Please review our website - Divorce Actually.

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by Drinkwater2, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Clinton

    Clinton Contributor

    5,223 2,398
    Carpenters have a great motto: Measure 9 times, cut once.

    The same applies to choosing a tech / dev partner for a major project. You did not do a proper job with finding the right partner.

    But with respect mobile, I take the same approach you do - if visitors want to use my site they can jolly well go find a laptop somewhere. My approach to marketing my business is this: I can't be ars*d.

    You're welcome to take that approach as well (though I'm not sure it'll work great for a startup).

    Smart tech startups fail fast. They recognise early on when they've screwed up on something and they drop it. You've screwed up with the developer you hired. Bite the bullet and start again and do it properly this time.

    Also, to get something like this off the ground will take a lot more than £10K or £20K. Trust me. It's great to have a big vision, but getting people to spend time pulling out financial details from a painful period in their life is a challenge you're underestimating. The "potential" reward of a few quid at some unspecified time in the future is a laugh. That won't work. If you want to build a sufficient initial base of data you're going to have to pay people up front. Lots of money up front. Even then, you'll really, really struggle to get them to disclose the data you need!
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
  2. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

    67 4
    Hi Fisicx,

    We thought a snipper approach would be better than scattergun. There are plenty of groups on the Internet for divorcees.

    I don't think £100 would get them motivated to be honest. Certainly not the people who've done £20k + on legal fees. We understand it isn't going to be easy.

    Yes, we obviously got ripped off!

    Hi Clinton,

    I don't think the type of people we are after only have access to the internet via a mobile phone. I think they will be using a laptop/desktop as well.

    I hear loud and clear that people don't rate the layout or functionality of the website, can you point me in the direction of a website that has the layout and functionality we should have used?

    I accept there is a resistance to revisit that period of someone's life, we were rather hoping that some bitter and twisted person would think they were getting one over on their ex by recovering their share of the divorce costs.

    I understand that it is people's personal information, but let's look at this person.... His age 47, her age 43, equity in marital home £230,000, incomes £45,000 and £26,000, saving and investments £27,000, 2 children aged 8 and 10, length of marriage 11 years. Do you know who it is?

    Bearing in mind that in "blurring" the data, the marriage length, his age, her age, the childrens' age could all be correct or +/- 1 year. Information can be adjusted that wouldn't have materially affected the settlement.

    It is personal but if I still had my documents I'd be happy to give myself a chance of getting £300 a time. (but then I would say that wouldn't I !!)
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
  3. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    So how much will you pay for these documents?
    Your marketing plan will drive the layout and functionality.

    If you advertise on X forum targeting Y people you build a landing page that supports the advert. They already know what to expect so just need to show then the form. When they fill in the form you show the results. If they like what they see and trust you they will pay. It's not rocket science. It's just marketing.

    You could split test different formats, spend a couple of grand on some market research, pay for user testing and so on. At the end of they day, you are going to have to spend some cash to get this to work. It doesn't begin with the website. The website comes at the end of all your research and testing.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  4. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

    67 4
    I shall start by rewording the website taking on board all the comments made hear. I shall also look for target markets as I've said. I only need to find 500 people and I'm up and running. Maybe I'll go to a few bitter and twisted coffee mornings when lockdown's over.

    Can you suggest an existing website I can look at to see if I think it would be the right Site layout for us?

    Appreciate all your feedback.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
  5. The Byre

    The Byre Full Member

    11,534 5,006
    Ignore what @Clinton wrote - he is dealing with people who are highly motivated to pay/receive seven-figure (or more!) sums for their companies. A different kettle of fish altogether! I would not alienate 65% of my prospects - particularly as divorce is a very private affair and phones are more 'private' than the office computer!

    German legal fees were capped back then, so much so that some lawyers struggled to make a living! The fee structures are loser now but the runaway costs of the UK do not apply.

    'American' story ads - websites are very much the domain of the American story ad. A website is just a sales catalogue or a print-ad that happens to be online. If we regard it as a print-ad, then it must have a headline, a ten-second pitch under that, it must create desire, it must be believable (testimonials!) it must prove that it is a bargain, whatever you are selling must be easy to buy and there must be a reason to buy it NOW!

