Josh Ledgard

Using Social Referrals to Supercharge Your Landing Page Conversion Rate

Supercharge Your Conversion Rate

What if your campaign converted at 50%? Would that have a meaningful impact on  your business? Of course it would. And it’s not hard. Check out what a recent KickoffLabs customer had to say recently… 

“…I got a 50% conversion rate on my landing page using social referrals. After 2.5 weeks of having my site up ( here’s what the stats look like:”

50% Conversion Rate

They are not alone. Anyone can follow the best practices they used. In fact there have already been several hugely successful campaigns that were built to encourage social referrals and get their own “Viral Boost”.

What are social referrals and what is a viral boost?

You probably know that your conversion rate is simply: 

People that achieved your goal / Unique People to a Landing Page

If 3 people visit your landing page and one person signs up… you have a 33% conversion rate.

A social referral is anyone that someone else refers to your landing page. So if, after someone signs up, they get 5 friends to sign up… each of these additional signups is a referral from the first person.

A Viral Boost is the boost you are getting on your campaign because of the number of social referrals. In the example above 27% of their leads are being referred by someone else directly.

Why is a Viral Boost important?

If you have the money to get 1,000 people to your campaign and 200 sign up. That’s a 20% conversion rate. But if you can get even 50% of those people to tell 2 friends. Your conversion rate goes from 20% to 40%. This is what you saw happen above.  Anyone can do it.

How about some great examples besides this company I’ve never heard of?

Ok.  Perhaps you’ve read about the Harry’s launch success story on the Tim Ferriss blog.  Simply put… they collected 100,000 emails in a week because of the social referrals they were able to generate. It worked like this…

harrys slide

Another great example? The RobinHood.IO campaign:


Ok – How do I get a viral boost with social referrals for MY campaign?

You could start by following these best practices we’ve learned from our 40,000 customers and analyzing their top performing campaigns.

1. Have an initial conversion rate better than 15%.

Pure conversion rate optimization is not the focus of this post, but you want to make sure you are converting a good chunk of the initial traffic you get to your landing pages. Otherwise you are choking the effectiveness out of any effort you put into the viral part of your campaign. You are also throwing money away… but that’s not the topic of this post. :)

Making something more viral won’t suddenly take you from a 5% to a 50% conversion rate since most people won’t even get that far.  Here are some great articles on nailing the basics so you have a good baseline conversion rate:

Short version… Have clear copy that simply explains the benefits of converting and offers some incentive for doing so right now.

People want to share things that:

  1. They clearly understand the value of.
  2. They think is cool. Since it will, in turn, make them look great for finding it first.

2. When someone signs up… say thank you and deliver the goods.

If you offered an incentive, and you should, then you should deliver the incentive to the person ASAP along with a thank you message. You are about to ask these folks to do something for you in step 3 so you want them to feel in debt to you a bit. They won’t feel that way if they sign up and you turn around and say “oh… could you also”.

But if the approach is… “Oh – thanks for signing up. Here is the download you wanted… We know you’ll love it so why don’t you…”.

3. Ask the engaged customers to share what they’ve found right away.

Immediately after the thank you message you should display a simple, and obvious, second call to action… to share what they’ve just found with their friends and colleagues.

You want to do this on the thank you experience because you’ve got them hooked at this moment. You just got them interested in what you are doing. You just delivered them some value. This is the moment to ask them to share what they’ve found. You should also send this request in the thank you email.

It should be as easy as clicking a button from them to share because you’ll have the sharing buttons pre-configured for them to share a specific message for you. :)


 4. Drop the share request to their email as well…

This example, from, was simple and to the point. I would have included some easy to use buttons instead of a link they had to cut and paste… but you get the idea.


5. Offer customers amazing incentives for sharing.

No one tells other people about your business out of the goodness of their hearts. We all want to believe that what we’ve built is simply that amazing. In reality you need to properly motivate people to take meaningful action even if you’ve got an amazing product offer. Your incentives need to be:

A. Achievable

The person has to believe it’s possible for them to accomplish. If, for example, you say that you’ll give them an award for referring 50 friends it won’t feel very achievable. Remember that the majority of people that generate a referral will generate between 1-3. It’s a dramatic drop off from the couple of people that will share and get 20+ referrals.

I don’t personally have 50 friends I feel like I could convince to to any one thing in a short amount of time. But I do have 3 or 4 people I know that might be interested in what you are offering.  What could you do for people at that level?

B. Worth it

So… you want me to spam my friends, get 10 of them to signup, and you are going to offer me a $5 off coupon? No thanks. That’s simply not an offer that’s worth it for anyone you want as a customer.

Now… tell me that for 3 friends I’ll get 10% off and  at 10 referrals you’ll give me 3 free months of your service… now you’re talking.

Here are two examples that felt achievable and worthwhile for perspective customers:


In this example ‘Level 0′ reinforces the thank you. ‘Level 5′ exists as a free informational product they will deliver to you. 10 referral get’s you a free month of membership… etc. It scales up nicely in a way that feels achievable at each step.


