to choose from. In the second test, there were only six. The result may be surprising, but the kiosk that offered only six flavors was able to convert more customers than the one with 24 flavors.
It is a general rule in growth hacking and other marketing techniques that there should just be a few choices available to have better conversions. This method is actually known as analysis paralysis. If you have more services, more options, and more features to choose from, these may seem attractive to you and your customers. However, the more choices you have can actually decrease your conversion rate.
It may sound expensive, but activation and eventually having more users can involve some incentive – particularly money. An example is PayPal’s method back when it was still a startup in the late 90s. The phenomenal growth of the company involved has one million users in March of 2000 and in the summer of the same year, PayPal acquired five million.
To achieve the huge bump in the number of activated users, the company started paying people $20 with every signup and another $20 for every referral. Eventually, the network’s value grew, so they reduced the bonus to half of the amount. After a while, it became just $5 until it became nothing. This is a classic example of using an incentive to gain more users.
The end goal of growth hacking is to create a marketing machine that is self-perpetuating yet reaches millions of users by itself. However, startups should understand that growth hacking is not a secret book of ideas, but a process. Oftentimes, the strategies for growth cannot be applied from one product to another. The results are not instantaneous as well and will never give you numerous users overnight. Growth hacking is simply a mindset that you use to approach problems and loopholes.
Growth hacking is a low-cost alternative to traditional marketing.
It’s a way of thinking that’s focused on growing your customer base quickly.
There are different approaches to growth hacking – some are more technical, some are more creative.
For any business, the golden rule is product market fit (PMF). Otherwise, the entrepreneur’s concept is doomed. However, defining and knowing product market fit is often difficult for some startups. It takes time and a deep understanding of the business’ target market.
As an entrepreneur, you can actually sense when product market fit is not happening. Here are some signs:
When your target customers are not getting value out of your service or product
When usage and user numbers are not growing fast enough
Reviews from other people are not as impressive as you thought they would be
Sales cycle takes a long time
A lot of deals do not close
Word of mouth is not spreading effectively
A huge marketing mistake is coming up with a product that no one is interested in. No matter how excellent that product is if no one wants or needs it, your efforts are useless.
Meanwhile, when product market fit is happening, there are some signs as well:
Customers are purchasing the product almost as fast as you can generate it
Money from the purchasers is piling up
You need to hire customer support and sales staff as quickly as possible
Reporters are trying to reach you because of your hot new product they have heard about
You are getting recognized for your business decisions and efforts
All the signs above are really enticing. However, finding PMF is not easy and is actually one of the biggest challenges when it comes to growing your business. When it is happening, the product development process completely changes and improves.
With the help of good product market fit, you are offering a product or service that you KNOW your customers are looking for. Therefore, it is easy to convince them to purchase it. In the world of business though, you could be simply guessing if you have no thorough understanding as to what product market fit is.
What Exactly is Product Market Fit?
Simply put, product market fit means that the start-up company is in a good market and it has a product that can provide satisfaction for that market. When saying “good market,” it means that it is large enough or it can provide the opportunity to be profitable. Ideally, you should find a market that can supply you with both characteristics.
A small market can actually be profitable as well because there could be a high demand for your product. On the other hand, a huge market could ignore your brand if your product is not interesting enough. In other words, when there is PMF in your business, you are offering something that a certain group of people needs. Additionally, there are enough people in that particular group that can provide your business sustainable growth.
The Importance of Product Market Fit
As mentioned, it is the golden rule for startups, so product market fit is a necessity for entrepreneurs. However, despite its definition, it is actually more than just providing value; product market fit is about giving the right solution to the right people while being able to provide a clear explanation why the product you are offering is valuable to them.
You can successfully achieve PMF unless your prospects are able to tell you why they think your product has value for them and they really want to buy it.
How to Establish Product Market Fit for Your Startup
Finding PMF is typically a time-consuming process, but it is definitely worth the time you spend on it. Unfortunately, many marketers are impatient and you could be one of them, so you surely want to get started right now.
