In this episode of BrandTalks, we talk to Tim Paige about landing page design. As Senior Conversion Educator at Leadpages, Tim spends his days showing business owners what’s really working in marketing (based on Leadpages billions of data points), so they can increase revenue, grow lists, and scale businesses. In the past two years, he’s hosted over 450 live webinars, and over 100 episodes of Leadpages’ podcast ConversionCast.
Host: Today there is not a single company that would not have a website. This is the first spot where the potential clients meet brands. What’s natural, companies are looking for the best solution for their websites, and this is why landing pages are becoming more and more popular. Do you agree?
Tim: I think the biggest reason why landing pages are so critical to a company’s success, is a lot of noise out there. There is a lot of chaos. So if you go to a whatever website of some company that you are considering doing business with, the minute you get there, you have so many different options. You can check out their pricing, you can read their blog, you can check out their “About” page, you can click on different posts and banners, and things, and shiny flashy things. All of those things distract from the real thing that you, as the business owner, want them to do. That is either opt in or buy your stuff. More and more than ever, we are in a relationship building economy. We need to build relationships with our potential customers before we are going to get any kind of lasting business results from them. Before they are going to buy anything from us, we need to show them that we are going to take care of them. We need to show them that we are the right person for them to spend their money with. We need to prove them that, we actually know what we are talking about. So, whether you are selling a boat motor, or whether you are selling information, or whether you are selling iPhones, it does not matter. You need to build the relationship with your customers first, and the best way to do that is really effective high-quality email marketing. In order to do that, you have to grow your list and the best way to grow your list is with a landing page because it is so focused and so clear. If somebody is on a landing page, there is no question about what they are supposed to be doing. There is really only one thing that a person can do on their page, and that is to give you their email address. So having a landing page just removes all the distractions of all the other options. Here is the one thing, that you should do now, and that is opt in.
Host: Right. So we can choose one, but there are so many kinds of landing pages. So, which one would you recommend, which one is the most effective?
Tim: I don’t know if there is a most effective landing page. You know, with every company, with every brand, your audience has particular problems or frustrations, things like that. Things that, they lie awake in bed at night, thinking about. So, I don’t know necessarily that there is the best landing page in general, but the best landing page is one that really conveys the message, that you are offering a solution to somebody’s problem. Or at least a solution to their problem. So, all of your customers have some problem, or frustration, something that is keeping them awake at night, and your landing page is most effective if it shows them: “hey, here is something that can help you with that!”. All you have to do is opt in, to get it. Now, what are the things that are, you know, some of the most effective tactics for growing your list? Well, I can share a few of them. We found that something called a resource guide landing page. It’s really, effective. Meaning, the landing page is very simple, all it has is a nice big background image. A headline and a call to action button. The headline would be something like, “Free report reveals the top five dirt cheap tools I use to create all my video’s, including my eighty dollar HD video camera”. And then a button that says, “Click here to get the guide”. When they click the button, they can then opt in. The guide itself is just a one page PDF, that lists a few tools. It is nothing spectacular, it’s not an eighty-page e-book. It is not a seventeen part video course, it is just a one page PDF with some tools on it. This is something that we have tested extensively over two hundred thousand people, that have opted into our list. What we have found, is that this one page PDF tends to outperform e-books, video courses, free coaching sessions, all of that. Because it is simple, it is clean, and it solved somebody’s problem very quickly. So that is one thing. Another thing, that works really well, is something we call a content upgrade. Every time you create a blog post, or a podcast episode, or a YouTube video, every time you publish some kind of free content, you also add something extra. Some little bonus, some bonus or something or other. Like a infographic, or a check list or a mind map, or a worksheet. But in order for somebody to get that extra thing, they have to opt in. So they reading a blog post about, like superfoods, and then you say something like: “Hey, we have got these five recipes pack, that includes all the super foods mentioned in this blog post. To get it, add it to your email address”. So now they can opt in, to get that extra thing. Because it makes sense, because it is specific to the topic in the post, people are more likely to opt in for that thing. So those are two really great ways to grow your email list.
