Marketing Intuition Contest: Which landing page generated more conversions?

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It’s time, once again, to test the mettle of your marketing intuition. If you’ve never taken part in one of these before, here’s the premise:

Every so often we give our blog readers the chance to predict the outcome of the featured test in an upcoming Web clinic.

For today’s contest, we’re featuring two treatments that will be discussed in depth in “Hidden Friction: The 6 silent killers of conversion.” You can register and tune in today at 4:00 p.m. EDT to find out the conclusion to the test below.

 

What’s at stake this time?

This time we have a single prize for a single winner: a 2011 B2B Summit Training DVD ($299 value) with more than six hours of B2B Summit training footage. [Note: The landing page for that DVD link is for a DVD and Benchmark Report bundle. This contest is for the DVD alone.] All you need to do to enter the contest is leave a comment on this blog post stating two things:

  1. Which treatment you think won
  2. Why you think it won

The winner will receive a copy of the B2B Summit DVD and be featured on the blog as the marketing expert he or she truly is!

Now that housekeeping is out of the way, here’s the test:

(To view the slides in full screen mode, simply click the 4-arrow square in the bottom right corner of the SlideShare window)

View more presentations from MarketingExperiments

Which landing page generated a higher sign up rate?

One of these landing pages out-performed the other with a higher sign-up rate. Tell us which treatment performed better and why in the comments for your chance to win a B2B Summit DVD. The deadline for this contest is today at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Related:  4 Lessons About B2B Inbound Marketing from a Sunday Morning in the Coffee Shop

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to all of our commenters! This might be one of the first times every commenter predicted the correct treatment.

In the actual test, the treatment out-performed the control in lead rate by 19.6%. If you would like to view the slides from yesterday’s presentation, they are now available on Slideshare.

As far as winning the contest, it was a close call. Almost everyone mentioned something that was likely a contributor to the increase in conversion. But the editorial team decided on giving the official prize to D Bnonn Tennant for his particularly keen insight into eye-path, specificity, and copy problems of BOTH the control and treatment and still choosing the treatment in spite of all those problems.

Thank you again to all who commented!

Related Resources:

Hidden Friction: The 6 silent killers of conversion – Free Web clinic Today, March 14, 2012 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT

Silent Conversion Killers: Your peers share elements that are hurting your marketing performance right now

Friction: 3 simple optimization tactics to get more customers from headline to call-to-action

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18 Comments

  1. Neil Asher says

    Hi guys,

    I’ve learnt so much by being a subscriber so first up a big thank you for the great info.

    I’d say your treatment page is going to crush it, the text on the page sways it more than the layout, telling people what to do, giving them the benefits of doing it and compelling call to action.

    I think this will make all the difference over the control.

    Either way the info is great and I have some new ideas for my own split tests

    Neil

  2. Niall Mackenzie says

    I’m going to go with the treatment.

    The design of the treatment looks a little more credible than the control. The control looks spammy and poorly put together to me. It’s the kind of look that makes me think I’ll be receiving unwanted emails from this company from this day forth. I tend to run a mile from pages that position their logo on the right hand side. The image on the control is also breaking the left margin, another design no-no.

    ‘Apply with *company* and…’ The word ‘apply’ bothers me. What am I applying for? It also implies there’s going to be additional steps to take. I don’t particularly like ‘Join *company* for FREE’ either however, the message is more clear.

    Although the clarity of the treatment could be vastly improved, it at least goes some way to explaining that I’m going to be taking part in a survey in return for the chance to win the holiday. The only mention of the survey on the control is the disjointed ‘Take part in surveys’ section at the bottom. This section is confusing, out of place, and detracts from the main purpose of the page.

    ‘You only have to do two things’ reassures me of the simple steps involved. The ‘apply before’ date adds a sense of urgency compared with the control. This one feature alone should have a positive impact on signups.

  3. Gail Gardner says

    The treatment shown on slide four should outperform the control for these reasons:
    1) The control has too many call to actions on it. Viewers don’t know whether to fill in the form and click “Apply Now” or pick one of the three numbered options at the bottom.
    2) The control also says “Take part in __________ surveys” which implies there may be more required of entrants – a good reason to take a pass on entering at all because it might be a scam or some “make money by taking surveys” nonsense.
    3) The treatment has a much more prominent title that is more likely to be noticed and is clear about the benefits of reading on: “Win a trip to your favorite destination.”
    4) The treatment makes it clear “you only have to do TWO things and tells you what they are in an unambiguous way.

