The long-scrolling flat style landing page is all the rage this year. This style of landing page suffers from some problems, however.

  • Large background images slow load time.
  • Information is presented in small bites. Sometimes more copy is needed.
  • Banded sections often look like the bottom of the page, reducing scrolling.

With the right approach, you can make these pages high-converting landing pages. Here’s how.

In my recent CrazyEgg Webinar How to Reverse-Engineer a High-Conversion Landing Page, I reviewed twelve landing pages using my “backward landing page” framework.

One stood out.

Here’s an excerpt of that presentation featuring the Body Language for Entrepreneurs landing page from Udemy.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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Nail the Top of the Landing Page

The purpose of the top of the page is to give the visitor reasons to explore the rest of the page. It’s the headline, the offer and the hook for the page.

Include all Supporting Components

Five components and one contaminant to avoid in a landing page.

Five components and one contaminant to avoid in a landing page.

There are five basic components – Offer, Form, Proof, Trust and Image – and one contaminant to avoid (Abandon) in a landing page, which I outline in the CrazyEgg video.

The Body Language for Entrepreneurs includes all of them at the top, with no opportunities to abandon, such as social media icons, site navigation, or search.

Offer

Your offer is the promise and pricing that this page provides a visitor. A complete offer is perhaps the most critical element of the landing page equation.
image

image

Form

The landing page should quickly make it clear that the visitor can take action to get closer to solving their problem. The form should have a way to act and an effective call to action.

The call to action should answer the question, “What will happen if I complete the form and click the button?”
image

Proof

Support the claims made in your value proposition with proof.
image

Trust

Building trust builds credibility and authority. Your logo plays a role on a landing page: a trust-building role.
Often symbols can be used to borrow trust from other entities. This is what Body Language for Entrepreneurs did.
image
image

Image

A lot of space was dedicated to red buildings in this theme.

A lot of space was dedicated to red buildings in this theme.

If you’re going to slow the load speed of your landing page with a big background image, you better make it count. Designers like to use stylish backgrounds for effect. That’s fine, but not on a landing page.

Images should advance the value proposition. In the Body Language for Entrepreneurs landing page, they show the presenter. That’s relevant. Will I enjoy spending five hours with this person? Do they look credible? It’s all answered with the background image?

Nail the top of the landing page for incredible results.

Furthermore, they use video, which is image at 30 frames per second. Consider video if you don’t have an effective image that explains your value proposition.

Abandon

There is only one link in the upper area of the Body Language for Entrepreneurs page. It lets the visitor see all of the 56 reviews in the Proof section.

It actually doesn’t qualify as Abandon because it opens in a popover window. The visitor never leaves the page. Very smart.
The Udemy logo is NOT linked. Very smart.

Keep the visitors you paid good money to acquire. Don’t send them elsewhere or they will be gone forever.

Does This Design Really Work?

I asked Adam Treister, Growth Marketing Manager at Udemy to tell me how he arrived at this design and how this page was performing for him.

It was no accident.

Adam documents the process in his excellent Udemy course User Experience Design: The Accelerated UX Course.

The original page looked like this:

The original Udemy landing page for ad traffic

The original Udemy landing page for ad traffic.

After several iterations using UserTesting.com, VerifyApp.com, Google Consumer Surveys, and CrazyEgg, they tested the profile photo using PickFu.com. Finally, Adam’s team did a split test using Optimizely.

How did this process work for them? They saw a 246% increase in clicks with the new page. That’s not a typo.

Why This Might Not Work on Your Landing Pages

Every audience is different. They have different goals, needs for information, and are coming on a variety of different platforms. Images and words are powerful

The best way to ensure that your landing page works is to test the components: Offer, Form, Proof, Trust, and Image.

If your landing page is generating at least 150 transactions a month, Conversion Sciences will provide the complete testing team to find the highest-converting combination. Get a complete testing team for the price of a part-time employee.

Request a consultation and we’ll let you know how to make your landing pages surprise you.
Brian Massey

As a scientist, I’m obsessed with data in every aspect of my life. I calculate wait times in lines based on number of customers and speed of the checkout clerk. I check multiple spreadsheets and websites to optimize cash back rewards and airline points before purchasing anything.
So when I decided it was time to look for a lab coat that matches mine, joining an online dating site with plenty of data points was the perfect choice for me.

My Online Dating Profile: The Most Romantic of Landing Pages

An online dating profile is essentially a lead generation landing page, so it’s the perfect platform to create an optimization project that’s entertaining to read about as well as fairly practical for me: a single woman looking for a dating partner.

[dating-series]

Before we can attract the ideal date (or customer), we need to know how to measure “ideal”. Most of our visitors won’t be the ideal. We need to have a good understanding of our base qualifications and the deal-breakers that mark a visitor as outside our target market.
One of the most difficult questions a business can answer is, “Who do I not want to focus on?” or, “Who am I willing to let go of to better serve my best prospects?” If we try to speak to everyone with our value proposition, it gets watered down so much that we don’t engage any visitors effectively.
This is essential for efficiency in time and cost of acquisition. [pullquote]You don’t want your sales staff spending hours with leads that will never be customers.[/pullquote]
And I don’t want to spend hours with men that will never be a good date for me.
With this in mind, I’m putting aside the idea of a “match” in favor of looking for “leads”. However, not everyone is a good “lead” for me.
For this experiment to work I needed to be armed with a list of traits that could easily be spotted from a dating profile or early interaction, and a site with a lot of data points to examine.
I chose the free site okcupid because it has a large user base in my target market (Austin, TX) and uses both quantitative and qualitative data points which will make sussing out a qualified lead much easier.
With all this data at my fingertips, the job I have before me is to put together a rating system that will allow me to quantitatively judge what is a fairly subjective task.
But how do I do that?