Host: Great hint! Also, you mentioned, that it is very important to remember about getting know better clients, and make it dedicated to them.
Tim: Yeah. The biggest thing is just knowing what they are struggling with. What is the biggest thing that keeps them awake at night? And how can you help them with that? Whether it is done with a lead magnet, whether it is done with a live training, but it is showing them that is simple, quick, and easy, that will help them with their problem.
Host: Let’s say I represent a company and I want to create my own landing page. What kind of methodology would you recommend me?
Tim: So, how to create a page? We have software called Leadpages, and it is a really incredibly easy to use software tool. You don’t have to know any kind of coding or anything like that. That is is literally point and click, and all of the landing page templates in our software are built, based on billions of data points that we have collected. Yes, that is billions, with a “B”. So every time, we make a landing page that people can use in our software. That has already been tested, tens of thousands of times, to get everything just right. So all you need to do is click on it, and change the headline, put your own images in there, and make it reflect your brand. But all of the best converting elements, the things that make that page work really well, are already set up for you. So you can use that, you don’t have to know any coding, you don’t have to hire a designer and developer to do it for you. You don’t have to use some kind of a WordPress plugin. You just use lead pages, and it takes care of that part for you.
Host: Creating landing pages seems to be really simple.
Tim: That’s exactly right, yeah. And it is, you know, its landing pages, it is webinar registration pages, sale pages, upsell pages, you know, everything that you really need to get great results on your website, Leadpages can do for you.
Host: I think you have some indicators that show you which kind of solution works. Which tool helps to track user behavior on your website.
Tim: Yeah, I mean there is a lot of different tools for those things. Built in the Leadpages, you do get analytics about basic conversion rates. So visitors to opt ins and what their average conversion rate is, and we do have the ability to split test, right inside the Leadpages tool. But outside of that, there are so many different tools, that can allow you to do those things. I don’t focus too much on those things. I focus so much more, specifically on the direct customer interaction. Whether it is on webinars, or through guests on the podcast. Luckily, we live in a time where it is not difficult to find a great tool, that can track, what people are doing on your website.
Host: I get it. We were talking about creating a new landing page. I am curious when do we implement new features? Is it better to interview people, which is very, very time-consuming, but it gives high-quality feedback, or focus on A/B tests online?
Tim: We do a lot of A/B testing. Everything we do, we test to make sure that it is going to be better, and not worse. That is one of the big things that we do. When it comes to releasing a new product, we always pre-sell first. So, we co-create our products with our customers, they are involved in the creation of that product, and then we pre-sell that product to them before we ever create it. It creates an environment where we are never going to make a product, that people don’t want. We are never going to add a feature, that people don’t want. So, when it comes to creating a product that is how we do it. When it comes to trying to find out what is going to work best, whether it is the landing pages, or lead magnets, or whatever, we A/B test everything.
Host: Flexibility is the big deal?
Tim: For sure.
Host: Let’s talk now about your podcast ConversionCast which I find very interesting. Your guests talk about their tactics with many details. I am very interested if it is hard to encourage people to talk about their success.
Tim: Sure, you know I think at this point, we have got a pretty established podcast, and we have got a huge audience. People mostly come to us at this point. When we first started out we really didn’t have any audience. All we did was, we reached out to all the people that we wanted to have on the show, and said, “Hey, we are going to be launching a show, we know how to market things, so we are going to be marketing this thing effectively, and we will build a big audience quickly, all we want you to do is to share one marketing tactic that you have implemented, and what were the results? It’s going to be about ten minutes long, and we would love to have you be a part of the launch of our new podcast”. That’s all we did, it was just some simple emails. Most of the people we didn’t already know or have a relationship with, and people were pretty excited to do it. Most people were happy to come on the show. Now I think people are pretty used to being asked to being interviewed. There are lots of podcasts coming out every single day, More and more people are getting asked to interview on their podcast, so I think it’s something people are used to, and it is pretty easy now, to get a hold of influencers and get them on your show.
