Greg Cassar from InternetMarketingDoneForYou.com shares some fantastic conversion ideas that you can implement today to see great improvements in your profit.
To double sales, simply concentrate on traffic and conversions. Focus on conversions first. When you double your conversion you have halved your lead cost. Lower lead costs give you more buying power to buy leads.
Be a marketing hawk spotting the numbers that can be easily improved
- It is essential to watch the numbers.
- Know all the numbers in your business.
- Cut the losers short and run the winners long.
- When you find winners you can scale.
Higher volumes of traffic allow you to test much faster
- Multi-variate is the best testing choice for high volume traffic.
- There is no need to guess – the numbers will reveal the winner.
- There is a balance between measuring enough versus too much.
Starting with a A:B split test is the best starting point
- Testing does not take much time.
- Most marketers do no testing so it is easy to beat them.
- Set a diary schedule for testing.
- Visual Website Optimizer is excellent software for testing.
- Let the audience decide what they like.
- Aside from testing landing pages you can also test email subject lines and cart checkouts.
Greg recommends you optimize the whole conversion chain:
- Home page optimisation
- Landing page optimization
- Form design and checkout optimization
- Maximise phone sales
- Increase continuity
- Optimize followups
- Then crank traffic
Think about the main purpose of each page. Each page should only have one or two required action
- Put things above the fold.
- Use subtle arrows.
- ClickTale allows you to see heat maps and where people are going on your page in the form of video replays.
- Watching the customers mouse move helps conversions.
- Form analytics shows you where people abandon multi-part forms.
- To increase conversions pre-educate customers with video landing pages prior to a phone call with instructions.
- Be very responsive when answering the calls from a website.
- OfficeAutoPilot allows you to split test auto responder followup sequences.
- The purpose of the headline is to sell the open.
- The open is to sell the first line and being able to test these are very important.
Enterprise level software such as Eloqua and Silverpop are very very powerful with visual diagrams
- Continuity in the form of automatic re-bills is a crucial aspect to test. Price points can help this.
- Sometimes higher or lower price points result in higher total profit.
- Tailor the message to the audience. Ask them how often they would like to hear from you.
- Ask people why they cancel a continuity program and you can improve your system.
Greg likes Kampyle.com for feedback and also LiveChat is the ultimate
- James uses LiveChatInc and loves it.
- Think of your websites as a store and you will improve sales.
- Online conversion is like a modern day sales person.
- Converting better online automates your sales process.
- James uses transcripts from Live Chat for the copywriter to put back into a FAQ page which you can also create support macros for the help desk.
The easy way to get started is to test one thing at a time
- Ideally you ‘no index no follow’ a split test duplicate page to avoid it being duplicated for Google.
- Be sure to remember to follow index the page if it becomes a winner later.
- Often high converting pages are to SEO friendly pages.
- Conversions can increase when you remove unnecessary elements such as excessive navigation.
- Match your landing page to traffic source as they convert at different rates.
- Always work to improve your current best conversion.
- Starting with the headline is the best place to start
- Next start with the sub-headlines.
- In general lighter colours convert better.
- Button colours are very important and you can use yellow or green Go Forward buttons and great boring buttons for the back buttons.
- Place everything you can above the fold (not requiring a scroll down)
- Most people do not scroll so keep all important actions above the fold.
- Screen size should be 1024 x 768 to cater for the average user rather than large screens.
- Placing actions above the fold can often lift conversions straight away .
- The best landing page has a logo on the top left and a thin header bar and contact details above the fold.
- Also it will have an auto-play with an opt-in form just to the side of the video.
See the example www.SilverCircle.com as an above the fold site
- In tests with video sales letter versus face to camera versus traditional long from text sales letters the text always lost.
- Often the slides on video sales letter (VSL) beat the face to camera VSL).
- If you are a celebrity in your niche then you on camera will probably beat a slide only version.
- Naturally you should yes this yourself and the cold / hot factor of the traffic will be crucial.
- Next focus on video length. Most videos should be under 12 minutes. 8 – 12 minutes is the sweet spot.
- Email opt-ins can be 2 -3 minutes same for up-sells.
- Use Wistia to track video heat maps and where possible pass your prospects emails into the analytics to track viewing habits.
- The audience will show you where they are most interested in with repeat views. Use those spikes to locate key interest points.
James: James Schramko here and today I’m interviewing Greg Cassar who’s Australia’s leading internet conversion specialist. With InternetMarketingDoneForYou.com, Greg and his team provide traffic development and conversion optimize services for medium to large businesses, enterprises and ecommerce stores which is a big emerging market who are looking for serious growth online. Welcome to the call Greg.
