MarketingSherpa Disappoints?

I’ve never met a bigger fan of MarketingSherpa
than myself. I’ve read hundreds of their case studies, attended their
conferences, and purchased many reports. But the latest report on Landing Page Design
(which I’ve merely glanced through while two of my marketing guys are
reading it cover to cover) may be the first product I’ve ever been
disappointed by.

The reason is this: I’m a huge fan of the ClickMap feature of
SiteCatalyst. In fact, years before they added Click Map to their
product, our VP Development at MyFamily.com built a feature I requested
into MyFamily.com that we called “Visual Next Click Reporting”. It was
basically the same thing. All our right brained web designers and
copywriters who never looked at stats from our web analytics and
reporting tools (which left brained people love) could login and see next to every link on the page how many people clicked on it the day before.

In other words, we brought the analytics to them and integrated them
into the user interface. I remember showing this in our board meeting
and thinking this was on of the coolest things our company had ever
done.

No longer could people use their subjective opinions to say “I like
this design better than that design.” Anyone could see which design
worked better, based on the integrated analytics.

So I’m spoiled by expecting data to be overlaid on top of screen shots.
When I think about increasing the conversion rate of web pages, I think
of isolating changes, making the changes one at a time, and then
measure the before-and-after click percentages on each screen shot.

What I saw in the MarketingSherpa report was simply the old landing
page design and the new landing page design, with very little data on
why the new design was better. There are a few stats in the copy
explaining that the new design worked better. But I was really hoping
for something that would show a series of changes, and have rich data
about the click through percentages on each one, until the company
arrived at the very best performing landing page of all.

So my own experience with measuring landing page conversion rates and
testing new ideas was far richer than what I found the $247 report,
which I was hoping would teach me a thing or two.

Once my marketing guys have finished reading it, I’ll ask them if they
think it was worth the price, and then let you know later.

I am still a major fan of MarketingSherpa and tell every marketer I
know they are foolish not to subscribe to everything they possibly can.
This is my first and hopefully last disappointment from the best
publishing company in the world for internet marketers.

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3 Comments

  1. Dion Jones

    Paul,

    I agree on your comments about a lack of data in this report.

    I purchased it some months ago when it first came out and found it lacking.

    I did find some information useful thus is why I didn’t request a refund. I would be interested in knowing what your guys find useful. I’ll make sure to ask you during our next meeting.

    Dion

  2. Stay on top of MarketingSherpa, and you’ll never have to worry about buying a ‘dud’ report. Everything they do is free for the first week, and anyone can grab a personal copy to keep forever and ever. I have a hefty library I’ve built up over the last two years, and I’ve never had to spend a dime. :o) What a deal! (And it sure keeps me clicking on my MarketingSherpa emails as soon as they hit my in-box!)

  3. Paul, I’d have to agree with you! There could possibly be no more important topic in web design/eBusiness than landing page design. And while this report does indeed discuss the topic, I found it poorly organized and fairly hard to skim. Things I don’t enjoy skimming don’t tend to pull me in further. Good writing should be like a fine wine, enticing us at all stages. This report failed to move me.

    On an unrelated note, I heard you may be a friend of Dave McClure’s. He mentioned we should chat. Let’s try to do that soon!

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