Time to read: 5 minutes
Adapted from my answer on Quora to “What are examples startup landing pages?” 1
What makes a landing page “a great example”?
Awesome design + remarkable copy.
With the abundance of templates out there, I’d venture to say it’s hard to make an ugly landing page. So, bootstrapping design is very much within reach these days.
But what about the copy?
If you go through 1000+ start landing pages, which I’ve been doing recently, you’ll see various wonders of web design.
But you will also notice that the text is nearly identical. For example, the headlines go mostly like this:
The world’s next…
The fastest way to X…
Y made simple. Finally.
These are wasted headlines.
It’s just cheap-sounding fake hype.
This kind of copy doesn’t create motivation. It doesn’t give the potential customer a clear reason to stay on the landing page and read about the product.
My point is:
To have a great landing page…
…you have to do your best with the design, as well as the copy.
They work together.
Now, on to the fun part.
Let’s dissect one great landing page
It’s the AppDesignVault (former) landing page. They redesigned it recently but it’s still a great example.
Here I’ve highlighted the elements that deserve your attention:
What’s so great about this page:
1. The unique offer (UVP)
That’s the top portion of the website. Their unique offer is really good because:
- It’s clear. The headline says exactly what you will find on this website. No fake hype.
- It inspires trust. The text hints it was made by professionals and there is a link to a page full of testimonials (social proof).
- It’s benefit oriented. The headline says why you need what they’re offering. The subheadline repeats it and the list of benefits tells you in details how using the templates will help you.
After having all of this relevant information at hand, you might as well click the big yellow button, right?
2. The “Join the club” trick
When we don’t know what to do we look at what similar others are doing. This is also known as the principle of social proof 2.
Using social proof to help our choices also relieves us from the need to choose when we’re comparison shopping.
Choices are cognitively expensive.
3. The product showcase
Since AppDesignVault are selling templates, a showcase is more than necessary.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a product demo on your landing page.
I’ve seen landing pages for other types of products that also benefit from having a sort of a demo.
4. The freebie catch
Now that’s just brilliant!
With that simple and absolutely related freebie they want to get your email before you leave so that they can have another chance to market their product.
Why does this work?
- When you give someone something for free or you do them a favour, they feel obliged to do the same for you. 3
- Giving someone a hands-on experience with your product is a way to show them exactly how good it is and motivate them to buy it.
5. Positioning the product as a cost reducer
AppDesignVault do the math and tell you exactly how much time (and money) you will save by using their product.
They are presenting the product as an investment, rather than an expense.
This is a sort of positioning.
Positioning is an entire book on its own but let’s just say that “positioning is about finding something that sets your product apart” from the competition.
Don’t pretend like you don’t have competition.
Tell your potential customers why your product is better than the rest.
6. Use of testimonials
The testimonials on this page are not random.
They support the features and benefits that AppDesignVault claim their templates provide.
Relevant social proof.
7. Appealing to loss
People care much more about losing things than they care about gaining things (a.k.a. “loss aversion” 4).
That’s why AppDesignVault highlight exactly how much money you’re losing rather than how much money you might save by using their templates.
And here’s how you can do what they did
1. Create a unique offer (UVP)
Creating a unique offer is also a book on its own, but here’s how you’d generally go about it:
- use a headline that tells potential customers what they will get and why they need it.
- use a subheadline to clarify and support your main headline.
- list key benefits + features. These are best used together in a sentence like so: benefit + feature that provides it.
- find a hero image. The hero image (highlighted in the screenshot above) illustrates what the product is and/or how it’s used in context.
- use a call to action (button) that describes exactly what happens when you click the button.
- add social proof if you have any. AppDesignVault use a link to another page, but you can also paste a direct quote below the call to action.
2. Use the “join the club” trick
Try this formula: Join X [professionals/individuals] who [something awesome they do with the product/amazing result it helps them achieve].
Add the text somewhere close to your UVP.
3. Add a simple on-page demo or showcase
Note that your demo should come after your unique offer.
Because people don’t come to your landing page to learn more about your product.
Your UVP has to spike the interest about your product.
Only after that you can showcase the product.
4. Add a freebie catch
That’s not “a must”, so you don’t need to do it on the first iteration of your landing page.
Think of the freebie catch as your fallback option.
What can you give people to make them sign up to your email list?
Of course, this would require you to think about the emails that you’ll have to send them afterwards. And that’s a lot of work.
So, save the freebie catch as an idea and try it after you have a complete landing page.
5. Add testimonials
Pick testimonials that highlight a specific feature or a benefit of your product and place these close to the corresponding features and benefits on your landing page.
6. Choose a unique position
Think about the main thing that sets you apart from the competition and try to highlight this on your landing page:
- Does your product cost less?
- Does it reduce costs?
- Does it reduce risk?
- Does it have beautiful design?
These are all positioning options that you can explore to find out what can make your product appear different and better.
7. Appeal to loss
If you can calculate exactly how much money your product saves compared to others on the market (don’t be afraid or ashamed to compare it), do the math on your landing page.
Don’t tell your potential customers you help them save money.
Tell them how much they’re losing right now.
- Avoid fake hype in your copy. Always back your claims. Tell people what they’re getting and why they need it.
- Tell your potential customers why your product is better than the rest.
- Social proof is very powerful. Do your best to get some of it and use it on your landing page.
- Don’t say that your product saves time or money. Say exactly how much. Do the math.
- Emphasize losses, not gains. Tell people that they are losing time and money, not that they can potentially have more of these.
- https://www.quora.com/What-are-examples-startup-landing-pages/answer/Gergana-Dimowa ↩
- This is the principle of social proof as discussed in the amazing book by Dr. Robert Cialdini—”Influence” http://www.influenceatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/E_Brand_principles.pdf ↩
- It’s another principle discussed in Dr. Cialdini’s book “Influence”—the principle of reciprocity. ↩
- http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/loss-winning.htm ↩