Thrive Themes landing pages are wicked.
Shane Melaugh, the founder of Thrive Themes, is a landing page fiend. He builds. He tests. He tweaks. He uses his own tools, themes, and WordPress landing page templates to come up with the best stuff for WordPress users that run businesses.
At last count there were 274 templates in their gallery. Wut!
Seriously. They have a landing page for every online business you can think of. Plus, with Thrive Architect you can manipulate them to look anyway you want, using the intuitive drag-and-drop visual editor.
Here are the types of landing page templates you get with Thrive Themes:
- Squeeze page (lead generation landing page)
- Webinar sign up landing page
- Single product sales page
- After sign up download page
- After sign up thank you page
Here's how easy it is to use the templates (with screenshot goodness).
Create a new page. Then select landing page template within the default WordPress page builder:
After selecting "landing" under template, click "Launch Thrive Architect":
Then click the change template icon:
Choose from default templates, or landing page templates you have already created:
Boom. Now you have a beautiful set of pages to work with including opt-in, thank you page, and download page.
Thrive Themes Landing Pages Course
Thrive Themes doesn’t just build tools. They are master marketers. For real. They write content and build courses to teach you how to do marketing, because they’re damn good at it.
And, guess what, their tools are perfect for executing on that professional marketing education.
Don’t believe me?
Go through their Rapid Landing Page Building course and see for yourself. They know what they are talking about. These are the type of people you want guiding the development of your web building tools.
Rapid Landing Page Building Course Notes
I went through Melaugh's free 5-video landing page building course. It was good, so I took notes.
Part 1: The Mindset
More than anything Shane’s course is a mindset shift lesson.
He starts off with Seth Godin’s quote: “Your job is to ship.”
In other words, you need to actually deliver something. Put it into the world. That’s the step that matters. Everything else you do is in service of that one step.
This may seem obvious, but it’s a very powerful observation. Far too many people handwring their idea to death, and fail to launch because of unattainable perfectionism. The way you get to your best performing landing page, is to put iteration #1 out into the real world, test it, then make it better.
Easier said than done. Your name is attached to this initial attempt. People will see it. You’ll feel judged because it's not perfect and fully formed out of the gate. That can be daunting, but the trick is to plow through this hesitation, the fear and SHIP IT.
I desperately need this message. I’m debilitated by the plotting, planning, researching, and shifting focus. It boils down to the fear of actually putting a stake in the ground. To launch an idea live into the world and gather feedback.
Also interesting, I’m realizing as I go through this course, is that there are levels to this procrastination. I’ve launched this blog (after stops and starts and changing course and making excuses for why I shouldn’t).
It’s helping me find my writing voice. It’s forcing me to find what I’m really interested in so that I can take my efforts to the next level. But it is also a comfortable place. It’s just me with a pseudonym typing up notes and thoughts about digital marketing.
The next step is creating a lead generation magnet. Building a list. And, maybe, if things break right, building a product.
Each of these steps is going to require the mindset shift that Shane encourages in this course.
Back to the material ...
What becomes more and more apparent as you watch it, is that the Thrive Themes tools were created with rapid implementation in mind.
They are so user-friendly and powerful that ideas in your head can be executed immediately. No brutal back and forth exchanges with programmers. No complicated split-testing software. And, no terrible visual page builders, that only get you halfway to your vision, while dropping slow-loading kludge code on the backend.
Shane Melaugh Believes in Rapid Implementation
Melaugh is a firm believer in the minimum viable product approach, where you get ideas and act on them quickly, rather than swirling the ideas around in your head for days, weeks, months, years, and never executing.
“Your chances of ever creating something great can be predicted based on your ability to DELIVER something simple.”
He says putting ideas into the world in the form of landing pages builds momentum. You see how it performs, make adjustments, and add more features as you go along.
He suggests building the crucial stuff and “shipping” then circling back to add “modules” to improve the pages you are building.
If you run across an amazing landing page out in the wild that’s converting like crazy, most likely it’s not the first iteration of the page. In fact, he says, it’s probably the 100th iteration.
“You cannot create a good landing page (or website, or business) by thinking about it.”
- Shane Melaugh
These different versions add up, because you “ship” a good enough page. Then continue to add “modules” to improve. And then you institute a process of rapid A/B testing on stuff that matters.
Part 2: Building an Opt-in Page
In part 2, Shane builds an opt-in landing page using his rapid implementation approach. He says the must haves are a lead capture mechanism (opt-in form) and a headline.
Start at the end to determine the conversion goal (i.e. get people on my mailing list). Build out that opt-in mechanism.
Next, go to the beginning and write a headline. Technically, after these two steps you could launch. There’s enough information and functionality to give people an idea of the purpose of the page and the step they should take.
