Landing Page Q&A with Tim Ash of Site Tuners

This interview with Tim Ash of Site Tuners, is part of our Convirza Webinar Series. A transcript of the Q&A portion of the episode with McKay Allen, Convirza’s Director of Content and Communications, is available below. 


McKay: One of the things we have been getting a lot is, what about secondary offers on landing pages, Tim? You mentioned having a clear call to action. One of the things that we actually do on a couple of our pages and were getting questions about is, okay, maybe you offer a demo of a site or a product, and then maybe at the bottom of the page you have one button for a lower friction offer, perhaps.

Do you recommend that, or is that a bad thing to do?

Tim: No, no, absolutely not. I mean, you can have multiple goals on the page. I wouldn’t suggest going beyond three or four, perhaps, because that’s all people can consider and parallel. But it’s absolutely appropriate to have different calls to action for different stages in the process. I wouldn’t think of it as a light weight offer and a heavy weight offer, but rather as a, where are you in the sales funnel?

Early on you might get an eBook download and an email grab. Late stage people, you might ask for a Contact Us form fill or a phone call, and those are perfectly appropriate.

I think you should just make it clear who it’s for. For example, researching this area? Download your eBook and give us your email. Ready to get started? That’s when the Contact Us form comes in. The key thing is appropriate visual prioritization. Somebody should be clear about what your intended primary call to action is on the page and what’s secondary by the amount of visual emphasis and screen real estate and position that you give it.

McKay: Okay. That’s makes a lot of sense. The other question that we’re seeing is, we have someone asking, “Okay, look, I understand what you’re saying about the pop-ups, the little chat box,” but this person says that, “My manager says that it brings user engagement when that little chat box hits. How do you balance that?” Because it is, as you said, sort of annoying when it follows you around the page, but would you agree with that manager that it does spur user engagement? How should this person handle that?

Tim: Well, okay. The main point, I guess, is don’t argue with your manager. Say, “Hey, that’s a great point. We should test it. See which one is more effective.” That’s the argument ender. If you have enough data rate and traffic you should just try it with and without, in parallel, of course, not one after another. But at random show people one with the chat box and one without. See which one performs better.

But the general principle is people don’t like unwelcome surprises. They come to a page and you intercept them on the way in and pop an entry pop-up. I mean, it’s another thing if they’re stuck on the page and they’re not filling out your form and after 15 or 30 seconds of inactivity you do that. Then you should definitely consider helping them out and being proactive. But on the whole I would say it falls into the unwelcome surprise category, and that’s the thing that we’re really trying to avoid.

McKay: Okay. I think the first bit of advice, don’t argue with your manager is probably good just generally. So I like that very much. And then finally before we close, Tim, what is the number one problem you see with landing pages? I mean, what is the most common error people make as they set up their pages?

Tim: I think the underlying fundamental cause of all landing page sins, is the fact that we are not thinking like our visitors. It’s really hard to get outside of our own heads. We have this inside out perspective, our company facing the outside world.

Instead we need to have an outside in perspective. Who is coming in, what expectations and baggage are they bringing, and how can we be of value to them? And until marketers start doing that, instead of focusing on the company, they are not going to get the best results.

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