If you’re looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign then you probably understand the importance of collecting email subscribers before launching.
Most campaigns do not just go viral. They follow a specific set of steps to achieve viral growth. One of the most important factors is having an email list before you launch.
Today I’m going to show you how to build a Kickstarter prelaunch page. I have used this exact formula to build a landing page which is converting over 50% of users from Instagram.
You only need one page before you launch and it is really easy to put together.
How I quickly built a landing page in less than an hour
I was surprised the first time I put together a landing page but I was able to put together the landing page in less than an hour. After the first week, it was already gaining over 50 emails a week from just Instagram alone. I was blown away at how effective Instagram was at driving traffic to a Kickstarter.
Later on in the post I will show you what tools I recommend for quickly building a landing page. It doesn’t have to be complex but you need to make sure that you have this one key element.
You need to be clear about what people are getting in exchange for their email.
Most bloggers call this an offer. If you want your website to convert at more than 2% you need to have a compelling offer on the page.
I will tell you this, your offer cannot be “sign up for updates” or “sign up for our newsletter”.
If you have time you actually can test multiple offers and see which converts at the highest rate.
We always recommend offering a product or one of your rewards as a prelaunch incentive. This often ties directly into the campaign and helps to build excitement.
If you can build a list of people who are interested in getting your reward for free, a percentage of those are also going to be interested in paying for it.
Every good landing page as a headline and byline.
You want to make sure that the copy on the headline matches the copy of the promotion to that page.
For example if you are running Facebook or Ads and the ad tex says, “never lose your keys again”, When they land on your landing page the main headline should say “never lose your keys again”
This is important so users know they have landed on the right page.
The byline should then describe the benefits of your campaign. It should be clear and someone should be able to tell a friend what your campaign is about after just reading the headline and byline.
If you are struggling to condense your message to two sentences, you need to work on your value proposition.
When writing a headline make sure you convey the benefit of the campaign to the backers. Remember that people are selfish, they want to know what they are getting out of the exchange. If you are going to enter someone into a contest to win a reward, tell them that.
Don’t make it difficult for users to understand what the page is about. If you are looking for advice on how to write a headline, there is a great headline grading tool here.
What to put above the fold
On a newspaper the top half is called “above the fold”. Even though websites do not have a physical fold, above the fold means the part of the website you can see before you scroll.
This is the most important part of the website as everyone as it is ensured that they will see it.
This is why you often see landing pages like Facebook all the information above the fold. This ensures that users read all the information and cannot miss a section.
Notice how Facebook uses bulleted lists and bold text to make it easy to consume information. The buttons also have clear action states attributed to them.
The further down the page you put information, the less likely people are to read it.
This is why it is so important to put your email capture above the fold on your website. I also like to add an additional email capture at the bottom of the page. This ensures if someone gets to the bottom of the page that they will be able to put their email in.
Remember the entire goal of this page is to collect emails before the launch of your campaign.
It is also good to put an image above the fold. Ideally, this image is easy to understand, and shows what your campaign is about. It is important that the image reinforces the headline.
If you don’t have high-quality or professional photography, I really suggest investing in this. Photography is the second most important visual asset after making a campaign video.
Make your page load fast
An important element of your landing page is that it loads quickly. Ideally, you are using a website builder that is built for speed.
Amazon found that it was able to increase its revenue by 1% for every hundred milliseconds of improvement and load time.
Even if you don’t have time to edit a bunch of code to make the website faster, there is one quick trick which will take care of a good portion of load issues.
The easiest and often largest reason for slow load time is large images. If you have beautiful images, it probably means the files are really large, and this takes some time to load.
There is a really easy way to reduce the image size. Just go to the website tiny PNG and upload your images.
Their compression is much better than that of Photoshop and you will find the images are 60 to 90% smaller. You can see in the screenshot below the results of a few images which I uploaded for this article.
4 Important elements of your landing page
I now going to walk you through the four main elements of a landing page.
Further down I will show you exactly how to build this using inexpensive website software. I have an option for users on word press and users who do not have a website yet.
Above the fold
We already spoke a little bit about the above the full section. In addition to the above elements you also can add a video here.
If the video does not fit in this section, it’s great to use it below. If you don’t have a video for your campaign yet, that’s okay you can add it later.
You may be surprised at how few items are on the page. This is on purpose as the main objective is to get users to input their email in. You do not want to create a lot of distractions on your page, everything should drive the user towards the action of giving you their email.
Show me the benefits
If users have not given you their email after the section above the fold they will continue to scroll, this means that they are not convinced and we need to continue to make the case for them.
In this section, you want to provide a ton of value to the reader. Don’t tell them the features of your campaign, but tell them the benefits. Not only the benefits to them as a backer but the benefits to the greater community.
