One of the landing page variables I’ve been looking at recently is the role of national pride, and how it can be used to boost conversions.
For example, which headline would you expect to perform the best on it’s respective target market?
Most sensible thinking affiliates would probably assume that the Irish headline would perform the best, simply because there aren’t many specialised Irish dating sites.
And to their credit, they’d be proven correct. But what I find really interesting is the comparison against landing pages which used a generic headline where no nationality was specified.
For the UK and USA, the landing page CTR stayed roughly the same (35-38%). But in Ireland, simply adding the two words ‘in Ireland’ hoisted the CTR from 44% to 51%.
By experimenting further, I found that including an Irish flag and changing the headline text to green forced the CTR up even further beyond 60%.
Would more Americans click through if I dangled the stars and stripes under their whiskers? Apparently not, the CTR stayed stable.
In the UK, there was a very slight 2% increase when I included the Union Jack flag alongside the headline. Not enough to wet the bed over.
What does this say about national pride? Are Irish singles really that much more compelled to join sites that have been clearly marked as Irish?
Perhaps, but surely Americans have the capacity to be just as patriotic?
The reality is that banner blindness has a huge say. I don’t believe national pride is a major factor that encourages Americans to sign up on dating sites. I think most Americans simply assume that the majority of dating sites are aimed at Americans, and/or are American by default. Not many Americans see the world through foreign eyes, and thus ‘American dating site‘ is pretty much interchangeable with ‘just another dating site‘.
In the UK, we have such a multicultural society that the British identity is – in my opinion – nowhere near as effective in the sweeping patriotism stakes as it would have been 25 years ago. For this reason, you would be well advised to word your ads carefully (‘Singles in Britain’ will regularly outperform ‘British singles’)
Ireland clearly responds well to Irish themed landing pages. But what other countries can be placed in the same group? From my experience, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavian countries, and pretty much every country I’ve ever marketed to in Asia has shown that time spent researching the culture and national pride is time spent lucratively.
It’s like steroids for landing pages. You will get better results.
Does this mean we should bow down at the feet of geo-targeting and allow the masses to be blindly lead towards their flags and national nuances?
I believe geo-targeting is effective in America primarily because it creates location based relevance as opposed to the ‘in America‘ line which most Americans take for granted. An offer will feel relevant when it’s calling out ‘singles in Illinois‘, in the same way that an Irish offer will feel specialised as long as there aren’t hundreds of other Irish dating sites.
Geo-targeting loses much of it’s accuracy when you take it away from North America, and I’m not sure people fully realise the implications of using it when the results are so unreliable.
For example, if you are going to geo-target users in the UK, you should definitely consider removing London from your target market.
The reason is simple. In the UK, we are squeezed in to such tightly packed cities and towns that for a geo-detection mechanism to be 5 miles out, it would be locating us in towns that are a complete misrepresentation of the places we call home.
In my case, geo-targeting would suggest that I live in Hounslow. While Hounslow is a mere 9.6 miles from my true location (Ruislip, if you were wondering), it’s actually a very foreign town to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been there in my life.
Certainly, if a porn site were to throw up an annoying pop-up saying “Get laid in Hounslow tonight“, I’d be inclined to wince, check the time and ultimately shake my head. Well it’s a bit of a trek, mate.
Of course, in America, the population is much more sparsely distributed and so geo-targeting has less margin for error. Tracking down a large city in Texas is less of a technological demand than pinpointing my musk-filled residence in the London suburbs.
There are times where nationality can be used to push a user towards an offer with great effect. It’s a technique I swear by in Ireland and Australia. But you should understand that in some cases, it’s better to ignore the exact location than to get it half-right.
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