Why You Should Publish Crappy Landing Pages

November 4, 2014 ​- 28 Comments

On the Thrive Themes webiste, I recently published some sales pages and landing pages that… well, let’s just say they aren’t ideal. They may not be catastrophically bad, but if I look at the best sales pages I’ve ever created and compare that to these new pages, a huge difference in quality is apparent.

So, why did I publish these pages? And why am I recommend you do the same? Watch this video to find out if there’s a good reason or if I’ve just gone mad:

So, a Funny Thing Happened…

I made this video, wrote this quick post and I was ready to publish it right away. But then I didn’t.

Not because of undue perfectionism (for once), but because it dawned on me that what I was talking about in this video was really, really important. And it was missing a practical part. It was all about what to do but not about how to do it.

So I decided to put together a simple example of this principle in action… and I admit that I got a bit carried away with that.

The result is an entire mini-course that I created, with practical examples of how to rapidly build “crappy” (actually quite decent) landing pages. Get it here:

Links & Resources

Thoughts or questions about this video? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Shane's Signature

About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Hi Shane,

    Perhaps MVP should stand for “minimum viable page” as well as product!

    Do you do A/B testing? If so, it would be great if you could do a tutorial on how you do it and what software you use.

    • Yes, exactly!

      I’m very fond of A/B testing, yes. I’ve just added another video to the mini-course, which goes into some detail on how I do it.

  • Hi Shane,

    Thanks for the Head Slap! It’s always the same what the most people (including me) doing (or not doing) to getting wrong: Thinking, Thinking, and more Thinking instead of Action. Doubt over doubt and the bar hangs always to high… Frustration, achieve nothing, no Results and no Feedback. You have found the really highest point are people failing. “Good enough” is my new basic principle now, thanks to you!

    Best greetings

    • Thanks for your comment, Joerg. Seems like we suffer from the same problem. I hope this solution will work for you as well.

  • This is really good advice. I am guilty of this as well. I also believe this kind of perfectionism is why many people fail at starting their own business.

    It can take years for you to decide what office equipment is best, what web design software you should choose, should your web site be blue or red and how does that effect sales, what accounting software should you use, how do you collect and pay sales tax, and on and on.

    If you wait until you have all the answers, you will be old and still working the job you hate. You have to just get started today! All of the details will fall into place as you go.

    Oh, and by the way, that video software you are using looks awesome. I must look into that when I get ready to do some videos.

    • Yes, that’s a really good point, Jeff. It’s an endless rabbit hole of complexity and the only way to get it done is to start and then take it step by step.

  • Excellent and informative post Shane.
    Well timed also, I have been contemplating converting a few PLR squeeze and landing pages written in html and php over to Content Builder.

    Working from the concept of “minimal viable page” do you have a recommendation on how to transfer these pages into Content Builder without re-keying everything to get the pages live and then utilize all the features in Content Builder to make them better?

    Thanks again for all your training and insight. Thrive Themes and Content Builder have been my best investment to date.
    -Kevin Wiley

    • Hello Kevin,

      Depending on the nature of the page content, you might be able to get a lot of the transition done by copying the HTML of the page and pasting in the HTML/source view in Content Builder. For simple content (paragraphs, headings etc.) this works really well. If you have all sorts of custom elements in the page, it might not be a useful approach, though.

      • Hello Shane,
        I’m glad I asked and thank you so much for your answer.
        I doubt there are too many custom elements, if any. Actually, I never thought of just “cut-n-paste” into Content Builder to get started. I was looking for the “start to perfect” answer.
        I really appreciate this post and your help. It’s going to open things up for me greatly and all the while being able to stay with and learn more with one platform. Thrive Themes and Content Builder.
        Again, Thank you so much.
        -Kevin Wiley

  • Hey Shane,

    Like you, I too have been waiting for the perfect moment to begin getting stuff out there. I agree with what you say 100%. Good enough is good enough!

    Thank you for the reminder.


  • Really awesome product Shane, keep it going mate.

  • Shane,

    That is GREAT advice. I am the KING of Procrastination (not a title anyone wants), and your advice to just “put it out there” and adjust according to what the market says, is much appreciated and very wise!

