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Clay: Hello everyone. My name is Clay Collins.
James: And I’m James Lepine.
Clay: And this is the Marketing Show. In this episode, James and I are going to sit uncomfortably close to each other and review our four favorite squeeze pages of 2012. That’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of the Marketing Show.
So like I said, James and I are going to be sitting here reviewing our favorite squeeze pages today. So what do we have? And for the first one is…
James: First one up here is whitehouse.gov, and you might remember this very same page from an earlier episode of the Marketing Show.
Clay: Yeah, yes.
James: This is an example of our government using a squeeze page.
Clay: So whitehouse.gov has gone all internet markety on us and they have a squeeze page here. So what do we like about this? Well, I like this first and foremost because it shows that the most reputable organization in the world – Actually, that’s much debated, but certainly, a super legit organization is using straight up internet marketing tactics to collect an e-mail address, and this also shows that the e-mail address is still the most coveted and important piece of marketing data out there. What do you like about this James?
James: Yeah. This is a good squeeze page. It’s really simple. It’s really clear where you put your e-mail address and where you go to learn more. I also kind of like that they have the no, thanks, go to website there, right, because if you don’t want to opt in, there should be a clear way to get past this squeeze page. I think that’s an honest and ethical way to do it, right.
Clay: Yeah, yeah. Some things I would change. So far, the data seems to show that when you have the opt-in area on the right side instead of the left side that tends to increase conversation rate and opt-in rates.
Clay: Now, they’re doing something really smart here, which is they’re showing him looking towards this side of the page where the opt-in box is. That might seem a little like weird that that would affect it, but it actually does. So what I would do is I would use something like Photoshop. Any image editor could do this. And just flip the image. You can create a mirror image of the images. It’s going to look exactly the same. No one’s going to tell that you created a mirror image, and have them looking the other direction, and I would take this area, and I would put it here instead, and then I might take this box and put it on the lower left side.
So that’s one thing I would change. Another thing I would do is I would have a bribe. I don’t know.
James: Yeah, what could be government bribe us with? Tax break?
Clay: Tax cuts.
James: Yeah, tax cuts.
Clay: $5 off your income statements, yeah, or your federal tax return if you opt in.
James: I would opt in.
Clay: You could literally bribe us…
Clay: …to get on this list.
Clay: What do you think happens with this list after the election’s over? Does Obama keep it or does Obama do whitehouse.gov?
James: That’s a good question. That’s a really good question. I wonder what they – what kind of updates they’re sending.
James: We should see we’re kind of subject line President Obama, right.
Clay: I wonder if competing governments opt in to spy on White House communication. If you are marketing all, you should be opting into every single one of your competitor’s list and seeing what’s going on so I wonder if like Iraq or Afghanistan has opted in.
James: Opted in. Yeah, probably so.
Clay: Afghanistan and Afghanistan.gov. No, I don’t even know. Okay, cool. So…
James: Yeah, good page, but takeaways, we would – You know, people read left to right. They’re used to clicking on something on the right so we would move the opt-in box down there, so they’re more prone to get their e-mail address there.
Clay: Well, the upper right-hand side…
James: Okay, yeah, right.
Clay: …is where it should be.
Clay: So you’ll notice that in stores, the thing that the store wants you by most of all is on the right side. If you go into an Apple store for example, usually, the most expensive products, or you know, the product that’s making the company the most amount of money is on a right-hand side.
Clay: When they first opened this door, it was all the high-end computers, the towers, the AB equipment.
Clay: You know, the $10,000 monitors.
Clay: Things like that.
Clay: So yeah, again, up into the right. That is the highest conversion area on a website. All right, number two, we have AppSumo’s…
Clay: …contest page.
Clay: So I like this for a lot of reasons, but what do you like about this James?
James: We were talking about this one before we got going here, and they’re doing something really smart here with this first step of answering the question. It’s a no-brainer type thing, right. Who is giving away this 13-inch Macbook Air? You select your answer, and you know, they’re just kind of joking…
…around here, but what they’re doing is actually really smart. They’re getting you in a Yes ladder where you’re answering a question and where you’re used to doing something, taking action on this page. So that’s my first take. Well, what do you think?