Simple and effective… get 5 people signed up and we’ll send you free product! The reward scheme doesn’t have to be complex to work.

Here are some template examples to get you thinking:

  • Sign up 5 friends and get… (something for free)
  • Most referrals wins… (contests for BIG prizes do get people motivated)
  • Prize levels at 3, 5, 10, 50… (achievable and scaled for influencers)
  • Get 3 and you are in… (to the beta)
  • Move up in line… (get earlier access)

6. Follow-up with influencers via email.

There is a myth that says people will keep coming back to your landing pages in order to check their status. They won’t. The only one that obsesses about your campaign every day is you. For everyone else… send them gentle thank you notes and reminders via email.

When someone generates 1 or more referrals in a 24 hour period… you should send them an email that thanks them, delivers any rewards, and encourages them to share more. For example:

influencer mail

This is an example of the “Influencer Mail” that KickoffLabs automatically sends whenever a person has successfully gotten friends to sign up. We find this email to be an effective way of encouraging people to keep sharing. It makes them feel good about what they did and encourages them to keep going. This is the same philosophy discussed earlier… take someone that demonstrated engagement and get more out of them.

For people that share a lot (like the example above) I recommend taking the time to personally send them a thank you mail. That will do wonders for your PR and their determination to keep sharing. :)

7. Don’t forget about your existing audience and people that haven’t shared yet.

Someone entered your contest that ends next month and hasn’t shared yet… why would you give up on them? Same story for your launch campaign. The worst thing you could do is collect an email address, wait six months, and then send them some grand launch email.

You should be keeping them updated every 2-4 weeks. Let them know how things are going, deliver some value, and encourage them to start sharing because you’ve made it worthwhile to do so.

Yes – some people may unsubscribe from your campaign. You don’t want them there anyway. You want to find the people, throughout your campaign, that are the most engaged and get them acting on your behalf. And if your emails are providing value along the way in the form of advice, inspiration, entertainment, sneak peaks, etc… most people will NOT subscribe.


When people hear about “viral growth” they have the impression that it has to be a hockey stick (meaning every person who signs up brings in two more people). They think they failed if that’s not the case. The hockey stick makes for a great story. A good unicorn that comes along every once in a while. For everyone else, adding virality is a tool to improve our odds and increase our conversion rates.

If you were given the choice between running an A/B test giving you results that were 10% more effective or adding a viral boost to gain a 27% boost (as seen above) which do you think is more worthwhile? Which should you choose? I think it’s obvious.

Everyone could use a viral boost.

For more commentary and insight check out our webinar on the subject of viral boosts.

You can also check out the slides here:

BTW – All of the mechanics in this post are things that we do “out of the box” with KickoffLabs. We’ve made adding a viral boost to any campaign very simple. Why not sign up today and check it out. 

Your Marketing Questions… Answered by the Pros [Pt 2]

Our chat series is a chance for us to share the knowledge we’ve acquired running KickoffLabs and watching what works for our customers and their successful campaigns.

These are all questions that have been submitted to us via our chat page and gives us a chance to be more interactive with our amazing audience.

Be sure to watch the video for a behind the scenes look at new KickoffLabs features!

Q1 – Differences between US focused landing pages and international? Are there any marketing differences that you are aware of?

For example; we tried to create landing pages for Russia, but received no conversions…

We get people all the time that ask “can you create landing pages in multiple languages”. YES, KickoffLabs lets you create landing pages in multiple languages, but that’s kind of the easy part.

There are however some things we recommend when you do that.

Let’s say you’ve got an ebook download and you have 2 landing pages in different languages;

  • Publish the pages to a separate domain each.
  • Market the pages to separate audiences.
  • Cross-link between the pages. Include a small link at the top so if somebody prefers the other language version, they can quickly switch.
  • The follow up email should be a separate campaign so you can address them specifically in their native language.

All that seems to make sense, but it’s amazing how many people miss those basic things first.

What if you already covered the basics?

There can be a lot of reasons why your landing page is not converting. We don’t think it’s specifically the language of the page. The biggest reason people typically don’t get conversions is not bringing the right traffic and understanding the subtle difference in the audience in that market.

There might be some communities where you are marketing your English landing pages, that work really well for getting people in. But if you don’t find those similar communities in other languages, then maybe the market doesn’t exist.

Culture shock

Of course, there are subtle cultural difference to take into account as well. Some cultures dislike filling out forms more than others. I mean take a look at this landing page from KFC in Japan…


Stuff is happening all over the page and there is no sign up form (only Facebook & Twitter share buttons), and yet it’s one of their highest performing campaigns.

“Different countries and cultures require different types of landing pages to convert.”

Get more specific

If you are getting a decent amount of traffic and you do believe the traffic is coming from the right keywords, on the right pages (and you have someone available that speaks the landing page language)… put up a chat widget!

Go to Olark or some other live website chat provider and install it onto the landing page.