Greg: Thank you very much James, it’s great to be here.
James: Well it’s always fun talking about conversions because I think it’s kind of like the less sexy, less exciting topic. We can always talk about traffic and we can talk about getting customers but one of the most important things I think that is often overlooked, maybe because it’s difficult or maybe because it’s not that well understood is actually making more from the visits that we actually get to our site which is something you specialize in.
Greg: It’s interesting that you talk about traffic or conversion like in reality you want to double your sales online the answer is really both. Most people think that if I want to double my sales I really need double as much traffic. But when we’re working with businesses or even on our own stuff we always focus on the conversion piece first and the reason why is because if you make what you’ve got very efficient then the traffic that you send to it is going to effectively bear you more fruit. Because every time you can 2 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness double your conversion rate, whether it’s a lead or sale what you’re effectively doing is halving your, let’s say for example if you double your conversion rate to lead, you’ve actually halved the amount of money that it costs you to get a lead.
And then if you do go on and crank your traffic good and well you’re getting double the result that you would have if you didn’t get the conversion boost sort of thing. We always think about conversion first and then ramp up traffic which is different than the other way that most people do it.
James: What I really like about that is it gives you a lot more power when you do buy traffic because you can outbid competitors if you have more profit waiting for that lead I guess. It gives you more spending power.
Greg: Yes, spot on because someone else might be thinking, “oh if I buy traffic at that cost per click it’s going to cost me this much per lead but if your conversion rate is considerably the same from cost per click you can get much better cost per lead so it really is key. How this came about for us actually if I can just give you the quick 1 minute version of my story. I was working in corporate IT. I was a real geek’s geek. So I was in enterprise computer networking for firms, banks, and insurance company and all that sort of stuff and I started getting good online and similar to your story actually, where I was doing it on the side.
And then I got to the point where I had that many people asking me: “would you mind doing this, would you mind doing that for me?” So I had to make a decision, am I going to run a marketing agency or am I going to continue down the corporate IT path? I noticed I was more interested in marketing so I jumped ship and got in to that. Did my own businesses online as well as well as run a marketing agency. We did the direct response marketer in our country by the name of MalEmery and I worked with a copywriter called Bret Thomson for two to three years we had pretty much open slather to anything that we could test. Yeah go for it and basically the brief was pretty much build my traffic, build my conversion, build my list, the whole lot. Just, yeah go for it. And so what we started thinking of what are all the things that we’ve ever wanted to test, what happens when we change the background colour to blue, what happens when we change these headlines or this button to yellow to green and all that sort of stuff. So we just did tens and literally hundreds of split tests. That’s really how I got very passionate and also a lot of runs on the board.
We’ve not got maybe three to four hundred split tests under our belt. I would say at a guess I don’t know the exact number. That’s sort of how we came about. 3 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness That’s the concept of being a marketing hawk. If you think about a hawk, what happens with a hawk is he’s really monitoring his patch or his field down below and if it’s not smooth or something’s out of place, he pounces on it. He’s straight on it. And so I’m similar to you where I really watch the numbers and that’s what I call that being a marketing hawk. So I know how much traffic costs and then I know how much cost per lead and then I know how much costs get per sale.
But I don’t know that just grow as a general rule, I know of every traffic source let’s say for example Google Adwords might cost this much per click and then it work out to be a $10 lead and then a $30 sale and then Facebook ads work out to be whatever lead and that much sale so I know that marketing hawk right down to what each traffic source is costing you and which one, because really from there what we look at is one of the winners long and a couple of losers short and get to the point where we can figure out what the losers are really quick so we can cut them and figure out what the winners are so we can roll them out and roll them out big from traffic sources we take as much as you can give us. And some of our clients spend you know anywhere from like 30 grand a month or whatever just buying banners or Adwords critiques or whatever kind of traffic and things we do on big scales. And you get to learn fast.
Like one market we’re working on at the moment we’ve got sort of roughly 300,000 unique visitors a month and so what that enables us to do is to test a whole bunch of stuff really fast; things that you would normally take a long time to figure out. We can test 16 different headlines and sub headline combinations in a week. By using multivariate we can get into that in a little bit. Multivariate testing rather than just saying I wonder which headline is better, this one or that one. We’ll take four headline combinations and 4 sub headline combinations and then let Google Website Optimizer mix them all around and give us a result out of that and testing that sort of volume and stuff you really figure out sort of what works and what doesn’t. We don’t really guess anymore we just let the numbers speak for themselves and go from there.
