The Psychology of Landing Pages

This is a guest post by Harry Maugans. While I am away I will be accepting guest posts. Email them in html format to jeremy at We ask they be original and not published anywhere else.

It’s possible to make a lot of money in arbitrage, but some small mistakes could cause you to lose a lot as well. The most critical pieces in arbitrage are your landing pages, and this post will try and help you smooth out the rough edges and increase conversions through a few simple psychological tips.

Direction – Give the visitor a clear sense of direction to move forward. Landing pages should only have one exit… text boxes to be filled in for the close. Giving too many choices or options will subconsciously be processed as “work” and the visitor will try to find a quick way out… usually closing the window. You can always add more options later, but on the first page, try to get the user to fill in anything just to move forward, even if it’s just an email. After the visitor has entered any information, they’re now engaged in your process and are much more likely to hang around and finish the rest of the forms on the next page, rather than sacrificing the time they have already spent with you. The K.I.S.S. principle definitely applies to landing pages.

Verbiage ñ The wording your landing page uses is key in motivating the visitor subconsciously to engage in your process and be converted as a lead or sale. When writing landing page text, always keep an optimistic tone and assume every single visitor is going to be converted. Furthermore, never ask the user for information- politely instruct. Rather than, “Will you fill out your email address below…” try “Please fill in your email address here:” or simply say the text “Email Address,” followed by a textbox. Also, positive reinforcement of your campaign can be twisted into instructions well, such as “Email address of a future millionaire:” or “To half your mortgage, enter your email here.” The most important aspect of the wording is the optimistic tone. Rather than saying “If you decide to participate in our program…” try this assumed-conversion wording, “When you begin participation in our program….” See the difference? A small change, but very psychologically powerful.

Color Schemes – Choosing the color themes on your landing pages is very important as well. Usually, try to match your product’s color (ie, green for money, pink for female products, etc), however if in doubt, go blue. Studies have shown the color blue is powerful for subconsciously encouraging the mind to engage and buy whatever is being sold. It’s professional, relaxing, yet provocative. Obviously a blue page won’t guarantee conversions, but it’s a microscopic change, that when bundled with others, will add up and could turn the scales.

Animation – Flashing buttons, moving arrows, glowing text, fading pictures… animation sells. In normal web development animation is avoided, however for a landing page, it’s a night and day difference. When a visitor sees a static flat landing page, they feel no rush or excitement. If they see motion, they’ll less often dismiss the window as an advertisement and close or minimize it. It’ll grab their vision and actually force their mind to process what it’s seeing, before making a decision to dismiss or continue. Now, animation can grab their eye, however without properly directing their vision, it’s wasted. Either use the animation to strike a chord of interest in your topic (pictures, headers), or use it to help the visitor find direction (point 1) by using arrows to highlight the entry point in the conversion process (textboxes or what-not). Be cautioned however, it is possible to use too much animation and seem unprofessional, or drive off potential customers. The trick is finding the balance where its just enough to catch attention, but not so much that it’s overwhelming.

Harry Maugans is the co-founder and lead developer for Desktop Nexus

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