More and more, I’ve been evaluating how to improve the launch of our apps. We made some improvements with our last release, but on reflection, that effort was still missing the mark. Considerably.
Landing Page: Pre-Launch
The concept of a landing page is quite simple: a single web page designed to convert a visitor into either a lead or a customer. They come in a few different forms but the general goal is the same.
This isn’t a new idea, the landing page has been around for ages, and that’s because they can be very useful. For iOS developers, it’s one of the methods you can use to improve your launch. Consider:
- People can learn about the app before it’s released. Get a feel for the design, the style, is this something they’d be interested in?
- It’s a great place to show a video of the app, which is good for communicating workflow, interaction and what the app does
- A web page is easily shared
- Providing an email sign-up form for visitors that want to know more, e.g. when the app is released, allows you to build a list of potential customers
These things all help to generate interest and buzz. When it comes to launch a workings of the landing page can contribute to your goal of a concerted bunch of sales; an initial surge that will create further interest, increase visibility and get the ball rolling with downloads…
Example Sign-Up Page: Perfect Weather
David Barnard is one of the iOS app producers that I follow on Twitter. Founder of Contrast (originally App Cubby) – David has a new app on the way: Perfect Weather.
Check out the pre-release landing page.
This may well change a little once the app has been launched, so here’s an image for reference (click/tap for the full view):
I think it’s a good example of a sign-up landing page for an iOS app. The design is clean, the video well polished and the page flows nicely into the overview info below. Sign-up is a key part for this type of page and I like the email entry, too. Not everyone likes those things, but somehow, this one seems skewed toward the user’s benefit.
Landing Page: Post-Launch
Once your app or product has been released you can shift the emphasis of your landing page from ‘coming soon, sign-up’ to ‘buy here’. From ‘lead capture’ to ‘call to action’.
Shawn Blanc wrote an article recently about how he self-published his book, Delight is in the Details. Part of that process involved the development of a landing page, used before launch, to generate interest and gather email addresses.
Following release, the page has been altered slightly to serve as the product page for the book, with the aim now being to convert visitors to sales.
It’s another example of a well designed landing page. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the artwork also shows the different formats and devices for the book. There’s a good overview, endoresements for the product, and a more detailed look at the contents.
And of course, the page makes it’s easy to buy the product!
Note that before launch the landing page was almost identical, excpet that an email sign-up form was in the place of the ‘buy buttons’. It’s possible to re-use design elements and content pre- and post-release with the only difference being the conversion target.
Making it Work
If you’re launching an iOS app you can’t simply make a landing page then sit back, expecting the interest to grow. Something needs to drive people to your app’s page.
As I mentioned above, we made some small changes during launch of our last app, Memed. One of those changes was a product/landing page. In follow-up to this post, I’ll write about the collection of things we did and some of the reasons I think those launch efforts had little impact.
For the future, with a renewed approach I think we can use landing pages to greater effect.