Ignore Your Customer’s “Goals” (They Don’t Matter As Much As This . . .)


Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins, and welcome to today’s episode of the Marketing Show. In this episode, we’re going to be going over some crazy and counterintuitive split testing results.

So in just a second, I’m going to show you some ridiculous split testing result, and I’m going to talk about how they apply to your marketing and your business, but before we get to that, let’s go over today’s marketing quiz. Today’s marketing quiz is all about split testing and split test results. So here’s the quiz. What is the best location to put an opt-in box on your blog if you want the highest opt-in conversion? Is it the upper left-hand side of your blog? Is it the upper right-hand side of your blog? Or is it below each blog article? We’ll answer that at the end of the show.

Here’s the incredibly interesting compelling and relevant and somewhat counterintuitive for a lot of people split test. So I was looking at different split test results the other day, and I came across this split test. It’s by HubSpot, and they tried two different versions of a landing page.

So HubSpot wanted to optimize and increase the percentage of people that downloaded the trial version of their software. So they ran two different versions of their page and measured which version of that page created the highest opt-in rate. So here are the two versions. Version one looked like this. It said what is your sales and marketing goal and someone could selected their marketing goal was to use the web to grow their business, or to deliver more quality leads for less. So this is a goal-based landing page. You decide what your goal is.

Another version of the page looked like this. Choose your profile, right? You could either select that you’re a business owner and then download the software or you could indicate that you’re a marketer and then you’d be shown good reasons why you should download their software as a marketer. Well, which version of this landing page do you think had the best result? Was it this version of the page where the visitors indicated what their goal is, what they’re trying to accomplish, or was it the version of the page where folks indicated what their role was? Which version do you think did better?

Well, interestingly, this version right here did better, the Choose-Your-Profile version. In fact, this version of the page did 50% better than this version of the page. The role-based marketing outperformed the goal-based marketing, and this actually conforms to just about everything I know about marketing over and over and over again. My clients and I have seen that generally, folks have an extremely vague notion of what they want to accomplish, but they have a very strong identity. They know who they are, and that’s pretty strong, and they have an idea what they want to accomplish, and that’s weak.

So let’s say someone searching for plumbing business advice. They generally know that they want to increase their income and that they have a plumbing business. They’re very certain that they have a plumbing business, but when it comes to their goal of increasing their income, it’s kind of fuzzy. They know that they want things to be better, but they generally don’t have a very crystallized specific goal, right, other than wanting things to be better. They generally know what their biggest frustrations are. They know what they’re upset about. They know who they’re blaming for their problems, but in terms of an incredibly articulated goal, they usually don’t have that.

In your marketing, you must speak to your prospect’s identity. You must say some version of this product is for chiropractors or this product is for women between their 30s and their 50s who are looking to accomplish X. You must address who that person is because people are very reluctant to embrace your strategy if they don’t believe that that product is for them specifically. When I do webinars, time and time and time again, I find that at least a third of the sales come from people who say things like, “You know, I am a healer from Ohio who is male and in my 40s. Is this product right for me?” And they want to hear you say, “No, this product is for healers in generally,” but they want to hear you say, “Yes, you Bob, in your 40s, from Ohio, as a healer, this product is for you,” because so many people, in fact, most people make buying decisions based on identity, not based on an incredibly clear idea of what they want to accomplish. So ensure that you not only include language about what people want to accomplish with your product or what your product will help folks accomplish, but also be sure to address the identities or the kind of people that your product can create success for.

So the best place to have an opt-in box on your blog based on numerous split testing results is the upper right-hand corner of the page. The right-hand side far outperforms the left-hand side, and it far outperforms the area below each blog post.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed today’s episode of the Marketing Show. This episode of Marketing Show was brought to you by you. It was brought to you by your support and your constant feedback, and you know, energy that you send my way. I’m incredibly grateful. Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed the show, if you’ve benefited from it, if you’ve learned anything, I’d be super grateful if you’d donate a twit or donate a Facebook share, and go ahead and let your friends know about the good work that we’re doing over here.

Anyway, my name is Clay Collins, and thank you so much for watching the Marketing Show. I’ll talk to you next week.

  • jameslepine

    Really interesting results.  I think the “Choose Your Profile” headline definitely has a more social, friendly and inviting feel to it.  Good stuff, dude!    

    • Thanks, James!  I think another issue is that the goal-based choices were kind-of convoluted, as well.  Connecting with your market’s goals can be difficult.  Connecting with their roles, however, can be easier (unless your product is for EVERYONE, in which case, you’ve got your work cut out for you).

  • Louise Crooks

    That’s really interesting Clay, thanks for sharing this important tidbit! I love your short but sweet video lessons! Keep ’em coming!

  • Guest

    That is a very simple concept, but very powerful.

  • Short, sweet and sublime. Thank-you

    • No problem, Jayne! I’m glad you enjoyed it and took the time to participate in the comments.

  • Melody

    You’re great at explaining the how & whys in the fascinating world of marketing. Thank you!

  • Great information, Clay!  Love you Marketing Show bits and share them with my people all the time!  You rock!

    • Michelle! I’m grateful that you share.  It means a TON to me.

  • I instinctively thought it was the one that won (to not give away your episode answer Clay) as that is what I would have used to have clicked on before starting my online business – makes me feel like I really do have an understanding for my audience and clients 🙂

    That was before I had goals and tactics in place and an understanding of my online strategy. Really interesting results though. I’d like to know who uses Hubspot currently and is seeing great results from them? I really like the impressive things they do – free reports, timely content, clever blog posts and articles from their founders.

    It would also be interesting to see whether marketers were more likely (had they been shown the other landing page) to click on those options more than the business owners.

    • Yeah, HubSpot is doing a great job with their direct marketing efforts.  I’m also impressed.

      And I like the alternative split test the you proposed.  I’d like to see the results of that also.


      • Agreed, HubSpot & Brian Halligan are brilliant. Cool to see them make an appearance in this episode 🙂

  • Elise

    Hi Clay,

    Now I finally know WHY I need to know the identity of my prospects.


    • Now you have a reason why.  I’m loathe to figure something out until I know why I need to know it.

  • Melissa

    A very good reminder that most people are tuned to What’s in it for ME . . . it’s so easy to get caught up in the benefits and the cool stuff about your product or service. Start with them, talking about them, solving a problem that is bothering them – thanks, Clay – very helpful!

    • Right. Most people are engrossed in themselves and their own narratives and stories.  And if you want to be successful in business . . . you simply can’t be this way.

  • This is an aspect I had been missing.  I work with women in the area of fitness and their various roles (and improving in those roles – mom, wife, worker,etc.) plays an important part in their fitness motivation.

    • Yup. The primary driver for getting in shape or doing just about anything . . . is the desire to tell ourselves a different story about who we are.

  • I really enjoyed this, Clay.

    The concept of Knowing people, and Understanding them deeply, is key for any communication.

    This is marketing gold sir, thanks! 🙂 Happy New Year!