Let’s do a little test:
Take a look at Mitt Romney’s website.
If you visited this page, what would you do?
Would you hand over your name and email addy? Or hit the back button?
What I Love and Hate about Romney’s Landing Page
The tight-fisted, hard-nosed marketer in me likes the landing page. Forty years ago you could’ve got away with this.
The user-experience-dominates side of me, however, doesn’t like it.
You could never get away with it today.
But he is.
Of course, all you have to do is click “Continue” or just about anywhere else on the page and you get through without forking over your name and email address.
However, I have to confess, I was not too quick to see the “Continue” button and actually clicked away (I am slow).
That’s lame, I thought, I’m not giving him my name and email address, and so I bounced out.
I wonder if his bounce rates are high. Maybe they are not a concern. Maybe the people who come to his site love him so much they don’t mind handing over their name and email address.
Better option would be to do an overlay like this one from Versions:
Let’s stop picking on Romney and see how his competition is doing.
What I Love and Hate about Obama’s Landing Page
So, is Obama’s landing page user-friendly?
At the time of this writing, hardly:
Obama abandons the “Continue” link and makes the door to his site even more narrow.
No worries, you can click through to the site without giving up any information.
Then again, no, you can’t.
You land on yet another landing page:
This time at least you get a “Click to the website” link.
But that’s lame.
While we all know that the 3-click rule is BS as long as people feel like their clicks are taking them in the right direction…there is absolutely no excuse for rendering two nearly-identical landing pages before you get to the home page.
What’s the point?
The message being sent is this: I REALLY want your email address.
What’s Wrong with Obama’s Home Page?
To be honest, I don’t know why they just don’t use Obama’s home page:
He’s got everything you want there.
The user is in control. He can do whatever he wants to do. He can donate. Drop his email address in their database. Read an article or two. Or do all three.
Why the squeeze page?
I know the answer to that.
It forces people to give up their email address. But where both Romney and Obama gone wrong is not giving people a more compelling reason to share your contact information.
Fail: Sign Up for Email Updates Call-to-Action
Both candidates use the generic “Get campaign updates.”
That leaves a lot to desire.
For instance, I’ve never followed anyone’s campaign via email so I don’t have a clue what an update would look like. Does that mean you’ll tell me what city you are traveling to next? Will you tell me what your staffers are doing? Your reaction to negative poll numbers?
And Obama asks, “Are you ready?”
Ready for what?
Of course email addresses have such a low-exchange rate in the web’s economy these days that maybe most people don’t care and they figure they’ll just see for themselves.
This generic approach may work for blogs like Copyblogger or Unbounce where people understand that the blog churns out constant content, and so by signing up you’ll get more of that lovely stuff you’ve been browsing for the last hour…
But when a squeeze page stands between you and the content, you need to provide a list of reasons. You need to make people feel stupid for not signing up. Not the other way around.
So, what do you like or dislike about the 2012 presidential candidate’s landing pages? Please share your thoughts.