Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Need a Softer Call to Action

A job came across my desk today, the brief describing an existing landing page that wasn't converting, which in this case was defined as getting visitors to fill out a form. The AE had already identified the problem: "Need a stronger call to action." (I swear.)

So I go to the page. It's loaded with flowery copy and a basic image of a high-end product. At the bottom of the copy is a form. Below that form is a check-box that basically says you acknowledge that you know you are about to be harassed non-stop by a salesperson who has already asked in the above form what the best time to call you would be. He also wanted your home address, your email address and a few other nuggets.

It's not that people aren't visiting the landing page; they are. They just aren't filling out the form because they smell "sales hound" all over it. And the AE decides that we simply need to call them to action "stronger."

Wrong. We need to call them much softer. The client has a similar ad running in The New York Times that uses the same basic copy points and the exact same image, but it converts well because it only offers a phone number and a web address.

People don't like forms. Much less long ones. Much less invasive ones. Much less ones with terms of agreement check-boxes at the bottom. Put them all together and you've got a recipe for failure. Keep paying for those clicks on your PPC ads, and then keep wondering why no one is "converting" from your landing pages.

See the cartoon below.

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  • if had a nickel for every time this happened in my previous life....well, i'd be segey brin.

    By Blogger thompanilla, at October 17, 2007 at 9:23 PM  

  • Reminds of the Office episode in which Dwight tries to outsell the website. At one point he berates a customer, "Why would you buy from a website when you could buy from a sales professional!?" (or something close.) Over-curious forms in websites pushy salesmen who are also very nosey.

    By Anonymous Major Flummox, at October 17, 2007 at 11:33 PM  

  • “...and the button needs to be red because SEM best practice shows that 40% more people click something that’s red.”

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at October 18, 2007 at 12:55 PM  

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