The (Quite Literal) Formula for Love

For a dating landing page, I need to be able to numerically rate a lead – someone who messages me – instead of using my intuition, and I need to be able to gauge whether I’m attracting the kind of person I want to spend time with. Otherwise, I’m just congratulating myself on receiving mountains of messages with no regard to quality.
We experience the same challenges on landing pages. Our conversion rate tells us how many visitors respond to an offer, but we need another way to determine whether or not our page is engaging qualified prospects: quantity and quality.
Fortunately, my work as a data-driven analyst has prepared me for the task… I hope.
For my lead rating system, I will rate the profile based on observable evidence in his profile and initial message.
I’ve organized my rating system into three different levels:

        

  • Free of deal-breaker traits (db) rated as a 0 or 1
  •     

  • Traits that are of importance to me (ti) rated on a scale from 0 to 1
  •     

  • Traits that are of critical importance to me (tomg) rated on a scale from 0 to 1
    Note: this is weighted more heavily in our formula

It all boils down to this First Date Probability formula:
P(first date) = db x (∑ti x 2∑tomg)

Deal-Breakers

The deal-breaker variable is binary. If a curious courter has even one deal-breaker trait, his First Date Probability goes to zero.
In both the dating world and the business world, deal-breakers are pretty important. They quickly eliminate prospective paramours from the running early on. Businesses, however, don’t often incorporate these all-or-nothing deal-breakers in lead scoring algorithms.
What are the deal-breakers in your online business? We all want web prospects that have a problem you can solve, and who have the money to pay for it.
Common business deal breakers include:

        

  • Title: They don’t have the authority to make the decision.
  •     

  • Purchase Timeframe: They aren’t ready to buy in a reasonable time.
  •     

  • Location: We can’t service their city.
  •     

  • Language: We can’t communicate with them.
  •     

  • Budget: They can’t afford us.

At my company, we really can’t do scientific optimization unless a prospect gets 200 transactions or leads from the web in a month. For us, this is a deal-breaker.
Asking about deal breakers in your lead generating landing page forms is one way to let visitors know that they are in the wrong place. They won’t waste your time and you won’t waste theirs.
Deal-breakers for me include:

        

  • Younger than 25 or older than 45
  •     

  • Already in a relationship or not interested in monogamy
  •     

  • Living outside of Austin, Texas
  •     

  • Smokers

I would score these with a zero if I find them in his profile.
my dating landing page data
my dating landing page about me dataq
Finding evidence of my deal-breakers is pretty easy on okcupid as these are simple questions provided in a basic profile. Either you’re a smoker, or you’re not. Here are some of my answers, totally spelled out for me – 37, non-smoker, Strictly Monogamous, Lives in Austin, Texas.
Non-smoker
Evidence of monogamy
If a lurking Lothario contacts me who is prison-bound for living out the storyline of Psycho, I will say “no” to a date and consider none of the other attributes. If these items are present, the inquirer receives an appropriate rating of 0.
For our experiment, anyone who contacts me outside of this range will still be considered a lead, but they’ll just be an unqualified lead. In business, these are the folks we just can’t help. They might get a short, polite email or a referral to a more suitable business.

Important Traits (ti)

This next group of traits aren’t deal-breakers. I’m willing to make compromises here, though they’re still important.
In my formula, I will find a value for important traits (ti) by finding the sum of rated items.  Some items will get a negative rating, meaning a score of one will be subtracted from the total.

        

  • Negative Rating: If there is a religious mismatch, a prospective Romeo will get a negative rating. It’s important that we have similar values.
  •     

  • College graduate – Tells me he values and respects education. And he can read. I’m most turned on by smarts, so someone with a well exercised brain is a must.
  •     

  • Adventurousness – Not afraid to try new kinds of foods, sky-diving, road trips — almost anything you couldn’t do in your cubicle.
  •     

  • Love of travel – Traveling is part of being adventurous, but it’s also a distinct part of my rating system. I have friends all over the country and would like to hear more about interesting places.
  •     

  • Appreciates dry/sarcastic humor – My sarcastic voice sounds a lot like my regular voice (bonus points for Joss Whedon fanboys and knowing where that line comes from)
  •     

  • Creative and appreciates art – Creative hobby a plus! (I dance, love the theater, paint and write – I want someone that can come with me to the theater or an art museum.)
  •     

  • Healthy/physically active lifestyle – It isn’t about body type; it’s about lifestyle. I’d love to find someone who will join me at the gym or go hiking with me.

You can that rating leads based on these traits isn’t going to be as straightforward as the deal-breakers, but it can still be pretty clear whether someone is stacking up well.
standardized questions
This snippet of standardized questions helps me get an idea of how this person feels about his religious beliefs.  It’s actually a two part question answered by choosing your answer from a drop down menu.  Part one is choosing the religion, and part two is where you choose the degree to which you follow the religion.
Dogs, food, and travel
This question is open-ended, but this guy still managed to cover one of my important traits and also a critically important trait by mentioning his dog.
It won’t always be easy to assign a value, however. Sometimes I’m going to have to look at the profile as a whole to make a decision.  This next profile gave me some mixed messages.
not into exercise
loves bike riding
When you answer standardized questions on okcupid, it will use your answers to rank you among other users of the site.  In the bar graph above, the midline represents the average okcupid user, so this person is much less into exercise than the average person.
But he has also indicated that he rides his bike often in his response to an open-ended question.  Since I’m looking for someone who lives a healthy lifestyle, maybe not exercising is ok. It could mean that he just really hates going to the gym, but he loves being an active person.