    But contrary to popular belief, many of those story ads were British and written by people like Drayton Bird and the legendary David Ogilvy (both of whom wrote books that I also recommend - namely 'Sales Letters and emails that Sell' and 'Ogilvy on Advertising').

    I have all three books on my desk and I dip into them every day!

    Tip for picking a good web-builder - find websites that you envy and seem to come to the top of searches for their genre. "I wish ours was like that!" Make a list and find out who did them. Talk to the people that did them. Failing that (if they are too expensive or whatever) take a print-out to a web-builder of your choice and say "Something like that please!"

    You also have to test your ad/website with focus groups and similar devices. Without testing, you are flying blind - no map, no satnav, not even a destination!

    But one thing seems to be missing totally from your website - prices and explanations.

    Imagine that you are Mrs. Millie Toolie of 17, Oil Drum Lane, Sidcup. Mr. Ignatius Toolie is a nasty and narcissistic, drunken A-hole who farts in bed and you want out! Ignatius Toolie is a plumber and has five staff and you do the books and PAYE for him. The company is worth at least £750k, maybe more and you helped build it up. And then there's the house and the 17 kids . . .

    You can hardly start searching for info on the office computer with Ignatius right there in the office with you, so you start looking on your mobile. You need information - how to get a divorce, what will it cost? Where do I start? What sort of settlements are typical?

    In other words, your website has to give poor Mrs. Millie Toolie something FIRST! It must do this BEFORE it asks for money. Your website should give her information about how to divorce Ignatius. Making it the go-to source of easily digested information on English (and possibly Scottish) divorce law gives the prospects a reason for engaging with it.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  6. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

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    The website would work quite easily for buyers on a mobile although I find things quite difficult to read on a mobile a lot of the time. In the two examples that are visible if you hit the search button the second one down shows a write up of how the divorce progressed. People who give a better write up will sell more as people will think, "that's exactly what's happening to me and the numbers are pretty similar. Prices are shown next to the "Add to basket" button. A buyer receives an email with a download link. They could forward this to their solicitor but I think walking in with a couple of hard copies is preferable.

    I watched an American guy on youtube and thought he was very good. I think he was quoting from the book you suggested but it was a persuasive pitch.

    I shall show this thread to my Business partner and discuss how we should take it forward. It appears that "get a new website and throw a shitload of cash at it" seems to be the most frequent suggestion!

    I knew marketing and getting engagement would be the big issue but thought the website was ok. I've just looked at this website of my mobile and it works fine but it's more fiddly than on my laptop.

    The mobile portrait menu issue is fixed now by the way.

    Everyone's been very helpful and I never thought I'd get so many people to engage... I just wish the pub was open so I could let all the advice sink in properly!
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
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  7. computerbeing

    computerbeing Full Member

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    Not having a mobile friendly website will greatly affect your Google rankings as well as alienate users. Also as a business model you depend on people providing you with divorce settlement info and it is unlikely that they would want to divulge that information for a relatively small amount. Perhaps rethink the strategy all together in regards to sourcing information.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: computerbeing Member since: Jul 8, 2016
  8. The Byre

    The Byre Full Member

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    Chucking cash at a problem seldom works! Lots of research would be my first step, followed by lots of thinking about strategies and market structures.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  9. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    That's because you know what you are selling, are used to the website and what to do and are already in acceptance mode. Show the site to a complete stranger on their phone and you will a totally different response.
    Nope. The suggestion is to do your market research, spend money getting a corpus of data and then get a new website.
    The seller page says I just need to anonymise and upload - 10 minutes it says. Are you now saying I need to do some writing as well? That could take me a couple of hours.

    How much are you going to pay me for my time? I don;t want jam tomorrow, I need the cash today. And not into a PayPal account - I want a bank transfer.

    Note: I can scan to pdf on my phone, don't need a lappy for this.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  10. The Byre

    The Byre Full Member

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    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  11. Chawton

    Chawton Contributor

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    "Chucking" money isn't exactly advisable, however looking at it another way you can actually guarantee to unlock the supply side of it with cash. Clinton and fisicx are quite right with that assessment in my view. That's actually a benefit as it is relatively straightforward and one part of the equation that doesn't require massive strategic thought.

