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Landing Pages to Double Your Business with Clay Collins Part 1 of 3


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Video Highlights Part 1 Of 3
00:15 What Clay learned from processing over 4 million opt-ins a month
00:50 Clay tells you a bit about himself
01:15 LeadPages is a company that relies on network effects and Clay explains network effects
03:40 Clay breaks down split tests on button text
04:30 Three principals to keep in mind when considering button text
06:50 Immediacy matters and no one cares about secrets
08:00 Clay shows you why concreteness matters
09:00 Raw images are almost always better
10:30 The most successful opt-in mechanism on LeadPages
12:15 Why you need to encourage people to make a decision on your offer
13:30 When should you use a landing page?
14:50 For every additional second it takes for your page to load you lose 7% on your conversion
16:10 The best day and time of the week to email your list
17:25 Recap of the five tips from Clay Collins
Click Here For Video Transcript

Video Transcript Part 1 Of 3

Ezra: Anyway, this guy has become a friend of mine. He is wicked, wicked smart and I’m a really big fan of his and I’m really happy to have him here. Let’s give it up for Clay Collins.

Clay: Okay, so I’m going to be talking about some things we learn from processing over four million opt-ins per month and how we went from zero to…actually this is 25k customers in about one year. So it’s been a really, really awesome journey.

All right, so a little bit about me. I’m the cofounder of a company called LeadPages yada, yada, yada. How douchy is a start to show your cars when you’re introducing yourself? I’m not going to show you my car or my house.

So our mission is to take the best and latest of what’s been proven in marketing and create software that just does it for you and to leverage the network to create better conversions for you. We’re a really big believer in network effects. And that is the belief that as a community of users we can pull our data together to create better results for everyone.

So an example of network effects is the auto-population feature that you have in LeadPages. So if you opt in to any form on any lead page from any of our customers and then you go to another customer’s website, the email address and the lead data will be auto-populated. It’s not a privacy problem because we’re not actually submitting it to anyone server, it’s just pre-populates it for you. So that increases your conversion rate especially on mobile devices where you have to type all the stuff in. So that’s just an example of network effects. And we are in large part a network effects company.

Ezra mentioned that he’s got a template inside of our marketplace. No one has seen the marketplace yet but I’ll give you the URL, it’s And if you have a high converting landing page that you want to add to our marketplace since we just are launching it next week, we’ll probably promote it to our list of 125,000 people because our marketplace is new. And we’re giving away 100% commissions on templates sold on our marketplace to build it up. So if you have something you want to add to the marketplace let me know.

Okay, cool. So a little bit about us, we launched in January of 2013. Since then we’ve had over 25,000 customers. We have 7-figure months as a business. We’re up to 85 people in size and we’re having a lot of fun. Our blog right now gets about half a million viewers per month and we’re just having a blast. About our dataset, we process about four to five million opt-ins per month right now. And there have been over a million landing pages created with LeadPages so far. And in the last 30 days about 100,000 pages were created on our system.

We now have billions of data points to process which is awesome. And I am not nerdy enough to figure out all the things in there but we’re hiring someone right now with a PhD who can start giving us insights from that dataset. So I will share some of the things we’ve learned from processing these many opt-ins. I’ll start off with split test. So at any given time there are multiple hundreds of split tests running across our platform. And we don’t share those split tests publically unless we get permission to but I look at them often. In fact I spend entire mornings just poring through split tests and seeing what results people are getting with them.

And I will tell you that of the split tests people run, the ones that get the biggest results consistently more than any other split test are split test on button text. So people are really into button color and all these other things. It’s really the copy that’s the most important thing. And most importantly the call to action copy, the copy on your buttons.

So there is three things that I found. There is three concepts for thinking about button copy text on any button on any landing page or any page where people are going to buy something from you. The first thing is point of view. The second is immediacy and the third is concreteness. So those are the principles but we’re going to drill down into them.

So here is point of view. And I see this one all the time. This is one of the easiest things people can do to up their conversion rate. So here we’ve got a control and a treatment. Okay, control and then version A. So control says create my account, treatment says create your account. And the treatment got 24% fewer conversions in this case but I see this all the time.

