Test Your Product Idea with a Proven Landing Page Layout
How do you know people will buy your product? Before you commit time, energy and resources creating an offer, how do you know there is sufficient demand? Every successful business person knows to be market-led, not product-led and you should be no exception. Knowing there is demand for your product before you create it is a great feeling. It motivates you and gives you confidence and momentum to get your product out into the world.
For this reason, the landing page is fast becoming our tool of choice for marketing and monetizing any information product. A landing page is a one-page website promoting an offer (i.e. an incentive, a freebie, an “ethical bribe”) closely related to your product (e.g. a free ebook, a report, a mini-course etc); an opt-in form to let visitors’ submit their email in return for access to your incentive; and some minimal sales copy highlighting the benefits of your incentive. And that’s it – you’re not selling your product at this stage (although you could). You’re simply building an email list of likely prospects.
A typical landing page looks like this:
A landing page lets you:
- Determine if there is demand for your product;
- Start building your audience of potential customers;
- Avoid creating products no one wants;
- Test lots of product ideas quickly and affordably without commiting large amounts of time, energy and resources.
Landing pages address all the above and for most experts they are the perfect solution to start monetizing their know-how.
A website is often overkill
As a product creator, all you need in the beginning when looking to create a new product is:
- A way to test if there is sufficient demand for our product idea;
- A way to build an audience.
To achieve these two goals, a full-blown website is overkill. You just need a landing page (sometimes called a lead page or squeeze page – there are slight differences but they all have the same goal: to collect a user’s email and, in doing so, testing your idea’s viability).
An anatomy of a successful landing page
We recommend you use a landing page service. It will save you time; provide performance analytics; and, most importantly, you can A/B split test various designs and copy to see which convert best. (A landing page that works even one percent better can mean several hundred extra subscribers). The designs are professional too and you can have your page up-and-running in a matter of minutes.
Here, we discuss what makes an effective landing page so you know what to look for. We’ve numbered the important parts. Let’s look at each:
- Have a powerful headline and compelling subheadline. This is sales copy 101. If you need a powerful headline, here’s a simple proven formula (of course, there are others): The result your customer wants + a short time period + an obstacle. For example: “Start your own authority podcast [result] in 30 days [short time period] even if you have no experience or contacts [obstacle]” or “Design a profitable app [result] in 14 days [short time period] even if you can’t code [obstacle]”. Your headline should be punchy and get straight to the point. Your subheadline can flesh out the benefits a little more, e.g. “We’ll show you hand to land top guests for your podcast even if you’re a “nobody with nothing to offer””.
- Include a video (recommended) or image on your landing page. Sales videos are powerful and we recommend you use them wherever possible. They are far more persuasive and engaging than a static image. Use the video to sell the story of your product: how it came about, what it does, who it helps, the results it achieves etc.
- Draw attention to the opt-in form with an arrow. The primary goal of a landing page is to capture the visitor’s email address. Literally, use an arrow to point to the opt-in form.
- The opt-in form. The opt-in form offers an incentive to your visitor in return for their email. The incentive can be a free report, checklist or guide – however, visitors are becoming more resistant to these and you may have to offer something more enticing, e.g. a mini-course, a video series, free lessons etc. Make sure your incentive is closely related to your product to make the sales process flow naturally. (You don’t want to create a product about podcasting, say, and have a website-building course as a free incentive. It jars.)
The opt-in form must connect to an email marketing service, e.g. MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft. (An email marketing service manages your subscribers for you, e.g. adds them to a list that you can market to later; lets you send out emails to your list; manages unsubscribe requests and more).
- List 3-6 product benefits. Why should your visitors be interested in – and eventually buy – your product? Identify the 3-6 key benefits your product provides your target market.
- Testimonials or other social proof. Add any client testimonials you may have. If it’s a new product you won’t have testimonials but you can insert other social proof here, e.g. you may have a track record of success with another product. You could say, “From the creator of…” or “We have over 10 years experience in this area and have delivered our expertise to clients such as…” or “As featured in…”
- A landing page has two goals: (i) most importantly, to capture your visitors’ emails, (ii) at the same time, to test if there is any demand for your product idea before you invest time, effort and money building it. (If no one is giving you their email in exchange for your incentive offer (which is closely related to your product idea), there is probably insufficient demand for your product.
- You can hire someone on Upwork to build you a landing page. Or you can use a service like LeadPages which creates attractive, editable landing page templates for you. LeadPages charges a recurring monthly fee.
- You need to connect your landing page to an email marketing service, e.g. Aweber. This is a separate service with its own recurring monthly fee.
- Decide what incentive you will offer people on your landing page. It should be closely related to the final product you plan to sell.
- Open an account with LeadPages to build your landing page.
- Drive traffic to your landing page using Facebook ads and Google ads. Capture visitors’ emails with your incentive offer.