A lot has been said about landing pages and conversion rates.

The best practices for designing an effective landing page are well documented and scattered around the internet in posts like this.

But what happens when you follow all the best practices and conversions suck?

I recently launched a campaign targeted at developers. I create a neat looking landing page, that I thought would push all the right buttons in the visitors head and make them download my free product:

  • I made a clear connection between the banner ad and the landing page design, to give comfort to visitors that they had landed in the right place.
  • I had Free all over the page and made sure people understood there were no strings attached
  • The form was extremely simple (1 field!) and the download button was huge, well dimensioned and couldn’t be missed.
  • I added a great video of other developers/architects talking about how great the product was, and how they loved it.
  • I included other 5 video thumbnails, showing the main features of the product.

However, despite all my efforts, conversion rates we’re as low as 3.5% (and going down every day), when I had planned for at least 7%!

What I figured out was that my target group didn’t care about what others had to say about the product. They want to SEE the product working, understand what it does, how it looks like, and how they can use it for their own benefit. In their heart developers are selfish people. They only care about technology that makes their life and work simpler. They won’t download something just because some guy says “I love this, it’s such a great product!”.

So I made a very simple change in the landing page: I took down the testimonial video and replaced it with a demo of the product where we build a complete application in 4 minutes, without writing a single line of code. The results were immediate: conversions grew by 100%!


Lesson learned:

If your campaign is not performing, and conversions are low, hit the brakes and go back to the drawing board. Get into your target’s mindset and think about what is really important for them. What will trigger them to take the next step and invest 30 seconds of their time with your product. Don’t assume you know how they think – force yourself to think as they do. At the end of the day your mind-shift will make all the difference.


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