It’s day 5 of the 7 Days to a Better Landing Page series. And today I’m gong to focus on some of the things NOT to do on a landing page.
I’ve already covered this topic in depth in an earlier post – Marketing FAIL – 7 Newbie Landing Page Mistakes, so I’m going to do a quick recap on that before expanding on the subject.
7 Ways to Turn Visitors Away
There are 2 primary types of offensive behavior that will make your customers hightail it from your landing page. There’s the honest type of mistake – where you’ve unwittingly incorporated some usability issues into your design. And there’s the cheap spammy behavior that people use in the hopes of making a quick buck.
I’ve seen talented marketers do both, usually through some misguided notion that the campaign is all that matters. Wrong.
Big Idea – It’s About More Than Just The Campaign
Your brand is at stake every time you appear online. If you create an unprofessional experience for your visitors, you’re not only wasting your marketing budget, you’re risking the creation of an un-social network. One that’s focused on bad-mouthing you.
If your tactics – and I’m thinking primarily about the use of interruption marketing techniques such as the “are you sure you want to leave” dialog that appears when you try to navigate away from a page – do squeak out some extra conversions, what is it really worth to you? Are these the types of customer you want? Are the customers you’re losing the “Whales” of your industry sector (the ones who are worth the most money to you)?
Optimized, professional and authentic experiences are the key to customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and hence higher lifetime value. If you do your absolute best to ensure your message is a true reflection of your brand then you may not sign up as many people as you might by using cheap trickery (not the rock band), but the clients you do sign will be getting into something they believe in, and their net worth will more than make up for the lower acquisition rate.
Recap of the 7 Landing Page Faux Pas
- Message Mismatch: This is when the message on your ad creative doesn’t match that of the landing page. It leads to confusion and mistrust.
- Broken Lead Generation Forms: If you are asking for someone’s personal details in exchange for a giveaway, then QA your form properly to avoid lost leads and frustrated customers.
- Advertising Something Other than your Primary Objective: The 3 F’s: focus, focus, focus. You enticed someone to your page with a single offer – stick to your promise or risk a watered down campaign.
- Leaving Watermarks on Stolen Stock Photos: You’d be surprised how often people do this. Normally because they’ve borrowed a photo from somewhere and their graphic designer didn’t do an adequate job of airbrushing it out. It’s a dead giveaway that you are both cheap and untrustworthy.
- Asking if I Really Want to Leave this Page: This one’s totally up to you. There is probably some evidence of marginally higher conversion rates – for a certain demographic – when you force a dialog or popup in someone’s face as they try to leave your page. Personally, I think it’s one of the biggest brand killers you can do. I can guarantee that there are thousands of web users around the world at any given moment saying “WTF, just let me leave already!”
- Playing Hide & Seek with the Call To Action (CTA): Be proud of your purpose, let your CTA shine brightly like a beacon of awesomeness. Hiding the primary method of interaction is a barrier to conversion. You can mess this up by burying the button at the bottom of the page, or by not using adequate design contrast and whitespace.
- Recreating War And Peace: Think Twitter vs. Blog Post. Keep it simple stupid. Note: I’m not calling you stupid – it’s a well known phrase… dummy!
How to Tell if Your Landing Page is Treating Your Customers With Respect
A little while ago, I created the Conversion Marketing Scorecard. It’s an interactive guide to rating your landing page and can be used to qualify the design and content decisions you’ve made. One of the more important parts is section 3 which deals with trust. You might want to take a quick run through the scorecard to see how well your landing page performs.
Authenticity Is Everything
At the end of the day, how you present your personal and brand values will shine through in your landing page implementation. As long as you can sleep at night and aren’t bothered by the tactics you are employing to garner conversions, all is well. However, the gut is a wonderful device for judging quality and authenticity. If you have even the slightest tingle of unease then your customers will be feeling that too, and that can only mean one thing – the ‘Back’ button.
FACT: The ‘Back’ button is clicked more than any other button/link on the web
Don’t be part of the problem by offending your customers. Make your landing pages so effective that your CTA is the only thing they will want to do. It’s not easy – but it should be something you strive to improve the likelihood of every day.