    Some of us can’t “tune in today at 4:00 p.m. EDT to find out the conclusion to the test below” because you are using GoToWebinar that STILL does not support Linux. I’ve been asking GoToMeeting WHEN they would add support for more years now than I can remember and as recently as last week they answered me on Twitter that they still plan to “soon”.

    The reason I had to ask them on Twitter is because their support system requires you to download a Windows program to ask a question – which of course I could not do even it I wanted to unless I wanted to go buy a computer that has Windows on it – and amazingly they are actually selling that support system. There’s something I don’t even need to test to know that many are NOT going to download and install something to ask about your company.

    While GoToWebinar was once state of the art and downloading and installing it was apparently necessary, today there are excellent alternatives that are OS neutral and work in browsers. Mary O’Brien researched them and recommended @ReadyTalk to me some time ago and more recently I’ve been using http://Join.me as a quick painless screen sharing option.

    While your existing base of traditional corporate types and early adopters most likely use GoToWebinar, you could be reaching those of us who choose to use Linux and many new users who should not have to download and install something to watch a Webinar.

    1. Daniel Burstein says

      Gail,
      I use Ubuntu at home, so I feel your pain.

      It is not ideal, but you can follow along with the conversation, and ask questions and make comments to your peers, through #webclinic on Twitter for today’s Web clinic at 4 p.m. EDT. We’ll also try to get someone from GoToWebinar to respond to your question to see if they have a way to watch the Web clinic on Linux.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. D Bnonn Tennant says

    Unlike the previous commenters, I’m not convinced the treatment is the winner.

    The treatment’s eyepath is lousy. Readers have to choose between reading the left or right column first. The natural inclination is to read the right column, which leads to the bottom of the page — so there’s friction in coming back up into the red box. It’s going the wrong way (bottom to top).

    There’s also the fact that the treatment has its headline in inverted text superimposed over an image — both techniques which, even alone, massively reduce readership.

    However, there are clear problems with the control as well. Although all the text is in a single column, the copy is much poorer. The lack of specificity could well be the deciding factor — the treatment’s headline is far more compelling (concrete value, “your choice” etc).

    There’s also the fact that the left-hand image draws the eye straight down the page into what look like quite unrelated numbered options. Potentially bypassing the signup form altogether.

    I’m going to pick the treatment for the headline (should have the greatest effect on conversions), improved copy, and reduced distractions. But I’m not going to be surprised if this is a surprise underdog win.

  5. Jason says

    I’m going to say the treatment will perform better. I see the treatment has a clearer definition of what it is about and looks more credible. The control looks like a cut and paste and possibly a scam.

  6. Paul Cheney says

    Great comments guys! Keep it up. Deadline for contest entries is today at 4:00 pm Eastern.

  7. Glenn Dobson says

    @Gail Gardner
    Hi, I work for Citrix and wanted to let you know that we are working on a solution currently that will allow Linux users to join GoToMeetings and GoToWebinars. Our plan is to release it this year but I do not have an ETA I can share with you right now. If you have access to an iPhone, iPad or Android device, we do have free Apps available that you can install and use to join also.

    Thanks,

    Glenn Dobson , Community Leader & Social Media
    Citrix Online Division

  8. Tanith says

    I would say Treatment for the simple reason that it looks a whole lot simpler than the control. The treatment outlines that’s there’s only two steps, while the control has the 3 steps along the bottom that on first glance make it appear that you have to share with your friends, and then choose a charity — huh? In the Treatment, you just have to fill out a survey.

    I’d also agree with Gail that the “Apply Now” on both versions could be better. If you’re doing this to win the trip, it would make more since to have the button say “Enter Now” or “Join Now to Enter” or something to that effect.

  9. Dave K says

    I think the treatment will win. I think the site flows better with a clearer call to action. You only have to do two things – fill out the form and wait. The control has three things along the bottom that can confuse.

  10. Gail Gardner says

    @Daniel Burstein Hi Daniel, I didn’t see your comment in time to tune in and I’ve just been swamped lately. Thanks for asking Citrix to weigh in. I’ll reply to his response, too.

    I wonder if it would be possible to use Join.me to share what you’re doing in GoToWebinar? I have only used it one-on-one so far so I don’t know enough about it to know if that is feasible or not.