Critically Important Traits (tomg)

        

  • 27-37 years of age
  •     

  • Loves dogs – I own a giant dog named Remus and he’s here to stay.
  •     

  • Negative Rating: Negativity and pessimism.
  •     

  • Career oriented – My ideal match has his own career and professional direction because he’ll understand my own ambition, and we’ll be able to encourage and support each other.
  •     

  • Enjoys quiet evening at home – I love being downtown or out where the action is, but I need quiet and mellow to recharge and be my best.

Critically important traits
If this person contacted me, he would be a strong lead based on this small part of his profile.  Humor?  Check. Career oriented?  Check!  Education? Check.  There are many personality traits I’m looking for that I didn’t include in my rating system because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find solid evidence without meeting in person, but this guy is also demonstrating some strong elements of the Type A personality I really like.
Deciding whether someone is negative or pessimistic will be another item that requires looking at the big picture.  It’s one of those “know it when you see it” traits, but strong indicators are lists of unacceptable attributes in another person and making repeated comments about how past relationships have ended poorly.

Scoring Qualified Leads

So now what? We have a bunch of leads that aren’t obvious mismatches. How do we determine which ones to spend our time and energy on? Who will have the highest ROI?
For our experiment we’ll count a lead as anyone that initiates contact.  We’ll then rank our leads based on the following system:
Qualified lead: Scores a one on all deal-breakers (meaning there aren’t any deal-breakers I could find)
These are the profiles I’ll take time to look at and see if they’re worth spending time on.
Ideal candidate: Scores zero on all negative ratings and ones across the board other than that.  We can skip the screening portion and start lobbying hardcore.
Candidate Level 1: Scores in the top third of my formula.
I will devote time and energy talking to this person and getting to know him with an emphasis on setting up an in-person meeting sooner rather than later.
Candidate Level 2: Scores in the middle third of my formula.
I will respond to his message and ask leading questions.  He may have other qualifications that are not on the list that appeal to me, so he might be worth an in-person meeting.
Candidate Level 3: Scores in the bottom third of my formula.
These are the leads that are worth talking to if times are lean. If lead flow is up, and we’re swimming in qualified leads, these will fall to the bottom of the pile.  We’ll get to them if we have the time and resources to do so.
[sitepromo]

Case Study

To see how well my equation works on a real person, I’m putting it to the test.  The screenshots below are from a single profile.  He hasn’t messaged me, so he doesn’t count as a lead for my experiment, but he should be good practice for my rating system.
I’ve started with profile basics looking for deal breakers.
Age Location Data
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.22 AM
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.13.54 PM

Deal-Breaker Traits

        

  • Younger than 25 or older than 45: 1
  •     

  • Already in a relationship or not interested in monogamy: 1
  •     

  • Living outside of Austin, Texas: 1
  •     

  • Smokers: 1

He’s off to a good start, so now I’m moving on to look for important traits.  Some of them popped up in his profile basics.

Important Traits

        

  • Negative Rating – Religious mismatch: 1
  •     

  • College graduate: 1

He’s agnostic, and I’m Episcopalian.  We might be able to make it work, however, which is why this trait isn’t a deal breaker.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.59 AM

        

  • Adventurousness: 1
  •     

  • Love of travel: 1
  •     

  • Healthy/physically active lifestyle: 1

He describes himself as fit in his profile basics which made me think he probably leads a pretty healthy lifestyle, but this paragraph made me certain.
He also has a tone here that seems humorous when he says he runs for his own “feel goods”.  I wanted to give him a score of one based on that line, but it seemed like it would be based on fairly thin evidence.  His self-summary gave me more data to make me think a score of one is appropriate.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 12.00.21 PM

        

  • Appreciates dry/sarcastic humor: 1
  •     

  • Creative and appreciates art: 0

I looked for responses to questions about art, photos that could be in a museum, mentions of favorite artists, but I didn’t see anything artistic.
He didn’t nail all of my Important Traits in his profile, but I still found evidence of most of them.  Now for Critically Important Traits.

Critically Important Traits

        

  • 27-37 years of age: 1
  •     

  • Loves dogs: 1
  •     

  • Negative Rating – Negativity and pessimism: 0

I found his age and pet ownership status in his profile basics.
Of course I can’t prove the null hypothesis with negativity since I’m trying to figure out whether he isn’t a positive person, so it’s possible that he’s a pessimist.  That’s what makes this trait one of the more difficult ones to score – but there wasn’t enough evidence to give him anything other than a zero.
Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 11.59.41 AM

        

  • Career oriented: 1
  •     

  • Enjoys quiet evening at home: 1

If he wants to spend Friday night talking about business ideas, I can say with confidence that he’s a career oriented person.  Takeout, movies, and TV shows all sound like a solid night in to me.
Now I can plug in some numbers into my formula.
P(first date) = db x (∑ti x 2∑tomg)
db = 1
∑ti = 3
∑tomg = 4
P(first date) = 1 x (3 x 2(4))
P(first date) = 24
He is a candidate level one using my criteria.  Let’s hope he sends me a message!

Attracting Ideal Qualified Leads

It may turn out that people aren’t up front about something I thought they would be or that a particular flaw that bugs me turns out to be so common that I would be remiss to keep paying attention to it.  So I may need to make adjustments here and there in my description of an ideal lead.
The process of creating my rating system, however frustrating, was a good experience because knowing what I’m looking for is half the battle. I now know what I’m aiming for in my profile/landing page, and I can share things about myself more strategically.  I won’t be lying on my dating profile, so when I say I’m being strategic, I’m not changing who I am to meet someone – I’m simply emphasizing certain things about myself and not mentioning other things.
Best foot forward, right?  Your landing pages should do the same.  If you’re a family-oriented small business, but your ideal lead isn’t, why share that information?  It’s still important, of course, but it’s ok to withhold information that doesn’t get right to the point.
Now you know quite a lot about what I’m looking for, but you know relatively little about me personally.  To find out more, you know what to do: subscribe to my series!  You know you want to…

[dating-series]

Oli Gardner will make you blush when he rips your landing page copy from its safe HTML home and shows you what it says as a plain text file.
I got to thinking, what if we just pulled the images from your website? Would they be able to tell the story of your value proposition?

