Guest post by Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ.
About a month ago, I was getting ready to launch my first product ever – Impossible TRI – a triathlon training program. I had everything in place. I had written 25,000-30,000 words, created training programs, done interviews, had them transcribed, and got it all designed into one sexy program. When I went to put it up for sale, I realized there was one small problem.
I didn’t have a landing page. How was I going to sell this thing?
I tried for a while to make landing pages based on my blog’s template, but I quickly realized I would either have to make custom templates for my theme or just use a standard blog post template for my sales page – both of which were not ideal.
I had almost resigned myself to thinking that I would need to spend hours in photoshop or cough up some serious cash to get the whole thing designed by a professional. Then I found Premise 2.0.
What Is Premise 2.0?
Premise 2.0 is landing page software from Copyblogger for your wordpress blog. Unlike most landing page software, it’s a plugin for your wordpress blog – not a theme – which means you can utilize Premise in addition to any theme you’re currently running – rather than instead of it. This also lets you manage everything from inside your own wordpress installation instead of having to install different pieces of software on different subdomains or subdirectories in your hosting account and managing it from there.
The Importance of Landing Pages
Backing up a bit, the importance of landing pages can’t be understated. It’s easy to dismiss them as unnecessary, but a targeted landing page can double or even triple your conversion rate and make or break a product launch or new campaign.
A lot of people will try to do just what I did – create landing pages based on their current theme. Oftentimes, you’ll see these pages be the standard size of a blog post and have distracting sidebar elements that take away the focus from the actual purpose of the page. To convert a reader into a customer.
Premise creates clean landing pages that are meant to be landing pages – not random templates which you have to mess with for countless hours to get them to work. The one and only focus is on whatever action you want your customers or readers to take.
What Types of Landing Pages Can You Make With Premise?
Premise offers a lot of options. It’s not just one blank landing page that once enough people buy the software, you’ll start seeing everywhere (I’m looking at you pop-up domination). The default landing page is pretty basic in and of itself, but it’s also incredibly flexible. Out of the box, Premise 2.0 comes with the following 8 variations of landing pages:
- Sales Page – A Simple Sales Page
- Content Page – A Content Based Landing Page
- Pricing – A Landing Page With A Pricing Table
- Opt-In Page – A Landing Page With An Opt-In Form
- Video – A Landing Page With Video
- Tab Scroller – A Landing Page With Multiple Tabs on A Content Scroller
- Thank You – A Thank You Page After They Take An Action
- Social Share – A Landing Page That Prompts Your Users To Share The Page Before They Can Access All The Content
Depending on the purpose of your landing page, you can choose any of the ones available. You have to choose the type of page you want before you make it so if you’re not sure what you want to do right away, create a basic sales page and once you have your main sales page up, you can experiment with the different templates of landing pages later.
Landing Page Design Made Easy With Premise 2.0
I have the design skills of a 5th grader drawing a stick figure. Needless to say, design is not my strong suit. And while I have a pretty solid grasp on html, css and design still evade me. Luckily, Premise takes the guess work out of this.
With Premise, you can create different “Styles” via a simple back-end interface. Instead of learning to code CSS from scratch, you can simply lookup your site’s main colors and plug them into the fields. Everything is customizable, from the background color or image to the font size, headline colors and the spacing between words. The block quotes, testimonials, opt-in box, and pricing tables are all able to be customized. You have total control without having to learn a single line of code.
Once you settle on a style that you’re happy with, you can save it. If you want to make a small change, you can duplicate it and change the headline, color scheme or call-to-action. If you want to make a new style altogether, you can create another one from scratch as well. You can create as many styles as you want and save them however you like.
Another element that Premise brings to the table for design-challenged people like me is a library of over 1,100 image graphics. These were a god-send for me. I can mock up a buy-now button in Photoshop, but it’d take me a few hours, a mountain of frustration and a few choice words. Premise make this simple. Whether you want someone to buy now, add to cart, or add a money-back guarantee, there’s an image for that. However, if the 1,100 graphics somehow don’t suit you, Premise even includes a button generator where you can create custom buttons yourself.
How To Build A Killer Landing Page In 20 Minutes Using Premise 2.0
So how do you actually go about building a killer landing page anyways? Here’s a step by step guide to building a landing page with Premise 2.0.
Buy Premise 2.0
Buy Premise 2.0 and download the plugin software.
Install Premise like you would any other plugin. Simply go to “Plugins –> Add New –> Upload” and upload Premise and activate it.
Configure Your Main Settings
These settings will be your default settings for every page you create. All of these settings can be overridden on a page-by-page basis, but if you set things up here to start, it will save you time from replicating this step on every page you make.
On the main settings page, you’ll need to input your API key so that the software will work. You can also choose to have your landing pages off of the site root (ex. domain.com/landing-page) or set off in another directory all-together (ex. domain.com/lp/landing-page). Here you can also choose to enable the membership features of the software (which bring even more features to the table).
You can set up the default favicon, header image, and header image link (where a user is directed when they click on the link) as we well as the default footer text for all the pages here as well.
If you’re planning on using any sort of opt-in form, you can link up Premise with your Mailchimp, Aweber or Constant Contact accounts via their authentication methods. If you’re planning on creating a social sharing page, you can configure your options here too.
