Conversion Optimization 101: When Ads and Landing Page Don’t Stink!

Last week I asked how you would improve scent from this NetFlix ad and landing page combination, I found while looking at FaceBook on my iPad.

From a scent perspective the issues include:

  1. a mismatch of languages
  2. mixed messaging in the offers
  3. image issues – if I was on my iPad the landing page could have used a picture of someone holding an iPad.
  4. while they did try to maintain the color scheme of their ad and of Facebook, it broke down in execution.

There are many other issues related to the ad and landing page. What problems can you see?

Here is the ad:

This was the page I landed on:

My buddy and brilliant copywriter, Jeff Sexton shared with the readers of his blog how to get back to website optimization basics by understanding the context of your messaging by asking the 3 fundamental questions we have used for years:

  1. Who is com­ing to the site? How did they arrive? And what are their goals?
  2. What’s the next step for­ward for them both in terms of their goals and your con­ver­sion funnel?
  3. What do they need to under­stand, believe, and feel in order to con­fi­dently take those next steps?

I won’t steal the thunder from his whole post, but here are a few juicy nuggets:

For question 1- Who is this relevant for?:

…the Face­book Ad fea­tures “Free Trial” lan­guage in the ad image (in Eng­lish instead of Span­ish), the ad’s head­line, AND the ad’s body copy.
So shouldn’t the land­ing pages red stripe with the Net­flix header also say “Free Trial”?  Sure it should — it should match the Face­book ad as closely as pos­si­ble in look and feel.
Yes, there is a “1 Month Free” call-out off to the side, but it’s off to the side, away from the hero shot and from the inter­ac­tive ele­ments on the page.

Also, shouldn’t an iPad brows­ing prospect be shown a land­ing page fea­tur­ing a pic­ture of a movie being watched on an iPad instead of on an iPhone?

For question 2- How do you explain your value?:

…why sep­a­rate the sign-up form from the rest of the page by abruptly chang­ing the color scheme?  And why make the form feel dif­fer­ent than the ad through the choice of a dif­fer­ent color scheme? This might have worked if sign­ing up was log­ging in with your Face­book login, since the grey and blue echo Facebook’s own color scheme.

For question 3- Do they feel comfortable and know how to take action?:

…what’ll hap­pen after (and IF) he clicks the “Start Your Free Month” button?
So does the page explain this for Bryan?  Not at all.  He has no idea what hap­pens after he fills out the form…

Patriciahader – a former Master Certification student of mine from MarketMotive listed 10 issues:

There are multiple things that should be optimized:
1. Mismatch of languages – The ad is in a different language than the landing page. However, why are you (Bryan) even being targeted with a non-English ad? (Have you been clicking around on foreign language ads)
2. Mix of languages within the ad – the visual is in English, the rest is non-English – need consistency in language
3. Offer in ad – notes “free trial” – the landing page says “1 month free trial” – again need consistency in offers
4. The image on the landing page should show an iPad, not a phone, if you were on your iPad
5. I’m not clear on why I should be signing up with Netflix – the benefits are not very clear, aside from getting a month free – why not quantify the choice (and languages) in shows and movies that Netflix offers (e.g. 50,000 movies)
6. The headline is very weak and disconnected from the ad – talks about $7.99 a month, whereas the ad focused on free trial – again, it doesn’t sell me on Netflix
7. Why is the “one month free” button on the far right hand side? Test location of calling out the offer.
8. The landing page looks very dark and gloomy. I would probably suggest testing different color schemes and images as well as moving the “Sign Up” box further up
9. The CTA could probably also use some testing.
10. They should probably set expectations on what comes next (after clicking the CTA) – does the visitor need to provide his credit card info or no credit card needed for free trial?

There many more of opportunities (basics!) to improve the relevancy between the ad and the landing page as well as the effectiveness of the landing page! Does Netflix have a conversion optimization expert on staff? Their marketing team should sign up for your Market Motive class. Needless to say, the targeting criteria for the ad also need to be re-evaluated.

If you are from Netflix and reading this, get in touch with me and we’ll set you up with  special deal for training your team at MarketingMotive.

Richard Fergie pointed out the obvious issue:

The advert and landing page have different languages.

Are they doing this to target people like me who are bilingual and speak Spanish and English? That would be ok, but wouldn’t it make sense to have something in Spanish on the landing page too? Maybe even references to seeing movies in both English and Spanish.

shawnccpr was wondering why the offer changed:

You could also say since Free Trial is not in the headline, the scent has been disconnected despite the badge on the right and the button at the bottom.

Meylakh wants to know where the value is listed and didn’t love the color scheme either:

The first thing that I see is that the color scheme could be improved. Colorwise, the red banner and the rich screenshot draw the attention of the user while the actual call to action appears on a flat, boring grey page. Additionally, they don’t take advantage of listing more than one call to action (perhaps having the paid subscription next to it). Lastly, they could have leveraged the space better to inform the visitor of concrete, emotional benefits – “You could have access to over %x% number of movies and tv shows including %highlighted movie of the week%”.

Nico Roddz added that the eyetracking layout is all wrong Netflix does nothing to overcome any objections:

In occident we visually scan from left to right. Based on that, we can make the landing page more “readable” and makes the user scan the elements in the order we want.

a) http://i.imgur.com/7XOMP.png
VS
b) http://i.imgur.com/2nRiz.png

I’d like to add some elements to beat objections like:

a) How the free trial works?
b) Why I should take this offer?
c) Who already take advantage of this (testimonials)
d) What I will get with this offer?

Arethana is wondering why they don’t leverage any sense of urgency and points out a few issues with the landing page:

I miss in the text some sense of urgency for the offer. “antes de que la oferta termine” is very bland. I would give a date or a time range “Get a free month of trial if you register before XX/XX”. (“Consigue un mes de prueba gratuito si te registras antes del XX/XX”). Also no indication of what netflix is. I have no idea on the limitation of words for this ad but some information on what you get is necessary. “Un mes de prueba gratuito para ver tus series favoritas con Netflix si te registras antes del XX”

Landing page suggested improvements

In general I agree that the simple page is good.
1) Again the language issue. Same as for ad, it should be in Spanish.
2) Confusing message: Is it a free trial or a month free? Not quite the same and that can lead the user to have doubts and not register.
3) Not convinced of the position of the “one month free” yellow image. I believe a more centered position will be better ( Inside the picture below the text “watch…” or on top of palm of the hand. Again testing needed.
4) Some users may need some clarification in relation to the email and password registration. It could be confusing for the user that might believe that he already needs to have an email/password. Maybe just a short sentence like “Quickly register with your email and your chosen password”.

So what recommendations did you come up with the improve the scent from this ad and landing page combination? Obviously, there was so much more opportunity than just improving the scent. Did you notice the other issues that were pointed out?

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