Clay: Yeah, so – I mean you’re absolutely right. So what James is saying is that when you go to a page, and the first thing you see is an e-mail entry box…
Clay: …that turns a lot of people off, right. They’re seeing that you just want to take and take and take. Give me your e-mail address. Give me your…
Clay: We see squeeze page after squeeze page where folks are asking for your e-mail address. So they’re kind of disarming you a little bit and injecting some humor into this situation, right.
Step one, answer this question. Who is giving away this Macbook Air, right? It’s the president, I think. Batman. No, no, no, you know, AppSumo dot. And when you answer this and you click ‘Submit’ you have the opportunity to enter your e-mail address here.
Clay: So a bunch of things are happening here actually. One of the things that’s happening is that AppSumo is getting you to psychologically register what page you’re currently at, okay. So if you enter and you indicate that AppSumo is the one giving this away, in the future, when you get e-mails from AppSumo, you’ll recognize that. A lot of people blindly subscribe to Sweepstakes. They blindly subscribe to things…
Clay: …and then when they get e-mails later down the road, they don’t know why they’re getting those e-mails. They mark them as spam.
Clay: And when you mark an e-mail as spam, you’re telling Google, or Yahoo, or whatever platform you’re using to mark the e-mail spam that this provider is sending spam, and that makes it harder for AppSumo in this case to deliver their e-mails. So this is not quite as good, is a double-confirmed opt-in, but it’s almost is good, right.
James: Yeah, yeah.
Clay: They’re getting you to say where this sweepstakes is coming from.
Clay: And also, when you do this, you write it. You know, it puts you in a Yes ladder.
Clay: Okay, so what do we have for number three?
James: Number three is insider internet dating, always a popular topic.
Clay: Cool. So I have seen – When this is done correctly, I have seen this kind of squeeze page get the highest conversions in terms of opt-in rates. It’s super simple. It’s very easy to tell what to do. It’s clean and there’s a whole lot of things going right with this. Now, would I write a headline like this? Probably not. But you know, it works in this market, and you know, I’m not saying I endorse this type of headline or the copywriting here, but the format of this page is absolutely right on. It’s simple. I’ve used these types of squeeze pages before and this format of squeeze page absolutely crashes it. It’s super simple and it just works.
Now, one thing that you’ll notice is that, you know, there’s this header here, and there is this area right here where you can go to different parts of the page. This type of thing, this navigation bar tends to really drive down opt-in rates because…
James: I was going to ask you about this.
James: So what’s going on?
Clay: Well, anytime you give someone an option other than ‘enter your e-mail address and subscribe or leave’…
Clay: …anytime you offer another option like ‘visit my blog, you know, do some other thing’…
James: About page, whatever, yeah.
Clay: …yeah, it drives down conversion rates. However, my guess about what’s going on here is that they’re trying to do advertising in Google and in Facebook, and that drives down your quality scores, and Google tends to charge you a lot more if you just have a straight up aggressive old-school style squeeze page.
Clay: But they’re doing something that’s really smart. When you go to this page, when you go to InsiderInternetDating.com…
Clay: …you aren’t shown the header actually. It scrolls down so that you’re just shown this area right here, right. So that’s kind of smart.
James: Okay, got you.
Clay: They’re fulfilling their requirements, but the version of the page that you see when you just go to internet, InsiderInternetDating.com. It’s just this lower half.
James: Got it. Cool. And I’ve got their testimonials along the bottom here.
Clay: Well, they’ve got…
James: Not – Yeah, not testimonials, but featured in…
Clay: Right. So they’re like credibility logos.
James: Sure. Yeah.
Clay: One thing I would do with this page is I would have something in this box that says, you know, enter your e-mail address, right. When there’s a call to action inside the e-mail box…
Clay: …that drives up conversion rates.
Clay: Now, this should be grayed out, and when you click on this, it should automatically delete it. It should have some Java Script…
Clay: …or something going on that when you click in that area, it automatically gets deleted because you don’t want to have to create another step for someone where they have to like…
James: Back space their way out of it.
Clay: …back space…
James: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Clay: …and delete it in order to enter in…
Clay: …their e-mail address. One thing that I want to sort of bring to light with all three of these is that they’re only asking for an e-mail address.
James: Yeah, yeah.
Clay: And studies and all our split testing has consistently shown that the fewer fields you collect the higher the conversion rate is.
