Thank You Page Marketing: 6 Hacks to Increase Engagement


Have you ever been on a website, saw an irresistible offer, got it, and felt disappointed in the thank you page?

Instead of continuing an incredible interaction, the relationship becomes sterile and transactional. The thank you page is an often neglected part of your website. It’s just something you have to create – right?

Not exactly. It’s a backbone of human interaction. Whether it’s receiving a gift or asking for a favor, there’s one thing we almost always say, thank you. For most of us, it’s a reflex.

When it comes to saying ‘thank you’ on the web, there’s no difference. Well, there’s one difference, you can generate revenue from saying thank you the right way.

How?

With your thank you page. They’re an important but overlooked way to continue the interaction with people who’ve taken your desired action.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to make thank you pages that create loyal fans, generate revenue, and produce tons of goodwill for your brand.

Let’s get started

What is a thank you page?

A thank you page is where your new subscribers or customers are taken after submitting their information through your opt-in form or sales page.

In simple terms, this is the page saying “Thank you for performing my desired action. Here’s what you should do next.”The thank you page is valuable because it acknowledges and confirms the action was the right one.

This taps into the psychological principle known as the confirmation bias. People look for signs and information that confirm their preexisting beliefs. They believe they made the right choice by taking your desired action. You let them know they’re right.

Moving forward, they’ll associate those positive thoughts with your brand. The entire process happens on a subconscious level. Below is an example of a what a simple thank you page could look like.

thank you page image

 

Types of thank you pages you should be using

There are many ways to go about crafting your thank you page. What you choose, will, of course, depend on your goals. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can use thank you pages for maximum impact.  

Include a video on your thank you page

The fastest way to grasp something is by doing it. The next best thing is to visualize it. You can capitalize on this fact.

Videos give your audience something to do while waiting. Use this opportunity to confirm they took the right action as well as move them towards the next step in your funnel.

A simple introductory statement is all you need:

An email is racing towards you, check your inbox in a few minutes.  Meanwhile, watch the short video below.

Xcube Labs not only puts a video on their page, they convey a lot of information to their new subscriber.

The video doesn’t talk much about the white paper. Instead, it focuses on Xcube’s thought processes and principles when designing.

At times, people keep the confirmation and delivery emails delayed on purpose. That way, they won’t be distracted from the message on the thank you page.

Videos encourage longer dwell times and (mostly) have a positive impact on the person interacting with them. When they’re well crafted, it encourages them to dive deeper into your content.

Use a video marketing tool like Wistia to get granular metrics on the performance of your videos. The Longer someone stays on a page, the more engaged they are.

Types of video to use on thank you page

  • Welcome video
  • An informational video that tells them what to expect
  • Video that lets the subscriber know what the next steps are
  • Video that showcases a low-cost product

Try shorter videos and continue to adjust the content until you’re satisfied with the result.

Ask your visitor to subscribe to different platforms

Your primary goal with this tactic is to increase your following. This is the best time to take make a small ask because your subscribers will never be this engaged with you again.

Use this page to generate maximum results with minimum effort. Users have already shown they appreciate what you’re offering. Now is a great time to ask them to connect with you on social media.

You can ask them to:

  • Follow you on FB
  • Connect with you  on Snapchat
  • Subscribe to your YouTube channel for more content like this
  • Etc

Here’s an example from Pixabay.

We also do it at KyLeads.

Social media is a great place to spread the word about your brand. Your thank you page helps you build the following that’ll give you solid social proof.

Benefits of driving engagement to your social channels:

  • Provide promotion for your product.
  • A great avenue to connect with your new users/subscribers.
  • Users can share your link in their timeline.

Give subscribers limited time offers and discounts

The fact that you have subscribers means you’re doing something right. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Or at least make one they’ll have to think about before saying no.

Offer them a limited edition discount voucher. Or maybe, get something that is exclusive to new subscribers. The idea is to provide incentives, and the main concern is to make it clear: it’s a one-time deal. It won’t be available again no matter where they register.

A one-time offer is used to increase sales by offering incentive’s that aren’t available anywhere else. The key is to make sure it’s not available through some other means.

If you slip up on that part, the people who took advantage of it will feel cheated.

For example, you can try selling your eBook at 25% off if the purchase is made from that page in a certain amount of time. Make it clear that the eBook won’t be available at that price point ever again.

If they’re at all intrigued with your offer, you just gave them a solid reason why they should be paying for a product right away.

Tips on when to use discounts on thank you page and how to structure them

  • Look out for a product to sell from the thank you page that’s similar to what the user is registering for.
  • Be honest regarding the ideology that this is the cheapest you can purchase your product (that means don’t offer the same thing cheaper somewhere else).
  • Incentives play an important role. Try to make them as exclusive as possible for the subscribers on your thank you page.

Check out this example below.

The experiment thank you page with coupon code

If you dial in the offer correctly, you have a buyer coming your way.

Get subscribers to fill out a survey

Prepare a quick and short survey. Present it to the people who just signed up by placing it on your thank you page. Since they’ve already taken one of your desired actions, they’re more likely to do it again.

Pro tip: Ask the user to fill the survey to unlock a free e-book or other bonus.

There’s a reason you do this. When someone subscribes to be a member of your audience or buys something, you only have a finite amount of information about them. Sure, you could segment based on what they downloaded or bought, but why not ask them to segment themselves.

In your survey, you can ask many questions:

  • How did they find you
  • What they’re trying to accomplish
  • What they do for a living
  • Etc etc

This will give you deep insights into who’s visiting your website. There are many popular survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Slamingsurveys. We’re also building in the ability to survey with KyForms – stay tuned.

But always remember, there’s a fine line between asking your customers to take a survey and irritating them.

The above example shows you exactly how to use a survey on your thank you page.

Here are some quick tips to make an effective thank you page survey:

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Ask direct questions.
  • Where possible, stick to multiple choice questions.
  • Ask one question at a time.
  • Ask questions they don’t have to think too hard to answer (instead of “describe your ideal day,” ask “are you looking to improve x”)

Send users to helpful links

Your subscribers went through your content and subscribed. They love what you’re doing. Now, give them more of what they want. It’s the best time to showcase your other products/featured content.

Here’s how you can do this:

Create pages that highlight the most useful content on your website. Divide it into different sections.

For example, if you have a fitness brand, you can group the links by:
–              Strength training
–              Cardio
–              Healthy eating

Add a short description and link to these useful resources.

Note: You should already have the categories through your blog. All you’re doing is curing the best in each category.

Take a look at this example from ByRegina below.

thank you page by regina

The main premise is that users have already opted in to get more content. Why make them wait? Showcase the best you have to offer right away.

Display testimonials

Payments done online are a bit different from the traditional market. Mainly because it’s less concrete and more threatening. That’s why trust is essential.

One of the fastest ways to gain trust is by showcasing what other people are saying about your brand. Remember the confirmation bias? If done correctly, this will add value and reduce buyer remorse.

Here’s an example of this in action:

This will help reinforce the positive feelings they’ve already associated with your brand.

People won’t hesitate before buying if they trust you. Whether they stick around is another story.

