Marketing for an app should start long before it is released. You have to create excitement and buzz over the course of the months leading up to launch. When it finally makes its first appearance, people will rush to app stores to download their copy and tap into the endless sea of features it offers.
When you want to market an app that is still in the making, one of the best tools at your disposal will be your landing page or app-focused website. In this article, I’ll tell you all you need to know about landing pages, including the benefits and tools that can help you develop one quickly.
A landing page is a website that is specially designed and developed for your app. You might already have a website for your company or development team, but a landing page is different. It’s focused on your app, which means it only contains information about your app, its features, release date, special offers, promo videos and everything else an interested would need in order to know more about your app – and nothing more.
A landing page can be a Single Page Application (SPA) or a full-fledged website with a blog and separate pages for contact and features. Which model suits you will ultimately depend on the context of your app and the resources you can allocate to this endeavor.
There are many benefits to having a landing page for your mobile app. First of all, it’s a centralized hub where users can find all the information they need about your app, and it helps in establishing your app’s brand, including its identity, style, and logo. Here’s where you get to recount the story of your app and showcase its purpose and features.
The landing page is also an opportunity for you to connect with people who are interested, and get feedback and gather mailing lists for potential users for your app.
Having a landing page early in the development of your app will also enable you to gather analytical data throughout the lifecycle of your app and refine both your marketing and development process.
Get ’em talking: How To Create Buzz For Your App Before Publishing It
There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for what to include in your landing page and what it should look like. It will totally depend on the idea behind your app and its style and design. But here are a few things you should consider:
- Style consistency: Try to make sure the site looks and feels like your app in terms of icons, color palettes and fonts in order to help visitors familiarize themselves with your app before it ships. This way, when the app is released, users will already have a general idea and feel at ease with its interface.
- General information and features: the page should contain a short, one-paragraph description of the main goal the app accomplishes. This part should be inspirational and compelling. Tell users what led you to deciding to develop this app, and how it can change their everyday lives. Consider including a list of the hottest features that will set it apart from other similar titles. Also, have a short slogan for your app, a short catchphrase that will settle itself in the visitor’s mind.
- Release date: Although it is generally good to include the release date for your app in your landing page, do consider that unexpected turns might happen. Make sure it’s clear for visitors that the date is fluid. At least in the earlier stages of development, avoid giving a precise date, and keep it within the month, quarter or season range. For instance, “Coming this fall” is much more flexible than “Will be released on October 1st, at 1:00pm sharp.”
- Visuals: If you already have screenshots ready, be sure to post some crisp high-quality images of your app in action. If you’re far enough along in development to be able to create a promo video, it will be even better. Users will get a chance to see your app in action and get a better idea of how it works before they actually download it.
- Email sign-up form: This is a definite must-have. This is your first chance to generate leads for your app. People who give you their email and opt to receive updates about your app are very valuable and can constitute your strongest user base, potentially creating more value and eventually become evangelists and organic marketing sources for your app. There are many ways you can encourage users to sign up with your app, including special offers, discounts, or simple newsletters.
Creating a landing page is not a one-time task and should continuously evolve with your app. You can start with a simple page that simply states the purpose of your app. As you progress, your landing page must also change to reflect the latest developments regarding your app. The page should always offer a holistic view of the app for first-time visitors while having something new to offer for users who are revisiting your page.
Teasers, screenshots, videos and blog posts are all mediums that can help you convey news about your app and raise interest. You can also come up with new ideas such as interactive graphics, which can help provide a new and exclusive experience to your users (musx’s website has an interesting example).
If you’ve included a sign-up form for your app, send updates to your mailing list and ask recipients to give their opinion on new ideas that you’re implementing in your app. Since these people are interested in your app, valuing their feedback and getting them involved in the development process will make it more likely that they will become valuable users in the future.
In parallel to building and updating your website, don’t forget to make use of your social media network to spread the word. If you have resources to allocate for the task, you should have specialized social media accounts for your app and include links to those accounts in your landing page.
The date your app goes live will prove to be a watershed moment in its lifecycle. Your site should undergo the dramatic change as well, and it should change its focus on directing users toward downloading or purchasing the app. You should include full documentation, support, pricing plans, and the link to app stores. With a little effort, you can use device detection mechanisms to offer specialized call-to-action buttons that will redirect users to the right app store according to the OS their device is running. Don’t forget to add major reviews of your app in authority sites and user testimonies to help strengthen its cause.
There are many tools that can help you create a landing page for your app. Unbounce is a specialized platform for creating landing pages. It contains several templates for mobile apps, in which you can insert all the necessary elements to present your app, including the name, call-to-action, features, promo video and screenshots. It also has good features for A/B testing, which you can use to improve conversion rates. You can use Unbounce for free, but with a 5,000 unique visitor limit and a Ubounce-branded footer inserted in your site. To get unlimited access to its features, you’ll have to pay a $49/month fee.
Another tool that comes in handy is Wishpond, a software that is focused on lead generation. In addition to landing pages, it has features to create forms, popups and more. Wishpond has a plethora of landing page templates, and its user interface is intuitive and easy to use (everything is done through drag and drop features, and no coding is involved). Wishpond is free to use for up to 200 leads (not visitors).
If you want to create more than a simple landing page, you can go for a fully-fledged site with blogging engines and content management systems such as WordPress and Joomla! They can create richer sites, but they are also more challenging and require more skills.
Once you get your landing page running, you’ll realize that it’s an indispensable tool for your app and your business, and it will open up unlimited possibilities for you.
How do you manage your landing page? If you have experience to share, please leave a note in the comments section.