2010 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions – You Know Your Landing Page is Fat When…

In the spirit of failed New Year’s resolutions, I’m writing this post 11 days after the fact. We all do a miserable job of living up to our personal commitments, so I figured a few new business goals might be in order to get your marketing campaigns off the proverbial couch and into the gym.

It's time to whip that 2009 marketing stomach into fighting shape!
It's time to whip that 2009 marketing stomach into fighting shape!

A Totally Bogus Opt-in Checkbox That Says You Commit to the Following Resolutions

As an added incentive, I’ve decided to get you to sign a completely non-binding contract with yourself.

1. Spend more time with my CTA’s

Just like you should be spending more time hugging the kids and showering them with love and affection – your landing page Call To Action needs to be looked after. Here are a few things you can do to improve your CTA relations:

  1. Test some different copy on your buttons: try funny, outrageous, seductive etc.
  2. Try a different typographic treatment for your button design
  3. Try a few different colors (depending on your palette): black & white (for contrast), red (seduction), green (for go), blue (for clickable) or orange (eye catching and positive)
  4. Make it bigger and give it a rotation to produce a weird shape

2. Never send a PPC campaign to my homepage again

Tsk, tsk, tsk. If you’re sending people to your website’s homepage you’re diluting your marketing message to a dangerous level. Create a landing page and send all PPC traffic there first. It will help focus your messaging and keep your visitors on track.

3. Trim the fat from my landing page content

Be honest, you sometimes talk too much right? And it appears on your landing pages as bloated copy with long rambling sentences that seem to go on and on for ever without much consideration for punctuation or rhythm because you need to get every feature and benefit and quality of your product on the page but in the process all you’re really doing is making your potential customers glaze over and fall asleep so stop doing that and try cutting a big chunk of text out of your landing page and remember to do an A/B test to see if it helps your conversion rate you never know it might make a big difference alternatively it might be worse so test test test and find out what your customers like and please for the sake of all things literary insert some bloody punctuation! But not too many exclamation points!!!!!!!!

4. Spend the price of a coffee per day on conversion optimization

Baby steps are important with any new regime, whether it’s going to the gym or maximizing the return on your marketing spend. So instead of filling your belly with caffeine, see if you can commit to putting the price of one of your daily cups of Joe into a jar. Then at the end of each month, you’ll have some extra money to test a PPC campaign on some landing page variants. Even if this only lets you do 4 conversion tests per year, that’s 4 more than 2009 right?

5. Remove 1 field from my lead gen forms

Your lead gen form is fat. Deal with it.

Try removing a not-quite-so-essential field from a form and test the results (also test which particular fields you remove). If you see an increase in leads then continue to remove form fields until you reach the optimal balance of lead quantity vs. information gathering quality.

6. Stop confusing my visitors with bad message match

Here’s the thing, if I have to repeat this warning in 2011 I will be opening a serious can of whoop ass. The message on your ad (display banner, AdWords, email etc.) needs to maintain momentum right through your acquisition funnel. That means repeating and reinforcing the message on your landing page, in the product you giveaway on your form (if you do) and any subsequent pages you send them to afterwards.

7. Feed my landing pages some A.D.D. pills to keep them focused and on topic

There’s little point in spending the time and effort on designing a landing page if all you do is make it as cluttered as your homepage. This is where you must adhere closely to the concept of congruence – ensuring that every element of your landing page supports your core value proposition. No wandering off gossiping about other products or company events. One page, one topic, in harmony. Koombyah.

8. Stop any videos on my landing pages from auto-playing

This is one to be tested. In usability circles it’s considered bad medicine to have a video start playing as soon as the page loads. However, the psychographics of the convertible customer are slightly different so I’d recommend running an A/B test to see if your customers react better to this type of interruption or find it annoying.

9. Learn a new skill – Landing Page SEO

If your landing pages will be living in the internet tubes for any substantial period of time, you may want them to be SEO friendly to generate organic search traffic. So commit to learning some of the basics of good SEO from the code level right up to how to write good SEO copy. It will give your evergreen campaigns (one’s that run all year round) a bit more traffic without much effort.

10. Critique my last landing page and commit to testing some improvements

The fact that you’re making New Year’s resolutions again means that you’re not perfect – and neither was your last landing page. So dust off the cobwebs and take a fresh look at it in the new light of 2010. It’s important to be critical and not be offended if the intern points out the most basic of faults in your design.

If you need some help critiquing your landing pages – try using the Unbounce Conversion Marketing Scorecard to produce a checklist of fresh TO-DO items.

That’s it for now – see how many of those 10 promises you can keep and you’ll be a much leaner, meaner marketing machine’r come 2011.

Good luck…

Oli Gardner

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About Oli Gardner
Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He’s obsessed with identifying and reversing bad marketing practices, and his disdain for marketers who send campaign traffic to their homepage is legendary, resulting in landing page rants that can peel paint off an unpainted wall. A prolific international keynote speaker, Oli is on a mission to rid the world of marketing mediocrity by using data-informed copywriting, design, interaction, and psychology to create a more delightful experience for marketers and customers alike. He was recently named the "The 2018 Marketer to Watch," in the under 46 category, by his mother.
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