And let’s face it, a good landing page template (one that converts anyway) is almost impossible to find.
A little on landing pages…
Basically, landing pages are special kinds of web pages and websites that encourage a prospect to ‘sign up’ for something… That something can be a free download of some kind, a free video, a free trial for a piece of software… Anything.
There are right ways and wrong ways of building squeeze pages, but I want to start someone a little more primitive… I want to start with the psychology of the squeeze page.
[heading style=”2″]Landing Page Psychology[/heading]
Squeeze pages do something very simple – they collect email addresses from people who may or may not be willing to spend money with you in the future.
They give you their email address with the express consent that you can contact them in the future through email…
You give them some kind of ‘Lead Magnet’ that incentivizes the prospect to sign up.
It goes a little deeper though. If you read the book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini, you start to see something else at work…
That something is repricoty.
Basically, the Law of Reciprocity says that if you do something for someone else, they are morally committed to doing something for you. They feel like they have to…
So, by giving you a free download, you are committing them to read a report, watch a video, or otherwise spend money with you.
That, my friends, is the biggest key behind why squeeze pages work. Sure, you have the person’s name and email address… But the true power lies in the Law of Reciprocity.
[heading style=”2″]Landing Page Setup Guide[/heading]
There are a few things you need in order to set up a squeeze page correctly… And yes, it’s going to cost a few bucks. Chances are you already have this stuff though!
Tools You’ll Need To Get Started
In order to have a squeeze page, you need a domain name. Think of it as your ‘address’ on your web. Without getting terribly complicated, your domain name is what tells the Internet which web server your website is located on.
Your domain name (example: MoneySites.com) can be anything. Ideally, it describes a little about what you’re site is about, and what you’re collecting leads for.
For example, it might be:
- Niche related, like http://healthtipsmonthly.com.
- Product related, like http://fitnessebookdownload.com.
- Blog related, like http://studytipsblog.com
If this is your very first site, we recommend getting your hosting and domain name in one fell swoop at HostGator. If this isn’t your first domain name, we register most of our domains at Godaddy. They’re cheap and reliable but they try to sell you everything under the kitchen sink (we don’t like that :0) ).
Web hosting is vitally important. Imagine spending a few hundred bucks a day on advertising and finding out that your squeeze page has been down for 3 days! You’d be pretty pissed wouldn’t you?
Ask me how I know…
We take web hosting seriously because it’s the ONLY expense you have in a web business that’s mandatory… No different than having a store in a mall. If your site dies, so does your income! We tried running with cheap hosting for way too long and suffered quite a bit because of it. Just get set up the right way the first time.
Now… What is web hosting? Web hosting is the ‘server’ or computer that’s hooked up to the Internet. It’s whole job is to ‘serve’ up your website files to all the Internet users who come along asking for them.
So, when someone types in your domain name and your website comes up – they are being served off of a computer somewhere!
It sounds a whole lot more complicated than it really is. Just know that you need a domain name and you need web hosting.
Now, where to get it.
If you’re first getting started, HostGator is perfect for you. As we said earlier, if this is your first blog grab everything from Hostgator. Your domain name and your hosting.
If you’re a bit more seasoned, and you plan on getting more than a few thousands visitors a day to your blog, we recommend MediaTemple. MoneySites.com is hosted at MediaTemple :0) They are a little more expensive though – that’s why we suggest starting with Hostgator.
You can host multiple websites on the same server too, with both HostGator or MediaTemple. So, when you start your second or third site, you don’t need new web hosting.
EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE
Email marketing software is the glue that makes squeeze pages work.
To put it simply, if you’re collecting names and email addresses for the purpose of marketing, you’ve got to be CAN-SPAM compliant… Meaning every email needs to have an unsubscribe link, the email addresses need to be double opt-in, and lots of other stuff.
You CAN’T just collect their email addresses and mail them messages from Gmail!
I know a lot of business owners who think that’s the right thing to do, but it’s not.
Furthermore, I don’t know why you would! Email marketing software is stupidly cheap, and it keeps you out of the doghouse…
And, it makes sure that when you send an email it actually goes to the subscriber’s email inbox!
So, here’s a roundup of some of the best email marketing platforms out there… Arranged by ‘business complexity.’ A larger business is going to have different needs than someone who is just starting up :0)
Aweber is my favorite out of the email list management tool because it’s cheap, has autoresponders, and has great deliverability rates. It’s awesome for you if you’re just starting out
Besides doing all the normal broadcast type stuff, Aweber lets you set up a sequential series of emails that go out at a predetermined time. So, if you want to build an automated sales funnel, email marketing is going to be right at the heart of it all!