James: That’s the wonderful part of the science of this, you might have a hypothesis but then you can go and prove it correct or incorrect and learn from that. And input that. So that’s so good about the online world is pretty much everything’s measureable but I guess there’s a balance between measuring enough or measuring too much and 4 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness then never actually applying the data. How do you draw that medium balance? The Goldilocks zone.
Greg: Yeah I guess we simplify a lot. We talk about leads, I think that’s definitely the thing that most people were having common is they’ve got a website and they try and capture leads and email list and that sort of thing. I think in the simplest form just getting an AB split test going is a great way to go. So if I think back over the last couple of years, anything that we built for example a landing page, even a homepage we never just build one of them.
So we take a landing page we build one version of it and then we’ll create a second version of it and we’ll call it index2 or whatever we’ll call it and we’ll change one design element whether it’s a headline or the call to action, something like that. And then we use Google Website Optimizer in an AB split test to rotate between the two. So what you’re saying to Google Website Optimizer is when traffic comes to my main page, send 50% of it over to the second page and rotate it around and tell me ultimately which one is the better, is the winner and then which means its converted more leads. Then from there we’ll declare a control. So we’ll say, “Ok, the second version got a 3% better conversion than the first one so now let’s call it our control and then let’s create a second version of it and try and outdo it.” So we did that for years before we really went into the whole multivariate area and got amazing results from that.
It is slower, definitely, than the multivariate stuff and we’ll talk about the multivariate in a moment. But the thing is to the average business owner, or the average entrepreneur, with the traffic volumes that they’re getting, AB split testing is definitely a better way to go. You really got to look out is which version of the page did better and from there can I declare a winner. So that’s sort of the conversion numbers. And then the other real numbers we look at is how much do we spend and how many leads did that result in and how many sales did that result in and just doing that by traffic source so there’s sort of the metrics at its simplest level of what you need to look at. It doesn’t need to take up a lot of time. Like most internet marketers I meet don’t do any split testing at all. Which is a little crazy but I don’t know whether that’s because of just the technology, is it a little bit too hard, is it a little bit daunting or but are we finding that usually the ones we 5 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness showcase were the first one and then they’re pretty right from there on in but you really could do get it simplified in your diary.
You know once a month we’re going to set a split test on our main landing page and then we’re going to let it run for the month and then see how we go. And then it’s in the diary again, you know whichever is the winner we’re going to declare that a control. I do it full time you know so we can test so much stuff, but for the average business owner or entrepreneur, they don’t have the time so they can diarize it just set it as a monthly activity or weekly or whatever they can afford. Test out some stuff and see what works.
James: I think it’s a great point, I certainly agree. Hardly anyone is doing it and I’m not sure whether it is because they don’t know what to do or whether they get stuck on little hurdles. Obviously to make these changes, and I love your tip about two versions of everything, it’s good. I think the average business owner probably gets hung up on the design side of it or the web development side of it, actually getting it done. The other thing they probably struggle with in general is copy or copywriting and those are two main obstacles that I could see for the average owner but if they can get passed that then it’s actually very easy to use the software isn’t it? I used to use Google but apparently they’re closing that or moving it and so I use Visual Website Optimizer and it’s even easy for someone like me just to paste a little bit of script onto the page and it just goes to work.
Greg: Yeah it’s great; I think Visual Website Optimizer certainly got a benefit out of the Google changes. So what James is talking about there is as of effectively end of July, start of August Google’s shutting down its Google Website Optimizer tool and they’re rolling it into Google Analytics. It’s already there now, people can test it and they’ve tried to make it like a wizard sort of a graphical user interface to make it easier for people. The problem for me with the new version is that you can only test up to six combinations of things. So that’s not that ideal if you do this at a professional level.
We’re certainly won’t going down that path and we’re doing exactly what you’re doing which is going down the Visual Website Optimizer path. But for the average business owner entrepreneur the other really good thing about it is Google Analytics is free so there’s no cost involved just basically tell it create one page and then duplicate that 6 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness page even just change the headline and then from a code point of view you’re saying is which is your first page you give it the URL of the first page, which is your second page you give it the URL of the new one where you changed the headline or whatever and then that’s it. Which is your conversion page, so for example if you are much likely to fill in the form and you went to a thank you page that’s what the conversion page would be and then click verify and check you’ve got the cart in there and then click run and then off it goes.
It’ll just do it behind the scenes. So it really is as simple as that. But most people don’t do it. But I found for me it was a game changer. Once I first started doing it I sort of went from getting okay results to much better than average results just by figuring out a hypothesis and then testing it and let the data decide. It even goes like you and I have got a lot of runs on the board but we don’t always know what’s going to work. There are times when I’ve been convinced that I knew what was going to work but you let the traffic go at it and often times you’re wrong but the way I look at it is there’s no right or wrong with split tests. It’s the data that will tell you and let the audience or the market decide what they like best. What they respond to best and what they ultimately can relate to.