Conclusion

The whole point of customizing a thank you page is to make your funnel more efficient. In other words, it’s meant to continue the process of building a meaningful relationship.

What we’ve given you here are a few ways to get started. Some techniques will work better than others. The key is to keep testing until you find a winner.

Thank you pages are, most of the time, underused. Figuring out your thank you page may result in a huge upside if done correctly.

Let us know about any techniques you’re using in the comments section.

18 Website Optimization Mistakes You’re Making (And The Fix)

Website optimization mistakes are everywhere.

The internet is an unforgiving place.

It’s also interesting in that there’s a lot of information freely available.

  • Your public library makes you pay for a card (and late fees)
  • You have to buy physical books
  • You need to pay for the good shows (HBO and Netflix)

People on the web don’t like to pay. Trust me, I run a SaaS company. We jump through hoops to keep our customers happy.

I digress.

Denizens of the web don’t pay with fiat currency; they pay with something more valuable – attention.

It’s almost impossible to capture the attention of web surfers. Once you have it, the fight to keep it is epic. You need more than a few sentences and a WordPress installation.

How does that affect you?

Website optimization is the process of improving key metrics important to you. Those metrics are different for everyone. Anything that distracts your visitors will kill your website conversions. When people notice, they’ll run away – never to return.

Your desired action isn’t on their mind.

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Most website optimization mistakes, with a little planning and foresight, are avoidable.

Let’s dive in.

1.     Crowded top menu

The most important areas of your website should be accessible within three clicks. This applies no matter the page someone lands on.

It’s been taken too literally. Webmasters seem to think every page is important. They’re not.

A subcategory of a subcategory of your services should NOT be in the main navigation menu. Rather, the link should be on the relevant category page.

Here’s an example of a crowded top menu.

AWS menu

In the above image, taken from Amazon Web Services, the menu is full of options. A casual browser wouldn’t know where to start. If they’re not motivated, they’ll bounce right off the page.

I bounced right off the page.

What’s happening here?

It’s simple; the human brain is a lazy contraption. It always takes the path of least resistance and minimal energy consumption. It’s in passive mode, also known as cognitive ease.  You need a conscious effort to move it into active mode which causes cognitive strain.

Do you think your visitors are going to exert that kind of energy for you? No.

The Fix

Preempt this scenario by streamlining your menu to the bare minimum. Every business is different so I won’t tell you what to put in your main navigation. Instead, I’ll give you a few general suggestions:

  • About (optional)
  • Contact
  • Pricing
  • Services/products

You can get away with one or two more menu items. Not many.

You also shouldn’t have many drop-down options. No dropdowns from dropdowns. That’s just tacky.

The extra menu items you’ve removed need to go somewhere.

For example, you streamline the menu item “about” which had the drop-down items:

  • Story
  • Team
  • Values
  • Mission/vision

When they click on the about page, you talk about what your customers will resonate with the most. You still give them the option to explore the other menu items on the about page. Here’s an example from Unbounce.

Unbounce navigation example

2.     Marketese

“Industry leading omnichannel solutions to help you send the right message, at the right place, at the right time.”

Source

Say what?

Let’s try that again.

“The best way to communicate with your customers in the places they find most convenient.”

Ah, that’s much better.

Marketese holds a special place at KyLeads. We hate it. You know how you have a favorite sports team and that sports team has a strong rival? Even the colors they wear can set you off.

That’s how we dislike marketese. It doesn’t do anyone any favors. It stems from multiple places:

  • Copywriters who don’t have a clue
  • Business owners who don’t have a clue
  • That intern without a clue

The end result is the people they’re talking to tuning them out. This goes back to the first point. We don’t have the mental bandwidth to decipher your message. If it’s not clear then we’re not going to give it the time of day.

Source

Marketese is your enemy. Nothing can happen unless you’re understood. You can’t be understood until you speak the language of your prospect.

The Fix

What can you do to make it better?

The good news is marketese has, possibly, the simplest fix. All you have to do is talk like a real human being.

  • Remove all jargon
  • Remove all buzzwords
  • Kick out technical speak
  • Appeal to the emotions.

This is easier said than done. It takes practice. Remember, people make decisions based on the way they feel. The logical part of our brain takes a backseat in the process.

Don’t believe me? Science has proven it.

making decisions gif

Source

3.     Convoluted message

A convoluted message follows on the heels of marketese. They’re similar but different. A message suffering from marketese is convoluted. All convoluted messages aren’t marketese.

Just like all mothers are women but not all women are mothers.

Put another way, you can talk like a human but still fail to communicate.

How do you know if your message isn’t clear?

Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What am I selling?
  • Who am I selling to?
  • What’s the major benefit?
  • Why should they choose me over a competitor?
  • How have I handled objections?

Now, these questions don’t only apply to items you make money from. The same is true for messages designed to get email addresses or anything else.

They’re all transactions.

They’re easy for you to answer. Ask someone who doesn’t have a clue about the product if they understand what’s going on.

Do they give you the same or similar answers you’d give?

If they do then congratulations, your message is clear. If they’re way off or have no idea then congratulations, your message is convoluted.

The fix

The fix, like most things in life, is simple.

The first step is to highlight a clear benefit. This should be one of the first things a visitor sees when they land on your page.

Distruptive beneift driven headline

Disruptive Advertising mentions two benefits. Spend less AND beat the competition (though, we’re not fans of having two promises).

The second step is to boil down what you’re selling into a simple statement. The more direct it is the better.

Struggling to hire is not why people start businesses. They do it to share their craft, provide for their families, and contribute to their communities. Struggle no more, we are here to help.”

I love the offer from Proven. It’s visceral. It works.

The third step is to push all your benefits through the “and so what” test. The “and so what” test makes sure you have real benefits.

  • It’s made with cotton

And so what?

  • Ehn (yea, not a real benefit)
  • It’s made with stain-resistant fibers

And so what?

  • So you can wear your clothes and forget about spills or doing the laundry this weekend.

That’s much better.

The fourth step is to own up to challenges that’ll form objections. For example, a common objection is that your prospect doesn’t have time to take a course. You can acknowledge that and let them know you’ve prepared the course in five-minute videos that are self-paced.

The last step is to talk like your prospects.

A few days ago  I was trying to figure out what those things that show up in Google results below the website are called.

I had no idea where to start. I just typed in a random query I thought would yield results “the navigation links that show up in Google results.” Much of what I got back didn’t tell me if I was on the right track. Then, one website mirrored the language I used. I knew I was in the right place.

That’s the same effect mirroring your prospects language will have on your conversion rates.

After you’ve followed these steps, ask another person to take a look. Are their answers closer to yours this time around? Rinse and repeat as needed.

 

4.     Formatting that’ll make you cringe

I’ve written a half a dozen books. A few of them were about specific business insights. Others were fiction.

With all of them, formatting was important – very important. It’s the difference between someone reading cover to cover or dropping it on the first page.

Content with poor formatting is intimidating – especially on the web.

What’s the big deal about it?

How does it affect conversions?

Let me ask you. How would you feel if the fifteen hundred words you’ve read up to this point were in one long block of text?

