Over the past two weeks, you’ve solidified your email marketing plan. You know what kinds of content you want to share and how often you’ll send them to subscribers. You even have some idea of how you’re going to market the newsletter. With these things in place, it’s time to create your first newsletter landing page.
In this guide, I will show you:
- What a landing page is
- How to make a successful newsletter landing page
- Tools you can use to create a landing page with zero knowledge of code
Let’s dive into it!
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a web page that is wholly devoted to marketing one product or service. There are no links to other pages, and any mention of other products/services exists only to benefit the main marketing message.
Landing pages are effective because they are a distraction-free marketing area. There are no links to other parts of your site or other websites. The only options for visitors are to sign up for what you’re marketing or to leave your page.
This article focuses on creating a landing page for your newsletter, but landing pages can be used for anything you want to market. Your books can have landing pages. Merch items can have landing pages. If you sell courses or author services, those can have landing pages.
How to create a successful newsletter landing page
Technically, the only thing your landing page needs is a prominent signup form. However, there are several ways to make your newsletter landing page more effective. Many of these same rules can apply to other landing pages too, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.
Take a minimalist approach
You don’t want anything to distract visitors from the signup option on your landing page. This makes it important to minimize both design elements and content. Many landing pages contain nothing but the signup form itself, with an attention-grabbing headline and a sentence or two about their offer.
One great example of this is the landing page for nonfiction author and educator Brittany Hennessy:
This page uses simple colors, contains nothing beyond the signup form, and only includes three lines of text. Visitors can take the whole thing at a glance.
Emphasize what you’re offering
Your newsletter landing page needs to tell viewers what they’ll get when they subscribe to your newsletter. If you offer a signup bonus, this should be front and center.
Take a look at this landing page for J Thorn:
The marketing message on this page is only one sentence, but viewers know exactly what they’re getting. The 3D render of this box set is in the center of the page, drawing the viewer’s eye. And the background image reinforces the dark fantasy/post apocalyptic nature of the books.
If you don’t have a subscriber freebie, focus on what people will get from the newsletter itself. My signup page for the Author Marketing Club does this with a point-form list of everything subscribers can expect in the newsletter:
Use a strong call to action
When you’re asking visitors to do something, you don’t want there to be any confusion. Your call to action (CTA) should tell visitors precisely what you want them to do. A simple “Subscribe” works here, but there’s room to be creative here. You can also use it as an opportunity to remind people of your offer.
Consider using one of these CTAs:
- Sign up now
- Join my mailing list
- Join my fan club
- Get your free book
- Grab your free story
Finally, make sure the call to action is easy to find. Pay attention to both placement and color; you want it to stand out from the rest of the page, like the “Subscribe” button on this landing page for the Learn Spanish Con Salsa Podcast:
Optional: add review quotes
Talking about your own work is great, but you know what’s even better? Getting someone else to talk about it for you.
The nature of author newsletters makes this somewhat difficult. Asking for a testimonial about a newsletter that mostly consists of cat pictures and reading updates is a little weird. However, if you have a subscriber freebie, you can ask for reviews of the subscriber freebie. You can then use quotes from those reviews on your landing page.
To get these reviews, create an automated email sent to readers after they’ve had time to enjoy your subscriber freebie. I recommend at least a week, but no more than four. You don’t want to leave enough time for people to forget the contents of your freebie.
Pro tip: To preserve your minimalist design, place your review quotes below the fold (far enough down the page that users must scroll to see them).
Tools for landing page creation
There are many specialized tools available for creating a newsletter landing page. Your email marketing service might even have one built in. Some website building platforms, like Wix and Squarespace, also offer landing page tools. If you’re a self-hosted WordPress user, you can access a free author landing page theme.
If you can’t access landing page tools through your email marketing server or your website building platform, it’s time for Bookfunnel. Bookfunnel is a specialized suite of email marketing tools for authors. The service includes both landing page creation and distribution tools for subscriber freebies, all at a price authors can actually afford.
There are also several other tools for building landing pages, but these are often quite costly for authors. One of the most popular tools, Unbounce, starts at $80/month. This might be reasonable for some businesses, but is completely unattainable for most authors.
Final thoughts on how to create a newsletter landing page
Landing pages are some of the most powerful online marketing tools around. You can use them to find subscribers for your newsletter or to sell your books.
To make your newsletter landing page successful, follow a few simple rules:
- Take a minimalist approach
- Emphasize the benefits of your newsletter
- Use a specific call to action + place it in a prominent location
- Consider adding review quotes below the fold
As an author, the best tool for building your landing page is Bookfunnel. You can get your landing page set up in less than half an hour!
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