    1. Daniel Burstein says

      Gail,
      Sorry, I don’t think that would be possible. While I’d like to help you in any way I can, we have a very technically complex set up and adding one more piece of technology to the mix would only increase the chance for something to go wrong. But here are a few thoughts…

      It looks like Join.Me would work in a peer-to-peer way, that is, ask someone else who is turned in to a MarketingExperiments Web clinic to use it and share with you. Perhaps you could ask in the MarketingExperiments Optimization Group on LinkedIn.

      You can always watch the video replay. You can be notified for when this Web clinic video replay is available by subscribing to the MarketingExperiments email list. Here is an example of a previous Web clinic video replay — Minor Changes, Major Lifts: How headline and call-to-action optimization increased conversion 45%

      While you wait for us to edit the video, you can view the slides from yesterday’s Web clinic on SlideShare — Hidden Friction:The 6 silent killers of conversion

  11. Gail Gardner says

    @Glenn Dobson Hi Glenn, Thanks for replying. I spend so much time on the Internet that I don’t have any need for any mobile devices any more. Where I drove 50,000+ miles a year for 23 years for IBM and had one of the first Motorola handheld transmitting devices in 1984, today I don’t even own a vehicle because I was only using it once a month or so.

    I wonder if it would be possible to use Join.me to let Linux users view what is going on during a GoToWebinar? It might be worth investigating. They might be open to a mutually beneficial joint solution.

  12. Gail Gardner says

    @Tanith Hi Tanith While I agree that Apply is the wrong word to use here and wish it had been me who pointed that out, that honor goes to Niall Mackenzie who commented just above me. I just didn’t want to be claiming credit for what Niall mentioned and I did not.

    Specific word choices – especially on call to actions – are critical and if I had a dime for every time I convinced an ecommerce store to change Buy Now to Add to Cart…. or more recently asking UBL to change Buy Now to Start Process because you aren’t even about to buy anything…

  13. Chris Allsop says

    I think the treatment will win for the following reasons:
    The headline is larger, and easier to see
    “Favorite destination” is more attractive and exciting than “favorite city”
    The subtitle highlights benefits that are buried in the control
    “Join” vs. “Apply” in the subtitle is an more attractive to visitors because its easier to do!
    “…for Free” in the subtitle removes worries about cost
    “Win 1,100” in red stands out, and is another way of telling people what they’ll get
    “Trip of your choice” is a better benefit than “a city trip”
    The paragraph restates benefits in another way
    “You can win prizes everyday…” is another benefit now highlighted – every day is far better than one chance
    “…just by sharing your thoughts and opinions…’ clarifies what people have to do – and removes doubt
    “This is clarified again in the “You only have to do 2 things”
    The deadline adds urgency
    Point #2 tells people what to do next
    The larger CTA tells people what to do next
    Removing the 3 points across the bottom keeps people from being distracted from the main action you want them to take

    There’s probably more, but that’s it for me!

  14. Paul Cheney says

    Thanks to all the commenters! See the update above in the body of the post for the results of the contest.

  15. Gail Gardner says

    @Daniel Burstein Thanks Daniel. I didn’t mean I wanted you to do something just so I could be there. I was thinking more along the lines that it might be way to get others on board IF that could be done feasibly. I’ll watch for the link to the video and make sure I’m on that list – I know I am on at least one of your lists.

    It appears your blog is on WordPress so I’m curious why you chose to set up replies here the way you do instead of turning on threaded comments which has been available as a default for some time. Since I know how sharp you are I’m wondering if there is some advantage I don’t know about to your choosing this method over having replies appear immediately under the person you’re reply to they way they do in my blog and most of the blogs I actively comment in.

    1. Daniel Burstein says

      Gail,
      I wish I had a better answer, but we’ve simply overlooked the feature you suggest. That’s why I appreciate the community we’re building together, and readers like you, you keep us at the top of our game.

      As a growing organization (that’s right… we’re hiring)… our opportunities are immense but our resources are limited (it is hard to find good people), so we follow the Optimization Sequence. We have some massive internal optimization projects going on right now, but look at the blog as a channel, so it’s a little lower down the list.

      That said, your suggestion is a good one, and I’m adding it to the queue. If you want feedback on that specific feature, I talked to our WordPress guru — Paul Cheney — and he said the only possible downside he could see is that it gives the spammy types, you know who they are, a chance to boost themselves to the top of a long comment string. But, a worthwhile feature, for sure.

      Thanks Gail.

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