On impulse I took a free class on email lists from Kirsten Oliphant which I blogged about on this site earlier. All the email experts said, “Before you ever do an email campaign, you MUST have a landing page.”  Those who write posts about marketing campaigns assume that I have a landing page. Here is where my English gets a little shaky. I know landing, and I know page, but put them together, and I don’t have a clue. Just so you know a landing page is also NOT a static page on your blog like a home page. My landing page will be a disconnected page (or multiple pages) that float on another cloud that doesn’t belong to me, probably hovering over Colorado in some raunchy building in the sky.

When I want to learn something new, I turn to Google and click on a video. Today I had the funniest experience with misunderstanding during a video and conversation with the kind podcaster afterwards that I had to write about it instead of creating a landing page. Unfortunately that blog post disappeared when I got frustrated with the last line and saved it – apparently to the clouds in cyberspace that are just for rain. My communication foibles were so ridiculous that I recreated it for you. I hope the humor of the situation remained.

I took Landing pages 101 twice. After watching the video above from Landing Pages 102. when Oli Gardner said to try it, I took him at his word. That’s when the fun began. Oli started his video out with a blank screen onto which he typed his Landing Page Title. That looked easy. I’ve typed titles in text boxes before, haven’t you? I went to Unbounce and opened up an account. I typed in the title of my page and then I was lost. The screen Oli used to create his masterpiece landing page did not come up for me. After creating my page, I got this.

Unbounce screen shot

Do you see a toolbar for writing text anywhere? There’s a link that says edit notes in tiny blue letters, but I didn’t want to edit my notes. I didn’t have any notes. There’s a box that says edit in the middle of the page, but it didn’t register because as far as I knew I didn’t have any variants, first, second or third. So I twittered Oli. If you are a logophile this conversation may make sense, but if you are like me Who was on First and What wasn’t.

Marsha Ingrao to Oli Gardner

@oligardner Just watched video pt 2. Tried to start landing pg. Couldn’t get 2 1st base.

Oli Gardner

@MarshaIngrao you could take this course to learn more >>thelandingpagecourse.com

I thought modestly, OK, I have a master’s degree, I’ve been blogging for 4 years, learned WordPress, Blogger, Wild Apricot, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, etc. I should be able to master this without spending time and money on a class. I just need to find the screen to compose my page, then I can follow your video instructions. It looked simple. So I wrote back.

Marsha Ingrao

@oligardner Simple question – how to access the screen you used to compose. Put in text box or page?

Oli Gardner

@MarshaIngrao I’m not sure what you mean re:access the screen. Can you elaborate?

I looked over at my computer guru husband and asked, “What you call the page where you write your post or compose something like a landing page?

“A screen I suppose,” he answered.

I threw up my arms in frustration. I started to tweet back then I decided to send him a screen shot. Screen shots on my Mac save as a TIFF and so when I tried to save it to my Google Pictures to send him a link, it wouldn’t save. So I sent it to Photoshop and saved it as a JPEG, uploaded it to Google Picasa, and sent him the link because I heard somewhere it is better to send pictures things online than from your computer. This is what Oli answered when I sent him the picture I had worked for 10 minutes to create just for him.

Marsha

@oligardner Sure. bit.ly/1KlfxVI. I can’t create a text box even – no tools

Oli

@MarshaIngrao link is broken

His answer baffled me. What did he mean by link? Was he solving my problem, or could he not see my screenshot? If he solved my dilemma then what link was I missing? I sent him another tweet with the picture embedded.

Marsha

@oligardner ??? You can’t see my screenshot or the link on the page I’m trying to create?pic.twitter.com/nDsj04J6Ma

Oli

@MarshaIngrao I see the image now. Click the edit button to access the page builder. Do you want text, or a text box for a form?

I do not cuss as a rule, but I think I thought the “c” word. I didn’t think I was even creating a form on this page, and I did not see any buttons that would give me either text or a text box. I did not see an edit box. My husband came back over and pointed right to it on my computer, but since it was in the First Variant line I did not even see it. I pressed it, and this screen popped up. One point for Vince. Zero for Marsha.

Images Screen Shot

Do you see any toolbar yet? I do not! At least I have a blank screen. That is helpful.

Marsha

@oligardner The title first, then the form to sign up for the book.

Oli

@MarshaIngrao If you double click on the title it will open the text editor. If you double click the form it will open the form editor.

Now my frustration level went through the roof looking for a cloud to punch. I double clicked on the title and went right back to the first horrible screen shot with variants right in the middle of the page.  I do not even think it is safe to be around when variants are on the loose, do you? I went back and double clicked on the blank page, and guess what I got? Not even a blink.

Marsha

@oligardner I think we are using vocabulary to mean different things. Dbl clk on title gave me screen shot page. Dbl click on form = nothing

Oli

@MarshaIngrao Can you email me? I’m assuming you are using Unbounce to create a page yes? oli@unbounce.com

Now I think even Oli was getting frustrated. I was ready to give up landing pages for a while.

Marsha

@oligardner Thanks for trying to help. Thought with much blogging experience it would be easy to pick up. Didn’t connect variant 2 edit btn.

Oli

@MarshaIngrao Can you send me a screenshot of inside the page builder so I can see your page?

I sent him the picture you saw above of the blank page. Not too exciting. So I emailed poor Oli. 

Marsha

Yes, I watched your video, and thought I’d try it. Thanks for being so responsive. I would have given up hours ago.
It seems like it shouldn’t be so difficult. Just the word variant in the same box as edit made me overlook the word edit entirely. But I’m on the page now, and the page is blank.

He responded.

Ahh, you started with a blank template, which means you have to add “Page Sections” to the page (drag and drop them from the left toolbar).

However, it’ll be much easier to get started with a full template. If you start again to create a landing page, you can choose one of the 100 templates. That will give you a page with all of the elements on there so you can edit them, delete them, move them around etc.

My take-away from this exchange: If you write instructions for a living, keep in mind all the meanings of words and how they change when you speak technology. Don’t assume that ANYONE knows anything.