Ugly Squeeze Pages and Design

The Landing Page or Squeeze Page as it is more commonly know, is seen by some as the most important part of any opt-in email or affiliate driven website.

uglesqueezepagesA typically Squeeze Page tries to entice its “target” audience with marketing and copywriting techniques such as headlines, bullet points, teaser copy, deadlines and testimonials. All of which are generally so well researched that they can take the author days and several attempts to perfect.

But something that I just can’t fathom out, is why such a well written bit of marketing tends to have to look so aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. I have found myself on several occasion just giving up trying to read such a page as the design is so appalling.

The classic example generally has a blue or grey background with either a white of light yellow text area. The text for some god-awful reason seem to usually be Courier – can anybody tell me Why? And with alleged meaningful words and phrases picked out in a collection of insipid Red, Yellow or Blue bold text makes the whole thing unbearable.

Maybe this is why the work? Maybe people just sign up because their brains want to get away from horror as quickly as possible. But maybe, and here is a crazy idea, maybe they could work even better if they looked aesthetically pleasing. Just imagine combining that beautifully crafted bit of copy with some design?

Surly that is what advertising is all about? Cleverly crafted words and pictures fussed within a beautifully constructed layout? Drawing in the audience and making them want to participate because they are enjoying themselves.

I’m in the process of writing such a page at the moment. And in the process of doing so I have been thinking long and hard about whether I should use the classic squeeze page layout or try for something a bit more up market.

My conclusion is that I may try both designs alongside each other and compare their performance. The only problem with having two sites with the same (duplicate) content is that it could effect page ranking and search results. So I am thinking of implementing a script that would change the theme every other visitor. One visitor would see the classic design, the next would see the modern one. I would then monitor the success rate of each over a period of time and see which returns higher sales. Assuming one will work better than the other, I would stop using the least productive theme to maximise on profits.

I am obviously forgetting one import point here – the Product itself. I could have the best looking website in the world, but nobody is going to want to buy what I am selling unless it is something they really want. And this is why the standard squeeze page probably works they way it looks at the moment.

But if I had something to sell that people wanted, would I be able to sell more with a better looking design? That is what I am hoping I will find out, and when I have some facts and figures I will make my findings public.

One last thing though, I’m sure other people have already tried this – have you? If so I would be interested to know thoughts, suggestions and findings.

5 thoughts on “Ugly Squeeze Pages and Design”

  1. I’ve had little experience with this… Mainly my 5 minute stint in the land of affiliate marketing. I had some decent results, but they were tempered with the money I spent in AdWords driving traffic in. I think when I get some more time, I’m going to make the trip into affiliate marketing land again, and probably using a bit of design.

    Oh you know, (I just remembered), I got somebody to design a landing page for me last time. Much better than the usual ones (like in your example), and obviously it kinda worked too. (#):)

  2. I’ve noticed a lot of successful pitch pages that push making money online look like crap. I wonder if nice looking graphics distract the focus of readers, or make them suspicious of the message. Plain crappy words are raw and direct – maybe our minds like that sort of thing.

  3. @Colin, I know what you mean – but perhaps the nicer looking pitch pages come across differently, so we don’t seem them as pitch pages at all.

    I’m still playing with ideas – shall I use a nice or crappy design?

  4. I’m thinking of some of the eBay ads I have seen. One was for renting a “dead man” actor. It was a pretty crappy ad but I read the whole thing. I think a nice or crappy design depends on your subject matter. I know one thing- some “nice” layouts can sap the energy right out of the content.

  5. I wonder if they’re not meant for us. The social context in which people have been brought up comes into play, and what looks sincere and exciting to some people just looks naff and corny to others. So the design of these ugly squeeze pages has been perfected for the American market and won’t always transfer to other cultures.
    Unless the evidence show the contrary of course.

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