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14 Experts Review The Effectiveness of Freshbooks Home Page

by Crazy Egg Experts

Freshbooks is cloud based invoicing, expense tracking and time tracking software.

They have a youthful, dare I say ‘fresh’ brand.

And they understand the power of good design and landing page optimization.  This is evident by the fact that the home page we are reviewing today has already been replaced by a new version.

The below page receives high praise in our review but the Crazy Egg marketing and design experts found areas they would tweak or test as well.

 Click on the image to enlarge:

Freshbooks Website Review Naomi Niles

On the phrase below it, “The fastest way to track time….” I wonder why they mentioned the time-tracking and organizing features before the invoicing feature, which is what they are known for?

As far as the layout and color scheme go, it’s difficult to find anything that they are doing wrong. It’s neat and clear, the calls-to-action are descriptive and stand out, and they have good social proof.

The only thing I might suggest testing for them is to change the top navigation bar to a more neutral color instead of blue. As it is, it directly competes with the blue call-to-action area beneath it because the same blue color ties them together. It might help guide the eye more if it was a dark gray or similar color instead.

~ Naomi Niles, ShiftFWD

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Rich Page, Author

~Rich Page, Rich Page: Website Optimizer

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Brian Massey, Conversion Scientist

And they do a pretty good job of proving their value when you get below the fold with media citations, testimonials, and video. Why not shrink the BAH (big-ass header) by 50% and get some of this delicious proof above the fold? You don’t have to say you’re the best if every one else is saying it for you.

And I love Freshbooks myself.

~Brian Massey, Conversion Sciences

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Craig Wright

They support that idea using conservative and clean design, easy to scan text, and several clear calls to action and a not so subtle ploy at creating trust using big name logos.

If anything could be improved it could be a more specific offering details or other value propositions that they offer. Not so sure if that would be an improvement or just different.

~ Craig Wright, CMW Web

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Sanj Sahayam

The testimonial section is very nice but loses its uniformity where it shares the section with Forbes, CNN, USA Today etc that don’t have actual testimonials. They seem to have been added as an after thought.

Also I don’t think the small video down the bottom right makes a lot of sense. It should be placed more prominently.

I don’t think the “we’re hiring” link should be in such a place of prominence and the “Contact” link should probably be on the menu/navigation bar.

~ Sanj Sahayam, Unique Imprints

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Sofia Wood, Shortie Designs

~Sofia Woods, Shortie Designs

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Angela Jones, Design By Ange.la

That aside, I like the layout and positioning of the key focal points like the phone number, the call to action button (also could use a period), and the visuals.

I think it would be more effective to use a logo, whether real or fake, rather than just putting “your logo” on the visual.

~ Angela Jones, Freelance Designer

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Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy Robots

It’s very professional and effective.

~ Robin Cannon,
Viggle, Inc

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Jessica Shailes, Fluib Web Works

The key message appealing to their target market ‘Focus on your work, not your paperwork’ is done well. The eye is easily drawn to this message and it appeals to a sentiment I have heard A LOT of self-employed/business owners grumble about. They have focused on a key benefit that is easily understood rather than a feature, or list of features.

The visual representation of the service is well presented with the paper and phone on the right hand side. I could look at this page in another language and still have an idea what it is that they do easily. However, if it weren’t for that image it may be more of a challenge because their company logo doesn’t represent it so well. I am being particular here, but it may be an issue if landing on other pages.

Their social proof is great and well balanced. By using testimonials from well-known brands, their circulation numbers, and a video testimonial from someone the target market are likely to identify with. We are left in no doubt that this service is well trusted.

The layout and colour structure is also easy on the eye and I particularly like that they have limited the options in the menu bar. They have sensibly limited the menu on the left to the key items that are likely to take website visitors to the website’s goal.

A well-designed homepage, without too many elements clambering for attention: I’m even tempted to look into the trial myself!

~ Jessica Shailes, Fluid Web Works

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Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

There is a subhead that touches on what the service does, but it still is a little vague. The main headline is a little confusing, plus the graphic of the invoice and iPhone may not be immediately recognizable.

I also think that they use a little too much space for testimonials. Two quotes, logos and a video taking up real estate that could be used to describe their product a little better.

~ Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

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The headline and sub-headline do an excellent job of conveying benefits. “Focus on your work, not your paperwork” offers relief for something people don’t like to do—paperwork—and “The fastest way to track time, organize expenses & invoice your clients” provides three more benefits from using the service. They also use “fastest” strategically in order to convey benefit that people want. People are always looking for solutions that are “faster,” “easier,” or “cheaper.”
~ Joseph Putnam,
5 North Marketing

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Adam Kreitman, Words That Click

They do a very good job in communicating what they do and the benefits of using their service in their slogan “painless billing” and the little copy they do have on the home page “The fastest way to track time, organize expenses & invoice your clients”. Succinct and to the point.

They add credibility to their claims with logos and quotes from respected media organizations as well as highlighting the fact that they have over 4.5 million users.

It’s very clear what the main call to action, “Try it Free for 30 Days”, is and gives users 2 places to sign up for it. And it’s a nice that they offer a toll free phone number to those who’d prefer to call.

Nice job!
~ Adam Kreitman, Words That Click

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Babar Suleman

I also like how all the main elements of the page are neatly organized in their own distinctive blocks. The only thing that breaks out in an uneven way from the rest of the composition is the ‘call toll free’ section at the top. It helps it stand out but not necessarily in a good way. The placement is smart but it could also benefit from the strong aesthetic present on the rest of the page.

~ Babar Suleman
, Freelance Copywriter & Web Designer

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Stephanie Hamilton

One thing they could work on is presenting the testimonials and company logos in a more professional manner as they seem to compete with one another.

~ Stephanie Hamilton, Stephanie Hamilton Design

Give us your review of the Freshbooks home page in the comments section.

4 Comments

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  1. October 21, 2014 at 10:22 am

    We’ll see what we can do, Noah. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. The eWAY Team says:
    July 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    We really like this landing page. The message is loud and clear, the copy is concise and the colours are lively without seeming immature. A great page, worthy of the product.

    Disclosure: Freshbooks are one of our partners; we are the payment gateway for many of their merchants.

  3. Casey McKinnon says:
    July 16, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’m Casey, the head of Product & Design at FreshBooks. Just wanted to say its an honor to have a group of talented people like yourselves spend time reviewing and offering helpful feedback on our homepage! Like you, we also have a passion for conversion-oriented design, and have iterated on this page a bazillion times in both big, and not-so-big ways. Nice to hear most of you tend to agree it has a good thing going. We’ll do our best to keep the bar high for our next iteration of this page :).

    If anyone has questions, or wants to talk more about this, drop me a line.

    Oh… and if you’re passionate about this stuff, and want to do it amongst an awesome group of Designers, for a brand that lots of people love – we are hiring! Drop careers@freshbooks.com you resume, and portfolio, and we’ll take a look.

    Cheers,
    Casey

    • Russ Henneberry says:
      July 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Hi Casey, thanks for the gracious response! I chose your home page because it is a great example of conversion done tastefully well.

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