Saturday, July 21, 2007

The forgotten art of the landing page

I was reading some article on an Israeli content site and noticed an ad for a well-known israeli artschool called "Camera Obscura". I usually don't click on such flashy banner ads - but sometimes I do, wondering what the following page looks like.

It took me a few minutes to realize that I have no idea how I got the image above - it looks like some basic install of DotNetNuke (a web content management system), and it has a mini-form inside that asks the user for details such as name, email, etc.

The surprising thing is - this form appears to be real - it's not a bug - the people at Camera Obscura, or the agency that sold them the flash ad - sent all users clicking on the banner to this irrelevant looking page with the mini-mini form inside that's titled (loose translation): "Schedule a meeting / Request more information".

My bet is, only a tiny fraction of the users actually went on and entered the requested information. Most of them probably wondered what this weird pop-up page is and closed it right away.

It should be common knowledge by now, that animated flashy banner are not enough by themselves - they can be impressive and stuff, but if they direct users to a weird-looking page that has nothing to do with the look & feel of the original banner and context - they accomplish nothing.

The ad agency also abused its responsibility - it sold an online ad that achieves almost nothing - it only confuses users and leaves little or no impact.

For more on landing pages try seth godin's post on the subject.

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