An uninterrupted string of words is far from ideal. As a reader, you can’t scan the text, decide on the most important information, or even hold your space.

For the content creator who’s looking for a conversion, you can’t take advantage of the way people read online.

In multiple eye-tracking studies, it was discovered that people read information in an F pattern.

f Shape reading pattern

With proper formatting, you can put the most important information right in the path of their gaze.

The Fix

Web formatting is kind of a big deal. It’s what determines if people will read what you’ve created or not. Here are a few insights that’ll help:

  • Use headings to break up the text every three to four hundred words
  • Have a clear visual hierarchy
  • Paragraphs should be three lines or less
  • Bold important information (don’t go overboard with this one)
  • Use numbered lists or bullets to break up text
  • Use relevant images to break up text (the key word here is relevant)

Put the most important information on the path your users will take. If you’ve got an offer or call to action, place it in the proper place on the page. Remember the eye tracking image from above.

5.     Navigation links on landing pages

We learn every day. I’ve known this tidbit for a few years. No navigation links on landing pages. That doesn’t mean the rest of the world knows it.

I’m always surprised when I see this mistake being made.

A landing page, in this context, is a page built for the specific purpose of compelling a visitor to take your desired action.

That is all.

It could be to:

  • Sign up for a free trial
  • Download an Ebook
  • Sign up for your mailing list
  • Purchase something

The desired action doesn’t matter. What matters is the focused nature of the page.

A single goal.

Extra links that don’t contribute to your goal are to be pruned ruthlessly. No exceptions.

I searched Google for an email marketing tool.

Gogole results for nav links

I clicked on the ZeroBounce link which took me to this page.

Zerobounce landing page links

They’re falling into the trap of sending most of their visitors to the homepage. Not only that, they’ve allowed me multiple opportunities to leave their page.

Landing pages tend to be difficult to leave or land on. That’s intentional. Once your visitors is there, it’s either they take your desired action, leave your website, or go back to the previous page.

Don’t get this part wrong.

The Fix

Remove navigation links in the header. Also, if your logo is visible on this page, make sure it’s not clickable.

Intercom landing page image

The landing page above is from Intercom. If you land there either you start your free trial, exit the page, or press back. There’s no escape.

6.     Poorly conceived headline

Headlines are part of the backbone of your page, opt-in form, or ad. David Ogilvy, in Ogilvy on Advertising, said 5 times as many people see the headline as the body copy.

If you get 1,000 people to read your copy that means 5,000 people saw your headline. It makes sense to spend time tweaking it.

 

classic headline copy

A good headline is different from clickbait.

I was subscribed to the mailing list of a popular SEO practitioner who will not be named. He used the most sensational headlines to get his emails opened. When I’d open the email and click through to the page, I’d be left hanging.

What took me there and what I saw were always different. That’s also a problem with message match which we’ll touch on later in this post.

I fell for it about three times. After that, I ignored his emails and later unsubscribed. I also reported him as spam – something I almost never do.

I felt misled. I’ll never trust him again.

So how do you build mouthwatering headlines that entice your readers without misleading them?

The Fix

There are a lot of headline formulas. I’ll touch on them in a moment.

First, the elements that make great headlines:

  • Clear benefit
  • Taps into our curiosity
  • Creates urgency
  • Emotional words
  • Power words
  • Specific (that could be numbers or an outcome)

You won’t use all these elements in every headline. Aim for one or two. Now, on to a few headline formulas you can use.

  • [Product Name] is a [product category] that [different thing it does best]

This one is commonly used by TechCrunch. Nice and clear.

Fitness app: Tep is an adorable fitness tracking app that works like a tamagotchi.

  • They All [Did Unpleasant Thing] When [Unexpected Thing], But When [Ideal Result of Using Unexpected Thing]!

Selling stationery: “They all laughed when I said I’d host the shower, but when they saw the invitations!”

Selling art school: “My dad didn’t say a word when I told him I was going to art school. But when he walked into my gallery!”

  • Who Else Wants [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]?

Fitness: Who else wants to look great naked?

Real estate: Who else wants that classic neighborhood experience?

  • The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]

Ski vacation: The only ski vacation designed exclusively to turn beginners into pros

Invoicing software: The only invoicing software made to do your billing for you.

  • The only [product category] that doesn’t [objection or anxiety].

The only car that doesn’t require gas or electricity.

The only online course that doesn’t require hours of your time.

Check out this post for a complete list of headline formulas.

Swiped.co is also a great place to get inspiration for writing headlines.

7.     Too many options leading to different end results

The human brain can handle roughly 110 bits of information at a time.  Conversations require 60 bits of processing capacity. Reading or writing requires the same.

Every option you add to your website takes a few bits of information to process.

In psychology, there’s a phenomenon referred to as the Zeigarnik effect. It states people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones.

How does that apply to the options on your landing page?

Yea, no one is going to look through 105 coffee mugs.

Every option you introduce – like start a free trial, sign up for our mailing list, get 20% off – is another incomplete task. Each one is eating into the 110 bits of processing capacity we have.

Not only that, each option produces a larger opportunity cost. If they decided to go with 20% off then they can’t take advantage of the free trial.

website optimization mistake - choice meme

These are just the options on your page. There are still other options available in the wider market.

Barry Schwartz makes a compelling argument in his book The Paradox of Choice. The more options we have the unhappier we are.

Why?

Because we have to give up much more to make that choice.

The fix.

I’ve stated it before. The most elegant solutions are simple. Get rid of all your extra options. Focus your landing pages, opt-in forms, and any other conversion devices on one goal per page.

The action doesn’t matter. The important part is your focus.

All the images, videos, audio, headings, and text should also reinforce your overarching goal. If not, get rid of them.

focused landing page image

This page is focused.

8.     Image sliders

Image sliders equal too many options.

They’re deceptive. They’re beautiful. They allow you to shorten the page. They deliver visual stimuli.

image sliders example

They’re one of the most annoying website optimization mistakes.

I know, we’re visual creatures. Facebook posts with images get as much as 2.3x more engagement.

Instead of a single call to action above the fold, you have two or more. Your visitor won’t click on the first option because they want to see what else you’ve got.

What if they’re all enticing?

Your visitor will be stuck. They may click or they may not. No one knows. You’re also forcing them out of their passive interaction with the world. They have to make a conscious decision.

Why would you do that to them?

Make it easier on them by offering one choice. They’ll know if they’re in the right place and you’ll know if your value proposition needs tweaking.

The Fix

No image sliders.

They slow down your website, introduce complexity, and damage conversions. You don’t need them. If you’re keen on using images then choose a good hero image.

Use images in other parts of the page. Don’t incorporate them into a slider. I’m asking nicely here. Please don’t do it.

Look at the KyLeads beta launch page.

Kyleads beta page

The focus was 100% on the message. No sliders, no images, and a simple background. The call to action was prominent and our conversions were consistent.

9.     Stock photos

I’ve got nothing against stock photos. We don’t use them much – if at all – on KyLeads. I understand some websites will benefit from them. There are some instances when you should avoid stock photos.

