Landing Page Optimization: Help improve this page for a chance to win an LPO Online Course


Optimization and testing is all about learning. What really works? What really doesn’t (even though we thought it would when we set up the test)? And, most importantly, how do you learn these lessons in a reliable, repeatable way?

Every year at Optimization Summit, we conduct a live test. We receive your input before and during Summit, release the hounds/treatments into the world and in an extremely short amount of time (before Summit ends), use the live test as a teaching lesson to help marketers better understand optimization and testing.

At Optimization Summit 2011, we (somewhat inadvertently) taught the audience about the importance of test design and validity using the live test.

At Optimization Summit 2012, the live test was a great example of using hypotheses when designing tests to make sure you learn from your testing.

This year, Spencer Whiting, Senior Manager, Research and Strategy, MECLABS, has been tapped to lead the live test at Optimization Summit 2013 in Boston. And, as we tend to do with the live test, Spencer wants to involve you in this fun experiment.

Generous guy that he is, Spencer will even give a MECLABS Landing Page Optimization Online Course to the person who leaves the best test idea for the control pages (you can see them below) in the comments section of this blog post by Monday, May 13, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Here’s some info about the test …

The goal is to have marketers to provide information about themselves on a form to receive a free copy of a 30-Minute Marketer about email subject lines.

We partnered with Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp on this live test, and traffic will be driven to this landing page from the MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments email lists, along with Dun & Bradstreet’s email list. There will likely be free and paid social media promotion, along with a possible social media contest.

There is a two-step conversion process.

Step #1 (Click to enlarge) Step #2 (Click to enlarge)

Leave your test ideas in the comments section of this blog post. Spencer will choose the best comment (at his sole discretion, his decision is final) and give that person a copy of the online, on-demand MECLABS Landing Page Optimization Online Course, in the new HD video format.

Also, if you’ll be at Optimization Summit 2013 in Boston and would like to learn how you can apply lessons from this live test to your own testing efforts, be sure to attend the roundtable Spencer is moderating on this subject.



Spencer has picked a winner! Here’s what he said …

 The 2 I think are best are (8) Nate Nordstrom #1 and then (1) Clayton for #2. They have good evaluation and specific test recommendations.

We have a consensus:

Nathan Nordstrom has won.

  1. Specific recommendations for the right column to add value or credibility.
  2. One-step process.
  3. Gave us specific headline recommendation.
  4. We will have 2 logos on the page due to the nature of the offer, but makes a good recommendation.
  5. Spoke of continuity throughout the funnel. Didn’t make any specific recommendation, but a good recommendation once the ad/email copy is known.

Clayton would be my runner up.  However, Nathan was the only optimizer who identified going to a one-step process. In my mind, this will be the greatest opportunity for this offer.


Congratulations, Nathan. Enjoy your MECLABS Landing Page Optimization on-demand course.


Related Resources:

MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2013, May 20-23, Boston

What to Test: 4 sample landing page treatments from Optimization Summit 2012

You Decide: Which lead generation landing page will perform best?

Landing Page Optimization: 4 test ideas for a free-trial, lead gen form page

Landing Page Contest: So you think you have a good lead gen page?

Live Experiment (Part 1): How many marketers does it take to optimize a webpage?

Live Experiment (Part 2): Real testing is messy

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  1. Clayton says

    First off, this publication is free for anyone who fills out the form, not just members, correct? If so, the “Free for Members” text has to go. It’s very confusing.

    I’d like to see the value proposition increased by specifying what makes these 9 tactics better than all the other tips we’ve seen all over the web. For example, I’ve always been impressed with MECLABS’ resume of multitudes of high profile clients and rigorous scientific approach. Therefore, I’d like to see the “MarketingSherpa’s 30 Minute…” heading changed to “Free: Our Top 9 Performing Email Subject Line Tactics” and the sub-heading changed to “Learn our go-to strategies for boosting open rates”. You see, we’re testing if your resume will be a primary motivator for the visitor.

    Along the same lines, I’d like to see the red “Free for members” label on the book changed to a less distracting color, like the blue, and have it read “Boost Open Rates”. I’d also like to see the “How to write…” bullet point changed to “What we’ve learned over 8 years of testing” or better yet, “What we’ve learned over #,### tests”. Also, Email Subject Lines doesn’t merely “include” those bullet points. It “features” them.