James: Right. So sometimes you see people doing like first name, last name, phone number.
Clay: Phone number, yeah…
James: Yeah, it’s like…
Clay: …all that stuff.
Clay: And that can be really good if, you know, you’re placing sales calls or you’re looking for leads that you’re going to call up on the phone and you want to make sure that they’re super qualified.
Clay: But if you’re just going to be e-mailing people…
Clay: …and you want the highest conversion rate possible, you want to have as few fields there as possible. And let’s face it, people put dummy values in those fields anyway, so first name, last name. it can be like John Doe, and then you’re e-mailing someone and it says John Doe…
Clay: …and it – Let’s face it. People know that they’re on a list.
Clay: Like this isn’t 1992, and…
James: Not like going for the one.
Clay: …it’s like you’ve got mail like the White House cares about me or President Obama like we know that this is a mass mailing.
Clay: Now that doesn’t mean that you should communicate with people in impersonal manner, but you don’t need to address them by their first name, okay.
Clay: So that’s something smart that all three of these things have done.
Clay: So finally…
James: This looks familiar.
Clay: And finally, not tootering our own horn here, but we did a pretty good job with our squeeze page when we’ve been getting phenomenal opt-in rates. So as you’ll see here – and this isn’t – We’re not going to show you the entire video, but if you go to the InteractiveOffer.com, you’ll see our squeeze page.
Clay: What’s cool about this is again, it disarms people. You don’t see an opt-in box here immediately, but at some point in this video…
Clay: …there’s a call to action.
James: Yeah, so this is like a 3 minute 15-second video. I think it comes in like 3 or 5, something like that, so it’s real close to the end.
James: So you’re just watching the video, watching the video, and then at the end, oh, okay.
Clay: Well, and here’s what happens, right. At some point in the video, I say, “Enter your e-mail address below to get some stuff,” and at that point in the video…
James: There it is.
Clay: …near the end, it pops up. So it’s tied to the video timeline.
James: Uh-huh. A specific call-to-action from you, boom, it appears.
James: And they’re motivated to take the action, right, as you’re saying it.
James: Good stuff.
Clay: So, you know, they’ll see over here the boxes appear, and then later on, over here, it does appear, and of course, it says, ‘Enter your e-mail address.’ I mean you click on that, this disappears. So can you imagine if you went to church, and someone was just going around with the offering jar, right?
Clay: That’ll be a little off putting.
Clay: But, you know, if someone’s good and they know what they’re doing, they’re going to be like, you know, and now is time to, you know, after they’ve given the sermon or whatever…
Clay: …to give back. That’s when you see the bucket, right…
Clay: …that you put the money in.
Clay: So it’s timed with the pitch.
Clay: So this will increase your opt-in rates when this is done correctly, and it’s disarming, and it’s something that works pretty well with cold traffic, right.
Clay: If you’ve got an e-mail list with your partners and they’re e-mailing their list and telling folks to opt in, people know they’re going to opt in, but if you’re sending cold traffic from ads on Google or Facebook and they’ve never heard of you…
Clay: …you want to establish a few minutes of rapport before you ask for that opt in.
Clay: So we’ve done some cool stuff here in terms of the technology. Anyway, those are our four favorite squeeze pages…
Clay: …of 2012.
James: Yup. And I think – You know, to wrap it up, one thing that we could say here is that you always want to be testing what you’re doing with your squeeze pages, right. So if you have this book, it appears at the end of the video, you may have another version of your page where it’s already there, right, and you wanted to see which one is converting better. My guess is that it’s going to be the one where the box appears later in the video, but you don’t know that unless you know the numbers in your business so it’s important to be keeping track of that, you know…
James: …with anything that you’re doing.
Clay: Yeah. I mean we can give you generalities and robust findings that we found across multiple markets…
Clay: …but there’s always an outlier, right.
Clay: So every once in a while, you’ll find the market where the rules just don’t apply…
Clay: …or you know what, it works in one situation, but not in another. So you absolutely need to be split testing and not just assuming that everything we’re talking about here applies in every single situation. Anyway, I think that wraps us up.
James: I think that wraps us up, yeah.
Clay: All right. So this has been James Lepine, Clay Collins. Thank you so much for watching the Marketing Show. We’ll talk to you next week.