Have you ever transposed a couple of characters when typing in a URL -- only to find yourself on an Internet site that you don’t recognize? I once made a "Fat Finger Mistake" while searching for an image. A terribly offensive collage of pictures appeared showcasing a subject matter not even remotely connected to the topic at hand. The following warning statement popped up:
I selected the cute kittens. It was a brilliant move on the website's part because my feelings moved quickly from horror and disgust to “Awwww, they are so sweet!”
That Fat Finger Mistake was harmless but not ALL mistakes are cute:
“The biggest intraday point drop ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average may have been caused by an erroneous trade entered by a person at a big Wall Street bank - one that in turn triggered widespread panic-selling that wiped about $US 1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) from the collective value of US stocks.”
Last Friday (October 28, 2011) I apparently typed something other than “twitter.com” into the URL field. As I looked at the landing page I soon realized that it was a "Survey SPAM Trap". I was wise enough NOT to proceed but after I looked at it for a few moments I realized it was a great teaching tool chock full of lessons. Let’s break down this landing page into 7 zones and first examine how easy it is to be drawn into this never ending SPAM survey and then let's take a look at the 7 positive takeaways.
If we remove the deceptive elements of this page, there are 7 positive lessons that can help you design an effective landing page and calls to action: