“Check out my landing page!” he said. “Cool, huh?”
I clicked. I looked. And I tried to think how I could break it to him gently.
This entrepreneur was very proud of his work—and from what I could tell, his business itself seemed promising.
But his landing page was way, way too busy.
In theory, it should have been a simple page with a simple function: ask visitors to subscribe to an email list and offer them a free e-book as an incentive.
In practice, this page contained more than a dozen actions visitors could take. They could subscribe, sure, but only after tuning out a couple of navigation menus, a sale banner, sidebar links, calls to join social media, a comment section, widgets popping up from the margins—even banner ads from outside sites.
A problem like this doesn’t necessarily stem from ignorance of the marketing world. It can also come from being too tuned in, too willing to try everything that anyone suggests might help you wring more money out of your website.
It’s admirable to try out different marketing tactics. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t try them out all on the same landing page. Where’s the middle ground?
The best landing pages we saw heading into 2016 have an innate sense of where that middle ground lies. The marketers and business owners who created them exhibit a strong bias toward simplicity, which both makes their marketing assets more elegant and (I’m guessing) also makes their marketing operations easier.
It sort of makes sense that, given their keen eye for the simplest solution, these 10 landing page creators all chose templates from LeadPages’ standard template library. To help you build on the tactics they’ve used, we’ve put together a pack of all 10 of those template files to give you free, so you can edit them and host them on your own site—or have your web developer do so if you’re not a coder yourself. (If you’re already a LeadPages® member, just look for the templates listed below in your account.)
If you’re already a LeadPages® member, you can find every template below in either the standard library or the Marketplace—just look for them under the template names in the headings.
1. Trapp Technology – Free Consultation Page
What Stands Out: The authority of a home page. The focus of a landing page. Trapp Technology’s Free Consultation Page achieves both.
While Trapp offers a variety of IT services, this page is a hub for their SSL VPN solutions. Choosing a tech vendor isn’t a quick decision for most businesses, and the page gives a reassuring level of detail on services, benefits, contact information, and company background without straying from the goal: get visitors to request a consultation. A blue/gold/gray color scheme pulls the page together professionally, but the choice to use outdoor headshots of the team gives a decidedly unstuffy impression of the company.
2. Trading Concepts – Video Background Page
What Stands Out: The Video Background Page is one of the most novel templates available from LeadPages®, but, as used by Trading Concepts, it isn’t just a novelty. The background video of an active trading screen accomplishes something impressive: it makes the potentially dry world of stocks and finance look vibrant and exciting. Visitors might even want to seize control of the cursor in the background, though they’ll probably settle for clicking the opt-in button.
The copy is less flashy, but it’s nicely calibrated, too. A lot of specificity (“Stock, Options, Forex and E-Mini Traders” will receive “Free Daily Trading Video”) and a dash of social proof (the 85,000 subscribers) make for a strong and straightforward value proposition.
3. Confessions of an Adoptive Parent – Blog Resources Page
What Stands Out: With this Blog Resources Page, Mike and Kristin Berry of Confessions of an Adoptive Parent create a virtual storefront that’s as welcoming as the rest of their site. They start off with an unexpected offer for a catalog page: a call to action to download a free e-book. Then, they pile on some more good will with a quick introduction: “These Resources Are for You …”
The heart of the page is an easy-to-navigate listing of the Berrys’ e-books and videos for sale. After that comes some extra generosity in the form of links to outside resources they’ve found helpful. There’s a lot here, but the consistently polished presentation makes it easy to take everything in.
4. Dane + Dane Studios – Blog Home Page
What Stands Out: J. Nichole Smith of Dane + Dane Studios ruthlessly pares the Blog Home Page down to just the elements she needs: the studio’s logo, a strong call to action, a little bit of copy, and, of course, a headshot with a bespectacled French bulldog. Any extra design elements have a clear purpose, such as the teal highlight text that matches part of the logo.
I’m especially impressed with all that’s packed into the single paragraph of descriptive copy: “Struggling to know where to start with bidding commercial work? You’re not alone. Here are some real commercial photography estimates, invoices, promotions and fees—complete with explanations for everything. We all have to start somewhere, I hope you find these helpful!” It identifies a problem, gives a detailed look at the solution, and adds a personal message from J. Nichole—and then it’s done.
