Losing Self Respect, One Conversion at a Time

If you mimick leading marketing in your filed, then deflect the blowback from the effective marketing onto others who gave you the tips that helped you increase your conversion they may not appreciate that:

We also have inline ads, ala Aaron Wall's suggestion (so blame him if you're angry )

If you have a professional copywriter suggest revising your content, then state that using similar marketing to their past work is below you they may not appreciate that:

Aaron Wall told me his conversion rate after switching to a page format like this has sent his sales skyrocketing to unbelievable proportions. Yes, this saddens me, but it's also inspiring - if they can do it, so can we, right?

Well, maybe. But we've got to be willing to sacrifice a bit of self-respect and dignity to get it done.

Then if you hold a marketing contest, saying anything goes you are bound to raise a few eyebrows

Anything goes, dude. We're looking for the best-converting page, and if you think the best way to get conversions is with flying monkeys and marquee tags, then have at it!

In every market controlling conversations is associated with trust and authority. That is why framing issues, business models, and sales techniques is so important if you want to prove your model is better than competing models. Few people claim their own businesses are bad.

Few people think of the Google Toolbar as spyware if it is marginally useful. Stop Badware, the non profit reporting on spyware, is not likely to make a report criticising Google's Toolbar or search helper redirection so long as Google is their lead corporate sponsor. The attempt to portray honesty and openness is sometimes more important than being either of them.

Rand recently created a landing page contest, but the problem with this sort of contest is that the very act of making noise increases sales, but it also makes your traffic stream dirtier and less consistent. After Brian Clark rewrote my salesletter he quickly became one of my top affiliates. His reach and brand increased my reach and brand, but it also led to many others writing about me, and more people searching for my brand...some of those traffic sources were really clean while others were less so...perhaps less interested and more driven out of curiosity or following what was popular at that point in time. Plus those that were pre-sold on Brian's site probably didn't need any salesletter at all to convert. The fact that he wrote it made his readers convert exceptionally well though because his copy is in tune with his readers, and they already trust him.

I had to wait on testing the results because I had too much temporal noise around my brand to provide accurate short term testing results. Inadequate data sampling provides inconclusive data. Even A/B split test results that are allegedly 95% certain are wrong 1 out of 20 times.

As John Andrews stated landing pages are only one part of the marketing mix. It is hard to track conversion for high touch and high trust products or services using multivariate testing while allowing others to write your conversion copy. Unless they write your ad copy, a sales letter, conversion funnel, and bonus offers that are consistent with your brand they are throwing darts at a wall. It may create conversation, builds your reach, boosts your brand exposure, give the perception that you are open, and can give you a few good ideas on how to improve conversions, but likely the test will bear false results, especially since brand positions and sales techniques are so temporal and few people willing to write free copy understand all the nuances of effective sales techniques.

If your are going to "sacrifice a bit of self-respect and dignity" you might as well get meaningful results out of it Rand. ;)

Published: July 20, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


July 20, 2007 - 7:17pm

I am amazed that this one doesn't have any comments yet...juicy.

The landing page concept was absolutely perfected by the MFA folk; one way or another, the person would be monetized. Is there a balance when selling a high-end service? Definitely, but thoughts of dignity and self-respect shouldn't be factors nearly as much as profits (short and long-term) should be.

I enjoyed the post.

Adam Audette
July 20, 2007 - 8:18pm

Just a general comment on conversions. The one thing that has struck me repeatedly when doing multivariate testing is you never really know what works. Sometimes there are surprises, often big ones, between expectations and results. In my experience there really is no correlation between "dignity" in terms of editorial and design ascetics, copy quality, and conversion strategies. The more important ingredient imho is brand perception and target audience, and keeping messaging and image in line with that. As long as that's preserved, and conversions are satisfactory, the metric just needs to be ROI instead of dignity / self-respect.

Noticed you're including URL fields again Aaron, good choice. I don't know if it's accurate, but there seems to be a correlation between posting quality and getting linked (even with a condom) on most blogs.

Also I noticed the "preview" button loses the URL field after you "re-preview" a previewed post... if that makes sense.

July 20, 2007 - 8:19pm

actually looks like the url field is lost after doing any post preview... ;)

July 20, 2007 - 10:15pm

Yeah Rand shat all over Aviva Dir today, too. SEOmoz isn't making any friends lately.

July 20, 2007 - 11:24pm

To be fair, at least Rand is willing to call people out when he feels it is nessesesary. Such as http://www.seomoz.org/blog/why-would-you-display-your-text-link-ad-inven.... It was something that was crying out to be said, rather than being left alone just because people felt it could damage their reputation in the SEO space.

In terms of the seobook landing page, I remember being surprised when I seen it. I do feel as though it does marginally reflect poorly on your reputation, however the fact is:

1. Someone who has is aware of your brand will buy it anyway.
2. Someone who is not aware of your brand is more likely to convert.

In terms of him blaming you, I remember reading that at the time and thinking it was pathetic on his part. If he wants to maintain his saint-like image, he is going to have to act more like a saint.

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