Super ugly squeeze pages

36 replies
Hi everyone, first post here. I hold a full time job doing info marketing and then I have several niche Facebook pages and email lists for extra income on the side.

I've done split test after split test to try to prove myself wrong, but to me it seems like the fancy looking, corporate squeeze pages just can't hold a candle to the one's that are just butt ugly.

What's your experience with this? Anyone else tested fancy vs. ugly and gotten different results?

I have a website (http://beingcountry.com). Up until yesterday I had a very nice, sleek looking Wordpress site, but the data from my split tests convinced me to go back to something ugly and simple.

I also do giveaways and other stuff (like this: http://beingcountry.com/bow-giveaway.html and the opt in rates are super high.

It may just be my niche (country people), but I'm curious as to whether you experience the same types of results.

Thanks
#pages #squeeze #super #ugly
  • Profile picture of the author brentb
    I used to use a banner ad that had a bunch of squigly lines that was supposed to be a person I had drawn in microsoft paint (imagine what that would look like lol). It out performed all my nice banners I outsourced to a graphic designer. Go figure!
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    • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
      Originally Posted by brentb View Post

      I used to use a banner ad that had a bunch of squigly lines that was supposed to be a person I had drawn in microsoft paint (imagine what that would look like lol). It out performed all my nice banners I outsourced to a graphic designer. Go figure!
      YEP! Been there. Done that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pete
        I am finding lately that the plain and simple(Ugly) squeeze pages convert much better than the fancy, brightly colored ones. Just a few lines of text and a signup form gets me at least 15% more sign ups, every time.

        Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author FraggleJ78
    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    Hi everyone, first post here. I hold a full time job doing info marketing and then I have several niche Facebook pages and email lists for extra income on the side.

    I've done split test after split test to try to prove myself wrong, but to me it seems like the fancy looking, corporate squeeze pages just can't hold a candle to the one's that are just butt ugly.

    What's your experience with this? Anyone else tested fancy vs. ugly and gotten different results?

    I have a website (http://beingcountry.com). Up until yesterday I had a very nice, sleek looking Wordpress site, but the data from my split tests convinced me to go back to something ugly and simple.

    I also do giveaways and other stuff (like this: http://beingcountry.com/bow-giveaway.html and the opt in rates are super high.

    It may just be my niche (country people), but I'm curious as to whether you experience the same types of results.

    Thanks
    Yeah that's about right. Ugly, easy to make, squeeze pages have always done better for me than the corporate provided ones.

    I think part of it could be that the corporate ones are being promoted by in some cases thousands of people. The ugly ones that are personally made, are obviously unique to the one person promoting it.
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    • Profile picture of the author BambiFox
      Originally Posted by FraggleJ78 View Post

      Yeah that's about right. Ugly, easy to make, squeeze pages have always done better for me than the corporate provided ones.

      I think part of it could be that the corporate ones are being promoted by in some cases thousands of people. The ugly ones that are personally made, are obviously unique to the one person promoting it.
      And I think that the public on some subliminal level can sense the uniqueness.

      A definite American trait is to root for underdogs, almost a national obsession.

      My first blog (a Blogger blog that I updated twice daily for months) looked awful, but I got the biggest traffic conversion to signups I've ever experienced.

      Bambi
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Grace
    Not just squeeze pages, but full on sales pages as well. But of course it always comes down to the offer. Everything else is secondary.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Jared, my experience is similar to yours. If I use a squeeze page, which I do less and less often, a template that looks like a sheet of paper (and provides attention-focusing boundaries) is about as fancy as I get.

      More and more, I'm incorporating simple opt-ins right into my blog pages.

      One promising thing I've been playing with is to use an iframe or Ajax app to replace the opt-in form with the thank you page while leaving the new subscriber on the same page so that they can continue consuming content.

      Originally Posted by Don Grace View Post

      Not just squeeze pages, but full on sales pages as well. But of course it always comes down to the offer. Everything else is secondary.
      Yes, the offer is primary. "Good design" in a business sense is design which gets the offer read and understood.

      You might appreciate an artist's rendering of a house, but if you want to build it, you want the blueprints...
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    I haven't gone to this degree of "ugly" (:-), but certainly worth a try to see. What I have found is that what you are offering and the wording is critical.

