Stop overwhleming your visitors with more than they want to know!
Note: This is part 1 in a series where I examine a home page, site signup process, and entire customer boarding experience. Today is the home page.
Neil Patel is a prolific marketing blogger, entrepreneur, content marketer, and all around brilliant educator and I read his stuff regularly. I’m not sure how he does it, but not only is he constantly generating useful and amazing content that helps me do my job better, but he’s also running multiple businesses at the same time.
While he is constantly providing great lessons in everything he writes, sometimes the best lessons come from what people do instead of what they say/write.
Today I was reading a guest blog post on the blog for his company Kissmetrics. It was an interesting piece about increasing leads/conversions on high bounce rate pages in your blog. Anyway, I decided to mosey over to their home page and look again at KissMetrics home page to see what exactly it is their product does for marketers.
What I found there was brilliant simplicity. For a company and product that can be complex and overwhelming until completely understood, they took the best possible approach to communicating their value while making more information available in a very subtle way. I haven’t examined how they are handling SEO, but their home page in appearance break all the rules. It may just be that they redirect the spiders or they just know they have so much great content everywhere else, that it doesn’t matter.
Home page simplicity can seem scary, but it can be brilliant
It takes guts to leave out all the other crap you think you want to share with visitors to your site. Features, how-tos, testimonias. pretty stock photos of “customers”, big sliding graphics, and much more usually clutter home pages to the point where you don’t know what to read, what to click, or where to go next and so the average visitor leaves never to grace your doorstep again.
Let’s take a look at what they’ve done:
Breaking down a high converting home page with the courage to be simple and communicate huge value
Who is their target market?
Me. A professional in the marketing business or a marketing executive.
What do they want me to know?
(1) That they can help me find my most valuable customers. Note that it’s not just customers and leads, but it’s my most valuable customers. Who thinks that way? I don’t always, unless I am prompted by great messaging and this home page prompted me to realize, that my clients don’t just want customers, they want their most valuable customers. There’s a hell of a lot promised in that headline. Somehow or other, using Kissmetrics allows me to find exatly what I need – high value customers.
(2) In this summary headline, they clarify a little more for us and let us know we can try it for free. It makes us a little more comfortable with the idea of using the service and tells us just a little more while reiterating the primary message – get more valuable customers.
(3) Buffer Case Study –So, still not convinced? Now you get the clarification and validation you need if you aren’t willing to take the plunge. Go ahead and click on through to an in depth case study about a customer success. I’ll climb into the brilliance of that page in another post, but you just need to know that it’s convincing enough to take a teetering on the edge lead and turn it into a trial account.
(4) Start Your 14 Day Free Trial – So, what happens if I submit this form? I get a 14 day free trial to find out how I will find my most valuable customers. Always let your users know what the form means right above the form even if you have already told them in the copy.
(5) A simple form for a simple home page – 3 fields equals little work. A low firction signup process is critical. This form covers name, email, and even the password is handled, so I don’t have to do any extra work. Boom, I am signed up and ready to go. An interesting touch here is the Continue button. To me it infers that I may have to do a little more work after I click, which is an honest way to let the customer know, that in fact that is what is going to happen. The form slides to the left to reveal some more questions to setup your company account. I’m not sure I agree this is necessary and frankly think they must be losing some signups with this extra step, but that may be on purpose. Sometimes, you want to fully qualify your prospects and in this case, it looks like that is what they may be doing. Either way, they handle the additional fields elegantly and they already have your email address for follow-up if you abandon the “cart” at this point.
(6) Plans start at $150 per month – What? Are they crazy telling people how expensive this application is from the beginning? Crazy as a fox They are qualifying you. Why waste time, follow-ups, server space, and suppot on someone that would never spend that much for a solution? It also does another part of the sales process and that is convince you of it’s value. If you are serious about finding your most valuable customers, then a $29.95 per month price point is likely not going to inspire you to think they can pull it off, but $150 per month lets you know, that this is some seriously powerful stuff and when you get through with the trial, you will have seen the value. The small text catches your eye and rather than being a disclaimer, it helps qualify leads and it helps prove the value to you without you realizing it.
(7) Make me a friggin hero! Now, my favorite part of the whole page, the subtle yet obvious graphic that does so much to sell you if you are a marketer, without you realizing it. We live and usually die by graphs, charts, and reports we as marketers have to provide to our clients and bosses and here’s a product that promies to help me find our most valuable customers and will allow me to create graphics in my reports that equal brilliance and success for my image. That climbing chart graphic means I will be successful. Nothing is better than the emotional pitch. What does Kissmetrics do for me? It makes me a hero. It will make me successful and it will allow me to show value and put it all together for me in a package that will allow me to keep my job, get a promotion, or grow my business. What could be better than that for a marketer?
Did you ever imagine that so much punch could be crammed into so little space, without any of it being overwhelming? It is pure and almost perfect marketing brilliance and it works flawlessly to make you want more.
So, what if I am not convinced? What if I decide I don’t have enough information or I am not sure about the value? Just as I move my mouse away to click on a back button, I get a pehnomenal popup and another chance for them to convince me that I should at least make a connection with them and let them send me something of value. Go ahead, let us send you a case study on how to analyze things on your web site.
How can you apply this digital marketing focus to your home page?
So, now you can see how they did it, but how do you go about simplifying or dumbing down your home page for optimal experience for your visitors and an optimal conversion path. I am always amazed to find that my clients really very rarely have examined or figured out what it is that makes a customer come to them. This is very true with the startups and even true with long established tech companies and others in the B2B space. Before you can create the essence of your message on your home page, you are going to have tio distill what your primary value to your clients is and how to sum that up in just a few words. Be sure too, not to distill it too broadly, when you can make it more on target. For example, Kissmetrics could have said they help you find customers, but they narrowed it even further to the most valuable customers.
Yes, you can say you will save money, increase performance, make a task easier, etc. and that is an important component of the overall message, but the most important component of any marketing message has nothing to do with the company and has everything to do with the people that will decide to buy your product or service. What is in it for them? What will they get personally from deciding to buy? You must make it clear, that they will benefit and how or you will likely never get the sale. We are all motivated by our own personal interests and while your product may be the best ever in your category, it’s not going to matter one bit if I don’t see the value to me. Will it make me rich? Will it make me happier? Will it make me a hero at work or make my job more secure? Will it reduce my fear and anxiety and if so, tell me how? What problem will you solve for me, by solving a problem for my company? Where is my pain or where are my desires? Tap those and you’ll have a central and simple message you can define clearly in a simple and dumbed down home page and the rest of your site.
If you would like guidance going through these processes, please feel free to contact me or post a comment below. We’ve done this will dozens of companies and would like to do the same for you.
Now that you have the essence defined, let that govern everything you do in messaging to your prospects and you marketing will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. A singular focus on me and my needs and how your product will make life better for me.
Great work all around by the folks at Kissmetrics and Neil Patel. I am really blown away by this. In my next piece, I will cover the signup process and what you experience getting started with them.