Web Page Optimization: Consider this post the help desk for free trial landing pages

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In today’s Web clinic, Live Optimization: What we’ve learned from 200+ experiments each year distilled into three basic principles – plus live-optimization examples, Flint McGlaughlin and the MarketingExperiments team will spend a full 40 minutes optimizing audience submissions to help you identify changes you can make today, based on our research, to improve conversion.

Thanks to BMC Software for submitting this landing page for optimization…

Most technology company names are three letters followed by an IT noun (software, systems, etc), so the name BMC Software probably sounds vaguely familiar. If you’re not familiar with them, they provide a solution called Business Service Management, which they describe as “A unified platform that simplifies, standardizes, and automates IT.”

The intended audience of this campaign is IT management and help desk managers. And the objective for the landing page is to get that audience to sign up for free trial of BMC Service Desk.

OK, now that we’ve got our introductions out of the way, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right in to some heavy-duty optimizing. First off, I’d like to comment that BMC has done a great job with the email-to-landing page continuity. The imagery and messaging are carried through seamlessly, which helps the prospect identify that they are indeed in the right location when they click through from the email to the landing page.

email[click to enlarge]

FREE-TRIAL LANDING PAGE [click to enlarge]

Alright, let’s look at the free trial sign-up page. We’ll diagnose some problem areas and offer solutions for increasing free trial sign-ups.

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When I am analyzing a landing page, I always start off by asking three questions:

  • Where am I?
  • What can I do here?
  • Why should I do it?

When trying to answer these questions on the BMC landing page, the first two questions are pretty easy to answer.

  • Where am I? – Like I mentioned earlier, with the consistent imagery you can easily identify that you’re in the right place if you were motivated enough to click on the call to action in the email.
  • What can I do here? – It’s pretty apparent, I have to fill out the fields to sign up for a free trial… everyone should be able to answer that.
  • Why should I do it? – This is where I encounter some difficulty. Let’s look into to this a little deeper…

Supporting the Value Proposition

Images often help to support the value proposition. In this case, while the main image connects with the email, it does not emphasize the value proposition. Since it takes up a lot of real estate, I’d recommend that BMC test an image that better supports the product benefits.

I do like the screenshot of the BMC dashboard. I think this could be a great supporting feature, although it’s kind of small and difficult to see the specific details of the dashboard. I’d recommend making the image larger or at least offer an option to enlarge.

I’m assuming that the “consolidation of information” is the key selling point, so let’s highlight that with a better image and supporting copy.

Terms and Conditions

In the scroll box below the form, you can see the terms and conditions (T&Cs). The T&Cs look daunting. There are six pages of information condensed into a small embedded scrolling box. You’re already linking to the document, embedding it is overkill.

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Test adding event tracking to see how many people are scrolling vs. clicking the text link. In making visitors scroll through the T&Cs, my initial thought is “what are they trying to hide?” Since this is one of the last items on the page before making the commitment to hit “submit,” this could really be a roadblock in the process.

Headline/Page Content

There are no real differentiators in the headline. The “free trial” offer and “risk free” guarantee are great benefits, but why should I choose BMC over another solution? Test a comparison chart or a features matrix. This could be in place of or in addition to the right-column content.

If you’re testing it in addition to the right column, I’d recommend adding a “Why BMC Software” text link that prompts a DHTML pop-up. This is always a good practice when including supplementary content without overwhelming the user.

Related Resources

Live Optimization: What we’ve learned from 200+ experiments each year distilled into three basic principles – plus live-optimization examples

Web Page Optimization: In search of a value proposition as fast and reliable as Verizon FiOS

Landing Page Optimization: Regions Bank opts for the information underload strategy

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