6 Crazy Landing Page Tactics Worth Risking
Do you want to be more successful in business? Then maybe you need to take some risk.
Much of the reason more businesses don’t accelerate faster is because their owners are afraid of risk. What if it fails? What if people think I’m stupid? What if I lose customers?
Life itself is a risk, and sometimes it takes even more risk to make life and business more successful. Why am I waxing philosophical? Because I want to set the stage for something that might be risky.
I’m going to suggest a few landing page tactics that might be risky. You may think they’re stupid. You might hate them. You may never try them. That’s okay.
But here’s the thing. These landing page techniques have been extremely successful for some businesses. Could they be successful for your business? You’ll never know until you try.
A few thoughts on landing page technique.
Before I propose a few techniques, let me explain a few basic facts that will make this article as helpful as possible.
What is a landing page?
I’m using the term “landing page” according to its broader definition. Some people use the term “landing page” to describe only “a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.” Many times, this is the page that users see if they click on a paid ad.
I’m broadening the definition. A landing page can include a website main page or even product subpages, as you’ll see in the examples below.
Should I try these techniques?
I encourage a risk-taking approach to business. No, this doesn’t mean I suggest you do stupid things. This means that you work hard, think deep, and do things that have a chance of success. This is what people call a “calculated risk.”
How do you know if you’ll be successful? You won’t. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to quantify the success (or non-success) of these experiments.
If you’re not split testing your current website or landing pages, I suggest that you start doing so.
Split testing is designed to compare the success of one page over another. It’s not exactly the model of testing the success of drastic redesigns, which might be what your website needs.
If you discover that you want to redesign your website, you’ll know if a change is successful or not. More importantly, once you have made your major move, you can start testing for gradual improvements in the new design.
There are no best practices. There are no solutions. There’s only what’s right for your customers.
People love to hear about “best practices,” or to imitate what other marketers have done.
Why? Because every website is different! Every customer is different! Every niche is different! There are so many differences that it would be foolish to think that someone else’s “best practices” will have the same impact on your website. Just because someone else got a 383% boost in conversions, doesn’t mean that you’ll experience the same thing.
Okay, preliminary stuff aside. Let’s take a look a few crazy landing page ideas.
1. Just one thing.
One brilliant landing page design trend follows the path of minimalism. Like the popular flat design, these landing pages remove everything extraneous. They retain only the bare-bones basics of a landing page:
Does a landing page like this even work?
Yes. By reducing complication and choice, these landing pages make the user focuson the product and the CTA. Such streamlined focus will naturally improve conversions.
Here’s Jive, a popular collaboration software suite. The CTA is obvious.
You can use this technique with some variation. Parallax design allows you to display a minimalist design on the top while providing additional information below. This allows curious users to do their research before they convert.
Unbounce is a landing page optimization company. Their software allows users to build their own landing page and test its effect. Their landing page drives at one thing.
Some of the best examples of this tactic are used by apps. An app website is usually, by nature, a very focused landing page. The more focus, the better.
Here’s Loudie, a concert discovery app.
LanguagesApp uses a simple CTA for their app purchase.
Just Landed, also an app, uses a similar approach with this landing page.
Not every business can pull off such stark simplicity. If you try this tactic, make sure that your headline and description are crystal clear.
2. Just give me your email address.
All that some landing pages want is your email address. And they don’t beat around the bush.
Here’s Mixergy. All they want you to do is put in your email address. The landing page you see below has one purpose.
Mixergy’s landing page has three main features:
- A headline
- A CTA form
- Trust signals. A few well-known brands are featured at the bottom for good measure.
There is a slight drawback. If you chance upon such a landing page with no previous knowledge of the business, then you may be confused.
I think Mixergy does a great job. In less than ten words, they convey the purpose of the site.
ConversionXL uses this approach on their website. Their main site has this simple CTA.
If you can accurately channel users by knowing their journey, then you’ll better succeed at crafting a landing page to their exact needs. Also, it helps to understand user intent, and how this affects the path of a user on your website.
3. Fill out the form.
Personally, I think that landing pages with forms are boring, insipid, and uninspiring. But they must have some effect.
Why do I think this? Here’s why. Optimizely, one of the world’s leading CRO softwares uses a boring form for their landing page. Check it out.
I may not like this landing page, but I’m going to assume that Optimizely knows what they’re doing. (Note: I don’t have any stats on their conversion rates.)