James: It’s certainly the key. It’s not being arrogant and continually track and test things. Now I do track a lot of things and we haven’t talked about some of the other things that we can improve conversions on. For example we have talked about on page and changing pages but I do strange things like pass email variables into videos and then track user behaviour. And I see where people drop off videos using heat maps and stuff. So I guess we should sort of reveal some of the other types of things that we can improve conversions on including emails and subject lines and stuff. Let’s talk about that.
Greg: Great, we look at it as a thing called, with a concept of, sort of coined as a chain of conversion and when we go into companies and when we’re working on increasing their conversion, we’re not just thinking about one thing or like at the moment we spoke about landing page optimization. But we really look at it as a whole like a chain. And the chain sort of works like this, the first thing we look at is home page optimization; I’ll tell you what they are and then let’s talk them through.
So home page optimization, landing page optimization, form, design and check out optimization, maximize phone sales, increase 7 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness continuity, and optimize follow up which is what you were talking about, the email, and then crank traffic. So all those things are basically what we do. If we go into a business and they really want different results. So if we talk about from the home page point of view. Things like, with every page that we design or that we work on we think about what’s the primary course of action that we want somebody to take on this page. And also maybe what’s the secondary course of action and as a general rule pages should have served one maybe two purposes not try to be everything to everyone.
So the purpose of your homepage maybe like a traffic light is to set different junction boxes to different areas but it really maybe to get the email opt-in. If that’s the case then putting it above the fold, making it prominent having subtle hours, those sorts of things could make a difference. So that’s the sort of stuff we talk about with homepage optimization. Landing page optimization we’ve spoken a little bit about that, but what builds on landing page optimization is form, design and check out.
Most people don’t really think about with forms, one tool that we use is clicktale and we use it for a couple of different things, one is it gives great heatmaps which James was talking about before, it shows you really where people are going on the webpage and where people are clicking and that sort of stuff. It also gives you video replay so you’re not guessing what people are doing on your site anymore, you’re not watching their mouse move over your site so you can see where they got stuck or how far they scrolled down and all that sort stuff. That really is a big game changer from a conversion point of view. And it’s all click sales got this thing called form analytics. Form analytics isn’t as important if you’ve only got two or three type fields but if you start getting into bigger forms or multi set forms it’s important.
We worked on a rental company; I won’t go into the specifics for the customer details, but a company that rented out widgets and large widgets and there was like four steps to the process so we setup clicktale form analytics and when we started we had 100 people at the start and we’re getting seven and a half made it right through to the end fo the fourth form. Which was seven and a half per cent but then by looking at form analytics and figuring out, hang on a second half the people were actually leaving at this field on the second form they’re 8 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness finding that too invasive and then we’re looking at another quarter here.
But looking at that sort of stuff and figuring out where they were leaving, we got it from seven and a half per cent to twenty four and a half per cent of people who started the form and then finished it through those four pages which doesn’t really sound like much but in reality we more than doubled in fact tripled and more in this business. Just for the web form. Just for the web form design so that wasn’t even with cranking the traffic or anything. Just optimizing what they had there. So form design and check out is a crucial area.
And also the next thing we always look at is phone sales and follow up. If you’re capturing leads, if you can get them on the phone for traditional business obviously that’s going to convert better than just email or whatever because it’s a richer media it’s a more personal medium. But what you can do is what I call phone foreplay where you set them up for the call. So let’s say for example you’ve got a business and they’ve just opted in for a free trial or a free whatever and they’re about to get a call from the sales team. On the thank you page don’t just thank them.
Give them a video, a rich video that’s going to tell them what’s going to happen next. That a member of our team is about to all you they’re going to talk you through this, they’ll grab your details so we can ship it out in the post, that sort of thing. So you’re already preframing them as to what’s about to happen, then when the phone guy rings them, they’re like, “oh yeah, okay, yeah, I knew that was coming” that sort of thing.
So they’re already conditioned and that can make a big difference on the amount of conversion that you get from the phone. Another thing about the phone is just making sure that it happens responsive, that it’s quick enough. If you let those leads go to long they can go stale. I know we were working with a real estate company and we cranked their lead gen too far. These guys was selling investment properties and they were booked three weeks out or four weeks out in advance and couldn’t get the people fast enough and that affected their conversion rate.