When somebody visits the site, ask them in their native language “why aren’t you signing up to the page?”. Maybe there is some bad grammar, spelling, you’ll get all sorts of good feedback.

The simple fact is, if you don’t have someone that understands the country and culture you are targeting (and have an understanding of recent events), it’s going to be tough getting people to join.

Q2 – Best advice for creating a page just designed to capture corp network staff interest rather than conversions?

Just starting up with enterprise security solution & first product isn’t ready yet.

For people that have a really niche audience like this; solving a B2B (Business-to-Business) problem, you have to think about what kind of free education can you give away.

Capture interest

The first step is finding your audience. For the B2B space, we generally recommend a good mix of LinkedIn, communities where people talk about business or IT, cold-calling, and general networking.

Drive prospects to a basic landing page for your product that explains what it is and tries to get initial interest. Use this landing page for general advertising and marketing campaigns.

Market specifically to people in larger companies working in Mid to Junior level departments. They are the potential users of your solution and gatekeepers to the decision making senior level executives.

Close sales with free content

In the corporate space offering free training has an immense amount of value. If you’re willing to offer a little more sweat equity, you’re going to capture a lot of email addresses.

Let’s say you already have a product page, your pitch shouldn’t be to get them to sign up yet… you should be focused on getting people to sign up for a free educational webinar.

Do as we’ve done and set up a landing page that offers people the chance to fill in questions ahead of time. That’ll guarantee you have questions and can prepare in advance.


On the sharing side you can really exploit things by encouraging people to invite their team. You might get 3 or 4 people from the same department come to your webinar.

“Capture buyers interest by offering a free educational event.”

During the end of the webinar and in the follow up emails, is the opportune time to talk about your product being in pre-release and point people to the general signup landing page.

Q3 – What incentive can I provide for a free unlaunched mobile game?

Why would someone be interested in unlocking a character or something if they didn’t know the game yet? I could insert screenshots or a video of gameplay, but is that enough?

We’re seeing a lot more of this in the video game development space; where if somebody pre-orders a game, they get a code with their pre-order box, and can use that code to unlock a character.

This takes a lot of effort.

Unlocking a character is certainly something that works for pre-purchased games. But the reason they’re giving that much value is because people have actually put down money and not just signed up to be notified of a free unlaunched game.

Leverage something special and exclusive

If you’ve got an unreleased game, you’ve got the advantage of screenshots and video gameplay. You don’t need as much of an incentive when you are not asking someone to purchase.

“For free, don’t work on over-engineering the opt in bribe.”

Offer a simple incentive like: “Enter your email address and unlock our trailer for the game”. Especially in the B2C (Business-to-Consumer) space, there’s a lot of value in offering things that people perceive as cool and would want to tell their friends about.

Q4 – Do you have any special advice for website courses?

It’s the start of a beautiful friendship… Courses are a great way to offer the biggest bang for the buck, before people sign up.

Have a look at our “Landing Pages 107”, a free email course on landing page fundamentals that  teaching about the uses of landing pages, launching companies, calls-to-action, promotion, & more…


And while we have a dedicated landing page for the course, we promote it on just about our entire site using an exit popup widget.


“It’s 100% FREE is the value & Get the First Lesson Now is the instant gratification.”

As soon as somebody signs up, they get the link to the first video. They are also sent through our marketing conversion funnel and begin receiving the email course through a drip campaign.

We use the awesome Drip email marketing automation tool to trigger the sequence.

Prime attention

People get an immediate follow up email, which happens to have the highest open rate (about 45-55%) of any email in the drip campaign.

This goes to show that you have to make the first email experience really strong. Include BIG calls-to-action and tell people what it is you want them to do. Use this as a chance to throw in some branding of your own and send people back to other parts of your website.

The next 3 to 4 emails are also critical. Once you’re at about email 5 you’ll lose some people.

Timing is everything

We used to deliver our course over 30 days but found that open rates improved delivering the value closer together. People want the course for a reason, so just give them all the emails in a shorter amount of time upfront. We now deliver 1 email a day for 10 days.

Secondary attention

About halfway through the email drip sequence, we’ll lose another 40% of our audience and the open rates will drop to 20-30% for those last five emails.

You can really see the drive where it’ll spike at the first email, people will be engaged, then some people will unsubscribe. But the people who are hooked will keep reading your content!

Q5 – What are best practices for building and hosting a simple launch page with a form to indicate interest in either beta, job, or co-founder position?

People often find that they have so many business needs to startup, they try and cram 3 or 4 calls-to-action on the page…

… You need to pick which 1 is most important to you and have your main landing page dedicated just to that.

Always put your customers first

The most important page should be gathering signups for the beta. Focus the primary aspect on pitching the product and encouraging people to sign up. These are potentially the customers who are going to pay you, without them your business is non-existent.

No landing page yet? This is something you can easily do with KickoffLabs, it’s one of our bread-and-butter areas :)

Nail the pitch

Anybody who wants to work for you or with you, has got to be really interested in that problem. If you can clearly communicate the problem to your audience, you’ll do a better of communicating it to your potential team members.

