The UI Audit: Why I Did a Rewrite of the Sales Page

Published October 18, 2016 by Jane Portman

Dear friends, I just did a big rewrite of The UI Audit sales page. In this post you’ll learn more about the process and the thinking behind it. To celebrate this little change, I’m doing a book sale! Use the promocode REWRITE39 on checkout to get 39% off any of the book packages.

How I got my ducks in a row

After getting through a busy conference season, a vacation, and a pile of client work, I decided to get my ducks in a row before starting anything new. After a bit of analysis, I came to the obvious conclusion. My best asset — The UI Audit book — should work better!

I toyed with the idea of rewriting it or updating it with new bonus content, but it didn’t seem timely yet. I haven’t changed my mind regarding the key points, so it didn’t need a true rewrite. And doing one “just for the sake of it” didn’t resonate with my principles.

A new product (like a shiny video course) would dilute the attention and make the book sink into oblivion. And I didn’t want it to happen to a great book! So my conclusion was, why don’t I optimize the sales process.

Here’s the action plan that I put together:

So I proceeded with the first step.

A glimpse of analytics

It might be surprising, but I rarely dig into website analytics. I enjoy checking stats on my newsletters and podcast episodes, and that’s about it.

After digging into Google Analytics, two big discoveries were: “I sure deserve better traffic” and “I should do SEO.” But these takeaways don’t get me anywhere. What did help, was running a CrazyEgg heatmap on my key pages.

I got the most value out of their scrollmap service, because it gives a great insight for long-form pages. Here’s a scrollmap of the previous sales page. See the big blue attention sink in the middle? That meant that my sales copy deserved a big trim.

The audience dilemma

One of my biggest dilemmas with this book is the audience. The book is written for SaaS founders, and the content benefits from such targeting very much. The language is clean and convincing, instead of being a vague pleaser for everyone.

But what about the sales page? I really think the book is helpful for other people, but I risk excluding them if I say “founders” all over the page. Simply removing the word “founders” didn’t do anything good.

Instead of focusing on a certain audience name (founders, designers, etc), I decided to go with strong functional positioning — get “designing web applications” all over the page (because that’s what the book is about).

Picking different pains

When writing the book and working on the initial sales page, I did extensive research (“sales safari”). As a result, I had a handful of founder pains to address: user churn, trouble with onboarding, high support volume, low trial-to-paid conversions, etc.

These pains were huge! But these founder pains didn’t resonate with anyone else.

Over the last 6 months I talked to a number of people who struggle with various design problems. I even have a “Hardest UI/UX Problems Swipe File” (not kidding, it’s the actual title). So I decided to go one level deeper and address the pains of the web app design process, not just founder pains.

This Hacker News thread also fed me some material on design books. They tend to be quite abstract, and don’t tell you what to do in real-life projects. Isn’t that a pain?

Proceeding with the rewrite

So I proceeded with my rewrite with this new approach in mind. The previous subtitle (here’s how I recommend naming books) said “Gain Control of UI/UX Issues in Your Web App.” This time, I wrote “Your Hands-On Guide to Web Application Design” — to highlight the true purpose of the book, and the precious hands-on aspect.

Then I listed the biggest pains addressed in the book. Then I cut a lot of things from the middle, shuffled testimonials, explained “the audience” problem in a specific paragraph. I also added an extra CTA (free chapter download) in the middle of the page to capture interest.

Here’s what the page looks like today.

I’m really happy with this new sales page! It now better reflects the purpose of the book, and should better resonate with everyone designing web applications.

And now a book sale!

And now the fun part! To celebrate this little change, I’m doing a book sale! Use the promocode REWRITE39 on checkout to get 39% off any of the book packages here.

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