LearnSomewhere, Superficial, & So Much More: Designing for Conversion Experiences


writes on March 12, 2010

Lead gen pages are often misunderstood as standalone, single-page designs. There’s a science behind A/B testing and optimizing lead gen pages, but there’s also a component of creative user experience that should not be overlooked as you drill deeply into what drives your users through your conversion funnel.

Some user behaviors make clear sense, while others can confound your expectations. Overall, however, designing a complete experience around a conversion page is best understood taking these 3 “Ss” into consideration:

  1. SomewhereUsers get to conversion pages from somewhere, so go there first!
  2. SuperficialGood looks matter. Users respond to a particular aesthetic, so try different designs!
  3. So Much MoreUsers engage deeper through community, so get them connected to you and each other! (FYI a Facebook Fan Page is a great ecosystem & it’s free)

Okay, so few weeks ago I posted about a redesign I’m working on for a lead generation page. That project began with a single page, but preliminary outcomes further demonstrated that we needed to step backwards and design for an entire experience, which is where Somewhere, Superficial, and So Much More came into play.

I’ll explain!

First, our initial A/B test is over:

  • Good newswe didn’t break the existing conversion rate.
  • Better newswe raised the conversion rate a little bit 😉
  • Great newswe blew up our Facebook Fan page by designing a thoughtful “Thank You”! (*We increased fan acquisition from 3 fans per day to 30+ fans per day)

Second, we’re embarking on Phase 2 of our test plan, so let me share what that plan looks like, because A/B testing can be delivered in a number of ways. Here is the 3-phase method I recommend and that we’re currently using:

Phase 1: Update, Don’t Break

(This phase is optional, in the project I’m working on we did need to update an older design before we could effectively move forward with testing.)

  • Update the design to a higher standard that better expresses the brand
  • Don’t break existing conversion (50 v. 50 split test, confirmed by a 5 v. 95 follow-up)
  • Phase original design out completely


(Current design in the wild, original design)

Phase 2: Design Different Concepts

  • Create 2 more well-informed aesthetically different designs
  • Conduct user testing (DIY-style works well!)
  • Release new designs into testing cycle in increments (10 v. 90% to start)


(Potential design to test)

Phase 3: Optimize One

  • Select the “winning” design from the 3 that have been tested
  • Optimize the winning design with A/B testing of the smaller elements on page (copy, image, steps, etc)


(Potential design to test)

Third, as we prepare for our next test, which will involve 3 very different designs, here are things we considered about the current experience to make sure we covered “Somewhere, Superficial, and So Much More”:

Traffic Sources

It’s important to learn about where your users are coming from; this is the first step to take in order to reduce your bounce rate.

Are your users coming to your site after clicking an ad? Are users coming to your site to learn something, or have they accidentally gotten there, is the message seductive, on target?

User Testing

User testing doesn’t have to be expensive, drawn out, or complicated. Do informal (or formal if you can) user testing to gather feedback on the different designs before you release them into the wild.

Form Friction

At the heart of every conversion page is a form. Determine what variables can be tested, and what variable make sense to test. Some form friction is good!

Let me share an example, for us, it seems like “phone number” is an easy variable to test out. But, it turns out it’s not! While we might get more conversions by taking that element out of the form, we would also open ourselves up to less qualified leads, which we don’t want and also aren’t equipped to scale for.

(*Consider your community support team, if you put their phone number on your conversion page can they handle the incoming calls?)

The Thank You

Never underestimate the opportunity for a second level of conversion that your “Thank You” messaging provides for you to create and facilitate community and further engagement.
Our Thank You experience in our first round of testing, totally changed our approach to how we were looking at this conversion page.

To wrap it all up, throughout this process of redesigning and optimizing a single conversion page (we’ve planned on about 3 months of testing), we’ve really come to understand that the best and most effective lead gen page designs involve an entire experience that goes well beyond a single page. Suddenly, our little conversion page isn’t so lonely or so little.

Take a look at your app’s conversion page, rally your team, and consider the impact of Somewhere, Superficial, and So Much More.


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0 Responses to “Somewhere, Superficial, & So Much More: Designing for Conversion Experiences”

  1. This is a really good post, a more commercially pretty option. However, “basic” websites still convert well.

    Our Facebook page can help you with your website conversion. We compiled the best posts on the net into our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/HowToGenerateMoreBusinessOnline

  2. First of all, great post. Lead gen pages or landing pages can build a great deal of traffic back to a select point(s) as well – I mean if the traffic came in, thank them properly and make sure that “Thank-You Page” has the navigation points/specifically associated with where that traffic came from (keywords) (call-outs) (PPC) (etc). Smart thank you pages mean the traffic doesn’t all just wander off, but some of it wanders directly where you laid the paths. So I’m with you on that.

    There is also information about that speaks to and creates a controversy around whether it is good/better to work the SEO angle on these “stand-alone” pages or not. The angle I can’t swing the couch around is how to embed these stand-alones into the “global” main site without upsetting navigation, search functions, search engine ranking issues, etc. What’s the word around your shop about SEO on standalone pages?


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