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Unread 20th June 2013, 01:56 PM   #1
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Lightbulb GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quoting Eugene Schwartz now...

Quote:
I specialize in "ugly." Iím the lousiest layout man in the world. I do ugly layouts. Why do I do ugly layouts? Because beauty looks much the same. It has a very narrow definition. Ugliness is randomness, which means that itís spread out. So there are a hundred different ways to be ugly and only two or three ways to be beautiful. So, the ugly thing in a world of beauty stands out. Estee Lauder discovered that. Twenty years ago, when Revlon was just knocking them dead with this four-color printing and then everybody else came in, Helena Rubenstein, etc., Estee herself said, "Well, if we run four-color, weíre gonna look like everybody else. Nobodyís going to be able to tell us. How about sepia?" And she got a series of sepia ads that were stunningly beautiful but completely different. And when you open the magazines there, wham! There is Lauder...
I believe Eugene Schwartz said above more than 25 years ago...

My question for you:

In the year 2013... does UGLY still sell?

What about with web landing pages? Video sales lettetrs? Videos?

"The ugly thing in a world of beauty stands out" - does this still apply in our Internet age?

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Unread 20th June 2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Yep. I have a "butt ugly" website that does, indeed, sell things. While I can't speak for everyone else, for me, it "still sells".

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Unread 20th June 2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

I would say the key point is to make your ads "disruptive." Which often means ugly, but not always.

An ugly ad in a print magazine will stand out because in a swarm of pretty print ads, ugly is disruptive.

The reason the white-board sales videos are working now is because it's disruptive -- not because they are ugly.
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Unread 20th June 2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Ugly can sometimes achieve a desired result more than beautiful.

When I first started out in SEO I was using Adsense on the very first website that I had hand-coded while learning html.

In retrospect, the website was horendously ugly. But at the time, it got around a 7% CTR with the Adsense ads on it.

Why so high? Probably because the page was so ugly that people wanted to leave it immediately by clicking the ads.

Then I paid for a "professional" template that looked much nicer, but my CTR dropped from 7% to like 1.5% overnight.

Since then, I have done more optimization and gotten closer to 4% CTR with my own custom ad layouts and templates. But still, it's not as high as my old butt-ugly layout had gotten.
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Unread 21st June 2013, 10:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

In this forum for sure, we know the right message to the right person is all you really need. Doesn't matter if the color of background is lime green or electric blue. If the offer is compelling enough, you're golden.

My Dad's site is 14 years old now and hasn't been changed since the day he started it. It's not pretty but it pays the bills and some.

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Unread 21st June 2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

It's not a matter that "ugly sells" but the DIFFERENT stands out
and the first step in selling (AIDA) is attention. It's the purple cow
principle.

-Ray Edwards

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Unread 21st June 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100k View Post
Does butt ugly get laid? No.

Of course there are exceptions...
Hey, it worked for me buddy!

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Unread 21st June 2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanmcgee View Post
Quoting Eugene Schwartz now...

...

I believe Eugene Schwartz said above more than 25 years ago...

My question for you:

In the year 2013... does UGLY still sell?
Define "ugly."

Eugene Schwartz PIKED "ugly" as being his advertorial-like ads. They weren't "ugly" ... just different from all the other ads in the magazine.

If your definition of "ugly" is an advertorial-like ad, then YES "ugly" sells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DustonMcGroarty View Post
My Dad's site is 14 years old now and hasn't been changed since the day he started it. It's not pretty but it pays the bills and some.
This is the saddest comment I've read here in a long time... not testing anything on a web page in 14 years. And the sadder part is that you haven't convinced your dad to ABT or at least every now and then.

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Unread 21st June 2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

I have what some would say "ugly", one page website and it had conversions of 15%, now dropped to like 13%. It gets low traffic though.

My other semi-ugly site gets about 700 visits a month in general and makes around $20,000/annually on autopilot.

Those are just two of my "ugliest" websites.
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Unread 21st June 2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpluto View Post
I have what some would say "ugly", one page website and it had conversions of 15%, now dropped to like 13%. It gets low traffic though.

My other semi-ugly site gets about 700 visits a month in general and makes around $20,000/annually on autopilot.

Those are just two of my "ugliest" websites.


What kind of niche makes $20k a year off 700 visits a month?
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Unread 21st June 2013, 05:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis2011 View Post


What kind of niche makes $20k a year off 700 visits a month?
Specialized technology equipment sales. If people search for them, they are pretty much ready to buy.
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Unread 23rd June 2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Depends on what you mean by "butt ugly." Simple designs can still sell very well if the message is good, but not unprofessional ones. I've seen some damn attractive pages with lame copy that didn't sell a lick too. The message is always going to be the most important thing.

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Unread 23rd June 2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

The distinction in this line of thinking is don't confuse "cheap" with "ugly." Two very different animals.
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Unread 24th June 2013, 09:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

The only place that "Butt ugly" doesn't sell is the strip club.

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Unread 25th June 2013, 01:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Ugly, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

We had $14,000 damage to our house from a hail storm, so I'm having One "hail" of a sale to cover the repair costs that aren't covered by insurance. Less than 20 copies left!
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Unread 2nd July 2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Hi All,

My 2 cents.

I always suggest clients split test a PLAIN JANE PAGE = i.e. with no header and just plain text on white with navy blue subheads and no photos and just product images versus a more high end site with fancy graphics.

