At our March 11 clinic, Surprise Winners: How “wild card” tests achieved gains up to 86%, the MarketingExperiments team elaborated on a theory of change as it applies to landing page optimization.
Journalist Alfred Edward Perlman wrote about the necessity of change: “After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.”
Our team works on shorter deadlines, but our approach to change is similar: for growth to happen, change must come, whether in life or in landing page optimization. In landing page optimization, improvements can come in two ways, either by baby steps — fine-tuning landing pages by changing single page elements slightly — or by radically redesigning the appearance of a page, or even the presentation of an offer.
At the end of our Surprise Winners clinic, the team put theory into practice by quickly reviewing a handful of audience-submitted landing pages. The focus was on trying to improve the pages in their current categories by providing suggestions for improvements through incremental changes and radical redesigns.
Participant page: Goldline International
The purpose of this page is to get people to call the 1-800 number or complete a sign-up form requesting a contact from a salesperson.
Jimmy Ellis: For incremental changes, I’d revise the headline so that it included a clearer value proposition. The intro copy has enough information but could be transformed into three to five bullets that are easier to scan. In addition, I’d revise the layout so that the content on the page flowed more easily for users. I don’t think you need both the image of the coin and the animated graphic — the two images together are too much distraction for viewers. It is simply not clear why, if I am going to invest in gold coins, I should choose Goldline to do so.
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin: The major mistake this page is making is that it has two evenly weighted columns. Landing pages are conversations that flow in sequence. People don’t want to have to skip all over the page to find the information that they need. Evenly weighting your columns is providing people with only random conversations, like making them work an entire party just to find a single piece of information. What you want to do is experience the conversation in your mind in a vertical fashion. One of your two columns should be the main column and the other column should be there only to support the main one.
Aaron Rosenthal: To follow up, I’d like to ask: what’s the motivation for someone trying to call this number? Is it about purchasing gold coins or is the main call to action the free investor kit? If the purpose of the call is not to get someone to buy, but only to build relationship through the free kit, then the free kit needs to have a value proposition of its own. The start of a radical redesign is to make that free kit the primary focus of your page.
A second radical redesign is going to be taking down the lead on this page. Don’t ask them to call just yet. Get them to tell you where to send their free kit and then you can make the outbound call to them to begin to establish the relationship. For your first radical test, present the free kit as your primary offer. For the second redesign, I’d collect the lead for the page and allow your salespeople to make the follow up calls.
All three presenters focused on the idea that the most productive changes to this page would be ones that brought it closer to its true goal of relationship-building.
In your optimization efforts, one way to judge the effectiveness of any change is whether or not it brings you closer to your goal of communicating clearly and effectively with your customers.
Audience: What do you think? Use the comments field to post your suggestions for this landing page, agree/disagree with our assessment, and let the Goldline folks know what you would do.