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Landing Pages

Why You Need a Long Form Landing Page: A Complete Breakdown

Most people have one of two opinions on long form landing pages: 1) they’re gimmicky or 2) they just aren’t “right” for my company.

Although we can’t change the opinion of folks who think they’re gimmicky — despite the fact that opinion was probably formed due to a sales page they saw 10 years ago — we can admit that there are some smart scammers out there that have realized the power behind long form landing pages! But, those scammers have probably also realized the power behind many other incredible sales and marketing tactics, so it’s a bit unfair to categorize these types of sales pages as gimmicks.

For those of you who have always believed long form landing letters aren’t a good fit, you could be right. But chances are, you just don’t know which situations to use them in and how they should be executed. Time to get some learnin’ on.

How do I know if I should consider a long form landing page?

Unless you’re blue ocean, there are likely many others who are offering similar services with great reviews and presumably great results. At that point, it often becomes a price war for most customers. They see two or three options and assume the result is more or less the same, so their business goes to the lowest bidder. A price war is not a fight you want to win. A race to the bottom is not sustainable.

If this sounds like you, a long form landing page is probably something you should consider.

If you are, on the other hand, blue ocean, then you have a completely different problem: most people don’t know your specific solution exists. They probably don’t know their problem is considered a real problem, so they’d never even guess that there are any true solutions at all. You have to create a market, and create the demand.

If this sounds like you, a long form landing page is probably something you should consider.

Or, you may have a solution that is pretty complex or expensive. If the product or service you’re offering is relatively inexpensive, simple, and generally “safe” (people don’t think it could be a very risky investment), then a shorter landing page will probably get the message across well. But if you’re offering something that has a higher price tag, takes more to understand, or can cause a sense of anxiety when the prospect is considering purchasing, you need to give a much better, and likely much longer, explanation.

If this sounds like you, a long form landing page is probably something you should consider.

In each of these situations, you need to educate and inform your prospects for more than 5 seconds.

You have to sell you/your company/your product and what sets you apart.

You have to convince them and help them overcome any of their doubts and hesitations.

OK, I should try this. Now what?

The best landing pages include just enough copy and information to make the sale – no extra fluff, no extra nothing. Sometimes short landing pages can achieve this well, but in some situations, there’s not enough info to make many sales happen. In this case, long form landing pages are the way to go.

When creating your long form landing page, here what you need to think about…

Consider Your Prospects’ Current State

Where are your prospects now? What is their biggest challenge? What have they tried? What are their desires – both in the near-term and long-term?

Yes, it’s a lot to think about… but if you don’t think about it, your prospects certainly won’t either. You need to meet them where they are and help guide them along the way. Answering these questions will give you a good idea of what you need to address, and how you should relate.

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: what level of awareness are most of my customers at?

If they’re highly aware of their problem, you don’t need to spend as much time digging in and educating them. For example, every time they want to bring their homemade coffee to go, it ends up spilling over the edges and the mug won’t fit in the cup holder. You likely don’t have to illustrate those issues in grave detail; they get it.

If they’re also highly aware of the solutions, you don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of how your travel mug works. Folks who are highly aware of both the problem and the solution just need to understand why they should choose your travel mug over the millions of others out there. You can likely achieve that with a short form landing page.

In the middle are folks who are pretty problem aware but not fully solution aware.

They realize their house is old and every winter it takes them hours to replace the screen windows with the glass windows.

They know their glass windows still aren’t great and lots of cold still comes in.

They know what a pain it is to have to change every single window twice a year.

But they probably don’t know exactly how much their window problems are costing them on their heating bill. They also probably don’t know how much time they are losing between performing the replacements themselves, dreading it for weeks beforehand, and then moving everything in and out of storage. You can certainly elaborate more on that.

And, as far as the solution, they probably know they could get their windows replaced and updated to a modern model that wouldn’t make require replacement. But beyond that, they likely don’t know much.

How much will it cost, what will it take, how easy will it be, how much time is needed, what other things do they need to consider… the list goes on. That’s where they need your help.

Explain to them in detail how everything works and what everyone needs to consider when updating their windows. And then tell them about your solution and why it’s the best one out there. You have a lot of questions and fears to overcome, so a long form landing page will be your best friend.

Finally, there are the people who are not aware of the problem or the solution. In this situation, your job is to make them aware of a pain-point, make them believe it’s a real problem, educate them on solutions, and then present your specific solution.

Simply put: the less aware folks are of their pain-point and the fact there is a solution to relieve it, the more copy you’ll need in order to make them feel comfortable enough to buy. You have a big job to do!

Establish a Connection

It is your duty to make sure your prospects see that you really understand them, who they are, and the difficulties they’re facing. This is key. Failing to establish a connection will almost guarantee the failure of any sales page.

Your prospects need to feel like you truly understand and empathize with them and their problems. This establishes trust. They also need to believe you really care about them. No one wants to pull out their wallets if they just think you’re after their hard-earned money.

No matter the level of awareness, you have to prove that you deeply understand the difficulties they are facing – especially because they may not be very aware of those problems themselves. It’s important to agitate their pain-point and paint a vivid picture so they can relive that problem in the moment and realize how much of an issue it is. You should do this before even bringing up the offer.

Share Your Unique Selling Point

Explain what makes you different! There’s a lot going on in the world every single day with way too many decisions to make. Make them realize why they should work with you and not your competitors.

There are many ways to do this, but your main goal is to explain why your solution is the most ideal choice. A great way to do this is to answer your FAQs and throw in some of the questions you use to qualify your prospects. You can even combine the two!