Your next job is to add modules to improve the page, so that it’s optimized to accomplish the main goal of building a mailing list.
“Get a good enough solution fast then arrive at optimal solution soon.”
- Shane Melaugh
I can feel a shift mentally as I go through this course. I get how after completing step 1, you would feel a sense of accomplishment. You actually "shipped” something.
This is in sharp contrast to the general malaise I feel when I wallow around in my never-ending supply half-baked ideas without taking action.
Some of the modules he adds to his page in rapid succession are …
- Call to action before the opt-in element. Even if it seems obvious, be very clear about what people are getting and what steps they have to take next.
- Image. Very important to have an image on an opt-in page. Makes it more visually appealing, and is an opportunity to help get across the idea of what you’re offering.
- Bullet points - help summarize the value of the opt-in. He says you need to hint at what the person is going to get without giving away the crucial information:
- Tease content.
- Be clear who the information is for … weed out the people that it won’t benefit.
- Mention that problem that can be solved.
- Paint a picture of the positive outcome.
- Hit on the fear of missing out.
Part 3: Building a Sales Page
Shane then shifts to the more complicated task of building a sales page, but, again, he does it in a modular way, so that it doesn’t seem as daunting.
Module 1: Text, which includes heading, subheading, and text.
- Describe the pain point/problem.
- Present your unique selling proposition (USP).
- Address objections.
Deliver the justification of what makes your product better.
Module 2: Images - again something that reinforces the benefit of your product.
Module 3: Bullet points - help summarize the value of the product.
Module 4: Content Highlights - make core points pop out with a content box with a different color background, to deliver the crucial info to people that are just scanning the page.
Module 5: Testimonials and Case Studies - social proof. Nothing is more powerful and convincing people to buy a product than to see others just like them that have good results with it. BTW - Thrive Themes has an amazing plugin to gather testimonials (Thrive Ovation). And Thrive Architect displays them beautifully. The strongest testimonial gets into specifics about why they love the product.
Module 6: Risk Reversal - money-back guarantee. Get specific here too. If you don’t get the desired result within a certain time span let us know and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.
Module 7: In a box explain exactly what the buyer gets when they purchase. Make it totally unambiguous.
Module 8: Authority, proof, and trust symbols. "As seen in" or "as recommended by" logos from news outlets or other well-known websites or subject matter experts.
Part 4: What You Need to Know About Optimization
Always be testing!
It’s the best way to squeeze all of the value out of your business. Not all of your tests are going to produce massive differences. In fact, sometimes you’ll get no noticeable difference or sometimes only a 10% improvement. But, if you keep making those types of incremental improvements, you will eventually achieve a page that converts at a high level.
Shane breaks it down like this ...
- Tools/software - short answer doesn’t really matter. Just do it more important than the tool you use. Google optimize. Thrive Optimize.
- Test big changes. Increase chances of getting a great win. Don’t tweak. Don’t test headlines that say virtually the same thing. Test entirely different hooks.
- Base your test on a hypothesis. Write down why one thing might work better than other. This gets you in the habit of putting real thought behind your tests. For example, “ I think people will respond better to such and such a message.” These message ideas can come from a survey or talking to your audience directly.
The beauty of testing big things is that once you get a challenger that beats the “control” or existing element, you can apply that new winner to more elements in your business, like email and advertising copy.
Part 5: The Four Practical Steps to Rapid Optimization
- Test lead gen pages first. Easier and faster to test variations versus sales page. Bigger sample size with the lead gen page because it’s less of an “ask” (form fill rather than money exchange).
- Test value propositions - This is where you can find those big changes Shane talked about in part 4. He uses a fitness example. Test a promise of muscle growth versus a message of the big challenge (i.e. can you even handle this brutal workout?). When you find a winner on these big tests, it can help you improve your entire business, because you discover the messaging that really resonates with your audience.
- Test different media - text only, video only, text and video. You never know what is the preferred media delivery vehicle of your specific audience until you test.
- Test site redesigns - how can this be rapid you wisely ask? Well, with templates you can change the entire look of a site with a few clicks. This is the beauty of having a tool like Thrive Themes. It doesn’t take that much time, because you’re not fiddling with the minute design details. Just the big stuff that comes with swapping out templates.
Again, terrific course. I highly recommend it. Watch all the videos. I only skimmed the surface here.
Landing Page Template Installation Tutorial
Want to see Thrive Themes in action? Check out this video from Hanne. She builds an entire set of pages for an opt-in sequence with templates available in the Thrive Themes Architect plugin.
She also shows you how to set up an A/B split test by creating landing page element variations with Thrive Optimize. If you have an offer and just need to make it presentable on a website, this is the way to do it. It does not take very long, and the results are functional and slick looking.