    The fact that you are offering free tangible stuff (your giveaways) to me is the real reason people are signing up...not many people advertising this fact on their squeeze pages these days, likely a big part about your high conversion rates. The minimalist design puts the emphasis on that offer.

    IMHO - Bad offer, minimalist design isn't going to help much
    Great offer, minimalist design gets out of the way and gets more people's interest and desire so you get better results

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    Ugly pages that go straight to the point and get people opt-in do well as long as the headline is catchy
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  • Profile picture of the author arojilla
    Your post couldn't be more perfectly timed for me since I'm right now designing the first list building squeeze pages in my life and I had already decided that they should look "awesome". I already did two versions for A/B testing but now I'm going to add a third one and I'll make it very simple, just two lines of text and a simple submit form with almost no CSS, and in a month I'll see for myself which one works better. If it turns to be the simplest one, which I wouldn't have done if it weren't for this thread, you may have saved me a lot of trouble!
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    What can I say on nice pages. They look so phony to you or me. Ugly ones can appear genuine. Like there is a lot more to web pages than appearance. Maybe they can communicate at a deep subconscious level with us. Hard to understand what is going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    Great results.

    I think in general... Individuals > Corporations.

    The minute people start using "Corporate speak" in their email marketing is the day their list dies.

    People don't give a damn about corporations.

    But they LOVE individuals.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    PS: You've read "Obvious Adams"... Right?

    :]
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  • Profile picture of the author danr62
    Wow, your site is ugly.

    But I love the FB page even though I'm not country...the captions on that stag with the antlers is hilarious.
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  • Profile picture of the author mnonline
    Based on my experience, prospects like to see something fresh and unique. When everyone market the same corporate pages, it become less and less effective.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigballin6161
    I have seen numerous times people saying this about squeeze pages and banners...that the amature ones converted better. I wonder if the same could be said for sales pages?
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  • Profile picture of the author mnonline
    I think it's more important to concentrate on squeeze page. Better conversion on squeeze page=more profit

    On sale pages, I think it convert better with simple video styles rather than long sale pages. I've seen many top vendor use this strategy. Well, almost all of them use it now.

    Just put yourself in the prospect's view to see if you like video or long sale page better

    I don't know about you but I prefer the video presentation sale page.
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  • Profile picture of the author pdxkurt
    I think your super simple (ugly) design is perfect for your target audience. It's true that ugly often outperforms pretty, but it really depends on the niche. Btw, annoying often outperforms non-annoying as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author blognut725
    Great thread, For me the simple page makes me feel like I can get in touch with you easier makes you more real to me. With that being said I never knew that they converted better. you have changed my game with this thread thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    it seems like the fancy looking, corporate squeeze pages just can't hold a candle to the one's that are just butt ugly.
    I've actually come so far with split-testing that I don't use any squeeze pages at all, at the moment, but I'm pretty sure - both from what I've seen myself and from what others have told me - that you're right.

    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    What's your experience with this? Anyone else tested fancy vs. ugly and gotten different results?
    All the testing I've ever seen myself has been a pretty clear win for simple/ugly over fancy/posh.

    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    I have a website (http://beingcountry.com). Up until yesterday I had a very nice, sleek looking Wordpress site, but the data from my split tests convinced me to go back to something ugly and simple.
    I must admit (and of course I mean this in the nicest possible way, as a great compliment to you!) that that really is ugly. I can't claim I've ever tried anything quite as ugly as that. Maybe I should, though ... :confused:
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    • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      I must admit (and of course I mean this in the nicest possible way, as a great compliment to you!) that that really is ugly. I can't claim I've ever tried anything quite as ugly as that. Maybe I should, though ... :confused:
      haha no offense taken at all. Yeah I know it's horrid huh? My country people seem to love it though. I may add a little CSS later this evening to improve it a little bit.
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  • Maybe it's because the ugly page just gets straight to the point (your website anyway). It's very easy to go through as there isn't much distraction. I wonder if the age range would matter, since the younger generations are used to having professional websites everywhere, whereas older generations are used to seeing "ugly" sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author genhorrall
      People love people. And so when they feel like that have come across someone that is "real" that is not using all the fancy bs to get their attention. They don't feel like they are being attacked for their money.

