Landing Pages – Are We Ever Done?

November 13, 2007 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

Came across a post from Marketing Sherpa bemoaning the current state of landing page design. I can understand why. Anne Holland has spent years teaching marketers how to properly design landing pages, and she gets some disappointing feedback from her pupils. You all remember that disappointed look from a coach or teacher in your childhood, don’t you, right after you demonstrated you really didn’t understand at all what you had just been taught?

Here’s an excerpt from her post:

“Now here’s a stark list of the Top 10 Worst Landing Page Stats I never wanted to see in print:

#1. 48% – Can’t do any A/B testing at all
#2. 44% – Can’t measure landing page test results properly
#3. 42% – Ask more questions than needed on registration forms
#4. 40% – Only test landing pages at launch and then leave forever
#5. 35% – Send foreign-language ad clicks to English landing pages
#6. 35% – Use a single landing page for many traffic sources
#7. 25% – Don’t reflect big offline promos on their homepage
#8. 24% – Give affiliates zero landing page content or aid
#9. 21% – Require landing pages to match regular site layout 100%
#10. 16% – Don’t share landing page test results with their agency

As I commented on the post, I think this is a process problem. We all want to do A/B testing; it just makes sense. We want to make sure everything is optimized. But that’s not typically how marketing departments are run.

Most of my CMO/VP Marketing peers execute a sequence of discrete events: issue press release, launch product, train sales, attend trade show, etc., etc. Sure, these are all part of a master plan, but we don’t tend to look back, only forward. We’re not used to continually optimizing. It’s a lot of work.

I’m not sure exactly what the answer is. I think it does have something to do with the tooling we use. Though I love Google Analytics, this alone will not solve the problem. A marketing exec needs a constant view across all programs and media. And that’s not easy to do. Many of the marketing tools out there seem mostly to automate mass e-mails to prospects (with the result that many of them feel spammed, IMO). But it’s been a while since I looked at the state of the art.

Something we’ll need to look into in a future post (Or should I have said, Stay tuned for our findings? Where’s my A/B kicker tester…)

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