Could you imagine doing something over 3,000 times? That would take some serious dedication. And imagine how good you’d be at that one specific thing. Jen Gordon has done just that, laying claim to over 3,000 split tests. The result? She knows exactly what converts and what doesn’t when it comes to templates. She’s taken that knowledge and turned it into templates that convert -- available to you in the Marketplace. So this week, we sat down with Jen Gordon (click here to see a listing of all her templates) -- creator of the Sell Your Online Course Page, Startup Theme Page and the Email Course Opt-In Landing Page, to name a few -- to break down the anatomy of a successful landing page, the psychological triggers behind conversions and where she draws inspiration for her template designs. Enjoy this new edition of the Author Spotlight!
1) Why did you decide to create a template for the LeadPages Marketplace?
Even before a commission structure for template authors was released (100% commission? - yes please!) I knew I wanted to be a part of the LeadPages community. I’ve followed Clay and LeadPages’ work for years, and am always impressed with the tests and data driven conclusions published. Another factor is I noticed a change in the design aesthetic for LeadPages. This caught my attention as a designer, knowing LeadPages values both conversions and good design. Everything I’ve observed told me this is a company I want to partner with. :)
2) Why did you create the Sell Your Online Course template?
For the past 4 years I’ve done a lot of landing page design and testing for internet marketers and educators who are publishing and selling their courses online. I also have experience marketing and selling my own A/B testing course for designers, “The Conversion Class”. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="676"]
Click here to see the entire template.[/caption] A few things I’ve learned about selling courses online that influenced the design of this template, going from top to bottom:
- The explanatory video is very helpful. Video that gives the audience an overview of the instructor, what they learn, and the desired outcome has proven consistently over many different courses to boost conversions over pages that do not include an explanatory video. I’ve tested videos that feature the instructor speaking and animated explainer videos - across the board they just perform better.
- Feature the three big benefits that the student can expect to experience during the course OR as in the case of the template, I’m addressing three big hesitations that visitor may have to taking an online course.
- Next hit on some specifics about the course material. You don’t have to outline every lesson. What you want to communicate is how that person will be transformed by engaging in your content.
- Then you can hit on more specifics about the content and how it has directly impacted people’s lives. Show visitors the dream they want, and that your course is their ticket to get there.
- The 6-up grid gives you an opportunity to dial in on specific lessons that visitor may be looking for - perhaps the top 6 skills they hope to gain.
- In my experience, people are often afraid to buy a course because they aren’t sure they will carve out time to take it. The step by step section is designed to help you break down the course into small digestible chunks. Show visitors you’re not going to make them eat the whole elephant at once. ;)
- Next we need to talk about how brilliant the instructor/s is - with a name, title and link to a site that gives them the credibility a visitor is looking for before trusting they have the expertise to teach the class.
- Then we break down the pricing plans. The template currently has 4 options, (due to a customer request) but my tests have show no more than 2-3 options offer optimal conversions.
- The last 4 widgets are further credibility builders
- The last CTA block is an optional section you can use to test getting email opt-ins, in case the visitor doesn’t purchase. This gives you the opportunity to nurture this lead and further provide value to build trust and eventually get a sale.
I wanted to take what I’ve learned about selling online courses and apply that learning to a design a template that would help other course creators better engage their students.
3) How did you create your template? Did you collaborate with any designers or coders?
I’m a designer, and have a development partner that helps with the coding. The process we work through is first ideation on my part. When I’m looking for template ideas I look - yes here’s a few secrets - at any new top sellers on competing marketplaces. Even if it’s not a landing page template, looking through these lists gives me a pure view of what people are buying, even if I don’t know all of the whys. It gives me an idea of what’s trending. From there I’m looking at generally what industries are growing, popular, newsworthy or traditionally sold via internet marketing. I sometimes look at Clickbank’s top selling products, or on Amazon to just see what kinds of products people are currently buying. Categories that are consistently hot for landing pages are nutritional supplements, real estate, web applications, digital media etc. Once I’ve identified the niche I want to go after, if I don’t already have experience selling a product in that category, I research it like crazy. I wireframe out ideas for content, and think through a variety of potential buyer journeys to decide what information may be most relevant. From there I sort that content in a hierarchy that pings between addressing hesitations and communicating the value & the dream. In terms of creating a high-converting template, going through this process is really important. It’s the process most template designers don’t consider or plan for, which is why some templates look great, but perform poorly.
4) What are some ways marketers can use your templates? Any “special features” first time users should be sure to take advantage of?
The “special feature” is definitely the long form design that allows marketers to peel away elements they don’t want to use and test short vs. long pages. Having a design this “big” allows course creators a lot of options to test all within one theme. I try to give my customers maximum flexibility in the types and quantity of content they need to best communicate the value of what they’re selling.
5) What are the best pieces of advice you could give to someone thinking about creating a template?
What I’ve observed is the more niche you go, the higher volume of sales you get. The risk here is you pick a micro niche and it bombs. I’ve done this. :) But I’ve also picked a micro niche that’s gone gangbusters, and it levels out the losses on less popular themes. By the numbers, for me it’s been worth the risk.
6) What’s one kind of template you’re dying to see added to the Marketplace?
I’d love to see theme authors create something with more interactive elements and (slight, not overdone) animation.
7) Are there any marketers out there whom you would absolutely love to see create a Marketplace template?
Yes - I’d love to see Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers create a theme that embeds some of her awesome copywriting tips!
8) Do you have any other Marketplace template ideas in the works?
I do have two templates in the works. As I mentioned earlier, the diet and nutrition industry is consistently a top player in the internet marketing space, so I’m creating two templates - one for a diet supplement and one for a nutritional drink. If anyone else wants to tee up a design we can take them head to head and see who gets higher conversions!
9) Are you using LeadPages in your business right now? If so, how are you using it?
Because I’m a designer, lot of my work involves super custom landing page design that falls outside of the parameters of most landing page templates. LeadPages isn’t always the best fit for super custom work like this, but I do use LeadBoxes all of the time. The conversion rates are consistently higher than form CTA’s, and it’s the simplest method of getting digital downloads delivered after opt in! And that wraps up this edition of the Author Spotlight! Don’t forget to check out Jen Gordon’s Marketplace templates:
If you want to see more templates like these, be sure to visit the entire LeadPages™ Marketplace for some of the best landing pages templates you’ll ever see. Check back on the blog every Wednesday for more posts from the Marketplace, as we’ll be featuring more interviews, templates and a few other surprises.