However, it should not be something that is difficult. In fact, it can be as simple as surveying some people. The basic rule though is that you have to get at least 100 responses so that you will gain some statistical significance.
PMF is not a survey that you send out to the first 10 people you have to your customers. Rather, it is something that you send when you have at least 100 customers. Finding PMF takes a lot of research, but here are the basics:
Come up with a business hypothesis.
Generate a minimum viable product or MVP.
Test the hypothesis and the MVP against each other.
Let us take a closer look at the steps above. For the business hypothesis, there are some questions that you need to ask particularly:
Who will benefit from your product?
What kind of issues are they facing?
Can your product help provide a solution for these issues? If so, how?
Once you have a business hypothesis, you can proceed to have a minimum viable product or MVP, which is actually just your product in its raw or simplest form. The MVP will be used to evaluate your hypothesis and check whether or not the product is indeed solving the problem/s of your target customers and whether or not you are attracting enough people.
Testing your MVP also involves some questions including:
Do you really generate interest for your product?
Are the customers intrigued by your product?
Are the customers using the product regularly?
How are the customers using it?
Your MVP should be able to support your hypothesis; otherwise, you may have to pivot or to course-correct. In this case, you will need a new strategy or a new hypothesis and you will have to perform the steps for PMF once again. You may have to go for a more compelling product or introduce a feature that will work better in a new market. You could also try creating a different business hypothesis and offer a new solution to your customers. Sometimes, you will have to find a new idea.
Although it is time-consuming and a little frustrating, you should not worry because it is actually quite common to pivot in start-ups.
Here are more tips on how to quickly achieve product market fit:
Understand the current needs of your customers and try to predict future ones. This step does require time and experience. To understand them better, there are some things that you have to do, including spending time with them, attending industry trade shows, finding a mentor, and writing for news outlets in the industry. These ways will help you gain connections and an inherent sense of what the industry needs.
Focus on just one vital value proposition. It is indeed difficult to narrow your feature set to just one game-changing feature, but it is an absolute necessity. Research and time are needed to determine that significant feature. To do this, you have to spend time with your customers, examine areas in which your competitors do not succeed in solving the problems of the customers, and analyzing emerging trends in the industry your business belongs to.
Be credible. Credibility can be built by offering a story. Your customers would be more interested in your product if they know it makes sense for them. The easiest way to achieve this is to incorporate their needs and problems to your brand’s story.
While success for start-up businesses involves execution, a key factor that really drives the success of any startup is product market fit. This key milestone should be reached to achieve company growth.
Stories of Companies that Found Product Market Fit
There are many of the businesses we know now that struggled to find their product market fit. After a few tries and challenges, they all realized how important this aspect of the business process is. Here are some of their success stories with PMF:
Before Airbnb was born, it was first called Airbedandbreakfast, which focused on air mattresses. The air mattresses were offered during a well-known design conference in California, along with free breakfast. The founders were successful, but they decided they wanted to have better product market fit.
Instead of sticking with conferences, they switched to helping travelers find a place where they can stay. At the same time, Airbedandbreakfast increased their networking reach, while providing the service and free breakfasts.
The founders listened to what their customers have to say. They later changed their name to Airbnb and helped provide people with a list of recommended accommodations or help them book no matter what accommodation type it is. They soon covered 34,000 cities all over the world, thanks to how they were able to successfully discover their PMF.
Hayes Drumwright introduced Trace3, an IT solutions company based in Irvine, California. As the founder, he pushed his product to his target audience with brutal force. Along with that, he wanted to make sure he was providing real value to the customers. Before the launch of Trace3, he had a hypothesis and an MVP to test out what the clients really needed.
He later presented his concept to five different clients where he explained his concept well without trying to sell too much. After that, he just shut up. The clients encouraged him to pursue his idea, so he asked them to pay for his concept. It was not about making an investment, but he asked them to buy it. It resulted to three out of the five clients giving him $35,000 each.
