Average website conversions hover in the low single digits. That means the vast majority of people coming to your website will leave, never to return.
To make matters worse, you only have about 17 milliseconds to make a first impression with new visitors before they decide to stick around or take off.
Those odds aren't great.
But you can make them better by using squeeze pages that capture important customer data, giving you a chance to follow up with each person after they leave your site.
Let's examine how squeeze pages work, what the best ones look like, and how you can start using them on your own website to increase your conversions.
How Do Squeeze Pages Work?
Landing pages can be any web page dedicated to a single objective. They're fairly general and range from simply offering information or content to sales pages with transactions. But what is a squeeze page?
Squeeze pages are a subset of landing pages and have a single goal: to get the user's information. They help you capture visitor information (like their email address) to continue following up with this person over time until they're ready to buy.
But why would you need a squeeze page? Why not just go straight for the sale?
Today, 50% of customer interactions are multi-event, multi-channel journeys. That means people will most likely visit your website multiple times, from many different marketing channels, prior to a purchase being made or signing up to become a lead.
Which makes sense, because people need to develop familiarity and trust before laying down their credit card.
Online, this is referred to as the Customer's Journey, with different stages that explain what people are looking for in each.
- Awareness: People in this category don't even realize they have a need for your products or services yet. But they are beginning to become aware of a gap or issue in their life that needs solving.
- Information: Now that people have recognized that problem in their life, they'll begin researching alternatives and looking up possible solutions to their problem. This primarily starts online with search engines and other recommendation or review platforms like Yelp.
- Evaluation: After comparing their options, people will begin narrowing down their list of products, services, or brands that fit their criteria.
- Decision: When the timing's right, people will start following up for more detailed pricing information to ultimately make a decision and take action.
Ideally, you should have landing pages and squeeze pages at each step of this journey, helping to assist people with what they're looking for and moving them 'down the funnel' until they're ready to take action.
The data backs up this approach. When companies increase their number of landing or squeeze pages from 10-15, they saw a 55% increase in lead generation according to HubSpot (who analyzed over 7,000 small businesses).
Squeeze pages are a critical part of this approach, especially at the 'top of the funnel' in the Awareness and Consideration stages because they give you the ability to offer something of value that solves a visitor's pain point, in exchange for the opportunity to help them solve it in the future.
Now that you know what squeeze pages are and why they're important, let's see how they should look.
The 3 Most Important Squeeze Page Elements
The best squeeze pages are simple, with clean, uncluttered design. That keeps all the focus on what you're offering, and makes it easy for visitors to understand what they're supposed to do in order to get that offer.
But before we take a look at the finished product, let's examine the three elements you'll want to pay extra attention to.
1. Headlines - That are Compelling and Click-Worthy
Headlines on a squeeze page should be short-hand for your value proposition. In just a few simple, impactful words, they should summarize what makes you different and offer a compelling value proposition.
As you can imagine, that's not easy.
One of the best ways to learn how to write better headlines (or summarize what you do in a more impactful way) is to study the masters. And surprisingly, online that means companies like Buzzfeed which churn out incredible headlines on a daily basis.
For example, this example below puts a difficult problem (parenting) front-and-center, then follow up with their offer (the free newsletter).
The subheading also reinforces the original problem, and why their solution is beneficial.
The order is incredibly important because it keeps the focus on solving their main problem (and not on your own technical features or specs of your products or services just yet).
2. Visuals - That Highlight Your 'Hero' Offer
People don't care about who you are necessarily at this point. Instead, they care about what they're going to get in return.
That's especially true with the images and visuals on each page.
Ideally, you want to use something that resembles what they're going to get for giving you their personal information.
The AdEspresso example below is a great squeeze page. The design is simple and keeps your focus on the offer. The place where you'll enter your information is called out visually by being highlighted.
And the graphic on the page, the book, shows people exactly what to expect to receive (in a concrete, tangible form).
The primary image on a squeeze page is also often referred to as a 'hero image', because it allows the visitor to project what their life would be like after solving their issue (with your help).
Think about how fitness or weight-loss products show the before and after pictures. This is an effective way to compare what someone's life was before using your product, and could be by signing up with you.
Effective squeeze page visuals show that transformation and help visitors understand what's possible.
3. Calls to Action - That Are Optimized for Conversions
The third critical squeeze page element to pay extra attention to is your call to action.
Again, simplicity and minimalism is key. Wherever possible, remove extraneous information or form fields if they're essential to the conversion.
For example, do you really need someone's job title for a simple whitepaper or email newsletter? Of course not. And people likely wouldn't want to fill out ten fields for something basic like this either.
Effective calls to action also reinforce what people are going to get, or what it's going to take people to redeem. Setting expectations and removing mystery from the process by using action-oriented language will help people convert.
For example, SumoMe's homepage becomes one big squeeze page when a user clicks to create a new account. They use a 'lightbox' call to action when you click on the appropriate button, which dims the rest of the homepage and focuses the user on this single signup action.
