This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.
Chuck Templeton had a vision. A place where the bridal couple and party and wedding guests, in addition to the traditional wedding photographer, could take, upload and share their photos in a private, online album to be enjoyed by the bride and groom (or bride-bride/groom-groom) and all invitees.
And not just the wedding either. Folks can add photos from rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, bachelor parties – even tasteful honeymoon shots, if so inclined. There’s a premium version (no online ads) that sells for $49.95/year as well as a free version which incorporates online advertising.
But even with a free version, Chuck isn’t converting his traffic. When he submitted his info to me, he was getting 5 sign-ups a week, 1-2 for paid albums.
Overall, this is a pretty and pleasing-to-view site, but an attractive color scheme does not a conversion make. So let’s review and see what we can do to pop the cork on conversions for The Wedding Lens.
- The Goal:
Increase premium (paid for) albums to 15/week; 100 a week for the free albums.
- The Problem:
Good traffic to site, but conversions (both to paid and free versions) are weak.
- The Current Landing Page:
- The Cost:
$49.95/year for premium album
The Maven’s 10-Point Critique
#1 – Rethink the annual subscription model for this service. Seriously.
I’ll discuss other key site elements that need some tweaking in subsequent points, but this one is the biggest, most significant stopper in my mind. Here’s me thinking like the bride (I’ve been a bride twice, so I really have the mind-think down cold.):
“Why should I pay an annual subscription fee for access to my own photos when I can build my own albums in any number of free sites (e.g. Picasa) – or – a site like Shutterfly which also gives me easy access to a wide range of photo related gifts and services?”
You’ve got a huge amount of competition for the digital photo album market. That doesn’t mean you give up, but it does mean you need to make a strong and obvious case as to why WL is the best place for couples to build their online wedding albums, free or paid. THEN, once they’re all excited and ready to begin, you’ve got to make an even stronger case as to how and why your couples need to renew their commitment every year. Right now, I’m not seeing it. So make your case or consider a flat fee or other kind of fee structure.
You also need to answer what happens to my pictures if I DON’T renew.
#2 – Focus on WL’s “green”, ease and affordability.
You have a link about green wedding tips in the bottom navigation (more on that later.) It occurs to me that these qualities would help differentiate WL in especially positive and attractive terms, especially for those couples looking for eco-friendly as well as inexpensive ways to celebrate their special day.
#3 – Show me how this whole thing actually works.
If there was ever a site that should employ video, yours would be on the top of my list. Why? Because, even for the freebie album, your prospect is being asked to provide a lot of personal information and the information of their friends/family. I’d want to see precisely how thing whole thing works before I sign-up. Think about a simple series of videos that could walk the prospect through the process, answer the obvious questions, and help your prospects feel confident … and start them right off the bat on the homepage with the first video.
#4 – Update testimonials to late 2008, early 2009 on the homepage.
Everyone knows how much I love good testimonials, but your laundry list is too long and isn’t as current as it should be. Appearing current is important. It communicates to your visitor, especially in today’s uncertain retail climate, that you’re an ongoing concern who’ll be around awhile – especially if they’re going to trust your site with their wedding photos! Sprinkle the testimonials liberally everywhere.
#5 – Don’t hide your media reviews toward the bottom of a long scroll.
Pull those press raves from the netherworld and get at least a few of them into the first screen. Media reviews are almost as important as testimonials.
#6 – Revise your primary navigation to include more of the top-of-the-mind concerns prospects bring.
Right now your top navigation reads:
Why Couples Love Us | Features | Sign Up For Free | Login
And here’s the bottom navigation several screens down on the homepage:
What’s wrong with this picture? Lots. First, update the copyright line for the same reasons as you want current testimonials. If it looks like you haven’t updated your site from last year you risk looking like you’re going out of business. Second move Home, FAQ, Why? (should read “Why Wedding Lens?”), About Us, and I’d Add “We respect your personal information”, too. In making a decision to move forward, prospects need to know the what, the why, and the who of who they’re about to do business with. I’d also add the your blog link, Share with a Friend/Feedback links in the first screen, as well.
I’d also expand the Why page to include the chart info you now have buried in the Online Photo Sharing Sites link. Add Shutterfly and others like it to your comparison chart. (Comparison charts are easy and magical when trying to communicate what’s good about you and not so good about your competition.)
#7 – Streamline the bottom navigation.
While not as critical to your site’s ability to close a sale, the bottom navigation represents an opportunity to show visitors the breadth and depth of your information and bolster credibility. I’d look for ways to better organize your articles, e.g. Clothing, Decor, Invitations, whatever makes sense as directories and then add relevant articles underneath. Vendor directories would work well here, too.
#8 – Strengthen your credibility with full contact info.
Also, my prospects -myself included – won’t do business with a company that doesn’t list a phone number and a physical or postal address. Get a PO box if you need to but let your customers know where you are.
#9 – Make sure your most important messages match link to link.
This is also from your header area: Get 600 free photos from your wedding, which links to your order page. Okay, that’s sounds good. But when I get to the order page, I don’t see any reference to the 600. Is 600 the maximum I’m allowed? That’s fine since you can always say – You can put as many as 600 photos into one single album! But reference it you must. Otherwise you confuse and confound your potential customers.
#10 – More on message matching!
I really like the album graphic, but the problem I have is the dissonance between this and the sample pages video. Those samples don’t look like an album. The sample pages look like a standard gallery page of thumbnails. That’s fine, of course, if I haven’t been cued to expect a “bookier” experience. You want to use consistent imagery and messaging to keep prospects focused. (Also, too, will my actual album have WL navigation, etc. as the framing? If so, that’s a turn-off. I don’t want to see that in my album. So, again, make sure the sample pages appear EXACTLY as you’ve cued the visitor to expect them.)
Lastly, the non-bulleted bullets on this page are siren-singing me to click them, but they don’t click. Maybe they should click to something relevant and explanatory.
My thanks to Chuck Templeton for his supreme patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in approximately 2 weeks.
Here’s your chance to be the Copywriting Maven’s next landing page makeover!
Got a landing page that’s more poop than pop? Willing to share with Copyblogger readers? Prepared to put a little of your own “skin in the game” for a Maven Makeover? Then follow your click to Maven’s Landing Page Makeover page for all the details.
(The response to the return of the Copywriting Maven Makeovers has been tremendous – thank you! The downside is I’m booked for new gratis critiques until 6/1/09. If you’re interested in a private critique/makeover or other services, please email me directly.)