Here is another story that uses a similar approach as above. JustReachOut is a tool that provides help for start-ups when it comes to building relationships with the press. Dmitry Dragilev sold his new product idea for the tool. However, he did not even write a single line of code yet. His goal at that time was to have at least 10 people who were serious about being JustReachOut’s customers.
Being a customer meant that one has to pay for the tool for over $50 a month. The interesting part of the story is that Dragilev did not really sell anything whether it is the product or its features. Instead, he just wanted to get feedback about the idea. He realized – just like most other entrepreneurs – that people really love to give their feedback.
With the help of the people’s feedback, he was able to know their issues and determined how his product would be able to help solve those issues.
PaintBerri is an online place for artists where they can draw and collaborate with other artists to create visual stories. The website first began as a side project as led by Katherine Tung back in 2014. The software engineer simply wanted to have a web-based painting program that can be used by digital artists and at the same time, enhance her engineering skills.
After the business idea, the basic version of the program was launched. Tung’s team invited other people to test the painting program in a closed beta and to give them help in finding bugs. It was a success and there were a lot of people asking to get access codes to be shared with their friends. Because it was a hit, PaintBerri became a full-fledged community in the online world that comes with a built-in painting program.
When the open beta was announced, over 6,000 artists tried the website and joined the community. Unfortunately, there was chaos even though the team was implementing smart principles for their business. They eventually decided they were not ready.
After researching and learning other ways to set the stage for their online product, the team started rebuilding their website. They already had an online community with a painting program. The art on the website had comments consisting of mini-drawings. These resulted to comment chains that turned to improvised stories or role-plays.
The team then had a good idea about the group of people who were actively on the site and they were young amateur digital artists, mostly females who enjoyed movies, anime, manga, nerd culture, and video games. This gave them a lot of insight as to how to improve the website. Additionally, they would constantly receive feedback and bug reports to help them address concerns about their product to make their customers happy.
There are more success stories with product market fit involving both popular names in the industry as well as those that are still in the process of making it big. PMF is all about finding a product AND a market that is interested in paying for your particular product. However, if that market is shrinking, small, or cheap, it still will not result in you having much of a company. The secret to PMF is this: do not just find a market; go for a great market.
You should find PMF before you build your product and before you start marketing heavily.
To get it, create a hypothesis, build an MVP, and then start testing both.
Sometimes getting to PMF means you have to pivot or make sacrifices.
In the online marketing world, if you want more conversions, you need more landing pages. If you don’t know what a landing page is, don’t worry. Usually, most people cannot tell you the difference between a landing page and a homepage nor their use or purpose. However, a landing page is an important tool that every business owner should not be without. Many online marketing experts advise that you should never start a marketing campaign without a dedicated landing page.
This guide was designed to not only help you know more about the importance of landing pages but also provide valuable tips on creating the perfect landing page. You can discover what is at your disposal and boost conversion rates of nearly any campaign. Once you know more about landing pages and how you can use them to help accomplish your marketing goals, you will be able to pick the best type of landing page for your next marketing campaign.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a standalone web page that the visitor arrives on after clicking an ad, promotion, or search results. It can capture a visitor’s information through a template in which they input their contact information into what is known as a “lead form”.
This lead form may ask the visitor to:
Register for your webinar
Download an E-book
Get tips on exclusive offers
Sign up for your website, newsletter, and more
Landing pages do not replace a website’s homepage nor are they just another page on your website. Websites and homepages are more of a robust home base where users can find links to information about your company or accomplished tasks.
Landing pages are more tightly focused on and typically do not have the same elements as a home page. They are important because they increase conversion rates in the most powerful and optimized way possible.