      They also can somewhat see themselves where you are, look at this page. "I bet I could do something like that."

      Oh and a heads up your email opt in list goes to a 404 page. Just so you know.
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      • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
        Originally Posted by genhorrall View Post

        People love people. And so when they feel like that have come across someone that is "real" that is not using all the fancy bs to get their attention. They don't feel like they are being attacked for their money.

        They also can somewhat see themselves where you are, look at this page. "I bet I could do something like that."

        Oh and a heads up your email opt in list goes to a 404 page. Just so you know.
        Thanks for the reminder. That page disappeared when I got rid of my wp site. I'll fix it.
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  • Profile picture of the author artflair
    I think it is not only about being 'ugly' but also 'simple'...
    I just read about a test someone made with a squeeze page that had only 'Fill in the form below' phrase on it plus an autoresponder form on the page and it converted with 50% opt-ins from a solo ad...
    That is definitely something to think about...
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  • Profile picture of the author zedsta
    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    I've done split test after split test to try to prove myself wrong, but to me it seems like the fancy looking, corporate squeeze pages just can't hold a candle to the one's that are just butt ugly.
    Yes I completely agree when I first started out my squeeze page was all nice and shiny with lots of colors and pictures but the reality was it didn't convert!

    This is the one I'm using now:-
    FREE REPORT

    Butt ugly!
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    • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
      Originally Posted by zedsta View Post

      Yes I completely agree when I first started out my squeeze page was all nice and shiny with lots of colors and pictures but the reality was it didn't convert!

      This is the one I'm using now:-
      FREE REPORT

      Butt ugly!
      Wow, I really like that actually. I may have to copy some of your design techniques there. I bet it looks great on mobile too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leonhart
    Banned
    Nowadays, you better have a mobile compatible squeeze page if you want to see 79% opt-in rates like I did when I tested out my very ugly, simple, squeeze page..

    I never thought it will work as well, but eh.. Now that it does haha
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  • Profile picture of the author lunarninja
    Ugly Pages seem to convert better in certain niches.

    Example. If you are selling information products it will definitely be good as the customer is only looking to fix there issue.

    But if you are a fashion company selling clothing, make sure you look pretty because they are looking to buy fashion(style, looks) etc.

    -Lunar Ninja
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by artflair View Post

      I think it is not only about being 'ugly' but also 'simple'...
      I just read about a test someone made with a squeeze page that had only 'Fill in the form below' phrase on it plus an autoresponder form on the page and it converted with 50% opt-ins from a solo ad...
      That is definitely something to think about...
      Which brings up another important point. The success of the squeeze page (or other landing page) is also dependent on the traffic source and the presell job you do in bringing people to the landing page.

      It doesn't matter if the landing page is plain text or a Pixar-like masterpiece, if the message to market match isn't right, people are not going to subscribe.
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  • Profile picture of the author JaredRhodenizer
    Ok just for anyone who is curious. I revised both pages a little bit so that they're not quite so ugly.

    Main Site
    Giveaway Squeeze Page
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  • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    What's your experience with this? Anyone else tested fancy vs. ugly and gotten different results?
    Hey jared, i tested both, work extremely well in the im niche. But it depends which kind of "fancy" are you referring to. A great image(related to your niche) as a fixed background with just the optin box and a big headline in the center works very well.

    Originally Posted by JaredRhodenizer View Post

    I have a website (Being Country). Up until yesterday I had a very nice, sleek looking Wordpress site, but the data from my split tests convinced me to go back to something ugly and simple.
    I also do giveaways and other stuff (like this: http://beingcountry.com/bow-giveaway.html and the opt in rates are super high.
    In your first one, id move the optin box in the middle and id keep just one box.

    Here's what id fix;

    - too much content, make it simple and "mysterious"(leave them wanting more)
    - dont see any high promising big bold headline.
    - bullet points (3/4 at least)

    I bet your second one converts more, its a killer one.
    And yes, "ugly and simple" works wonders contrary to popular belief.
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    • Profile picture of the author IM Inc
      I agree with all who said the uglier, the better.

      I have done some split testing and found that simple and ugly beats a fancy squeeze page by a long shot.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        On the second one, I'd change "submit query" on the submit button to something like "here's my email, pick me"...
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