Technology

Landing page tool postAprop is conceptually sound, visually flat

Squeeze pages and animations are not what they're cracked up to be

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The pitch

Marketing online is one part tradition, one part tech.

To craft an effective net to homebuyers and sellers, you need to have a compelling product supported by a strong message (traditional); and, you need to have the technical capability to deftly capture a website visitor’s information (tech).

This is why you have “contact us” forms and give away free housing market reports. It’s also why some of you block visitors from seeing listings unless they provide their contact information. (No wonder they go to Zillow.)

In short, winning a site browser’s personal information is critical. However, some ways of getting it are better than others.

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Maybe postAprop.com is one of the better ways.

Or maybe not.

The sale

PostAprop.com provides an extremely simple way for you to create landing pages for your website. However, the folks behind the site like the term “squeeze pages.”

On the other hand, I despise the term “squeeze page,” which stems from the fact that it squeezes the site user into giving you their email address. The term gives marketing a black eye; it sounds shady.

I can’t help but relate the idea of squeeze pages to a shakedown, as if I’m in a noir film being gently pushed up against a wall by a guy in a low fedora with too many rings on his fingers.

“So a … you want this free book on how to sell ya home? We’re gonna need a li’l sumpin’ first.”

You shouldn’t have to squeeze anyone to want to do business with you.

PostAprop pages can be stand-alone or subdomains of your site (howtosell.johnsonteamrealtors.com), and they offer free e-books or video content as the trade-off for the user’s information.

PostaProp_Video

Conceptually, the pages are sound. They have all the elements you need: a few quick bullet points, clear calls to action, and a promise to deliver on its promise. In other words, they aren’t clickbait.

But, man, do they look like clickbait.

PostAprop’s design acumen leaves me questioning its respect for Web design. I’m surprised there isn’t a hit counter on the bottom of the pages it builds for you. I can’t help but wonder if someone at the company has the title of “webmaster.”

PostAprop videos use a series of stock animations, floating text and stock soundtracks. There’s nothing original or creative about them.

Nevertheless, postAprop makes the creation of these pages as simple as possible. All the content is in place and provided for you. After a person submits their information, you can decide to which page of your website they are subsequently directed.

PostaProp_CalltoAction

It takes only a few clicks to roll out a postAprop landing page. Users are not asked to download anything or attend training, just click a design and go. PostAprop has templates to pull in the email addresses of first-time buyers, people who want your new listing alerts, or maybe a guide on “How to Sell for More.”

There’s no doubt that the product delivers on its ease-of-use promise.

Bear with me: The concept of landing pages is proven, but postAprop’s visual execution of it leaves a great deal to be desired.

I shouldn’t have to be told by an online marketing product that I get “2015 Content on Every Page” for my $19.97 per month. Plus, what does that even mean? Is it just an attempt to appear chronologically relevant? Will it incessantly misuse “literally”?

Moreover, in an age of real estate marketing that includes aerial drone footage and Matterport visuals, I would expect a “3-D Image” on my landing page to be more than a slightly shaded version of the non-3-D image.

PostaProp_GuideSample

People today are highly wary of flashing boxes and absurd headlines used to seize clicks on content-heavy sites.

Content that dramatically stands out from the visual cues around it is going to — rightly or not — fall victim to the snap-click judgements we make as time-pressed online consumers.

If your website was designed by a professional, developed around compelling visual trends and supported by the latest metrics in online engagement, you don’t need an abrupt shift in graphic appeal to grab an email address.

Good, original content and the promise to be an effective real estate agent should be all you need to earn a new lead.

A landing page has to reflect your current site’s visual themes and tone to be considered an authentic extension of your product promise. I have a hard time seeing where postAprop offers such design functionality.

PostaProp_HomeValue

PostAprop allows you to upload and offer your own content on its pages. I highly encourage all agents to be creating their own content for purposes just like this.

The close

PostAprop also includes in its accounts a one-page property website tool, property flier creation and email marketing services. The one-page property sites look good, and may alone be worth looking into postAprop.

The ancillary services are included in your monthly fee, which is what scares me. From a development standpoint, I’d be wary of how much marketing can be offered at such a small price. Is true customization possible?

It bears repeating: Landing pages with free content in exchange for personal information is a proven marketing tactic to accompany banner and paid search advertising.

Just make sure that if you’re going to use them they don’t make users question your credibility as a real estate agent.

Do you use postAprop? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.