At the Red Pill Email blog, John Caldwell presents one of the most common questions he receives from Web marketers: "We get great open rates and lots of clicks, but not very many conversions. Why?" His answer is swift and blunt: Because you're still selling on the landing page. Stop it!

Selling at the landing page works for Search or ad placements, Caldwell notes, but for email it's different. Why? Because once a consumer has clicked through, he says, she's at your landing page to buy, not dilly-dally. "The landing page is there to take the order, and that should be its primary purpose," he insists.

Then he gets a little testy: "This is email marketing, people, not Direct Response TV with 'But wait, there's more!'"

Asking for the order is Sales 101!" he scolds. Tsk, tsk!

Caldwell offers a few test questions to illustrate what you need to stop doing this very minute:

  • "Is the landing page a copy of your email message with an order form?"
  • "Is it lit up like the Vegas strip on a Saturday night [with] distractions?"
  • "Are you giving a bevy of options that lead away from the desired action?"
  • "Are you more concerned with making it SEO/SEM friendly than you are [with] taking an order?" For shame!

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