This is another addition to our ongoing series of tutorials and case studies on landing pages that work.
Baolin Liu wants to help fellow office workers stay strong and fit, both in and out of the office. He’s developed an exercise program designed to assist even the most sedentary office worker … or micropreneur who puts in too much tush-time in her comfy, almost-ergonomic desk lounge.
But I digress …
Baolin is using article marketing to drive prospects to his page. But his bounce rate is nearly 91%. And sales? Well, they’re not happening.
- The Goal : Reduce bounce rate, increase sales.
- The Problem: Very high bounce rates; non-existent conversion from the 9% who do stick around a little longer.
- The Current Landing Page (homepage): http://www.inshapeattheoffice.com.
- Value: $17.00
The Maven’s 10-Point Critique
#1 — Be clear about the product you’re selling.
I think I know what you’re selling, but even after reading your long-form sales letter, I’m still not sure on the specifics. That’s why your bounce rate is high. Your visitors aren’t clear about what you’re selling because you’re trying to sell/promote too much, when what you need to do is paint a clearer picture of what you have to offer.
Here’s what I mean: if your URL is “inshapeatheoffice,” it’s reasonable to think you’re offering an inexpensive, easy exercise and nutrition program that office workers can do while they’re at the office. That’s your hook.
But your copy — and my guess is your product — tries to grow the topic “beyond the cubicle.” And when you do, you’re in competition with EVERYONE in the fitness space.
#2 — Be clear about your prospect’s “pain point” in the headline.
Here’s your current headline:
Time for a reality check …
Are your 2010 weight loss goals on track? Can you EVER return to your “fighting” weight doing the things you are doing now … sitting for long hours at a desk? How many of your fitness goals have you actually reached working your desk job?
If any of those questions challenge you, GREAT! You have landed on the right page.
Yikes. Maybe I don’t have any weight loss or fitness goals, or feel driven to return to my fighting weight.
It’s not that I don’t care about these things, because I do. But …
At the other side of that “but” for your prospect is his pain point:
… But with long hours at a desk job it’s hard for me to find the time outside of the office to work out. It’s hard enough to even eat right. I’m too busy!
Once you understand your prospect’s pain point, the rest of your copy begins to flow in the right direction.
#3 — Be clear about your product’s big promise in your headline.
Having identified the pain point: “I care about my health and appearance, but spend too many hours at my desk to eat right and get enough exercise” — now we have to identify and promote the product’s big promise.
Again, your current copy doesn’t address the promise at all. Your prospects don’t care about challenging questions. They want relief from their pain point, and they want it in a big, palpable and dramatic way.
Here’s your big promise:
You CAN get stronger, leaner and healthier right at your desk during regular working hours — in just XX minutes a day — and your boss and co-workers will never know! All they’ll see is how good you look and wonder about your secret.
#4 — Identify your primary target right off the bat.
And that means your salutation.
“Dear Fitness Enthusiast” is all wrong since someone who IS an enthusiast makes time for exercise.
However, “Dear I Wish I Could Be Leaner, but Who Has the Freaking Time to Exercise” hits the mark square.
Feel free to edit.
#5 – Tell your story in a way that is genuine and builds identification. Consider video to tell a portion of it.
Here’s an excerpt from your story:
After several years of working at the office, I noticed that I began to lack muscle tone. I was steadily gaining weight and I had lost the attractive youthful appearance that I had entered the workforce with.
Does this sound like a real person? “I began to lack muscle tone?”
I was getting soft in the middle … I was beginning to loosen my belt a notch here, another notch there. Pants I had just bought were feeling tight — and not in a good way. Not at all.
Here’s another example: “I had lost the attractive youthful appearance that I had entered the workforce with.”
I wasn’t looking like myself anymore . I would look in the mirror and wonder whose pudgy, bloated face was looking back at me … Someone guessed my age today — and they guessed 10 years older than I am!
Your copy has to sound genuine, like two friends meeting and chatting over coffee — especially if you’re using a personal story to sell your message. Video could be very effective for you as an adjunct to your main letter copy.
#6 — Show your story with before and after pictures.
In the weight loss/fitness space, you’ve GOT to show before/after pictures — and lots of them — because they, even more than the copy, show the results that people are most interested in.
And since you’re selling your plan with your personal story, your before/after shots are the most important, so get them in there and in the first screen.
#7 — Tell enough of your story to inspire your prospects and get them to identify with you … then stop.
Your personal story goes on and on. Baolin, your reader doesn’t care about your story except how it ultimately relates to him or her.
So tell enough of it — and show enough of it with pictures — and then write to the interests/needs/wishes/desires of your reader as they relate to your product.
Write in the ‘you’ and not the ‘I/me.’
#8 – Strengthen your subheads by having them tell their own story and keep the momentum going.
Subheads are mini-headlines that help orient and pull your readers along as they scan through your message.
Ideally, if your reader reads only your headline and your subheads, he/she should be able to get enough of the general story to understand what you’re selling and resonate with the emotions you’re hoping to elicit.
#9 — Punch up and quantify the features of your product.
After wading through your letter, I realized that there’s simply not enough about what your prospect will get, learn, discover, and benefit from.
Go through your e-book and make lists. Count the number of tips per exercise, etc. Organize them and get them into your letter.
If you have charts and illustrations, I’d include them, too. You’re looking to create a tidal wave of emotionally resonant “stuff” that’s so compelling that your prospect won’t be able to resist it.
#10 — Bolster your satisfaction guarantee.
You can’t just throw a graphic on your letter and call it done. You’ve gotta say it, too.
Stand behind your product with a strong, explicit guarantee and you’ve just removed a key obstacle to your fence-sitting prospect who’s ready to purchase, but paralyzed by, “What if I don’t like it?”
Make your guarantee as strong as possible. Few will call you on it.
BONUS TIP: Add credibility to your copy.
Personal stories are a great jumping off point, but then you need to take it to the next level and build credibility and authority, as well — for your content as well as for you.
So try to incorporate outside medical/science evidence for your product claims. To bolster your own credibility, share testimonials from not only e-book readers, but fitness trainers, nutritionists, etc.
My thanks to Baolin Liu for his patience and support of Heifer International. Look for my next makeover in about 4 weeks.
About the Author: Roberta Rosenberg is The Copywriting Maven at MGP Direct, Inc. Find her @CopywriterMaven on Twitter. If you’re interested in a private page makeover, site audit, or other services, please email Roberta directly.
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