Pluralis is a kind of 99designs for copywriters. It puts writers into a competition to optimize a landing page and the one who optimizes brings the highest percentage of positive change is the one who walks away with the commission and the money. That means if you don’t win, you don’t get paid.

I’ll be honest – I’ve known the CEO, Hagi Erez, from nearly the beginning and even though I like him, I’m conflicted on Pluralis. I have always been against the site from a writer’s point of view, and for it from a business point of view. In other words, as a business I think it’s a great idea and should do well – but as a writer I want it to fail since it means some people will work and not get paid for their time, and I hate that. It’s a dilemma. Especially since I could see how valuable it could be for companies.

Econsultancy recently published a post about landing pages, claiming that “63% of website owners say improving conversions is the biggest challenge”. The need for Pluralis is there. The craziest thing about landing pages is that even though so many companies understand the need for better conversions on their websites, the focus is on driving traffic – not converting the traffic driven. According to the same article from Econsultancy, “Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2012, shows that for every $92 spent on acquiring visitors, only $1 is spent converting them.

Ethics on whether people should work for free (I know, it’s the individuals choice and it’s a great way for starting copywriters to learn, blah blah blah) aside, Pluralis works.

The fact of the matter is, until things are tested – there’s no way to know what really works and doesn’t. One must have a baseline, then test it.

Example – the ugly ass online casino landing page below.

jottix control Pluralis: A 99designs style approach to improving your landing pages conversion rate

Think the page above is ugly? Look below.

jottix best Pluralis: A 99designs style approach to improving your landing pages conversion rate

Yeah, I know. The page above has been beaten by the ugly stick. It’s cheesy and horrible and is an affront to design. Yet it has higher conversion, and not even by a little bit – by 27%. Imagine the money to be made with 27% higher. Guess what? I’m thinking the casino will run with it, ugly and all, all the way to the bank.

Fortunately, it also works for pages that aren’t so awful.

Untitled 220x314 Pluralis: A 99designs style approach to improving your landing pages conversion rate

Nothing terrible here. Just a basic landing page for a product – fair enough.

Pluralis after 220x164 Pluralis: A 99designs style approach to improving your landing pages conversion rate

This considerably simpler page had a higher conversion rate of 17%.

What about landing page platform Unbounce? Pluralis plays nicely with others and can be used with companies who test using Unbounce.

All of this could be done with an in-house team or an agency. But both have costs associated with them. Pluralis charges a low initial set-up fee, and only takes big money when the lift is proven. If there is no lift – there is no big fee. Brands have approval over which landing pages run, so there doesn’t have to be a compromise of brand values just to get higher lift. A definite win for the companies who work with Pluralis. Now if Pluralis would just find a way to make it fair for the creatives who don’t win the contest…

➤ Pluralis

Image credit: David McNew / Getty Images