5. Attentive.ly – Enterprise Lead Gen Page
What Stands Out: When you’re offering a lead magnet as unique and valuable as Attentive.ly’s, there’s only one thing you really need to do: be totally clear about what you’re offering. And this Enterprise Lead Gen Page from the social software company is practically crystalline.
What’s on this page is interesting, but I’m equally interested in what’s not here. No social proof, no certification badges, no claims that this report will change your life. Instead of proving its credibility, the page simply is credible, from its statement of value (“Matching your email file with social data helps you to understand your supporters so you can identify the right contacts to help amplify your campaigns based on their social influence, social mentions and past history”) to the “How It Works” section. For the more visually oriented, some intriguing graphics of a sample report draw the eye to the opt-in button.
6. ShoeFitts Marketing – Free Course 2.0 Page
What Stands Out: Sheri Fitts uses this Free Course 2.0 Page to stir up interest in an upcoming program for financial advisors. A blue and chocolate color scheme runs through the page from logo to headshot, creating a warm vibe with the help of Sheri’s personable copy.
A finance-industry audience is likely to respond well to numbers, and this page has plenty of them. Statistics add punch to bullets summing up the program’s value, while other impressive figures add weight to the longer-form copy below.
7. Gulf Shores Critter Care – Tiered Pricing Page
What Stands Out: When you’re shopping around online for a particular service, you’ll probably make a beeline for certain information: service area, pricing, contact information. This Tiered Pricing Page from Gulf Shores Critter care puts all those things front and center so prospective clients don’t have to hunt around.
After they note the basics, visitors can spend time exploring the details of the 3 services offered on the page and take in a personal message from the company owner. Meanwhile, bright colors and adorable animal photography keep visual interest high.
8. Recruiting & Staffing Solutions – Giveaway (2-Step) Squeeze Page #2
What Stands Out: Recruiting & Staffing Solutions uses this very simple Giveaway Squeeze Page as a welcome gate: an initial screen that appears first when someone visits their home page. On a page like this, you want to keep things clear and to the point—and make it very easy for visitors to skip ahead, which the company does with the low-key “No, thanks, I’ll pass this opportunity. Take me to your website.”
A welcome gate offer should also be something that applies to nearly anyone who might visit your home page. This one seems destined to hit that mark. The page offers a calendar of trade shows and other relevant events for all of 2016. It’s simple but genuinely useful—instead of checking half a dozen different sources, wouldn’t you rather have all this information in one handy place?
9. Bolstr – Long Form “Free White Paper” Page
What Stands Out: Bolstr helps new businesses get funding from investors with a crowdfunding-inspired model. With this adaptation of the Long Form “Free White Paper” Page, the company targets a very specific niche: new craft brewers.
At every turn, this page evinces knowledge of the craft brewing industry. And yet you can see how simple it would be to customize a page like this for any number of other industries. By switching out the logo, copy details, and a single image, Bolstr could easily create and promote boot camps for other segments of their audience without skipping a beat.
10. Rising Tide Society – New Basic Squeeze Page
What Stands Out: There’s something genteel about the image presented by The Rising Tide Society, a site that seeks to share knowledge and support among creative pros. They use the New Basic Squeeze Page to create one of the most elegant thank-you pages I’ve seen to date.
Good taste radiates from the choice of fonts and colors, while the copy warmly thanks members for completing a recent weeklong Instagram program and gives them a chance to download all the program materials at once. The background image sets the scene for focused creative work, with one little Easter egg for those who look closely: the phone in the photo displays the organization’s Instagram page, subtly reminding visitors to stay connected on that channel.
Need Some More Inspiration?
If you want to use some of the techniques we’ve collected here, we’re making it easy by giving away every template listed in this roundup. Click below for a free download:
If you’re already a LeadPages® member, these templates are ready and waiting for you in your account—just look for the template names listed in the post. If you’re not a LeadPages® member, you will need to do a little coding or hand the files over to your web developer in order to customize these pages and publish them to your website.
What Have You Created Lately?
To all of the marketers and entrepreneurs featured in this month’s roundup, thanks for your great work! Before you go, I’d love to hear about your landing pages, whether they work in progress or have been released into the wild.
If you’ve got a landing page you’d like to share, please add the link and some information about the page and why you’re excited about it to the comments section below. Perhaps your landing page will end up in a future roundup!