Learn How You Can Build Your Email List with Squeeze Pages
Squeeze pages, landing pages, sales pages – oh my! If you’re feeling lost in a jungle of marketing jargon, we’re here to save you and to set the record straight. A squeeze page is a particular kind of landing page that is singularly focused on squeeeeezing an email address (and perhaps a first name) out of a website visitor.
In this article, we’re going to explore exactly what squeeze pages are, how to use them as a secret weapon inside your lead generation strategy, and some savvy approaches that only the pros know about (such as the social squeeze page, the order form squeeze page, and why the squeeze page as homepage is a real no-no).
Sound like what you’re looking for?
Alrighty then, let’s talk squeeze pages!
Wondering how squeeze pages are different than landing pages?
Landing pages are single webpages that are singularly focused on one goal (known as the point of conversion). This goal could be any number of different actions: sign up for a free trial, download an eBook, register for a webinar, etc.
Squeeze pages are a teensy bit different. They have one goal: collect a name & email address. That’s it.
All squeeze pages are landing pages, but not all landing pages are squeeze pages. (If that statement blows your mind…just keep ready, it’s marketing semantics and we don’t want definitions to slow you down)
Because the squeeze page is straight to the point (gimme your email address! …pretty please) it should be as concise as possible. This works because much of the education and “pre-sale” conversations are taking place elsewhere.
Landing page vs. Squeeze Page
Knowing the difference between a landing page vs. squeeze page will not only help you win on Jeopardy one day (#lifegoals), it will also help you improve your overall lead generation marketing strategy. Why? Because these two pieces of the puzzle fit into marketing campaigns differently.
Let’s take a look at what that means:
Here’s a squeeze page example from Neil Patel:
This squeeze page by Neil Patel offers a downloadable piece of content (SEO cheatsheet) in exchange for an email address and first name. It’s short, sweet, and has a single objective: get that email address.
It also does something that all great squeeze pages do because it presents an implicit ultimatum: either take the offer, or leave the page. There’s no content or extra hyperlinks that distract from this ‘in or out’ choice.
Here’s what makes this squeeze page so effective:
- It’s short
- The sales copy is crisp and clear
- There is a single call-to-action (CTA) button
Here’s another squeeze page example from Marie Forleo:
Marie’s squeeze page works so well because it’s clearly tailored toward a warm audience that’s already somewhat familiar with her offer and she includes all the detailed information after the opt-in form. How do we know this? Because she comes right out and says it: “Enter your name and email to learn how we can help make you, your messaging and your business more powerful.”
She also checks all the boxes of squeeze page best practices:
- A single CTA
- Crisp copy
- Followed by a thank you/ welcome message
Marie also does a great job by excluding a navigation menu, sidebar, footer widget area, and links off the page. She keeps all of her web traffic focused exclusively on the single offer at hand.
Here’s a helpful summary of what a squeeze page is all about:
What Makes an Enticing Offer for a Squeeze Page?
Excellent question. But the answer is: only you know.
Why? Because only you know what keeps your audience awake at night. Only you know what they worry about and wring their hands over and what content format their most likely to engage with (and if you don’t know – then you should be A/B split testing to find out).
Some common lead magnets for squeeze pages include:
- eCourses/ Video Trainings
- PDF guides/ checklists/ resource lists
- Templates/ Worksheets
If you’re in the market for a squeeze page builder, you’ll want to look for one with a variety of landing page templates to accomodate different offers and campaign types. A strong lead generation strategy will require lots of different pages for lots of different purposes – so you’ll want a landing page software that is flexible and can grow along with you.
The Order Form Squeeze Page
In many ways, the order form is, in many cases, the best squeeze page you can possibly have for your business. It’s often placed as the first ‘gate’ in a checkout flow and functions as a means to collect leads before funneling traffic into the billing portion of the checkout.
It’s placed at the point within your website where your traffic is most highly engaged and – if designed correctly – can have an incredible impact on your businesses’ bottom line.
Here’s a squeeze page example from Time Magazine:
The Social Squeeze Page
If you’ve tried to create landing pages and squeeze pages in the past but have been…less than thrilled by the opt-in conversion rates, you’ll love this strategy presented by Brian Dean at Backlinko: the social squeeze page.
Brian Dean is an SEO and digital marketing expert who recognized that “the tried and true squeeze page still works, but it needs to be adapted for today’s audience.” What does that mean?
