Optimizing Landing Pages for Conversion with Sharma Brands’ Bailee Cooper
The best DTC marketers leverage landing pages. They’re an instrumental growth tool, driving traffic to your site. They’re a goldmine for conversions, and they’re incredibly intuitive. Most importantly, they speed up a consumer’s purchasing decision.
But, how do you create high-performing landing pages? What goes on a landing page? How do you optimize for conversions, and what are best practices?
Bailee Cooper has the answers.
She’s the UX/UI director at Sharma Brands, a leading DTC marketing firm, partnering with brands such as Feastables, GXVE Beauty, Haus, and JUDY. We sat down with her to discuss why landing pages matter, best practices, and common mistakes to avoid.
Why Landing Pages Matter
What is a landing page? It’s a standalone website, driving conversions and mostly used for marketing campaigns. Landing pages help operators better understand their customers. More importantly, they’re designed to lessen the number of clicks to purchase.
The traditional customer journey from ad to purchase looks something like this: Ad -> Homepage -> PDP -> Cart -> Checkout. The main issue: In the time frame from seeing an ad to checkout, the consumer can easily get distracted or change their mind.
“The more time you have to browse, the more time you have to bounce,” says Cooper.
Whereas the landing page journey looks like the following: Ad -> Landing page -> Checkout. It’s only three steps. Plus, the consumer is way less distracted.
Landing pages only feature information designed to drive purchasing decisions. “An about us page isn’t going to drive a purchase,” says Cooper.
The golden landing page rule: keep people on the page. “You have to keep consumers on your landing page and make sure every single piece of information is right there. You don’t want to make them click out or search,” adds Cooper.
Less friction, quicker purchasing decisions.
“The biggest advantage of a landing page is that it’s a much shorter customer journey.”
Step by Step: A Guide to Designing Landing Pages
Cooper walked us through her step-by-step process for creating killer landing pages.
First up: research (aka the most time-consuming part).
“I try to put myself in the shoes of the consumer and think through what they care about,” says Cooper. “You think that your brand is special for one reason, but then you dig around and you realize that’s not what customers truly care about.”
Take JUDY, for example. The Sharma Brands team thought that consumers would care that the product was designed by emergency preparedness experts. But, a couple of months after launch, they realized that no customer mentioned that in their reviews or feedback. Instead, they cared about having peace of mind knowing there was a kit in their home. So, the Sharma Brands team reworked messaging and the way they approach JUDY’s landing pages.
Gathering as much info as possible, she looks at the brand’s website and clicks through every button to understand how consumers navigate and interact with the site. Then, she dives into competitors and how they position their products. She also reads through customer reviews—mostly one-star and five-star—which inform copy and messaging.
Then, Cooper goes through social media to look for landing page assets. Sometimes, she finds infographics and comparison charts, which she often includes in landing pages. Visuals make the page pop.
Afterward, she dives into copy and messaging, looking for the one reason people come to the page. Then, she shapes messaging around that. “People come to your site because you’re either a vitamin or a pain killer. Either, your product enhances someone’s life or it solves a problem like a pain killer. Know which one you are and then speak to that on your landing page,” says Cooper.
“It’s getting so hard to differentiate yourself and that’s another reason landing pages are so important. You need to hone in on different messaging,” adds Cooper.
In order to make sure all the necessary information is on the landing page, Cooper walks through an analogy that Nik Sharma coined and often shares with the Sharma Brands team: “Imagine you’re on the red carpet, and you’re Kim Kardashian’s assistant. You have to walk her along and give her all the information. That’s what you have to do with your landing page: make sure the consumer has no questions and has everything they need.”
Finally, she thinks through any other pieces of the landing page puzzle. If a brand wants to elevate its AOV, Cooper likes to suggest bundles of bestsellers or complementary products.
“Consumers will bounce if you don’t tell them the benefits of your product on your landing page”
How to Optimize Your Landing Pages
There are some best landing page practices, and Cooper has a few up her sleeve.
One tip: Bring up reviews. Traditionally, websites keep reviews at the bottom of the page, but Cooper likes to pull up and highlight a few key reviews on her landing pages.
Why? The consumer’s mindset is shifting. “We used to think that if you got a hit in Forbes, it was the end all be all. It’s still important, but consumers know companies pay for those placements,” explains Cooper. “Then, there were celebrity endorsements and the influencer era. Now, we know that those recommendations are fake. People are moving towards real, authentic people. That’s why TikTok has been so successful.”
So, she brings up reviews from real, verified buyers and places them next to the add to cart button as a reinforcement. “It’s like your friend is right there, supporting you as you buy the product,” notes Cooper.
In the same vein, instead of an Instagram carousel, Cooper suggests adding a UGC section to landing pages. She did that for Feastables. One of the brand’s target audiences is parents who have MrBeast-obsessed kids. “As a parent, what do I want to see as I scroll down the landing page? I don’t want to see MrBeast. I want to see parents sharing pictures of their kids holding up chocolate bars and smiling,” adds Cooper.
