One of my newest passions is doing improv comedy. To be a good improviser you must follow some basic principles. These principles provide a framework that allows you to be creative and play well with other improvisers. Recently I have come to realize that a number of these principles also hold true in optimizing landing pages.
1. It’s OK to Fail
One of the biggest principles in improv is that it’s ok to fail. This may sound like a no-brainer, but this is one of the biggest things that holds people up. They try too hard to be funny because they want to deliver the perfect line. Instead they should just loosen up and go with the flow. This is similar for landing page optimization. Don’t go at it thinking that you have to develop the perfect test plan, or page layout. If you have an idea try it out and see what happens. That’s the beauty of a test, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Once you start collecting data you will quickly find out if your instinct was right. If you are off the mark you course correct and move on. Also I have found that sometimes the biggest discoveries for new tests or page ideas come out of a failed test.
To produce an entertaining improv scene you need to be a great listener. Since everything you do is made up on the spot you have to be tuned in to your suroundings, that way you can pick up on cues that will help you enhance the scene and take it to the next level. This requires taking yourself out of the equation and putting your ego aside. In Landing Page Optimization listening is important as well. Some of the best ideas come from insight that you pick up from colleagues, or consumer research. This helps you develop an experience that resonates with your target, and is aligned with your business objectives. Once the page is live it is important to listen to your analytics. This will enable you to fail fast, or know when to double down.
3. Keep Building
As an improviser it is your job to raise the stakes in a scene. If you are doing a scene about a coffee shop it’s not going to be entertaining if you play it safe. Raising the stakes means taking risks for the good of the scene, and not being afraid to fail (see tip #1). With Landing Page Optimization raising the stakes comes from testing and iterations. My approach to this is to start with an A/B/C test with broad variations like landing page vs. segmentation page vs. microsite. Once you get a winner then test additional iterations to continue to move the needle.
4. Have Fun
One of the reasons I love improv so much is because it is fun. When I step out on stage it’s a chance to play and test out different ways of telling a story. The same should be true with landing page optimization. Have fun with it. This is your chance to be creative and think of new ways to engage your audience, while improving performance. Also don’t forget to focus on the positive and celebrate all wins, even the little ones. Remember a conversion rate increase from 3% to 3.5% can be the difference between 600 and 700 leads or $60,000 or $70,000 in sales.
I hope this gives you a different way of thinking about Landing Page Optimization. I feel that Landing page optimization is an ongoing journey that should be enjoyable. Good luck with your tests, and if you have any questions regarding testing or optimizing landing pages feel free to leave them in the comments.