Your author’s website is the hub of your online presence. And that’s great. But a website is also a marketing tool which should be designed to sell books for you.
To do that, you need to create a landing page—specifically, a squeeze page.
Landing pages are simply web pages where you aim to get people to visit so they can take a specific action. This action can be to buy your book, sign up for your mailing list, or contact you.
The most important aspect of a landing page is a call-to-action: That’s a request that prompts your visitor to take action.
A squeeze page is a specific type of landing page that asks your visitor to sign up for your email list or email newsletter, and this is the #1 most important page every author should have on their website so you can build direct connections with fans, readers, and potential readers through email.
Types of Landing Pages
There are many types of landing pages on a website:
- Your homepage where you aim to get email subscribers
- Your book page where your goal is to get sales
- Your product pages where you sell products or services
- Your app page where you try to get visitors to download your app
- Your squeeze page where the aim is to grow your email list
While other types of landing pages may help you capture emails, a squeeze page does the job far better than any other type of landing page.
How Squeeze Pages Work
A squeeze page is explicitly designed to capture emails from potential subscribers.
In a squeeze page, visitors have no other option but to opt-in to your email list or leave your site. Essentially, you are “squeezing” them to sign up for the offer.
A squeeze page tells your website visitor what you’re offering and how he can get that offer (by entering his email address in the opt-in form).
Best Practices for Squeeze Pages
Let’s take a look at some best practices for creating squeeze pages with high conversion rates:
A squeeze page is direct, to the point, and devoid of any navigation options. This means your squeeze page must have as few hyperlinks as possible so that the potential subscriber has no other option other than to sign up or leave the page.
Squeeze pages should be extremely simple. Remove any content from the page that distracts from the offer.
Keep all the essential elements of your opt-in above the fold such as your offer, video, bullet points, and opt-in form.
Social proof like testimonials and reviews are a great way to get people to sign up. Add these on your squeeze page if you can.
Make the content on your squeeze page easily scannable and digestible. Visitors to your squeeze page must understand in the first few seconds what you are offering them and most importantly how the offer will help them get what they want.
Write a great, clear headline that immediately explains what they’re going to get.
Use bullet points to make content stand out or clarify the benefits of what you’re offering.
Use color to attract attention to essential elements of your page. Pay attention to color combinations, contrast, and whitespace. Color psychology also plays a crucial role in getting people to take action.
Make sure you choose the right colors for your brand and that your entire squeeze page (and website) is branded for your specific market.
In other words, if you’re selling romance books, your website should feel romantic—and not like a vampire zombie is about to leap off the screen and attack you.
Make Your Offer Easy and Simple
Make the offer irresistible but don’t make it too time-consuming or overwhelming. You don’t have to offer an entire book for free—if you are providing a lot of information with your free offer then make sure it is relevant and irresistible to them.
Realize that your subscribers will have to spend time to get what you’re offering and then read, watch, or go through the material—so don’t overwhelm them right off the bat.
Think of your free offer as a small appetizer before the main meal—which would be buying your book, product, or service.
Use Simple Forms
Create a simple opt-in form that is easy to fill out. Only require the visitor to fill out their email address—not their name, phone number, or any additional information because all that extra information will decrease your conversion rates.
Always remember filling out a lengthy form is a big turn off, so stick to the only necessary form field: email.
Add a Compelling Image
Your squeeze page should have at least one great image that resonates with your brand. Visuals can make the offer exciting and help visitors can see what they are going to get.
If you’re offering them a chapter of your book, then show an image of the cover design. If the offer is a video tutorial then show an image of the video.
You don’t need lots of images—just one good one will do the job.
Adding video to your squeeze page is another excellent option. You can explain more about your offer, product, or service in a video.
Deliver What You Promise
Squeeze pages must immediately deliver on the offer once a visitor fills out the form.
You can create pre-written emails in your autoresponder (like Mailchimp or Aweber) so that they’ll get an email immediately after signing up for your email list. You can deliver your offer by including a link to get it inside that autoresponder email.
After someone fills out your opt-in form, they should be taken immediately to a thank you page. On that page you can thank them for signing up and include a link to get the free offer.
You need to send your subscriber the information they signed up for by email, or on the Thank You Page, or both.
Add a Special One-Time Offer (OTO)
You can use your Thank You Page to offer something special at a discount to your new subscribers.
