Date of Screen Capture: September 8, 2010
Overview: This site pulls off a rare trick, using the flash header effectively. The reason? They focus it exclusively on real reason to believe.
(Click the button at the bottom right of the video player to see the 35-second screen capture in full-screen mode. There's no sound, just 35 seconds showing you how the header goes through its various screens.)
The first screen shows the happy ending of a client case study ($300k, salary bump, more vacation, relocation package).
Next, the graphic shifts to a lineup of high profile client logos (logos are better than names, as they convey instant recognition in one glance, as opposing to reading, which involves chunking lines and squiggles into letters, letters into words, words into phrases, and phrases into meaning).
Then another case study, of a CEO who reached the million-dollar mark as he jumped from telecom to software. At this point, you already have the feeling that these folks have access to and expertise in navigating the seas that you haven't navigated. They are the captain of the ship bound for adventure and fortune, and you're the young adventurer looking for a lift and an ally.
The third case study features an independent consultant going from $150k to $300k per year by taking a senior level position.
The call to action remains static, just below and jutting into the header: "Currently earning of $200k? Click to Start." That both attracts and disqualifies, and by disqualifying those making less than $200k, attracts the very clients they're looking for.
The body text focuses on the dramatic difference: "We are not recruiters (We can actually help you)" says the center headline.
The left paragraph focuses on the real reason to believe the benefits by explaining the dramatic difference in detail. Who they are, how they work.
The trust logos at the bottom right also contribute to the overall feeling of competence, safety and professionalism.
Room for Improvement: The last news item on the page is seven months old. If you aren't going to update your site regularly, at least remove the dates so there's no obvious evidence of staleness or neglect.
The left paragraph is too long, should be broken up, either into three shorter paragraphs or bullet points.
And the header flash should turn itself off after it cycles two or three times, so the reader can concentrate on the rest of the page and navigate to a call to action.
Your Turn: If you were to create a flash header focused entirely on real reason to believe, what would you put there? Draw out, freehand, two case studies, with the basic outline of the client and the key results.
Next, write a single sentence that highlights your dramatic difference by distinguishing your business from your competition.
Finally, write a series of 3-5 bullet points that provide the real reason to believe your dramatic difference.
Just Visiting Here?
If you find this critique valuable, I invite you to try the full Landing Page Clinic, which is slowly creeping up in price to its actual value.
Here's more info:
Are You Giving Your Expensive AdWords Traffic a Bloody Nose on Your Landing Page?
Have you worked hard to master AdWords?
Are you spending good money to get Google searchers to click your ads and visit your website?
Do most of them leave without buying and without giving you their contact information?
If you can answer YES to all three questions, please take two minutes to read the rest of this page.
If you have analytics set up on your site, my prediction is that you would be shocked at how quickly most AdWords visitors abandon your website. Within seconds, many of them.
In the screen shot below, check out how many ad groups are throwing expensive visitors at landing pages that cause the "Run Away Screening" reaction. If you have Analytics hooked up to your AdWords account, chances are you'll see the same basic pattern.
Why do they run away so quickly?
Because your landing page is a brick wall, unintentionally designed and built to stop your hottest prospects cold. It's like your best prospects ran straight into your landing page and broke their nose.
What is a Landing Page, Really?
Let me answer with a parable that I posted on my blog last month:
You wake up and there’s an inch of water on your living room floor, and it’s rising. Discovering a burst pipe in a closet wall, you grab the phone book and call the first plumber who offers emergency service.
“Hello, this is Oscar and Felix’s Plumbing Service. How may I help you?”
“I’ve got a burst pipe and it’s flooding my house.”
“Oscar and Felix’s Plumbing Service has been operating in your town since 1987. We specialize in custom kitchen plumbing, septic systems, replacing old pipes with copper and PVC, and unclogging stopped drains.”
“Didn’t you hear me? I’ve got a busted pipe and my cat is swimming.”
“Would you like us to send you, absolutely free of charge and with no obligation, our Special Report, ‘7 Plumbing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your House’? All you need to do is give me your full name, address, email, and phone number, and you’ll have that report in your email inbox in just 3 minutes.”
Click. Dial tone. You, the hot prospect, are gone, never to return.
Your Landing Page is the Person Who Answers the Phone
And your prospect’s search query is the first thing they say after you pick up.
