Sunday
Sep302012

Landing Pages Versus Squeeze Pages: What’s The Difference?  

There seems to be some confusion as to what landing pages and squeeze pages are by both clients and fellow professionals alike, so I wanted to take the time to clarify what they both are and the similarities and differences between them.

This is a long article, so if you’re here for just the reader’s digest version, then here it is. A landing page is a web page that a visitor arrives to from an external referral source. A squeeze page is a form of landing page with a specific purpose – that of capturing visitor contact information as part of the marketer’s sales funnel.

Now let’s take a closer look at both types of pages…

What’s a Landing Page?

A landing page is ANY web page that you visit from an outside referral source, whether it be in the form of a web page link or an offline url. Let me clarify that a bit. So if I’m already on your website and I click on your “about us” link; I would not consider your “about us” page to be a landing page in this context because I’m already on your site. However, if I get a postcard in the mail and it has a URL printed on it that points me to your “about us” page, then that page would now be considered a landing page because I’m coming to it from an external referral source.

Contrary to what most people think a landing page is; it doesn’t always have to be a long form sales page or a page that collects your contact information in exchange for some freebie. A landing page can very well be any existing page on your website - nothing more than that. However, it’s generally implied that a landing page is a specific tool in your internet marketing funnel or ad campaign. 

What’s the Purpose of a Landing Page?

I’ve identified five main purposes of landing pages. They can be used:  

  • As a sales page for a product or service
  • As a lead generator by capturing lead contact information in exchange for a freebie of some sort.
  • As a reference page that contains specific information pertinent to its visitors.
  • As a registration page for an event, free trial, webinar, product demo, etc.
  • As a download page to retrieve software or digital information products.

Okay, So What’s a Squeeze Page?

A squeeze page is an important tool in the toolbox of an internet marketer and it’s used when they’re constructing a marketing funnel for a product or service offering. A squeeze page is a specialized tool that takes all the incoming website traffic that you generate and separates those people who might be interested in your product from those that aren’t interested in what you have to offer. It accomplishes this by offering a freebie that’s closely related to the product or service that the marketer is selling, such as a downloadable report, ebook, software, free trial, information kit, etc. in exchange for the visitor’s contact information (usually an email address). This allows the marketer to educate and build up the relationship with the visitor over time, which will lead to a higher sales conversion ratio.

The squeeze page itself consists of a simple web page that has one or a combination of text, audio or video content along with a lead capture form. There are no links going out from a squeeze page since that would defeat the purpose. A squeeze page is designed so that anyone coming onto the page only has the options of viewing the content and filling out the opt-in form.

Anatomy of a Squeeze Page

Although the shape, size and look of squeeze pages vary quite widely, all the best ones will share common features. These features are:

  • An attention-grabbing headline
  • Benefits stated in any combination of text, audio and/or video
  • A strong call to action
  • An opt-in form to capture lead information
  • (Optional) Testimonials from past customers, partners and/or celebrities

Squeeze Pages are an Important Part of Your Internet Marketing Funnel

Your website visitors arrive on your website from a wide variety of sources i.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter, article sites, emails, other websites, etc. They also arrive on various pages on your site and not exclusively on your homepage. Once they’re on your site, they digest the content on that page and then immediately look for something else to click on to take them somewhere else – either a link on your own website or a button on their browser that’ll take them to another site. Needless to say, such an uncontrollable environment is a marketer’s nightmare because it doesn’t convert into sales.

A squeeze page is one solution to the chaos of web browsing. It systematically channels web traffic to one specialized squeeze page whose sole duty is to determine which of those visitors arriving to the page are legitimate sales prospects and which ones are not. It does that by offering a juicy freebie in exchange for permission to continue marketing to the individual.

Don’t Break Congruency or You’ll Lose Sales.

In order for you to maximize either traffic-to-sales conversions or traffic-to-opt-in conversions on your website; you need to maintain congruency with your core message across the entire campaign. Simply stated, that means your advertising message and your landing page message must match or else you’re going to confuse and alienate your traffic.

A poorly designed pay-per-click ad campaign is one that dumps the prospect onto, let’s say, the homepage of your website. Well that’s great if you want another visitor stat for your website traffic count, but it’s not going to do much in terms of converting your hard-earned and often expensive traffic into sales. Why? It’s because the prospect clicked on the ad because of some compelling offer that enticed them to do so, but instead of a continuation of that original offer, they got dumped onto your homepage with way too many things going on, too many things to click on and too many pages to visit. Hence, the original message gets diluted and your precious prospect goes wandering off.

