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


In our July 21st Web clinic, Live Optimization: What we’ve learned from the last 200 experiments distilled into three basic principles – plus live-optimization examples, Flint McGlaughlin and the MarketingExperiments team will spend a full 45 minutes optimizing audience submissions to help you identify changes you can make today, based on our research, to improve conversion.

Send us your pages for a chance at free optimization advice during that Web clinic, or right here on the blog. Thanks to Verizon for submitting this landing page for optimization.

Upon given Verizon’s landing page to optimize, I first had to think like the customer. Purchasing telecommunications isn’t something most people do every day, they just tend to set it and forget it. So journey back with me, if you will, to the last time I made this purchasing decision…

Who’s shopping for big changes?

When it comes to entertainment, it’s an essential in my house. That means when I moved in, I made a decision, and fast, on the company I was going to go with. And I ended up picking the company that I could trust to get my system running fast, and keep it that way – the cable company.

There was only one time I can vaguely remember wanting to switch away from the cable company and it was because of a big a customer service issue relating to price. But I was tied down –phone, Internet and TV. So how far was I willing to go to change all of that? When would it become worth it?

I did some shopping around and came across a few decent price offers. But after my research, I decided that I couldn’t find the same quality for the price I was getting and decided to not change at all.

Have you had a similar shopping experience?

If so, then Verizon’s landing page probably wouldn’t convince you to change either. At a glance it makes one of the biggest mistakes any landing page can do: it leaves me asking more questions.

verizon[click to enlarge]

What in the world is FiOS, anyway?

After a few clicks, I learned that FiOS is a fancy acronym for Verizon’s FiberOptic network. Immediately I question the quality of the TV, the quality of the internet, and even the Worry-Free Guarantee – just because I don’t understand what FiOS stands for.

This page should either immediately define FiOS in the copy or a large header (if it truly adds value) or completely drop the acronym and lean on the brand itself. If thousands of people are waiting for the iPhone to land on Verizon just because of their reputation for reliability (including my wife who refuses to give up her service for a better phone), then why not use that brand recognition to help bring people into the residential part of their business as well (even if they are completely unrelated)? Especially if the fiber-optic network quality is just as reputable.

If I were testing this page, I would definitely have one treatment playing up the value of the futuristic fiber-optic network and another treatment leaning completely on the Verizon brand. The key question is this: which focus answers customers’ concerns about quality and reliability more effectively?

Price alone here is not enough

The main reason I chose the cable company in the first place is because I could trust them to get the installation and service right. If the price was competitive, then the choice was easy. When that price significantly changed and they did nothing about, I wanted to find the same service for around the same price I was used to.

If this is the case for a significant number of visitors coming to this page, then the headline and subheadline needs a new focus. They should immediately translate to me as (don’t copy this word for word):

“The quality/reliability you demand for these three products at a competitive price.”

When I did some shopping around, it looked like Verizon Residential was only winning by about $10 per month. The cost benefit compared to the cable company could build up over time, but it’s not the kind of difference that’s going to motivate me to completely change everything and risk losing my service for a day or two while I’m trying to switch (especially to a completely different kind of network and installation).

Support your focus

Depending on how you convince customers that you are just as reliable as the guy they are trying to leave (whether the winner of the testing is the “brand” treatment or “FiOS” treatment), it needs to reflect consistently across the bottom headers and supporting copy. Verizon’s “About FiOS” page does this much better, as it ties in the quality benefit into each product header (i.e. “The fastest Internet in the U.S., the best TV Experience”).

Also, the current call to action doesn’t mean anything to me. What I want is to know if this is real and is worth my time. Make the call to action match that expectation.

Don’t make visitors work harder

Visitors looking to switch are already working hard to find comparable quality and price and the rest of the competitive world is asking for their information on this offer page. Why should visitors of the Verizon site have to make an extra click, and then decide if they want to put in their information for a service quote? On top of that, there is no value surrounding the next page form – just an information request. Make “the ask” when it makes sense – in this case, on the page where you are making the sell.

In Summary: Match visitor motivation

The best opportunities on this landing page are not necessarily the incremental layout, copy or image adjustments, but in re-writing the page to clearly answer questions that visitors are coming in with (and produce a whole new set of questions in their heads):

  • Is the service reliable and responsive?
  • Is the price competitive?
  • Is it enough to convince me to look into the process of changing everything I already have?

If you can clearly and quickly address those questions, then you might have yourself a significant increase in online leads and possibly orders.

Related Resources

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

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

Become a Certified Professional in Landing Page Optimization

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