So they ended up having to turn their lead gen on and off like a tap which is not a bad problem to have but it does show that you have to be timely with the phone stuff. There’s a whole bunch of conversion things that’s related to the web but you can do just with a phone. Other things from a conversion point of view like what you said with the follow up. 9 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness So using an auto responder, I know you do a lot of stuff with Office Autopilot, James, where you can split test headlines; that’s great being able to see over time which headline resulted in more opens. Because the way I look at emails is the purpose of the headline is to sell the click, to sell the open. Then the purpose of the email is to sell the click over wherever you’re going like let’s say for example the landing page and then the landing page is to do what it’s supposed to do.
So being able to split test all those different headlines etc. is amazing. Some of the bigger companies I worked with, we do more than enterprise level software, and they have an even greater level of split testing or sort of analytics of what’s working. A lot of those, what I’m talking about is like in Marketos, Eloqua, SilverPop these sort of they’re called marketing automation tools. Most entrepreneurs won’t come across them unless they deal in reasonably big business coz these things cost like fifty grand a year and stuff. But what they enable you to do is it’s sort of, it’s like drawing a map when people come in then where do they go next then where do they go after that. And then it’ll give you analytics like a visual. Let’s say 50% of them clicked on this and when over there and then 20% of them read that email and then went over here. And then you can figure out over time, you know exactly what’s working and what’s not.
So that’s crucial in that follow up side. The other thing that we look at from a conversion point of view is continuity. Continuity for those who don’t know is about getting automatic rebill wherever possible. So with the continuity side when we’re working with a business on conversion, what we’re looking at is getting, one, more people taking up the continuity and then, two, we’re looking at different price points. What’s the ultimate price point that’s going to result in the most profit for the business? Sometimes you might have get less people taking it up but it’s at a higher price point and that could be better or sometimes reducing the price point and getting more people taking it up could be more profitable. So figuring that stuff out and then with the continuity also looking the life of the continuity. So is the average person leaving after two months or are they leaving after four months?
Figure out when that is and then try and add really exciting stuff that’s coming up next just before they normally drop off. And that will get them increasing the billing because obviously if you can get an extra rebill out of people or if you can get them to paying more 10 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness that sort of thing you can really make a massive difference in your business. So that’s sort of all the stuff we do with this chain of conversions and then once we’ve done those things that’s when we really look at cranking the traffic across a whole bunch of different media.
James: Greg, you’ve just dropped out a dozen golden tips there, the video landing page after a telephone call and the follow up mapping. I mean I was quite proud of myself recently. I put a little link on the bottom of my broadcast which goes out every day or two to say if you’d rather receive this once a week click on this link and I’ve been able to set up smart rules that will take someone off a daily list and add them to a weekly list. And now I’m able to have a really relevant conversation with my target audience. And I can just imagine that these big enterprise solutions are pretty sexy when you get behind the hood.
Greg: Yeah absolutely. And that’s really good that you’re doing that because you’re tallying the message to them and how often they want to hear. I first learned that from Terry Marshall where he sent me an email saying how often do you want to hear from me. And it was really an infusion, you click a link, every day or every time I’ve got something to say or only whenever. Basically he does exact thing as you were puts you in the relevance sequence. I think that’s really good stuff that you’re doing there from an email point of view. That’s with Office Autopilot is it?
James: Yes and I wanted to do that sort of thing with the last system I used but it just wasn’t intelligent enough to do that. So I’m finding some of the other things that have worked really well for me since I’ve switched across to that; the ability to send a message when someone unsubscribes from a recurring service. It allows me to identify why they left and to offer assistance, and to basically like, “Hey I’m sorry that something just happened and your subscription stopped, could you let me know why you’re leaving and if you need support you can go here. But please hit reply and let me know.” I’m getting the most amazing feedback that I couldn’t have guessed and I could only know from having sent the emails. So from a preserving a lifetime customer perspective it’s really lifting up the balance. And again I couldn’t have done it with the old solution because it would’ve required a double opt-in. And people aren’t going to confirm opt-in to say why they’re leaving.
Greg: Can I add a point on that, you’re talking about feedback. That feedback mechanism, I’m a big fan of that. There’s two main ways 11 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness we do that as well. Slightly different, we use Kampyle which is an online feedback tool. You basically put at the bottom of your site. They click on it and it brings out a little web browser page that says what area would you like to get feedback on. Whether it’s products, services, website, general feedback, complement, whatever it may give you. And it only takes them like 10 to 20 seconds to fill it out.
