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There is an old article on problogger.com that talks about a blog mentoring program created by Yaro Starak, a well-known Australian blogger and internet marketer.
To tell you the truth, I found nothing special in the post. It was just another post with the lone purpose of promoting Yaro’s mentoring program. However, when I scrolled down I found interesting and rather nasty discussions in the comments section.
The discussion starts when one of the readers mentioned that there were some credibility issues with the design of the site because it looks like a quick, get-rich scheme.
Things didn’t stop there. More people came forward and started arguing that there are existing credibility issues with that long landing page.
Yet, Yaro explained the need of such a long landing page. He says the length mattered especially because the mentoring program covered internet marketing. Obviously, while launching a product, decisions are critical – in this case using either a landing page or microsite.
This article is a head-to-head comparison between a landing page and a microsite.
Landing Page and Microsites – Explained
In online marketing a landing page is referred to as a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement.
In simple terms, a landing page is a single page where the user lands from search engine results page or from an online advertisement.
A microsite is an individual web page or a small cluster of pages which are meant to function as a discrete entity within an existing website or to complement an offline activity.
A microsite is a multi-page site to sell or promote a product, which can exist within a website or as a separate website. Think about a targeted multi-page brochure inside digital steroids.
Product description: Crazy Egg is a tool that analyzes how visitors are engaging with a website and provides heat maps and scroll maps of how they use the site.
Why Crazy Egg prefers long landing as homepage?
As there are many SaaS tools available on the web, one of the biggest challenges the Crazy Egg team faces is to explain how Crazy Egg differs from other popular tools, including Google Analytics.
For this purpose, Crazy Egg uses a long sales page as its homepage. Here are some reasons why Crazy Egg prefers long landing page.
- 1. The product needs more explanation
Crazy Egg is a product that is somewhat harder to explain. Because of its complex nature, visitors are not going to be a customer without a lengthier description.
It is true that a video has been embedded above the fold of the landing page. However, not everyone is going to watch it. And, even if they do, they still need to be convinced to create an account.
- 2. Convincing is a lot more harder
It doesn’t matter how much you explain your product, convincing people to trust you is vastly harder. Visitors are not going to use your product unless you make them understand how using it can change and improve their lives.
Nonetheless, explaining and convincing are entirely different processes.
In addition, web users are lazy. So, if you could not instantly convince your users to take a specific action, they will likely leave your website before opening extra pages to learn more about it. This means you are losing a potential customer!
Crazy Egg does a good job here. They strike while the iron is hot.
On the landing page, right after explaining the product concept and how it works, Crazy Egg shows how the product can have an impact on the user’s website by optimizing their conversion rate during a 30-day free trial. This makes the visitor feel like the product is worth trying. There is also no downside, as the tool is free for 30 days.
What if Crazy Egg uses a microsite instead?
For microsites, learning more is optional. Since there are several pages, users can decide whether to read them. This may be good for those who don’t want to read a lot of content at that moment.
Yet, as said before, the downside is that it may have an adverse effect in their conversion rate. It has been reported that Crazy Egg’s longer homepage converted 30 percent higher than the shorter version.
Why AdWords Prefers Microsites for its ad campaigns?
After clicking on an AdWords ad in Google, the user is redirected to a microsite that promotes AdWords advertising.
Here are some of the possible reasons why AdWords prefers microsites to single landing pages.
- 1. Easy to convey the main point and underlying points: Pages are easily digestible due to short page length. Images are used effectively and users do not need to read complete paragraphs or long pages of text to understand the idea behind it.
- 2. Users can decide if they wanted to read more: One of the best things about this microsite is that users can choose if they wanted to read more. This seems to be great for visitors who hate to read a lot of content.
- 3. Stronger call to action (CTA): Another great point about this microsite example is that the CTA buttons are placed above the fold on every page, so that it gains maximum attention of the visitors.
What if they used a single landing page instead of a microsite?
“How to promote my product” is one of the toughest questions every product manager or marketer faces. Another tough decision they have to make is determining whether to spend money on advertising. AdWords wants to help them make a better decision and encourage them to test drive AdWords advertising.
It would be difficult to provide valuable information on a single landing page.
How these lessons can work for you?
If you have launched a product or created an ad campaign before, you most likely have asked yourself whether you need a microsite or a landing page. The answer depends on many factors. Here are some of them:
- 1. Product complexity
If you find it harder to convince a visitor to use your products or services, you may want to use a long landing page. You may want to create a longer landing page if the product you offer needs more explanation.
- 2. Length of the copy
From various case studies, it has been found that the longer version of the homepage converts better. Similar to Crazy Egg’s case, Marketing Experiments reported that its longer variations convert 40 to 50 percent more than its shorter variations. Please note that one option may work for one company, but may not work as effectively for your company. You must have a test run first.
- 3. The niche
Some niches will need a long landing page, while others can work with any kind of pages.
For example, if you are promoting a product on the health niche apart from explaining the product, you’ll have to persuade the reader to buy. Also, you will need to effectively explain things like if it is safer or if it has any side effects and have to show that you are a person who can be trusted. In this scenario, a long landing page may work better.
After all is said and done, there is no right answer, nor a best practices example that you can put in place as a cookie cutter for your business. The end result stems from good customer research, the right persona development and a lot of a/b testing to find out what works. Whether you are a B2B Company or B2C e-commerce site, your landing pages and microsites will only succeed with great content and a lot of testing.
Learn the essential skills needed to jump-start a career in this product management training course.
