Landing Page Makeover Clinic #9:
The Four Ps of Podcasting

Landing Page Makeover

Today’s makeover is for Scott Whitney’s Four Ps of Podcasting CD. When he first contacted me in October his site was live only a short time, but having taken a fresh look, there’s still a lot that Scott could be doing to pop conversions.

He uses a series of landing pages – smart – each one keyed to one search phrase – even smarter – so he’s definitely on the right track. But he still wasn’t selling near enough CDs, so let’s see what we can do to give Scott a nice boost to end-of-year sales.

Here’s the background:

  • The Goal
    Increase CD sale conversions from near zero to something more.
  • The Problem
    Site is receiving traffic, though not enough of the CD-buying kind.
  • The Current Landing Page
    http://fourpsofpodcasting.com
  • Page/Ad that Generates the Click-Through
    Google Adwords PPC
  • CD cost
    $9.99, bulk discounts and shipping discounts also available

The Maven’s 10-Point Critique

Four Ps of PodcastingClick image for larger view

#1 – The point size of the type is way too small. I mean really too small.

I’m not sure what the font is here, but in this 8pt or less size, it’s simply too darn small to read comfortably. Making sure it wasn’t my trifocalled, middle-aged eyes working against me, I asked my 15-year-old daughter to take a look. Even reading it on a 21″ screen, she found the type annoyingly small. The weight of the font also seems a little light and doesn’t offer enough contrast between the text and the background. Choose Verdana or Georgia as your font and you’ll get maximum scalability and readability even at smaller point sizes.

#2 – Rework the product name.

Copy starts out with The Four P’s of Podcasting which is fine but it’s only when I get into the copy do I have a shining “Duh” moment and realize that Plan, Produce, Publish & Promote are the 4 P’s. I’d rework the product titling, at least for the first mention, to include the title with its subtitle, or even revise the title to The Four P’s of Podcasting: Plan, Produce, Publish & Promote for Business Success or something else that gets the benefit/promise right upfront.

#3 – Rework your headline into something meaningful for your visitor.

Learn How to Benefit From a Great Podcast just lays there. I’m thinking “what kind of benefit/s?” You’re asking your prospect to do the work for you. Instead, tell your visitor what the biggest benefit they can expect with podcasting. Something like — “Learn How Podcasting Can DO SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY WONDERFUL FOR YOUR BUSINESS/SALES/REPUTATION.” Folks don’t want a great podcast. They want something great from their podcast efforts.

#4 – Rework your offer – take your free, 4-part mini-course links off the page and force sign-ups to receive.

Your instincts are good here, but you’re wobbly on the execution — and you’re missing a huge opportunity to capture prospect name/email info. Use the page to promote the benefits of your free, no-strings mini-course in exchange for a first name and email address. Then create an auto-responder series which gives them a link to Session 1 immediately and the remainder over a few days. Rework these links as their own mini-landing pages with tight, juicy copy and an offer to buy the CD, perhaps offering a quick discount or additional checklist or something else perceived as valuable and useful per session read/heard. Remember: your most important marketing asset isn’t your product, it’s your mailing list.

#5 – Nice photo but it’s not supporting or pushing your message along.

It’s also not representative. Most podcasters are sitting at their computers talking into their Logitechs or other headphone/mic combinations. Show me a picture of that or no photo at all. Better yet, why not offer a clickable audio or video clip here where you can talk directly to the visitor. Makes it more personal, authentic and shows off the technology you’re looking to promote. Perhaps, in line with #3, you can give them #1 right from the landing page.

#6 – Have your copy get right to the point.

Your intro copy reads like typical copywriter “warm-up.” We all do it. Trick is to get rid of it to get right to the heart of the matter? Something like – “Want to get into podcasting but afraid to start? What you want here is to immediately set the context for the rest of your message. Everything else you write has to answer the set-up question and step your prospect through the benefits of why they should learn podcasting with you and your materials.

Also, lose most of the yellow highlighting. Use bold and larger text to provide most of the visual interest. Too much highlighting hurts readability and dilutes the effectiveness of the technique.

#7 – Have your copy move from telling to selling with a genuine “one business person to another” tone and rapport.

Right now the copy reads dry. Where’s the emotional juice that will make the prospect feel your passion? You actually had a lot of heart in the “Makeover Brief” outline you prepared. Put more of that in your copy where it really belongs. Visitors are clicking to your landing page via key phrases representing all variants on the podcasting knowledge spectrum. Make sure you speak to them in an emotionally resonant way. Make them feel comfortable and at-ease with this new technology and with what you have to offer.

Four Ps of PodcastingClick image for larger view

#8 – I have no idea what these bullets mean or refer to.

I love bullets generally, but at first glance I have no idea what you mean here. You have 2-3 seconds at most to keep your prospect moving through your message. This area is a huge STOP sign in whatever momentum you’ve created. Rewrite and reformat this section so when someone scans it, they understand it immediately with no head-scratching confusion.

#9 – Don’t be afraid to write longer copy.

I get the sense here you didn’t want to be too wordy, believing that “No one reads long copy.” Well, no one reads short copy that fails to engage the reader with a strong marketing message, either. Problem here is there’s not enough copy that’s telling and selling your story in a strong, persuasive manner. Expand and enrich your sales copy. Give your readers enough information to make them feel confident about getting your mini-course in exchange for their email address. We’ll get them to order the CD in the next step or two.

#10 – Build your credibility – prove you’re a recognized expert right here.

Remember, for your PPC visitors this is your make or break page. Drag your photo from your CD order page and use here. Summarize your experience and why you’re uniquely qualified to provide this material here, too. Add those media mentions you noted in your Makeover Brief to me and load them up here, as well, with their logos if you can.