The last part of the main settings are your overall tracking. If you have analytics such as Clicky, Crazy Egg or Google Analytics you’ll want to add in your tracking scripts below. If you want to get even more advanced and do some A/B testing on your pages with either Google Website Optimizer or Visual Website Optimizer, you’ll set up your account information here too.
Create a New Landing Page
Now that everything’s set-up, it’s time to get to work building your page. You’ll see a new Premise buttons in your wordpress sidebar. Click on Landing Pages –> Add New and you can select from any of the 8 types of landing pages. Each one has different custom options, but we’ll focus on the simple sales page because its – well – simple. You can experiement with the 7 other landing pages on your own.
Create Your Landing Page Headline & Sub-headline
You’ll notice Premise landing pages look very similar to your standard wordpress pages. You’ll see a headline and a sub-heading content area. Fill those in with your compelling headline content.
Add In Your Main Landing Page Content
If you’ve already had a landing page, you simply need to copy, paste the content into here. If you don’t have something already written up, you’ll want to take some time to work on the copy. It’s more important and more difficult to create compelling content that works than you think. To get started writing your copy, Premise provides sample copy templates that populate your landing page with content in one click. This takes all the guess work out of how you should layout your landing page – all you have to do now is replace the sample text with your text!
If you still need some help creating compelling content for your landing pages, check out the following resources:
- The 7 Point Checklist For Creating Powerful Landing Page Copy – HubSpot
- Landing Page Rehab – Unbounce
- Applying Landing Page Best Practices to Boost Conversions – Search Engine Journal
- Landing Page Best Practices – Unbounce
- More Landing Page Best Practices – Visual Website Optimizer
And if you’re still concerned about your copywriting skills, don’t fear. Premise comes with an integrated copywriting assistant chock-full of tutorials on effective copywriting that will help you every step of the way (not to mention a manual on writing more effective copy.)
Put A Buy Now, Add To Cart or Some Other Call-To-Action Button On Your Landing Page
You must have a call to action. You must. Otherwise you’re wasting your time. If you don’t have a social share or an email opt-in page, you should have a buy now, add to cart, or some other types of button for your users to actually take action on. Remember those 1,100 pre-made graphics that come with Premise? This is where they come in really handy. Use them.
Sold a product that people rave about? Make sure you include them here. Testimonials from real people can be the one thing on a sales page that truly convince your customers that your product is everything that you say it is. You can use the notice box to include these testimonials in call-outs throughout the landing page so you can be sure that people actually do notice them.
Money Back Guarantee
A money back guarantee is one of the tipping points in a decision. If you have a rock solid money-back guarantee, remind your customer right at check-out that they have nothing to lose. Once again, this is where the graphic library is your friend.
Going Above and Beyond With Premise 2.0
Boom. Done. You got the essentials of your page put together. Now that that’s finished, you can go above and beyond on your landing page, if you’re up for it.
Style Your Page
Spend some time in the style editor mentioned above and create a style for your page. The default style isn’t a bad start, but this is the time to make your page stand out and also choose your colors so they’re focused on conversion metrics. You can select which style you want to use and switch between them with a simple drop down button.
Add a Custom Header And Favicon
If you want to override the default header and favicon you designated in the main settings, you can go ahead and change it. Otherwise, you’ll be fine to leave it.
Add Any Scripts You Need
If you set up your analytics scripts correctly in the main settings, you won’t need to do them again here. This script section is the place to use your Google Website Optimizer or Google Conversion codes (especially on the thank-you pages). If you’re tracking event specific items for your individual pages, this is where you add them.
SEO It All Up
Don’t build out your entire landing page and never have it be found. If SEO is a goal for your landing page, be sure to fill out the SEO title and meta description to give you more control of your results in the search engines – no SEO plugins necessary.
A/B testing is like high school sex. Everybody says they’re doing it, but hardly anyone really is – and the ones that are, aren’t doing it well.
A/B testing seems like a good idea, but it’s always a little bit cumbersome to actually implement. Fortunately, Premise makes this a cinch by integrating with Google Website Optimizer and Visual Website Optimizer. Once you create one version of your landing page, you can simply hit a button and duplicate it. Then you can change the colors, headlines or make a completely different one altogether, set up your optimizer code and boom– you’re done.
What Else Can You Do With Premise 2.0?
If you’ve read this far, you might be under the impression that Premise is just landing page software. Well, if you thought that – you were wrong. That might have been the case with Premise 1.0, but Premise 2.0 is much, much more. Besides simply allowing you to do A/B testing, Premise 2.0 has built-in functionality that will let you do the following:
- Premise integrates with forum software VBulletin (Hello Membership Sites).
- Sell E-books Software and other Digital Downloads
- Take Recurring Payments With Automated Access Management
- Drip Content Over Time
- Create Private Forum Areas with vBulletin
- Easy check out pages for PayPal and Authorize.net
- Password-Protected Content Libraries
A lot of these are beyond the scope of simply building landing pages, but if you have a digital product or an online community you want to charge access to, Premise 2.0 can help keep it all in one system.
Wrapping It Up
Depending on your familiarity with the various tools, you can easily spend way more than 15 minutes building your Premise 2.0 landing page, but if you’re already ready to go, you can put together a solid page in minutes compared to hours. If you want to get your next landing page up and running, Premise 2.0 can help you do it in under 20 minutes.
FCC Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing a copy of Premise 2.0 will result in you having an awesome landing page and me getting some beer money. Win- Win.