So who is the famous copywriter? I never remember the names of these scruffy hard-edged copywriters but, they always seem grumpy so I try to forget who they are. But was it John Caples?

Man: John Carlton.

Clay: John Carlton. Wait, and that he said what I’m about to quote or that he is grumpy and hard edged?

Man: He’s grump and a little hard edged.

Clay: Okay, is he here? Okay, so the theory is that when you’re writing copy you need to put yourself in the head of your prospects. So engage with the dialogue that the prospect is having in their mind or enter the conversation that the prospect is having in their mind while reading your copy. So someone who is reading this page they’re not saying, “Man I really want to create your account,” they’re not saying that. They’re saying, “I want to create my account. I want to create my account,” because that’s what they’re saying in their head. And so you need to write copy on button text that echoes the things that people are saying in their head.

And so the problem and the mistake we make as marketers on so many levels is we write things from our point of view, not from the point of view of the person reading the text. And this is just a really great example of that, here is another one. Start your free 30-day trial, start my free 30-day trial. My got 90% more sign-ups, 90% that’s not a small amount just from going from your to my. So this is hard core.

Another thing, immediacy. Immediacy matters almost more than anything. There is that whole info-marketing thing about secrets, “Oh we’re going to give you secrets,” or whatever. And I don’t think anyone cares about secrets much anymore. People care about immediacy and recency. So here on one side we have “tell me more” and then the other one is “notify me.” So this is on a launch page, you see all these things all the time. Suddenly people will throw these up and they think everyone wants to opt in to find out when you’re launching, like “The second you launch man, I have to know.”

And what we’re finding consistently is people don’t care when you launch. They care that they’re coming to a page and they want to find something out but you’re not telling them. So “tell me more” 30% more sign-ups than “notify me.” Because people really don’t care about opting in for something that’s going to happen in the future when they don’t know quite what it is. And it is frustrating. So immediacy. If I’m looking at copy and I’m taking any one marketing angle over another and comparing them, the one that has new or ground breaking or something related to something that’s happening that day it almost always wins.

Here is concreteness. On one button we have “free instant access” and that is great. There is a lot of immediacy and three really powerful words, free, instant and access. And on the other one you have “download now.” Now, and it’s concrete. So the second one is shorter but it’s actually concrete. What is access? Are you going to put me into a membership site? Is there going to be an e-book I can get? Are you going to play an audio file? What is it? It’s just a very vague notion, access is. Download is very concrete. You’re going to hit this button and you’re going to get something. It’s going to be on your computer, you can possess it. Even though you get it any time on the cloud people want to possess things for some reason. So download now, 90% more signups.

Insight number two, raw images are almost always, always better. In fact I haven’t seen an example where these professionally shot, the dude in a coat…I’ve never seen those outperform raw images. So here is a couple of examples. Rob Cornish, in one he is hiking or something. He is in front some mountains wearing a t-shirt, another one he’s got, I don’t know, looks like he works for Goldman Sachs or something. And then another one Carl Taylor, two versions. One he’s got his hair up. So yeah, again about a 50% increase on the raw images, generally speaking.

And so usually when I post this or when I talk about this because I’ve talked about it a few times, the people that always want to argue with me on this are usually women who have spent a lot of money on professional photography for their websites. And it’s a wonderful thing to invest in. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. If it serves you well, you should absolutely do that if it makes you feel good about yourself. I’m saying if you want to do that, make sure they’re intentionally raw images like maybe motion shots or you jumping in the air or something that’s other than that. So there you have it.

Insight number three, the most successful opt-in mechanism on our platform, and I talk about this one or at least we have on our blog a lot recently because it’s just crushing it. I saw that maybe a fourth of people here have seen me talk so I am going to talk about this because it’s just crushing it. We call it a lead box, other people call it a pop-up, it’s not really a pop-up because it doesn’t pop itself up on your webpage. I’d call it a click up box if I was going to go for that, it’s more of a click up box.

