In my last column, I told you about seven must-test elements on your e-commerce product pages. I left you with less tangible products and services with a promise I’d follow up in this column. So, if you sell a product or service through untraditional e-commerce or software, or even software-as-a-service as your product, then how do you maximize the effectiveness of your product pages? There’s a lot to say, so let me get started.

Video Marketing Is Hot

Just like e-commerce product pages, video is a must-test. Video is best used to explain complex ideas. Take some advice from my friend and video optimization expert Chris Johnson, co-founder of Simplifilm, who has been gaining some amazing insights into visitor behavior with online videos. He suggests you should be testing the following things on your product videos:

  • Opens. What is the first mental image you give your viewers in your video? What is the still image that appears before they click play? How will you capture their interest in the first five to seven seconds? By the way, 80 percent of the people that watch the first 12 seconds of your video will watch till about 70 seconds worth of the video.
  • Closes/calls to action. What is your final mental image? Have you created enough desire to get your viewer to take the next call to action? Not every product video will lead visitors to a sale, so plan that some may only be good to get people to see the next demo or learn more. Sometimes it may be more effective to not include any call to action in your video if you’ve designed your product page’s call to action effectively. This will make a bigger difference if the video is embedded on your page or on a third-party website.
  • Information density. Too frequently marketers try to say too much in too little time. I’m often guilty of this. You also must balance not saying too little that the video becomes slow and boring. You don’t need to answer every question in the video but you must create desire. Remember, oftentimes less equals more. So for example, instead of saying your product even works on an iPhone, you can show the interface working on an iPhone.
  • Specifics/screenshots (when people see actual interfaces screens, even mocked-up ones, they tend to increase conversions). This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I’m a marketing tool junkie and I built out a website to store my favorite tools at I have over 170 tools there and I can’t begin to tell you why many of them don’t have any actual screenshots of the application/software/tool anywhere on their site. At a minimum, if you can’t get video produced, at least put up some great screenshots and show how they will benefit users.For best results, try to make a demonstration – a matter-of-fact informative thing, not a sales performance. Chris would often advise you that a set of good still images or slides will outperform an overly-produced video.
  • Voices matter. Should you use a male voice or a female voice for the voiceover? What accent should the voiceover have? This is especially important if you have international sales. Try to use doubt in the voiceover’s voice.I’ll leave out examples of the bad ones to protect the guilty, but here are some good examples:
    Monetate (two videos on home page)**

One thing is for certain, online video watching behavior is evolving quickly, and if you are working with a video production company that isn’t open to testing, you aren’t taking advantage of this medium.

Words Matter

Not every persona will want to watch a video, so you must also work through the 10 steps to optimizing your copy and content.

Two other areas that you want to focus your testing efforts on are your feature table and your pricing table. Next time, I’ll cover some ideas on what you should be testing there.

*Full disclosure: I sit on the advisory board but didn’t script the videos.