Reduce Landing Page Friction
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3 Ways To Reduce “Friction” On Your Landing Pages (Or, How To Sell to Homer Simpson)

Here’s the stone cold truth…

Buyers are lazy, impatient, and distrustful.

They’re also eager, hopeful, savvy, and lots of other positive things.

I’m not trying to insult humankind here.  But I speak from the “difficult to convince” perspective that we should all adopt when approaching our market.

They’re smart and busy and they need solutions to lots of problems.

But they won’t tolerate “friction” in your sales process.

It’s that whole pesky “humans look for the path of least resistance thing” at play.

Friction, as it relates to the sales process, is anything that slows the buyer down. 

To maximize conversions — you need to ruthlessly identify areas of friction and eliminate them.

One of my mentor’s Bill Glazer always used to talk about imagining Homer Simpson as your prospect.  And another longtime client of mine, Rory Fatt, always says to imagine a sloth-like creature sitting on his couch, remote in hand, other hand in pants (Al Bundy?)

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Here’s how you can combat laziness and friction by making it EASY for your prospects to buy from you …

1 – Require Less Steps

In September of 1999, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office awarded Amazon.com a patent on 1-click buying.

Why would Amazon patent such a thing?

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Because the 1-click button INCREASES SALES!

As a general rule, LESS steps (think friction) equals MORE conversions.

The fewer clicks they have to go through to consume your information and buy your products, the better.

If you don’t have the ability to offer a 1-click buy because your prospects are 100% leads and not previous buyers, then just think about what else you can do to make buying (or taking the desired action) easy for them.

Take a hard look at your digital sales process… how many hoops are you asking me to jump through to get where I want to go?

Make your offer (the thing your target naturally, REALLY wants) E-A-S-Y to find …

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The image above is a pop up on Survival Life.  Their opt-in offer is already on the page, but guess what I didn’t have to do to sign up?

I didn’t have to scroll down a little to get to it.  They put it right in front of me!

Homer doesn’t like to scroll.  Too much friction.

You need to make two things REALLY easy for your prospects.

  • It needs to be easy for them to understand what you offer (so they can decide if its for them)
  • It needs to be easy for them to buy it.

That brings me to my next point …

2 – Ask Often

Give them lots of opportunities to do what you want them to do.

Maybe you want them to opt-in, maybe you want them to click and buy, maybe you want them to pick up the phone and call.  Whatever your goal for the page is, give your prospects a few different chances to go for it.

I don’t advocate for you placing tons (more than 5) buy links throughout your sales letter, but I do know that if you give them only one chance … all the way at the bottom of your sales letter, you’ll decrease readership and therefore decrease sales!

Remember we’re talking about making things easy.  Here’s what I mean …

This is a picture of a random long form sales letter I found online:

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Here you can only see the first page, so it’s hard to tell where they’ve placed buy buttons throughout the copy.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that this is one of those that has ONLY one buying opportunity at the very bottom of the page.

That’s a mistake.

If Homer Simpson is reading your copy and he finally decides that he’d like to buy what you’re selling you better have a link close by before he forgets what he was doing and heads down to Moe’s Tavern.

I’m joking about Homer, but I’m serious about the message.  Make it easy for the lazy and distracted people.

Even the latest pretty websites … you know those parallax sites that are so easy on the eyes … yes, even those should offer frequent opportunities for a buyer to actually BUY.

You’ve seen Digital Marketer do this:

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Well done DM!  Its not an in your face approach, but the opportunity is there for me when I’m ready.

As you scroll down the Digital Marketer home page you’ll see calls to action in places where new features and benefits are revealed.

Because you just never know when Homer will get off his butt, put down the remote, and get his head in the game.

But don’t confuse asking a prospect to do something multiple times with asking a prospect to do multiple things.

As a general rule, every landing page should have a single desired conversion behavior.  Buy this.  Sign up for that.  Donate to this.