They can do it anonymously or they can put their details in. The stuff that you get back from that is gold. You may be doing everything right but then they’re hating how long you’re taking to ship to them or they hating how long or whatever it is. So you find out those gems like what you were talking about. You wouldn’t normally know because you’re looking at your business a certain way and then you get that customer feedback. And the other one that we really like is online chat tools but if you’ve got a small business, online chat probably isn’t as good as the Kampyle because Kampyle just sort of sits there passively. Whereas an online chat really needs human resources to manage it. But the online chat is ultimately a really good level of customer service. And really can help with conversions.
Sometimes we put the online chat stuff on sales pages so we don’t really treat it as a support tool where you do get some support requests and then have someone at the other end of it who is savvy at converting them. You’re effectively using them as a mechanism to let you get people across the line.
James: Yeah, I’ll just expand on that because any of my sales sites has a live chat button but we don’t even man the live chat. It’s switched off. But what does say then it says leave a message and it’s both on the top of the site and at the foot of the site. And it integrates directly into Zendesk where our support team are able to see which site sent the message and it’s almost always a sales inquiry or a presales question, and 9 times out of 10 if we just answer the question the person goes on to purchase. So even in a switched off capacity you’ll gather some rich data about how people are visiting your site and how they move through the site just from the live chat screen. But it will also fill up your support desk with presales inquiries. Maybe even more so if you had an online form.
Greg: Yeah, great, the take up of it is sensational. Obviously if you do have a big business, having it manned even if it’s just during business hours or whatever is great too. I know Ari Galper, the one thing that I learned 12 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness from him was, he doesn’t think of his website as a website. He thinks of it as his store. And so people are coming into his store and he needs to be able to provide good service and that’s the way he thinks about it. That was pretty clever because the other thing that I think is online conversion is the modern day sales person. Because if people are going to suss you out they’re going to suss you out online So if you can convert better online it’s like having a really good sales person that’s automated to a degree or to a lot doing a job for you.
James: Well a good way to systemize that is when you do man the live chat it will keep a transcript of the record and the you can take those transcripts and give it to your copywriter and they can use that to set up new tests, to use the exact words and phrases and to get into the mind set of someone who’s on the site ready to buy and asking questions. And I found those, when I did man the live chat originally, myself, and answer them, I was getting all this great questions that I put back into a frequently asked questions page and we created support macros for them as well. So it’s a great way to research the audience.
Greg: Yeah, that is fantastic feedback. I haven’t done that so that’s very good t hing.
James: Okay G r e g , now you love this stuff it’s obvious. You’re like a selfsourcing pudding when we get started on this so I’m just letting you run because you have got such a rich knowledge of it. But I imagine that there’s the odd listener who’s listening to this and they’re thinking, “Great,” but just technical eyes glazing over, I know I need to do it. I want to do it, no idea where to start it’s all confusing but it sounds like a good thing.” Like what sort of options do people have if they’re not technical, they don’t have a design team or programmer on staff. What are the natural steps for people?
Greg: Okay, I think taking it right back to the basics of figure out where you’re driving your most traffic. And then just scale. If you’ve got one main landing page on your site that captures the leads and builds your database then that’s the spot where you’d really need to focus on your conversion optimizations. And really to break it down into two quick easy options one would be to create a second version of that page so just within WordPress by duplicating that page if you built it that way. Basically create a second version of that page and start with just change the headline on the second one. And because you don’t want to 13 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness change multiple variables at a time because you won’t figure out what’s…
James: So test one thing at a time.
Greg: Test one thing at a time yeah.
James: And should they no index, no follow the second page just to avoid any duplication penalties?
Greg: Yeah, it definitely is a good idea but if you’re just keeping it simple it’s not a show stopper but it is best practice definitely.
James: Good to know. I mean I’ve been asked these questions before.
Greg: They catch 22 by the way I see people get caught out is if they declare say for example the second page becomes a winner then they put it back…
James: And then forget to turn it on.
James: That is so true. It’s something I learnt from Mike Hill was that each traffic source requires a different landing page and it’s funny you should say that because right now I just drove my email customers to a page that is black and it has one video on it and nothing else. It does have player controls, mind you, but there’s not anything else on the page at all. And that’s just to provide the perfect viewing canvas for this video and the results are spectacular.
Greg: What’s the primary course of action there are you trying to get them to do something after the video? 14 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness
James: Yes, their primary call to action is to send me an email and the email flashes up on the screen and at the end of the video.
Greg: Nice. Yeah and like I said if you’re wanting to send traffic from Google then they hate that.
James: Yeah which I wouldn’t do. So it’s only coming from qualified people who have been on a waiting list.
Greg: Right, yeah so that’s different traffic sources convert at different rates which is definitely another good point there.