When someone signs up for your newsletter or for your download, they’ll be put on an autoresponder that systematically sends out emails every day to them (or as often as you set them up…)
Deliverability is another factor. If you were to email your 200 clients out of Outlook or Gmail, chances are your server will shut you down for a little while. They do that to avoid spam. If you email those same clients from Aweber, your emails are almost guaranteed to get there!
Constant Contact is my first recommendation for people looking to do monthly email newsletters/information bulletins for their clients or for businesses who are overly concerned with aesthetics. They’ve got a lock on the small business market and they do very well with it.
If you’re a small startups, information marketer, blogger, or an entrepreneur, you are probably better staying with Aweber, but Constant Contact has it’s place.
For instance, I’ve done a lot of work with bricks and mortar business in the last few years. Things like bringing them online, helping them through social marketing and list building, etc. A good number of them use Constant Contact and love it.
OFFICE AUTO PILOT
Now to the big boys. I love OfficeAutoPilot. They’re by far my favorite of the email list services. It has been built from the ground up for serious Internet businesses only. When we started using them, email marketing was why we switched over. We needed greater control over our data and more competitive email rates, and OAP gave that to us.
In addition, OfficeAutoPilot has:
- An awesome CRM functionality
- Good shopping cart software (so you can sell stuff)
- A membership plugin for WordPress that integrates with said CRM system
- The ability to do direct mail, phone call followups, and task management
- Plus, a ton of other stuff..
The coolest piece of OAP – the dashboard. They’ve got one central dashboard which tells you sales, signups, products, and all that. It’s cool looking.
Ok… If you’re this far, it’s safe to say you’ve got an email marketing platform (you NEED one to set up a squeeze page…). So we’ll move on to the hosting setup section.
WEB HOSTING SETUP
The next step is getting your site set up! To do that, we’re going to use a piece of software called WordPress. Don’t worry, you don’t need to download anything though. We’re going to make this easy on you.
One of the big reasons I recommend the hosting companies above is because they AUTOMATE most of the process for getting WordPress installed. It’s not something you have to worry about at all!
After you purchase hosting with either HostGator or MediaTemple, it’ll take a few minutes to get your login information. They’re dusting off your new web space and that takes a little bit of personal interaction…
When you get the email with your login information, go ahead and log in. It’s going to look like Greek for a minute, but don’t worry.[note color=”#dddddd”]
HOSTGATOR WORDPRESS SETUP (click here for Hostgator)
HostGator Step 1: What you’re looking for is Hostgator is a little button that says ‘Fantastico.‘ Here’s an image:
HostGator Step 2: In the right sidebar, click on ‘WordPress.’
HostGator Step 3: Click on ‘New Installation.’
HostGator Step 4: Now, you’ve got to fill in the fields for your website. An explanation is below…
- Install on domain: This is the domain that you want to install WordPress on. Find it in the dropdown menu.
- Install in directory: In most cases, leave this blank. If you want to install it in a subdirectory, like http://domainname.com/blog/, add the subdirectory here (ie. /blog/).
- Admin username: Your username for logging into the site
- Admin password: Your password for logging into the site
- Admin nickname: Your nickname for articles being published. For example, mine is usually ‘Jason.’
- Admin email: Your email address
- Site name: The name of your site (helps to be keyword loaded – for more information check out Money Site Secrets)
- Site description: The description of your site (again, easier to rank when these are keywords – check out Money Site Secrets for more info)
Here’s an image of what you should be seeing:
HostGator Step 5: Review the details of your WordPress installation and click the finish installation button.
HostGator Step 6: Your blog is installed! If you read the text on that screen, you’ll see a link to your new blog, and the admin area! After you bookmark those, click the ‘Back To WordPress Overview’ button.
Now your blog is set up! Continue down to STEP 4 to learn how to use it![/note] [note color=”#dddddd”]
MEDIATEMPLE SETUP (click here for MediaTemple)
MediaTemple Step 1: In MediaTemple, click the ‘Admin’ button. Here’s a image:
MediaTemple Step 2: Click on ‘1-Click Applications.’
MediaTemple Step 3: Click ‘Add New Application.’
MediaTemple Step 4: Find WordPress in the menu, and click ‘Start.’
