Starving Strategist Discovers Opt-in Secret
(A Story of CrossFit, Hotcakes and Optins That Fall Flat)
Worst day of the month… I’m starving.
I come out of my first ever cross-fit training. Truth be told, I don’t ever remember feeling this physically deprived.
Every cell in my normally pastry-averse body is SCREAMING for sugar, and bread, and cake, and then more sugar.
I step out of the gym and into the scent of freshly baked… something. Cake? Bread?
By this point, I’m drifting with my eyes closed towards that impossibly seductive scent, parting incoming pedestrians like a blind Moses parting the Red Sea.
I walk into the bakery, nose-first.
And immediately a wall of home fragrance hits me in the face.
It’s disorienting. Instinctively, I step out to look at the sign hanging above the bakery. Wait – did I walk into the wrong shop?
I turn around to ask someone, and find the cutest girl you’ve ever seen smiling and waving at me.
I find myself shuffling over to her in my disoriented state to say ‘Hi’ (not nose-first this time).
Alas, to my great chagrin, I soon discover that she was in fact waving at her boyfriend, who happens to be standing five feet behind me. Darn.
Obviously, I lose all my appetite, hail a taxi and go home tired, sulky, and cake-less. I make a point to pout like a teenager the whole journey back.
Let’s look at what just happened:
I, the customer, had a burning problem: I was ravenously hungry.
The bakery offered the miracle solution: Hotcakes.
I knew I wanted what they were offering, and I came in with cash in hand.
But I got disoriented… then got distracted… and then the sale never happened.
Just as I step out of the taxi, inspiration strikes me:
This is exactly why some opt-ins do not convert.
Conversion Killer on the Loose
You see… your visitor did not materialise into existence on your landing page. (Sorry, you are not God.) He came there from somewhere.
Therefore, the first line of your opt-in page should match the last thing he read before landing on your site.
Otherwise, the visitor gets disoriented and clicks away.
Copywriter D Bnonn Tennant calls this “preserving the information scent”.
Let’s say I Google “simple online accounting software”…
I see your ad and click it…
Then I land on an opt-in page, which promises me a free trial for “the most powerful accounting and business information software” so I can “get to really know my finances”.
If I’m looking for “simple” accounting software, I’m probably a bit scared of accounting and tech. I don’t WANT to “get to really know” my finances.
So is the opt-in offer bad?
But it catches me off-guard, because it destroys the information scent.
A few more examples:
If you’re running FB ads to your opt-in page... the most prominent element of your opt-in page should mirror the ad copy. Tip: Echo the most distinctive phrase.
If you’re writing a guest post for MindBodyGreen, the first line of the opt-in page should be “Welcome MindBodyGreen readers! Yours free:”
In each case, you want your visitor’s instinctive reaction to be, “Ah yes. I’m in the right place. Let’s read on.”
You don’t want to be the baker who lures people in with the scent of freshly baked bread and greets them with a chemical spray in the face.
Moral of the story?
Confused visitors leave.
You could have THE miracle solution to your ideal buyer's most nagging problem. You could craft the best opt-in copy conceived by the mind of man. But that opt-in offer won't catch any subscribers if every visitor who sees it thinks she landed on the wrong page, and clicks away.
The question to ask yourself is:
If your ideal customer looks at your optin page – for 5 seconds – will they know they’re your ideal customer? Or will their knee-jerk reaction be, "Hang on. I must have opened the wrong page. What the heck did I click on to get here?"
To avoid confusing visitors, leave breadcrumbs along the way.
Look at the search query, ad copy or guest post that led them to your site and plant its most distinctive phrase as a "bread crump" on your opt-in page.
And they will happily follow you from ad to opt-in to sales page to world domination. 😉
PS: Disrupting the information scent is just one conversion killer. There are many others. If you want to learn more, I teach this all in my new mini-course, FAST50, which you can pre-order today. It will show you how to craft a buyer-catching opt-in offer that converts at 50%+ in 48 hours: http://fast50optins.com/fast50course/