James: So does that mean that we shouldn’t worry about you know what Fred or Charlie’s getting as their percentage so much as what are we getting now and how can we improve it?
Greg: That’s right. And even just small, the first goal is just to get an improvement and then declare a winner. And those sort of tools will tell you one page is better than the other. And just starting with headline is the best way to go. Get fancy after that but headlines and sub headlines generally make more difference than most other things. There’s some no no’s to avoid with this sort of stuff. Such as, as general rule, lighter colours will convert better than darker colours.
So if it’s really dark blacks and reds and that sort of stuff people feel a bit uncomfortable at a subconscious level. I don’t necessarily know why but they don’t stay there that long. Blue and I know that robin’s egg blue is typically famous and a lot of blue colour is very trust worthy, very soothing. Also button colour is important, so we use things like yellows and greens are primarily our button colours. When we’re designing an ecommerce or check outs etc. it’s like a greased slide you’d want them to keep going to the next step. We’ll have the go forward buttons as either yellow or green and then the go back button we’ll have them as like grey or something they’re sort of, you’ll almost feel uncomfortable pressing them. You know what I mean; we want them to just keep going.
James: I love it.
Greg: Damn the green path, yeah so we do stuff like that. Also think about above the fold. What we mean by above the fold is we don’t want them to have to scroll down to take your course of action. If you look at things like Clicktale and it shows you like a heat map of how many people scroll 15 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness down for a long sales letter, you might be like a 0.7% of people got to the bottom of that sales letter that sort of thing which is, it’s crazy like less than 1% actually got to the bottom. What it shows is that the call to action really needs to be before they scroll down. And the screen size shouldn’t be for a young techy. It should be really based around mum and pop like 1024 x 768 or whatever type screen so that it works for everyone and people don’t have to scroll down to take the course of action because someone just moving the call to action above the fold can increase your conversion 1 or 2% or something like that.
You haven’t done anything else; you just made it easier for them to find it and made it really obvious. From a landing page point of view what we really love and I know you and I just talked about this, I really love a landing page where it’s got a logo or something professional on the top left. Sort of like a header bar but not really that big. Contact details but then a video, auto play video above the fold and then off to the right of that the call to action whether it’s the opt-in or whatever. We try and do as much as we can above the fold. I’ve got this statement of this saying, above the fold is gold. Wherever possible for a landing page try not to even get them to go down below that. Although often I’ll put short forms, sales copy below the video. Can I tell you about some of the things we did for landing pages that have really worked well for us?
James: I don’t think… of course you can. I do want to say that after speaking to you last time, we’ve gone and redesigned all of our sales sites to have a much thinner headline and one of the examples that people can go and look at is SilverCircle.com where we made a thinner headline and we put the opt-in beside the video. So it has all the elements you just mentioned then including some social proof and comments and Facebook stuff. But that has been a tremendous improvement so pay attention to that tip there. Definitely a professional logo but nice and thin compared to taking up the whole page. A lot of business owners get a bit egotistical don’t they with their logos and they want to take up half the page just bragging about their company but the customer doesn’t really care. They just want to know that they’re dealing with someone professional.
Greg: Yeah I agree and what James is talking about with SilverCircle.com that’s the exact sort of layout which is the out of all the different things 16 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness that we’ve tested that’s sort of the design that works best. You’ve got thin header bar, headline, sub headline, auto play video and then call to action directly off to the right. James even got the green there for the go forward button and then some sales copy and social proof below that. We tested all sorts of things like for example a video sales letter; we tested video sales letter vs. video vs. long sales letters.
In video sales letter what we’re talking about is that like a power point presentation where you see the words coming down vs. the expert let’s say me or whoever on the screen vs. just having a long form traditional sales letter. Our results were pretty much long form sales letter always lost, having the expert on the top came second as a general rule unless the person’s a really good presenter and then it could beat the video sales letter but for most people, 9 people out of 10, a video sales letter is going to convert better and the reason why is because as humans we pick up so much from the communication point of view that is at an unconscious or subconscious level.
So say for example I was speaking on a video and James could sort of feel that I wasn’t really that confident or I looked awkward in front of the camera, he may leave my landing page just because it made him uncomfortable not because of what I was saying was not a good message or that sort of things. So that’s why for most people a video sales letter is going to convert better than most things. And also then with the video sales letter we’ve tested just having the video sales letter and the optin, and we’ve tested having the video sales letter and long copy and we tested the video sales letter and a short copy underneath it. And out of those three, having the video sales letter with short copy underneath it as a general rule pretty much always works for us.