If you ask them to do all three — you’ll likely see a lower response.  One page, one offer.

Not only can you make it easy for them to take action, but you need to make the decision easy too…

3 – Show N’ Tell

One of my clients was offering an online membership where his customers would get 24/7 access to over 1,000 recipes specifically suited to their dietary needs.  It’s a very cool concept.

But he failed to show screen shots of the user interface.  It never even crossed his mind.  He used images in the copy (pictures of food), but he didn’t think the website screen shots would be important.

Below are some examples of the “what you get” portion of the sales pitch spelled out really clearly.

And by the way, by “spelled out” I mean written about, shown with pictures, talked about in video.  The showing is something that a lot of people are missing. 

Give them actual pictures of your membership site and show them the navigation so they can see all the choices they’ll have.

Show product images from every angle.  Show images and video of people using your product successfully.

Show before and after images of the results of your services.

Bottom line… make it visual.

Not only will this evoke curiosity but it will be really enticing.  They’ll want to click on those pictures to access the content, products and services!

Here’s an example from Juicewithdrew.com promoting a book…

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This is pretty simple.  He’s not even showing you a picture of vegetables or a blender or anything sexy.  Its just a picture of a page in the book.  You can’t even read that copy!

And Drew has cleverly framed it to look like it’s a page of copy on the ipad, because that’s how his buyers will most likely consume his content.  Smart move… reduces friction.

Now we’re all picturing ourselves with our tablets out, reading Drew’s stuff and accessing his recipes.

Nobody selling access to a membership site does this better than ABCMouse.com

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Their entire home page is taken up by an image of the user interface.

Now if you’ve heard their commercials or clicked on a PPC ad to their website, you will not be thinking “I wonder if my child will even understand how to navigate an online program like this.”

Friction eliminated.

You can see the interface BEFORE you buy.

Usually it’s the businesses that are proud of their user interface design (or the design of their e-Book, product or whatever they’re selling) that show pictures of it.

And one of the most common mistakes I see is that those who have a video at the top of a sales or landing page that shows lots of appropriate images think that the job has been done.  But, if there’s copy below your video there’s a good chance that your prospects watch for the first 30 seconds to one minute and then start to scroll down to read while they listen.

That’s what I do.  We’re all different and as a marketer you have to be ready for that.

Don’t forget to show your readers what you’re selling!

Think of it this way, by showing them your content, products and services you’re not only making the decision process easier because they can actually see what they’ll get, but you’re also showing them “ease of use.”

One of the most common natural questions for a buyer is “Will I be able to use this?”

In other words, they’re wondering if it’ll be easy for them to implement or utilize your thing.  Will there be friction?

When you show them what they’re buying that question disappears from their minds.

[Checklist] Reducing Landing Page Friction

Here’s a little recap and some action items for you to help you skew the odds in your favor:

1 – Require Less Steps

Reducing steps will reduce friction.

  • If you can, offer a 1-click buying option.
  • Test a pop-up on your opt-in offer nice and big on your home page (go to www.survivallife.com to see how it works right now while they’re still employing that pop up)
  • At the very least, make sure your opt-in is “above the fold” when someone lands on your page so they don’t have to scroll to enter their name and email or hit submit.

2 – Ask Often
Give them lots of opportunities to do what you want them to do.

  • Make sure you have at least 3 buy buttons on your sales pages.
  • Link to opt-in offers and sales pages from everywhere it makes sense (yes… this includes blog content)
  • Don’t ask them to do multiple things, ask them multiple times to do the same thing.

3 – Show N’ Tell

Make the decision process as easy as possible by showing them what they’ll get.

  • Show images of your product from as many angles as possible.  Show people using your product and the outcomes of your service.
  • If you’re selling an e-Book or written content, find ways to display your content that will appeal to how your market will be consuming it, so they can picture themselves doing that.
  • Make sure your copy (not just your video) includes all the images of your content that you want your prospects to see.

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