So you’ve decided you want to start crowdfunding to reach your goals and make your project come to life. Now what? The most important item on your checklist is your landing page -- a single web page designed with one objective in mind. In fact, your landing page should be online three months in advance of launching your campaign so that you already have a full list of email addresses of potential backers by the time your campaign goes live.
Why Do You Need a Landing Page?
The single most important thing you can do to ensure the success of your crowdfunding launch is to start months in advance designing your marketing and media plan with a clear message.
It may seem counterintuitive today where more people are using social media to communicate, but email continues to be one of the most effective sales and communications channels. The average conversion rate from email is typically much higher than social media outreach, and with email you can also quantify the success of your engagement efforts by seeing how many supporters were reached and responded. Collecting email addresses in advance of your campaign gives you a working list of people who have demonstrated interest in your project, which should offer you a strong basis for additional marketing efforts in the future.
DIY: Create Your Own Landing Page
There are lots of great crowdfunding marketing agencies out there that can help you perfect this formula. There are also lots of them out there looking to make a quick buck. Make sure you understand what you need to accomplish yourself before putting any money down.
Setting up your landing page so that it is equipped with everything is easy. The key elements you need to get started are: (1) a compelling headline, (2) visual media (pictures and a great explainer video), (3) highlighted features, as well as (4) incentives (how users benefit by giving their email). Your main call-to-action (CTA) is a clear and direct "ask", which on your landing page should be the email opt-in. This should appear above the fold of the screen so you can make it as easy as possible for someone to leave their email address.
(Side note: We have free resources at SparkRaise that can help you get started on our platform. Get in touch with us to learn more about starting a campaign or if you need our help creating a landing page.)
1. Write a Compelling Headline
Make sure you can explain your idea in 1-2 clear and easy sentences, i.e. “Curiosity Educational eWaste 3D Printer for Kids”.
This seems like a no-brainer, but is often overlooked by creators. Think of how a future supporter might come across your page either via email or social media, and what it would take for them to:
- Quickly grasp the concept of your project
- Share your content with their network
- Sign up as an early adopter.
This headline is basically the coolest detail about your project as well as the quickest, and most memorable way to sum it up.
Below, iDiscover chose to have a main heading to evoke desire in a target customer: "Travel like a local in Asia's historic cities." This was followed by a sub-heading to describe how they can deliver this to the customer: "Honest and authentic neighbourhood guides created by locals."
2. Great Photos and a Viral Explainer Video
If you were to invest any money into something, it would be worth considering to do so here. But having a few friends who are good at photography and videography using basic tools is just fine.
Put yourself in the shoes of the average person looking at anything on Facebook or checking email. They are probably browsing on their mobile phone, standing in a crowded subway mid-commute to or from the office. Many things affect this person’s attention span ranging from cute puppy video to cool Ramen Burrito Avocado Burger recipe.
Your 1-2 sentences need to come across strong here “This 3D Printer Lets Kids Make Something Cool Using eWaste” (shot of cool 3D printed toys – cut to old DVD drives). Then, the process has to be explained along with why / how useful / how cool. End with incentives for being an early adopter / social sharing (see next point). Check out the video for Curiosity Educational eWaste 3D Printer for Kids on their campaign page.
(TIP: You need to enable captions throughout the entire 1-2 minute video – again, considering your audience is likely in a place where he / she cannot turn on their speaker volume.)
3. Outline the Key Features
Using visuals and simple description, explain the details of your project – the process, the end product, why it’s cool/different, how it makes your life easier/ the world a better place. Use screen shots, images, and moving gifs to illustrate each feature.
Be careful not to use too much detailed text as some of this can lose your audience. Find the right balance between providing too much / just enough helpful and important information. Use visuals to guide your audience through the journey.
Below you can see the ZOLO Cork Yoga Mats being used on the beach. They are are eco-friendly (made of cork, which is naturally anti-microbial), have greater grip when wet, and not as hot to use as other mats in direct sunlight.
4. The Sweet Incentives: Call to Action
So now that you’ve got someone's attention, kept it through the video and the highlighted features section, how do you convert them? Tell them what they need to do (the call-to-action or CTA) and give them an incentive to do it.
For some, the project or product is compelling enough that they are are ready to leave their email simply to be informed when the campaign launches. For others, an incentive might be that they can receive Early Bird offers at a more discounted price, gain exclusive access to additional benefits, or perhaps even have a chance to win a free product.
To encourage sharing of your landing page, you could offer a contest where the contestant's chance of winning a free product increases based on how frequently they take certain social actions, such as sharing your link on social media.
Your landing page needs:
- Short, Compelling Headline: 1-2 sentences that clearly explain your project
- Great Photos + Viral Explainer Video: Photos and video can make your project more appealing and shareable
- Highlighted Features: Explain in short, simple terms your project’s features using images + descriptions
- Incentive / Call to Action: Give your viewer a reason to leave you their email, become an early adopter and share your campaign