    BTW, loved the nice touch with the audio…initially kind of freaked me out, though!

    All the best,


    • Thanks, David!

      The audio thing was actually because the main recording had a glitch in it at that point. Usually, this would be cause for me to re-record the whole thing. However, especially because of the nature of the topic, I decided to use audio from the secondary track (from the camera itself) to get a “good enough” result. I also added some effects to make it seem like the difference in audio was intentional. Good to see it worked. :)

  • Thanks for the slap on the head Shane

    I enjoyed this post as it proves I am not the only one suffering from this disease…
    Always great updates – keep em coming!

    En Gruess us de chaltnasse Schwiiz


    • Hoi Michel,

      Thanks for your comment. I think the Swiss might suffer from this especially, since perfectionism and attention to detail are part of the Swiss culture. Or maybe that’s just a cliché, I’m not sure. :)

      • michel mosca says:

        Yes Shane (no cliché) – I’ve been spending the past 18 years between two opposite worlds: Switzerland (all perfect, nothing fine) and India (nothing perfect, all fine). Perfectionism is deeply engrained in the Swiss mentality and has a good side (precision, dependability), but certainly a shadow too (pedantry). I am still trying to figure out a middle way :)

      • That’s a very interesting perspective. “All perfect, nothing fine” is such a good way to describe the Swiss. :D

  • Hi Shane,

    Cool video thanks for sharing

    Tweeted for the minicourse but no unlock :-(

  • LOL Shane…. you are spot on with your assessment.

    Although it’s taken me a lot of practice, here’s exactly what I do but in a nutshell, it’s about A/B and/or multi-factorial testing based on insights for each test.

    Before starting, I set objectives, KPI’s and targets. The rest is:

    1) Get your ‘crappy’ landing page published
    2) Send traffic
    3) Look at results in Google Analytics (you need to make sure you setup events & goals correctly – it doesn’t take more than 15 mins once you know how, especially via Google Tag Manager)
    4) Make new hypothesis based on output from (3) + qualitative data if you can (GA tells you the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’ – a good tool is Qualaroo but it’s pricey)
    5) Modify landing page based on (4).
    6) Repeat steps 2 – 5 until you hit your objectives / targets.

    That’s pretty much it really (ok, greatly simplified) but it’s pretty quick once you make it a process / habit.

    • Hi Andy,

      Yes, that’s exactly it! The process seems so simple, but it just works. The details can get more complex, of course, but the basic idea of build, test, improve is something anyone can do right away.

  • Shane,
    I wish I had just watched this video on 11/4 when it came out.
    I’ve been “perfecting” my last couple posts for almost 2 weeks before publishing them late last night. Now I realize I should have published them a week ago and then tweaked them afterwards.

    • Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your comment! 2 weeks is pretty harmless, I think. Although of course it would serve you better to publish sooner, but I’ve seen far worse examples of procrastination via perfectionism. :)

  • Oh geez, maybe my “problem” is that I’m Swiss and don’t know it? (The perfectionism thing has been a lifelong challenge and although I’ve tamed it, somewhat, I find that it has been roaring in full force again lately…over a “simple” mini mindset course that probably (lol) isn’t worth charging for even tho some reviewers said it changed their lives. Uggggg!!!!

    Confession: I’ve tweaked, fiddled, piddled and have all the non-sales parts done…including over 100 FB optimized posts that led to a stellar kewl way to create branded posts in bulk. And where is the book & journal. Yup, you guessed it. On my hard drive. I did create a landing page in and thought “oh wait, I should use Thrive and I don’t know how…need to learn that, oh wait, squirrel. Butterfly. Cardinal. TV”

    Thanks for the kick even if it took me a bit to stop by and deal with the perfectionism streak that popped up at even seeing what you were talking about!

    Oh lord have mercy, I’m rolling out laughing…good thing this isn’t sound-a-comment or ya’d be looking for the folks in the white coats who threw away the keys to my padded cell!

    Shane…love what you’re up to…thanks for the kick in the ass!


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