It means sprinkling in a social element to a traditional squeeze page.
“The social squeeze page is one of the easiest ways to pile email subscribers onto your list,” says Brian Dean, because it focuses on adding value and encouraging opt-ins.
Here’s a look at Brian’s high-converting squeeze page:
Want to follow the social squeeze page strategy?
- A topic your audience is hungry to learn more about
- A video between 3-10 minutes
- A headline and subheadline (centered on a single, specific benefit)
- Opt-in forms
- Social elements (social sharing and comments)
Squeeze Page as Homepage? No. No.
Once upon a time, it used to be popular to use a squeeze page in place of, or in front of a homepage in an effort to try to persuade visitors to opt-in and join your email list before browsing your website. That’s not a tactic we recommend.
Why? Because if you use a squeeze page as your homepage, you risk damaging your search engine optimization (SEO) and decreasing your ranking position in search engine results pages. This is because – in the eyes of Google – your homepage would have little to no content on it and no internal links to other pages. That signals to search engines that your site has low-quality content, and it can be an SEO kiss of death.
How to Build a High-Converting Squeeze Page in 5 Steps
1. Start by Creating a Lead Magnet Your Audience Will Love
Lead magnets are the freebie offer that you giveaway in exchange for an email address.
Think: “To download my free ebook guide, simply enter your email here!”
Lead magnets are sometimes known as opt-in bribes – but in order to be effective in today’s digital marketplace, you have to give away high-value content that your audience will truly love.
There are many ways to create high-value lead magnets without investing too much time. Here are just a few examples of lead magnets you can create in 30 minutes or less:
A how-to guide, do-it-yourself project, or list of resources to accomplish a specific goal, packaged as a simple PDF
A product teaser, such as a chapter of your book, a module of your course, or a resource guide
An FAQ one-sheet related to your industry
Regardless of the format you choose, a good lead magnet needs to:
- Make sense for your audience.
You probably have skills and expertise that could be useful for a wide variety of people, but at this point, you only need to highlight the information that immediately impacts the lives of the audience you’re marketing to. Say you’re trying to find new clients for your kitchen remodelling business.While a guide titled “4 Trendy Countertop Materials Homeowners Will Be Buying Next Year” might be relevant to your business and useful to other people in your industry, homeowners don’t actually need to know about the trends—instead, they need to know what the best choice for them will be. You’d have better luck packaging that information as “Which Countertop Material Is Best for Your Kitchen? 8 Questions to Help You Decide.”
- Make sense for your business.
On the flip side, it’s easy to start brainstorming a list of topics your audience cares about, create a lead magnet they’ll love … and wait (and wait) for any of the leads it attracts to turn into customers. What’s happened in a case like that? Usually, it’s just that the lead magnet didn’t clearly guide people down the path to your business. To continue the kitchen remodelling example, maybe you created a lead magnet called “8 DIY Fixes for Your Old Kitchen” that appealed to penny pinchers—but your business actually specializes in full-service, high-end remodels. The lead magnet failed to make working with you seem like the obvious next step.Once you have an idea for content that your audience will devour and that serves your business goals, creating the lead magnet can be as simple as typing it up or turning content you already own into a PDF file.
2. Choose a Landing Page Builder That Will Make Things Easy For You
Now you have your lead magnet, and you need somewhere to advertise it and a way to deliver it to people who sign up. Make things easy on yourself by choosing a landing page builder that integrates well with your email autoresponder service and allows you to create an effective landing page without having to master new tech skills.
Obviously, we’d love to invite you to start your free 14-day trial of Leadpages and give us a try.
Inside our landing page template library, you’ll find customizable squeeze page templates that are perfect for beginners and marketing ninjas alike. Our clean designs are proven to perform well, and you can sort them by conversion rate to see how they are working for other businesses. You’ll also have access to our built-in lead magnet delivery system (no email service provider required).
Whatever tools you choose, start simple. You can always upgrade or branch out as you gain new skills.
3. Craft a Strong Message (But Don’t Be a “Hero”)
At this point, you know what your page is about and how you’ll build it. Now you just need to know what to write on the page to entice readers.
This is surprisingly easy because the key is simply to not overwhelm the reader.
All you need to do is tell the readers what to do and what’s in it for them.