  • All images of people using laptops right on the beach.

You can’t see a thing – the glare is too bright. I also prefer to swim or make new friends. I guess I’m weird.

  • Stock images in testimonials

You’re using testimonials to increase credibility – right? Why would it ever seem like a good idea to use a stock image there? That’s an image you can buy off the internet. Did you also buy that testimonial?

Any goodwill associated with your testimonial will be destroyed the moment people realize you’re using a stock photo. A lot can be forgiven. Lying about results cannot be.

  • Free stock images

If you’ve been around the internet for a while you’ll know them. Even if you’ve been browsing a lot of websites in the same space, you’ll notice them. There are a few stock images that are nice, but have been used to death.

They’re usually listed on unsplash.com pexels.com or any of the other high-quality free photo sites. Stay away from them. If you’ve got to use stock images then at least shell out a few dollars to get the legit ones.

Note: I mean stock photos on sales pages or product pages. You’re free to use them on blog posts.

The fix

Stop using stock photos altogether. This is our preferred method. We don’t use stock photos. We don’t use them on our landing pages, our blog posts, or anywhere else. The closest you’ll get to a stock photo here is a meme.

Like this one:

meme example

Those don’t count. The world loves memes. This was a decision we made early on. All of our imagery is designed. If it’s not designed then we took them ourselves.

If you can’t invest in a designer then take images yourself. You have a smartphone. Most of the world does.

The last fix is to ask your customers to take pictures. User generated content (UGC) is amazing. It works wonders and is built in social proof.

ASOS – a popular online retailer – does this all the time. Their customers take images, post them to Instagram, and tag ASOS while using a special hashtag. ASOS uses them all over the place and reinforces the credibility of their brand.

You don’t have to be a fashion retailer to tap into user generated content. A home window repair firm increased conversion rates 30% by switching out a stock photo for one their customers took.

Image of window repair before and after

Why?

Because it was obviously authentic (authenticity is a post for another day).

 

10.     Message mismatch

How would you feel if you saw an ad like this one:

That led you to this page:

You’d be confused, annoyed, and maybe leave the page. That’d be a natural reaction. What brought you to the page isn’t what you’re seeing.

From what was written on the ad copy, you’d expect to see a few once in a lifetime deals. Instead, you’re taken to the homepage.

I can’t find any of the supposed deals.

The imagery is different.

The colors used in the ad and the page don’t even tally.

In essence, there’s nothing tying me to the ad I clicked and the page I landed on. That’s what it means to have a message mismatch.

Message match is when what brought someone to the page matches what they see on the page.

So how does that affect your bottom line?

Imagine if you saw a Coke ad in your Facebook news feed. They’re talking about a contest they’re running that allows you to travel the world with three friends. Cool. It’s Coke. They can afford something like that.

They use their characteristic red and smiling faces.

When you click on the ad, you’re taken to a landing page that talks about the competition. The only thing is there’s a bunch of blue. Coke’s red is missing.

You may brush it off. More likely, you’ll do more research to make sure the contest is legit.  Apart from that, the chances of you parting with your personal information just fell by a large margin.

When you’re crafting landing pages that are built to convert, the mismatch is anything but obvious. Only 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign.

The other 52% of campaigns are dumping users on the homepage or landing pages optimized for something else.

The Fix

It’s easy to slip into message mismatch. You’re close to your products and services. You know what they’re SUPPOSED to do and be.

Your visitors aren’t in your head.

Any whiff of inconsistency is greeted with suspicion and doubt. Can you blame them? The internet is the modern day Wild West.

The best thing you can do to avoid message mismatch is to keep your headlines consistent, your colors the same, and the imagery similar.

That doesn’t mean your ad headline needs to be exactly the same as your landing page. In many cases that approach is detrimental.

This is the ad.

This is the landing page.

MEssage match for front app

In the above example, the ad and the landing page have similar wording, a consistent design, and the same colors. There’s no doubt in the prospects mind that they’re on the right page. The only thing left is to read the copy and sign up.

  • Choose keywords to use in your ad/social post/ search results you’ll repeat in the headline of your page
  • Use the same colors
  • Take advantage of similar imagery
  • Use the same tone

 

11.     Testimonials without a backbone

We know testimonials increase conversion rates. They’re a way for a third party to back up your claims. What most people don’t know is there’s a right way and a wrong way to use testimonials.

Some just aren’t up to par.

They don’t have a backbone.

As I mentioned a few moments ago, the internet is like the Wild West. People have their bullshit detectors turned up to full power.

Testimonials are meant to highlight specific results your customers get by working with you. Vague testimonials like:

“I became happier after I went through the program.”

Won’t cut it.

“After taking the program, I have been able to spend more time with my family, haven’t had a panic attack in three months, and have peace of mind when I sleep at night.”

The second testimonial points to specific ways the customer has become happier.

Yes, they work with you to be happier. They need help painting the picture of what happiness looks like.

Did you know the better you articulate the transformation your products create the more you can charge?

I digress.

Testimonials from real customers are the best way to paint that picture.

The Fix

Testimonials are there to create trust between your business and a potential customer. To do that, the testimonial itself needs to be trustworthy.

Here are a few ways to make that happen:

  • Include the full name of the customer
  • Link to the customer’s social profile or website
  • Add an image of the customer
  • Use a specific result (my business improved won’t cut it. Try, our conversion rates improved by 30% in 21 days)
  • Address a specific objection you know your prospect has.
  • Don’t over edit.

Marie Forleo has an entire page on her website dedicated to testimonials.

12.     Auto playing music and videos (or any weird noise for that

matter)

This isn’t the mid 2000’s. Your website isn’t Myspace. No one wants to be subjected to your music preferences. We also don’t want to watch your video without warning.

When I asked the Inbound.org community about what website optimization mistakes they disliked, there was overwhelming consensus that auto playing music and videos suck. Chimes and other miscellaneous noise came in a close second.

Inbound org discussion 2

#1) I echo Zack and Alex about anything that makes a noise. There’s nothing that will get me to close a tab faster than that. My interest will hold through an instant popup, but play me any sound on your site and I will have forgotten that I was ever interested in the first place. Notable culprits:

  • Video
  • Song that plays in the background
  • Chat box that dings, chirps, or beeps to get your attention
  • Audio sound byte of someone’s voice

There are no words to describe how much I hate a website that plays sound when I didn’t ask it to.

#2) I instantly close the pages where instead of giving you the full article, you have to click through a slideshow of all 15 tips or tricks or photos or whatever–so you only see them one at a time, and you have to wait for all the ads to load. (While this is brilliant at reducing bounce rate and raking in ad revenue, I loathe the sites that do this and refuse to give them a moment of my attention.) 

This sums it up well.

The Fix

I know this may be hard for some. You’ve heard that videos can almost double your conversion rates.

They shouldn’t be forced on your users. The internet is a democracy. People vote with their time and attention. Let them choose.

That’s when you unlock the impressive conversion rates associated with video and other rich media. Not before.

Turn off video auto play features, chimes, and audio playback.

