College Information Landing Page Inspiration – Part Two

A landing page is a like a conversation with all the subtlety thrown out. This is not a conversation you have on a first date when you are extremely polite and trying to pick up hints (“does he really like me?” “Did that anecdote from my time in jail scare her?”).

A landing page is where you, savvy marketer, are extremely upfront. You tell people who you are, what you have, and why they want it. People glance at you. They either run screaming for the door (the ‘x’ button) or settle in for a few seconds longer.

There is nothing subtle about this, which is why you need to beat your message into visitors when they arrive. Continuing with our series on college information landing pages, we’re taking a look at a landing page from SearchSchools. The page has a lot going for it, but it needs to lose the subtle hints and start slapping us in the face.

Is there anything I can’t do?
Continue reading “College Information Landing Page Inspiration – Part Two”

College Information Landing Page Inspiration – Part One

landing page inspriation for auto loan websites

Looking for a college is like looking for new cereal at the mega-grocery store. You have a rough idea of what you want, but your choices are endless. You find yourself just staring at the boxes, dumbfounded.

Plenty of websites have popped up to help students move from “dumbfounded” to “college-bound.” We’re going to tear down some of their landing pages to help build your expertise, starting with DegreeLeap’s College Finder Tool.

Whitespace is not blank-space

I commend the designers of this page for their minimalist approach. It’s always good to have plenty of whitespace so it’s easy to look at the page and so you don’t find yourself squinting and wondering what the heck it’s trying to say.

But this page goes a little too far. Almost one-third of the main section is completely blank, and it makes the bullet points look like they’re crammed under the headline. The whitespace appears to be encroaching on the other elements, rather than letting them relax and spread out, which completely defeats the reason for having whitespace in the first place. These guys should test spacing out the bullet points and adding some content below them. Perhaps an image of a smiling student next to a quote about why they love DegreeLeap?

There is also a good-sized piece of unused real estate under the form. Right now, that space is showing off the page’s nifty background, which isn’t doing much for conversions. I would test adding a trust logo, testimonial, or some other call-out to make this section start achieving some goals instead of wasting space (like a lazy college student).

I know what to do — why should I care?
Continue reading “College Information Landing Page Inspiration – Part One”

Landing Page Inspiration for Auto Loan Websites – Part 2

landing page inspriation for auto loan websites

Alright, you’ve gotten someone on your website. They like what they’re seeing. They want a loan. They take a look at your online application and — that’s it. They think “Wow. That looks like a ton of work. I wonder what’s up on Facebook?” And away they go.

We’re continuing our three-part series on auto loan landing pages today, and we’re hitting on something almost every loan site screws up: form pages. The forms are way too cluttered! They’re traumatizing to look at and even more painful to fill out. People would rather redeem beer cans for nickels than use these to apply for a loan.

Normally we focus on landing pages, but today we’re opening it up to online forms. Too many companies are killing their completion rates. We can stand by no longer.

The vertical groove

Whether you realize it or not, there is a rhythm internet users get into when filling out form fields. It goes something like this: first name, last name, email, address, city… and so on. When the fields are in a single column, the information just flows out. The users keep going until they’re done. You never want to interrupt this rhythm. But when there are multiple columns, it disrupts their flow. They have to stop, scroll up, think about what to do (ugh!), and start again. So keep it simple, keep it vertical, and don’t make them work anymore than they have to.

Our tests have consistently shown that having a single column of form fields on a longer form increases conversion rates, even without any other changes (when compared to a multi-column newspaper style layout). This makes sense when you think about it, because a multi-column format is confusing.

Who the heck are you?

Brands like Wells Fargo have a big advantage: people know them. Their logo conjures up feelings that have been embedded by millions and millions of dollars in advertising. The logo is like a big stamp on the page that immediately tells people “We’re not some fly-by-night internet scam. You know us. Don’t worry.”

So why not use that asset to your advantage on your form pages? That’s what Wells Fargo did by including it at the top of their auto loan application page. That logo makes people feel better when, while typing in their social security numbers, they look up and think “am I sure I this is safe?”

You, savvy marketer, might not be as lucky as the marketers at Wells Fargo. The people filling out your form might not know much about your company — and that’s OK. You just need to provide some assurance that you won’t use their information to do something unsavory, like buy mail-order pain killers from Mexico.

Continue reading “Landing Page Inspiration for Auto Loan Websites – Part 2”

Landing Page Inspiration for Auto Loan Lead Generation Sites – Part 1

landing page inspriation for auto loan websites

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).

Continue reading “Landing Page Inspiration for Auto Loan Lead Generation Sites – Part 1”

Small Business Marketing Examples – Is your mechanic honest?

Is your mechanic honest? Find out!

Wow. Great way to communicate several different ideas in one headline.

1. Adds F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). The reader now is going to question themselves, “Is my mechanic lying? Is he over charging me?” It’s a great way to help the prospect be more open to what you’ve got to say.

2. Implied Credibility. Asking tough questions make you look like the good guys just trying to look out for the little guy, “We just want to make sure you’re OK.” If we’re asking if your mechanic is honest, then we must be honest. They are now positioned as the “Consumer Reports” of auto repair.

3. On “my side”. The fact that this company is asking this question, puts them on the same side of the table as the prospect. Now their mechanic is the “other guy” and is now on the other side. We’re now buddies locked arm-in-arm to double check to make sure “those guys” are honest.

Continue reading “Small Business Marketing Examples – Is your mechanic honest?”