“Consumers want to see reviews from real people, not influencers or celebrities. We want to see people like you and me.”
Mobile vs. Desktop and Landing Page Trends
Cooper always designs her landing pages for mobile-first. Most clients request the Sharma Brands team to do so because more often than not, 90%+ of their traffic comes from mobile.
Cooper shared a new format she’s excited about: creating a navigation bar that operates like stories (think: IG Stories, TikTok Stories, etc). It’s a mobile-native experience. Outstanding Foods is one brand that’s done it well. “It’s a good way to showcase your products right away and not just in a boring way, where there’s a product photographed on a white background. You can click through and get the full picture,” adds Cooper.
When she designs the shop section of the page, she typically adheres to the following order of operations: the product, reviews, a small description, the add to cart button, and then underneath (below the fold) is where she includes details. The main difference between desktop and mobile is that on desktop it’s all on one fold. So, it’s possible to put images and text next to each other.
On mobile, everything needs to be stackable. There’s not as much space on a mobile-first landing page, and the consumer has an even shorter attention span, so Cooper tries to utilize icons and bullet points as much as possible.
“I want that add to cart button as high above the fold as possible. I don’t want the consumer to get distracted.”
Landing Page No-Nos
“The key to landing pages: Don’t link out,” says Cooper. “You want consumers to land on a page and immediately click the shop now button.”
In the case that linking out is necessary, Cooper suggests adding a module at the bottom of the page that says, “Want to see more? Click here.” On occasion, she’ll add a card at the end of the page that says, “Stock up before it’s too late.”
She tries to keep the shop section close to the top. “A lot of people go straight into selling, but I like to be wined and dined first,” says Cooper. It’s a constant push and pull: providing value, asking for money, providing value, asking for money. “
Finally, it’s important to have multiple CTAs throughout the landing page. “Put a CTA where it makes sense, not everywhere,” adds Cooper.
“You gotta find the balance between providing useful information and asking for money.”
- What to pledge
- How to improve
- Which tools will set you up for success
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This is a classic: Let the data guide you. Go where the buyers for your products are and communicate with them on a personal level (i.e. by persona and funnel position) and nurture those relationships (past, present, and future customers). It’s possible—all through data.
We recommend that Shopify brands analyze and update their websites using data-driven decisions. Using analytics tools such as heatmaps and scrollmaps can help brands better understand how customers are interacting with their store.
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OrderlyEmails is our go-to tool for transactional emails. It helps us level up our brands’ email aesthetics with customizable, quick-to-implement Shopify templates.
Lately, I’ve been really interested in Smile.io’s loyalty platform. Their UX is fantastic for teams with low bandwidth!
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One of the best ways to understand your customer behavior is by using HotJar. Their heat-mapping and screen recording tools shine a light on where customers are navigating to and from on your site, where they're rage clicking and experiencing frustration, and where conversion is dropping off within real life customer journeys and flows!
Understanding your customers’ pain points via data and analytics , will allow you to work with your CRO/CX Agency to solve customer frustrations and improve conversion.
Rewind backs up all product, customer, and order data for Shopify sites—essential since Shopify itself doesn’t provide this solution. It's saved so many of our clients time and money from administrative accidents.
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The benefits of elevating your customer experience:
- 10% to 25% increase in AOV for customers who engage with live chat pre-purchase
- 21x higher conversion rate for customers who reach out via Live Chat or SMS compared to other site visitors
- 87% of customers who have a great customer experience will make another purchase
- 72% of customers share positive experiences with 6 or more individuals
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Trust your agency! Agencies do the same things across multiple brands and niches, so we see the trends and have the practice and experience!
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I'm supposed to say Tydo, right? 😉
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Klaviyo. We're using it to power our email and newsletter at soona too!
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When surveyed, about 80% of ecommerce merchants think that they are delivering a great experience to their customers. However, when the same customers are surveyed, only 8% of those customers think that they are getting a great experience from the merchant. Now, more than ever, retaining loyal customers is an essential part of any online business and you should spend time with your customers to judge their experience with your website and products and offer improvements based on that feedback.
Tydo's report cards are an essential tool, along with Klaviyo for email and SMS, Recharge for subscriptions and memberships, Okendo for reviews and surveys, Rebuy for AI driven collections and upsells, Loop for self service returns... each tool is great on their own, but their strength as the ultimate tool comes from when they are used together!
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More about the project
Here at Tydo, we try to highlight DTC founders who run their business in various ways. And, that's because there's no "right" way to run a DTC brand.
This project illustrates exactly that. Whether it's how a founder supports their team or how they talk about mental health in the workplace, every founder has a different approach. How do they discover these different approaches? One way: reading. Discover the greatest books that have changed the way 15+ founders think about or operate their business.
You can also listen to these book picks on Spotify or Anchor.fm.