For example, let’s pretend you sell information on how to use webinars to grow your business. One of your keywords is how to record a webinar.
When someone enters that keyword and clicks your ad, they’ve just called you and said, “Hello, I’d like to know how to record a webinar.”
Your landing page headline is your response. Most advertisers don’t take the time to create different landing pages for different keywords. So their reply to the search query is something like the following headline:
“How to Make Money With Webinars”
But in that case, you’ve totally ignored what your prospect just told you they want RIGHT NOW.
And that feels pretty disrespectful. Like the receptionist at Oscar and Felix’s Plumbing Service ignoring the immediate need of the caller.
Instead, your headline might read:
“How to Record Webinars without Compromising the Quality of the Live Event and Without Needing Expensive Equipment or a Degree in Engineering”
Now does your visitor feel heard and acknowledged? Might they spend a little time on your site, enough perhaps for you to share some value with them in exchange for their contact information, or even their credit card number?
But Landing Pages are Tricky
Unlike an ad, in which you can write a near-infinite number of variations in just 130 characters, a landing page offers the possibility of an infinity of infinite possibilities.
Headlines, fonts, colors, design elements, sub-heads, testimonials, audios, videos, placement of elements, body text, offers, forms, buttons, logos, font sizes, highlighting, font styles, mouse-overs – are you dizzy yet?
You need a simple framework for understanding what a landing page is supposed to do, and what elements you need in order to turn a tentative first-time visitor into an engaged, interacting visitor.
Quiz question: The landing page on the left is beautifully designed. But can you spot the big mistake?
A few months ago I held a private 3-part Landing Page Clinic, as a special bonus for folks who signed up for Traffic Surge. Only about 40 people in the universe have ever seen this before.
It's good stuff. If you've ever attended or watched a replay of a Landing Page Scorchfest, you have some idea of my ability to critique landing pages. But I don't think I've ever made public the simple principles I use to evaluate and improve landing pages.
What's in the Landing Page Clinic?
Three classes, each with videos that you can watch and listen to online, and a follow-along PDF handout.
Class #1: Landing Page Fundamentals (Instantly Grabbing Your Visitor by the "Me Me Me")
- Learn the Landing Page "Prime Directive" – without this basic mindset for landing pages, you might be WASTING most of your effort.
- How and why your landing pages are different from your homepage (Ignore this at your peril… and only if you want poor quality scores)
- The "MDA concept" and why your page is toast if you aren't using it
- How to tell the right story with your landing page (but tell the wrong story and your visitor will leave so fast, you'll have to wipe skid marks off your page)
- How to use video to solve the thorniest landing page problems
- Examples of great (and lousy) landing pages
Class #2: Is It Hot in Here? (Building Irresistible Desire)
- How to use the "Joe Cocker Test" to BOND with your visitors instantly
- BB+DD+RR = Desire. Do you know how to use these 3 critical elements in a sure-fire recipe to create DESIRE?
- How to discover your customers' objections with "sneaky" reverse engineering tactics (you won't believe how simple (and fun!) this step can be)
- Heard about "Usability" but not sure if it's something you can do? Discover quick, easy & inexpensive ways to observe your customers as they actually use your site…and stop guessing!
- 3 easy tools for finding out exactly why your visitors won't buy – and what would make them open their wallets (they'll tell you if you ask in the right way, at the right time)
Class #3: Let's Get It Started In Here (Turning Desire into Action)
- Are you hiding the single most important element of your landing page (if they have to work to find it, they'll go somewhere else)
- How to deploy the secret of "Choice Architecture" to change the conversation in your prospect's mind from IF to WHICH ONE?
- How to use Trust Symbols properly on your sales page to overcome doubt at the crucial moments
- Isaac Newton's discovery – and how it doubled my opt-in rate
- Contrary to what some gurus tell you, you can't eliminate risk – but you can do this instead (and it's wickedly effective)
Online "Swipe File"
A Swipe File is a collection of good examples that every professional copywriter develops and uses as a jumping off point when they get to work.
We all come across effective landing pages on a regular basis, but most of the time we're too busy shopping or learning to stop and pay attention to what worked on us, and why, and how they did it.
I've made it a practice to slow down when I see an effective page in the wild. I capture it for further study in my lab. I take screen shots of the page, and when appropriate, video, so that if the page changes in the future, I still have a record of what worked when I came across it the first time.