“It always ends up better to pitch the problem, talk about your solution, and get interest from customers. If you do a great job at that, the rest will work itself out.”

Offer jobs to like-minded people

For job offers, we recommend a landing page that’s a secondary page off of the same domain.

Have a link below on the main page that says “Want to work with us? Go here”. If they are interested enough, they’ll click through to a second page which has more specifics about what you’re looking for and the job. You can then capture their information on that second page.

The best pitch for a co-founder

To be brutally honest, we haven’t heard of too many cases where people have found their co-founder by advertising it on their landing page or website. Most success stories have actually been more about networking. But you never know… you just might get lucky.

We’re not saying it CANNOT work, but rather believe the focus needs to be on pitching the business to potential customers.

The best pitch ever is “Hey, I’ve got 5,000 people signed up for this product. I just need to build it”! To a co-founder that means the hard part is done, you’ve already built an audience and have customers lined up.

Want to learn more on finding the right business co-founder? Have a look at Paul Graham’s, from Y Combinator, Startup FAQs here.

Q6 – What is the biggest bang for the buck in launching social media campaigns on a bootstrapped budget?

The quickest way is to set up campaign and landing pages yourself, using either KickoffLabs or another tool.

Hack and optimize for paid advertising

  • Retargeting. Track people that don’t sign up for your campaign right away with a tool like PerfectAudience or AdRoll. You can follow them around the internet and it’s a great way to market to people later. We see a huge return on a very small amount of money being spent on retargeting.
  • Social Ads. These tend to perform well because you can target a very strong niche. You can get specific in terms of the groups that people are a member of, their preferences, etc… it’s a great way to spend money on ads.
  • Google Ads. They work, it’s just that there are so many people buying these ads, it drives prices up and thus can get pretty expensive.
  • Native Ads. If your audience lives somewhere online, GO FIND THEM and advertise directly within that community. Buying ads direct from a community tends to be much cheaper than going through a display network, and also you can be a lot more targeted.

Assemble your current crowd

Include your current leads into the promotion. Make them feel special by offering a reward just for participating.

Even if you have a small # of current subscribers, you can’t ignore those people. These are potential ambassadors for your brand and you have to make every effort to turn them into that.

All contests are not created equal

You can get all the benefits of a great social contest without having to spend a lot of money. Contests don’t have to be expensive… they just have to be cool & worth sharing.

Don’t run a contest and just give away something like an iPad. The point is to give away something that is related to your specific audience. You’ll get more engagement from a higher quality audience by filtering out the people that just want to win an iPad.

Become a successful social contest master by learning about the Keys to Killer Online Contests.

Get a Viral Boost

We see, even outside of contests, 35% more leads for people that have the option enabled. And that’s without any added incentive, just making it easy to share after somebody signs up.

So if you want to make that $100 turn into $135 dollars worth of advertisements, make sure your campaigns have the sharing (and ideally some reward as part of the sharing).

BTW, each and every KickoffLabs page has this viral sharing option built-in


Not only that but you get the added bonus of generating personal referral links for each and every one of your signups!

Get into other people’s business

We’ve seen this with some Ecommerce sites lately, where they will partner up with 3 or 4 other Ecommerce sites. The goal with this is to educate each others audience about your potential products.

Even if your audience is smaller, grouping together a bunch of smaller audiences is going to amplify everybody’s impact.

Think about ways to:

  • co-promote with banner ads, in email newsletters, on product forums, on niche blogs…
  • co-present webinars, pdfs, educational guides, free content…
  • co-giveaway with social contests, prizes, coupons, discounts…

Find a way to grab an audience that’s not yours, but related to yours, and let them know about what you have.

Put in the work

Of course time is money, but sweat equity (putting in the work effort) will help you identify your audience online.

Take 10 of your current customers and just profile them. Go to their LinkedIn profiles, Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles, etc. Go to where they hang out online, find those communities and start engaging with those people online.

You can ask questions there, you can promote to them there, you can buy ads in those communities. Gain an understanding of your audience and go to the places where they hang out to drive them to your site.

Watch the video to see how KickoffLabs makes creating marketing campaigns super easy!

Send us your questions

We host a weekly chat series where we either tackle your most pressing marketing questions or give your landing page a well deserved tune-up, all free of charge! That’s one of our many ways of adding a ton of value to the word “FREE”.

Visit and save your spot for the next event!

Click here and register for the next event!

We’d really like to see you there!

Josh Ledgard

Co-Founder of KickoffLabs


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September 2014 Trends & Our Favorite Landing Pages

It’s that time again… to share how our customers campaigns have been performing and our roundup of the best landing pages for the month of September 2014!

First, our combined customer analytics…

September Leads Generated


Our proudest public metric. These are the number of quality leads that KickoffLabs generated for our customers during the month of September.