If you’re selling coaching, online courses, or other products or services, consider recording a quick video to explain how they can buy from you right there on the Thank You Page at a special one-time discount.
You can also include a video on your thank you page where you briefly talk about your latest book and encourage them to go buy it on Amazon.
Types of Offers for a Squeeze Page
Consider one of the following types of offers, and pick the one that makes the most sense to you.
Don’t worry about “getting it right” when you build your first squeeze page; just get it done. You can always tweak and improve it later on.
The most important thing is to get started so you can start building your email list.
For Fiction Authors
- Give away a free sample of your book so that subscribers are enticed to buy it after reading the sample.
- Offer an entire eBook or short story free to your subscribers. You can subsequently ask them for reviews (either directly on Amazon or otherwise) which can help boost your sales.
- Offer your email newsletter. Simply ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter to get updates on your work, upcoming books, and special promotions. This is the most common offer fiction authors use and it’s the easiest to set up, so if you’re not sure what to do, go with this option!
For Nonfiction Authors
For nonfiction authors, you can try any of the above offers that work for fiction authors. You can also try one of these options:
- Give away a free video like a video tutorial, video training, or interview.
- Offer a free email course. People are always looking to learn more these days, and a free email course can be really valuable. The course is offered in small digestible chunks over a few weeks. The recurring emails help to build a positive relationship with your subscriber, and they get to know you better with each email. You can include video in each email and even provide worksheets.
- Free templates and cheat sheets make good offers too. For example, you can create a template for writing a book outline or make a checklist for a story plan.
- Create free worksheets so that subscribers can learn and create something while working on it. The worksheets will guide them to achieve their goal. For example, create a character creation worksheet to help subscribers get to know the character’s personalities for their book, and to understand what the characters want and how they will overcome challenges.
- You can also offer free audio training by creating a series of podcasts that subscribers can listen to while they go about their daily routine. You can schedule your tutorials so they receive one a day in their inbox.
- Create a free webinar to teach something valuable. Webinars can be time-consuming, but when done right you can get a ton of engagement. It also gives subscribers an opportunity to see what you have to say and get a glimpse of your personality. Webinars ultimately lead subscribers further down the sales funnel by offering to sell them other relevant products like a paid course or a book.
- A quiz is a fun way to get people to subscribe. People love quizzes especially if it reveals something about themselves by the end of it.
- A challenge is another option for a free offer. You can create a 7-day challenge, a 21-day challenge or a 30-day challenge which spurs subscribers into action as they go on to learn essential skills through the challenge. For example, if you teach weight loss strategies, you could offer a 21-day weight loss challenge.
Tools to Create Squeeze Pages
Luckily, you don’t have to design and strategize over your squeeze pages. There are many tools that you can use to create your squeeze pages.
Here are some tools you can use to build squeeze pages.
Best Author Squeeze Pages
Now, let’s take a look at some great examples of squeeze pages used by authors to grow their email list. Check them out and get inspired.
Tim Ferris is the best-selling nonfiction author of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, Tools of Titans, and Tribe of Mentors. He also runs a popular podcast called The Tim Ferris Show, and his blog is ranked #1 in the Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs list. Tim also builds his email list through various CTA’s on his page including a pop-up opt-in and a squeeze page is shown below:
Jesse Cannone is the is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. He is also the author, The 7-Day Back Pain Cure, which he offers free to his subscribers. So far he has given away more than 1 million free books.
This is the squeeze page for his book:
Robert Holden is the author of Happiness NOW!, Shift Happens!, Authentic Success, Be Happy, Loveability, Holy Shift! 365 Daily Meditations from A Course in Miracles and Life Loves You, co-written with Louise Hay.
As soon as you visit his website you will encounter his squeeze page:
Her squeeze page is a quiz which identifies your personality. See below:
Jordan Belfort is the author of two international bestselling memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, which has been published in over forty countries and translated into eighteen languages.
This is his squeeze page pop-up form:
You can grow your email list by creating landing pages or using squeeze pages. But with a squeeze page, you are focusing exclusively on getting an email address from your potential subscriber.
You can create all kinds of squeeze pages; all you need is some creativity and inspiration. Check out squeeze pages created by authors in your genre to see what’s working for them and get inspired to create your own great squeeze page.
Be sure to incorporate all the best practices listed in this post and soon you’ll have a squeeze page that works for you!
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.