    It does require the nascent service to do the grunt work though-inputting and paying for data upfront. The website as it scans currently reads completely as if it were the owner's own ideal scenario:
    Supply side puts all the (painful) data in themselves and then rely on an unproven service to be honest and credit them in future when its used
    Demand side takes a risk with upfront (and unclear) payment for data it doesn't really know how to assess the value of

    It's hard to see how that approach will induce much traction.

    The demand side of it is more nuanced and more long term and as the Byre rightly points out, needs to be driven by service and value. With much of the service and value being front-ended, prior to any hope of payment. That's where the real strategic challenges lie.

    One further thing to point out; where you're providing "value" in this type of area, while it's likely to be tempting to sound as authoritative and helpful as possible, you'll need to be very careful not to stray into publishing material which could be interpreted as selling anything that's tantamount to legal "advice". All of the general advice/help blog type posts published by solicitors sites, acting as a top-of-funnel into their core professional services are of course bottomed out by professional indemnity insurance.

    Ultimately you need to be prepared to shift on absolutely any and all assumptions you may have had, including things as fundamental as where the monetisation lies.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
  12. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen Verified Business ✔️

    455 153
    This may seem like we are being harsh, but it is all about customer, market, keyword and product research. Then creating a marketing plan that involves advertising/ranking online. The website, user journeys, landing pages etc are driven by that marketing process.

    Get the first bits right to attract sellers and buyers. We do this sort of research all the time for customers, and often what they think is the right approach is driven by their granular knowledge of a part of the process, or their initial idea. Very very often it's not what a customer thinks or looks for at all.

    If you have a clear and simple process for each journey, plus a clear and well thought out USP for both, then you can start the site build to deliver your marketing plan and its goals. At the minute you've done it all the other way around. This isn't about what should my site look like, its about what does my customer look like and how do I attract and make it easy for them.

    The site is muddled and confusing, plus you don't have a plan to market the business. Saying I just need 500 people to add their details is just wishful thinking. What's the plan to achieve it and how do you make it user friendly so the conversion rate is high?

    I'd suspect you'd currently need at least 50,000 visits to get 500 signed up! I can't easily work out your earning structure, it says "As a seller you will receive the same amount every time your documents are purchased starting from £71.50 and going all the way up to £444." When you click on the link it goes into great detail and long copy about pricing your docs and the cost of your divorce. Why?

    You need a model that's simple to understand here and sells why they should do this; e.g. you need big traffic and buyers to generate interest, or you need to be paying sellers for their details upfront, with an ongoing percentage fee... at the minute they'd earn nothing as you have no organic traffic and no marketing plan.
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
  13. Fagin2021

    Fagin2021 Full Member

    360 230
    This is an interesting thread. I confess I have (thankfully) no personal experience of the pain and costs of divorce - though of course, I know a man who has.

    I do agree with almost everything negative that has been said about the website - both the content, messaging and design so there's no point in repeating it.

    That aside, I have a question regarding your assumption about how this would work...
    To could give these documents to your solicitor as a basis for a settlement, and it might save you a fortune in legal fees.

    In my (non-divorce) experience, courts fall over backwards to be fair and reasonable whilst solicitors are only interested in maximising their fees and covering their arses...

    "My client thinks this..." that'll be £100 for the letter
    "Well my client thinks that.." another £100
    "Well my client disagrees.." yet another £100

    I - perhaps unfairly - believe that if you gave said documents to your solicitor the response would be "yes, that's all very well but in your case ...blah, blah, blah"

    and the other party's solicitor would say to their client..

    "yes, that's all very well but in your case ...blah, blah, blah"

    You might have guessed that I have a low opinion of the competence and ethics of the average lawyer.

    If you get this set up then, down the line, you're going to need some case studies and references to show/prove it works. How will you achieve this with anonymous data ?

    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Fagin2021 Member since: Jan 27, 2021
  14. Fagin2021

    Fagin2021 Full Member

    360 230
    The concept seems straightforward but the implementation and monetisation is the tricky bit.

    Would it be possible to ask family law firms to populate and update your database with anonymous client settlements in return for say, a free or reduced annual subscription to the entire searchable database ?

    The monetisation could then come via full subscriptions from non-contributing law firms, limited subscriptions from individuals and on-site advertising from lawyers.