September Conversion Rate


Our free plan has really been taking off and growing in popularity! That’s mirific, we want everyone to access KickoffLabs powerful lead generation tools. But with that unfortunately comes a slight drop in our overall customer conversion rate.

It’s a real shame, especially when anyone can easily get a professional landing page review from our team for FREE.

September Viral Boost


Over half of all signups this month we’re sharing their unique referral link with their friends! Goes to show that simply asking for the share can drive more referral traffic to your signup page.

September Age Groups

demographics sept 2014

This is how age groups were distributed:

  • 25-34 & 35-44 yr olds consistently hold the top age groups.
  • Steady increase in engagement from older demographics.

September Gender

m-f demographic sept 2014

The female demographic has been steadily climbing month per month, where now we normally see a +70% of the demographic share.

This aligns with a recent article published by QuickSprout, where they conclude that women are more active on social networks with a higher share frequency rate:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

While men are more active on social networks with less sharing going on:

  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • YouTube

If you’re wondering how we’re getting the demographic data, KickoffLabs has a feature called Magic Contact Data that automatically takes customer email addresses and fills in missing data such as Twitter names, Facebook profiles, biography, current employer, and even their full names. Services normally charge ONLY for this service, BUT comes included with any paid KickoffLabs account ;)

September’s Favorite Pages

We might have packed too many pages into this month’s best, but there were just so many great contest, signup and launch pages that we couldn’t resist sharing them all with you.

The best contest landing pages

Companies large and small were using contests as an incentive to drive a large amount signups of our customers combined signups…

1. Kaffexpress are using their product launch as a contest to drive more signups using our Small Box theme.


Why we like it: Besides being coffee lovers ourselves, the page is doesn’t need much copy to describe what people are signing up for.

2. BabyLegs have been quite the busy bees, launching one contest after another… and it seems they’ve fallen in love with our Small Box


& Flat Box – Light themes… who can blame them, they look stunning!


Why we like it: Uses great background images to engage visitors

3. MakerMex are giving away one of their MM1 Modular 3D printers using our Big Show – Video theme.


Why we like it: We love seeing innovative products being boosted by our platform.

4. Century 21 Canada got creative building a custom contest page for their Air Miles contest.


Why we like it: It’s a beautiful page that aside from capturing prospects information, they are looking to educate their audience.

5. The Love Lab launched a speed-dating contest using our Viral Giveaway – Double Opt In theme.


Why we like it: Red is always a bold color choice but works well for this page, it POPS!

6. CrowdTap customized our Small Box theme for a contest page that’s unique to their brand.


Why we like it:

  1. They associate with a well known brand name, Walmart.
  2. The CTA is hard to miss.
  3. Steps work well for directing your visitors actions.

7. The team over at John Daly Cocktail offered a getaway contest using our Viral Giveaway – Double Opt In theme.


Why we like it: John (the guy in the photograph) is signaling to the eye-catching copy and CTA, “hey, sign up for this”.

8. Bruce Power built a great looking contest landing page with a customized version of our Big Box theme.


Why we like it: By getting people to use their energy calculators to obtain contest answers, they are driving engagement with their mobile apps.

9. JookBox used our Flat Box – Dark theme to create their contest page…


Why we like it: They only ask for an email address. That and the call-to-action text says “Win!”.

The Best Incentivized Landing Pages

Not only was September the month of awesome contests, it was also a month packed with great signup incentives…

1. O Tempo from Brazil used another slightly customized version of our Big Box theme to create an ebook download landing page.


Why we like it: This is exactly the kind of incentive that can drive a ton of signups… I may not fully understand the language (it’s Portuguese), but I like how the visual is clearly tied to the free ebook download. And the way they portray the ebook as a solution to one of the most dreaded tasks… an exam.

2. Using our Three Step Social Contest with the embed form option, African Clean Energy is increasing their social following all the while collecting email addresses for delivering their ebook.


Why we like it: Proves how easy it is to implement a viral form into your current site!

3. Our friends at PurpleSlate put together a custom form using the KickoffLabs API.


Why we like it: Uses logos as trust factors. It’s okay if their only from the resources.

4. African Management Initiative has done a great job of starting off with our Lead Form – Text Focus theme and creating landing pages that reflect their brand.


Why we like it: Integrates perfectly with their current site. They’re also helping with the development of their country, which in itself a great accomplishment.

5. Rosetta Patios & Walkways used our Traditional Pitch theme to create a landing page that’s hard to turn away from!


Why we like it: Even though this page is for a company specializing in patios & walkways, they are using a proven layout for getting people’s email address and information.

They are taking the classic catalog to a new level and treating it as incentivized ebook download. That’s pretty smart!

6. Trunkey built another custom page using the KickoffLabs API… the result is impressive!


Why we like it:

  • They use a great background image that directs attention to the eye-catching call-to-action button.
  • The copy is brief, yet informative.
  • Use of a valuable time-based incentive.