For example, you can say: “Has your revenue and company growth plateaued?” and answer it with an explanation of how your solution works: “We’ll identify what’s been holding your company and your buyers back using the same method we used to grow to $500MM ARR. Then, we’ll work with you to update your plan of action and help you hit aggressive new milestones.”

This is also the perfect opportunity to introduce any extra tangible bonuses or features you’re giving them that most of your competitors do not provide.

Address Common Doubts & Fears

The number one question for most of your prospects is: will I get a return on my investment, and what will that return be? If you’re able to dispel those fears in any way, do it.

Can you guarantee anything?

Whether it’s a money-back guarantee, a free trial period, or something else, make it clear that you’re confident in what you’re selling. The more worry you can remove, the more comfortable they’ll be. Your job is to make them feel safe and secure so they can psychologically move into a spending and committing mindset.

Explain Away Confusion

Do people understand how your solution works? Do they understand how they’ll benefit?

Make sure the answer to both of those questions is: YES!

This is especially important if your solution is more complex and has many moving parts. Once your prospect understands the problem and the fact that it will be solved, they’ll want to know how exactly everything comes together to provide that relief. Explaining benefits is one of the most important things you’ll do.

If your solution requires their involvement, here’s where you explain how it works. If it doesn’t require much from them, explain what will be happening “behind the scenes”. (This is especially important if the solution is expensive – you don’t want them to feel like they are paying lots for something that makes no sense to them.)

Breaking complex processes down into step by step journeys that feel simple and meaningful will go a long way. To do this, pretend you’re explaining to someone who has very little knowledge of the space. Test out that explanation with a friend or family member. If that explanation works, you have a great blueprint for your landing page.

The worst feeling a prospect can have when faced with a purchasing decision is the feeling of being out of control or overwhelmed. Give them control by giving them knowledge.

Communicate Your Value

Value extends far beyond features. Focus on how you make their life better, easier, richer, and so on.

When most people think about value, it typically revolves around the question of price. Like we already said, the race to the bottom is not a race you want to run. Instead, focus on minimizing the sticker shock or maximizing perceived benefits.

When it comes to dollars, comparing the cost and breaking it down into smaller pieces is often a good strategy. In some cases, you can break a monthly or quarterly cost into the cost per day – which is likely less than they pay for X.

In other cases, you can compare your solution to another potential solution that costs more money AND time. Time is a great focus point because everyone’s time is worth something, and they often immediately wonder if your solution will cost them more of their precious time.

In fact, most of your prospects are going to be busy people. One of the best ways to demonstrate value is to share how much time you can save them through your solution.

Maybe it will cost them a pretty penny, but can they make that pretty penny back tenfold with all the extra time? If yes, shout it from the rooftops. Make them understand what this huge return on investment looks like.

If your solution requires time from them, a coaching class for example, then focus in on the value of that time and, again, break it down into smaller pieces.

Will just one hour a day completely transform their lives? Have past customers continued for years because they loved it so much?

Value can also come from other intangibles, often in the form of emotions. Feeling happy or powerful are both strong intangibles that you may be able to leverage. Or feeling understood. Or feeling at peace.

There’s tons of intangible value you likely provide. Don’t underestimate how much it can mean to someone. Turn the time and cost investment into something positive and you’ll address their concerns while creating a sense of excitement and desire.

Illustrate the Cost of Inaction

While retargeting is great, it’s important to capitalize on your opportunity to move prospects down the funnel while you have their attention.

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a very real feeling. Though scare tactics are not something we often condone, it is fair to trigger a sense of urgency for your prospect.

Depending on their stage of awareness, your solution may be something they’ve simply been putting off for a long time. They may already be convinced they need it, but they aren’t convinced they need it right this minute.

Here, you can couple immediate benefits and values with time-sensitive offers to spark that urgency. Maybe you can remind them that they could lose thousands if they keep waiting. Or you can tell them you’re offering a special deal that expires at the end of the day.

It’s up to you, but your job is to help them realize that immediate action is vital.

Don’t Forget About Design

Your message needs to be the main focus, but that doesn’t mean you need an ugly, plain landing page! Just make sure the design is enhancing and supporting the message rather than competing for attention.

Some people believe long form landing pages need to be very plain, like a standard Word document. That’s not the case, and that level of dullness can negatively impact your conversion rates more than you realize.

That also doesn’t mean you should focus on creating the flashiest design you can think of. Design should never overpower the copy.

Keep things clean, but make it visually appealing, too. Design elements can be a great way to break up text through visuals, so the reader doesn’t feel like they’re sitting down to an essay – even if your copy is mesmerizing.

Font size and formatting are also very important with long form landing pages. We recommend using font size that’s not smaller than 16px, and maxing out paragraphs at 2-3 sentences.

Keep your sentences short and easy to follow. Check your language to make sure it matches your audience. Don’t use college-level words and phrases if the majority of your audience isn’t highly educated.

Be clear and be interesting!

Get Started

Once you’ve determined your customers’ awareness level and reflected on the cost and complexity of your solution, you’ll know what to do and these tips will help you along the way.

As a smart business leader, you also know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution so we always recommend running multivariate tests to determine what is most effective. (We can help with this!)

Maybe your long form landing page will absolutely crush it (we hope so!). Or maybe, by creating your long form landing page, you’ll zero in on the key messages your prospects need to hear. Those key messages may even allow you to communicate those points in a kick-ass, short page that converts like crazy. Either way, you will uncover many valuable insights as you embark on your long form landing page journey!

Ps. Feeling confident in a long form landing page strategy, but less confident in creating one yourself? We’d love to help!