Marketing - converting interest into action. What makes people click?

Getting that ‘last click’ – the one that converts interest into action (e.g. making a purchase, signing up to an email newsletter, downloading a white paper or eBook etc.) - is an important part of any digital marketing activity.

So much so, that special standalone web pages designed to help improve ‘last click’ performance, are commonly built as part of any digital marketing activity. The content of these 'landing pages' matches the intent of the ad or email visitors clicked on to reach it. Their sole objective is to increase conversion rates i.e. turn interest into action.

Much of the advice on creating successful landing pages is focused on practical issues like landing page content, design and layout. These tips can be used to good effect on other marketing communications too - not just landing pages.

Six tips for creating high performing landing pages

1. Ensure that you’re sending people to a page that matches their expectations.

At first sight, visitors should know that they’ve made a ‘good click’. The copy and design for your landing page should match that of the ad you're running or source content that you’ve created.

2. Keep the call to action /  key information ‘above the fold’.

The area 'above the fold' (the area that’s visible on a screen before scrolling down) is highly valuable and your landing page needs to be designed to make the most of it.

3. Be clear, brief and to the point

This particularly applies to content ‘above the fold’ but should be observed throughout the whole landing page:

  • Keep calls to action and headlines short, clear and prominent
  • Don’t ‘cram’ anything more than you need onto the page - be 'minimalist'
  • Use clear, compelling copy that is straightforward and easy to read
  • ‘Signpost’ the page clearly with strong visual directions / cues so that page visitors know where to go to / what to look at next
  • Remove website navigation and any unnecessary links from your landing page to avoid any 'distractions'

4. Demonstrate authenticity / include ‘proof’

Whether its facts or figures or customer testimonials include ‘evidence’ of how good your offering is.

5. Make sure that your landing page loads quickly

Avoid weighing down your landing page with any unnecessary elements and make sure that all the images are optimised - 70% of customers admit that loading times influence their desire to buy.

6. Ensure that your landing page is ‘responsive’

Your landing page is likely to be viewed on a number of different devices – desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – so it’s important that it can successfully ‘adapt’ to the device it’s being viewed on.

Practical help and advice on creating successful landing pages is readily available.  There's a natural desire to take advantage of it because of the impact it can have on getting that last click. Consequently, average conversion rates have been steadily improving over time.

But even so there's still plenty of room for improvement. According to research from landing page experts, Unbounce, the average conversion rate on business landing pages is only just over 4%.

This means that more than 90% of traffic that lands on your landing page isn’t going to convert into anything useful.

There's an opportunity to improve this by taking into account the psychology of marketing – how we behave, think and feel when we see a piece of communication.

Dr Robert Cialdini identified six universal principles that could be applied to influence behaviour in his book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’. Using these principles when developing the messages and calls to action on your landing page, and in your marketing, will pay dividends.

The six universal principles of influence

i) Reciprocation

When you do something for someone, they have a natural tendency to want to do something for you in return.

For reciprocation to work you have to be the first one to give and must offer something to potential customers without any obvious reward. What you give must have real perceived value.

ii) Commitment and consistency

Once we make a decision, we work to behave consistently to work towards that commitment in order to justify our decisions.

Simply put, we will all tend to continue on with something simply because we’ve already invested time, money or other resources into it.

iii) Social Proof

We often look to others - usually (but not necessarily) similar to ourselves - to provide us with the correct actions to take when unsure about a decision. The more people undertake that action, the more credibility or 'authority' that action has in our eyes. So, for instance, when lots of people are using or buying a product, others want to follow suit.

An expert’s seal of approval, celebrity endorsement, user testimonials, the credentials of a business and word of mouth from friends and colleagues can often influence our purchase decisions.

iv) Liking

We all prefer to help, work with or buy from people that we like and respect. The way you present yourself or your business and the feelings that invokes in others - your branding - is critical in being 'likeable'. Being approachable, warm and friendly will pay dividends.

v) Authority

We prefer to be associated with something or someone trusted. We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise.

Authority can come from things like accreditations and certifications, publishing, personal or business awards and from membership of professional or trade organisations.

vi) Scarcity / fear of missing out

It's in our nature to value things and experiences that we think are in short supply or are rare. It’s an evolutionary trait, developed to make sure that we get what we need to be able to survive, but it is also tied to our self-worth. Getting hold of something that’s not common or in demand makes us feel good.

Time or quantity limited offers or exclusive offers apply the scarcity principle.


Even when applying the practical advice and tips for the layout and design of a landing page, over 90% of traffic that lands on it still isn’t going to convert into anything useful.

Taking into account the psychology of marketing – how we behave, think and feel when we see a piece of communication – and using one or more of the six universal principles of influence to tap into the feelings and emotions of your customers is a vital, additional tool in helping to improve conversion rates.

To read more about converting interest into action in digital marketing click here.

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