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Pierce Ujjainwalla Supercharge Your Landing Pages with the CUB Framework
The Agents

Looking to improve the conversion rate of your website landing pages? Pierce Ujjainwalla, a seasoned CEO, entrepreneur, and marketing expert shares how you can elevate your landing pages to generate more leads and conversions. You’ll discover valuable insights into the essentials of effective landing page design, the common pitfalls to avoid, and actionable strategies to improve conversion rates. Tune in to transform your landing pages into powerful tools for business growth.

Supercharge Your Landing Pages with the CUB Framework Summary

Key Takeaways

  • Having one clear call-to-action is best for conversion rate. Multiple CTAs can distract visitors.
  • Short forms with only essential info convert better. Use tools to enrich data from emails.
  • Exact numbers like “343 people registered” can increase conversions.
  • Continually test and optimize landing pages to improve conversion rates.

Supercharge Your Landing Pages with the CUB Framework Episode Transcript

Rich: My guest today has decades of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, and career marketing leader. He has lived in the marketing trenches at companies like IBM, SAP, NVIDIA, and Marketo. He founded a marketing automation consultancy, Revenue Pulse, and then launched Knak in 2015 as a platform designed to help marketers simplify email and landing page creation.

Today, we’re going to be focusing on your landing pages and how you can make changes that will generate more leads and conversions at your website, with Pierce Ujjainwalla. Pierce, welcome to the show.

Pierce: Thanks so much for having me, Rich. It’s awesome to be here.

Rich: So let’s start with some basics. First off, how does a landing page differ from a regular page at your website?

Pierce: Great question. And yeah, definitely something people ask a lot. To me, a landing page has a singular purpose, right? Typically there is a form on it, and it has that one goal that you want to convince somebody to fill out the form. So you don’t usually have kind of the navigation on the top, the footer in the bottom. So that’s, to me, what a landing page is.

Rich: All right. I was looking through some of the work that you put out there and you talk about a framework for landing pages called CUB, C U B. Can you break down what the elements of the CUB landing page framework are?

Pierce: Yeah. So really CUB is about conversion, urgency, and benchmarking. So when I think of a landing page, the number one goal is to get someone to fill out the form. So how do you do that? We’re going to talk more about it, but there’s lots of things that you can do to make it so that someone fills out the form.

One, is really having that one call to action. You don’t want there to be too many distractions. You don’t want people to have to think too much about what should they do, what options, what buttons do I click? Make it simple for them. Urgency. If you think of any travel website, they do this really well. You’ll see where it’s like, “Hey, there’s only five rooms left at this price”, or “Hey the registration for this event is closing in the next X amount of time.” You want to create that urgency with that landing page visitor so that they are more likely to fill out the form.

And then anything in marketing, this is all about testing and experimentation. So the B in benchmarking is really you want to have your own benchmarks, and you want to have some industry benchmarks. And the reason that I say you want two, is that you want to just be better every day. And to be able to measure yourself on that, you need to know where you’re at in terms of your benchmarks.

And then what I like the industry benchmarks for is that can be your kind of guiding North Star, right? Maybe the industry benchmark for you is the 20% conversion rate. But if you’re only at one or 2% now, don’t worry about that. Just worry about getting 1% better every day.

Rich: I like that. ‘Compare and despair’ is a phrase that I’ve heard many times. And yes, it’s good to know how you compare to the industry average, but you really should be looking to make improvements. And I think we’ll go into each one of those items in a little bit more detail as we talk through this, but you mentioned one strong call to action. What are some of the other elements of a strong landing page in your opinion?

Pierce: Yeah. So it’s a great question. I think the reality is right now that nobody has any attention span anymore. The likes of TikTok and YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels has really shortened people’s attention span. So I think there’s a few elements you want to think about, but the overall thing is you want to keep people’s short attention.

How do you do that? Make your page scannable. So even if somebody is just reading the headlines of your page, they should get the gist of what you’re trying to give them. Don’t have too much text. No one wants to read for 10 minutes to figure out what you’re trying to give them.

And make the call to action very clear. If it’s a webinar, make it very clear the date and time and the speakers. If it’s a piece of content, show them what that looks like, tell them in bullet form what are you going to learn?

Why should they read it? One thing I think all marketers are guilty of is that they care so much about this content or their event, and they really need to think about what’s in it for my audience? And if they start with that, I think making something valuable for your audience is going to make it really a lot more compelling and more likely for someone to fill out your form.

Rich: I think it’s a good point. And also, people should remember that to get to this landing page, they’ve clicked on a link in our email, or they’ve clicked on a link in an ad, or something else. So they’ve already shown some level of interest. And now, what we don’t want to do is hide the truth from them. And we want to make it as easy for them to continue moving forward.

With that being said, what do you see as some of the mistakes that people are still making these days on landing pages? What are some of the things like when you land on the landing page, you’re like, “Oh, I cannot believe they did that”?