A superior landing page is designed to optimize your marketing efforts through message matching. This usually has one clickable element which is usually a call to action (CTA) button. It is the goal of this button to create a 1:1 ratio and perform AB testing which is an easy way to compare two versions of your landing page to see which one performs better. This provides a heightened attention to conversion optimization and makes landing pages one of the most important marketing tools your business can utilize. They should accompany every promotion and marketing campaign.
5 Essential Elements of a Landing Page
To know which elements go into building an effective landing page, there are five must-have core elements which are broken down into further subcategories to provide a more detailed list of landing page building blocks:
Your Unique Selling Position (USP)
The Hero Shot
The Benefits of Your Offering
CTA – A single conversion goal
1. Unique Selling Position
The USP is also known as the value proposition and is a high-level term for a collection of statements that you use to explain what you are offering as well as a core description of what the page is about. The types of statements you use are dependent on the length and purpose of your landing page.
The USP is broken down further into 4-page elements. When used collectively, these elements tell the story of your offering throughout the landing page:
The Main Headline
This is the first thing that people will see and read. It is critical that the main headline provides a clear description of what a visitor will get from the page as well as its goal. If the message match is strong enough, the visitor will be convinced that they are in the right place.
It is a good idea to keep the headline short and to the point since you can only say so much. You want to keep it brief and easily digestible so that the supporting headline can serve as a direct extension of the headline and follow it in such a way as if it were finishing a sentence. It is also used as an additional persuasive message to support the primary message.
The Reinforcement Statement
It is proven through studies that most people scan pages while they are reading it. This is why titles play a critical role and these include your main headline as well as titles explaining features and benefits. Not only do they stand out to a reader, but they also drive home the purpose of your page in the form of a reinforcement statement.
The reinforcement statement usually sits about halfway down your page. It acts as a mid-experience message that you want to communicate to page visitors. It often highlights additional key benefits of your product or service. When incorporating it into your landing page, a reinforcing statement should work hand-in-hand with your main headline to extend your value proposition.
When a visitor arrives at the end of your landing page, this is the one final chances you have to communicate the benefits of your offering. Just like the reinforcement statement, the closing argument reinforces your main value proposition. For example, with click-through pages, the closing argument is used through a repetition of call to action.
2. The Hero Shot
This is the best graphical image or photograph of your product or service. It is usually an image that is bold and stands out while dominating the page. The hero shot, the main headline, and supporting line should all be together to show exactly what the page is about.
Successful hero shots also incorporate another important element called context of use. This is the idea of showcasing your service or product real-life action. A perfect example showing the benefits of using contexts are the funny infomercials made by Sham Wow or Slap Chop.
Depending on the type of product you are promoting, here are some examples of ways you can use context of use:
EBooks – Prove its value by offering a preview of a portion of the content
Online Service – Screencast or video demo
Physical Product – Video of the product and how to use it
The hero shot should have a bold presence and stand out on the page. It should also make it immediately clear to the visitor to know what the page is about. The product shot should also reinforce your USP and vice versa. The audience will become confused if they don’t work together.
Just like the Slap Chop commercial as a great example, people are more likely to understand your service or product if you can demonstrate its benefits in action. This is more likely to create a “Wow!” effect or “Aha!” moment that triggers people to make a purchasing decision.
3. The Benefits of Your Offering
When all of the other elements on your landing page are incorporated correctly, you should have grabbed the attention of your visitor by this time. This is the point when the benefits of your product or service should be highlighted in plain view using bullet points that will provide easy scanning for the reader.
Benefit statements seek to solve problems and attach directly to the pain that is felt by people who are seeking out the benefits that you are offering. An example would be a benefit statement for a microwave oven that reads, “Heats food in seconds for people on the go.” This is a more effective benefits statement than simply stating “Heats up food”.
Benefit statements explain how you are going to solve your prospect’s problem. It is important to ask yourself, “What do my customers need?” and then write down solutions to those needs in one-sentence phrases.
In addition, you should also extend bullet point descriptions into a more detailed overview of their benefits and purposes. This is a good approach to support your brief benefit statements. You should expand upon the benefits first and then add them feature details below if needed.