Heifer International Makeover

My thanks to Scott Whitney for his patience and support of Heifer International. And speaking of Heifer, the image to the right is a listing of the hope and opportunity purchased by the generosity of our Copyblogger makeover participants. (Two contributions aren’t listed here as they were made to Heifer outside the gift registry.

Thank you all again!

The Maven Makes a Break for 2008

With #10 makeover left to complete in the remaining weeks of 2007, Brian and I have decided to conclude this 10-part series of landing page makeovers to make way for a brand-new Copywriting Maven Makeover series next year. We’re still working out the final details and will announce them soon, but our goal is to help you strengthen and sharpen your online marketing/promotion plans right from the get-go before you run down the tactics road too far. I’m really excited about the possibilities, too.

(My private, 10-point landing page critique/makeovers remain available. Please email me directly to schedule for 2008.)

Roberta Rosenberg is The Copywriting Maven at MGP Direct, Inc.

Print Friendly

Smarter is Better Solutions for Smarter Content Marketing

Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  • 15 high-impact ebooks on content marketing, SEO, email marketing, landing pages, keyword research, and more.
  • A 20-part Internet marketing course that lays out a comprehensive path for your own online strategy.
  • An organized reference guide to the “best of the best” of Copyblogger.com, and how it all profitably fits together.
Free Registration

Take The Conversation Further ...

We'd love to know your thoughts on this article.
Meet us over on Google+ or Twitter to join the conversation right now!

Comments

  1. I come to a screeching halt at #2: “The Four P’s of Podcasting.” *bzzzzt!* I’m a bit horrified that the spreading disease of making plurals into incorrect possessives by way of gratuitous apostrophe use has found its way into a copywriting blog. Dear lord.

  2. I agree that P’s is technically incorrect. However for readability I prefer to see “P’s” rather than “Ps” which either looks wrong or plain nasty. :)

  3. It’s a great concept expressed in a bad title. I think conversions will go up if he finds a better way to brand the product.

  4. Personally I find correct usage to be the most readable, since it actually communicates the proper meaning. It only looks “wrong” to so many people because they mostly see it done incorrectly, so now they think that wrong “looks right.” An apostrophe is not a piece of jewelry that you can just tack on whenever you think something needs to look better.

  5. Brian,
    Why is he selling podcasts without the podcast being the primary and first focus of his page? I mean to say it is several clicks away to see if he’s any good at it. And why is he using a negative visual? Tell me yes, with brilliant words, but show me or let me hear how effective you are….Cd=sound or visuals. I don’t get it.
    Would not buy. Would not even read his words because the visual is off putting…only read further because it was here….maybe I am not his audience?
    Confused.
    All best, Jan

  6. Myth, I hear you. Ask me what I think about usage like “Boss’s Day.”

  7. Roberta,

    Thanks for the critique. Certainly a lot to think about. Looking forward to reading more comments as well.

    @myth(1) — We choose “P’s” for the reason Roberta suggested…readability.

    @Brian(3) — The title has resonated very well with our customers, all of whom are looking for an easy way to understand the steps to deploying a corporate podcast. I’d certainly welcome your ideas on a better term.

    @Janice(5) — We are not selling a podcast but the process of developing and deploying a podcast. What is the negative visual? Do you mean negative words in the beginning? The reason is simple–you first bond with people less on your solution and more on your ability to articulate the problems they face. They don’t arrive at the website by searching for “great podcast production firm”, they find us by typing “how to make a podcast” (the problem). The example sub-head shown in the critique, “Learn How to Benefit…” is one of MANY such sub-heads, depending on the search term entered.

  8. Roberta,

    Right on point.

    I especially liked the “make your copy get right to the point” statement.

    Too often we spend too much time trying to warm our reader up rather than jumping right to the point.

    Thanks!

  9. Plan, Produce, Publish & Promote: The Four Keys to Podcasting Success.

    That’s a better title. No charge.

  10. Scott,
    Your image is hostile. It has nothing to do with words. Visually you have a huge “foreign” object descending forcefully on your viewer in a rather sterile ground. It also reads , how to say this in polite company?, rather graphically on a subliminal level and I know that is not your intention.
    I think Brian made a few suggestions on some more on target images anyway.
    I can see your market is corporate. But corporate =dry? no.
    I would still like to see your brilliance and ease demonstrated with a podcast right up front.
    I was impressed with a memorable video cast that Dave Allen has on his site. I bought his book immediately in part based on that upfront use of the medium and his ease.
    And I see Brian has given you a much better title. Using a visual word like keys gives you another opportunity to underscore your words with visuals…keys are also aural in nature.

    All due respect and best wishes,
    Jan

  11. The Maven’s 10 point critique can be applied to any subject matter, not only podcasting.
    Thanks for the post.

  12. I agree with your assessment. I would also add the following:

    Where’s the story? Nothing draws me in.
    The color scheme is a little cold and uninviting.
    There’s nothing on the page that establishes the credibility of the product or creator.
    The photo occupies too much space on the page.
    The headline should be more of a focal point.
    The copy fails to persuade, this may be due to the fact that it very sparse.

    The page definitely needs to be reworked.

  13. First thing that came to my mind was “huh, a CD about Podcasting?” Why not make it downloadable? Instant gratification has some sales appeal and it’d seem to make sense since it’s about Podcasting and not “CDcasting”. :)

  14. Great points all around here guys and gals. Nice touches to an already glowing report from the Maven.

    Hat is off to Scott for being willing to go under the microscope and get beaten up a little bit by Copyblogger readers :)

    Every one of these is like a kick in the butt for me in terms of reminding me what to works- and to trim the fat of my message. Thanks Maven and Brian and Scott.