Making a compelling and high-converting landing page might sound simple, but every marketer knows far too well how challenging this can be. WordStream found that 80% of traffic goes to just the top 10% of landing pages.
So now you introduce the element that your company is a startup, and now you have even more odds working against you—I mean, we all probably know that 90% of startups fail. But take a deep breath now! We’re going to do everything in our power to ensure that is not you. The thing is, there are a lot of boring, confusing, and messy startup landing pages out there so as long as you do your research, and put some good old TLC into your landing page then you will not fall into this failing trap.
To ensure you’re in that small successful percentage, make sure to include these eight must-have elements in your startup landing page!
1. A visual hook
With so much content out there, it is insanely critical to think about having a super compelling visual hook. Whether it’s an interactive visual experience, a background autoplay video, or a striking photograph that draws the viewer in, this element is crucial since it is the first chance to keep a visitor from bouncing from your page.
The ecommerce apparel startup MeUndies nailed it on the landing page pictured below. Not only is the page well designed and compelling from a copy standpoint, but there is also a clear fun and entertaining visual hook.
What I also love about this landing page is the visual hook perfectly matches the copy making it feel even more fun and interesting to new shoppers. As a startup, this is your first and likely only chance to draw new visitors in and keep them around—make sure to devise a solid visual hook that gets new explorers excited.
2. A clear, motivational message
Unfortunately, you can’t just rely on cool visuals to convert new customers. For any business, there needs to be some accompanying messaging to communicate who you are, what you do, how it will help me, and why I should care. For a startup, answering the who, what, how, and why is super critical to ensure your new visitors have a clear understanding of your business and product or service. Not only will this help you keep people around who are actually genuinely interested, but it will also help your visitors.
To do this, you need to create copy that is not only written in a clear and simple manner, but also has some type of compelling/motivational feel to it to inspire your visitors to take action.
Take the example from the startup Babylist. Just from the very small amount of copy on the page below I understand exactly what it does, and although I’m not the target demographic, I do feel the copy is super actionable and motivating for visitors.
For your startup, this is so important to nail. Remember, your company is likely a big question mark to new visitors. You do not have the advantage of being well-known, so it is critical to be super clear as to what you do and why your new visitors should care to ensure you keep their attention.
3. An emotional appeal
This is one thing many landing pages neglect to do, which is to their detriment. Using the power of human emotions to drive conversions is probably the most powerful and effective thing you can do—as long as it’s done right.
“Studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make brand decisions—and the emotional responses to ads are more influential on a person’s intent to buy than the content of an ad,” says HubSpot.
So why not pull at the emotional strings of your visitors on your startup landing pages?
This is an especially impactful element for startup marketing, because your business is new to an industry. Using the power of human emotions to drive conversions is far more effective than sticking to a bland and outdated emotionless tactic. Decide on the emotion you want to play up and build a compelling page around that.
With the “One Box, One Meal” campaign, Boxgreen shows new leads that not only are they going to benefit from receiving their own healthy snack box, but they are also going to help those who are truly in need. What could be more thoughtful than that? I’m not crying, you’re crying!
4. Short, sweet, and sensical copy
We have all landed on pages overloaded with text about who knows what because no one browsing around online wants to read that! If you are in the shopping or even converting mindset, then you are likely not looking to read a novel. This is why keeping your message short, sweet, and legible is so incredibly critical to landing page success.
Your startup landing page is not just a normal landing page so figuring out how to show off your selling points in as little text as possible is extra important. Why? Because your visitors are unaware of who you are—if you overwhelm them with jargon, they’re likely going to bounce.
Take the example from LearnLux. I had never heard of this company before I saw this landing page, but I clearly understood what LearnLux is and what it offers by reading just six words. Easy peasy! Find a way to communicate in this ultra-efficient way to ensure your startup landing page embraces this key element.
5. Trust signals
Two of the things I always look at when considering whether I will convert is customer testimonials and what notable companies work with them; like many others, I like to see trust signals before I do business with a company. As a startup you might not have many customer testimonials or big brands to flaunt… Growing pains, am I right?
Do not worry too much, there are other ways to legitimize your brand for visitors. Even if you have a super small social media following, run a campaign that gets people talking and sharing! This may take a small investment (like investing in a “prize” to convince followers to participate), but having this validation could serve as a key conversion element to your startup landing page.
“People have grown to distrust brands, and instead look for peer action above any other means of justification,” says Entrepreneur Jayson DeMers. “Cultivating social validation can sharply increase the trust people have in your brand, and can make them far more comfortable doing business with you.”
I love what the company Bark below did on their landing page. In each dog gift box they sent, they encourage customers to share their adorable pups with the #dogsofBARK hashtag. They then accumulated these to add to their landing page. So cute!
Get creative with this tactic, and then use the profits to give your startup landing page an extra compelling element.
6. A “How It Works” section
We talked about why sharing critical details in as few words as possible is key to landing page success above. Another great way to expand upon your product or offering is to have a “how it works” section. This type of content typically lives below the fold (after your initial heading and CTA), but the section should still be short and sweet in terms of copy, with lots of relevant visual images.
This is especially important for startup landing pages because, again, the majority of visitors are unfamiliar with your brand. To get them invested, you are going to need to provide a bit more detail, but in a fun and visual way to grow their interest.
I love the flow chart example below from Chewse. Not only does it provide key details that are easy to read, but there are also relevant images making it super easy for a new visitor to understand the business concept.
7. A consistent brand design
Having a landing page that includes fun images of people lounging on the beach enjoying a daiquiri works well if you’re in the beachfront bar or hotel industry. But if you’re in software, this does not make sense.
There is nothing worse than landing on a page for a business that is completely inconsistent with their brand. This is why ensuring your landing page design is consistent with your brand is so critical. This includes colors, fonts, imagery, and voice. You want your visitors to understand who you are at every touch point so that your brand becomes memorable to them. This is especially critical for startup landing pages where the brand is unknown to the visitor.
Check out the great example from ManyChat below. While it would have been fun to have an image of a person dancing at a nightclub, it would have been super misleading. Therefore, the startup chose a photo on their landing page that clearly represents what it’s are selling: a chat service.
8. An intriguing special offer
One way to really get people interested in your startup is by giving something away for free or providing some type of discount. It is no secret that everyone loves a good deal! Startups can really take advantage of this tactic to get conversions much faster on their landing pages because it will be hard for people to resist if they’re benefiting from such a great deal.
One great way to get people to convert right away is by offering them something for free in exchange for their contact information. Tuckernuck, a startup retail clothing company, did this so well with a pop-up on their landing pages offering a chance to win a free Barbour Jacket.
Use these elements for your successful startup landing page
Marketing a startup is definitely not easy, but by incorporating some (or all) of these elements into your landing page you will be setting your startup up for landing page conversion success in no time!
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