The important thing to remember at this point is that the benefits of your offering must be communicated first. Only when this is done, and done correctly, should you start adding features which usually direct towards visitors who require more details in order to make a decision.
You should also include imagery because it helps to show benefits when describing the problem you are solving. It also helps provide a description of the features and what it does. It will also feature how the product or service looks when being used in the form of screenshots or icons.
There is a joke that goes, “What’s a personality trait of a bad marketer?” Answer: “Anti-social.” One of the most powerful persuasive concepts is social proof. This is how social signals are incorporated to show or demonstrate that others have consumed, participated in, bought, or read your product or service offering. Visitors are more likely to convert if they see that others before them have used a product or service and provide proof that they were glad they did.
For example, you may run across a company’s landing page that has a bold headline on the top of the page that reads, “Last week 12,460 companies signed up for ABC Company to manage their projects. We can help you today as well.”
Social proof is used in two ways to either
Provide a personal testimonial from a customer which includes a link to the customer’s company to include added believability
Include a headline that points out how popular the site is based on the number of sign-ups in a week
One of the reasons that reviews are so popular is because people love having decisions made for them. The next time you are in a restaurant or electronics store, take a look around to see how many people are checking out reviews on their phone. This shows the importance of leveraging social proof to help make purchasing decisions easier for visitors.
What Are Landing Pages Used For?
The purpose of landing pages falls into two categories:
To attract potential customers to the product you are selling before sending them further down your sales channel
To capture leads that will allow you to market to people in the future
These two needs create two types of landing pages – a click-through page and a lead generation page:
Click Through Landing Pages
Also known as jump pages, click through pages are designed to serve as a go-between for a marketing ad and its last destination. The goal of this type of page is to attract interest from visitors for the product or service you are trying to sell. These types of pages are commonly used for e-commerce and provide enough information to educate the buyer, encourage them to be ready to make a purchase, and continue to push them further down the sales funnel to a checkout or shopping cart.
A common example of a click-through page is when you visit a website and there are product images or videos paired with a description. As the product benefits are explained, the visitor is persuaded to click the call to action button.
Lead Generation Landing Pages
An email address is the most valuable piece of information you can get from a lead generation landing page. Once you have this important piece of contact information, you now have permission to continue talking and marketing your products and services to them.
After you have been given permission by a lead, you will then try to convert them into a customer. This is done using two of the most powerful one-to-one communication tools as a marketer and combining them together – landing pages and email. A common example of a lead generation landing page is one that is designed to capture user or company data in exchange for something like a free EBook download.
Lead Capture Forms for Landing Pages
People may think there is some magic formula for increasing conversion rates but there is nothing magical about it at all. The key to success is paying extra attention to the landing page form because it is a hotspot for converting visitors into leads for your business.
What is Form Conversion?
Form conversion is when you have real and actionable conversions by meeting and fulfilling two conditions:
Screening out the tire kickers
Overcoming psychological obstacles
Good form conversion gets a lead to have a genuine interest in your product or service as well as your business. The form serves as a tool of negotiation and allows the visitor to have a process that feels comfortable easing into a relationship with your business versus trying to make it happen suddenly.
Here are tips to get the best visitor-to-lead form conversions:
When it comes to lead capture forms, there is both perceived and actual friction. Perceived friction is the perception of having to fill out long forms that can make a visitor feel like this is a daunting task and/or cause visitors to change their mind. A solution to eliminate perceived friction is to get rid of half the words on your page and then get rid of half of what’s left. This same solution should be applied to your forms by focusing on reducing the number of fields. Actual friction is the time and trouble it took to actually fill out the form and it often causes serious abandonment of your landing page. This would include the type of form that asks too many open-ended questions or has drop-down menus that do not include viable options for the visitor. An example would be a question such as “What industry are you in?” and there is no option for your industry.