The Role of Images on a Web Page

Too many designers see images as a way to break up the copy on a web page. They use filler images, stock photos and silly graphs that have no meaning.
Images are a powerful way to convey your value proposition – the reason that a visitor should consider your offer. This is true for landing pages as well as your home page.
The impact on a landing page can be extreme.
Images draw the eye. When your visitors first arrive, these are the elements that get seen first as they scan the page. Images can immediately ask the first question your prospects have, “Am I in the right place to get what I’m looking for?”
Images should compliment, support and enhance the copy on the page. Any image that doesn’t move the value prop forward is hindering it.
Pull the images from your page and take a look.

The Image-only Version of Your Landing Page

If you were to pull just the images from your site, would they tell your story? Here are the images from a site offering information on annuities.

What does your landing page say in pictures?

What does your landing page say in pictures?


 
It starts off great. The main image has a stock model representing the target audience.
Adding text to an image makes it relevant to your message.

Adding text to an image makes it relevant to your message.


[pullquote]Adding text to an image is a simple way to give it power.[/pullquote] Furthermore, the model is looking at the information you want them to read. If a model is staring at the visitor, the visitor tends to focus more on the face, and less on the messages on the page.
This is essentially an in-image caption.

Captions Get Read

One of the most read portions of your landing pages is the caption. Unfortunately, most pages don’t use captions. Captions explain the image in more detail, moving the value proposition forward for the reader.
[pullquote position=”right”]Captions are a great place to repeat the offer on the page.[/pullquote]

The Caption Test

The best way to test to see if your captions are helpful is to ask a stranger to write a caption for it. How would our annuity page fare?

Graphics without meaningful information don't move your value proposition forward for the reader.

Graphics without meaningful information don’t move your value proposition forward for the reader.


Caption Test: “Get complex information about something.”
The heading for the copy next to this is, “What are the fees associated with an annuity?” This should be repeated as the caption.
The remaining images don’t do so well.
Is this a happy customer? An employee? We can tell the difference between a model and a real person.

Is this a happy customer? An employee? We can tell the difference between a model and a real person.


Caption Test: “I will meet attractive older men. Sooo handsome.”
The copy headline next to this image reads, “What if I need access to the principal in my annuity?” The answer may have made this handsome man smile, but the image really doesn’t support the point. This would not work as a caption.
Another lost opportunity to communicate something valuable.

Another lost opportunity to communicate something valuable.


Caption Test: “Time is running out for you and your little dog too!”
What are your images bringing to mind in your reader's mind?

What are your images bringing to mind in your reader’s mind?


The copy next to this image reads, “How long will I be able to receive income from my annuity?” This would work as a caption. But with the power that an image has for conveying a message, I think this page could do much better.
[sitepromo]

Images that Work

In general, your images should strive for the following characteristics.

Use real people when possible: employees, clients and spokespeople are great choices.

Use real employees, customers or spokespeople in your images.

Use real employees, customers or spokespeople in your images. This one needs a caption.

Use text on the image and as a caption to advance your value proposition.

Don’t be afraid to repeat offers in captions and on-image text.

This image makes great use of in-image text and an offer in the caption.

This image makes great use of in-image text and an offer in the caption.

Design images that support the copy on the page.

This image uses in-image messaging that supports the copy on the page.

This image uses in-image messaging that supports the copy on the page.

Direct the gaze of people in images to offers, forms or other important parts of the page.

This model is looking at the form, the most important part of this landing page.

This model is looking at the form, the most important part of this landing page.

For software products, choose screen shots that don’t make your product look intimidating.

Screen shots should focus on key features of your software offering.

Screen shots should focus on key features of your software offering.

Spend as Much Time on Your Images as Your Copy

Utlimately, if you spend as much time on your images as you do your copy, you will find creative ways to power conversions on your landing pages, home pages… all pages.
[signature]
Images courtesy ICIMS, Expert Market and TheStreet.com.

You can’t get into website optimization without it leaking into the rest of your life. You see the world differently. At Conversion Sciences, we obsess about optimization and the affect on our lives is interesting.
We tally the coffee orders of those in line ahead of us to help with your decision.
We leave the house at the EXACT same time each day when trying alternative commutes. Of course we use the stopwatch for accuracy.
We do a quick evaluation of the speed of the grocery store checkout people before choosing a line.
And we optimize our dating lives.
We see this as an opportunity to introduce landing page concepts to a broader audience. Lots of people get excited about optimizing their dating profile. Landing page optimization makes the accountant smile. Dating profile optimization makes the heart smile.  [pullquote]Basically, we are appealing to your base nature to help you make more money in your business.[/pullquote]
I would like to invite you into the world of optimization obsession by introducing you to a new series of blog posts coming your way:  Optimize My Dating Life.

[dating-series]

We asked Megan – one of our Conversion Scientists – to document an optimization project in which she applies everything she knows about increasing conversion rates to her online dating profile. Ultimately, a dating profile is nothing more than a lead-generating landing page, so it’s just waiting to be optimized.

How is an Online Dating Profile a Lead-Generating Landing Page?