The Best Overall Landing Pages

1. StuffHopper is a new app that is already looking amazing using our Lead Form – Background Image theme.


Why we like it: The page is simple, has a great headline and just the right amount of copy. The CTA button text is relative to the action being taken, “Sell my stuff for me!”.

2. Using our Flat Box theme, new clothing line designer Gregory Martin created a very simple, yet effective launch page.


Why we like it: The simplicity of the signup page conveys an aura of elegance to the brand.

3. MundoExperts built an incredibly balanced landing page using our Small Box theme.


Why we like it: All the elements and copy are optimally sized. The color choice is also spot on, in my opinion.

4. launched a beautiful landing page for an upcoming storybook using our Traditional Pitch theme.


Why we like it: Using cheerful images and plenty of whitespace help bring this landing page to life!

5. TravelAdvisorPeru is looking to garner attention for their cause using our Small Box theme (boy that theme sure is popular!)


Why we like it: Despite the KickoffLabs branding (hey, it’s a free account), the rest of the page is actually very nicely designed. Simple, great background image choice, and a CTA that is easy to see.

6. EasyEyeTracking customized our The Art of Sales theme to perfectly fit their business needs.


Why we like it: We really love how they turned our theme into a full blown launch home page that looks great and is incredibly effective.

There you have it…

Contests were the reigning champ for this month, and it’s no surprise… with KickoffLabs built-in viral features businesses get the advantage of leveraging their audience’s social network for an even greater boost in signups.

Looking at these amazing pages, are you feeling inspired to create your own high-converting landing page? Sign up for your FREE ACCOUNT and launch a smarter campaign today!

If you already have an account with us and would like to get better results, we can help with that too. Submit your site here to get a free professional conversion rate optimization during our next Live Landing Page Reviews.


Thanks for reading and for sharing!

-Josh Ledgard

Co-Founder of KickoffLabs


October 2014 Landing Page Reviews

For a long time, we’ve been doing free 1-to-1 consultations with new paying customers to help them get more conversions. We wanted to see if we could take this a little further and start helping a broader audience. So we decided to start doing a live landing page review series, this is now the 6th in the series.

Find the prior reviews here:

It’s always a lot of fun, the only caveat is that there are always a ton of improvements that every campaign can make; that would involve how the pages are marketed, advertised, etc. We’re going to focus on the 80% changes, the ones that will make the most improvement based on what we can see on the landing pages.

Be sure to watch the full video for plenty more marketing advice.

1 – HandPick

What we like

  • Simplicity of the page
  • short, watchable video that entices people to hit play
  • It’s mobile responsive


Things to improve

#1 – Tagline is too simple. You want to have some more context on the page, like the video does to explain your service. Maybe using a tagline underneath you main headline encouraging people to watch your video.

#2 – Add an incentive. Why should people sign up today?

#3 – Customize your share message and remind about the incentive. People need to have a great reason for sharing your page with their friends. Even if it’s a simple goal like “Get 1 friend onboard and we’ll give them something for free”.

We had a customer recently that didn’t include any kind of incentive where they were getting around 20% of the people to bring on additional referrals. When they added a simple incentive, that # shot up to 60% of the people coming through personal referral links!

It’s really a huge win to get people to think about the second step and add the incentive there.

#4 – Leave out the social media buttons. Especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a large following, don’t expect your landing page to generate thousands of fans & followers. At this point, focus only on getting the email and avoid people clicking away from the page.

However, your thank you message should always include social share options.

2 – Kunvay


Things to improve

#1 – Eyes get torn in too many directions. The main call-to-action is buried underneath all the graphics. The first thing to grab people, after they see a teaser headline, should be your call-to-action button.

#2 – Stay away from “we”. The first lines of copy are talking about your company. Focus on writing the headlines and the first two paragraphs from the perspective of your customer. Don’t say “WE”, say “YOU”, and relate to their business problem first instead of trying to sell your solution.

#3 – Placement matters. There are several elements that we’d recommend experimenting with. Perhaps the most effective change would be placing the explainer video more prominently, in place of the “Featured in” elements.

#4 – Don’t constrain the page. We are not fans of tabs, they only work to hide content. You’re better off creating separate sections on the page.

3 – Phase2Body

What we like


Things to improve

#1 – Your logo needs to stand out. The logo could be easier to read if the text was a whiter color. When designing your logo, a great option is to design a normal color logo, a black colored logo (for light backgrounds), and a white colored logo (for dark backgrounds).

#2 – Clean up the fonts. Limit the font choices and colors on the page for a cleaner overall look.

#3 – Link your incentive. There is a great prize that is buried in the text. This isn’t as obvious to visitors as it should be. Use your call-to-action text imply there is a contest on the page. If people happened to miss the incentive, they see that there is one in the button text.

4 – LifeLogger

What we like

  • Minimal design with a focus on the form
  • Great headline that makes it easy to understand what they’re doing


Things to improve

#1 – Fix slow loading images. Due to their file size, the images took an awful long time to load. When placing images on the page, make sure that they are sized appropriately and optimized before you upload!