 

13.     Creating in a bubble is one of the biggest website optimization mistakes

In business, there’s a time between when you start creating and when you receive the first bit of feedback. I refer to it as The Desert.

The first piece of feedback is The Oasis. The intervening periods are the hardest.

You don’t know if people like what you have, want what you’re making, or are willing to pay for it. You’ve no idea what changes to make and which features to keep.

What happens here can be forgiven. You’re making a lot of educated guesses and working off of assumptions. Welcome to Business 101.

It’s what happens after you’ve arrived at The Oasis that can kill you.

Your customers and visitors are telling you what you need to know all the time. They tell you on social media, support inquiries, and website actions.

These customers are saying it loud and clear. Improve your service.

Whether you take that feedback and improve is a different story. If you do then you have the potential to not only increase your conversion rates, but build a brand your customers love. If you don’t then, well, good luck.

The Fix

Create feedback loops and monitor social media.

How do you do that?

There are many tools that’ll help you set up a feedback loop. You can simply send an email to your customers after they purchase. Wait a few days so they can use it but not so long that they forget about you.

Here’s an example of a great feedback request email.

Not everyone will respond to your feedback request. That’s expected. There are other ways to understand where you can improve.

  • On site surveys (really good way to get insights).
  • Social media monitoring.

Use a tool like Qeryz, Qualaroo, or Hotjar to create on site surveys.

You don’t need to ask a hundred questions to get what you need. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. How familiar are you with (insert brand name)
    • Very familiar (been to this site many times)
    • Familiar
    • Not very familiar (This is my first time here)
  2. What’s happening in your life that brought you here today?

(text field)

  1. Were we able to give you a solution you’re happy with?

(text field)

The first question gives you insights about stage of awareness. How much do they know about you and your product? The second question gives you voice of customer insight. You’ll learn how your prospect describers their problem, the referral sources, and potential lead magnets.

You may find out many of your prospects are coming from Facebook which indicates lower end awareness. For them, you could create a lead magnet campaign and drip out educational content about their problem, your solutions, and why you’re the best brand for the job.

Play with the questions until you get the insights you need to improve conversion rates.

The last part of the fix is social media monitoring. Many times, people will take to social media to complain or praise you. They don’t always tag you. It’s your job to find out what you’re doing right – and wrong – then act accordingly.

social media feedback 2

This is how social media interactions should go.

You don’t live on social media. Neither do we. To catch all the mentions of your brand – both good and bad – would take too much effort. For that, you have Mention.com.

Just like the name implies, it’ll help you monitor the internet for mentions for your brand.  

Use these three sources of feedback to build products your community loves.

14.     Bland calls to action and multiple calls to action

Without a call to action, there’s no conversion. Without conversions, your website is useless.

A common misconception is that people, after reading your excellent copy, will know the next action to take. The written word is easy to misinterpret.

The Bible was written 2,000 years ago. It’s a series of books. Each one has a different aspect of the same message. Over time, it’s been interpreted in many ways.

The crusaders used it to wage war.

Catholics used it to kill off Protestants.

Unscrupulous individuals have used it to systematically oppress other groups of people.

At its core, The Bible is a book that preaches love. That’s all. There’s no clear call to action after every book. Since it’s been left open to interpretation it has been interpreted by whoever, however, and whenever.

I digress.

Your call to action is the catalyst that propels your prospect to move. Without it, you may get your desired results or you may not. It’s up in the air.

Why would you slap any old text onto one of the most important elements of your conversion device?

I don’t know the answer either.

My personal favorites:

  • Subscribe
  • Buy
  • Download

What am I subscribing to?

What am I downloading?

What am I buying?

Are you seeing the problem yet?

The Fix

Calls to action clarify the next step. It leaves nothing to chance. Or rather, it reduces the amount of interpretation required.

Remember, anything that can be misinterpreted will be.

The fix is to clearly state what you want your user to do. The call to action doesn’t need to be a standalone device.

Put another way, you don’t need to fit everything into a button or hyperlink.

The only goal is to make the next step crystal clear.

crazy egg call to action image

In the above image, Crazy Egg got it right. They stated the main benefit of their service, let you know your commitment (30 day trial), and used interesting language to prompt the next step (show me my heatmap).

They’re framing you as the owner of the heatmap. As humans, we work harder to keep things we own than we do to acquire new things.

That’s why people will work 10x as hard to keep their home as they will to buy a new one.

Everything in Crazy Egg’s short copy supports the call to action. The button itself reveals how the service will deliver its promise and what you’re going to do in the next step.

Bob B CTA

The above image commands the user twice. The first command is in the pre header text “Enter your email address”

The second command is on the button “sign up and reserve your spot.”

As soon as you fork over your email, a spot is reserved just for you. How much clearer can it be?

 

15.     Leaving objections unanswered

There’s an objection for everything. It doesn’t matter how awesome the offer is.

I invited two of my friends out for a night on the town Everything was on me. One of them, a guy, didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation.

The other one, a lady, wasn’t so fast to jump on the train.

At first, she didn’t have any clothes to wear. I told her to put on a little black dress (she has a lot of them).Then she remembered she had to wake up early in the morning. I promised to get her home in time.

After that she claimed she’d already gone to most of the places in town. I assured her we would hit a few of the newer spots.

We went back and forth like this for a while. I patiently fielded every one of her objections. Some were legitimate, most weren’t.

You’re probably wondering why I spent so much time doing this when I was taking all the risk. It’s because I wanted to hang out with her. She’s a good friend.

I want to build a sustainable business even more. Most people don’t spend a fraction of the time I did addressing customer objections. It’s killing website optimization efforts.

Source

Some objections are legitimate. Some aren’t. All of them can derail a conversion. Don’t leave it to chance. If you ignore the elephant in the room then you’re inviting trouble.

You come off as if you’re hiding something. Are you? I didn’t think so.

The Fix

Be honest.

Acknowledge the hard parts contained in your offer.

Sure, some people aren’t ready to put in the work, energy, or part with their money. You don’t want them as customers.

They’ll hog your support lines, ask for refunds, and spread bad reviews about you. If you have customers like that then fire them.

If the product is expensive, acknowledge that and let them know why. You don’t use genetically modified organisms throughout your supply chain and believe in free range produce. It costs more so the end product is more expensive.

If they’ll have to put in work then let them know.

Though you’re honest, you don’t have to paint yourself in a less than ideal light. I said honest, not foolish.

There’s a difference between saying you’ll have to wake up at the crack of dawn and you’ll have to wake up earlier than you’re used to. There’s also a difference between saying most people will flat out fail and we have customers who’ve not achieved the results they’re after.

The better part of valor is discretion.

16.     Asking for more information than is absolutely necessary

The world is privacy centric. We live in an age of big government and big data.

Nobody wants to give away more information than is absolutely necessary. You don’t want Uncle Sam or the Big G to have your data (they do but that’s the subject of another post).

A long form staring your prospect in the face is bad.

They’ll wonder why on earth you need so much information. The end result is your form doesn’t get filled out, your product doesn’t get bought, and you’re out a conversion or two.

HubSpot and Canva got together to create a useful design resource. It contains almost 200 templates to make ads, social media posts, blog images, etc.