A dating profile certainly serves a specific purpose.  You know what that purpose is, but do the people who visit your profile?  You’ve undoubtedly heard horror stories at happy hours from your single friends, or maybe you have a few stories of your own. Misunderstandings occurring as a result of a miscommunication on a dating profile.
For a time, my profile listed my favorite book as Batman: the Dark Knight Returns. I came to understand this was an error in judgment on my part. I went on dates with four different people who assumed I would be able to keep up in a conversation discussing the history of the Marvel (or is it DC?) universe.  Just to clarify: I couldn’t keep up.
Maybe you’ve created a landing page for an expensive giveaway only to receive a bafflingly low quality and quantity of leads.  Were you really communicating what you thought you were?
Previous research has determined that it all comes down to the picture. These studies were only measuring inquiries, the number of people who try to connect. We want to go deeper. We want to judge the quality of the connections.

Megan Hoover

Look at her, she’s adorbs. Who wouldn’t want to date that face?


Looks aren’t everything, right?  Well, the right images are important — on your dating profile and on your landing pages.
We’ll be testing other important components of dating landing pages: trust builders, proof points and offers.
Yes, I said, “offers”. Will the right offer on a dating landing page make the difference? We can’t wait to find out.
Finally, we want to measure the quality of our “leads”. You’ve probably been on dates with people you chose because of their level of attractiveness only to find out they’re as interesting as elevator music. You’ve probably been approached by someone who saw your lovely little mug and that person wanted to ask you on a date without knowing anything about how smart and cool and interesting you are.
And you’ve probably visited a landing page with a design that was absolutely beautiful.  A work of art.  But for the life of you, couldn’t figure out what you were being asked to do.

[dating-series]

What Are We Studying?

We will be attempting to make our little project as scientific as possible so that you will be better able to incorporate our successes (and avoid our failures) in your own landing pages.
Megan will be creating a few different dating profiles, and we will attempt to isolate the actual written content of her profile and her user pictures.

Example of a free-form question where answers could change

Example of a free-form question where answers could change across profiles and over the course of the project


okcupid tries to match people based on a series of questions, what each person is seeking by using the service, and location, and we will be keeping all of this information the same across all of the profiles so that she has a greater chance of showing up in the same searches for the same people.
Example of what will be a control across all profiles

Example of information that will be a control across all profiles


Example of what will be a control across all profiles

Example of information that will be a control across all profiles


Example of a potential okcupid question that will be a control across all profiles

Example of a potential okcupid question that will be a control across all profiles


Because lead-generation is the end goal, we will be measuring the quality and quantity of leads received on each of her profiles.  Megan’s first task will be to create a quality matrix that will allow her to rate each of her leads and avoid relying on how physically attractive they are.  So we’ll be looking at Megan’s own profile and making changes to increase the number of quality leads she receives, but we’ll also be looking at the potential leads’ profiles and rating them.
What’s a lead?  Men who message her are her leads; conversions will be securing dates with said leads.
Will Megan rate leads higher when they mention their families?  How will musicians fare?  Are vegetarians a hard-pass?  Be sure to read her next post to find out!
[sitepromo]

Use Our Love Lessons Learned to Build the Landing Page of Your Dreams

We’ll be writing posts as the project progresses. We really have no idea how things are going to turn out: will Megan find Mr. Right?  Who knows, but we might as well make the search interesting.
As for your landing pages, generating leads is a bit more of a science than finding the love of your life, and for that reason, there’s a lot you can learn from dating profiles to help improve your landing page.
So here we go…we’ll keep you posted.
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We spend our days (and many nights) deciding what could be changed website to increase revenue and leads. Based on our successes, I’d say we’ve gotten pretty good.
There are five kinds of things we look at when we are planning website tests. Are these issues on your site?

  1. Value Proposition and Messaging
  2. Credibility and Authority
  3. User eXperience and Layout
  4. Social Proof
  5. Risk Reversal

I offer explanations and examples in this video taken from my CTA Conference presentation, “How to Optimize the Crap Out Of Your Lead Gen Landing Pages.”
Click the image to watch.

Brian Massey at Call to Action Conference

Click to watch Brian Massey at Call to Action Conference


 
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What is The Conversion Scientist reading this week?

Neuromarketing – A Simple Hack That Makes You MUCH More Persuasive

If you love the science of persuasion like we do, you should definitely be following my friend Roger Dooley’s blog.
Here’s a great example of how he uses research to deliver actionable advice to marketers and business owners like us.
read more
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Perfect Landing Page Webinar · Formstack

This is a great overview of Landing Page best practices complete with examples. You’ll find a lot in common with our
Chemstry of the Landing Page

    presentation.

    1. Headlines and Ad Copy
    2. Clear and Concise Headlines
    3. Impeccable Grammar
    4. Trust indicators
    5. Call to Action
    6. Buttons
    7. Lose the Links
    8. Visuals (images)
    9. Above the Fold
    10. Always be testing

read more

Landing Page Examples: Untapped Secrets and Sources

We just can’t get enough info on landing pages. We love them.
This article helps you design landing pages for three kinds of visitors:

      1. Cold visitors (no they don’t live up north)
      2. Warm visitors (not necessarily friendly)
      3. Hot visitors (don’t necessarily got it goin’ on)

How do you address these different visitors? Read on.
read more
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The folks at SEMRush hosted The Conversion Scientist for an entertaining hour on how to design search landing pages.
It was fun and educational, and if you missed it you can see the entire thing right here.

Hosted by SEMRush’s David Black, we covered the key components of a landing page that supports search traffic.

Two Jobs of a Search Landing Page

There are two jobs of a landing page that supports traffic from search ads:

  1. Keep the promise made in the search ad.
  2. Get the visitor to make a choice.

Thus, a search landing page must be tailored for the ad that is driving the traffic.
If you don’t know the promise that is driving traffic to the page you are creating, then you are not building a landing page. You’re building something else.
If your page needs anything other than content to make a visitor want to make a choice and take action, you’re probably not building a landing page. Each landing page needs all of five components.