#2 – Give a real reason to sign up. There is no clear incentive on the page. What’s in it for people now?

#3 – Match the tagline. Saying you’re “above the rest” can be said about any company, it’s not specific to you. Think about how you’re using that space to augment your message and speak to your visitors.

#4 – Collect only useful data. Generally, any additional required information on the form is a little out of place. If you’re a KickoffLabs customer, you’ll notice that we automatically record valuable information about your signups, so you don’t have to ask these unnecessary questions.

#5 – Remove misleading headlines. You probably don’t need the “Coming Soon”. The product is in beta, but this makes it seems as if the product is not ready at all.

5 – Body Of A Spartan


Things to improve

#1 – Design for the sale. A sales pitch can work, but only if you design for it. Even changing the color of the header would have a big impact in not making the page feel so seedy.

#2 – Price = Page length. The page is too long for a sale that is $25. Usually these types of long sales pages are used to convince people in paying for high-ticketed items. If you want to sell something, the page copy should scale appropriately to the size of the sale.

#3 – Offer up a free incentive. There is plenty of information on the page where you could create a separate download to give away for free as an incentive in exchange for an email address. From there you can follow up with all the people that visited your site, but never bought.

#4 – Include a secondary call-to-action. If I don’t buy the product, there is nothing for me to do on the page. Again, getting at least the email address is a big win.

6 – Dropz


Things to improve

#1 – Form placement matters. People usually start looking at the left hand side of their screen. If the first thing they see is a signup form, it’s vital seconds lost in your visitor looking for an explanation of your product or service. Usually (but NOT always) your form is best place on the right hand side of the screen.

#2 – Limit form fields. Don’t include non-descriptive form fields like “message”. It has no place on a signup page. It’s a lot better to follow up any questions via email. Ask only for the information you need to get going.

#3 – Define the unique value proposition. The headline is hard to understand. You as the builder of the page, or the founder of the company have a ton of knowledge on what you’re selling, but for the average person that comes to the page has almost zero context.

#4 – Speak directly to your visitors. The copy is very “me” focused, when it should be “you” focused. How are you going to help people? What is the benefit to them?

#5 – What is the competition doing? Look at other companies in your space and see how they’re pitching to their customers. That will give you some indication of what works and what doesn’t. It’s OK to borrow a little learned knowledge from them.

#6 – Customize the thank you message. The share screen is fairly dry, there’s not even any social share buttons to really get an extra boost from your newly gained subscribers. This is what is going to provide those additional huge wins.

7 –


Things to improve

#1 – Clearly describe the advantage. Use more descriptive headlines to provide better information about the benefits of your product.

#2 – Increase brand awareness. The background image could place the logo more prominently, that way you wouldn’t have to mention your company name as many times on the page. On top of that, it’ll add to the pages trust factor.

#3 – Provide a good reason to sign up now. Nowhere in the page is there any mention of an incentive. If you really want to motivate people to give up their email address and share with friends, you have to offer up something of value in exchange.

8 – SortMoney


Things to improve

#1 – Inform right away. The top of the fold area feels a little sparse. You could place an image or an explainer video in the empty area below the call-to-action button.

#2 – Guide your visitors. The sections on the page could use a bit of reordering. First you need to inform people what your product is, and then why they should trust you.

In Closing

Hopefully you were able to extract at least a few gold nuggets of useful information. Now it’s up to you to take what you’ve learned and build the best darn campaigns you can!

If you ever need any assistance getting a killer landing page up, we’re more than happy to help. Send us an email at and we’ll take good care of you and your conversion rates.


Go forth and convert the world!


Thanks for reading AND for sharing,

Josh Ledgard

Co-Founder of KickoffLabs

August 2014 Landing Page Analytics & Our Favorite Pages

People love getting a real glimpse into how our customers campaigns are performing, and we’re more than glad to share those metrics with the world!

Here’s a look at combined customer metrics and a list of our favorite landing pages for the month of August…

August Conversion Rate


This number dropped slightly from last months 19% conversion rate average. This is the overall customer conversion rate, so there are a lot of variables that go into defining this number.

While I’ve seen no shortage of great looking landing pages, I often find that these either have too much or too little information. We always want to see this number increasing, so be sure to check out this article for creating a great launch page.

Better yet, get your landing page reviewed by us, for free: visit KickoffLabs Live Landing Page Reviews.

August Viral Boost


That means 33% of leads captured by KickoffLabs came from our people sharing their unique referral link with friends.

Besides having an easy way to capture the email, you should always be encouraging people to share your page.

Does your current platform have a built-in personal url generator for each new signup?

KickoffLabs does, and this kind of virality is what gives every campaign that essential social boost.

August Age Groups


This is how age groups were spread across:

  • 25-34 & 35-44 yr olds hold a strong percentage of signups
  • Steady 1.5% increase month per month in older demographic brackets

August Gender


Once again, August signups were dominated by females at almost 73%!

Hmmm, which gender should you be targeting in your marketing and PPC campaigns?

