(Guide) How to Choose & Customize a Landing Page Template
Let’s say you’re the owner of a boutique soap store and you’re taking your business online. (Hey, in 2020, you wouldn’t be the only one.)
You’ve already got a simple website, but you wanna run promotions to really lather up some business. So, you get to work on your marketing campaign. You come up with an irresistible offer. You spend your lunch hours building an email list of existing and potential customers. You stay up late learning the basics of Google Ads. Then you start planning the landing page where you’ll send your campaign traffic.
With all the work you’ve already put in, you’re delighted to know you can save some time by starting with a landing page template. But when you go to choose one in your favorite builder (ahem), you don’t see any that look right for your business. There’s a template that seems like it’s meant for realtors, maybe. Another that’d be good for bakeries. But nothing for soap sellers like you. You’re stuck.
“Dangit, Unbounce. Where’re the soap landing pages?” — You, probably.
Not so fast, sudsy—you’re looking at this the wrong way. The idea here isn’t to find a landing page template that matches your business exactly. First and foremost, you want to choose a template that supports your campaign conversion goal. Everything else—your industry, your product or service, your branding—comes second.
In this post, we’ll show you how to pick out the perfect template for your next marketing campaign. Then, we’ll show you how you can transform it into a custom-branded, high-converting masterpiece.
How to Choose a Template That Supports Your Conversion Goal
What’s a conversion goal, exactly?
Your conversion goal is the action you want visitors to take as a result of your marketing campaign. Maybe you want somebody to buy a product, like fancy soap. Or maybe you want them to sign up for a webinar about… I dunno, making fancy soap?
The point is that some landing page templates are better-suited to specific conversion goals than others. If you just want someone to buy a product, your landing page’s call to action is pretty straightforward. On the other hand, if you’re registering people for a webinar, you’re gonna need their name and email address (at least). That’ll mean a more complex call to action.
Which template is best for your conversion goal?
Broadly, landing page templates fall into one of two categories: click-through pages and lead generation pages. They’ve each got a distinct type of call to action meant to support a certain conversion goal.
The page on the left is a click-through landing page, while the one on the right is a lead gen landing page.
Click-through landing pages prime visitors for the next step in their journey, like a checkout flow or sign-up page. Since the real ask comes wherever they end up after this page, the call to action here is simple—usually just a button. (“Buy Now” is a classic of this genre.)
On the other hand, lead generation landing pages use forms to capture visitor information that can be used later, like for promotional emails. These pages typically offer some kind of incentive (or “lead magnet”) for filling out the form—a downloadable ebook or webinar registration, for example.
What about the design of a template?
First, you need to decide whether your conversion goal requires a click-through or lead gen landing page. Then, consider how the template’s design spotlights your offer.
If you’re selling soap, you probably want a click-through template that can accommodate lots of photos of your product, like this one. And maybe you think that soap-making webinar we suggested earlier sounds like a great idea. You might want a lead gen template that can share a video of what people can expect, like this one.
Notice that neither of these templates have anything to do with soap. We chose ’em because their call to action supports our conversion goal and their design reinforces our offer. Now, we can start to replace elements of these pages with our own copy and imagery to integrate them into our marketing campaign.
Converting a Landing Page Template for Your Campaign
Every landing page template is different, but they usually have similar elements and follow the same general structure: a header section, a list of features and benefits, some social proof, and a call to action. (Also check out this post on the anatomy of a landing page.)
Follow the steps below to transform your chosen template into a branded landing page that’ll win over your visitors.
1. Your Header Section
- Add a hero image of your product, service, or lead magnet. If you want to help prospects visualize the benefits, consider showing your offer in the context of use: someone using your product to solve a problem or improving themselves through your service.
- Be sure to include your company logo. You want people to know this is your landing page, after all.
- Write a descriptive headline that tells people exactly what you’re offering. You can also communicate your main value proposition using a couple of sentences just under your headline.
- Update your call to action. If you’re using a click-through template, you could have a button that sends people to a product page on your website, a third-party delivery platform, or even add a Shopify integration. If you’re capturing leads, try to keep your form simple—only ask for the information you absolutely need.
2. Your Benefits Section
- People skim, so provide a bulleted list of the benefits of your offer. If you’re creating a sales page, use this space to highlight how your product or service improves your customers’ lives. If you’re offering a lead magnet (like an ebook), tell people what they’ll learn and how they can apply it.
- Does your template have icons for each benefit? Make sure they’re relevant to your offer or brand. If not, lots of websites offer free icons you can use to replace ‘em: streamlineicons.com, flaticon.com, thenounproject.com, material.io, icons8.com, ionicons.com, among others.
3. Your Social Proof Section
- Include a testimonial from a satisfied customer, or maybe an endorsement from an industry leader. The trick here is authenticity: use a real quote that sounds believable. Even real testimonials that are too positive can sound like you’re making ‘em up.