Another reason I think that this crazy tactic works is because Salesforce uses it, too. Salesforce basically invented SaaS. They also have 13,300 employees, which I’m sure includes a few CROs and landing page analysts. With a market cap of $35.87 Billion, they can afford a few split tests on their landing page.
Here it is, in all of its glory:
Let’s take a look at another one — Netsuite. Forbes recently named this company number two in the most innovative growth companies list. As an enterprise software worth nearly $8 billion, they’ve obviously done something right. Growth rate has been at 22% over the past five years. I can’t help but think that their landing pages had something to do with that growth.
How does a multi-billion dollar company design its landing page?
Are you kidding me?! Eleven form fields?! That flies in the face of common sense, let alone conversion rate best practices. Reducing their forms to six fields would boost their conversion rates by 15%. Dropping down to 3-5 fields would give them a 20% conversion rate boost. And if they had only three form fields, they would gain a 25% uptick in conversion rates. (See data.)
But maybe NetSuite is on to something. (More on that in a minute.) Let me show you another one.
Fleetmatics is another major SaaS company. They prefer the form-centric landing page, too.
Here is why I think that these landing pages are successful.
Today’s B2B companies understand that their customers aren’t looking for the right solution to their needs. Their customers already know the solution. The customer understands the products, the competition, the prices, and the features. When a customer is finally ready to convert, he or she will have already educated himself on the pros, cons, and features of the product or service. Converting is simply a matter of landing on the right page, and filling out the form. Little to no persuasion is needed.
B2B buyers don’t need to be wowed by moving backgrounds, sizzling hot headlines, or sexy parallax designs. They just fill out the form.
4. Show them a video.
Videos have a proven track record of high conversion rates. But just how to use video is anyone’s best guess. You can have embedded videos with auto-play, videos in lightbox modal popups, explainer videos, CTA after video play, in-video CTAs, and a variety of other variations on a theme.
What’s the best way? You’ll only know by testing. With that in mind, let me show you some innovative examples.
I’ve long admired Mailchimp for their smart, clean, and compelling landing pages. They seem to inspire the creative. (Just look at the cup of — what is that, a mocha? — the artsy deco, and sharpened pencils.)
Plus, they have some very intelligent conversion features — like a touch of animation on their landing page.
Calling this a “video” is like referring to a puddle as an ocean. That’s why I used the term “animation.” It’s only five seconds. And it hardly has any movement whatsoever.
The point of the video is to show visitors how to use Mailchimp, and to prove its absolute simplicity. It works. Anyone who visits Mailchimp will see in the first five seconds how it works.
Paddle helps app creators to manage their apps and content. They use a video feature on their homepage in order to display the software’s feature and create an engaging and immersive experience for the user.
Other notable companies including PayPal and Airbnb have used the background animation method as well.
One of the best examples of the video on landing page is GoPro. When you visit their page, you’re immediately entranced by the full screen and powerfully compelling action video. It’s almost addictive.
5. Find your funnel.
Providing users with too many choices can paralyze them, leading them to make no choice at all.
In some cases, however, this is what a landing page must do. If your product or services requires that a user find their own funnel, then you’ll need to provide some method of narrowing down the users with your landing page.
Workday, a SaaS, uses this approach. Their HR customers use the SaaS for financial management, human capital management, and big data analytics. Thus, the landing page helps to provide all the information that their information-seeking might want.
The main page for DemandWare also allows customers to find their correct spot on the website.
Concur provides travel expense reporting. Their landing page provides four options that allow users to discover their preferred application.
A great approach for improving conversions is to encourage interaction.
When a user interacts on your website, it creates a sense of buy-in. The more involvement that they have, the more they are interested in the product or service. With every interaction, it’s more likely that they will convert.
Here’s a beverage company. They encourage users to select a drink based on strength, taste, and ingredients.
I use the interaction technique on Quicksprout. My goal is to help users by providing a free analysis of their website. They are required to input their URL and login with Google. By increasing their interactivity with the page and then using my system, they are more likely to stay engaged.
ParkMe uses a simple form question to encourage interaction — “Where are you going?”
CrazyEgg itself is using this technique (as of recently). You can continue (or not). It’s up to you. Interaction is your only path forward.
These are just a few ideas. You may have other ideas. You may have better ideas.
What should you do about them? Give them a try. The worst thing that could happen is that you lose a few potential sales. No prob. Switch back to the old landing page method.
The biggest risk is not trying. Why? Because you could be losing a ton of potential conversions. You’ll never know unless you give it a try.