Pierce: To me, one thing that drives me crazy is these super long forms, right? Nobody wants to fill out a 20-field form. And nobody should ever have that anymore because there are so many great data augmentation tools out there that make it totally unnecessary for you to ever ask first name, last name, company, annual revenue, number of employees. Make it easy for your website visitors to convert on the form and don’t ask them questions of things that you can get behind the scenes or as they submit that form.

Rich: So when you say behind the scenes, I’m just a little curious about this. You even mentioned first name, last name. I try and keep my forms as short as possible, but I’m almost always invariably asking for name. How else might I get their name? If this is, it’s different for maybe an email signup, although I still like to get their first name for those. Is there another method that you use to gather first name, last name for some of these people?

Pierce: Yeah. So there are several tools now where if you get somebody’s business email address – this is really more in the B2B market. B2C is obviously a little bit different – but on, on the B2B side, there are many databases now. You look at something like ZoomInfo or 6Sense or Clearbit, where when you get somebody’s business email address, most of the time you’re able to fill in pretty much everything else about that person. We use something called Clearbit Enrich on all of our forms. And so with that tool, as long as I have their business email address, I can get the rest.

You can also set it up so that on the fly in real time, as somebody enters the business email address, if Clearbit does not have that data, then additional fields can open up and you can capture those, so you don’t lose it if Clearbit doesn’t have the person in their database.

Rich: That’s fascinating. I had never heard of that before. I’ll have to check that one out for sure. One of the thing you’ve recommended is removing the headers and footers from a landing page. What’s the benefit there?

Pierce: Yeah. So typically, and there’s always a debate here, in pretty much every marketing department of should we have our website navigation on our landing page? Should we have our website navigation in the footer? And in my opinion, you really need to look at what is the goal of the landing page.

Here at Knak, the goal of our landing pages is to convert people. Our website is there for them to get information, to learn more about us. But when we get somebody onto one of our landing pages, that is the time that we want to move this relationship along and actually capture their information. And in our testing, in our experience, the way you do that is with as few distractions as possible. The only thing to do on that page is to submit the form.

And so when you have your navigation at the top, you have your footer at the bottom. To me, I look at all of those as holes in a bucket. And it allows for leakage of people to go to different places that you don’t really want them to.

I think on the other side, what I hear a lot of people who do advocate for the navigation or the footer, it’s not a consistent experience from what I have on my regular site. But again, to me, the if your goal is conversion, you want to give yourself every advantage to convert people. And to do that, I recommend removing the navigation and the footer.

Rich: All right. Makes a lot of sense. Kind of like putting blinders on a horse. You’re just focusing people on that end result.

So you mentioned something that I’ve heard many times before, that you should have only one call to action on a page. But sometimes, especially perhaps in a larger organization where there’s multiple people involved, that’s impossible. Or they’re like if we don’t, if they don’t want to buy now, I at least want to get them to download something, whatever the case is. Is there ever an argument to have more than one call to action? And if so, what are some best practices if they exist around having more than one call to action?

Pierce: Yeah, like anything in marketing, there’s no right or wrong. And that’s one of the things I love about marketing. Like the reason that testing and optimization is an ongoing thing is that nobody has figured it all out, right? Otherwise we would all have this magical page that 100% of people convert on.

But that isn’t the reality. But that is often something we hear, especially with our bigger customers. There’s a lot of people involved and there’s differing opinions. And that’s where I always recommend, use the data. Test things. You can put 50 calls to action on a page, but have your other page have one, and compare the results. And my hypothesis would be that the one with one call to action, that’s going to win every time. But it never hurts to test because there are different, there is no right answer here, but that’s what my recommendation would be. Hey, that’s great. You want to try a few different offers on this page? Maybe some of them make sense to live together. Test it out and go off of what the data tells you.

Rich: Pierce you’ve mentioned testing a couple of times. At Knak and the work that you do, what are some of the parameters you use when either on your own pages or when working with clients to, to test something? Is there a certain amount of time or a certain amount of visits to a landing page before you feel comfortable that A beats B or that it’s time to try something new? What are those parameters in your own mind?

Pierce: Yeah, totally. You need to have enough visitors to be able to understand is this test significant or not? You actually don’t need that many. You might tell in the first 10 or 50 visitors which page is clearly outperforming the other one. And other times, it’s much more difficult. You need to get a few thousand people through before the data tells you. It really comes down to the data and how clear it is on that test.

Rich: Okay. And have you tested things like including a video and things like that on a page, and seeing increasing conversions or decreasing conversions when we start to add elements like that?

Pierce: Yeah. So actually one thing that we just recently started doing was, our demo page on our website is arguably the most important page on our whole website, because a demo request is really the start of our sales cycle. And so that’s the page that we spend a lot of time on. We do a lot of tests, and a trend that we’ve definitely noticed is adding a video on your demo requests page. And it’s like a one minute video that gives just a very high level view, like teaser, of what the person will see when they book the actual demo.

And in my opinion, something like that is extremely valuable. Because, let’s be honest, none of us really want to do a demo of the software and there is always a little bit of a risk. Is this the right software for me, or is this going to waste an hour of my time? And so I think having that teaser video before somebody fills out the form, at least for us, we’ve seen an increase in the conversion rate, and we’ve seen much better quality of people post the submission of the form.