- Alternatively, you could showcase other kinds of proof: awards you’ve won, trust seals you’ve earned—that sorta thing.
- Whatever you include here, remember to ask permission. For example, depending on where you source a testimonial from (Amazon, G2), there may be restrictions on how you can use it.
4. Your About Section
- Let people know more about your business. What makes your product or service unique? What’s your mission statement—your raison d’être? This is your opportunity to connect with visitors beyond this particular offer.
- That said, you don’t want visitors to lose focus. Keep it short and sweet.
5. Your CTA Section
- If your page runs long, consider including a final pitch for your offer. This is your last chance, so make it count. Pump up the urgency or exclusivity, or remind visitors about the benefits they stand to gain—whatever it takes to get the conversion.
- Repeat the call to action button from your header section. Or, if this is a lead gen page, include a button that bumps visitors back up to your form.
- Add your logo and any other details you need to communicate (contact information, copyright notice, any other necessary boilerplate) at the very bottom of the page.
And that about covers it. With that quick checklist, you can turn just about any template into an on-brand landing page in just a few minutes. Simple, right?
3 (More) Examples of Landing Page Template Customization
Alright, the soap example is feeling a little played out. Now, let’s take three templates that Unbounce put together in response to COVID-19 earlier this year—FreshGoods, Multor, and Horizons—and switch ‘em up for different industries.
You can do all of this yourself, of course. But just to make sure these examples are absolute fire, I’ve recruited Gus from our design team to help out.
Gus says “what’s up,” by the way. 👋
FreshGoods → UNIQ
First up is FreshGoods, a click-through landing page template that was designed to help brick-and-mortars get online super quick. Small retailers that don’t have a website can use it to launch a basic ecomm page. Restaurants and breweries can use it to link out to delivery platforms or run special promotions. But it can also fit a more general product launch page—say, for a new mobile app.
The design for FreshGoods clearly speaks to a bakery or cafe. You’ve got the hero image of a bread basket, secondary photography of hand-made pastries and specialty coffees, plus icons that imply food delivery.
But what’s great about FreshGoods is that it’s both simple and comprehensive. You’ve got all the sections you need to communicate your offer in a compelling way, without any of the technical design elements you’d need to spend hours tinkering with.
Changing it up is super easy. You’ve really just gotta swap in your logo, images, and icons—then you’ve got (what looks like) a totally custom landing page.
Sure, when you compare the two pages side-by-side, you can see they’re similar. But think about the amount of real work that went into this. Swapping in the new logo? Two minutes. Sourcing images… say 10 minutes. (Or even less, considering our in-app integration with Unsplash.) Add a couple other minor tweaks, and what you’re looking at is, like, 20 minutes for a whole new page.
All you’ve gotta do now is write your campaign copy. (And if you want tips on how to write for your industry, you can pull some insights from our Conversion Benchmark Report.)
Multor → PersonalTrainer
The idea for the Multor lead gen template was to help businesses offer digital alternatives to their in-person services. Healthcare clinics and dentists can use it to offer online consultations. Realtors can schedule people for virtual home walkthroughs. Fitness instructors can register people for video classes… which gives us a great idea for a new page.
We’ll get to that in a second, but let’s have a look at the original page first. Multor Senior feels pretty Silicon Valley, right? It’s all photos of people on computers. (We even snuck a coffee in there, which is very tech.) And the blue is evoking logic and dependability. Look, there it goes!
Like FreshGoods, Multor is meant to be easily customizable. To create our new fitness landing page, we just added our logo and hero image, changed the icons, and replaced the old photos and video. Then we tinkered with some of the fonts, colors, and backgrounds.
Lo and behold—we’ve got a whole new page in less time than it takes to finish your morning cup’a joe.
Horizons → MKT Masters
With the Horizons template, we wanted to help brands capture leads and for promotions during a down period. Think travel and hospitality companies that wanna get people booked for events next year, or marketing agencies hoping to attract business with an ebook or webinar.
You’ll see that the design fits some kind of outdoorsy company, what with the photos of nature and delightful orienteering icons. We’d originally mocked up the page for a downloadable ebook, but this template is great for any kind of lead magnet.
How about… an online class all about great marketing, hosted by future me?
We went a little bit wild with this one. In addition to changing up the imagery and colors, we decided to rearrange the sections to have our video just under the fold. That way, the first thing visitors will see when they scroll the page is a preview of our class—the most compelling piece of promo material we’ve got.
Create Your Next Landing Page with a Quick-Start Template
Are you still building your landing pages from scratch? (Or, worse yet, relying on a developer to code ‘em for you?)
Forget that. Using one of Unbounce’s 100+ templates, you can put together a fully-branded, campaign-customized landing page in just a few minutes. That means you can spend less time creating pages and more time creating artisanal soaps—or, y’know, whatever else you wanna do with your time.
Go on—give it a shot.