Landing Page Makeover Clinic #22:

Landing Page Makeover Clinic #22:

Reader Comments (29)

  1. Hi Roberta.

    I agree with you about the color of the site; there’s something about it that I find slightly depressing. I think its the shades of gray.

    The landing page looks like there’s too little space on one side, which feels rushed, and too much space on the other side, which feels..well, spaced-out 😉

  2. Great tips. I would also try…

    #11 Cleaning up all those different fonts: bold, italics, bold-and-italic. It looks too much like a cheesey sales letter for a pyramid scheme right now.

    #12 Put your sign-up form on the Landing Page.

  3. This page just screams scam to me. I’d be happy to refinance *if* I knew I’d get a good rate and the period it would take to cover the costs of the refinance was short.

    This really makes me think of acai berries and teeth whitening pages. I’m not sure that even Roberta’s excellent suggestions would change this feeling. At least if you are using quotation marks, cite your source and make it somewhat verifiable.

    Your video has 30 seconds that are pointless and an 8 minute video, probably not going to happen. Who wants to watch that? In addition, some people don’t like video. I’d suggest additional materials (worksheets and tip sheets help lots of people).

  4. Here’s my question: why keep using quotation marks around headlines? I know it’s standard landing-page format, but it’s so tacky. They don’t belong there.

    To me, they feel as gratuitous as the ones in, say, “fresh” asparagus. I wouldn’t buy from someone who uses them, because I’d think that person isn’t so smart.

  5. Laura – I’ve actually seen some research that shows adding quotations around headlines can pop response. I haven’t tested it myself, but others have. Perhaps I’m resistant since the quotes in your example show the problem. “Fresh” makes me think the veggie is obviously not fresh at all.

    Have any Copyblogger readers tested adding quotes to their headlines vs no quotes? I’m interested in hearing your results if you have.

  6. I think adding quotations without clarifying who said them (that is, citing a source) invariably makes me leave a page. I guess that’s popping a response — departure!

  7. In my opinion quotes should only be used on testimonial-style headlines, which are very effective.

    “I read Copyblogger first thing every morning,” admits Angelina Jolie. 😉

  8. What a genuinely helpful, useful, wonderful post. Great content.

    Easy to see that the CopyBlogger standards are remaining sky high for 2010.

    Thanks Roberta and Brian
    Mike Wilke

  9. Thanks so much, Mike. There’s some fresh approaches to come on my landing page makeover beat, including a follow-up post on ‘Where are they now” previous makeover participants and a few more goodies down the road. Stay tuned.

  10. I would be very disinclined to change anything about the page to make it “less sales pagey” without testing. Remember that normal people don’t see nearly as many “Info Secrets of the Marketing Millionaires” pages as we do. And most of the sales page cliches exist because they boost conversion.

    Roberta, what do you think of that third “check” point? I found it confusing. I’d probably rewrite it to avoid the blanks, something like “Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year by Avoiding These Three Common Rip-Offs.”

  11. I’m not sure how you kept it to 10 + 1 points. Everything about the site is done poorly.

    I’m not trying to be mean but a complete overhaul needs to be done. From the look and feel to the copy to the navigation to the …. well, we can just keep going.

  12. As mentioned in a previous comment, this page just screams “scam” to me, almost on the “make millions working from home” level. When I stop to think about why I get this impression, a few things pop out to me:

    1. The page starts with “shocking online videos”. This sounds like something I’d see in the checkout line of a grocery store. My trust factor just took a serious hit.

    2. Large, red, bold text. I know it’s there to get my attention, but it reminds me of numerous online scams I’ve run across.

    3. The site makes, and guarantees, a broad claim that can’t possibly apply to everyone. Anyone who makes a guarantee without knowing my situation loses credibility.

    4. The page looks like it was put together by an amateur. The overall look of a page plays a large role in how I perceive a business. Also, that clip-art has to go.

  13. And yet. He’s getting 3% conversion from the page, which is extremely respectable. I’m quite sure he can do better, because there are clear areas for improvement, but I’ll also give him credit for what he’s done so far.

  14. As Sonia pointed out, the participant is getting a 3% conversion rate. Not too shabby.

    My job was to take what he’s been doing and make it better. Had I been commissioned by him to do a private makeover, I would have done a much deeper analysis of what works and what doesn’t. For my makeover series here, I try to hit the main points for the public Copyblogger audience to read and from which to learn.

    Lastly, coming from a direct mail background as I do, I’ve learned that ‘scam’ is a purely subjective descriptor. There’s a reason why my very first email address in the mid 1980s began with ‘junkmail.’ 🙂

  15. I’ve gotta wonder about that big ‘ole header up top. It’s diluting the power of the headline (which needs a little TLC). You have 2-4 seconds to grab attention, and that headline is a speed bump.

