The key difference between a landing page and an opt-in page is that an opt-in page is a lead generator, while a landing-page moves the leads you generate along the customer conversion process by providing a single focus on the next step.
An opt-in page is where visitors can sign up or subscribe to receive information from you. It is a tool used to collect contact information from potential future customers so that you can contact them going forward. An opt-in page generates leads for your business.
Landing pages are standalone webpages. Their purpose, once the visitor is guided here, is to help the visitor make a decision about what is being offered without distraction. Landing pages usually have a single focus, a single outcome, most often with the purpose of converting leads to customers or moving them further along the customer journey.
What is an opt-in page?
An opt-in page is a webpage where people can sign up to your email list or subscribe to an area of special interest to them. Opt-in pages can be:
- A stand-alone webpage
- A webpage as part of your overall website
- A smaller opt-in form embedded within the pages of your website or other related webpages
It’s called an opt-in page because this is where the visitor actively opts in, or chooses, to receive information. They give permission to be contacted implicitly by giving their contact information. You can also ask for explicit permission if you want to be clear and transparent about any special terms and conditions. Some people sign up via an opt-in page because they already know and love what you do and want to hear more from you.
When generating traffic to your website with visitors who don’t know you well yet, offering a useful gift in exchange for subscribing can help them choose to opt-in. If you offer a lead magnet like this, ideally it is related to your business offerings and is relevant and interesting for your potential subscribers. They receive it after they have given you their contact information. Examples include:
- A free sample of your offering
- A quiz or other analysis tool
- An ebook or whitepaper
- Access to a training webinar
- A useful tool or template
Visitors opt in by completing a form with their contact details so that information can be sent to them. At a minimum, this is normally their name and email address. In rarer cases, you might ask them for a phone number or a postal address.
Now the visitor can receive information from you going forward. You’ve now generated a lead for your business. You’re not selling anything at this stage, merely collecting their information so you can make offers and share information with this person in the future.
What is a landing page?
Landing pages are webpages specifically designed to stand alone and are normally used for sales or marketing campaigns. Visitors are guided here by links generated through:
- Your email list (built from your opt-ins, for instance)
- Posts from the social media platforms you use to build traffic
- Online advertising
- Search engines results
- Other, such as QR codes and print advertising
Once the visitor “lands” the single focus is on the opt-in, product or service on offer. It’s usually designed to guide the visitor to one single action. This action might be to:
- Register for a course or webinar
- Subscribe to an email list or newsletter, often prompted by something free like a lead magnet (here the landing page is acting like an opt-in page)
- Purchase what is on offer
Landing pages don’t link to any other webpages or subpages. The visitor can’t wander off and look at your other products or services or sticky-beak at your About page. So, make sure they have everything they need to know, without irrelevant details, to make the next decision. They either sign up for the offer or navigate away from the page. There’s nowhere else to go. The outcome of this lack of distraction is better conversion rates compared to promoting your offering as part of your larger website. You may even guide visitors from your website to a landing page.
The landing page helps the leads you generate move along their customer journey with your business. This might be early on such as signing up for your newsletter, or it might be later on when they’re deciding to buy your most premium offering.
Clearly, the similarities between landing pages and opt-in pages mean they overlap a little. When designed well, they help visitors take action where there is a good match between what you offer and what they need and want.
Opt-in pages and landing pages are subsets of each other in different ways. Landing pages are stand alone, minimising distractions to help visitors make the next decision about engaging with your business, including purchasing from you. Opt-in pages generate leads by offering access to useful, interesting, enriching information, and create a way for you to contact these leads going forward.
Help your visitors know what to do next. Help them get to know, like and trust you. Offer them terrific value. Use opt-in pages and landing pages to achieve this!
Keen on offering terrific value but not sure that you really are?
Have you designed an opt-in page, landing page, or other tools and information to help your audience out while building your customer base?
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I’m Rananda, a Sydney-based writer and editor.
With 25-plus years in corporate life, a financial background, a science education, and a lifetime of writing, I know there is more to starting and growing a loyal following than just the words on your website or saving that draft manuscript in a folder.
I bring comprehensive practical experience to supporting your writing needs.