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There’s a fraction too much friction

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday March 24, 2010 )

Friction on landing pages and particularly lead capture pages, can have an incredibly negative effect on conversions. So what is friction?

Friction is simply anything that gets between the user and them completing an action; whether it’s making a purchase, clicking a link or filling in a form. At times the content we have on these pages we believe to be helping things along – but it’s not always the case.

I experienced this recently with a lead capture form I had been working with for a couple of years. It had always performed pretty well, but suddenly the number of leads it was producing fell off.

On digging into the issue, it turned out not to be a traffic problem, but the conversion rate had suddenly decreased. What had happened is that over the years, I had been adding a line of promotional text here and there and then things hit critical mass – the page became too long and the last “improvement” was the tipping point where conversion noticeably fell off.

So I trimmed things back a little and there was some improvement, enough to let me know I was on the right track. Then I took an axe to it and by the end of the slicing and dicing, conversions then improved 25% – overnight! It’s been a couple of weeks now and the improvements have stuck. This time around, I’ll be much more careful to monitor conversion rates with every even seemingly minor change.

All up the difference in the additions over the time was just a few paragraphs, but obviously it was enough “friction” to send things south. If you’re feeling brave, try cutting lead capture page content down a bit a see what happens. If you’re ultra-brave, take it down to bare bones and then tweak from there to find the sweet spot.

Learn more about developing landing pages, crafting marketing copy and issues with “toilet roll” type sales pages.

Oh, to give due credit to Mr. Tim Finn for the title of this post, I proudly present for your viewing and listening pleasure “Fraction too much friction”. Ah, the 80’s..


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