Don’t Hard Sell on Your Homepage

Don’t Hard Sell on Your Homepage

By on Oct 23, 2012 in Marketing, Strategy, Web Design | 0 comments

Save Sales Pitches for Special Landing Pages

You’ve seen them before:  Business websites that look more like sales letters. There’s typically no navigation menu and each link only takes you further down one interminably long page. There are paragraphs of sales copy and cheesy clip art. Action buttons, if any, are located at the bottom of the page. If this is your homepage, you are probably a loser.

Don’t get me wrong, sales letters are a time-honored and effective marketing tactic. However, they have a specialized role online. Please don’t use one as your business’ homepage. Instead, create a strategy that uses the sales letter to drive website visitors to make a decision.

There are two types of visitors you can reach with a sales letter: the browser and the clicker.

The first is the browser who finds your website through organic search results or heard of it through another marketing channel. For this visitor, your homepage is just the start of a relationship, so take it slow. Let visitors choose how to get to know you with simple menu options and calls to action. Organize your content into easily digestible chunks, between 400 and 500 words per page. Don’t force visitors to read or watch anything they don’t want to.

Any content that’s not opt-in is an obstacle for visitors to grudgingly endure if not shut out completely. Posting a long letter where there should be a brief introduction is like using an auto-play video. It’s an annoying and unpleasant surprise for most visitors. Imagine going on a blind date where your date’s first words are a wedding proposal.

The key here is choice. You have a greater chance that visitors will read your material if you let them choose to read it. A good website is like an open shop where visitors browse for the information they need. Make the sales letter available, but make it one of several places to research and click “Buy”.

The second type of visitor reaches you through a paid advertisement, frequently pay-per-click (PPC). This visitor sees your paid ad in search results and chooses to click it. Again, choice. This visitor knows they’ve clicked an ad and expects to see a sales letter or other focused sales material. Using landing pages and sales letters with PPC is a popular strategy that’s easy to set-up and monitor.

Check out these WordPress plugins for intuitive ways to use sales letters and landing pages without sacrificing your homepage.

  • Premise: Build landing pages, pricing tables and online shopping carts with this WordPress plugin by Copyblogger Media.
  • Pro Affiliate: This full WordPress theme powers squeeze pages, landing pages and sales letters, each with their own unique look.
  • MaxInbound: Use this plugin’s simple templates to quickly turn out complete landing pages.

Need help with your website? Want to know more about marketing your business online? Get in touch with Roundpeg!