Host: Ok, so there is no problem, people are eager to share their stories?
Tim: I think so.
Host: How about the feedback? I mean, do you get some emails for example, “Thank you, Tim! That was very interesting, I implemented those tactics to my business, and it works”?
Tim: Yeah, we do. We do get emails from people a lot of the time, telling us why they downloaded the show, why they subscribe to the podcast, and all that stuff. A lot of times, people will tell us: “Hey you know, this is a strategy I have been looking for, I am going to go and implement this”. A few months down the road, they will send us a message saying, they did it, and it got great results, or it didn’t get results, or whatever. They do mostly come in email. We occasionally will get comments. Also interesting, the thing with the podcast is what I hear from people the most, is actually on my webinars. Like people that listen to the podcast, will then register for a webinar, will come and join me on a webinar, and say: “You know I will be on there. I listened to Conversion Cast, it helps me with my marketing”. That’s a really cool, fun, thing because I get to interact with them live from the webinar.
Host: That’s cool! Do you remember any particular story? Something that was really impressive?
Tim: I think one of the big ones was that a lot of people have been telling me, this is not particularly one case study, but they listen to the episode with Ryan Levesque and he talks about the Survey Funnel Formula. People implementing the survey funnel, and a lot of people had just been telling me how great that has been working for them, how many leads they are getting as a result of the survey funnel. Of course, if you want to hear that episode, you can go to conversioncast.com, and you will get a chance to hear, where he kind of breaks it down, in detail. But that has been one of the cool ones, because, it allows you to really find out what your audience is looking for. Then give that back to them, in exchange for getting them to join your list.
Host: So again, watching what people want, and respond to their needs. You deal with landing pages, with the podcast, and blogs for many years. Have you noticed the difference as comparing presence to the past?
Tim: The biggest changes there are just more, and more, and more, and more, people, that are doing podcasts, and many people are afraid that that means that podcasting is losing its effectiveness. In reality, what is happening is that more and more people are getting into podcasts, and they are just jumping into it, just doing it. They are not doing any preparation, they don’t have good sound quality, they don’t really know how to be entertaining, they don’t know how to do an effective show. So when you can really create a podcast that is entertaining, that helps people, that has great sound quality, great production quality, you can rise right to the top of the heap really quickly. There are so many people out there doing it, that are just kind of half putting it, but if you can really put your all, and make it an incredible show, you can rise to the top of the heap really quickly.
Host: Making a summary – what should be done if we want to have a good podcast, it’s would be delivering interesting content in good quality. Is there something else that you would add to this list?
Tim: Be entertaining. That is one of the biggest things. It’s the one, it is the part I have the hardest time with. We are talking about something that is pretty dry and general. It is like, how do you improve your conversion rate? But if you can find a way to be entertaining, and engaging, and get people so that they want to listen. If it’s not just something that provides them value, but also is fun, and makes that ten, twenty, thirty minutes, or whatever, makes it worth listening to, you can really be special. I would say there is ninety percent of podcasters, that are not successful because they are not entertaining. People don’t want to listen, even if it is great content, they don’t want to listen because they fall asleep.
Host: That is true. Last time, I heard a podcast. There was something with motivation in the title. I was very, very curious, what was it about. Then I started to listen in the morning, and the voice was slow and calm. I don’t think it is the best motivation for me. So entertaining is important for sure.They are thousands of podcasts because everybody can do this. Of course, it is not easy ( it just looks like: all you need is some software, and you just start talking). This one I was it was hilarious, but after one minute, I just could not listen more. I tried to be motivated but it was senseless. So again, being entertaining is essential! I think we gave many useful tips regarding landing pages. Thank you very much, Tim.
Tim: Thank you, thanks for having me on.