And so I think what you need to really do, it’s not all about conversion, right? Our conversion rate could have gone down. But if the quality of the people booking the demos goes up, that’s actually still a win. And so again, it goes back to what I was saying earlier about your visitors. If you are truly doing the best thing for your visitor, and in this case I think we are, because we’re giving them context and we’re making sure they don’t waste their time or ours. It’s a net positive in the end of the day. But you can’t just look at conversion rates. This is a great example/ You can’t just look at conversion rates there because there are other things at play.

Rich: Absolutely. So when you are setting up these A/B split tests, what is the technology that you’re using to do this? Like somebody clicks on an email link or they click on an ad, and they’re sent to your website. Do you send them only to 1 page or do you have some sort of randomizer tool that sends them to page A or page B, and then you measure them side by side?

Pierce: Yeah, so we use Marketo here at Knak, and within Marketo you can set up A/B landing page tests. You have one URL, but Marketo filters the traffic evenly between your different pages, and so that’s a great tool to help with that.

I think one thing that we hear a lot from marketers is they all want to do more tests, but it’s very hard to make multiple pages. So we also use the Knak platform to make it easy for us to build out a bunch of different variations.

Rich: We’ve seen things like FOMO, or you mentioned scarcity, and then there’s also fear of loss. What are some of the other elements that you might put on a landing page that can alleviate some of these concerns and get people to move forward?

Pierce: Yeah, so one of my favorite examples, what we did, we were doing a big event at the Adobe Summit. And what we did was we knew there would be a lot of people registering at around the same timeframes. So like when we sent out our email blasts, we knew there would be a lot of people registering. And so what we did was we actually built out a component on our landing page that would tell everybody, “Hey just so you know, like 343 other marketers have registered for this event in the last hour.” And those are very powerful, kind of psychological signals that you’re sending to your website visitors. That are like, hey, this looks like a pretty popular event. It’s the digital equivalent of a really long lineup outside of a party or an event. I think humans are just attracted to that and there is something really powerful there. So that’s a great way that you can harness that in a digital way.

Rich: All right. How important is mobile friendliness on these pages? Especially in the B2B realm, most people are coming on their laptops or computers, aren’t they? Is mobile compatibility a big deal?

Pierce: Huge. So mobile traffic has done nothing but increase over the past decade. And so anybody out there, please make your pages responsive, make sure that they look good on a mobile device, because a lot of your audience will be coming from there.

Now this varies from company to company, some have more, some have less on mobile. You should really be using an analytics tool to be telling you how many of your visitors are coming from a mobile device. But absolutely make sure that whatever page you’re making, it’s accessible, it’s easy to read, the experience is good, the forms are easy to interact with. And definitely, a lot of people are building mobile first pages now, that’s how important it is.

Rich: Back when we first started talking about the CUB framework, the last B is benchmark. You mentioned one important thing is just to continually improve, but we are also curious about how we’re comparing to other people in our industry. Where can we get the data that is going to give us a sense of should we be in the 1 percent conversion rate or the 5 percent conversion rate, or whatever it might be?

Pierce: Yeah, I think the biggest change that I see there is depending on what industry you’re in. So depending on your industry, you’re going to get a higher or lower conversion rates. And so that’s where it’s really important to find some benchmarks that you can measure yourself on where it’s an apples-to-apples comparison.

At Knak, we do a benchmarking report every year on both email and landing page benchmarks. And we break it down by industry, by size of company, and there is quite a bit of disparity depending on where you’re at. But there’s a ton of these out there. I would just Google ‘landing page benchmark report’ and you’ll get some idea of what does average look like in my industry? What does good look like? And then you can set what your goal is.

These kinds of things don’t change overnight. But I think if you’re constantly running tests, and even if your test has 1% conversion rate increase, 1% over time compounds. And that’s where, I think, our customers who really commit to testing and optimization are getting big gains over time. Just focusing, even if it’s 1% better, you’re getting better.

Rich: Pierce, if people want to learn more about Knak, learn more about you, where can we send them online?

Pierce: Yeah, so we’re at knak.com, K N A K dot com. So yeah, check us out there. Follow me on LinkedIn, Pierce, P I E R C E U J J, usually I’ll come up from there. I’ve got a long last name. But yeah, I post a lot about landing page best practices, email, there’s a lot just about our story at Knak. I try and be as open and transparently as I can. It’s not just all the good stuff, running a startup is hard and there’s ups and downs, and I try and share it all just hoping that it helps other people out there become better CEOs and better marketers. I’m a marketer at heart and so I love this stuff and love helping marketers do better marketing.

Rich: I feel the same. Pierce, this is great. I’m going to go take a look at all of my landing pages now. Thanks so much for coming by today.

Pierce: Thanks so much for having me, Rich.


Show Notes:

Pierce Ujjainwalla has dedicated his career to helping marketers thrive. Discover how Pierce and his brilliant team at Knak have revolutionized email and landing page creation. And don’t forget to connect with Pierce on LinkedIn to stay updated!

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 25+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing.