The PRESTO Landing Page Copywriting Framework
Published: May 10, 2021
Last Updated: September 28, 2023
Creating a landing page that converts can be a challenge. There’s a lot that goes into it, but one of the most important aspects of that is the copywriting. It would be a significant challenge to create a landing page that converts that uses 0 copy and only design, but it would be much more straightforward to create one that is un-styled from a design perspective, but uses compelling copy. Copy is ultimately what sells and visual design and imagery is just a way to augment or reinforce what the copy is saying and create an emotional feeling to pair with the copy that increases urgency and the likelihood of converting.
What does good landing page copy look like though? I’ve thought about that question a lot of the past few years here running Tortoise and Hare Software and I’ve devised my own framework for creating effective landing pages that I’m going to share with you here today. I like to call it the PRESTO framework.
I’ve developed this framework through trial and error and thinking about how to systemize the creation of landing pages for a distributed team of marketers. I’ve built hundreds of landing pages, many of them are not great, but after observing the ones that do convert and experimenting with other copywriting frameworks like Awareness Interest Desire Action (AIDA), and Problem Agitate Solve (PAS), I’ve found they are too broad and too hard to follow. The PRESTO copywriting framework is much more specific, repeatable, and performs well in terms of driving conversions for PPC landing pages.
I’ve spent far too much of my time during my career trying to sell people on the potential for future gains, or a positive outcome. While it can work on some people, I’ve ultimately come to the conclusion that most people do not buy on potential. Aside from some venture capitalists and a subset of entrepreneurs, most people don’t think about investing in their future. If they did, we wouldn’t have such a severe problem of people getting to 65 with inadequately funded retirement accounts.
What do people buy on reliably, and predictably? One almighty unforgettable word:
I bet just reading it sitting out there in isolation made it hurt a little. People buy to get rid of pain. Virtually every customer I’ve worked with at Tortoise and Hare Software over the years here has come to me in the same situation. They have shoestring budgets, have invested little to nothing in marketing, and are in a dire fiery mess and on the verge of going out of business if they don’t do something. This is why pay per click advertising has been such a big contributor to revenue here and has seen an explosion during the pandemic. Paid advertising is the fastest way to generate leads and can alleviate the pain of new business coming in the door very quickly. The downside being that it’s expensive and competitive.
How does that translate to landing page copy? Well the first thing you want to do is establish what the pain point is, ideally with your headline or subtitle, above the fold, and within the first 5 seconds of the visitor landing on the page. You’ve go to hook them almost immediately after landing by demonstrating that you are going to talk to them about their pain.
After you’ve established that you’re talking to them about the pain point you’re trying to solve for them it’s time to bring in that element of storytelling that marketers always rave about. It’s not enough to say “we build websites”, or “we have CRM software”, or “we fight legal battles on your behalf”. If you really want to pull someone in to your landing page and have them seriously consider your offer you’ve got to tell them a little bit of a story. Let them know that you understand their pain because of your experiences in working with clients or have experienced the pain yourself. We’re trying to build some rapport with your website visitors and tell them your brand story, all while telling them a story that resonates with their pain. It’s a lot to fit in to a paragraph or two, but copywriting is a skill like any other.
A secondary goal here is to agitate the visitor a little bit. We want them to remember how annoying the pain is in an emotional way. This is a good chance to pair copy with imagery and design that invoke that emotional response. Once we’ve got them a little worked up and remembering how annoying their pain point really is, it’s time to move on to the next part of the copywriting journey.
So now that we’ve established pain with the visitor and told them a resonating story, it’s time to educate them on the availability of solutions and the importance of finding one in a hurry. We don’t necessarily want to mention the offer or start selling to them yet, but what we do want to do is make the prospect understand that this is a solvable problem and that other companies who have solved it have gone on to do great things. Build credibility by showcasing case studies or using statistics to show how other companies have gone on to absolutely crush it or save boatloads of money or time after solving their problem. Invoking a little bit of jealousy here isn’t a bad thing. No one wants to feel like they are the only person who didn’t win a trophy, or that they are spending more money than they have to and getting the same or worse results. You have to non aggressively make them feel like companies who have solved this problem have created a relative advantage over the visitor. This naturally gets them thinking, how can I do what they have done, and do it even better with the least amount of effort and resources possible?
So at this point we have established pain, told them a resonating story that builds rapport and shows that you really do understand the problem they are experiencing. We’ve gotten them to understand that it doesn’t have to be this way and that companies are solving these problems and going on to create relative advantages to the visitor. We’ve got them warmed up and wondering how they can do what other companies have done to solve the problem and do it even better with the least amount of effort and resources possible. Now it’s time to swoop in with the details of your offer and explain to them how simple it can be to solve this problem by moving forward with whatever it is your selling. Simple, concise, clear, and to the point is what we want at this stage. We’ve spent the previous copywriting efforts on the landing page establishing pain and agitating the visitor a little bit to make them want to solve this problem and solve it now. We want to simplify the process of moving from pain to pleasure with a clear path forward. Explain what your offer is, and tie that back to how it can solve your visitors pain points.
Once you’ve established how quick and easy it can be to solve the pain point with what you’re selling, showcase some testimonials of people who have claimed it. User generated content from social media can be highly effective here, or you can design more professional looking testimonials.
The last step is to make the offer we want to wrap up our landing page copywriting journey that we’ve taken them on here with a strong call to action. Take the next step. Tell them to add to cart, tell them to download now, tell them to fill out this form. Use active voice and declarative language. Tell them what to do to move forward and claim the offer. This is the coup de gras of your landing page conversion attempt. Make sure to include plenty of spacing in your design when making your offer. You want to minimize distractions that would cause them to have second thoughts, reconsider the journey, or otherwise not convert. Using design to point at the offer or have pictures of people looking at it in an opportunistic way is a great way to reinforce the strength of the call to action.
Wrapping Up The PRESTO Landing Page Copywriting Framework
The PRESTO framework is a great way to think about how to write the copy for your landing pages. It takes people through a process of creating a miniature bond with your offer and then presenting it to them at the right time when they have been “warmed up”. As with many things, writing effective copy takes practice, but following a copywriting framework such as PRESTO, AIDA, or PAS can be a great way to put some structure and process into the creation of landing page copy. This framework was developed creating hundreds of landing pages for Tortoise and Hare Software and our clients over the years and has helped generate thousands of conversions on landing pages. Copywriting is just one element of a landing page though, design, the offer, targeting, and many other factors go into the success of creating an effective one. Give the PRESTO copywriting framework a try on your own landing pages, let us know how it goes for you in the comments below. If the PRESTO framework isn’t getting you everything you need, feel free to reach out and request a review of your marketing funnel and landing pages.