They’re on the right track. They’ve made a lead magnet their target market wants and needs.

They fumbled on the form.

hubspot and canva resource

I don’t know about you but I’m not filling out that form to get a few templates. I can get the same thing for much less elsewhere.

Long forms scare people away. There are better ways to get the information you need to segment your contacts.

The Fix

There are multiple approaches.

  • Shorter forms

The easiest fix is to shorten your forms. If you’re asking for 10 fields then reduce it to four. If you’re asking for a hundred then try asking for only twenty.

I know it’s easy to say.

Let me ask, do you need all of that information? Isn’t there another way to get it? Can you ask them questions throughout your email drip sequence? Can you make informed decisions based on the kind of content they interact with?

In the end, most of your lead generation forms should look like this:

This form is for registration. It asks for your name, email, and password. That’s as short as it gets.

For checkout forms, unless you’re shipping a physical product, you don’t even need to ask for their address. I know – blasphemy.

What are you using it for though?

  • Break long forms into multiple pages

If there’s no way to shorten your form and it’s over five fields, consider breaking it into multiple pages. This makes it less daunting for your visitors to part with their information. You never show more than a few fields at any given time.

Seal the deal by adding a progress bar to the top of your form. You can also use the information they filled out on the first page (always ask for name and email here) to follow up with them if they abandon the registration process.

  • Interactive lead generation devices (E.G. Quizzes)

I may be biased because we give you the tools to create high converting quizzes. That notwithstanding, they’re an awesome lead generation device.

Quizzes tap into multiple parts of our psyche.

  • They appeal to our narcissism because they give us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves.
  • They appeal to curiosity because you don’t know exactly what they’ll tell you.
  • They appeal to our Ego because we can share them on social media and amass positive social proof.

Not only that, they give you, the owner of the quiz, a way to get the right information without presenting your visitors with a pushy questionnaire.

 

17. You’re not using specifics

What sounds better?

  • Last week 1345 joined the SuperFit Revolution.

Or

  • Last week over 1000 people joined the SuperFit Revolution.

The first example has a ring of authenticity to it. The numbers come off as legit. You don’t get the same impression with the rounded number.

Most copy on the web isn’t specific. They speak in vague platitudes and marketing jargon. It’s not their fault. They didn’t know any better – until now.

The Fix

Get as specific as you can – then get even more specific.

What do I mean?

Alright, let’s say you have a few hundred subscribers. At first blush, you may want to round up and say “Join five hundred people who get our weekly emails.”

It’s more effective to say “Join 483 people who get our weekly emails.”

There are many ways to ad specifics to increase your conversion rates. A few of them are:

  • Case studies

In this post on Blogging Wizard, I shared the strategies I used to grow my email list almost overnight.

Readers were hooked. Many joined my mailing list.

  • Statistics

Nothing is more effective than a stat. We’ve created a beautiful resource that focuses on conversion rate optimization statistics. It’s been linked to, shared, and otherwise used all over the internet.

Part of the reason is because it’s beautiful. The other part is because it’s full of cold hard facts.

Facts serve as references after the conversion action, add credibility, and keep your user in passive mode.

Use them.

  • Exact details

Listen to a master storyteller. I don’t mean a writer – those count too – I mean an oral storyteller. Sit down around the fire and listen to them paint the picture with their words.

They set the scene masterfully. Yes, they may tell you what Johnny was wearing. That’s not where the magic lies. They’re masters because they tell you what Johnny was wearing, where he was, what he was doing, how he was doing it, and how he felt while it happened.

They give you enough details to feel the wind on your skin, smell the world in your nostrils, and most importantly, to experience everything Johnny experiences.

You don’t have to tell a story. You do need to add the details.

“Download the 10 chapter, 138 page, guide on conversion optimization.”

The devil resides in the details. Take advantage.

18. Load times

The final website optimization problem. Don’t be fooled. Just because it’s last doesn’t mean it’s not important.

There have been multiple studies about how site speed affects your conversions. This one from Soasta, and this one from Section.

They all arrive at similar conclusions. The slower your website, the greater negative impact it has on conversions. Think about how you use the internet. You’re wandering through half a dozen sites at any given time.

If one of them refuses to load what do you do?

Do you wait for it?

Not likely. If you’re like me, your friends, and the rest of the world then you’ll close it and look for the information elsewhere.

Load times kill your conversions for two major reasons:

  • It’s a horrible first impression
  • People never get to see all the other things you worked so hard on.

Together, people never see what you’ve created and they don’t give you a second chance to show them.

The Fix

There ae multiple ways to fix load times. Some of them are easy and some of them are super difficult. I’ll touch on a few and give you resources to further your education.

  • Don’t load content (Images, videos, audio) until your visitor interacts with it.

For example, you won’t load images halfway down the page until your visitor scrolls that far. That’ll save you a lot of bandwidth, especially if you use image heavy content. For WordPress you can use a plugin like Lazy Load.

  • Turn on compression.

This page is well over 100kb. That means it’ll load more slowly. Before getting to you, it was compressed and sent over. The end results is reducing the time it took to download (let me know how it did in the comments).

A simple tool to make it happen is Gzip.

Don’t worry, the majority of browsers can support compressed files.

  • Cache static files

When someone visits your website for the first time, they have to download a lot of components. When you enable caching, many of those cached components are stored on their hard drive. The next time they come, they only need to download a fraction of those elements.

Here are a few useful tools for caching:

  • Wp Rocket
  • Wp Fastest cache
  • W3 total cache

Now, here are a few tools to check the speed of your site. They give you great recommendations if you’re not up to par.

Speed up your site. Then do it again.

Over to you

We’ve moved through the minefield that is website optimization. One wrong step can spell disaster.

Even if you do most everything right, you may not get the results you’re looking for. It sucks I know. Keep an eye on the 18 conversion killers we’ve covered in this post.

Of course, there are more items that could be added to the list. These are the most common and the most dangerous. If you can find and correct them then you’ll be well on your way to hitting a conversion rate most websites only dream of.

Ignore them and you’ll never unlock the true potential of your website.

Let me know what you’re doing stay on top of website optimization mistakes in the comments section.

31 Headline Formulas That’ll Supercharge Your Content (plus bonuses)

Headline formulas are like the holy grail of blogging, landing pages, opt-in forms, and quizzes.

Why?

Because more people see your headline than ever look at the body of your content.

If you use a poor headline, it does not matter how hard you labor over your copy because your copy will not be read. – John Caples

If your headline sucks then the rest of your message will never get a chance.

Conventional wisdom will say start with a seed idea or keyword, plop it into your headline formula, and voila – you have viral content in the works.

I wish life were so easy.

It’s not.

Headline formulas will save you time, energy, and skyrocket your conversions. If you use them too much then you’ll come off as repetitive and stale.

Instead, use a healthy mix of headline formulas and headlines from scratch.

In this post, you’ll be introduced to some of the most powerful headline formulas available. Though they’re called headline formulas, you can and should use them throughout your copy.

They remove a lot of the guesswork associated with copywriting.

