How To Create B2B Landing Pages That Actually Convert

Mark Huber

Jun 16, 2021

This is the fifth post in our new content series, No Fluffs Given. We’re tired of the fluffy content in our LinkedIn feeds, with no real substance or actionable takeaways. So we’re teaming up with some of the best B2B marketers we know. People who have ACTUALLY done this stuff before. And giving you new, actionable tactics to implement today.

Why do so many B2B landing pages fail to convert well?

Yeah, why is that?

I can tell you right now it’s not because you haven’t devoted enough time to:

  • Figuring out the personas you’re targeting
  • Nailing down the marketing angles you want to use to reach them
  • Getting designers to whip up a layout and eye-popping creatives that look juuuuust *right*

The uncomfortable answer is that most landing pages struggle to convert because the copy is often pulled together at the last minute.

Whatever a B2B marketer writes, it’s copy

Website content. LinkedIn posts. Thought leadership articles. It’s great when B2B marketers and campaign managers write copy for these assets.

Why? Because they’re able to easily weave their company’s strategic goals into the copy.

But.

There’s a gap between writing marketing copy that informs, educates, and persuades…

…and writing landing page copy that motivates prospects to (a.) fill in your lead gen form, and actually (b.) read the e-book, attend the webinar, or show up for a demo.

Again, this is not because marketers can’t write copy. It’s not because they don’t know how to persuade.

It’s because landing pages are a different beast altogether.

And most marketers simply get flustered trying to figure out which types of messages should go on their landing pages to make ‘em convert.

With so much pressure riding on them, it’s no wonder the landing page copy is left until last…

Even David Bowie and Queen sang about the pressure marketers are under to craft landing pages that convert (OK, so maybe the song wasn’t exactly about landing pages…)

But you don’t need to be livin’ on a prayer, clickin’ publish and holding your breath, hoping your landing pages will pull through.

You just need a little patience… and a solid B2B landing page framework. Like the one I’m about to show you.

Full disclosure: it doesn’t tell you exactly what to write on your landing pages.

But it tells you the right kinds of messages your prospects want to hear to motivate them to convert.

Think of it like a no-brainer checklist.

If your landing page checks off all of these 5 core copy elements, your landing pages will:

  • Reveal the right pieces of information, at the right time and pace to your readers (so they aren’t overwhelmed)
  • Encourage them to convert
  • Motivate them to follow through on what you want them to do post-conversion

And unlike shoulder pads, mullets, and parachute pants, these 5 core copy elements will never go out of conversion style with your readers.

Let’s dive right into the framework, ‘kay?

Core element 1: Make them stay with an attention-grabbing headline

David Ogilvy wasn’t wrong when he said: “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

From the second your prospects touch down on your landing page, they’ll be wondering if they should stay (and keep reading) or click the back button and disappear forever.

The Clash gets that prospects are torn between staying (and reading more) or going from the second they touch down on your landing page

But most landing page headlines fail to capture prospects’ attention because they try to do too much.

Your headline only has one job to do. And that is to grab your readers’ attention.

That’s it.

You have an infinite amount of space below the fold to make a compelling argument for your prospects to convert. Your headline simply needs to make your reader stop whatever else they’re doing and focus on it.

So, how do you write a headline that’ll make them stay?

Here’s three tips for starters:

  • Base your headline off a question
  • Base it off a statistic or interesting fact
  • Base it off a deep-seated hope, fear, or desire—something you know your readers are struggling with but they can’t put it in words themselves
SavvyCal uses voice of customer data their headline to help say what readers think, and make you pay attention to it

Core element 2: Take their breath away with a curiosity-stoking lede

The lede should dazzle your prospects, affirming that choosing to stay on your landing page was the right thing to do

Get the headline right and you’ll capture prospects’ attention.

Get the lede (AKA subheading) right, and it’ll make them curious and excited enough to scroll below the fold and dive into the rest of your landing page.

Most ledes sound like an abstract from a journal article. But a truly compelling lede should be short, succinct, and support the statement or promise you’ve called out in your headline.

But it should never give away all the juicy details of your offer or product.

Your prospects need just enough context to grasp the value of what they’ll learn beyond the fold.

Because that’s what will compel them to scroll down and keep reading.

Hotjar’s lede states what the problem is and tells you they solve it, without giving away all the juicy details as to how they actually do it

Core element 3: Earn prospects’ trust with social proof

The biggest killer of conversions on landing pages?

A lack of social proof.

Because after you’ve hooked their attention and have them buried deep in the copy below the fold, their System 1 mind’ll say to them, “hey, I like the sound of this.”

At which point their System 2 mind kicks in, puts the brakes on their reading, and says:

“Waiiiit a minute. One second ago you were flipping through your newsfeed on LinkedIn… What company is this? Who do they help? And why should I trust them?”

That’s why social proof, and lots of it, is crucial.

It shows you’re not making this stuff up, and gives prospects’ System 2 minds something tangible to hold onto.

So they’ll know this much is true.