An analogy I like to use is this scenario... Imagine if you asked me where you can buy some inexpensive shoes and I give you the address of the largest shopping mall in the city. Sure there are probably shoes there, but it involves walking around and searching for one of several shoe stores throughout the mall, comparing prices for the least expensive ones. That might discourage the person from making a purchase at all because the recommendation was too general. A better recommendation is if I told them to go straight to XYZ Discount Shoe Store because they have high-quality shoes at affordable prices. Now I’ve given the person a targeted recommendation that’s congruent with what they are looking for. The same is true with your advertising and landing pages. Your advertising needs to be compelling enough for your prospect to take action on, but the landing page needs to be congruent with that offer, or else you’ll confuse them and dillute their attention.

A well-crafted landing page serves to make a smooth continuation between the call to action on your advertisement and the call to action on your landing page.

What’s the Purpose of Your Landing Page?

Regardless of the type of landing page that you choose to use, you should always have a purpose in mind when constructing a landing page and let that purpose be the benchmark of that landing page’s success. Does your landing page exist to provide information? Does it exist to capture leads? Does it exist to make sales? Know why you are sending traffic to a particular page and then measure the results.

Examples of Landing & Squeeze Pages

Sometimes the best way to learn is by seeing real landing pages in action. So I've compiled a short list of examples of different types of landing & squeeze pages that I've found on the internet. If you know of any other good examples, by all means, send me a message and I'll add it to the list. 

Basic Squeeze Page

Motley Fool’s Email Opt-In: This is a no-frills basic squeeze page. The copy is minimal. It does offer a freebie in exchange for your email. In my opinion though, this squeeze page could be improved with better copy.

Homepages Doubling as Squeeze Pages

Groupon: This is a rare, but highly-effective, example of a homepage that’s both a landing page and a squeeze page all rolled up in one. It’s also very simple in nature. Groupon can get away with that because of their major branding power, but I don’t recommend you go this route with your brand. What’s unique about Groupon’s website is that they truly restrict all access to their content until you enter your email address into their system. Again, I don’t recommend that you do this unless you have Groupon’s enormous multi-million dollar backing.

Square: Square is a fantastic payment solution for small businesses and freelancers like myself. Their homepage is pretty close to a squeeze page, although not a true squeeze page because they have additional links on it. The genius design of it though is that they actually give you a free piece of hardware to use and that’s a compelling enough offer to get most people to sign up.

Landing Pages Using Video

Double Your Dating: Video squeeze pages are an effective way to garner interest from people who don’t like to read. This page is a great example of a video squeeze page. The only thing I would change to make this more effective is to remove the top navigation links.

Blog Profit Camp: Another video squeeze page. John Chow also sweetens the deal even more by offering a chance to win a free iPad.

Net Profit Explosion: In NPE’s interesting model, visitors actually can’t buy their product straight from their online store. They require people who want to find out more about their fitness marketing program to provide their contact information and they get sent an information kit in the mail as well as email followups. It's kind of a forced ascension model.

Branded Squeeze Page

Keyword Winner: In this example, you can see that there are no external links or mention of Daniel’s main site. Everything on this squeeze page is branded to this particular web page and offer, including the header image. Everything is designed for one purpose – to capture the visitor’s email.

Copy-Heavy Landing Pages

Copy Writer Websites: Boy Bly is a copywriter that I’ve studied for many years. He’s created a fair share of landing pages. This is an example of one of his sales pages. He drives traffic to this sales page with his email list and this sales page is distinct and separate from his main website, complete with its own url. The result is that his traffic is limited to a few focused set of options, mainly that of reading his sales copy and choosing to purchase the special report.

Internet Marketing for Smart People: Brian Clark’s squeeze page offers a list of compelling reasons why to fill out his opt-in form. What I like about this squeeze page is that it comes across as cleaner and more credible than a lot of long-form sales pages that come across as too salesy.

Social Media Landing Page

Blogging Mechanics: Here’s an example of a landing page that asks its visitors for social media likes in exchange for a downloadable piece of software. I would guess that their intentions are for this page to go viral through social media channels.

Quasi-Sales Page Squeeze Page

Blog Mastermind: Yaro Starak does a great job making this squeeze page look essentially like a long-form sales page for a product, except that there 's no payment transaction taking place here. You get his information product for free in exchange for your contact info. Yaro's been doing this awhile and he knows what works. This also highlights the benefits of having a really good web designer on your team.

 

About the Author

Tristan Loo is a Copywriter and Marketing Strategist based out of San Diego, California. His passion is helping businesses of all shapes and sizes generate more sales through better written communication. To contact Tristan, click here.

Want me to Build You a Winning Squeeze Page or Landing Page?

If you want your squeeze page done by a pro, then contact me and let me know what you've got in mind. I'll get back to you with a quote.

 

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