    “Email Subject Lines” seems like a weak heading for the paragraph section. How about something like “Boost Your Email Open Rates”. Let’s change that first sentence to re-emphasize that this is valuable because of who MECLABS is. Something like “In this report, we share our best performing subject line tactics for boosting email open rates, observed over 8+ years of testing.”

    Please make any changes to my suggestions that you feel fit. I’m not sure how big of a change you’d like to test.

    I’d really appreciate access to the MECLABS Landing Page Optimization Course. Not only would it help me improve conversion rates for clients, it would look great on my resume. After all, there’s gold in MECLABS’ reputation.

  2. Spencer Whiting says

    Clayton, You are correct. All visitors filling out the form will receive the 30 Minute Marketer. The screen shots are rough wireframes and my team already brought it to my attention this morning.

    Got to love the feedback!

  3. Francis Teo says

    I think the flow of the copy can be improved, and the contrast of the CTA buttons.

    Page 1:
    i. Black on that particular shade of blue could be hard to read. Maybe test a white?
    ii. When they click, they don’t actually get to download. Could be made more clear. Maybe “Find out How You Can Download for Free” or similar.

    Page 2:
    i. Some copy to actually explain that you have to fill up this form to get the download? I know it seems obvious but could be made even more clear.
    ii. Contrast on button.

    Isn’t part of the value proposition of the product the fact that you can read it in 30 minutes?

    Perhaps it should be called the “30 Minute Marketer: Email Subject Lines” instead throughout the whole copy for consistency and to convey value.

  4. V Salmons says

    The current design de-emphasises the “WIFM” (what’s in it for me) for prospects. My recommendation: flip the design elements to bring attention to the info that is most important the prospect, rather than the current emphasis on “30 Minute Marketer” series name.

    In plain speak, the larger blue text that reads “Email Subject Lines 30 Minute Marketer” should be replaced with “Nine tactics to grab attention and boost open rates.” And “MarketingSherpa’s 30 Minute Marketer Email Subject Lines” should be replaced with a secondary teaser such as “De-mystify open rates – put these proven strategies to work” (similar # of characters so should fit fine in design). The “30 Minute Marketer” copy can then be placed in smaller black text field currently occupied by “9 tactics.”

  5. John Kirker says

    Hi Spencer – met you back in Denver last year (we had lunch a couple times) at the event.

    Anyhow, can you provide any information as to what will be contained in the email which will precede their visit to the land page?

    What’s the set up look like?

  6. Kathy says

    Squint at both pages without opening them up. What stands out? Where do your eyes go? There is not one focal point. The dark blue boxes on the left and on the right compete for attention. And then when you open the pages up, the same thing happens – your attention is divided – when what you really want is to draw attention to the content on the left. I’d recommend taking away the blue box on the right because it begs for attention and has a call to action that will lead them away from this page.

    If you feel its important to keep it there because you want that there in case some aren’t interested in the report, then an alternate test would be to leave it but draw the eye to the left side better. You could add a divider line between the two, but you can also draw the eye to the left by making a better title. Where is that title now? It’s lost. Squint again and look above the blue boxes. Your eyes go the logos, but where’s the message? What is this about anyway? “9 tactics to grab attention…” should be the magnet. Make it big and bold so it stands out more than the logos (which you can also make smaller) and remove the line with the tabs. It stops the eye flow. Grab them with a compelling title, pull them down to the picture of the report and then keep them going right into the form. No need to send them to another page for the submit form.

    So your tests could be:

    1) Add big, bold compelling title so it draws attention to the value of the report (grab attention, better open rate) and at the same time it’s big and bold enough to pull the eye to it
    2) Remove Overview and Order tabs that break the eye flow and put the submit form on the same page below
    3) Remove the right column entirely or separate it with a line to keep eyes to the left; alternatively replace it with the form.
    4) Finally, I’d test it with a RED button

    Of course, you’re never done, but there’s a start. — Kathy

  7. SEO Services USA says

    I think it is a very interesting test. Here are what I think:

    1. What is your USP? You are providing 9 tactics for free but even though, what is so special about these tactics that a person will devote time in filling out the form. What is it that you are providing them that other free places can’t.

    2. The “FREE FOR MEMBERS” is very confusing. This text should not be there.

    3. In this example, text that is attracting my attention the most is “FREE FOR MEMBERS”, but that is not what we are trying to attract viewers attention with. The ‘9 Tactics’ portion should be highlighted more than anything else.

