The art of seductive landing pages

People don’t just want to be educated about what you offer. They want to be seduced.

Yes, seduced.

Being seduced is an exhilarating experience. (If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.) Yes, we want to be educated and make rational decisions that optimize our goals. But we also yearn to be romanced, enchanted, in love. We seek brains and beauty. Is that an unrealistic paradox?

It doesn’t have to be.

First, recognize that seduction is not synonymous with deception. Being seduced is fun. Being deceived is not. It’s unfortunate that shady advertisers have conflated the two. But the world’s best brands pursue “honest seduction,” touching us emotionally as a way to begin a genuine, mutually rewarding relationship.

For instance, Apple seduces consumers, and their customers love them for it. There’s plenty of educational content to be found deep in Apple’s website, but their home page, their retail stores, their emails, their advertising – all weigh heavy on the visceral, more than on the cerebral. Their seductive charm has helped make them the most valuable company in the world.

So while I fully recommend incorporating the best principles of content marketing in your conversion optimization – educating, informing, and leading thoughts – I implore you to communicate more than that. Impart the spirit of your organization, your brand, speaking to the heart as well as the mind.

Here are two suggestions to make your landing pages more seductive.

Wear A Sexy Page Design
The Web is a visual medium. Although factors such as search engine readable text and page load time are important, they should not override the primary objective of delivering an amazing customer experience.

To be sure, an amazing customer experience should load quickly, and it should contain meaningful, relevant copy. But it should also impress in ways that are

worth a little extra load time and a little more interface love beyond plain text.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s look at an example (click to enlarge):

The above page, from a landing page/microsite offered by the Centre for Arts and Technology school (disclosure: one of my company’s customers), is rich with relevant search engine text.

The page and its assets are a mere 244 KB (in actuality, closer to 143 KB when using common cacheable resources) and a decent Internet connection loads the whole thing in ~443 ms.

Nice. But a normal person (not us conversion science wonks) wouldn’t consciously notice any of that.

The target audience for this landing page is someone who is passionate about fashion design and considering a degree and a career in it. They want to find a program that will inspire them; that requires not just words, but the holistic integration of content and design.

The seductive soul of this page is the background image that underlies the main content area, translucently visible behind the copy and the form. But not distractingly so; it emerges to the foreground in the space between the two sections.

The flow of the blue/green lines and the line of sight of the model lead the respondent from the headline to the call-to-action, providing cohesion and unity. The imagery here isn’t decoration, sprinkled on after the fact: it’s the heart of the message.

Yet the technical implementation of this page is relatively simple, using a couple of CSS tricks.

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The art of seductive landing pages