In any transaction, whether it’s a sale, lead or first date, your prospect will only complete your desired Action is if they perceive more value for them than the cost you are imposing. This is your Value Proposition. It may be an over-used term, but it’s a critical concept for landing page optimization and one of the five factors in WiderFunnel’s L.I.F.T.™ page evaluation tool.
Landing Page Value Proposition Decostructed
I had a landing page experience this morning that is a great example. I was looking at some photos my wife posted on Facebook and was curious about an ad for XYVR.com. The headline and copy seemed to be talking about two different things, and I was curious about how they’d pay it off on the landing page.
The landing page did get a few things right and I found I was trying to convince myself to perform the “Signup” Action. As a prospective Action-taker on this landing page, I literally create a mental checklist with one list of Benefits of completing the Action and another list of Costs of completing the Action.
(There are other factors on this page that the L.I.F.T. tool would identify as significant issues – they’re running ad banners on their landing page, for one obvious example – but we’ll restrict this analysis to the Value Proposition factor today)
My Mental Value Proposition Calculation
So, here are my perceived Action Benefits:
- Get a Free downloadable speed trap map. This is the benefit they emphasize in the headline and main messaging, but it’s not a benefit to me, so this doesn’t even make it onto the list, actually. Remember, this list is of perceived benefits, not offered benefits. Make sure the benefits you’re emphasizing are perceived as valuable!
- Get 5 weekly recommendations for things to do in Vancouver. This would be a benefit if I knew what types of events they would recommend or they had early information on hot tickets, but they don’t give any hints about the type or quality of recommendations, so it’s a small item on the Benefit list.
- Exclusive access to offers and scotch appreciation night. Now you’re talking.. but they’ve given me no details on this event and anyone can promise vague special offers. That’s what marketers do when they can’t think of any other benefits to promise. So, again, a small Benefit item.
- Access to archive of past stories. This may be valuable but, again, no details or samples so it’s a miniscule perceived Benefit.
- You could win a pair of Fidelity Jeans. Interesting, because I happen to be in the market for a new pair of jeans, but I’ve never heard of Fidelity jeans. So, I click on the “Fidelity” link they provide and… get a “domain not found” error. As far as I know, the brand doesn’t exist. So much for that Benefit.
So, there are a few small Benefits that have created a trickle of momentum, but it’ll have to have very minor perceived Costs to result in a successful Action.
Here are the perceived Costs:
- 17 form fields. Ouch! That’s a bad start, creating a significant drag on momentum. The form on their home page for the same offer only has a single field so I know this isn’t necessary
- Why do I need to type my email address twice? Is it worth annoying me just to catch that 1% of people that can’t type?
- Why do they need my postal code? They could have convinced me that they’d provide a personalized speed trap map, and I may have signed up because I’d be curious in the technology, but they didn’t.
- Why do you need my birthday? Again, you’ve given me no reason for asking that.
- Promo code? This is a free offer. Why would I need a promo code?
- Email Anxiety. Any time I hand over an email address, there’s an Anxiety cost. I don’t know how easy it will be to unsubscribe and, because I don’t know this company and have not seen any samples of the content I’ll get, this is a large Cost.
Unfortunately for XYVR, my perceived Costs far outweighed Benefits and I did not subscribe. When you’re creating your next landing page, even for a “free” offer, consider the Costs from the perspective of your prospects and you’ll be closer to increasing your Conversion Rate.
And let me emphasize again that these are not lists of actual Benefits and Costs. They are those that are perceived from each individual prospects’ perspective.
It’s a simple concept that is rarely executed well.
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