That’s it. Nothing else. You don’t need to prove anything about your business as a whole or tell visitors why they should work with you—you only need to get them interested in your lead magnet. Remember: a squeeze page assumes that the bulk of the “pre-sales” education and conversations are taking place elsewhere, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your copy lean and mean.
This sounds strange for some entrepreneurs at first. They’ve been hearing the advice to “promote their business” for ages. Why wouldn’t you use your squeeze page to promote your business, too?
Starting a business is certainly something to be proud of. But if there’s one thing you need to remember about crafting your squeeze page message, it’s this:
You are not the hero of this story.
On this page, your potential customer is the hero. You are the trusted mentor, guiding the hero to the opt-in button so they can conquer a challenge (however small).
To guide them, you simply need to explain how opting in solves their problem or improves their situation. You can often do this in surprisingly few words. For example, a realtor might use this headline, and no other content, to pitch a lead magnet: “This Resource Guide Will Help You Find The 5 Best Neighborhoods To Raise Children.”
If you find yourself writing several paragraphs to lay out that explanation, you probably need to go back to Step 1—it’s a sign that your lead magnet isn’t an obvious fit for your audience, your business, or both.
4. Find the Right Background Image
Many people suffer from decision fatigue when it comes to choosing an image to place on a squeeze page. Don’t overthink it. Choose the main image that supports your message and is easy on the eyes—and be wary of making people work too hard to understand a photo.
In A/B tests, we’ve consistently found that a full-width photo background outperforms a plain page background—if that image is a good one.
What makes for a good squeeze page image? It’s pretty simple:
It points visitors in the right direction. You don’t need to have strong directional elements (such as an attentive face, a person’s arm, or an architectural angle) in your background image, but if you do, make sure they all point toward your headline and call to action. Bold lines pointing away will subtly distract visitors from your message.
It works with your page colors. In fact, it can help you choose your page colors if you don’t already have a predetermined color palette to work with (such as your logo colors). For instant design harmony, you can choose colors for your headline, text field, and button by using colors found in your background photo.
It’s relatable, yet positive. We’ve seen many tests indicate relatable lifestyle shots perform better than studio photos and boring headshots. If your image features people, make sure those people resemble a slightly better—but achievable—version of your target audience. Inspiring images, whether they’re showing people at their best or simply a beautiful vista, are also a good choice.
It reflects your audience’s goals. On the other hand, we’ve seen completely gorgeous background photos flop in split tests. In almost every case, that happens because the photo doesn’t relate to what the audience wants to achieve. You might think a luxurious beach scene would appeal to almost everyone, but if your messaging targets an audience that believes excellent work is its own reward, an image that suggests people should kick back and relax won’t connect.
5. Add a Powerful Call To Action
Finally, you need to write a call to action (or CTA) that converts.
Remember, your squeeze page is short and simple, so visitors will only spend a moment—perhaps only a few seconds—deciding whether to opt in or click away. You don’t have the luxury of presenting your call to action at multiple places as visitors scroll down the page, because there’s probably no scrolling to be done.
A good call-to-action button tells people what to do and why, clearly and quickly. Try “Download Now,” “Claim My Spot,” or “Yes, I Want the Free Report,” all of which indicate both an action and the end result of that action (implicitly or explicitly). Buttons that do both these things are typically more effective than ones that focus on just one, such as “Click Here” or “Free Report.”
And if you can use the f-word—free—do so. We’ve seen conversion rates increase when people simply add “free” to their buttons and other copy.
On the design front, maximize visual contrast. If your background is red, consider a turquoise CTA button. Echoing a color in your background image can also point attention toward your button.
Finally, color and message aside, you’ll want to make sure your button itself is large and obviously clickable.
Congratulations! Now you know how to make an effective squeeze page.
The Best Squeeze Page Templates
When it comes to landing page design and squeeze page template, it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of discussion. The truth is, it’s highly variable. Your audience, where they are in their buyer’s journey, along with the nature of your product/ service will all determine how to structure your page and what features to include.
That being said, of course we can offer up a few tips for success:
- Keep all content above the fold (to display on a single screen with no scroll)
- Focus on a hard-hitting headline
- Use a full-width background image or colored background
- Choose a contrasting color for your CTA button
- Remove all navigation, external hyperlinks, social share buttons, etc.
What about you?
Do you use squeeze pages on your website? What have you learned about creating a high-converting squeeze page for your audience?
Tell us what works and what doesn’t in the comments below!