Size of the Prize
Getting visitors to complete your form often involves providing an incentive. The goal is to balance the friction with the size of the prize.
Some examples of incentives are…
A free trial
A physical gift
Discount coupon or voucher
Consultation for professional service
Notification of a future product launch
Alternative Social Currency
There are also alternative methods for getting leads which involve using a service like PayWithATweet.com. These sites allow a visitor to pay for your content with a Facebook or Twitter share.
This is an alternative to asking for an email address by having people share using posts on different social networks. It is also an effective way for you to get a steady stream of traffic even after your initial campaign launch because you will create a feedback loop that will attract other visitors to your page.
This is why it is important to tell visitors exactly what is going to happen when the button is clicked. You should tell visitors what to expect and make them feel that they are not going to have to go through a bunch of steps in the process.
Another small detail you should not miss is providing some context to the form. This includes explaining the way someone should fill it out. You should also include a description of what they are going to get in exchange for their information.
Design Principles In Your Landing Pages
When designing landing pages, an important discipline you must know and understand is conversion centered design (CCD). This design method is all about achieving a single business goal regarding the visitor towards completing one specific action. This is done using psychological triggers and persuasive design as devices to elevate the number of conversions.
Since they only present one action for the visitor to complete, landing pages are extremely effective. They also focus visitors on a single targeted conversion goal and remove unnecessary distractions. This intense concentration on targeted conversion goals is why landing pages are built upon the concepts of CCD.
7 Landing Page Design Principles
Color and Contrast
Directional Indicators and Cues
White or Empty Space
Test It Out Before You Buy
Wrap up your CTA because it is precious. The most important element should be locked on your visitors’ eyes.
Create a tunnel vision effect and use it to hijack your visitor’s eyes
Wrap the form in a container
Constrain your points of interest using strong dynamic shapes
Color and Contrast
Contrast always wins. Button color is irrelevant. What is most important is showing that “I’m different.”
Should jump out at you compared to the rest of the background
Make the form container contrast out. The entire landing page should incorporate a single color hue except for the CTA which should come alive or jump off the page
With your landing pages, pointing is not a rude gesture. It is necessary because you have to incorporate ways on your landing page to guide people to points of interaction.
You should continuously ask yourself if there are visual indicators that point to the focal area of your landing pages. These indicators should guide visitors towards your conversion goal while making the purpose of your landing page clearly obvious. This should also happen immediately after the visitor arrives at your page.
Effective types of directional cues include arrows, lines of sight, and pathways
Incorporating arrows is a bold way of getting visitors to ignore everything else and pay attention to your product or service. They have been proven to work extremely well.
Strategically placed and angled arrows also help call attention to the most important page elements. A good strategy is to tie sequence of arrows together the visitor can follow. This method defines a path with a visitor which ends at your CTA.
Humans are programmed to follow the gaze of others out of curiosity. You can take advantage of directional cues by understanding the suggestive power of the eye and how humans are programmed to use it.
Directional cues are primarily used to direct the person to focus on the primary area of conversion and this is done by adding an arrow to the top of the form. The arrow will get the person to read the headline and the contract will lead them down the sales funnel to the CTA.
White Space / Remove clutter
White space helps you emphasize what matters
Use areas with nothing to expose something of value
Let your elements breathe
Produce a calming effect by giving your page elements breathing room. Compared to the rest of your design, this will also allow your CTA stand out
Urgency and Scarcity
Use keywords like “limited time only” or “last chance”. People take action when there are only a few remaining or something will be gone forever.
Try Before You Buy
Offer a quick preview. Give a taste or sample and visitors will come back for more.
Maybe you have heard the common phrase, “I’ll have what he’s having.” As mentioned before, many people like decisions to be made for them. When the reviews look good, people choose products or services that everyone else is using.
Post Conversion Marketing
This is the process of using a confirmation page as a way to continue the conversation with your new lead. For lead gen landing pages, this is the first page visitors see after completing the form. For click through pages, post conversion often happens when visitors are farther down the funnel and usually happens after the transaction has been made.