Why?

Because depending on the niche, the visitor, the offer and the price point - a less fancy design will sell BETTER in some cases.

I see a lot of sites and sales letters which are way over done, and take too long to load and with a 65+ bounce rate wonder "why don't I have sales?"

That's a no brainer to me.

The attention span of a visitor these days is getting shorter and shorter.

So before you spend that wad of time and money on a super fancy high end design at will be sure to load super slow (unless you spend the money to host it and upload all the graphics and video to Amazon3)... you might want to rethink that.

I am finding higher conversion rates with simplified banners and with what I would call a "more article style" copy in some niches.

And you have to TEST to know.

Good luck to all!

Jennie Heckel
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*****27 "WSO OF THE DAY" COPYWRITER IN 2012 - 2013 - 2014 ***** SALES COPY HAS SOLD OVER $2,675,000.00 - HIGHEST CONVERTING WSOS INCLUDE: MOBI INSTA-PORTFOLIO *MOBI NICHE RAIDER * MOBI CASH CYCLONE + 24 OTHER "WSO OF THE DAY" WSOS * WSO and FSO Copy That SELLS! With 16 Years of Proven Copywriting Experience. Skype: seoexpertconsulting Website: http://www.saleslettercopywriter.com


Last edited by Jennie Heckel; 2nd July 2013 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added text
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Unread 2nd July 2013, 08:39 PM   #17
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Perhaps in the days of eye-candy graphics and neck-turning, glittery sales pages,
UGLY really stands out.

A visitor on an ugly site may as well be thinking: "wow, this is a pretty ugly website...they better have something incredible to get away with this nonsense..this site looks terrible..Let me check this out for a bit and see what their talking about...."

Imagine a visitor on a site with the same content/product but a "fancy" design/layout:
"there's nothing special about this website.,,,,


Maybe some websites, though ugly, appeal to a certain visitor for reasons based on their unique personalities, mood, etc. While other sites appeal to a person's eye and a decision to stay/buy/signup is dependent on aesthetics more than anything else.

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Unread 3rd July 2013, 12:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Two of my favourite sites are Ling's Cars and UNDZ.org, both of them "ugly" as heck but still pretty damn awesome. Also see Nassim Taleb's fooledbyrandomness.com and of course, Maddox's The Best Page In The Universe.

Enjoy.

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Unread 3rd July 2013, 09:25 AM   #19
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Doesn't it boil down to your market?

Would you sell a photography marketing planner to a bunch of photographers on an "ugly" site?

I do think there needs to be a distinction between "ugly" and "poorly designed." An "ugly" site that is well designed is still going to be more effective than a poorly designed ugly site ... designed for conversion, that is ... Flow, ease of use, understanding of what you want prospects to do on your page ... those are all elements of a design optimized for conversion.

Bottom line is - know your audience, and make it easy for them to buy.

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Unread 5th July 2013, 11:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Yeah, the principle of what he's saying is correct, but the thing is, in the world of internet marketing, where 90% of the sales letters are ugly as ****, the beautiful is going to stand out more. This isn't prime time television advertising. I mean look at these samples from the WSO forum:

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ior-forum.html

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-warriors.html

http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...orth-98-a.html

Do you think ugly design will make you stand out against these internet Picassos?

Hardly!

Internet marketing design in general tends to suffer from an extreme lack of imagination. To stand out, you need to do something different, and in this community, "ugly" is not different.

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Unread 5th July 2013, 12:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

It depends on what you define selling as.
If you define selling as does it catch attention, then the answer is yes.
Ugly will almost always catch attention. It's then up to the copy to keep that attention and convert it into a buying mindset.

So in a sense ugly could end up selling very well
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Unread 5th July 2013, 02:09 PM   #22
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

I think a lot of people confuse ugly with simplicity, usually it's the simplicity of a page that's leading traffic down the sales path.



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Unread 5th July 2013, 03:57 PM   #23
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Sure it works - as long as you hit the right demographic with it.

Ugly (as in simplified, garish, loud, tacky, etc) works extremely well with certain social groups.

Free action plan : Think less. Do more.
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Unread 10th July 2013, 02:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

It's not a question of "ugly vs. beautiful" so much as "slick vs. earnest" or "phony vs. genuine". It just so happens that ugly conveys "earnest and genuine" more often than a beautiful, highly-sophisticated website that has had every detail fussed over for weeks.

An ugly, amateur-looking website only works with certain people. Know your market!

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Unread 13th July 2013, 08:31 AM   #25
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Not sure if people care so much about ugly or pretty when it comes down to getting the best info. I think I get past the way a page looks once I've read the first paragraph of the sales page.

If the information seems genuine, I may give it a try. On the other hand, if it's the most attractive page around and the content sucks... I'll go for ugly every time!

That's my 2 cents
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Unread 13th July 2013, 08:31 AM   #26
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post
Ugly, like beauty, is in the eye of the beerholder.
Fixed that for ya.

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Unread 14th July 2013, 06:47 PM   #27
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Default Re: GRAPHIC DESIGN QUESTION: Does butt UGLY sell?

Depends on target market, stage of sales process and industry - if the customer is browsing and somehow gets on a weight loss site then ugly works - if the customer is a ceo looking to purchase professional services then ugly doesn't work as well - either way it's all about grabbing attention and that has more to do with your unique selling position and headline more than anything else.

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