Every time you sit down to write a blog post, lead generation page, sales page, or any other page on your website – consult this post. Add it to pocket or bookmark it right now.  Hell, send it to your partner for safe keeping.

Yea, it’s that important.

Before we jump into the formulas, I want to equip you with the ability to make great headlines. That is, great headlines without a formula.

You need to know the rules before you can break them – right?

7 Elements of killer headlines

A headline has a lot of moving parts. Not all of them are needed every time. You can focus on a few elements and get your point across.

Other times, you need to pull out the big guns.

At all times, you need to keep them in mind and make sure you’re ticking a few of the boxes.

  • Specific

Specificity is way more powerful than a few general statements. It lends credibility to your headline and the rest of your content.

Use numbers or references to invoke specificity.

Specificity headline videofruit

In the above example, Bryan uses two numbers. A big one “10,000” to draw you in and a smaller one “5” to put it in perspective.

It’s perfectly ok to sell that as a short book on Amazon. You’ll learn how to write a short book in just five hours. Not a bad headline.

  • Power Adjectives

Not all adjectives are created equally. Some are meh and some conjure strong imagery – visceral reactions.

Do your best to incorporate strong adjectives at all times.

In this post on my marketing blog, I used the word “explosive.”

Adjectives for headline formulas

It promised more than effective or useful. It let the reader know they’d get something that could change their writing permanently.

Here are a few resources you can use to find power words:

Sumo

Enchanting Marketing

SmartBlogger

Buffer

  • Invoke Emotions

Emotions are the key to human interaction. Without them, we can’t make decisions or derive meaning from the world around us.

The more emotions you can invoke through your headline, the more likely it is to be clicked. Not only that, they’re more likely to read onto the next line.

Despite what people say, your headline only has one job, to be interesting enough to get people to read the body copy.

Yea, it’s not for SEO purposes, to convert, or any of one million other things.

Emotional headline image

In the above post, they won’t get any SEO benefits from the headline. They will and did get a flood of visitors to the post.

Why?

Because it touched on visceral emotions.

  • Addresses a need or interest

In the end, it has to be useful or interesting. People want to be entertained or taught. Not much else matters.

It’s why the Kardashians are rich – they’re interesting to many people.

You’re on this website – this page in particular – because you want to learn something. That something, in general, is how to grow your audience and business. You’re not here for the hell of it.

You’re busy. We know that.

Your headlines need to be aware of that fact as well.

Don’t make the reader guess what the point of your article is. Tell them up front. Or at least give them an idea.

  • Credible

Have you ever seen those headlines that aren’t possible but you have to click anyway?

“Scientists rediscover the ancient secret to living over 100 years.”

I mean, you know it can’t be true because life expectancy has been rising for decades. If it’s rising, that means we’re living longer now than in the past.

The average person doesn’t live to 100 years.

Obviously, the ancients didn’t live longer than us. But there may be an interesting piece of research behind the claim. Ah hell, let me check it out.

Does that thought process look familiar?

Credible is different from realistic. You can say anything about anyone as long as it’s credible. Appeals to authority such as scientists, leaders, well-known-institutions all lend credibility.

  • Clear

Clarity is perhaps the most important aspect of a good headline. Before they’re helpful, credible, use power adjectives, or do anything else – they have to be clear.

Without clarity, nothing else matters. No one will understand your message.

How do you make it clear?

Chop of the first and the last word.

I’m serious. We tend to lie more at the beginning and the end.

If that doesn’t work for you, try this simple exercise. Give it to someone else to read. Ask them to tell you what they think your content is about.

If they get it right then you’re golden. If not then it’s back to the drawing board.

Clarity is king.

  • Curiosity

Man is a curious creature.

Every innovation, invention, and breakthrough happened because of curiosity. Your TV is here because someone was curious. The same can be said about the internet and even cars.

You can ignore it or tap into it. For your headlines, use it to your advantage.

curiosity headline formulas

The above headline from Copyblogger taps into curiosity and a need. Online, you have to keep people coming back. It’s the only way they’ll buy from you.

This headline promises to tell you about two skills to fill that need.

The headline formulas

The following headline formulas can be used in more than just title headlines. Use them to break up text, keep bullets interesting, and even write chapter titles.

Get creative.

1.      [Product Name] is a [product category] that [different thing it does best]

This one is commonly used by TechCrunch. Nice and clear.

News Website: The Hustle is a news site that gives you news you actually care about.

Conversion optimization software: KyLeads is a conversion optimization software that allows you to handle everything from one backend.

2.      They All [Did Unpleasant Thing] When [Unexpected Thing], But When [Ideal Result of Using Unexpected Thing]!

Selling stationery: “They all looked at each other when I said I’d host the shower, but when they saw the invitations!”

Selling performing arts school: “My mom didn’t say a word when I told her I was going to performing arts school. But when she saw me on stage!”

Starting your own business: “Everybody scoffed when I applied for a patent, but when I made my first $100K!”

3.      Who Else Wants [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]?

Fitness: Who else wants to look amazing on the beach?

Investment advice: Who else wants to double their investment in 12 months?

4.      The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Most Desirable Outcome or Benefit]

Skydiving: The only skydiving program designed to give you an unforgettable thrill without the risk.

Project management software: The only task management software made exclusively for remote workers

Conversion Optimization Software: The only conversion rate optimization tool made for small business owners.

5.      The only [product category] that doesn’t [objection or anxiety].

Accounting software: The only accounting software that doesn’t come loaded with a hundred pointless features.

Conversion Optimization Software: The only conversion rate optimization software that doesn’t take months to learn and implement.

6.       Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Counter to Expectations]

Email marketing software: Now you can sell to your list without “annoying” them

Family coaching services: Now you can raise a family without giving up your career?

7.      Now You Can [Do Something Desirable] [Great Circumstance]

Email marketing software: Now you can sell to your list and keep them coming back for more

Family coaching services: Now you can raise your family and earn six figures without a traditional job.

8.      We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Result] Or [Consequence]

Marathon Training: We promise you this: You’ll run a half marathon in 3 months or we’ll pay for your all your gear and supplies.

Affiliate training program: We promise you this: If you don’t make $500 in the next 30 days then we’ll pay for your next affiliate training program.

9.      Here’s the [Adjective] Way to [Solve a Problem]

House cleaning service: Here’s the affordable way to treat yourself to more free time

House cleaning service: Here’s the eco-friendly way to get your home squeaky-clean

10.  [Eliminate pain in an unexpected way]

Tax preparation: File your taxes while sitting on your hands.

Teeth whitening: Get rid of coffee stains with your phone.

11.  [Do desirable thing in an unexpected way].

Team chat: Complete more projects – faster than ever – by chatting online.

Fully electric car: Drive 3,000 miles without ever stopping to buy gas.

12.   [Notable person] shows you how to [do notable thing like they do]

Boxing course: Mike Tyson shows you how to knock out opponents in the first round.

Sales Training: Zig Zagler shows you how to sell ice to an Eskimo and make them feel good about it.

