The success of your paid advertising campaigns has less to do with the ad itself and more to with what happens after the click. You can have the most persuasive ad copy, that perfect “eyeball grabbing” image and buy the highest quality traffic… yet if your landing page is poorly designed for paid traffic, then you’re going to have a really hard time achieving a positive ROI.
We’ve found 7 different styles of landing pages that are working very well for advertisers who drive millions of dollars worth of display traffic to their site every year.
In this post we’re going to cover what they are, who’s using them and why they work. You’ve probably seen some of them, but I guarantee there are one or two that will be new for most people.
Landing Page #1: Is it a Landing Page or an Article? It’s an “Article Lander”
One “new” type of landing page is the “article lander”. This is usually a presell page that looks like a news article, scientific study, press release or a blog article. They can be multiple pages (like the “Old School New Body” sales funnel we analyzed in the “Business of Display Part 4: Info Products” post) or they can be single page landers like the examples below.
These tend to work well because they don’t raise most peoples’ “Sleazy-Marketer-Wants-My-Money” flag. People have started to become blind to traditional sales letters, video sales letters or anything that indicates that someone wants them to buy something. An article lander just looks like an informational article.
One successful supplement advertiser — “Force Factor” — is using an article lander as a presell page for their natural testosterone boosting supplement “Test 180x”.
The article lander presells the customer on the benefits of this “new supplement” without immediately raising any alarms. Once you read the article you’re going to be more receptive to actually finding out more about the product, especially when it comes with a free trial.
The headline “New Testosterone Booster Hits The Shelves” is written like the headline from a news article or press release. There’s a logo at the top which says “Scientific Innovations” making it appear like it’s coming from a scientific journal. The body copy is written in the style of a news article with a slight sales twist.
Moral of the story: it doesn’t scream “advertisement”.
Article landers are also easy to A/B test. All you need to do is change the text on the page. A video sales letter, for example, requires you to re-record the audio, re-record the video, reformat the video, upload the new video, etc.
In addition, it’s easy to find the bottleneck in your funnel if you’re using a multiple page article lander. You can easily uncover which page causes the highest number of users to exit the page. For example, if you notice that a lot people drop off on page 3 of 5 in the article sequence, you now know there is an issue with page 3 and can start to brainstorm ways to improve that specific page and NOT the entire sequence.
Landing Page #2: From Print to Digital — The Advertorial
Advertorials (also known as “Native Advertising”) were the hottest new landing page in 2014. They were even featured on an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
These are the internet version of ads direct response marketers have been using for years in newspapers and magazines.
One of the best old school marketers who commonly used these ads was Gary Halbert. In one issue of his “Gary Halbert Letter”, he writes:
Make Your Ad Look Like A News Story
Here is how to “think” about your newspaper ads. Think about what could be the best possible piece of luck you could have. Think about a reporter who heard a rumor about your product or service and decided to check it out. And then, he fell in love with it. In fact, he loved it so much, he went back to his typewriter and wrote a full-page rave article about what you are selling.
Here’s an example of an old school advertorial selling a new fishing lure:
Advertorials are very similar to article landers. The small difference is that Advertorials are always made to look like news stories and are written in a more “newsy” style. Article landers can be written in this style, but it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Article landers also tend to be hosted on the company’s domain. Advertorials are often found on “Advertorial Portals” like HealthHeadlines.com, HowLifeWorks.com and FirstToKnow.com. These sites buy display traffic and send it to advertorial content that contains an affiliate link.
Here’s a great example of an advertorial for a probiotic health supplement on HowLifeWorks.com:
Here’s another example from LowerMyBills.com
Both advertorials educate the consumer the way a news article would BEFORE they pitch the product . The Probiotic advertorial explains what a Probiotic is and why it’s beneficial. The Lower My Bills advertorial teaches you about a new government program called “HARP”, which was created help homeowners refinance their mortgages and save money.
Advertorials can work very well at building trust as a presell page in just about any market.