Selling Vs. Service From A Landing Page

I was a door-to-door salesman in Texas for two years. I sold educational course materials to teachers and would pitch to any educator who would listen. So it’s just natural that I focused the initial iterations of my product landing pages on customer acquisition. Always be selling, right?


What the analytics said…

We sell InQuizitive (a wonderful learning tool IMHO!) to high school and college educators. They are the “buyers” in our industry. When they adopt and assign InQuizitive activities, their students have to purchase an InQuizitive subscription. To me, it just made sense to structure http://inquizitive.wwnorton.com, our landing page, to sell to educators, the decision-makers:

  1. I placed a large hero marketing video, which took up most of the real estate above the fold, at the top of the page.
  2. I targeted educators with main call-to-action on the page, a drop-down menu labeled “Try an InQuizitive Demo.”

But this design generated some quirky analytics data (8/15/15 to 9/15/15):

— 54,000ish unique pageviews

— 6,636 hits on the “Try InQuizitive Demo” drop-down menu

Event tracking indicated that we had a huge number of users hitting the “Try an InQuizitive Demo” drop-down menu, far more than the actual number of educators we sell to.

The users who hit the main call-to-action, and the overwhelming majority of visitors to the site, were students looking to purchase InQuizitive access to accompany their textbook.


The Redesign: Serve First, Sell Second

While many students were finding the right product to purchase through the drop-down menu, the “Try a Demo” label, aimed at educators, was misleading, leading some students to click through to another page before finding the purchase point they needed. With so many visitors simply looking to make the purchase, we redesigned the page to serve purchasers (students) first, while still providing educators a way to learn more about InQuizitive.

  1. We replaced the large hero video at the top with a smaller hero image and a succinct, powerful marketing message.
  2. We got rid of marketing copy below the hero image, which allowed us to move the drop-down menu above the fold.
  3. We changed the drop-down menu label from “Try an InQuizitive Demo” to “Register, Purchase, Sign-in” to target students and current users rather than prospects.
  4. We created a new “instructors” section of the page below the drop-down menu with three call to actions for educators: review InQuizitive for a gift card (a very reasonable customer acquisition cost), see a list of current customers, and learn more about the research behind InQuizitive.

What’s next?

We’ll watch the analytics closely on the page over the next few months. I hope to see an even larger number of events on the revised drop-down menu now that the label clearly targets students AND some activity on our three call-to-actions targeting educators towards the bottom of the page.

Long term, we face a choice between trying to continue to optimize one page for two groups of users with very different motivations, or asking users to identify as a student or instructor before delivering a page designed for that specific user group.

That’s the tension in trying to serve two different user groups with one landing page, the tension between service and selling.

Find me at John Kresse.

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