You’re staring straight ahead, barely registering the blue glow around your room. Instead, you’re staring at the only light in the room, coming from your computer. You’ve been stuck here, on your landing page, for hours. And all you can do is stare at that blinking cursor, wishing you knew what to put on that page to make it work already! Writing a landing page can be the worst cause of writer’s block EVER. Even worse than when you’re developing your content marketing strategy…. But with the PASTOR framework, it doesn’t have to be.
But before you dive into the PASTOR framework, a few things will only make sense if you’ve already read the other articles in this series:
- Writing Landing Pages, Sales Pages, and squeeze pages (oh my!)
- When and Where to use Landing Pages, Sales Pages, & Squeeze Pages
- The One Document your Landing Page depends on…
- The Creative Brief: 13 Questions to a Successful Landing page
- IBA Member Exclusive: Creative Briefs in Action
- Outlining Your Landing Page with the Pastor Framework (this article)
- 4 More Ways to Outline, Write and Strengthen Your Landing Page
- Landing Page Case Studies – what works and what falls flat
- Beyond the Landing Page: Sales Funnels, Testing, & Blogs
All refreshed and ready to go? Score.
Because now we’re ready to outline your landing page. So let’s get to this because that landing page won’t write itself!
What is the PASTOR framework?
The PASTOR framework is a well-known and often-used framework in the copywriting world. Why? Because it works. It uses the timeless aspect of visual storytelling and emotional writing to help you more successfully connect with people – and get more actions or conversions.
And when you combine it with your intimate knowledge of your target audience (via your creative brief), you’re going to have much better sales rates or email list sign-ups or whatever it is you’re going for.
So here’s what it is:
P stands for PROBLEM. What is the problem that you’re able to solve for your audience?
A stands for AMPLIFICATION. Generally speaking, people are kind of lazy. If we see a problem as not needing immediate attention, odds are that we’re gonna let it slide until it does need fixing. So take things up a notch and show people the consequences of handling this issue NOW rather than later.
(Side note: if you go for the total doom and gloom “OH NO! It’s the END of the world if you don’t do this right stinking now!!!” approach, it’ll probably backfire. Keep it realistic. And keep it simple.)
S is for STORY. You’ve got a story. Your solution has a story. So tell it! Keep it on message and part of your brand, but let your story serve as inspiration and even a lesson for your audience.
T means TESTIMONIAL. One positive outcome is a fluke, y’all. But dozens of testimonials? That’s hard to explain away. And when all of them confirm that yours is the answer that works time after time, well, that’s social proof. And that’s darn convincing.
O is the OFFER. Using plain, boring, easy-to-understand English (or whatever language you’re writing in), present your offer. Keep it benefits focused, although sometimes the features sell themselves. In either case, focus on the results that come with your solution to the problem.
R is RESPONSE. This is where you ask people to make a decision, or to take action.
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Using the PASTOR framework on your Landing Page
So how does that translate into a landing page? Well, let’s start at the beginning.
First, you’re gonna need to very clearly detail the existing situation. Paint a visual so clear that your reader will think, “Whoa. It’s like they’re in my exact situation!” Once you’ve gotten that picture painted, transition it towards the situation they wish they were in. In other words, vividly depict the solution.
You can do this by telling your own story. Not only will it show them that you know their pain, but that you’ve reached the solution. And that will set you up as a trustworthy guru, ready and waiting to guide them to the answer.
Oh, and there’s definitely bonus points if you dress up as Gandalf.
From there, continue to describe the solution. Describe features, benefits, and the transformation you saw as you reached the solution.
This part of the story is the hardest part. So write it, rewrite it, edit it, and edit it again. Once it’s well written (and edited a fifth or sixth time), then you can move on to the next part of the landing page – where you’ll share your offer.
After your story, you could insert a preview of the offer. Think of it as a “soft sell” to get people ready for the final call to action. Most landing pages use this trick, but they rarely include the pricing at this point. Why? Because we’re still in the story. We haven’t reached the finale yet. Patience, Y’all.
Next, present your testimonials and any other social proof you’ve collected. Comments, testimonials, whatever. If you don’t have some, ask your friends and families to provide some for you. Freebies are a great way to collect some reviews or testimonials.
After that, it’s time to do some expectation management. First, acknowledge that there’s a cost – or a decision that needs to be made today. Maybe it’s signing up for your email list. Or perhaps it’s a monetary cost. Providing this expectation up front will help ease the transition into your final sale – your call to action, whatever that may be.Want to increase conversions on your landing page? Here's how to use STORY and the PASTOR framework to make that happen.Click To Tweet
The second part of managing expectations is a preemptive strike on the biggest “buts” your audience can raise. Maybe that means addressing the financial cost of your product. Or perhaps it’s reassuring them that it will work – or if it doesn’t, there’s a money-back guarantee. Or perhaps it’s answering some FAQs. Either way, address those top few concerns now. It’ll solidify your stance as a trustworthy guru – and continue to ease the path towards the final decision.
Ready for the finale? Finally, it’s time to invite the reader to make a decision. Maybe you sweeten the final offer with some bonuses. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s decision time for your reader.
So present your offer. Present it proudly, because it’s going to help other people. You could even remind them of a few of the benefits from earlier in your written journey together.
Okay, but how and when do you use this framework?
Will this framework work in every situation? No. Anybody who says one thing works in every situation is selling you something (and poorly). But it’s a great guide to get you started!
So here’s what I’d recommend… write out your landing page. Use the PASTOR framework. See how it works out. Then, you can go back in and add SEO elements (just don’t get so caught up in finding the perfect keywords that you get stuck in the SEO trap).
Then, try it. See how it works. If the conversion rates aren’t great, write a new landing page. Perhaps try a different framework – or just rearrange this one to something that flows more naturally for your style. Set up an A/B test. Then you can stick with the one that works better – and ditch the one that doesn’t.
Because once you’ve mastered this technique, you can add in even more elements from other masters.
Once you’re ready, here are a few resources (yup: they’re affiliate links of mine) to keep you going:
- The Perfect Landing Page Cheat Sheet: Add some SEO dominance to that landing page with this visual guide and checklist
- The Perfect Blog Post Cheat Sheet: visual guide and checklist to a perfect blog post (because sometimes landing pages are blog posts, Y’all)
- Improve your Click-Through Rate: Get more clicks, because impressions only do so much, Y’all.
Over to you, bloggers: what’s got your landing page held up? Or is it up, and it just needs more eyeballs?
Want access to the IBA members-only parts of this series? Cool. $12 per year gets you some pretty awesome members-only perks, including access to those articles and syndication options with the IBA (hello, SEO!!).