Offer

Keeps the promise and gives the visitor a reason to act.

Form

Provides a way for the visitor to take action, in their interest and in yours.

Trust

A catalyst that helps the visitor feel comfortable and confident taking action.

Proof

Another catalyst that supports the offer and the entire value proposition.

Image

Helps the visitor imagine themselves taking action on the site by “seening” the product.
When you combine all of these elements together, you get a high-converting search landing page that is ready to be testing to improve performance even more.

Free Search Landing Page ROI Checklist.

Download your free Landing Page ROI Checklist.

Get your free Landing Page ROI Checklist

  • Twelve page checklist based on Brian Massey’s Chemistry of High-Converting Landing Pages Webinar.
  • Makes the creation of landing pages fast and easy.
  • Offers proven and tested ways to make your landing pages work.
  • Only available from
    Conversion Sciences

Download

 

The most important part of your website is your value proposition. Find out how to communicate it in words and images.

Too often, we confuse our tag line with our value proposition.
For a website, the value proposition is the critical message that asks a visitor to explore further and to purchase.
Famous value propositions include Zappos’ “365 day return policy and we pay shipping both ways.” Warby Parker offers “Order up to 5 of our vintage-style sunglasses. Keep the ones you like and send the others back at our expense.” These sound like expensive value propositions.
Yours doesn’t have to be.
No matter how simple or complex, your value proposition should be communicated clearly in the words and images on your website. Most value propositions can’t be communicated in a sentence or two.
Let’s see how one company communicates its value proposition in words and images.

iMagnetMount.com Value Proposition

I’m not going to tell you what iMagnetMount does. Let’s discover it from their home page, which acts as a landing page.
The value proposition for iMagnetMount is simple:

The “Hero Shot” should tell visitors that they are in the right place.

The “Hero Shot” should tell visitors that they are in the right place.


“We make a phone mount for your car.”
If I didn’t read the text, I wouldn’t really know what this is. The headline tries to be cute, but has the magic words, “Phone Mount.”
If we scroll we get the next part of the value prop pretty easily from an auto-play hero video.
If your product is easily demonstrated, consider using video.

If your product is easily demonstrated, consider using video.


BAM! I get it. Viscerally. Nothing fancy. No catchy music. I don’t even have to read the text.
It’s solid. It’s easy. It works on the dash or on the windshield.
This is the value of having a demonstrable product. If you have a demonstrable product, use video. To demonstrate.
If anything, I would have put this at the top of the page.

Objections: What’s missing from your Value Proposition

As potential customers, what we haven’t been told will quickly gel into objections. Objection questions begin with “What if I…?” and “Will it…?” and “How can it…?”
However, these questions aren’t asked on a web page. They must be anticipated.
It’s apparent that iMagnetMount believes to be the first objection to be, “Can I trust you?” Trust symbols are seen in two places on the page.

Logos can increase "borrow" trust from better-known brands.

Logos can increase “borrow” trust from better-known brands.


 
Be careful introducing objections with little proof to overcome them.

Be careful introducing objections with little proof to overcome them.


Objections are funny things, though. If you address the right  concern, you move the prospect closer to buying. If you raise the wrong one, you create a new objection.
Here, iMagnetMount introduces an objection, “Magnets might hurt my phone” by stating that there is “No Magnetic Disruption To Their Phone.” The objection is addressed with some social proof, so the objection is raised and addressed.
If you raise an objection, handle it quickly.
What is the next thing we should learn about this “phone-destroying” product?

More Demonstration

Next is a video with a marquee frame showing the phone turned horizontally, like a GPS. Awesome!
The copy next to it says, “Life is too short to fumble with your phone.” iMagnetMount’s copywriter thought cute was the way to go.
The goal of this particular headline is to get the visitor to play the video. Instead, they introduce a new objection: “Will I fumble the phone? Will it fall off?”

Headlines should tell the visitor what to focus on.

Headlines should tell the visitor what to focus on.


In your copy, avoid cliché phrases like “Life is too short”. Instead, be more direct.

Watch this short video to see how flexible this magnetic mount is.

Managing the Big Objections

When speaking with iMagnetMount, they confirmed that a big objection is that the magnetic mount would damage or interfere with the phone.

Will it hurt my battery?
Will it fry my electronics?
Will it burn my screen?
Will it affect reception?

iMagnetMount addresses the issue in small text under an unrelated headline.

The answer to the big objection is buried in hard-to-read copy under a cutesy headline.

The answer to the big objection is buried in hard-to-read copy under a cutesy headline.


Here, the copy asks the visitor to “Turn smartphone mounting on its head.” Another throw-away headline. As above, tell them to watch the video and see the advantage.
The video demonstrates the strong suction as well as the grip of the magnet on the phone. Demonstration rocks value propositions.
These two messages – that the magnet is safe and that the suction is awesome – address two of the biggest parts of the value proposition. They should be separated and proven.

Marry Messages and Copy

Your headlines should support the image.

Your headlines should support the image.


In this part of the page, I felt that the background image used was pretty effective for making a statement about suction. It shows a suction cup sticking to a rough dashboard surface. In this case, the overlaid text supports the message of the image. Words like, “Finally” and “hassle-free” are not as powerful. Chuck these words to advance the value proposition.
Phrases like “patented” and “secure for months” are going to be more successful.

Managing Risk

Buying anything is perceived as risky, especially online. Managing the risk is a key part of the value proposition.

Risk management is a key part of your value proposition.

Risk management is a key part of your value proposition.


There are several messages at the bottom of the page that address risk.

