I was at the Blue Glass Florida conference early this week, which was a ton of fun. Blue Glass is an online marketing conference that mostly focuses on search and social media. However, Brian Clark from CopyBlogger said something during his session on PR that that instantly brought me back into the world of landing page optimization:

“A great headline is a compelling promise. You have to deliver on that with great content.”

Isn’t that what we say about online ads and landing pages all the time?  You make a promise in your ad to deliver really specific information that will somehow work to resolve an issue or answer a question, and then you have to deliver on that promise. 

You can’t promise chocolate chip cookies and deliver green beans, say it’s all food, and expect the person who asked for cookies to be happy. You can’t write a headline that promises 5 new tips on conversion optimization and deliver the same old tips and expect people to visit your blog again. Similarly, you can’t write an ad that says you’re offering 50% off Widget A and take visitors to a home page that promises 25% off every item in the store and expect that visitor to buy. 

It’s confusing. It’s delivering green beans when someone asked for chocolate chip cookies. 

When you make a promise, whether in a headline, an online ad, or in person, deliver on that promise to build trust, credibility, and a good experience for all.