Whenever we start a new landing page optimization project we like to start out by checking out all the other sites in the same industry/niche market. It helps us to see what else is out there and gets us inspired to see what the competition is doing (and not doing) these days. This week we focused on form pages for auto loan lead generation campaigns.
We’ve received many requests to make more detailed comments and give example ideas for these landing page inspiration posts. Starting with this post, we’ll break down our landing page optimization reviews into multiple posts. In this series we’ll look at 3 auto loan websites, and will post separately over the next few weeks.
You haven’t made a sale yet!
A big problem with most form pages is that people forget to keep selling their product or service to the customer. Many users will get to a form page and say “ah-yeesh, guhhhhh, see-ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” and bounce. You can help prevent this by continuing your sales pitch from your landing page. The form page is a great place to use customer testimonials and well-known trust logos such as McAfee, as well as what’ll THEY will get (Benefits).
Use the copy on the form page to remind your customer of the benefits that your product or service will give them. The last thing you want is to have a customer back out of a sale because they have lost interest due to a lack of information or having not been fully convinced.
At the top of this form, there is a “1-2-3″ graphic. Not very motivating. If you gotta have a “1-2-3 step” form (I would debate heavily that you do NOT need to), at least put a little extra subtext that conveys: This form will be worth your time.
You might think that everyone loves the crazy complex forms the DMV makes everyone fill-out in line, and you figure, “Hey, every time I go to the DMV, I see a whole lotta people filling out those crazy, complex, suicidal-thought-producing forms… It’ll work for our site.” Sure, there’ll be some people that will file lock-step behind whatever you put in front of them, but there are actually a good number of people that say “No way!” It would be good to design forms for the 99.247% of the people that do not have sadomasochistic tendencies.
One note on the use of trust logos. Although we have seen trust logos lose their ability to radical bump up conversions (they’ve become ubiquitous), and this site played it smart by not only putting those trust logos on their page, they put it at consistently prime locations. We generally recommend placing trust logos near the CTA (Call to action) buttons or near highly sensitive personal information.
Freebies = More Conversions
Anytime you can offer something special (that they would want) to your visitors as a reward for taking an action, that is pretty sure to help. Discounts, free “insider” information, tips and tricks, etc. are always nice bonuses that help people feel they’ll get a little extra for taking action on your site.
FederalAutoLoan.com even gives a free offer on the form page to further drive the idea that the customer is getting a great product. High fives and a nice “attaboy” for that little add-on. Good way to add a little extra incentive and to differentiate you from the other sites.
Make It Readable
So, which is easier for you to read:
My website visitors all have 20/20 vision, so I save space by making the text really small. Imma sew smahrt.
I consider the average user may not be able to easily read small print, so I’ll make the page longer before I even think about making my site visitors put their face 2 inches from the screen to read.
OK, extreme example, but it is relevant. This particular site is not a worst offender, but at 11px (11 pixels), that’s definitely below the minimum size that we recommend using. We recommend for “small print” to be a minimum on 12px, period. For some of the sites we optimize for clients, we even go to 14px for long form labels. Sounds extreme, but in our tests it makes a difference.
Misc. Changes – Too Many To Count, Oh My!
Oh crap. I’m tired, way to many problems on this site, but I must mention a few more. I need to go to the bathroom, I’ll be right back.
I’m back. (Yes, I washed my hands.)
Let’s run down just a few more problems here:
1. Steps 1-2-3
At the top the show it takes 3 steps, but what are those steps? Nobody knows. This may be because they know the next 2 steps may tick people off, and so they don’t show it. (Just incase you’re wondering, the other 2 steps are Employment Info and Financial Info) But often times letting them know is better than letting the user wonder and get filled with fear of what’s to come.
2. What phone number should you collect? Yikes what a crazy question.
I can tell you without a doubt, that people are fleeing from this page when they see this, because they made the form have no right answer for people without a cell phone or people without a landline at home. We are going to make a separate post on this one for more detailed analysis. What I would guess is that this site is a lead generator/aggregator and is required to have to phone numbers, so what do you do?
Short answer: Make it primary and secondary phone fields, and make the secondary phone NOT required. (If possible, otherwise make a note, use same number in both if you do not have another phone number).
Why is this one important? There are more than 25% of all people in the U.S. that no longer have a “home phone”, meaning they only have a cell phone. And 15% of the population don’t have a cell. That’s 40% of your visitors saying “How do I answer this impossible question?” Since you are not a site for brain teasers, use a different solution.
3. Auto-Tabbing nightmare. Argh!
On every field on the form, except the phone fields, you must tab or click to get to the next field. However, on the phone field they decided to have some fun and “mix it up on the dance floor, yeah baby. Yeehaw.” Not fun. Change-ups are for baseball not long complicated forms.
Please post any comments on other elements that could be changed to improve these pages. There is still a LOT there to have some fun with!
To see our comments, just rollover the images and our good/try notes will popup.
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