        

  • You won’t have to buy a new mount if you think you’ll change phones.
  •     

  • Our mount is safe for your phone (with a link to a FAQ page)
  •     

  • Our product is built from strong stuff (in South Korea)
  •     

  • We offer a one-year warranty.
  •     

  • Over 100,000 drivers have bought your product.

The cornerstone of risk management is risk reversal. The use of a familiar gold seal tests well in many industries. The use of plain-English text describing the warranty and return is done well here.
A link to a FAQ page offers up many more objections, but also handles them well. Methodical buyers will appreciate the detail on this page.

Repeat the Offer at the Bottom

Anyone who has read through your page to the end is probably pretty interested. Always repeat the call to action at the bottom, as iMagnetMount does here.

Bringing it Home

Copy is more than words. Copy is words and the images that support them.
If there is one issue with the copy on this page, it is that copy is trying to be cute and isn’t supporting the very strong images and video on the page.
After our conversation, iMagnetMount modified the page to address some of these issues.

Proof is important when handling value objections.

Proof is important when handling value objections.


Here they’ve added copy to handle the objection, “Will the magnets hurt my phone?” Unfortunately, the image and copy no longer collaborate.
I don’t think they expend enough effort in managing this objection. Proof is key, and they have it. However it is buried, even in this treatment. They should state that it’s SAFE.

Safe for your phone. Safe for your battery. Safe for your screen. Proven with over 10,000 hours of road testing over 2 years.

Are we introducing some objections here? Yes, but if the proof is there, we can consider it handled.
With one change, iMagnetMount significantly improved the image-headline relationship in another part of the page.

When text and image work together, value propositions get wings.

When text and image work together, value propositions get wings.


What a powerful headline that begs me to watch the video to see the proof.

The Complete Value Proposition

The keys to a communicating a strong value proposition are:

        

  • Demonstrate your value with images and video.
  •     

  • Support your images with headlines.
  •     

  • Provide proof whenever possible.
  •     

  • Manage risk with proof and a straight-forward return policy.
  •     

  • Repeat the offer at the bottom of the page.

There are other aspects of this page that may be hindering conversion rates, and those are discussions for another day.
However, with a well-crafted value proposition, buyers will find their way through many obstacles on their way to purchase.
Thanks to iMagnetMount for allowing us to write about their site.

What is your landing page selling?
You can answer this question in one of three ways:

        

  1. It’s selling what I promised in an ad or email
  2.     

  3. It’s selling my company and its services
  4.     

  5. All of the above

The right answer is number one.
Number two is an About Us page. Number three is a typical home page.
If this was a poll, we’d see heavy voting for two and three. Why the disconnect?
I spent some time on the phone with John Colasante of ManhattanTechSupport.com to understand why his landing pages were under-delivering. It was pretty clear that he had chosen door number two.
Take a look at one of their test landing pages built on the Unbounce platform.

Original Unbounce Landing Page

One ManhattanTechSupport.com Landing Page. Click for a larger image.


This page served PPC ads promising to help mid-sized businesses choose a managed IT provider. What is the promise found on the landing page?
“Transform your IT Experience!”
Few if any CTOs have woken in the middle of the night in a pool of sweat thinking, “I need to transform my IT experience!”
The sub-headline takes a bold step. “Outsource your IT Department to ManhattanTechSupport.com.”
This is the sort of suggestion you make to someone who is hypnotized, maybe.
We would expect a high bounce rate because this landing page doesn’t keep the promise of the ads, and hasn’t addressed the fundamental question of qualified visitors, “How do I choose the right managed IT provider?”
This landing page sounds like their home page.
The promise of a home page is "We'll tell you about our company." Not so for a landing page.

The promise of a home page is “We’ll tell you about our company.” Not so for a landing page.

What is this landing page really selling?

A landing page has two very focused jobs:

        

  1. Keep the promise made in the ad, email or link that brings visitors to the page. We call this the Offer.
  2.     

  3. Get the visitor to take action on the offer.

The promise here is to help visitors choose an IT provider. The offer, however, is “Fill out this form.” Not particularly compelling.
Reading on, the offer is for ManhattanTechSupport.com to “get back to you same day during business hours.”
Is this a consultation? A sales call? A chance to hear about the CEO’s vacation?
Can filling out a form really transform my IT experience?
John clarified this for me. It is a consultation with someone who knows the space.
Now that’s an offer.

Retargeting Your Landing Pages

How would we turn this page into a true landing page?
It’s usually the job of the headline to keep the promise of the ad. This is also why landing pages are powerful: we know what the visitor is interested in, so get to design a very targeted page.
ManhattanTechSupport.com may want to change this to “Let an experienced IT consultant answer your questions on managed IT services.” Another might be “Free Managing IT Services Consultation.”
Now we need to tell them about the offer, not the company. Our sub-headline is designed to get them to read the next paragraph.
“In thirty minutes, you will discover the key to cutting the time you spend on IT by 85%.”
I gotta find out more about this!
Unfortunately, the paragraph starts we-weing all over itself: “ManhattanTechSupport.com is your premier…”.
We want to know about the offer.
How long will the consultation be? What qualifications will the consultant have? What key questions will be answered? Will I get the hard sell? Do you have a proprietary evaluation process? Will I get a freebie just for speaking with them?

When to Talk About Your Company, Products or Services

There is often another question on the visitors’ minds: “Who are you?”
It’s OK to talk about yourself to support the offer, to build trust. But you must provide proof.
Don’t tell me that you are the “leader” or the “premier” provider in your space. What awards have you won? What famous media outlets have declared you to be top of the heap? Have you been seen partying with Justin Bieber?
The ManhattanTechSupport.com page provides some trust-builders by using logos of well-known partners below the form.
There are many proof points and trust builders you can use.

