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So "novel" might be stretching it a bit, but I'm sure you've run across one of these types of landing pages in your online travels. You know the kind: A big, bulky, laden-with-stuff Web page that's the "Part 2" to a short email promotion or paid-search ad you've just clicked on... a page that, when printed, may turn into 16... 18... even 20 pages or more.

Let's be clear: Not all landing pages (aka splash or jump pages) need to be long. If you're marketing a free or very inexpensive product or service, or if you've driven prospective buyers to the page with a detailed email or other type of lengthy, benefits-rich promotion, the page can be more or less an order form, with a few substantiating claims thrown in.

The type of longer landing page I'm talking about, though, is not long just for the sake of being long. Rather, it needs to tell a big story, so it needs plenty of room to do so.

However, filling it with fluff isn't going to sell your product or service. There is a method to the madness behind the creation of one of these pages. And it's a pretty systematic, organized, and detailed method at that.

My goal for this article (and the one that follows it) is to outline the most vital components to a knockout, sales-generating machine of a landing page, as well as to outline how to incorporate those components successfully using specific copywriting and design techniques.

Let's start our look at the anatomy of such a landing page with the fundamentals, the bare-bones necessities that should be in every response-driven landing page.

The "Bones": The Shell That Holds It All Together

Most marketers who promote online have this part down pat. A catchy headline (well, maybe not always so catchy—we'll talk about that later), some benefit-driven bullet points, a few subheads to break up the copy, and a few calls to action strewn throughout.

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Kim MacPherson is founder and chief copywriter for Inbox Interactive (www.inboxinteractive.com), one of the first agencies dedicated solely to email marketing. Reach her via kim@inboxinteractive.com.