Use individual stories to make the page more personal. If you did not put a video in the top section the benefits section is a great place to use a video.
Remember to keep your video short, users do not have a long attention span. The entire page should be easy to scan in less than a minute. You don’t want to make your video longer than 2 to 4 minutes.
When listing benefits it is important to think about the users on your site. There may be different types of users that you are targeting. Make sure you craft a message that is appealing to the different groups.
Notice how at Etsy uses different pitches for different groups:
Show me the proof
Social proof is one of the most important parts of a landing page. People inherently like to follow the actions of others. If you see a bunch of people waiting in line for one restaurant, and the other restaurant totally empty, which one do you think is better?
This is how social proof works.
We assume if one person has made a decision that they took a lot of time into making that decision and we can follow their lead.
You can use social proof in your campaign and on your landing page. If you already have hundreds of people who have signed up let people know that. You can use copy like “join hundreds of other backers today”.
This image shows logos designed by other designers in the program. This shows a tangible benefit that others have received from signing up.
Social proof is also easy to show through authoritative figures.
If you have a celebrity or brand that has endorsed your campaign put them on your page. This will help build trust in your campaign by showing them others who are reputable and have supported you.
Social proof can also be shown through social media stats. If you have thousands of followers on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook leverage that audience.
Sign Up Goal Again
You don’t need to beat a dead horse, but you need to make sure people have enough opportunities to take the intended action.
We know the purpose of this lease page is to get users email, so we can market to them once the campaign kicks off.
Don’t be afraid to put another lead capture form at the bottom of your Kickstarter pre-launch website.
This means once the user script the bottom there is nothing left for them to do what give you their email or leave.
Ideally you have made a good pitch and at this point they are ready to trade their email for something.
Don’t forget to give them a tangible benefit of why they want to give you their email.
Infographic to Review (how to build the page below)
Send Users to the Site
Once you’ve built your site it is time to get users to the site. There are dozens of ways which you can attract visitors to your new site. After reviewing hundreds of campaigns we have found a few techniques which are most effective.
Today we have found Instagram to be the most effective source of getting new donors for your campaign.
The second most effective source for getting backers to your crowdfunding campaign page is through press. Today there is a lot of misinformation online about how to get press for your Kickstarter campaign. We suggest following these tips for getting more press for your campaign.
Another tactic which is also undervalued is leveraging your existing supporters for more social backing.
You can use your existing list of friends and family to share your campaign. After that you want to encourage backers that are more distant to share your campaign. You can do this directly by literally asking them in an email or you can make it easy for them to share your page.
Many of the website builders offer social sharing buttons. If you are looking to add social share buttons to your website I would recommend using Shareaholic or WP Social Sharing.
How to actually build one of these pages
Okay, so now that you have learned what goes on a high converting landing page, You are probably wondering how the heck do I build this…
Most website builders will have the option to build a landing page similar to the ones which I have shown above. If you have yet to start building a page or looking for new solution I would recommend two technologies.
If you are using WordPress I would look into Thrive Leads. If you are not using a website builder yet I would look at using Strikingly. They also have a free option which makes it attractive if you are really bootstrapping your campaign.
Thrive leads is a word press plug-in which allows you to quickly build landing pages. They have a large selection of prebuilt landing pages which are easy to customize.
You can use the plug-in in conjunction with your existing theme. It does have a one time cost but if you are running a landing page for a few months it’s probably worth it.
You can easily create one of their landing pages in less than an hour.
They also offer a slew of great email integrations. One of the issues was Strikingly as they do not have good immigration so you will have to manually download the emails and upload them to an email client.
Strikingly is a no-frills email builder that still looks sophisticated. The best part is you can quickly build a landing page and host it without a domain. Though domain only cost $10, it can be good to use a free landing page if you’re in the early stages of testing an idea.
If you already have a domain you can connect it to strikingly and pay for their service monthly.
The screenshots from the landing page above were built on Strikingly. The editor is easy to use and I have included the modules which I used to build the landing page above.
What to do with your emails
Once you collect the emails you need to make sure that you are nurturing them. If it is weeks or months until your campaign kicks off make sure to keep them updated. About a week before your campaign launches make sure to tell your supporters the date that you have decided on.
The sad truth is not everyone will open your emails, don’t be afraid to send multiple emails once your campaign has launched.
The entire purpose of building an email list before launch is so you can quickly build momentum on launch day.
I hope the senatorial has been helpful in how to create a landing page for your crowdfunding campaign. These strategies will work for IndieGogo or Kickstarter.
Let me know in the comments section if you have any thoughts or recommendations that others can use.