Get Certified in Landing Page Optimization

30 01 2008

After 4 months, I finally received certification via the *breath in* Marketing Experiments Certification Course on Landing Page Optimization – Subscription Path Track.

Marketing Experiments Logo

If you already follow Marketing Experiments, much of the material they put out for free is discussed in the class (although in greater depth.) Flint McClaughlin, who runs Marketing Experiments, knows testing and optimization very well, but the class could be stronger. Taking the class, training at Widemile and working with clients simultaneously has taught me a lot, very quickly, so as the class went on, I wasn’t learning as much. Those of you who don’t have the benefit of being surrounded by testing pros, probably will get a lot more out of it.

In addition, sometimes the number of conversions for their case studies are quite low, which leads me to question some of the testing numbers. I’m sure they got lifts, but their numbers are a little outrageous at times and, as my boss Frans brings up, seem to not account for seasonality.

Despite all that, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get into or needs to learn how to make better landing pages. They offer many other certification classes and while I can’t really say how good the other classes are, I have a strong feeling that they are worthwhile too.

Regardless if you do or don’t want to take the class, you should take the time to learn their conversion index formula. It’s the overarching idea of the class and really helps you think in a systematic way about what should be improved on your pages and funnels. The conversion index formula is:

Marketing Experiments Conversion Index

C is the probability of conversion, so this formula deals with variables that cause visitors to convert or not convert. Here’s the quick rundown of each letter:

  • m – motivation of the visitor
  • v – your value proposition
  • i – incentive to convert
  • f – friction of the process
  • a – anxiety about converting

I don’t want to go into too much depth, but I will mention that my favorites are incentive and friction. They are together in the equation because they counteract each other. You use incentives to overcome the friction of the page. So offering your visitors a white paper helps them deal with giving up their name and e-mail address to you. Visitors know they are going to get a call or e-mail when they give you info, but you have to give them reasons to give it to you.

An example of this that most of you have probably experienced as an internet user is when you find a great deal on a badly designed website. Even if it’s tough to get through the checkout process (friction), you’re likely to finish it since it is a great deal (incentive).

One of things I’ve learned is that making website changes is rarely a streamlined and easy process. The best situation would obviously be to have good incentives and low friction, but you can’t always improve everything because of office politics, technical reasons, lack of resources or numerous other things. So by using this formula and keeping these things in mind, you have multiple ways to attack problems either offensively (increase incentives, value proposition, focus on user motivation) or defensively (decrease friction and anxiety).