Friday, June 21, 2013

The power of landing pages

Landing pages operate on the principle that less is more.  Fewer options, mean you don't have to decide what to buy, just that you will buy.  And you don't have to figure out where to go, there is only one path forward.  This creates an obvious focus that decreases indecision and in turn increases conversions.

But, there is another force at work here.  We, as a species, have a hard time accepting pluralistic values.  Pluralistic value is when two or more descriptions of a person or item are technically correct, but are in conflict with each other.  Depending on the gravity of the conflict, we unconsciously choose to ignore one or more of these views/descriptions, and accept only the one we feel most comfortable with as the "correct" view.

An example of this is a person who has purposely killed someone and is a good person.  In many cases we put this person in jail and view them as a murderer.  There is no way they can be a good person if they are willing to kill.  The flip side is the men and women of the armed forces.  Many have killed and are good people.  Regardless of the reason, we do not view them as murderers, rather, they are just good people.

The above example is an extreme view on the topic of pluralistic value, but it relates just the same to small conflicts.  An accountant who is an artist, or even a person who is an expert in multiple fields.  It seems hard to imagine that the accountant could be equally good at a logical task (accounting) and a creative task (art), or that a person could achieve and maintain the highest ranking of expertise in multiple fields.  

It would be like Micheal Phelps winning the 100M Butterfly and the 100M Dash.  Would you call him a swimmer? or a runner?

Many businesses don't limit themselves to just a single product or service and thus there is naturally a pluralistic conflict displayed on the homepage of nearly every website.  Luckily this is where landing pages come in.  

You can segment your traffic based on what they searched for in the search engine, where they came from, their location, and even their history on your site.  Showing them only what they came for will increase the likelihood that they won't feel conflicted about your company and will be able (mentally) to move forward much easier.  (You can always up-sell or cross-sell them after you have them on the hook.)

Note: I am working with a client who sells thousands of products in hundreds of categories AND services all of them.  Currently they have no landing pages.  Over the next couple of months, we'll be deploying a few hundred landing pages for them.  I'll be sure to write up a case-study to show you how it worked out.