So the way it works is let’s say you’re on a blog like this and then you click on that subscribe now button then it pops up like that. So it only appears when you ask it to appear. And I had the idea to test this out when I was at a Swap Meet [SP] about a couple of years ago and they didn’t have a medium t-shirt. And I wanted the medium t-shirt but there wasn’t one there and there were some small and there were some large ones. And I didn’t quite know if I wanted the t-shirt but for some reason I wanted to know if they had the medium one. I don’t know. So I go up to the guy and I’m like, “Hey do you have a medium t-shirt?” and he reaches behind the table and he puts the medium t-shirt in my hand. And I just bought it. It was this weird reaction. And I’m not sure I would have bought it otherwise but it was the fact that I asked for it and he handed it to me that made me buy it. And so that’s the idea behind this. I don’t know if I would have opted in. When I’m on any given page I can usually browse around and do a whole bunch of things but when you ask to be asked for information, you’re much more likely to give it.

So we’ve seen generally on average a 30% to 50% increase in opt-ins from doing something like this. Which is really cool. And it’s good because it forces you to make a decision. So I think there isn’t enough talk about forcing the decision in marketing. People talk about it a little bit but I think there isn’t enough talk about why it works to encourage people to make decision. And it really comes down to simple math.

Like 100% of the people who don’t make a decision about whether or not to buy your product will not buy your product. But some percentage of the people who do make a decision will buy your product, right? So it behooves you to get people to make a decision. Same with opting into your list. A hundred percent of the people who don’t make a decision about whether or not to opt into your list will not opt into your list. But some percentage of the people who do make a decision will. And in fact if you can get every person in the world to make a decision about whether or not to get on your email list you’ll probably have the largest list in the world even though 99.999% of people wouldn’t opt-in. Yeah, so it really comes back to that.

So how do you know when to send people to a click-up box or some model window versus a landing page? When do you know to do one versus the other? Here is the rule of thumb on whether to send people from a blog post or one page to a landing page like this. And so the rule of thumb is this, if you are sending people from an email or from a paid ad or from some place other than your own website to a page on your website, it behooves you to use a landing page because it’s really focused on that.

But if people are already on your website, let’s say they got there through Google or by some other means, social media; they’re already there, don’t send them from page A to page B which is a landing page. Instead have them click a button and opt in on something like that. It feels like less of a commitment, you’re not waiting for another page to load and it just happens faster. Speed is such a big deal when it comes to conversion.

The latest stats I looked at said that for every additional second it takes for a page to load on your website you lose about 7% in conversion rate, okay? For every additional second it takes a page to load you lose about 7% in conversion rate. And that not only goes for pages loading but for situations where you don’t even have to load a page. Like if I don’t have to wait for 0.75 seconds for the landing page to load and instead it’s instantaneously that’s going to increase my conversion rate. So that’s another reason why that works.

And so here is the difference between driving someone from a blog post or a landing page to opt in to taking them from the blog and having them opt in directly. It’s a lot so here is bunch of just stats. So on the left you’ve got a bunch of ‘70s and on the right you’ve got mostly ‘80s and ‘90s, so it’s really a big jump. Here is another example, Ian Brody’s webpage. So he went from having this where he had the opt-in box directly on the page, to that. So you click on a button and get this. And so that’s just working a lot better. And so I really shared the rule of thumb and we see generally about a 30% increase from one step to two steps.

Okay when is the best time of the week to mail your list? We’ve got multiple millions of visits we’re analyzing per month. Eighty-two percent of the time it’s Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Way too often in our business we just mail whenever the hell we’re ready but if it’s really, really important we’ll try and do it on a Monday or Tuesday or a Wednesday. What data is this based on? This is based on one opt-in rate to the highest. So opt-in rates peak usually on these days.

Okay, so best time of day to mail. Usually 4:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central. It’s going to vary depending on what market you’re in and stuff but in the aggregate, across central, I meant Pacific. That’s the right one, at least that’s what I wrote when I was analyzing it. So that’s the right one, Pacific. Sorry about that.

Okay, so five of the tips from our platform. Button text matters, raw images are usually better, two-step usually beats one-step, I mail on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, a mail between 4:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific. Okay, next…

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