This call to action example uses 'get started' and '37 seconds' as an eye-catching way to explain how quickly people can get up and running (i.e. get the solution to their problem faster).
The form fields are minimal, asking for just the basics until someone converts. Once they do, you can always work on getting more information with different techniques.
And the button uses an appropriate, action-oriented phrase that again reinforces what somebody is doing here.
Testing Made Easy
Squeeze pages exist to capture important customer information.
So if you're after conversions, then these pages should be tested to see which work best.
Once you've settled on a basic, clutter-free design, now turn your attention towards testing your headlines, visuals, and calls to action to see the biggest conversion movement.
There are a few software and tool options to take care of the heavy lifting for you (which we'll cover in the next section), but the point is that these three squeeze page elements are the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to A/B testing.
For example, you can simply clone or create duplicates of the first squeeze page you made with a different variable in each one. You can then 'weight' each page differently, assigning how much traffic you'd like to be split in your test (some tools take care of this automatically for you).
The best part is that you'll start to see patterns emerge over time (like which headlines or types of images work best), and then you can carry those learnings not only to other squeeze pages, but also throughout the rest of your website.
How to Create, Manage and Optimize Squeeze Pages
Creating squeeze pages from scratch used to be a time-consuming, complex process.
Fortunately, it's not anymore.
There is a range of software and tools - from cheap and basic to sophisticated - that can help you create, publish, and manage your squeeze pages in a matter of hours instead of days.
Unbounce is one of the more sophisticated options available, offering complete flexibility to create custom landing pages and manage how they're tested to increase conversions.
They have great, basic 'out of the box' templates you can use after signing up. And their powerful page editor gives you the ability to completely customize the look and feel of each.
You can also upload your own landing pages built from scratch if you have the technical chops.
If you're after a custom, polished design but lack the design skill (or time), ThemeForest also has a ton of high-quality Unbounce Landing Page templates to choose from and upload to your account.
By default they're sorted by Newest items. But if you switch over to 'Best Sellers' with the “Sort by” field change, you can find great ones that have been updated recently with high ratings and great community feedback.
For example, FlatPack is a multipurpose template pack which gives you a ton of different landing page or squeeze page layouts to choose from. Here is one squeeze page layout it offers:
This one features a drag and drop builder (which will make your life easy if you want to make changes). And there are over 13 PSD mock-ups to choose from and adapt to your liking.
Another great option is the Unbounce landing page template for startups. It features a modern, contemporary design that looks custom and expensive (but only sets you back a few bucks).
LeadPages is another popular option for quickly creating squeeze pages that are proven to convert.
Especially with their new 'drag-and-drop' page builder which allows you to simply pull elements to your page (without worrying about the look or feel).
For example, let's say you want to add a countdown timer to a squeeze page to emphasize urgency or scarcity. Just drag and drop!
LeadPages takes care of the formatting for you, so you don't have to worry about trying to resize elements or make sure they fit with your overall colors and branding.
LeadPages is probably the easiest way to create and publish landing pages. As you've seen, there's no code to touch and no design elements to worry about creating if you lack the expertise. Another great aspect of this limited approach is that you'll never have to worry about messing anything up!
But that ease-of-use has a few drawbacks. Specifically, the lack of customization. So far, you can't truly customize pages or use your own in quite the same way as you can with Unbounce.
Technically, both Unbounce and LeadPages can be used or incorporated with WordPress websites.
But if you don't want to sign up for another piece of software and would rather just use a WordPress plugin to help you get started, then you're in luck.
Browsing the Code Canyon library of over 4200 WordPress plugins will provide a few great options.
One example includes the Parallax Gravity landing page builder, which helps you create as many landing pages as you'd like. There are also some basic customization features (like adding sections within a page or new background images). And you can further extend the functionality of each page with the use of shortcodes.
Another interesting squeeze page variation is to 'tease' content by offering a sample, but restricting access to those who have to signup first.
The Opt-In Panda for WordPress plugin makes this process simple. For example, you can 'lock' content (either by hiding it entirely or blurring it out) until a visitor opts-in to receive that information.
This technique is powerful because you can offer people a sample of what they might stand to gain, but then restrict the most important parts until they give you their information.
Working With Squeeze Pages
Squeeze pages are specially designed landing pages that give you the ability to nurture leads until they're ready to become customers.
They allow you to target one of the Customer Journey stages with a specially designed offer that will provide a solution to someone's problem, pointing them in the right direction of what you have to offer when the timing's right.
After a distraction-free design, your headline, visuals and calls to action can be tested to provide the biggest bang for your buck by improving your conversions.
And you can use existing tools like Unbounce, LeadPages, or a variety of WordPress plugins to get squeeze pages up-and-running in no time at all. Which is good news, because just based on statistics, your site is leaking visitors right now.
Squeeze pages can help you take control. Jump over to Envato Market for more great squeeze page templates to get started with.