        

  • How many years have you been in business?
  •     

  • What is your specialization? ManhattanTechSupport.com only serves business in Manhattan.
  •     

  • Are you close to me?
  •     

  • How many customers do you have?
  •     

  • Do you have testimonials from people like me? Why are others happy with your service?
  •     

  • What are your guarantees?

ManhattanTechSupport.com lists four differentiators on their page: No contracts, Everything is included, We are proactive, and We are 24/7.
Once the value of the offer is established – the value of the consultation – this is fair game to make the visitor feel comfortable taking action.

Bring it Home

The form and call to action button bring the offer home.

The form and call to action button bring the offer home.


The form and button text must bring the offer home. We really don’t need to tell anyone to fill out a form. If we had to, then how good of an IT customer would the really be?
We could start the form with a call to action like, “Request your free consultation now.”
Copyhackers Joanna Wiebe has tested button text and recommends that it match the headline. So, we might rewrite the button to say, “Have a Consultant Contact Me.”
The form fields you choose will affect the number of conversions as well as the quality of your requests.
ManhattanTechSupport.com asks for “Company Size.” Why are they asking this? If it’s a qualifying question then are there some companies that won’t get called? Will I get an email that says, “Sorry, you’re too small for us”?
On the flip side, small companies may be reluctant to answer this question and may decide not to take the offer. This could mean higher quality prospects. It could also chase away visitors who aren’t really committed.

Your Landing Page in a Paragraph

The story of our landing page should be straight forward. For ManhattanTechSupport.com, it could read:

“Get a free consultation from one of our experienced IT managers. They will show you get back 85% of the time you spend on IT. The call is only 30 minutes and we promise not to give you the hard sell. We only work with companies in Manhattan. We’ve work with very discerning partners and have the experience to give you good advice. Tell us how to get in touch with you and we’ll make you an expert at choosing a managed IT service.”

That’s a pretty compelling offer, if I do say so myself.
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A Few Bonus Tips

Here are a few bonus tips for this page.
I recommend that you limit the “knock-out” text, or light text on a dark background. Those of us over 40 with failing eyes will have more trouble focusing on and reading this text.
If you want people to pick up the phone and call, give them the number in the headline and at the top of the form. For ManhattanTechSupport.com, we’d use a headline like, “Call to speak to an experienced managed IT consultant. 646-762-7649.” The form headline would read, “For immediate answers, call 646-762-7649, or we’ll use this form to request a call within one business day.”

To solicit calls, don't put the number off to the side.

To solicit calls, don’t put the number off to the side.


Use steps and bullets. Don’t be afraid to let visitors know they are going to get a sales pitch.
The ManhattanTechSupport.com page may offer this guidance:

When you contact us
(1) We will ask you a few questions to assess your situation.
(2) We make recommendations and answer your questions.
(3) If appropriate, we will provide a quote for our managed IT services.

Focused Landing Pages are Easier to Write

I hope that this column has taken some of the burden out creating landing pages for you. When you focus on the promise, the page gets much easier to write. With a reasonable design and the right traffic, you should have  a high-converting landing page.
Share your landing page with us here and let us know what your questions are.
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Well-heeled travelers will enjoy a private guided tour of the world’s various wine-making regions. Colin Simpson of Into the Vineyard arranges these advantures for them. Into the Vineyard tours are tailored and personalized to the individual, setting themself apart from other packaged, run-of-the-mill wine vacations.

The Into the Vineyard luxury landing page

The Into the Vineyard luxury landing page


Colin came to us with a landing page built on Unbounce.
They have had fairly good success with these landing pages, boasting conversion rates of over 5% and more. Colin had a number of questions for Conversion Sciences about how to optimize his landing page to see a lift in conversion rate while maintaining high lead quality.
Many of our suggestions are included in the annotated infographic image included in this post. However, one of his questions was one that we are asked all the time. Its answer is important for you to understand when you create your own landing pages.

Is the placement of the form too far down the page?

The short answer is “No.” This may be contrary to the above-the-fold or very-close-to-the-fold rule many of you follow, but there are good reasons to place your form towards the bottom of your landing page.
Into the Vineyard offers a luxury item and appropriately uses a value-building approach. Furthermore, part of the value of their offer is the ability to customization the product. Bombarding visitors with a form too early not only gives them no time to appreciate the luxury of the offer but also may elicit feelings of impersonality.
This is something to consider if you are in the luxury market. Even if a form placed “below the fold” produces a lower volume of leads than would one above the fold, you may find these leads to be better qualified. They have not only read your content to the bottom but they also know what they are going to receive in exchange for their information.

Landing pages should show the steps of the process

Laying out the steps of the process puts many visitors at ease. The use of the red arrow draws the visitor to take action.


We saw this strategy work very well in split testing for a similar company, a company that sells golf tours to Scotland and England. [pullquote]A landing page that added the steps of the process after filling out the form generated a 300% increase in leads.[/pullquote] Note that this was not the only change to the page.
The bottom line is that the content of your landing page must make a clear offer, regardless of form placement, and your copy must support the offer, not just your product or company. Into the Vineyard does an excellent job of explaining what will happen if a person fills out the form.
The long answer to Colin’s question is “I’m not sure, let’s test it.” One of the awesome perks of using the Unbounce tool to create landing pages is its A/B testing feature.
For most online websites, A/B testing is the most reliable way to know where to place a form on your page to maximize leads and sales.
When you create your own landing pages, consider your market. Are you in the luxury market where your visitors may need a little more information to get excited and convert? Or, are you using this landing page to give the visitor a freebie in exchange for their information?
These two situations will lend themselves to different form placement. If you have the traffic, test the difference because no two business are the same and what works may not work for all.

More recommendations

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