I recently did a teardown for Salsa Labs, a marketing software option for nonprofits. Please keep in mind that I have no knowledge of their previous tests, improvements, or business decisions, and it is always best to get your own teardown.
To make this easy for myself, Salsa Labs, and you, I take a screenshot and select different areas to discuss.
Let’s get started.
I always begin with the headline of the site. I think the headline is the most important copy on your website. It is the line that will either grab visitors’ attention and keep them around, OR
It is the line that will either grab visitors’ attention and keep them around, OR it is the line that will scare them away.
You only have 8 seconds to impress with your headline (source).
The headline should express the benefit a benefit to the audience.
The headline should express the benefit a benefit to the audience.
Salsa’s Headline: “Engage and Change The World”
My first thought after reading this headline is confusion…
- Engage and change the world, how?
- What is this site about?
- What do they do?
Yes, I quickly realize from the rest of the site that it is about Fundraising Software, but my point is, by this time, people have already left, you’ve lost your chance to catch their eye and earn their business.
*Tip*: The message of the headline should immediately hit on the one benefit that would mean the most to me, the nonprofit marketer or decision maker.
Salsa’s headline should express an idea that will motivate the visitor, for example:
- Motivate Supporters of Your Cause to Take Action
- Helping you inspire supporters to take action for your nonprofit
- Inspiring your supporters to make a change
- Helping you inspire movement around your cause
The headline should elicit any of these feelings: inspire, movement, cause, nonprofit, change, enablement.
As you can see, you’ll want to give visitors hope that your product (Salsalabs) will help them reach their goals. Please keep in mind these are off-the-cuff headlines. I suggest putting in several hours worth of time writing your headline.
The subheadline should provide clarity that supports the headline.
The average company uses the subheadline to boast about themselves, however, there is little value there for the customer.
*Rule*: Stop talking about you, and help me!
Salsa’s subheadline is too long…………
It needs to be short, skimmable, and say what the readers need to hear.
Salsa’s subheadline: “Over 10,000 nonprofit professionals use Salsa’s nonprofit CRM software for donor management, fundraising, advocacy, and marketing to fuel great causes across the globe.”
My suggested subheadline: Join over 10,000 nonprofits using Salsa’s CRM to fundraise and connect with donors.
Adding ‘join’ to the subheadline makes it feel like users are a community, where the visitor can become part of this elite group.
Shortening the description about Salsa makes it easier to see how someone can clearly benefit from signing up.
Additionally, in mobile, the subheadline blends into the page, which leads me to another point, always test on multiple platforms/devices.
3: Calls to Action
The third most important section is the Call to Action (CTA).
Here, we have a couple of issues:
- Calls to action need to encourage action, not just label an option.
- There are too many options. Salsa offers multiple use cases, but too many options discourage action.
Suggestion: Look at analytics to see which of these options is most important and use it as one CTA, OR…
Get really edgy and just direct people to set up a demo call.
Let’s assume for this exercise the fundraising page gets the most traffic, here is a sample CTA for it:
“Explore Our Fundraising Software”
Oli Gardner of Unbounce discusses attention ratio in this article, it should help you write your own CTA’s for your site.
Supportive Features of the Homepage
The following sections are less important features for conversions, but are supportive and should exist to help visitors.
Interested in your own teardown, or optimization testing plan? I can help, check out my rates here.
Navigation is where people look when they are lost. Ideally, they wouldn’t have to look here at all, but if they need to contact you, want to learn more about the company, or get help, they look here.
Ideally, they wouldn’t have to look here at all, but if they need to contact you, want to learn more about the company, or get help, they look here.
I suggest the following be in your navigation:
People know what a blog is, Resources (as shown here) is indicative from the company’s point of view, of a blog, whitepapers, etc, but it is not clear to the visitor.
Pricing is in the Salsa navigation, but not on the first level. I recommend it on the first level for the visitor experience. Do you like searching for a price? No one else does either.
Looking Under “Our Products”
As I scrolled over Our Products, I began questioning what Salsa offers. Based on the subheadline I believed it to be a CRM with emailing options, as I investigated more thoroughly by looking at the additional product pages, I was still left wondering what exactly I could purchase.
Update* After talking with Salsa Labs, I can now say they are a CRM with additional modules, broken down into their own product pages, and pricing, which makes it difficult for visitors to understand.
This reminds me of HubSpot, it is marketing software, where other add-ons can be purchased as well. Although, HubSpot seems to have done more testing to establish a clear presentation of products and pricing.
In the navigation, I suggest listing “Features” as an option and listing out the other things the software does. Change the subheadline to marketing solution and list other functions as features.
This navigation unearths a hairball mess of features, pricing, and general confusion about the software. This needs to be simplified.
5: Sign In
In the top right corner, users are invited to Sign In, and visitors can Get A Demo.
I would recommend changing the Call to Action to Schedule A Demo, and giving visitors the opportunity to pick a time to be called back on the following landing page.
This should be tested to see if this leads to more demos, and the success of those scheduled demos.
The homepage has a beautiful background picture that represents success of using the product. It would be nicer to see the image more clearly but darkening it allows the headline and calls to action to stand out.
One issue with the design is section 2/ the subheadline, it is a bit difficult to see as it is gray and slightly blends in.
While the homepage on the site is short, there is another version I was invited to preview. The new version has multiple sections, that help the visitor visualize the software, and show off some testimonials for social proof, an important feature of the homepage.
I recommend all companies have social proof as the second section on the site.
It’s very important for users to recognize their influencers using your product.
Additionally, include an area that displays the benefits of using the software.
As a designer, or developer of the product, you get into a mindset of just assuming everyone knows as much about the product as you do, but that is almost never true.
One last section that is covered in the previewed home page I saw, included screenshots of what using the software is like. This is another important part of offering a SaaS product because there are so few ways to visualize the success of these products.
In the bottom left corner is a friendly chat box. In general, people expect an immediate response from something like this, but Salsa’s doesn’t always offer this.
Look to see how many people are actually using the chatbox, then run a survey there instead.
The form felt cluttered, and a visitor won’t like it asking for a phone number, just to get a response for help.
After the Teardown
Salsa has already let me know they are working on features on the site based on my suggestions. I can’t wait to share results if I’m allowed.
If you enjoyed this teardown, let me know. I’m marygreencny on gmail, twitter, linkedin, and skype. I would love the opportunity to do a teardown for you, just get in touch.