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What’s the difference between a landing page vs opt in page?

Not all sales web pages are equal, so understanding the difference between a landing page and an opt-in page helps you make the most of them.

The primary aim of copywriting is to create interest in the reader and compel them to take a desired action. Landing pages and opt-in pages are both excellent vehicles for this when you’re trying to increase conversion online, whether that’s more sales or more subscribers. In this post, we’ll break down what landing pages and opt-in pages are, the main differences between a landing page vs opt in page, when you should use each and some tips for writing high-converting landing pages.

Table of contents

  1. Landing page vs opt in page
    1. What is a landing page?
    2. What is an opt-in page?
    3. Key similarities
    4. Key differences
  2. Landing page vs opt in page: When should I use each?
  3. Tips for writing a good landing page
  4. Tips for writing a good opt-in page

Landing page vs opt in page

Woman drawing a website wireframe -Landing page vs opt in page - Copify blog

In its simplest form:

A landing page is any page on your website that visitors ‘land’ on after clicking a search result, email link, or advert. They are primarily designed to sell a product/service and its benefits, then direct the reader to make a purchase or book a consultation.

An opt-in page is a special type of landing page designed to give the reader something (usually for free) in exchange for their data: such as a newsletter, ebook, free trial or discount code.

But let’s break it down further:

What is a landing page?

A landing page is where visitors are directed after clicking on a link in an email, search results or elsewhere. In its simplest form, it can be your website homepage or a specific service or product page.

On more sophisticated websites, a website might have a series of landing pages all targeting a single keyword phrase. For instance, a UK copywriting agency might have several landing pages very carefully targeted to a specific service in a specific location, e.g. ‘copywriting Birmingham’, ‘content writing Manchester’, and ‘digital marketing London’.

Another technique is the ‘hub and spoke’ landing page method. This involves building clusters of content comprising a single ‘pillar’ (or ‘hub’) landing page which links out to other related sub-pages/blog posts (or ‘spokes’) on aspects of the same topic.

Regardless, an effective landing page includes the following elements:

  • A unique and compelling headline that expresses the value you’re offering
  • Content that focuses on selling the benefits of the product or service
  • Engaging imagery, graphics or video that help readers visualise what they’re getting or reinforces your main points
  • Bullet points or a text box clearly displaying the main features
  • A compelling call to action, usually a single link, button or data capture form

Here’s an example of a landing page from HubSpot:

Screenshot of HubSpot landing page - Landing page vs opt in page - Copify blog

You can see there’s plenty of information about the benefits and features, kept neat with the use of tabs. The first subheading shows the main benefit it gives: ‘Build a website with ease.’ then goes on to explain the ‘Features that make this possible’.

The colours, images and graphics are on brand and minimal to avoid clutter, and crucially, there are only two calls to action: either ‘book a demo’ or ‘start a trial’.

Read More: How to write content for a landing page

What is an opt-in page?

An opt-in page is designed to get readers to give you their data in some way. Predominantly this is so you can build your subscriber list or list of customer leads.

As a form of lead generation, opt-in pages tend to offer something in exchange for their data, usually a monthly newsletter/regular alerts, a free download, a discount or something else. This is called a lead magnet as it attracts potential customers. As such, an opt-in page is usually a landing page in its own right, particularly if you market it online and direct traffic to it.

An effective opt-in page includes the following elements:

  • A clear headline that is compelling enough to make the visitor want whatever you’re offering
  • A hero image or video that complements the text and offer
  • A list of bullet points of the benefits of taking the desired action
  • A call-to-action button or data capture form
  • An opt-in box (a tick box to actively opt in, not opt out) so they agree to receive marketing materials
  • Your data policy or a link to open this in a pop-up box or new tab

This example of HubSpot’s opt-in page to download a free workbook shows you how to set out your opt-in page:

Screenshot of HubSpot opt-in page - Landing page vs opt in page - Copify blog

You’ll see it features only essential information, is clear and concise and leads the reader through to a contact form to download the ebook. In the pop-out contact form, there is a very clear opt-in box with a link to their privacy policy.

Read More: What does lead generation mean in marketing?

Key similarities

  • Both have a single objective
  • Both are highly targeted to specific keywords
  • Both use SEO best practice
  • Both are focused on conversion with a clear CTA
  • Both use compelling language

Key differences

  • Landing pages are designed to sell, sometimes to brand-new customers, while opt-in pages usually offer a freebie that the reader finds value in
  • Landing pages tend to be longer, while opt-in pages typically only need to capture the customer’s data in exchange for something else
  • Landing pages are often geared around a product or service, while opt-in pages are geared around data exchange

Landing page vs opt in page: When should I use each?

As you can see, the lines between a landing page and opt-in page are often blurred, which means you can also use both content types in your marketing strategy (and we advise doing so!).

