Election Day 2012 is here! Moderators have grilled the candidates on “important issues,” but they will dodge the most important topic of all: landing page optimization.
We’re not afraid to ask the tough questions. Following our analysis of the 2012 presidential candidates’ homepages, today we look at their strategies for PPC landing pages.
Barack Obama’s Landing Page Optimization
Let’s start with Obama’s PPC ad:
Although faintly reminiscent of a religious cult, the ad makes a good emotional connection with the text, “Barack is counting on you. Join us.” Once clicked, the ad brings visitors to an email opt-in page:
Points about the page:
- “ARE you IN?” – this text creates a good connection with the ad. Visitors first see “join us” and find a fast and easy way to do that on the landing page.
- In the image, Obama’s gaze directs attention toward the call-to-action and form. This draws visitors who are mooning over the president back to the important part of the page.
- Capturing an email address allows the campaign to stay in touch with potential donors and build a relationship. By getting a zip code, the campaign can target special emails to subscribers in swing states.
Visitors who opt-in see a second page:
This is a donation page. A few points:
- The page asks for a donation without prior warning, so it has to stir interest and incite action in one shot.
- To spark interest, it gives visitors an incentive: a sweepstakes. This sweetener nudges them toward donation and gets them to buy into the idea before seeing the form.
- Although Michele Obama looks away from the form, Barack wears a white shirt in the image and captures more attention. His gaze directs visitors’ wandering eyes back to the form.
- Above the fold, the page mentions “donation” only once and in tiny text. The visitor must deduce that this is a donation page. In fairness, though, who doesn’t realize this is a form to donate?
Obama’s landing page strategy looks good; not perfect, but strong. Let’s see how his rival stacks up.
Mitt Romney’s Donation Landing Page
The ad for Romney’s campaign makes a harder push for a donation:
The $5 option is a good tactic. Everyone has five bucks. It’s the nickel of 2012. This sets a low barrier to conversion. Here’s the ad’s landing page:
- This is a donation page, so it makes a strong connection with the ad. However, that connection is severed like a phone line in a hurricane by the lack of a $5 option. The visitor thinks, “What happened to five bucks?” — and thinking hurts conversion rates.
- In the image, Romney’s gaze directs attention to the start of the form. Good stuff.
- The header of the page advertises a description of Mitt’s five point plan. We’d rather see something that supports the page’s conversion goal, like the sweepstakes on Obama’s page.
- Visitors who do not donate are not presented with an alternative way to help the campaign. The Obama strategy captures an email address – which gives the marketing team a consolation prize if visitors do not convert. Romney’s team on the other hand gets NOTHING if the visitor doesn’t donate.
It’s fantastic to see the campaigns practice landing page optimization. But if presidents were selected by landing pages, we would have to choose Obama. His strategy makes a stronger connection with the visitor, captures an email address, and gives an incentive. But presidents are not chosen by landing page strategy – so make sure you vote!!