It Doesn’t Always Matter How You Engage Visitors on Your Landing Page, Just That You Do’s paid ad (displayed in my Gmail)–


Their landing page–

On this landing page, you’re bound to notice this interface–


Showing available 800 numbers so high in the conversion funnel seems unimportant, but it’s a very intentional tactic to get landing traffic to click around. Curious visitors (which is all of us) will play around and click the radio button adjacent to the 800 number they like best. The interface is inviting and begs being clicked because it seems so harmless. Picking a favorite 800 number from a list doesn’t require much commitment from the visitor.

Engaging visitors on the landing page is super important. Most bounce immediately, not even giving the business a chance to make a proper pitch. However, if they spend a little more time it’s much more likely that some aspect of the sales pitch will click. Asking visitors to pick from a random assortment of available 800 numbers has just one purpose– getting them to click Continue to Calling Page button.

FreedomVoice knows they have a much better chance generating conversions on the next page.

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Helping Shoppers Search Quickly sells 1000s of business cards (among other things).

I saw this ad …


… so I clicked it.  That took me to this page–



What I love about this landing page is that it was designed for someone arriving from the ad. realizes when shoppers are presented with 168 X 24 = 4,032 card designs (too many options) they use the search interface.  But instead of trying to make the search bar more visible through subtle tweaks shows it as a popup, thus making it impossible to miss.  They realize faster visitors get to their desired design higher the likelihood they’ll convert.

Another nifty feature: Since I entered via ‘business cards’ ad knows that’s what I’m interested it.  Now when I type on my browser I’m redirected to their “business cards” section.  I can return to homepage by clicking Vistaprint logo on top left corner.

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Clever PPC has a clever PPC strategy.  When you click their ad the landing page has this banner message–

Click for Larger Size View

This communicates to the ad clicker that the discount was activated by clicking this specific ad (what a lucky coincidence for the clicker).  The shopper isn’t told when the coupon code will expire so they’re incentivized to act now (or risk losing the discount)!

The other aspect to notice is notification bar wording.  It communicates, “Thanks for clicking our ad, as a sign of appreciation we’ve gone ahead and applied your discount (thus eliminating the need to retype coupon code during checkout.)”  That might seem like a trivial detail but it’s a small psychological nudge.

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Email Pop-up on 2nd Visit

Many sites show an email signup pop-up when a new visitor lands on their site–

Their logic is sound– let’s capture this customer’s email address ASAP.  That way, even if they don’t buy today we can entice them later via email.  Here is the trouble– when a visitor first comes to your site they know very little about you (i.e. guards are up), their focus is the search query that landed them on your site.  So when you show a pop-up they instinctively close it.  You might be better off showing email signup pop-up on their 2nd visit.  Don’t take my word for it, test both approaches and see which one generates more signups.

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Measuring the Right Goals

The purpose of a Pay Per Click (PPC) landing page is to incentivize visitors to get deeper into the site.  Let’s say you want to optimize a PPC landing page and design a completely new layout which you A/B test.  The results show that conversion rates went down a little but 12% more visitors reached product pages.  Should we draw the conclusion that the landing page failed because it didn’t lift sales or should we say it was a success because it brought visitors deeper into the site?  If the landing page brought people deeper but those visitors didn’t convert it means the steps after landing page need to be optimized.

Let’s look at another example.  You want to increase sales of a particular product so you rewrite product description and run an A/B test.  For such a test we should set conversion goal as visits to cart page.  The primary job of the test product description is to inspire visitors to add this item to their shopping cart.

My point is that each test has a very specific purpose and test success should be measured based on how well the variation page is able to complete that purpose.

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Total Savings

I noticed this very clever landing page floating header on–

I love that they use the word ‘today’, which makes the header so much more persuasive.

I also love the 66% savings figure because it reinforces the tag graphic that promises daily savings of 35-70%.  Shoppers assume that when retailers claim savings of 35-70% they really mean most will save 35%.  But the ‘real time’ figure of 66% proves this isn’t the case on

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Do What Works For You

If you have a page that converts first time visitors really well then it’s your job to make that page stand out.  The homepage layout of may be unconventional but it’s clear they want visitors to read their About Us info:

What’s really clever about the layout is that while it makes About Us the star it also efficiently highlights other important aspects of the site:

1. Their unique selling proposition is highly visible: Preparing You Today For Tomorrow’s Instability.
2. Popular Products are easily accessible.
3. Free Shipping call to action is impossible to miss.

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Click = Bounce

I saw this very clever banner ad today:

It was well designed and from a retailer I recognized.  Normally, I’m not a sucker for online advertising but this “tabbed” day look grabbed my attention and the fact that the day was cleverly set to Wednesday when today is Wednesday really intrigued me (relevance!!).  The ad had achieved all it was responsible for.  I couldn’t resist moving my mouse to see what Banana Republic suggested for other days.  But the moment I clicked I realized I’d been deceived– this ad was just one solid image.  So I immediately closed the pop-up window without letting it load fully.

This blog post is a rant by some anonymous blogger with no knowledge about consumer marketing or access to numbers behind the campaign.  Should Banana Republic just take my opinion?  Absolutely not.

This is where analytics comes in.  All Banana Republic needs to do is measure landing page bounce.  If bounce is ridiculously high they can make one of two changes to the creative:

Simple change:  Insert text that says “Click to see other day looks”.  This ad is already quite good and I really do want to see other day looks, just don’t want to be surprised.

Complicated change:  Make the ad interactive so viewers can engage passively before visiting the landing page.

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Nice Landing Page Part II

The Ad:

The Landing Page (notes in red):

The Results Page:  Observe numbered underlined sections-
1. Roll over with detailed info for methodical shoppers.
2. Excellent persuasive copy.  Headings start by addressing biggest questions in customers’ minds: Are you surprised by the results?  Why choose Blue?  How does your brand compare?
3. Instant off coupon for impulsive shoppers.
4. Store locator for people preferring to touch and feel the product.

Pet dog name
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Nice Landing Page

Though not a huge fan of aggressive discount tactics this example is worth sharing.

Search query:

Landing page:

Landing Page

What I like is that the retailer understands my brand preference and immediately offers a 10% discount.  I’ve not even seen the price tag but the upfront discount definitely gets my attention.  In the cut-throat world of ecommerce this slight difference has a huge impact when applied to an audience size of a few million.

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