As part of the Landing Page Clinic, I'm annotating and explaining these examples in an online Swipe File that you'll find very useful as you set about revising and creating your own pages.
Who is the Clinic For?
The Landing Page Clinic covers fundamental principles, not fads or gimmicks. The website examples are taken from straight low-price ecommerce (like a site that sells socks online) to expensive ecommerce (thousand dollar charcoal grills) to information products (how to do your own home makeover) to consulting (helping families pay for college) to lead generation (health insurance).
There is no website that cannot use these principles to improve performance – because the principles are about human behavior, not technology.
Quiz question: What is the biggest lesson of this heat map of my opt-in page?
Ready to order the 3-Part Landing Page Clinic?
You can buy it for $153.54 or three monthly payments of $53. That's about $32/hour for information that can easily double or triple the effectiveness of your landing pages. If you pay more than $32 a month for AdWords traffic, the investment in the Landing Page Clinic is, in my mind, a no-brainer.
Why? Because you have absolutely nothing to lose. If you don't like the clinic, just let me know for a full no-question, no-quibble, no-whining refund. (And since it's a totally digital product, you get to keep it anyway.)
Why So Cheap? Is This Stuff Any Good?
$153.54 is not much money for an entire course on how to construct effective landing pages. Is there something wrong with it?
Yes and no.
It's definitely my best material, content-wise. I combine my deep experience with what works and what doesn't with a theoretical model that makes it easy to do what I do. Plus I share lots of real-life examples so you're not wondering how to apply what you discover.
But it's not glitzy, production-wise. Two of the three classes are recordings of live webinars. Every word is clear, every image is visible, and every concept is accessible, but the Landing Page Clinic is definitely not going to win any Oscars for cinematography or editing. And I probably won't take home the Best Actor in a Webinar award either.
My plan is to expand the material into a much bigger, better Landing Page course. And of course, I would advise you to wait for that course before taking the plunge.
But good news: if you get the Landing Page Clinic now, you automatically get grandfathered into all future versions. (I've already updated Class #1, and I'm working on the other videos over the next two weeks. That's why the price will go up by the end of September, to $187.65. By 2011 it will be a $500 course, at least, to reflect it's true value.)
Bonuses for Acting Now
If you order the Landing Page Clinic now, you also get three of the most powerful interviews I've ever conducted (and so far only available to members of the exclusive Ring of Fire coaching club):
Tim Ash, President of SiteTuners and author of Landing Page Optimization, on how to use tools and testing to systematically apply landing page best practices (he's the one who produced the eye tracking map of my website, above)
Ben Jesson, President of Conversion Rate Experts, talking about the cleverest and simplest website conversion tactics I've ever heard (includes 69-minute mp3 and a PDF of my notes for easy follow-along)
Sean D'Souza of Psychotactics.com and author of The Brain Audit, tells you exactly how to find and deploy the uniqueness in your business to stand out from your competition (this is the opposite of what almost everyone else will tell you about being unique)
Not Convinced? Here are Some Other Options
You can buy a landing page scorch from me for $500 (here's the link). Well worth it, according to the hundreds of people who have experienced my sharp eye and sharper tongue.
You can hire me to rewrite your landing page, starting at $3000. (I like these gigs, and I'm good at them. If you truly aren't going to spend the time on the clinic, this might actually be your best deal.)
You can do nothing, in which case nothing will improve. (That's the most common choice, by the way. That's probably what your competitors decide to do most of the time.)
Or you can spend the equivalent of 20 or 50 or 100 AdWords clicks, discover the principles of landing page success, and become your own best advisor and consultant, able to quickly size up landing page problems and fix them yourself.
Not to be too "biz-oppy" here, but if you truly master the content in these three classes, you can hang a shingle and start charging money to help people improve their websites.
Ready to get started? Choose the option that best fits your pocketbook:
|One payment of $153.54|
|Three monthly payments of $53|
P.S. Did I mention the 100%, no-quibble, no-whining money-back guarantee? If you have the slightest pang of buyers' remorse after buying (even if you never look at the clinic), just shoot me a note and you get your money back.
P.P.S. And if you don't increase your landing page conversion rate by at least 25% within 60 days of starting to implement what you discover, I insist that you get your money back. I want to assume 100% of the risk here, so you don't have to deal with any of it.