    4. The color scheme is okay but that bright red is very disturbing.

    5. If the “Get your Free 30 Minute Marketer” is not allowing viewers to download, then the purpose of that button is unclear. It should be more specific.

    6. the contents need to be more appealing as it needs to invite people to perform a task of filling up a form even though they are getting something for free.

    7. In the second page there should be a text explaining that people need to fill up the form to get their free 30 minute marketer. The text should be highlighted and the existing blue button can be a simple ‘Submit’ button.

    There is one more thing that grabs my attention, the whole design is quite boring and non-appealing to me.

  8. Nate Nordstrom says

    Haven’t read the other comments, so please forgive anything I say that may be repeating another’s notes.

    Five main comments, in order of my perceived importance:
    1) The right hand column should be eliminated. It distracts from the CTA and makes me wonder “how is this related to the offer, what is the true offer, and what am I supposed to be looking at?” Possibly this right hand side could be replaced with a couple quotes from the guide, and a testimonial or two in order to add validity and boost the value prop in the visitors mind.
    2) The form should only be one step. Clean up the copy and make the CTA and form all on one page.
    3) The headline is currently visually weak. Could be made more relevant as well in terms of syntax, but I’m currently seeing several lines of text/headlines with none really grabbing my attention right away. An example of a better headline to test would be “Get your guide to the best email subject lines, FREE now from 30-minute marketer!”
    4) There should only be one logo at top of the page. It needs to be very clear to the visitor what company is responsible for the page. If the Dun and Bradstreet logo is there to add reputation and a trust factor, it should be moved down below or near the CTA and form.
    5) The CTA, header logo, headline… all of these need to be sure to speak in-line with any ads that are run to promote the page. One of the easiest ways to fail in the conversion funnel is to draw folks in with an ad that does not specifically reflect the headline and messaging of the landing page itself.

    P.S. THANK YOU to your labs for such wonderful teaching. There are only a few blogs I subscribe to for sake of time, and this is one. I have recommended your team’s blog to many in my industry. Keep up the good work!

  9. Spencer Whiting says

    Hi John,

    Ssshhh! It’s a secret until 5/21 at about 1:00 PM

    I can email you an image of test email first draft coming from Dun & Bradstreet. send a request to

    It is a text based email with branding graphics.

    The Subject line is “Complimentary Research: 9 tactics to help you grab attention and boost open rates”

    CTA is a text link “Start grabbing their attention today by downloading your complimentary copy of 9 Tactics to Grab Attention and Boost Open Rates.”

  10. Michael Foreman says

    Already plenty of smart suggestions here. Three that stood out for me:

    – Needs a more compelling title (which I assume would be reflected in the email)
    – I’d remove the competing CTAs in the sidebar
    – I’d make this a single page with a shorter form

    Also agree that MECLAB’s authority could be stressed in the copy.

    And one I don’t think I’ve seen yet:

    – Remove the navigation up top. You don’t want them wandering away, right?

  11. Paula Noah says

    1. Move “Dan & Bradstreet” logo somewhere on page. Two logos on same fold could distract and confuse visitors’ eyes. The best place for “Dan & Bradstreet” is above “marketingsherpa” logo – quite eyes-catching area.

    2. Increase “ABOUT US, FAQ, CC” font sizes and color. Grey color is definitly smooth one when applying for contents and articles. Grey: not suitable for menu links – visitors seldom click pale-colored menu links.

    3. I would be happy to take out breadcrumbs to polish this landing page cleaner.

    4. “Email Subject Lines …” – Good header but very weak font and color choose. It could be standing out with “Impact” styles.

    5. Adjust and match colors on “ABOUT US, FAQ, CC” menu links and “Email Subject Lines …” header to Two logos: MECLABS and Dun&Bradstreet which are built on blue. I will certainly consider background color “Deep Blue” from marketingsherpa logo for those components.

    6. I don’t get aesthetic feel on “Overview/ Order” bar. Why shouldn’t we use simple medium size buttons with CSS3 codes.

    7. Wanna write more but I gotta go out for walking. To be continued …

  12. Jeffrey Williams says

    1. Logos competing
    2. Make the headline more salient.
    3. Bulleted copy seems redundant and out of place. Move to lower copy or remove.
    2. The order tab is superfluous. Most of the content in the order tab is the same, condense to one column.
    3. The CTA seems more like a late, misplaced heading. See 1. change CTA wording.

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