Writing course: Stephen King shows you how to write bestsellers like he does

13.  [Service name] is a [service category] that [amazing outcome for end users or decision-makers] without [objection or anxiety]

Buttocks Lift: Atlanta Butt Lift is a cosmetic surgery clinic that gives you the perfect backside without abnormal contouring or bruising.

Dental service: Pearlman Ortho is a teeth-straightening studio that gives kids confident smiles. Without fear of being “metal mouth.”

Specialty Beard Grooming Store: Real Men Groom is a beard care product retailer that’ll get your beard in tip top shape without hazardous chemicals or lengthy routines.

14.  You’re tired of [objection or anxiety]. But you [desired outcome]. So it’s time you met [Product name].

Whitening Toothpaste: You’re tired of expensive procedures and unproven remedies. But you want that bright white smile. It’s time you met Purbrite.

Specialized pillows: You’re tired of groggy sleeping pills. But you need a good night’s sleep. So it’s time you met Cool Comfort body heat regulating pillows.

Running shoes: You’re tired of paying through the nose for name brand running shoes. But you need the comfort, support, and protection. So it’s time you met Ryko.

15.  [Do something] like [world-class example]

Tennis training: Serve like Serena Williams.

Speech lessons: Command a crowd like Barak Obama.

Cosmetic surgery: Remain ever young like Madonna.

16.  Are You Still Wasting Money on ______________ (Without Anything to Show for It?)

Conversion rate optimization software: Are you still wasting money on conversion agencies (with nothing to show for it)?

Accounting software: Are you still wasting money on an accounting firm (with nothing to show for it)?

Ergonomic Chair and desk: Are you still wasting money on a chiropractor (without anything to show for it)?

17.  Have a / Build a [Desirable Thing] You Can Be Proud Of

Branding services: Build a memorable company you can be proud of.

Woodworking classes: Build furniture with your hands you can be proud of.

College recruitment: Build a career (and life) you can be proud of.

18.  Get the [Unusual Adjective] Power of [Product Category] Without [Pain]

KyLeads software: Get the mindblowing power of conversion optimization software without juggling a dozen tools.

Search engine optimization service: Get the unfathomable power of Google search results without the confusion and uncertainty

19.  Get Rid of [Problem] Once and For All

Legal document generator: Get rid of your Lawyer’s fees once and for all

Business coaching: Get rid of poor business performance once and for all

Health Supplement: Get rid of your fatigue once and for all

20.  [Do Something Hard] in [Period of Time]

Business training: Become a successful entrepreneur in half the time it took Jeff Bezos

Teeth whitening: Whiten your teeth by ten shades in four weeks.

Programming course: Learn to code in less than 12 weeks.

21.  9 Out of 10 [Group Members] Can’t/Don’t ____________. Are You One of Them?

Software for writers: 9 out of 10 novelists can’t remember the birthdays of their main characters. Are you one of them?

Freelancer-matching service: 9 out of 10 marketers don’t like their freelancer’s attitude. Are you one of them?

22.  Make Your First [$] in Just [Time]

Copywriter platform: Make your first $1,000 as a professional copywriter in just seven days.

Flipping websites: Make your first six figures before the end of this year.

23.  How to Permanently Stop [Painful or Embarrassing Thing], Even if You’ve Tried Everything!

Botox injections for sweat: How to permanently stop wet armpits from ruining your day. Even if you’ve tried everything!

How-to-negotiate course: Permanently stop feeling underpaid and underappreciated, even if you’ve tried everything!

24.  [Known Competitor] [Does This Undesirable or Unimpressive Thing]. [Your Brand Name] [Does This Highly Desirable or Impressive Thing].

Vacation Rental Platform: AirBnB has expensive homes and safety is questionable. Nomadfinder allows you to stay with thoroughly vetted locals for free.

Laptop computers: HP computers are prone to catch viruses and slow down. AceWin vets every program before it can run on our OS – no more viruses.

25.  Can your [current solution] pass the _______ Test?

Writing software: Can your writing software pass the Nanowrimo Test?

Dating app: Can your dating app pass the Kid Sister Test?

26.  You are [comparative] than you think

College: You’re smarter than you think

Fitness training: You are fitter than you think

27.  Let [your product] work on your [noun] for just [time period]

Teeth Whitening: Let Purbrite work on your teeth for just four weeks

Deodorant: Let Temp work on your body for just 20

28.  Overcome the [Unexpected Culprit] That Keeps You [Unpleasant Thing]

Weight-loss book: Overcome the body chemical that keeps you fat

Debt counselling: Overcome the social pressures that keep your credit cards maxed

29.  Is it worth [low price] to you to [get outstanding result]?

Marketing book: Is it worth $5 to learn the secrets of getting people interested in your business?

Analytics software: Is it worth an hour of your time to get access to all the metrics you need to grow your business.

30.  [One word.]

Urban clothing line: Badass

Nanotechnology: Small

Botox Injections: Youth

31.  [Objection.] But/And it works.

New type of car stereo: Strange. But it works.

Teeth whitening: Tedious. But it works.

Marketing mastermind retreat: Expensive. And it works.

Bonus headline formulas for use on lead-gen pages, marketing Ebooks or blog posts.

The following headlines are effective in certain circumstances and appear out of place in others. For the most part, use them in Ebooks, blog posts, and lead generating pages.

They can be applied in other places, it’s your call.  

  • The Ultimate Guide to (Good, Bad or Desirable Thing).
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About (Good, Bad or Desirable Thing).
  • X Lessons I Learned from (Person or Unusual Experience)
  • To the (role) who will settle for nothing less than (world-class outcome)
  • Break all the rules and (world-class outcome)
  • How Your (Service Provider) Is Ripping You Off. And What to Do About It Right Now.
  • I Found a(an) (Adjective) Way to Get Incredible Outcome
  • See why we have an (adverb adjective social problem) in just short time.
  • (Influencer or celebrity) emotional reaction to (thing that basically the whole world already understood)
  • Is this the world’s first (Good, Bad or Desirable Thing?)
  • How to Survive Your First (Good, Bad or Desirable Thing)
  • How I found out that (unexpected thing) is the best medicine
  • Let me show you the secrets of (powerful group)
  • (What Group or Celebrity) Can Teach You About Unexpected Thing
  • (David-type addresses Goliath-type). Result. (Facebook vs Dribbble. Dribbble wins.)
  • How to Make $ With Your ________________,
  • Step-by-Step The complete library of (large # free and low-cost desirable resources)
  • Behind the Scenes of a _____________
  • Person does X. Another person’s reaction. Result: priceless.
  • Is (Trending Topic) a Scam?

Conclusion

Headline formulas are a great way to jumpstart the creative process. Use them as a tool to aid you, not as a lifeline to save you.

There are dozens of headline formulas in this post. Any one of them will turn into a great headline. That notwithstanding, it’s your duty to mix in the headline formulas and the ones you’ve created from scratch.

If you don’t, your jaded visitors will tune you out. Either they’ll see it on your website or the wider web. The result is the same. Your headlines cease to do their job.

There’s nothing new under the sun. All we do is rearrange the ingredients to make something unique.

Let me know the bits and pieces you’ve combined to make your own headline formulas in the comments and don’t forget to share.

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