Landing Page Reviews Landing Page Review

In Psychology 101 we all learned the basic principles of attraction and avoidance. Pleasure and pain. Reward and punishment.Boiled down, I think of it this way: You either want something you don’t have, or you have something you don’t want.If you suffer with back pain, you have something you really don’t want, and you’re not

When you compete in a very crowded marketplace, you need a believable product, numerous testimonials, a risk-free proposition and an ironclad guarantee

Note from the Managing Editor: This is the first of our new “mini” landing page series. We’ve excerpted what we thought were the most critical of the 12 Landing Page Guidelines and we’ll be periodically publishing these in the Daily. If you have a landing page or a website you’d like us to consider for review, please email

In Psychology 101 we all learned the basic principles of attraction and avoidance. Pleasure and pain. Reward and punishment.

Boiled down, I think of it this way: You either want something you don’t have, or you have something you don’t want.

If you suffer with back pain, you have something you really don’t want, and you’re not alone.

Thousands, if not millions of people must be plagued by some kind of back pain, because every month, more than 150,000 English-speaking people search the Internet for information about “back pain” and discover that there are more than 97 million indexed web pages that contain that keyword phrase. Some Google AdWords advertisers spend up to $1.50 per click for that keyword phrase in order to drive web surfers to their websites.

The publishers of and know they have a lot of competition for their self-diagnosis and self-treatment system, but they seem up to the task.

Let’s take a look at and see how it measures up against the seven most important criteria of the Mequoda Sales Letter Landing Page Scorecard.

Headline (Strategic Intent)

The headline engages the target user with a compelling user benefit.

I’m a big advocate of using multiple headlines and subheads above the fold of a sales letter landing page. That’s because, unlike a print sales letter that the reader can easily scan from top to bottom, an online letter only reveals a few inches of copy on a single computer screen.

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Unless the reader takes the additional step of scrolling down the online pages, all she sees is the headline(s) and a paragraph or two of copy.

If the copywriter doesn’t immediately capture the reader’s attention with the headline and subheads, it’s too late. The game is over; the reader has clicked away to something else. immediately shouts out three arresting messages. The first is in the top banner graphic: “Lose The Back Pain”.

Then the headline and subhead:

That’s a rhetorical question that enables the reader to identify herself and answer “yes.”

Plus, a strong benefit statement and proposition that also manages to convey the product guarantee—all in one 22-word subheadline. Not bad!

If you suffer from back pain or love someone who does, you’ll read more. If not, you’ll immediately eliminate yourself as a candidate for this sales message and move on.

Yup, the headline(s) works for me.

Story & Content

This sales letter tries to put forth a story, but not in the typical narrative way. Instead, it asks the user to watch a video headlined, “9 Epidurals Didn’t Ease His Pain, But The Lose the Back Pain System Did!”

Another good headline. It moved me to want to see the video. Unfortunately, the day I visited, the video was not working. Bummer. Not a confidence builder.

The rest of the copy on this page is entirely devoted to describing the component parts of the system (videos, audio CDs, reference manual and personal support) and overcoming buyer skepticism with a generous, reverse-the-risk guarantee.

People who are in real pain are highly motivated buyers. Web surfers looking for relief from their suffering will buy nearly anything. They want desperately to be convinced by the sales pitch.

This sales letter, while not exactly stellar, works as well as most.

Email Capture (Relationship Building)

The sales letter landing page makes no effort to capture the user’s email address. That’s the job of, its companion website.

Once the user gets to the sales letter landing page, it’s probably because he was referred there from an email message that the publishers have sent him.

User Testimonials

This sales letter landing page is very effective at using testimonials, both text and audio. The user testimonials are credible, feature compelling results and benefits, and are integrated into the sales letter flow.

Most users are clearly identified, although in some instances, last names are not provided. Real names (first and last), plus real cities and states equate to real people. Real back pain sufferers who attest to the merits of your product have real credibility. And the more specific their testimony, the more credible it is.

“Worked great for me,” is not nearly as credible as “I suffered for years with low back pain and nothing I tried seemed to help, including chiropractic and two surgeries. Then I tried this system and within two weeks, I qualified for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team!”

Links to Order Flow

This landing page includes at least five OFIEs (order forms in editorial) throughout, although the order button is colored red—not a best practice! Inasmuch as red is internationally identified with “danger” and “stop,” it’s really a wonder that so many marketers still make this thoughtless mistake.

Readability & Content Density

The typefaces (Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and Tahoma) are online favorites—familiar, comforting and easy to read. The layout is uncluttered and easy to follow.


The look and feel of this page support and reinforce the brand. However, I disapprove of the background color used in one section of the testimonials. Green is generally associated with leisure. Almost any shade of blue (or white) would be more appropriate to inspire consumer confidence.


A strong, reverse-the-risk guarantee and sufficient pain are enough reasons to rationalize the purchase decision makes a strong, compelling offer and backs it up with a virtually risk-free guarantee.

Desperate back pain sufferers will find sufficient reasons to buy the system offered at

One member of the Mequoda family did. We hope it helps her find relief from her back pain woes.

By Peter A. Schaible

Peter has worked with Mequoda's consulting clients to create keyword-rich, search-engine-optimized, rapid conversation landing pages, sales letter landing pages, and other written components of Mequoda System websites.

"If your website can't be found by Google, or isn't ranked highly in Google search results, it virtually doesn't exist," he says.

An experienced direct response advertising copywriter prior to the Internet, Peter was an early convert to the research pioneered by Don Nicholas and the discovery of the Mequoda System. Today, Peter is an enthusiastic evangelist for - and teacher of - the Mequoda System strategies, techniques, tips and tricks that work to increase product sales and profits for online publishers.

For more than 20 years he has been president of SunDance New Media, his own marketing communications consulting firm. Prior to its merger with Mequoda in June 2005, Peter was executive director of the Subscription Website Publishers Association and editor of its website, which published nearly 500 of his articles and interviews.

Read Peter’s posts here.

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