Let’s take a look at this example of how you can use both page types together:

Say you want to promote a product or service on your site. You also want to collect email addresses for people who read about the product or service, so that you can market to them later on. You would build both a landing page and an opt-in page together:

Step 1: Set up the landing page with information about the product/service. The call-to-action at the bottom of the landing page leads to the opt-in page so they can get a discount code or free trial of your product/service.

Step 2: When they click through to its associated opt-in page, they can then enter their email address and hit ‘submit’. This is them opting into you following up with whatever they’ve signed up to as an incentive for giving away their data.

While an opt-in page can double as a landing page, a landing page isn’t always an opt-in page as it is usually created to direct a reader on to make a purchase. In this case, the purchase is the goal of the page, not the data.

It’s important to remember that just because someone buys your product, it doesn’t necessarily mean they give you permission to market to them in future unless you’ve asked them to opt-in.

Each time you seek an action from a reader to give you their details, you need to ask them to opt-in to certain uses of that data. And, crucially, you need to be clear about what you’ll do with that data. Familiarising yourself with the regulations around privacy and data use is key for any marketer.

Read More: How does GDPR affect B2B marketing? What you need to know

Tips for writing a good landing page

People pointing at a laptop screen - Landing page vs opt in page - Copify blog

As you start thinking about creating a landing page, consider the following tips:

Focus on one goal: The key here is to really narrow down your purpose and focus everything else around that. A good landing page is all about guiding your visitor through the process quickly and efficiently. If you have too many goals for a single landing page, it will confuse your visitor and make them less likely to complete their action.

Use keywords: This is where understanding SEO keyword strategy is beneficial. The purpose of a landing page is to attract web searchers so know what are the best keywords to target. You can even create an AdWords campaign to run alongside to help direct more traffic that way.

Create a compelling heading: Your heading needs to hook the reader from the start. Try using engaging words that both relate to your product/service but also tap into the reader’s pain points.

Use SEO content writing best practice: This is where understanding good web page design and content structure is key. Highlight your benefits in a checklist or a stand-out text box and ensure you have plenty of white space.

Build a persuasive argument: Your job is to know the obstacles your readers face and sell them the benefits. Structure your argument so that you build this steadily. Statistics, case studies and testimonials are all good ways to build social proof.

Create appealing visuals: Use high-quality images (and/or videos) to not only help draw attention but also help explain how your product or service works or how existing customers are benefiting from it.

Keep navigation simple: Unlike blog posts, aim to avoid links to other pages unless you’re using the carefully crafted hub and spoke method above. Landing pages are usually about trying to get the reader to take a single action.

Add a CTA: This is the action you want your reader to take, whether it’s to make a purchase, book a consultation or provide their details via an opt-in page. Make it a good one as this is where you seal the deal!

Tips for writing a good opt-in page

An opt-in page is a landing page that’s been designed with conversion in mind. Follow these tips to make it a great one:

Add a compelling headline: This will be the first thing your visitors see and read, so make it count. You can use a headline to introduce or explain your offer or ask a question to tease your audience. Ultimately, you want to get them excited about signing up for more information.

Insert a lead capture form: This is where your visitors enter their contact information (typically, their name and email address) in exchange for something of value you’re offering. Keep this simple by asking only for what you need.

Use appropriate images and graphics: Re-emphasise what the reader gets by signing up with you by adding an image or graphic, perhaps of the newsletter or a page of the ebook. This makes the virtual exchange much more tangible.

Draw out the main benefits: Make sure the benefits of what they’ll get are clear and worthy of handing over their precious data. Is your offering different enough from your competitors or can they find it more easily elsewhere?

Let readers know how you’ll use their data: Be clear about how you store and use customer data. Adding your privacy policy is important, but avoid putting a link to another page. Instead, have a small dialogue box or expandable T&C/policy section if possible.

Focus on the CTA: This is the final push, so make sure your call to action button is clear about what the reader gets. ‘Download’ or ‘Sign up’ is fine, but you can get more creative with this, such as ‘YES! SEND ME 10% OFF!’.

Keep it short: Your opt-in page is all about the one clear action, so while adding in some content here and there is necessary, you want the data capture form to be the main focus point so you don’t cloud the reader’s thinking or divert them elsewhere.

Now you know the difference between a landing page and an opt-in page, you can create yours with ease and start to draw more traffic and subscribers to your site today.

✏️ For more content writing tutorials, take a look at our content checklists on the Copify blog.


Header image: Austin Distel

Embedded images: Kelly Sikkema, Screenshots courtesy of HubSpotMimi Thian

Wendy Woodhead

Wendy is the Account Director at Copify and a qualified copywriter and proofreader. She has spent six years copy editing and copywriting for B2B and B2C clients and has experience in freelance and in-house arts marketing and digital content creation. Wendy likes to write about language and literature, digital marketing, history, current affairs, and arts and culture. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, reading and writing fiction.

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