This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.
Robert Regehr wants to save homeowners big bucks on mortgage refinancing. He and his videos are leading the charge. He’s consistently getting about a 3% conversion rate (those prospects that move from reading to registering) based on about 400 unique visitors a day.
Robert, to quote Oliver Twist, ” . . . would like some more, please.”
- The Goal: Increase conversion from current 3% mark.
- The Problem: Self-testing hasn’t appreciably moved the 3% conversion rate. To make 3% work, Robert would need to see daily traffic grow to 1,000 unique visitors daily.
- The Current Landing Page: www.refiadvisor.com (home page). (The site may not load with Internet Explorer, see the critique below.)
- Value: $30-$50 per valid lead.
The Maven’s 10-Point Critique
Before I get into the critique, be aware that we had intermittent problems loading your site at all in Internet Explorer. Since this is still the most common web browser, resolving this problem should boost your traffic and conversion without any additional change on your part.
#1 — Focus your content on the deep benefit of what you’re offering: What do your prospects really want?
They want to lower their monthly mortgage payment so they can use the dollars they save on other things. From paying off credit card debt to sending a kid to college, they want to have more money in their pocket. They want freedom from worry. At the same time, they want to be smart about it and not get ripped off.
They don’t want videos. They want advice to help them make a smart decision about their money so they can do something way more fun with it than give it to the bank.
You’re already pulling a wealth of demographic information from registrants. How could you use the info you’re gathering to further sharpen your copy and find the sweet spot for your prospects?
#2 — Test a variety of headline approaches.
Go negative — No more junk fees! Don’t get ripped off on your next refi!
Go positive — Thinking it’s time for a refi? Learn how to put more $$$ in your pocket with these FREE insider secrets.
You don’t have to get all that sophisticated with the testing unless you want to. Simple Headline A vs. Headline B will help you sharpen your message.
#3 — Test going straight to the video.
Since you’re promoting knowledge through the video series, I’d test bringing the video to the first screen and write some intro copy that hones in on: “Lenders are smart, but you can be smarter. Our mad-as-hell, 27-year veteran of the mortgage lending business spills the beans on the truth behind refi. Here’s just one example . . . ” which then leads directly to the video.
You want to keep this video clip short (no more than 30 to 90 seconds), value-rich, and emotionally resonant. You want the viewer to get mad and want to learn more.
#4 — Upgrade the value of your offer in the prospect’s mind.
Your offer of Free Videos sounds a little vague and generic.
Instead, reframe the offer as a series or a mini-course and promote its value as a single entity.
The No Refi Rip-Off Short-Course will teach you X, Y and Z. Composed of X, XX-minute videos you view right online, this is the information the mortgage industry doesn’t want you to know. Watch them at a single setting or one by one at your convenience.
You do some of this on your About Us page, but it really should be on the main landing page, too.
#5 — Add credibility and provide details on your refi industry “turncoat” and author.
Who are you? And more to the point, why are you qualified to provide this advice?
Your copy tells us the videos were developed by a 27-year veteran, but we don’t know more than that. Is that person you?
If you need to, we can say we have to keep his identify anonymous to protect him from lawsuits and industry wrath. But tell us more. What kind of experience does he have? What kind of lending institutions? Tell us about his epiphany and why he decided to create the videos.
You also want to establish who you are (if you’re not the author of the videos). Your headshot is there in the live chat box. Are you a sales rep or a refi expert? Make me feel comfortable engaging with you. Don’t forget to add the “trust badges” you use on the registration page here, too.
#6 — Be consistent with your message and terminology on every page.
Your current landing page is also your home page, so visitors are exposed to your complete site navigation. When I look at the About Us section, you promote the series value but you also call the information by different names.
So now I’m feeling confused – what is the video series called? “Underground Mortgage Videos?” “Mortgage Refinancing” (which you refer to as a guide, and which links back to the home page). Or even “Win Smart, Win Ugly,” which, while not a name per se, reads like one. (A better title would be: “Win Smart, Win Ugly — Just Win.”)
A confused viewer, unless deeply motivated, goes elsewhere.
#7 — Get more mileage from your sidebar.
You have a live chat box. Good. But you could be doing much more with it.
Restate your guarantee in this space. Testimonials belong here, too. Pull one or two from your registration page and get them in here.
You have images of Oprah and Kiplinger’s magazines. Good, but the images don’t link anywhere. Ideally, they should link to articles where you’ve been mentioned.
If you can’t do that, you can link to articles that talk about these same refi issues. Just change your headline from “As Seen In” to something like “Everybody is talking about Refi Rip-offs,” find magazine articles that cover the topic, and link them up.
Ideally, you want solid sidebar information next to your main copy so it shares the same “eye space.” It also shortens the screen scroll.
#8 — Rethink your overall color scheme and the imagery in your banner.
I usually don’t comment on color. I try to keep my personal aesthetic out of the equation. But the subdued burgundy-ish, lavender-ish is a downer, man.
Consider a brighter, lighter look that doesn’t undercut your professionalism. You don’t have to look like a bank – in fact, you don’t want to — but you want an optimal mix of trustworthiness and optimism. You’re in the happy-making business, and you want a site that reflects that.
Regarding your banner: Remember, your prospects already own their home, so the “moving-in” image doesn’t reflect them. Instead, your prospects want to save money on their monthly mortgage bill and/or pull money out to do something else. Perhaps a montage of two or three happy couples, all ages, would work here, showing the bright smiles that come from saving a whole bunch of money.
#9 — Up the trust factor on your registration page.
Here’s what we know: 97% of the people who visit your site don’t take the next step to register.
I’m sure in large measure that’s because you’re asking for specific financial information and opening the door to sales calls and emails.
Tire-kickers for sure don’t want to give up any personal information. But for those folks who are actively thinking about refinancing their home, giving up personal information may be ok if you’re straightforward and honest about those next steps and how their information will be used, now and in the future.
You won’t convert the tire-kickers, but you will get more active refi-seekers to sign on board.
#10 — Strip your registration page to the essential steps.
Right now your registration pages use the same copy top and bottom, with the form area sandwiched in the middle.
I’d remove the redundant copy from Steps 2, 3, etc., and focus more on the information being requested. Add one or two short, pithy “confidence boosters” per step, per page.
Yet again, I’m recommending an exit pop-up before your prospects disappear into the cyber-void.
Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, exit pop-ups can be very effective and are definitely worth testing. What can you offer to entice a first name and email address now for marketing later on?
My thanks to Robert Regehr for his patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
Want to get a future Copywriting Maven 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 click on Maven’s Landing Page Makeover page for all the details.
I’m booked for gratis “Heifer” critiques until 03/15/10. If you’re interested in a private critique/makeover or other services, please email me directly.