Post conversion marketing is important because once a visitor has been converted, they are no longer a prospect, but instead a lead. This is a valuable place to interact with visitors because they are considered warmer to a sale because they just completed your pre-planned conversion goal.
They also confirmed their trust in you by giving you their personal information. This means that the visitor is looking at what you have to offer in a positive way and indicates the need for you to capitalize on this trust.
The way you market your leads after the initial conversion is extremely important because this is the action that you will asked them to do next. It removes the need to make a decision and people naturally like to be directed especially when they are in a highly suggestible mood. You should be making that decision for them by incorporating the proper elements on your page.
Copywriting For Your Landing Pages
The most important elements to consider when creating a landing page are the words on that are on your page. The first thing people pay attention to when the page loads are the words. They are also the last thing they read for they decide on whether or not they will continue through your sales funnel and complete your conversion goal.
Here are a few tips to improve your conversation rates through better copywriting:
1. Create an Effective Headline
To get your visitors to continue engaging with your message, it is important to craft effective landing page headlines. A rule of thumb, when creating headlines, choose clarity over clever wording. Clarity smoothens the way to conversion whereas clever calls attention to itself at the expense of the message.
2. Use Formulas
Here are 3 effective formulas to help you write better headlines:
Formula 1 – Top 5 Ways to [Do Something Desirable] Without [Doing Something Desirable]
Example: Top 5 Ways to Kill Pests Without Using Harmful Chemicals
Formula 2 – [Do Something Desirable] Like [An Expert] Without [Something Expected and Undesirable]
Example: Learn How to Make Billions Like Warren Buffet Without Going to College
Formula 3 – [Do Something Hard] in [Period of Time] or [Promise]
Example: Lose Weight in One Week or Your Money Back
Writing an Effective Call to Action
The call to action represents a crucial tipping point where your visitor is straddling the fence between becoming a bounce or a conversion. In order for this to happen, your visitor must go through the call to action. When you ask someone to do something online, this is your call to action whether it is:
Filling out a form
Downloading a PDF or free EBook
Clicking through to another page
Buying a product
You should always keep in mind that every click potentially means money in the bank. Every business should also consider clicking the CTA as a mission-critical conversion goal.
When creating new button copy, you will have to ask yourself two questions in order to create the most optimized call to action copy:
What is my prospect going to get after clicking this button?
How am I motivating my prospect to click this button?
Ex. Health spa membership call to action as an example
When the prospect clicks the button, he/she will get the opportunity to find a spa and buy their membership.
The prospect’s motivation is to get a local spa membership.
Headline Copy: “Find Spa and Get Membership”
Tell a Story
Badly-written headlines mean you wasted money on ads that provide little to no results. In order for you to reach your conversion goals and be successful, tell a story by using a formula to engage your audience. The benefit of these formulas is that they help you get inspired and more creative.
Using a formula will allow you to write in context because you will be able to relate to the experience and express it in your writing. This falls into an underlying theory known as congruent design. Using this theory, your message should unify with the overall design of your landing page.
The 3 headline approach is a good method to follow:
Tell a story
Start with the headline
Move on to the reinforcement statement
Make a closing argument
Establish Credibility with Your Statement
It is important to open with the statement that is seductive and credible:
The Only Way To [Do Something Desirable] – Example: “The Only Way to Take a Luxury Cruise to the Caribbean”
This phrase is used to show what makes you different, establish uniqueness, and add credibility to the uniqueness.
A seductive suggestion would be
Indulge in 5-Star Luxury Aboard Our Caribbean Cruises
Highlight a Visitor’s Biggest Benefit
Expand on the experience by demonstrating benefits. For example, if you have a bed a breakfast that serves only gluten-free food, you can use this formula to write a title such as:
“Indulge in Gluten-Free Accommodations at Our B&B”
Always Use a Sense of Urgency When Closing
Always give a subtle urgency that a visitor can only take advantage of your product or service for limited time.
