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Did the headline really capture your attention?  If you are a frequent reader of my material, you probably recognize that this is not the type of headline that you will usually find.

I’ve written many times about how organizations (and individuals) compete on the Price-Expertise-Trust spectrum, and that Trust is by far the most enduring dimension.  I’ve also written about content marketing and thought leadership, and how continuously demonstrating Expertise is one of the most powerful mechanisms to build Trust.

So why the headline?  And more particularly, how does Price fit into the equation?  Yes, demonstrating value is important, but a discounted price – sometimes even zero – is a powerful way to encourage trial.

  • A consultant might give people an opportunity to test-drive their services with a modified version of their services – an audit, for example – at a lower-than-normal entry point.
  • A restaurant might give free samples to encourage trial.
  • A speaker or software vendor might host webinars at a low-or-no-cost level, once again as a test-drive for new prospects – and a value-add for existing clients.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are particularly exciting for retailers to generate real and cyber foot-traffic, the concept of using the price lever to encourage trial can be used by every organization.  It just needs to be done in a brand-appropriate, and strategic manner.

This week’s action plan:  Let’s see if this works:  Test drive my ideas beyond the Tipsheet and buy one of my books or learning resources.  Click here for the catalog.

The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Landing Pages

by Randall Craig on September 28, 2012

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Book, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

$37 Billion:  This is the amount that Google earned in 2011, 97% from advertising. Google’s keyword-savvy Pay-per-click selling machine allows any organization (or person) to specify keywords, construct an ad, and specify how much they would pay for a click.  Google then puts the ad on a web page that contains the keywords. When a user clicks, the advertiser pays, and Google benefits.

And so does the advertiser.  The user has made a commitment by clicking, and hopefully they will transact after they land on the target page.  Unfortunately, the conversion to a sale does not happen as often as it should, because many advertisers are completely unaware of a simple concept: the landing page.

A landing page is really just the other half of an advertisement.  The ad sets up the requirement and helps people with a particular problem self-identify and click through. The landing page provides the solution, and a next step.  It converts browsers into buyers.  Here are key attributes of it:

  • It is paired with a very specific advertisement.
  • The page should go through multiple rounds of A/B testing.  (Two identical ads point to two different versions of the landing page; the one that converts fewer buyers should discontinued, the other should be revised for a new test, etc.)
  • Very little navigation to the main site; the goal is for them to read/consider/act – not to meander off.
  • Simplified messaging, all designed to expose the problem and share the solution.
  • Simplified design and graphics: because there is far less content (and links) than a traditional web page, the eye will naturally focus on the remaining important information.
  • Multiple calls to action (eg Subscribe, Purchase, etc)
  • Multiple content delivery modes – but identical message: Video, Descriptive Text, Testimonials, “Trial” subscriptions, etc.  Different people respond to different stimulus
  • Consistent design beyond the landing page.  Since the site is designed to convert, a vastly different look-and-feel beyond the landing page (eg the next page in a sequence) can cause user uncertainty, and possibly abandonment.

This week’s action plan:  The concept of a landing page can be generalized: there is a metaphorical landing page after everything that we write.  What did you want people to do after they finished reading?  This week, think through the next step in any of the projects that you are working on, and start crafting the landing page.  (Hint: the landing page is merely a bridge to another decision.  Once you’ve mapped out your decisions, it is vastly easier.)

Follow-my-own-advice bonus:  The next step beyond this post is one that I wrote on attraction and conversion.  And after that, please call me.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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Reading beyond the lines, part two

by Randall Craig September 20, 2011

Have you ever thought about how to become more creative?  One way is to expose yourself to ideas just beyond “the usual”: ideas that challenge you to think differently, or expose you to experiences that are well beyond your immediate knowledge.  With so much available on the web, it is easy to forget that books […]

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SMS: Social Media System

by Randall Craig January 19, 2010

Have you committed to writing a blog, only to find that you don’t quite write as often (or as well) as you’d like to? Or have you decided to use Twitter, only to find that you never really have much to say – let alone time to say it? If so, then you’re not alone. […]

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Online PR and Social Media for Experts, Authors, Consultants, and Speakers

by Randall Craig January 7, 2009

After a grueling amount of research, writing, and editing, Online PR and Social Media for Experts, Authors, Consultants, and Speakers is now available. Check it out at The book itself is 130 pages, and while it is aimed at “experts”, it is completely appropriate for those with expertise working within an organization, whether they […]

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Indie Book Award Winner

by Randall Craig July 1, 2008

Some great news: The Indie Book Awards has named Personal Balance Sheet by Randall Craig a Gold Medal Winner in the Career category. It was also named one of the top Business books of the year. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is one of the most prestigious American book awards. All books are judged […]

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Reading beyond the lines [u]

by Randall Craig October 18, 2007

A typical way to develop perspective is to consider issues from different vantage points. A less common – but perhaps more valuable – way to develop perspective is to expose yourself to different ideas. One way to do this is to read books that are at the fringes of your “typical” interest area – and […]

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by Randall Craig May 30, 2007

I just finished reading another fascinating book: Freakonomics by Steven Levtitt and Stephen Dubner. This pair of authors (one an economics professor while the other an accomplished journalist) have probably done more to explain economics than any of the two-dozen-odd economics textbooks that I have in my library. Levitt’s area of interest is exploring difficult […]

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Knowledge to Action

by Randall Craig March 27, 2007

When was the last time you read a good book? Or rather, when was the last time you read a good book that was good for you? No, not a trash novel, or even one that is mildly entertaining. What is a good book? It is one that moves you one step closer to your […]

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by Randall Craig November 26, 2006

I’m just about half way through a fascinating book, called “Linked“, by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi. In it, he explores how networks grow: whether they be social networks, biological networks, the internet, or web sites. One of his most fascinating points is that the study of an individual node – whether it be a cancer cell, an […]

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