On December 3rd in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin spoke at the Dutch Email Marketing Association Summit, also known as the “Sexy” Email Event. The Director of MECLABS (the parent company of MarketingExperiments) discussed how to improve email and related landing page conversions and conducted live optimization of audience submissions. Below is one of those submissions, along with a conversion diagnosis that will hopefully give you some ideas to improve the performance of your own marketing efforts. Please note, it has been translated from its original language of Dutch.
This submission is a B2B website seeking to drive downloads of a whitepaper.
For this particular page we have to assume that visitors are well qualified. They either have searched for “electric pallet trucks” or have navigated through the site to arrive here. Knowing this, the headline is pretty standard. It’s effective in several ways:
• Continuity between steps
• Communicates “where” visitors are
However, it does not answer two key questions:
• What can I do here? I don’t know if I can order, request more info, get a quote, or just view photos.
• Why should I order a pallet truck from Toyota instead of another competitor?
Several variations of the headline that add value and provide the visitor with guidance should be tested.
Value: You must add appeal, exclusivity, and credibility to give force to the value proposition of this product. Consider testing a quantitative variation such as: “Electric Pallet Trucks: 95% Customer Approval Rating” or “Electric Pallet Trucks: Crafted by Toyota for More Than 50 Years.”
Guidance: You must greet the visitor and “hold their hand” as they experience the page. In the primary headline, communicate value. But then in the sub-headline, you want to make it what exactly they can do on this page clear. For instance, “Download Product Details and Get Price Quotes.”
Once a visitor reads the headline, they are then forced to digest a bulky paragraph of six lines…a hard swallow. Most likely, your typical visitor may read the first or second line then have their eye-path drawn away from the paragraph by the large images. If you have important information in the last few lines, it will be missed. We recommend using a maximum of two-to-three lines of copy so that it’s easy to get to the point and move on to the next paragraph.
Also, there are no bolded words in the copy. This creates a disruption on the page that halts the eye-path and visitors just see one large chunk. Instead of moving seamlessly down the page, visitors may get lost in the copy. Important words such as “ergonomic” don’t stand out from trivial words such as “things.” It all just runs together.
You should also bold keywords so that your page adapts to different visitor segments. People who don’t like to read and just want to get to the point can just scan four words and move on. While people who need every single detail can still take their time reading the copy.
Where the heck do I click? Okay, so it looks like clicking on the triangles results in a whitepaper download. But they don’t appear clickable and they blend in with the images. This page should definitely make links that are directly below the images into buttons and ensure they have properties that make them appear clickable – such as bevel and drop shadow. Also, test button copy that is clear and provides a tangible benefit such as “Download Your Free Whitepaper.”
There is another place to click for visitors who already know all the information about the pallet trucks and are ready to buy. Do you see it? It takes a second, but it is at the bottom of the right column: “Yes, I want a quote for a pallet truck.” This is an important link for the actual bottom line of the company. People who click here are interested in buying. But it’s small, de-emphasized by location, and does not attract the visitor’s eye-path with color and so forth.
Someone ready for a quote does not need to download a white paper. So consider a test where this link is placed above the images, right after the paragraph. Also, a blue font will make it stand out from the other font. Blue is the Internet standard for a link and this color change will help make it more obvious that the link is clickable.
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin will next be speaking live about optimizing email response at MarketingSherpa’s Em@il Summit ’10 in Miami, Florida from January 20-22, 2010. He will also be teaching a live pre-summit Email Optimization Workshop on January 20.