Landing Page Guideline #2: Captivating Readers with a Compelling Story

A Great Landing Page is a Sales Letter that Establishes Rapport, Heightens Desire for the Product and Prompts a Purchase Decision.

Great products seldom stand on their own or sell themselves without someone creating a story. A great landing page is a sales letter that begins with a story that heightens desire for the product and prompts a purchase decision.


The D in the AIDA acronym stands for desire. The final A in AIDA stands for action — what you direct the reader to do in order to respond to your offer.


Gaining Rapport with the Reader


Whether writing a newsletter, article, or advertisement, think of one person and write (speak) directly to him personally. Start by getting a clear picture of who your ideal customer is so you can write your offer to that one person.


For instance, suppose you write a landing page (product ad) for people who work in the food service industry. Do you think people who work in the food service industry think of themselves as “food service workers”? They do not.


So, which lead for a specialty coffee ad is more pleasing to the targeted reader and creates better rapport?


“Food service industry workers like those of you who read this newsletter know good coffee.”


That’s very impersonal, unfocused and lumps a whole group into one general category. Compare it to this:


“If you’re a restaurant owner, executive chef, or specialty food buyer, you know excellent coffee even before you taste it. It’s color, freshness and aroma tell you volumes about its quality.”


This story lead identifies its target audience, gets rapport, and compliments them. Note, also, that plain old “you” is a lot more personal and intimate than “those of you.”


Make sure your landing page contains an interesting, engaging, believable story told by someone your prospect can relate to and appreciate. After all, you’re asking her to spend valuable time reading your pitch; you owe her a good read. Plus, a compelling story will move her smoothly along to the purchasing decision.


Noteworthy Examples of Story and Content


The Instant Real Estate Newsletter Landing Page knows its audience’s wants, needs and desires, and what keeps them up at night. That’s getting and keeping more clients.


The Richebächer Letter Landing Page tells Richebächer’s personal story of how he rose from pre-war Germany to become an economics guru.


Landing  Page Guidelines – Fundamentals of Persuasive Copy


Bob Bly says to be persuasive, your copy must 1) gain attention, 2) focus on the customer, 3) stress benefits, 4) differentiate you from the competition, 5) prove its case, 6) establish credibility, 7) build value, 8) close with a call to action and 9) give the user a reason to act now instead of later.


We agree with Bob. And we would argue that the most important of these are focus on the customer and stress benefits. Fundamentally, benefits are reasons for the customer to buy.


The reader requires reasons to take action. Even if she has already decided to buy your product, she needs reasons to take the next step. It’s a matter of acting congruently, or being able to rationalize her purchase decision.


Buying decisions are largely emotional. Consumers buy what they want, not necessarily what they need. Compelling benefits (read reasons or rationalizations) provide the congruency required to justify a subconscious purchase decision. An engaging, believable story enhances this process.


One more important point: Often someone involved with online marketing believes that “long copy doesn’t work on the Internet”—a myth we know to be patently false. See Long Live Long Copy by John Clausen


For more on effective copywriting, see Dialogue with your Web Visitors Through Smarter Writing Styles by John Alexander.

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