Example: “Escape to the Caribbean in One of Our Luxury Yachts – Limited Spaces Available”
It is important to remember when you change the headlines that it is also necessary to update all your ads on your landing page. You do not want to break the message match after creating such an attractive headline.
Call to Action Buttons
The call to action button is the most critical piece in your landing page is a make or break your campaign. For your landing page, your call to action buttons should have no navigation and they should only serve one purpose only. As a rule of thumb, you should put your call to action button above the fold.
On the other hand, there are times when putting a call to action button above the fold on your page is too overwhelming for the visitor. A solution to this problem is to create mini landing page experience. This should contain all of the critical elements and be placed above the fold on your landing page. The benefits is that it will help in reducing the bounce rates and it can increase understanding of what your page is about.
When designing CTA buttons, they should include the following:
Buttons should be clickable
The contrast of the buttons should stand out
Directional cues should be included that point to the button.
These are designed to trigger a specific body response where they make the visitor think, “Oh, I need to stop and look at this.” The contrast is used effectively to point your eyes to the button. The arrows are used so that you will keep your eyes there and actually take the time to read the button
Supporting information should include a short statement that makes the purpose of the button very clear
Copy should describe exactly what is going to happen when the visitor makes a click
Always eliminate white space
Re-state a sense of urgency and make sure it is next to the button to encourage the visitor to “act now” or “buy today”.
This follows the psychological principle of scarcity by letting the visitor know they can lose out on something good if they do not act now. This method often creates much better conversions.
Landing Page Optimization and Testing
The landing page optimization process follows 6 steps:
Focus on Defining Your Goals
Determine Your Success Metrics
Create Your First Landing Page
Drive Traffic to Your Landing Pages
Gain insight into How Your Page is Performing
A/B test your hypothesis
Landing Page Optimization is the difference between coming up with random ideas and making informed choices. In order to define your goals and success metrics, you must:
Define your business objectives
Define the goals of your landing page
Identify your key performance indicators
Define your target metrics
Once you have a complete understanding of these four criteria, you can move on to building your first landing page. After building and designing your landing page, the next step is to get traffic driven to your page using methods of marketing promotion.
If you do not have an email list or social following to contact, the fastest way to get traffic to your page is Google Adwords, LinkedIn ads, or Facebook ads. They are also the most cost-effective ways to market your landing page.
Once you have been getting traffic to your page, you will then need to gather insight into its conversion rate. This involves gathering user feedback, doing inline surveys, having a live chat, as well as obtaining internal company feedback.
You will then create a hypothesis which is basically a statement saying what you are testing and why you think this idea will be a success. You can then perform A/B test experiments to test your hypothesis. Repeating these steps will help you create the best LPO for your landing page.
5 Tips to Recover from Low Conversions on Your Landing Pages
Here are 5 useful tips if you are currently experiencing low landing page conversions:
Improve the copy – It should be free of errors, compelling, and written using persuasive wording that creates a psychological and emotional connection with your audience.
Use strong signals – Boost the confidence of your audience and took them over to your conversion using social proof, third-party certifications, and supplier/manufacturer affiliations.
Remove the ability to go elsewhere – Make your visitor think your landing page is the only destination and encourage them to stay by focusing their attention on the main call to action.
Incorporate visual elements – If you are getting a lot of traffic but the conversions are low, use more visual elements improve engagement.
Make your call to action obvious – You have to make your goal 100% clear to visitors on your landing page. If you hide your call to action below the fold or behind other clutter, you will lose many conversions.
Why Every Promotion Needs Its Own Landing Page
There is a joke that goes, “Why did the marketing couple decide to not get married?” Answer: Because they weren’t on the same landing page. Although corny, this joke teaches the advice that all elements should come together if you want a lasting page that meets your goals, drives more traffic, and ultimately turn into conversions that make big profits for you and your business.