  16. He’s doing a respectable job so far, but the tips listed are great ways to improve the page and get that number even higher. It’s amazing how just a few simple changes can see big results.

  17. Nice and useful tips.
    Colour scheme is very important but is so easily overlooked.
    I do prefer using other methods than getting users to register, as it proves to be easier and more effective.

  18. May I offer some comments from Down Under. I agree that the response rate’s OK. And the copy has faults. My concern is with design.
    I believe that 25%–50% of all visitors will go no further than the first para. It’s just too hard to read easily.
    Cartoon Graphic
    This graphic attracts the eye and competes with the headline for attention. It also draws the eye away from the copy beside it. And it interferes with left justification.
    Readers expect left justified copy. The headline is left justified but the next line isn’t. The “tick” points aren’t either. The reader has to make three eye adjustments
    right at the start of the page.
    All this occurs because the graphic is out of place. Put it on the right hand side of the page so that the copy’s left justified and maintains reading gravity.
    The page seems to have two conflicting headlines. This confuses the reader. It drives them away.
    The first para has at least four typefaces. Every change of typeface loses readers. Whether you prefer serif or sans-serif, choose one typeface and stick with it. And remember: capital letters drive readers away.
    It’s a tribute to Robert’s offer that he gets a 3% response.
    The copy itself could improve greatly. But the current design will cause many readers to stop reading in the first few lines.
    Regards to all from Oz

  19. What’s pretty and proper in the mind of a “copywriter” may not generate a response in the mind of your prospect. Until you’ve tested you won’t know what your prospects are going to respond to. Quotation marks are placed around headlines because they been tested and generate a better response that way. (favorite trick of adwords advertisers) The items on this page have been tested using taguchi methods and they are up there because they generated the best response. Loosely quoting Dan Kennedy award-winning copy usually isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on when it comes to generating a response.

    Also, what you see in the checkout stand at the supermarket is written that way because that space is some of the most competitive advertising around. The copy is there because it generates the best response…not because it looks pretty and copywriters admire it. As far as direct response marketing goes I’d consider it a compliment that the copy reminds some of the supermarket checkout stand. Copywriters at Cosmo and the Inquirer are some the best paid in the industry.

    I’ve gotten some great suggestions here for further testing. Thanks Roberta

  20. Robert, I appreciate how hard it must be to watch your site get whacked. But the flip is we all get to learn something from it – and Heifer International gets a little something, too. It’s all good.

  21. Tried to post this here some time befoe, but somehow the post was not accepted 🙂

    Had a look at your site and found the following:

    1) the couple in the photo doesn’t really look happy and I thought that applying your knowledge or working with you makes customers happy. Fire these kids and get some really happy people.

    2) the scene in front of the garage looks to be set up too much. If this is meant to present a young family with kids, show the kids. It make the scene more lively and kids sell.

    3) the doodles in the middle (angry face) and near the bottom (dollar bill) don’t fit the style of the site. Either remove them or use more of it (you refer to DK, so check out past newsletters about the use of copy doodles).

    4) the video doesn’t load for me as it is hosted on youtube (which my proxy blocks). Check out if it is possible to host it on your own webspace or maybe Amazon S3.

    5) At the end of you page you ask the visitor again to register. There is no button, no link no nothing. The visitor has to scroll upwards to find the Register button. Addition of a second button at the bottom would probably increase conversion.

    6) The pop-up when going to the back-button is nicely made but doesn’t really relate to your site. You ask the leaving visitor for calculating a refi deal by giving details about his property and personal data. If someone really uses this, you make some bucks on commissions from the affiliate program behind it, but you don’t own the customer. Offer them a subscription to a newsletter instead so you can do a direct follow up. After they have signed up you still can send them to the aff program.

    Hope this helps a little

  22. Unless you get a professional advice it takes time to get your website right from the start. The fact is that a webmaster might not yet know what he exactly wants his website look like at the beginning. In time he will learn, test and improve. Most of the comments are coming from pros and almost throwing all his ideas out of the window. Whatever you say this website has an individuality comparing with all the other similar sites. Most mortgage refinance sites are cheesy; full of banners and happy pictures. Great work Roberta. I have to keep the page url safe, because I’d love to come back and read it again and again.

  23. About a year ago i made the following comment:
    “1) the couple in the photo doesn’t really look happy and I thought that applying your knowledge or working with you makes customers happy. Fire these kids and get some really happy people.”

    Checked out the site again today and found that he has finally changed the the photo. Happy family in front of their house -> people are more likely to be drawn into the salesletter than in the old version. (points 1 +2 solved).
    Unfortunately, the other points mentioned were not taken on.

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