And then you get into things like okay so how long should the video be and that sort of stuff and obviously it varies on what you’re trying to do. For us we find we don’t really go beyond like 12 minutes. 8 – 12 minutes is about our sweet spot for selling video, whether we’re selling a product whether a low ticket product a $97 or whatever or even selling an email opt-in but if it’s an email opt- in we may try to do it in just as little as 2 – 3 minutes. And if it’s on an upsell page, we definitely try to be snappy with it, we want them to get that message quickly.
James: This is great stuff. You know the guest that I had before you, Dave Kaminski, was saying that the face to camera always wins his test. But in 17 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness saying that, he is a video expert and I suspect probably much like me, his customers are seeing him all the time and anything he puts himself on is probably going to out convert slides for his own audience right? Is that why mine go okay?
Greg: Agreed. Well you’re a celebrity in your niche. You know what I mean, like no one doubts that you’re an expert and you know what you’re doing. But if you think about your database and also mine, there are some stars in there but there are also a lot of up and comers. And while they’re on their way up they may not be as confident as where you are now. Those guys are definitely better off doing a video sales letter and it’s just a nice looking video PowerPoint done by a graphics designer with their words or whatever and it’s only their voice coming across.
James: That’s it. It’s a great distinction. You know it’s funny because I run all sorts. The other one I’ve done well which is a nice hybrid is where I talk and then my animator makes pictures to accompany it. We just put them up on the site called LiveJam.com and our ReputationManagementAuthority.com which is like a video sales animation.
Greg: And how does it go?
James: Well it works and people are engaged. Like watching the heat map and this is where the test is. Watch the heat map and people stick through the whole video and then they order which is the best thing of all.
Greg: How are you doing the heat map of the video? How are you tracking how long people stay etc.?
James: I use Wistia and it shows me everything. I mean if I’m able to pass the variables of the email address once, it recognizes that visitor every time. Even on all my sites. And I can get a map of what people are viewing and it shows me the timeline and the engagement and it shows me the spikes where people rewatch and it shows me the drop off like they lose interest. And what I’ve been doing is before I put out the next video in that series, I go and look at the last one and see what spiked. Now, for my last SEO video there was a definite spike half way through the video and I went and replayed that and it’s where I’m talking about Panda.
Greg: Alright. 18 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness
James: So I know that Panda is a good keyword to use in my post and in my email about the next video. Because the audience are showing me that’s what they want to rewatch. They’re very interested in it. And the other thing that I noticed, they dropped right off when I bring in a long video bumper at the end of the video. As soon as they see that, they’re gone. So I made very short ones. The new SuperFastBusiness one’s like a flash. It’s like fshooo and then it’s done whereas the old used to go on and on a bit. Even I’m uncomfortable watching it. Like too long. So I’m learning so much about the behaviour just by observing what they do.
Greg: How do you spell that Wistia?
James: W-I-S-T-I-A.com phenomenal.
Greg: You and I seriously have to hang out more.
James: Yeah we should. You know what I think we’re coming to a close now and I just want to say thanks so much. We probably should get together and have a round two if our listeners are interested they should comment. Now you run a fantastic magazine which is an internet marketing magazine. It’s in the Apple news stand. Or at InternetMarketingMag.net and people can go and check out the members area and the latest issue updates. You’ve got some really good interviews there.
Greg: Great and actually James is the cover expert for this month. You shared a whole bunch of great stuff with us. Actually in newsstand we’re the biggest marketing publication as far as downloads and readership and how we know that for a fact is because we ranked number 1 for the phrase internet marketing and as well as for the phrase marketing and Apple does like Facebook and all that based on relevance. One of those things you get a number 1 and you just sort of keep going coz people keep finding you and finding you.
Greg: Yeah, it’s free, it comes out monthly so internet marketing magazine in newsstand.
James: Alright Greg well we’ll have to have a little private catch up and swap tools again in a nut. I think we’ll record our best findings for the next episode. 19 Copyright 2013 SuperFastBusiness
Greg: Sounds great. Thanks James. Anything I can do in your community we can just hang out.
James: Well you already have. You’ve guided me with the thin header and the optimal squeeze page layout. I can’t thank you enough for that because you see when I can leverage that across all of my sales sites and a large volume of business, the return for me just on having that one idea is really leveraged. Hopefully our listeners will go and have a mission to at least start one test and improve conversions and perhaps come back and comment. Make a comment on the blog or in the iTunes podcast let me know what you’ve done, what result you’ve got and will provide us discussions for the next opportunity. Thanks Greg.
Greg: You’re very welcome. Always James, thanks.
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