Who would’ve guessed Spandau Ballet was hinting at the need to build trust in your B2B landing page copy?

You can include social proof in the form of:

  • Written testimonials
  • Reviews from 3rd party sites or apps (think G2, Capterra, and TrustPilot)
  • Video testimonials or mini-case studies from happy customers
  • Logos of big shot, easily recognizable clients or customers
  • Impressive business stats (like “trusted by 12,453 companies around the world”)

And if you don’t have any of that? The personal branding of leaders in your company, of the speakers at your webinar, or the author/s of your e-book can also help.

For super powerful landing pages, try to include at least 3 out of these 5 types of social proof, and sprinkle them liberally throughout the page.

ClockShark is a study in the use of social proof. It’s clear they know what they’re doing and that you can trust them

Core element 4: Stack value to make converting a no-brainer

For your prospects, there’s a certain amount of anxiety that goes into converting.

Your prospects are giving up something precious to them (their data or contact information) so they can get something precious from you in return (what you’re offering them).

Meaning you need to position your offer as being equal to—or greater than—the value of your “ask.”

And the way to do that is by stacking the value of your offer.

“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you,” proof that Rick Astley was a true expert (before his time) in value stacking

And this is easier to do than you’d think. You simply need to list the core benefits (not just features!) of what they’ll discover, or walk away with in their digital hands, as a result of converting.

Here’s how you can do this, easily:

  • Pull up a clean spreadsheet, or create a table in Word/Google docs
  • Write down in one column all (and I really mean all) the features of your offer—what they’ll get if they attend your webinar, download your e-book, book a demo, or sign up for a free trial
  • In the column next to it write down all your prospects’ pain points, benefits, and desired transformations—what they’re really looking for that will make their lives better

Then connect the points in these two columns by bridging between them with the phrase “so you can…” or “lets you…”

Edit for clarity and to weed out repetition, and there you have it. A solid value stack.

Now I know this sounds super esoteric, so here’s what that looks like in practice.

Pick any feature out from the screenshot from Basecamp below and break it down into the 3 elements as we described above: (1.) the feature, (2.) the “so you can”  or “lets you” bridge, and (3.) the outcome/desired result.

Here’s what you get: The “Message Board” lets you “Post announcements, pitch ideas, progress updates, etc. and keep feedback on-topic.”

Basecamp’s “how it works” landing page stacks value in multiple layers, relating its features to prospects’ current pain points and their desired outcomes or transformations

You can present your stacked values as icons with descriptions underneath, as a list of bullet points, or in any other format that makes sense for your page.

The point is your prospects will see that sharing their valuable information with you results in clear ROI for them.

Core element 5: A call to action—that actually drives action

Last but not least, the final kind of message your prospects need to see to move them to convert is a super-compelling call to action.

But by “call to action” I don’t just mean the button copy.

I mean finishing with a crystal-clear action or value-based headline and button copy that’s as bold as a cartoon avatar breaking through to the 3rd dimension.

Even though “take on me” isn’t so grammatically correct, the straightforward-ness of this CTA definitely stands out

You’ve spent the entire landing page making a convincing argument for your prospects. So now’s the time to ask them to convert, straight up.

Here’s some ways you can frame the CTA to encourage conversions:

  • Make it sound like an invitation, such as “Join 237 other companies already using X”
  • Lean into the action as much as possible, such as “Sign up for your free trial now” or “See how {product} helps you {achieve specific goal}”
  • And ease any final objections they might have about converting (“no credit card required”)

And if you want to test a value-based call to action, just connect the act of converting—clicking, downloading, or signing up—to the biggest or most important value they’ll get for doing so.

Better Proposal’s CTA headline aligns with the #1 biggest value prospects will get by converting, any final objections to converting are eased, and the button copy is crystal-clear and action-focused

That’s it. That’s the framework.

So next time you’ve been tasked with writing a landing page or two, don’t stress about trying to “find the right words” to make it convert from the get-go.

Use this framework to help you organize the right kinds of conversion-driving messages you need to include in your copy.

And piecing together high-converting landing pages will be faster, and easier, than you think—time after time.

*There are 9 hit 80s song references in this post—some are more obvious than others.

The obvious references (6):

  1. Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
  2. Take My Breath Away – Berlin
  3. True – Spandau Ballet
  4. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  5. Take On Me – A-Ha
  6. Under Pressure – David Bowie & Queen

Hidden references (3):

  1. Patience – Guns N’ Roses
  2. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
  3. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

Meet Eden Bidani

Conversion Copywriter, Green Light Copy

Eden earned her sales and marketing stripes “walking the beat” in direct sales for 5 years. Now, she combines her “selling-not-selling” acquisition strategies with conversion copywriting to help SaaS, e-commerce, and tech businesses drive crazy-good growth at every customer touchpoint. Hobbies include remembering how much 80s music she listened to while growing up, and bribing her kids with chocolate to keep quiet during Zoom calls.

Connect with Eden on LinkedIn here.  

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