Many product managers find themselves working with Agile development teams now. And lots of product managers have gone through training, like Certified Scrum Product Owner class, to learn more about Agile development practices in order to work well with their development teams. But how many of us in product management have thought about establishing an Agile-inspired framework for product management?
One of my ventures is teaching Agile Marketing. You heard me right – there’s Agile for marketing folks. And no, it’s not the same as Agile for software development. Agile Marketing has its own manifesto and its own way of applying Scrum. Of course, it takes inspiration from the Agile software movement, but marketing folks made it their own and it’s been steadily picking up steam. An Agile coach and trainer recently told me about a human resources team she’s teaching to use Agile Scrum. So if development, marketing, and HR can all be Agile – why is product management so late to the party?
When I read the Agile Manifesto and the Agile Marketing Manifesto, a lot of stuff resonates with me as a product manager. Parts that resonate from the Agile Manifesto:
- Value individuals and interactions over process and tools
- Value responding to change over following a plan
What about the “working software” and “customer collaboration” values? Yeah, they’re good but they actually allude to areas that I’ve seen cause conflict for product managers – specifically, some development teams have taken those values as license to do cowboy coding. I absolutely understand that’s NOT what the Agile software development folks intended. But I would state them slightly differently for commercial software development. In fact, some of the parts that resonate from the Agile Marketing Manifesto address that issue:
- Value validated learning over opinions
- Value customer-focused collaboration over silos and hierarchy
- Value the process of customer discovery over static prediction
If you’ve never seen the Agile Marketing Manifesto, go and read it even if you’re not in marketing. It’s clear that they “made it their own” with values that directly and uniquely apply to marketing.
Learn more about our 3-day Product Management training course. Jump-start a career in Product Management.
Being a product manager in software companies has never been easy. If anything, every veteran product manager I know (yours truly included) describes their career as a love-hate relationship at best. The advent of Agile software development and the introduction of the product owner role caused even more headaches for a lot of Product Managers. Why?
Typically, one of two things happens when the development team goes Agile:
1. The product managers are asked to fill the product owner role.
2. The product owner roles is created in the development team and product management still exists outside the development team.
Just going from anecdotal evidence, it seems that #1 is much more common than #2. Both are problematic though. In the first case, the development team expects the product manager (PM) to suddenly fulfill the product owner (PO) role as described in their Scrum training while the rest of the business expects the PM to continue working with them just as before – you wind up with one foot in Agile and one foot in your “traditional” role and your overall workload increases significantly.
In the second case, the PM may be a dotted-line manager for the POs. I worked in one such environment, and it worked fairly well. In fact, we wound up organically arranging ourselves in a relationship that some Scrum folks had already thought about. I’m talking about a PO team where there are multiple POs who report to a chief product owner (CPO) who ensures consistency in strategy, vision, and execution among the POs working on the same product or product line. I won’t bother rehashing someone else’s work here – you can just Google “chief product owner” to learn more.
Many times we have students in class, or potential clients who say to our instructors, “My product is boring. How am I supposed to market something that’s so plain?” The answer is simple: think outside the box. You’re a marketer, that’s part of your responsibility. Not to mention the fact that even if you think your product or service is boring, it exists because there is a demand from some audience, no matter how small. There is a need for it, and if not, your company may want to take a look at its business plan.
So where do you start? You already have collateral that describes what your product is, or explains what is provided with your service. Those are great ad-ons for your sales team to use that look professional to their clients. What more can you do with content marketing to engage customers and make them aware? Here are five examples of companies with so-called boring products or services that did a great job making themselves stand out and appeal to their consumers with content marketing. (more…)
Real-World Innovation and Creativity Enablement
Innovation and creativity are business bingo words for sure. Even though they conjure up visions of verbose, empty-suite executives clamoring on and on, they are still critical. At the end of the day, your business grows by entering new markets, adding new products and reacting to changes that impact your products or customers. All which are empowered and amplified by innovation and creativity.
A product portfolio is like a well. The deeper you have to go to find interested customers, the more expensive it gets, and the more work you have to put in to getting business. So if you can find new products or quickly locate new customers, you continue to get the “richness” of margin and easy customers from the beginning stages of the well. (more…)
When you look at today’s technology-enabled workforce, there are a huge number of certifications available. We just finished doing a study comparing some of the most successful certification programs, their role in the job market, and their importance to the training industry. We did this study because we’re hoping to convince Google to transition to an authorized training model which leverages affiliate training providers along with authorized content. We’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, comparing these certifications yields some interesting insight about how they impact skills and earning power.
So to establish some context for studying useful industry certifications, let’s break them into a few basic categories: (more…)
When designing a web presence, there’s often a disastrous disconnect between the design of user experience, system functionality, and visual design. Sometimes design is by committee, done on the fly, or worse: given no truly structured process at all. By investing in a few common sense analysis measures at the beginning of your project, you can ensure that the rollout of your web presence will be as efficient and effective as possible. On Friday, February 10th ASPE instructor Billie Johnson presented the free web seminar “Prototyping Techniques for Better Web Design.” In this web seminar, Billie discussed some common-sense methods to bring your team together for determining proper direction and function before moving to design and production.
Listen to a recording of this web seminar in its entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right). Learn how to leverage basic techniques proven in the world of business analysis, and apply them to your online design efforts when the time comes for you to roll out a shiny new website or user interface.
Do you have a question for Billie? Leave your comments or tweet us! Follow @ASPE_ROI and use hashtag #ASPEEvents.