A landing page is a utility knife, small yet effective. Done right, one page can grab attention, educate, and get your visitors to the end goal, be it sharing their emails, downloading a freebie, or buying your product. Today I will take you through the critical aspects of creating an effective landing page for your startup and share a few good landing page examples to tickle your creativity. But first, let's talk what a landing page can do for your budding business and how you can use it.
What Makes a Landing Page into a Multitool?
As with any website, landing page design, content, and layout should depend on two things: your target audience and your goals.
Landing pages are so versatile because you can create them in no time and adapt to any purpose.
Here are just a few examples that come to mind:
Use a landing page as a minimum viable product (MVP) to validate your startup idea. Long before you get to the development stage, you can create a one-page website to gauge the potential of your idea. If the audience is excited about your landing page, you can then use it to raise funds and look for investors. If it gets zero response, you will know your idea needs work before you sink all your funds into development.
Collect target audience contact information for your mailing list. Use phone numbers or emails to educate your prospects about the product or service you are offering to drive sales after launch. You can also use a landing page as a survey to learn more about the target audience' needs. Other ways to engage potential customers include discounts, free trials, and more.
Get your first sales fast through the landing page. A one-page website is easy to create and launch, so you can start pre-order or pre-sale before your product is ready for the market. You will get early adopters and learn how many people are willing to pay for what you are offering.
You can't effectively use several attachments of a Swiss army knife at the same time, and you can't expect good results from one landing page for investors and customers.
An effective product landing page presents one big idea for one segment of your audience.
Think Uber: there are two separate landing pages for drivers and riders that work great for one category of users or another, but not both.
What Makes the Best Landing Pages Tick?
There are hundreds of good landing page examples online, but many are painful to watch. While most one-page websites seem to follow the same structure, many companies copy high-conversion landing pages without much thought. I've analyzed dozens of sites, had fun reading Joel Klettke's landing page critiques, and came up with this list of things that make the best landing pages so powerful.
Clear Unique Value Proposition
UVP is your answer to the question "What makes your company/product/solution different from others?". You don't have to become a category-creator to come up with a unique value proposition. It can be anything from superb customer service to the best third-party integration options. If you can't think of a UVP, it's too early to create a landing page for your product.
When crafting a unique value proposition, remember:
Cutting edge, high-quality, and top-of-the-line are not UVPs. These are empty words that mean nothing to your potential customers. Adding numbers, statistics, and facts can turn your claims into a UVP, but it can also come without any. For instance, edX offers you to "Learn anytime, anywhere."
The differences you focus on should be meaningful for your audience. UVP should demonstrate your new or better way of solving customers' real-life problems. Otherwise, your product might seem novel, but ultimately unnecessary. Airbnb did not offer you a new way to book hotels online; instead, the company helped travelers feel at home wherever they go.
Focus on one big thing instead of stretching your visitors' attention thin. Features and benefits are great, but neither make a unique value proposition. Your UVP should be short and easy to understand. You can create multiple UVPs for different target audience segments (i.e., customers and investors), but one landing page should hold one unique value proposition for maximum impact.
One-page websites are long, and that should affect design choices. The landing page should fit your brand image and transmit its message whether the user is looking at the first screen or the last one. Visuals should complement your offer and call to action, instead of stealing attention away from it. You must also think of how your mobile landing page will look and feel on a smaller screen. Making users zoom in and deal with tiny controls can drive them away in no time.
I know of several ways to achieve a cohesive look, and Freshcode designer team can come up with at least a dozen. However, I am partial to the Censydiam model that helps you to connect your startup to your customer's deep motivations. The model relies on eight motivations across personal and social dimensions, going from enjoyment and conviviality to power and vitality.
Once you decide which motivation coincides with your company values and is the closest to your target audience, you can build the design concept around this motivation. The Censydiam model can be applied to every aspect of your landing page, from color scheme to UVP and content.
For instance, Coca-Cola relies on belonging in its marketing campaigns. Most of the US website's pages rely on the familiar combination of colors and photos of people sharing a Coke. Duracell, on the other hand, entices customers with an offer to take control of the longevity of their battery-powered devices.
UVP answers the question "Why should I choose your product?", but that's not enough to convince every customer. You should also answer the ever-present "Why should I trust you?" and the most annoying "Prove it". If your visitors only see the landing page, you need to fill it with evidence of your reliability and proof that you can back up your promises.
There are several ways you can achieve this, some more obvious than others, including:
Customer testimonials. Reviews should be authentic, specific, and personalized. Twitter or Facebook screenshots, including name, photo, and social media accounts, have become the most common way to display reviews. Landing page visitors can even get in touch with existing clients if they wish.
Credibility icons. You've seen them on many websites; these may include the logos of your partners or publications that have mentioned your company or product. If you choose the latter option, provide active links to online posts to take your credibility to the next level.
Powerful Call to Action
I believe the call to action (CTA) to be the most powerful aspect of the landing page. Without a CTA, the majority of visitors won't turn into paying customers and leave your website unsatisfied. You need to direct their attention and explain what they need to do to achieve the results you have promised.
CTA should be concise and clear. Explain what the user is doing and what they should expect on the other side of the button.
"I want to ..." — if your CTA can finish this sentence from the customer's perspective, you are on the right track.
So get rid of all "Submit" or "Confirm" buttons and instead use something along the lines of "Start my demo" or "Get the free report".
Use color, white space, and visuals to direct users' attention to the CTA and keep it there. Ideally, your landing page should come with one call to action and have no active outside links beside the CTA button.
Breaking the rules can make landing pages as effective as the good landing page examples I've shared above. If you are bored with free landing page layouts and traditional templates, make the landing page your own. Remember to stay consistent throughout the one-page website and stay focused on your unique value proposition.
Good landing page examples I've found include:
Muzzle, with its interactive social feed full of embarrassing messages you don't want to share with anyone while screencasting. It's an ingenious and fun way to demonstrate what the solution can do for you without drawn-out explanations.
Trulia helps estimate the real estate value and offers visitors an instant estimation based on an address. The landing page provides value upfront before connecting users to real estate agents.
Landbot emphasizes the product by using it on their landing page. Instead of static content, it uses a chatbot to grab the visitor's attention and walk them through the process of creating a bot for a landing page.
FreshCode team has been a reliable tech partner for dozens of startups, and over the years, I've made a list of website landing page best practices. For maximum efficiency, keep in mind
Landing pages can serve multiple purposes, but you will get the best results if you focus on one goal per page and tailor it to one segment of your target audience.
The most effective landing pages rely on a unique value proposition that focuses on one major point and support it with visual and textual content.
The cohesive design supports brand image and can be achieved through the Censydiam framework or other methods.
Call to action might be the most crucial part of the landing page and should be central, concise, and clear.
Breaking the rules and making your way is a good option when none of the good landing page examples inspire you.