Lately, lock-in landing pages have become more popular because they claim to increase conversion rate. The general idea of such a page is to remove all the destructions, unimportant parts of a page, to help people walk straight to the goal.
As for the contrast, look at the Payoneer site. Maybe it’s not super fancy, but it works:
As you can see, the whole page is a registration form, but the landing page has a lot of elements with a big Sign up button. This is effective for several reasons:
But lately, especially with things promoted on LinkedIn, I’ve noticed an increasing number of Lock-in pages used. Just look at the HortonWorks:
Prison pages increase retention rate. But how about people? Do they love prison-like sites? Do they keep using your product after they escape to freedom? So many questions but the answers are much deeper. At a first glance it brings a significant increase to the registration rate, but you will pay for it with your retention rate. Usually, the path isn’t as straightforward as you may think. I’ve used my site stats as an example. Let’s look at the Visitors Flow report.
In general only 1/4 of visitors take a straight path: landing page => sign up, and almost 3/4 prefer to get more information about the site before performing any business action. How about looking at real data from web-server access logs.
Based on this chart 50% of registered users make from 1 to 34 steps (interactions) to registration and the remaining 50% from 35 up to ∞ steps. Let’s look at the retention rate (how many customers you will have after a registration day).
If we analyze the two graphs in combination we will notice that the average retention rate for 1 to 34 steps conversion path is about 33%, but the long tail (users with > 35 step conversion paths) has, on average, a 70% retention rate. Let’s look at a scatter plot of this data.
It shows a very strong positive correlation between variables - steps in conversion path to registration and retention rate. Pearson’s coefficient = 0.85!
I will use HortonWorks as a sample. One click in LinkedIn costs on average $2.50, but the conversion rate is only 4% and retention rate for 1 page registration is about 10%. This means 1,000 visits provides you only 40 clients, then you will lose 36 people on poor retention rate and finally end up with only 4 customers whose loyalty is questionable. But for 1,000 clicks you’ll have to pay:
1000*$2.5 = $2500!
And the acquisition cost per user will be:
$2500/4 = $625
That’s a lot, if you keep in mind that you can spend 20 times less money simply by abandoning lock-in pages for normal pages. So if they use a lock-free landing page - registration costs would be $31 and it means they would save $600 on each client and can attract another 20 people with the saved money.
Because Google Analytics current report, “Reverse Goal Path”, shows only the 3 last steps of the path which is NOT exactly what we were looking for. And even if you try to customize it you can’t get stats on more steps.
I’ve made a few scripts for my web-server logs to get those reports:
* Please make a logs copy before running any scripts, because they are removing some parts.
** When using any of the scripts you need to change $goal, $retention variables to your pages.
Finally, they have changed the landing page for a new promotion campaign in Twitter and Linkedin. It seems the world is starting to become a better place.