Written by Hailey Kragelj
October 24th, 2021
Written by Hailey Kragelj
Mayday, mayday, we’re going down! Brace yourselves!
After you rattle, bump, thunk, and thud your way to a stop, you cautiously peer out your airplane window. You’ve crash-landed on what looks like a deserted island. But with no map, no recognizable landmarks, and no clear signage, you have no way of knowing where you are.
While a landing page feels a little less life-or-death than a nosediving aircraft, you still want the initial touchdown to feel more like the first episode of Survivor than that of Lost. The landscape may look the same in both, but the 16 to 20 castaways on Survivor have something the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 never got: Jeff Probst leading them through the game, explaining the rules, and promising big rewards.
Here we go. For landing page copywriting that converts, Survivors ready… GO!
What’s a season of Survivor without Jeff Probst’s opening spiel?
From the moment they arrive on the island, the castaways (and the loyal viewers at home) are greeted with a detailed explanation of the game, the players, and what’s to come. The word “Survivor” splashes across the screen in big bold letters.
Copywriting for landing pages should feature the same type of clear messaging:
You don’t want your castaways to spend even a moment contemplating what island they might be on. The hero headline should immediately shed light on the purpose of the page in a way that differentiates it from any other service or product out there. For example:
Each tribe’s buffs and flags match the name and location. When writing landing page copy for an existing website or design, create content that complements the page’s:
They may be castaways, but they’re not lost at sea. The survivors start off with a clear map to help them navigate through unfamiliar territory.
Like the map itself, your landing page should follow a logical layout that facilitates easy customer wayfinding. That includes:
On Survivor, each tribe’s map is pointing them to one very specific destination: the beach they’ll come to call home. When organizing and writing your landing page’s content, you have to first recognize the end goal—are they downloading an eBook, signing up for a free consultation, making a purchase? Each of these landing page offerings corresponds to a specific point in the buyer’s journey and level of familiarity with the landscape. For example:
A downloadable asset like an eBook or white paper is typically for early-stage potential consumers. They may have a problem that your company solves and can learn more by downloading your free resource. Effective copy for this stage would likely be written in layman’s terms, from a solution-oriented perspective, and with a motivational undertone.
A free trial or consultation is usually for mid-stage customers who are familiar with the offering but on the fence about actually pulling the trigger. You can lead them further down the funnel by heavily emphasizing the many benefits, the real-world use cases, and the risk-free nature of the trial—what have they got to lose?
A product or sale landing page is most effective for late-stage leads who are familiar with your offering and the associated benefits. The language should gently nudge them toward the “Checkout” button by providing a definitive picture of how their lives will improve and simultaneously emphasizing the special offer, whether that’s 25% off, one free month when they buy a year-long subscription, or a free gift with every purchase.
Landing page copy should welcome the user to the page, the way Jeff Probst welcomes in the survivors for each upcoming challenge. That means:
And when Jeff Probst dropped the time-honored “guys” from the end of his classic catchphrase in a move toward inclusivity, he likely had no idea just how applicable his new saying was for us landing page copywriters at home.
Your copy shouldn’t just welcome users to the page but should do so in the most inclusive and accessible way possible.
Just like our ol’ pal Jeff, you may have to widen your understanding of who you’re talking to.
If a user lands on a page and is clearly left out of the company’s messaging, they won’t stick around to learn more about a product’s benefits or the company’s mission statement. They’ll bounce right off the page and find one that says come on in and actually means it.
When Jeff Probst asks, “Worth playing for?” no one ever says, hmmm, let me think about it. They don’t have to hem and haw over whether they’d like flint and fishing gear, a fat slice of chocolate cake, or to spend the afternoon with their loved ones sipping champagne.
The answer is always a resounding yes.
And that’s because their trusted host and guide presents not just the rewards but their inherent value in the game.
In marketing, this is what’s known broadly as presenting benefits rather than features—a must-use tactic if you’re wondering how to write copy for a landing page.
What’s the difference? Well, Survivors, we’re glad you asked:
Presenting features asks the reader to draw conclusions for themselves—ones they may not ever arrive at. Presenting benefits does the work for them.
When Jeff shouts “go” at the beginning of that high-stakes rewards challenge, every survivor takes off at full tilt. That’s because they know exactly what they stand to gain by the time the race, fight, or puzzle begins.
If you’ve done your job as the copywriter, the same should be true for your customers.
The final push is a compelling, carefully crafted CTA button. The boilerplate options certainly serve their purpose—Learn More, Shop Now, Schedule A Call—but how can you do a little more with your CTA copy?
“Step Toward Greatness”
“I’m Ready for More”
“Become My Best Self”
“Your Future Starts Here”
“The Last App You’ll Ever Download”
“Your New Favorites”
“Stop Wasting Time”
“Keep Up With the Competition”
“Don’t Miss Out”
In the immortal words of Jeff Probst, "Once the user makes an initial judgment about your company, the decision is final; the person will leave the landing page immediately.”
Close enough, right?
The point is, users make quick, snap decisions about a company based on their initial impression of the landing page. They may read a few words, glance over the photos, then cast their vote—whether to kick you off the metaphorical island known as their mind or keep you around to play another day.
Give them more than enough reasons to keep you on their team:
In Survivor, alliances are everything. In the game as in life, you need a team of trustworthy, proficient allies with diverse skill sets and a shared goal.
Like the Aitu Four, Stealth R Us, or the Black Widow Brigade (minus all the backstabbing), Copycat Copywriters is an alliance worth joining. We work our magic on keyboards, not challenge courses, and we deal in ideas, not immunity idols, but our minds are sharp, our drive to win is immutable, and our hearts are in the game.
Stick with us and you won’t just make it to the final four, you’ll take home the million—guaranteed.