    Just a thought.
    Posted: Feb 15, 2021 By: Fagin2021 Member since: Jan 27, 2021
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  15. Chawton

    Chawton Contributor

    188 85
    You've hit on how easy it would be to unlock the supply side. I'm not sure how cost effective it'd be to have the firms inputting themselves, but clearly you'd target them as the source (with all suitable permissions obtained/incentives paid).

    The demand side is where it succeeds or fails. The fact that the court generally retains a lot of discretion in divorce law (for which read unpredictability), goes to the whole issue of the usefulness and proposition value of the settlement documents in the first place.

    That's where the OP needs to drill down, research and narrow his target greatly. It's questionable how useful the service would be to an acrimonious divorce which is heading to the courts come what may. It may however have some very clear benefit to couples who are trying to work together as reasonably and co-operatively as possible to actively avoid the expense of a formal legal dispute. Whether and how many of these people would shell out for documents to achieve this is an unknown. All sorts of price points might need to be tested.

    Conversely as you say it's possible it might fly as a subscription service for lawyers if it gives them some easy data to justify their several hundred £ an hour rate...even if that data it isn't particularly persuasive to the outcome of a case. For that you'd need to speak to lots of divorce lawyers.

    That's where the real strategic effort needs to be focussed though rather than building a site that merely suits the OP's purposes. And certainly it all needs to come before the website is re-designed.
    Posted: Feb 15, 2021 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
  16. Clinton

    Clinton Contributor

    5,223 2,398
    The divorce courts are very, very different.

    Yes, yes, they claim to be very fair, of course they would!

    And when you read finance related information on divorce lawyers' websites - and books written by lawyers on the issue - they all talk about how fair the courts are. Would you expect them to say differently?

    Given how much you trust lawyers, and given that their first duty and responsibility is to the court and not the person paying the fees, you can safely assume that they are talking through their collective asses.

    I have had many male clients who suffered unfairly at the hands of divorce courts, and women who have benefited unfairly, I have come to the conclusion that divorce courts have a definite pro-woman bias.

    There are several articles online claiming to have examined the question of bias in divorce courts and almost all have concluded that there is no bias. I have read many of these articles and I can usually see immediately where they've twisted stats or selectively quoted stuff so they could come to the conclusion of no bias.

    I do not believe for a second that the divorce courts are fair.
    Posted: Feb 15, 2021 By: Clinton Member since: Jan 17, 2010
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  17. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

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    Really appreciate your input. I've just spent over 2 hours replying to all the points made since I last posted. I then pressed post and because it had taken so long it told me I needed to log in again. I logged in and the whole lot had disappeared. It said something about saved to "drafts" when I started typing this message. I'll see if I can find it otherwise I'll have to do it again tomorrow.

    Cheers and have a good evening.
    Posted: Feb 15, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
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  18. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

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    Hi Computerbeing,

    This morning I registered as a buyer, did a search, selected a document, paid for it and then downloaded the zip file, opened it and read the pdf's inside. I don't think the process could be made any easier from that side.
    From the sellers side, they have to send an email with a zip file of pdf's attached. They could ask their solicitor to send them an email with them attached and forward that but we'd rather they carried out the anonymisation themselves first.
    I really don't see how either process can be made any easier, it's just fiddly, like a lot of websites, when you try and do it on a small screen.

    I really don't think we're talking about a small amount of money. We think someone's documents are worth 1/100th of their legal fees so that they're attractive to a buyer. If someone's spent £10,000 on legal advice, they receive £100 every time they help someone. With 1400 new divorces started per week and peoples' financial circumstances falling into a fairly narrow band of options, I think it represents a very real chance of earning someone a useful amount of money. suggests ways to make money on-line, the top 5 are: -

    Watch videos, play games and earn
    Online survey sites
    Get paid to Google
    Earn hard cash for fun tasks, eg, watching videos
    Enter contests as a cash-boosting hobby

    The most any pay is about £30 per month and they would take hours and hours of your time to do that.

    I'd prefer to do 30 minutes work and be good to go ad infinitum.
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
  19. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    You are familiar with the website. You know how it works. Give it to a complete stranger and ask them to test.

    There may well be 1400 divorces every week but none of those will be looking to monetise. You are going to have to spend cash on marketing and offer financial incentives to sellers.
    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  20. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 Full Member

    67 4
    Point taken but I still can't see how it can be made any simpler.

    Posted: Feb 16, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017