MediaTemple Step 5: Fill in the following fields:
- Application URL: This is the domain that you want to install WordPress
- Database configuration: Just leave this one alone unless you know enough to change it :0)
- Database table prefix: Again, just leave this one alone.
Here’s an image of what you should be looking at:
Now, you’re all set! Your site is ready to be turned into a lead generation machine![/note]
LANDING PAGE SETUP
Now, to setting up the squeeze page on your WordPress website.
The absolute best way to do it is by either using a theme or a plugin… Out of the box, WordPress isn’t very well suited to collect and gather leads. There are a few options though.
- Dedicated one solid Page to getting someone to optin in. Offer a free download or a free report for signing up, and then link to that page from each of the blog posts on your site.
- Add an email signup box in the right hand sidebar of your blog. Each of the 3 email marketing services above have simple form creation utilities that are pretty plug and play.
NOTE: Although these options work, you aren’t going to get very many people to sign up for your email list… The better way is to use a plugin or a theme dedicated to gathering leads.
LANDING PAGE TOOLS
Because of the broad userbase and WordPress being easy to use, marketers have flocked to it. Which means, people have made plugins and themes that make lead generation easy on you.[note color=”#dddddd”]
LANDING PAGE THEMES
Pagelines is our new favorite overall theme, and what this site is built on. Basically, Pagelines is a ‘framework’ that makes building any kind of site drag and drop easy… It also has the ability of adding modifications to the PageLines framework, and one of those modifications is this ‘Launch Page’ mod. It can be used as either a squeeze page or a sales page, is quick to load, and completely mobile friendly!
OptimizePress has been our standby favorite for sales pages and lead collection pages for the past year now. It’s HIGHLY recommended for putting together squeeze pages and sales pages. It also has a pretty nice blog layout and will do membership courses very well. On most of our sales heavy sites, this is the theme we use.
Now, for some plugins that will allow you to use any WordPress theme you want, and still give you all the landing page goodness that you need to collect leads.[note color=”#dddddd”]
LANDING PAGE PLUGINS
Popup Domination is a great little plugin for collecting email addresses from your blog traffic, by intelligently displaying your email signup form to visitors. You don’t need any pages or anything like that – just set up the plugin, paste in your autoresponder code, and you’re off and running. It will display optin forms automatically.
Optin Skin is a WordPress plugin that helps you make really great optin pages that convert well, and also creates little optin boxes for the end of blog posts. All in all, it does about 12 different things, all proven to increase your optins without you having to set up new pages or mess with the widgets in your sidebar. It’s a great little plugin.
Lead Rocket is a plugin that helps you make really great optin pages that convert well, by using almost zero text! The most important part of these little beauties is the image in the background… Setting up a squeeze page can be done in less than 4 minutes, which is awesome. Best yet, these lead pages will convert BETTER than long, drawn out optin pages.
So now, you’ve got your squeeze page up and you can start sending traffic and gathering leads.
Before I let you go so you can take over the world, I’ve got some list management tips for you… These are going to make sure that your email is getting read, clicked on and you’re making money from your list!
[heading style=”2″]Email List Management[/heading]
Not many people do ’email list management’ justice. Just because someone opted into your newsletter doesn’t mean that they want to hear from you! Here are a few things you’ll need to pay attention to make sure your emails get delivered, makes you money, and keeps you out of the doghouse.
- Double optin – make sure that people click a verification link in their email to actually optin to your list. This is BIG when it comes to spam complaints.
- Non active subscribers – In OfficeAutoPilot we have it set up so that after 120 of not taking action, subscribers are automatically deleted off of our lists. We do this for two reasons: it keeps our costs down and only people who care about our content actually read our stuff!
- Relevant subject lines – Make sure the subject line of the email is relevant to what’s in the email (and stay away from ‘Notification of Payment Received’ subjects’)
- Advertisement announcement – Include somewhere in the email, preferably the extreme bottom, that the email message is an advertisement, and for the reader to assume that you are somehow making money from anything that they do.)
- Email frequency – take note of how often you email, and what your responses are from your list. Some lists mail daily. Others a few times a week. We’ve found that it’s best to take breaks, and then follow that up with a 3 or 4 day sequence of emails.
There are a ton more best practices, but those are the ones I can think of now. If you want anything added, let me know in the comments below!
If you’d like some more information on how to create niche sites that you can make some money on, make sure you sign up for this free Money Sites presentation!
QUESTION: What niche are you building your list in? Maybe other readers might like to partner up and send some traffic to you!