August’s Favorite Pages

Favorite Overall Page


This page comes to us from Jay Baer of Convince and Convert (one of today’s top digital marketing advisors).

Jay knows exactly how to convert people, that’s why in his landing page, he focuses only on getting the email address.

Why we like it:

  • No excess form fields that hurt conversions
  • The copy is brief and easy to read
  • Beautiful use of our Flat Box launch theme

Favorite Physical Product Launch Page


LiltCycles is a new urban bicycle manufacturer from Brazil. This is a super basic page, but that’s why I love it so much. All they really added was a high-quality photograph as a background image and the page looks great!

Why we like it:

  • Minimal signup form using our Small Box launch theme
  • Sets expectations by including a stunning background image
  • Only asks for the email address

Favorite Mobile App Launch Page #1 (It’s a TIE!)


This is a beautiful custom HTML / CSS mobile app launch page from ParentsNearby, an iOS and Android app that connects like-minded parents living nearby.

Why we like it:

  • They’re smart enough to have built a referral system themselves, but value their time so they used our API to effortlessly connect to KickoffLabs Viral Boost.
  • Uses signups to gauge interest in other parts of the world
  • It’s a stunning page!

Favorite Mobile App Launch Page #2 (It’s a TIE!)


AirrTrade has a pretty cool concept, never get stuck with a middle seat when airline travelling.

What I really like about the page is how they explain the service in a series of steps, which is always easier for people to comprehend.

The only thing I would change on the page would be the “Submit” button text. Personalizing the button copy will always increase your conversion rate.

Why we like it:

  • Only asks for an email address
  • Adds scarcity and urgency with “Limited invites available”
  • Appeals to various types of visitors with short headlines, longer form explained steps, and even an explainer video! This reinforces our co-founder Josh’s motto: “you never know what copy is going to get people to convert”

Favorite Web App Launch Page


MeasuredSearch created another custom HTML / CSS page that leverages our unique personal referral system to get that extra viral boost from signups.

It’s a well developed page that includes just the right amount of copy for describing their business.

Why we like it:

  • Only asks for an email address
  • Page copy calls out customer pains
  • Uses customer logos to reinforce trust

Favorite Call-To-Action Page


This page is from, a german producer of high-quality dog food. They used our Grand Headlines lead generation theme to setup an easy way to collect email newsletter leads.

I’ll have to admit, they had me with the image of cute animals signaling for the call-to-action! Note that this kind of directional cue has a powerful effect on focusing people’s attention.

Why we like it:

  • They’re not selling anything (yet), they’re offering FREE valuable tips for the healthy nutrition of dogs
  • They offer a € 5.00 off incentive just for signing up

Favorite Most Improved Page


NiceRide is a page that we’ve mentioned in the past, and since the last time I saw the page, the presentation has gotten way better! I give them props.

Why we like it:

  • AWESOME use of an incentive (free membership for early adopters)
  • Short, straightforward headlines
  • Custom HTML landing page that is nicely styled

Favorite Contest Page


Using our Three Step Social Contest theme, MeUndies created a great looking contest offering up concert tickets the LA’s FYF Fest. In order to increase engagement, they embedded the page directly onto their main site.

As you can see in the image below, the contest page still lives on-site actively collecting signups…


This is a great post contest tactic, and one that we talk about in our Step-by-Step Guide To Successful Contests.

Why we like it:

  • Uses our proven contest step process to increase their social following
  • Beautifully matched our theme to their site color scheme
  • Everybody loves a contest (even I entered)

We look forward to seeing your page!

Those were customer metrics and our favorite pages for the month of August…

Want to make the next list of our favorite pages?

Get the chance optimize your landing page during our next marketing live chats…

… All you have to do is head over to this page here, leave us your page url and an email and we’ll get your page’s conversion rate improved!

Did I mention this is a labor of love, as in… it’s COMPLETELY FREE (normally this kind of landing page and site optimization can cost you well into the thousands of $$$’s)!

Get Your FREE Landing Page Review

Thanks for hanging out with us on the KickoffLabs blog!

-Josh Ledgard

Co-Founder of KickoffLabs


P.S. Share this article and get a virtual high-five!

Launch like a PRO: 8 Hacks for Building Your Audience

Be sure to check out the video for plenty more hidden marketing gems!

Let’s start things off with a quote (because who doesn’t love a good quote?)…

“…it’s more important to serve a customer than it is to build a product. Remember: you’re here to solve a problem…”

-Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot CTO and Founder

One of the core beliefs we have at KickoffLabs is that supporting customers, even if our product can’t do something and finding a way for them to do it and solve their problem is always going to lead to more success down the road.

  1. If you keep having to do this, you’re going to eventually build it into your product.
  2. It creates a way to get engaged with customers.

We personally emailed our first 1,000 customers offering personalized suggestions for their landing pages and continue to do so. This is something that gives us a huge advantage.

It’s important to remember as you go through the launch to get more personally engaged with people, than not to.

#1 – Hack validation


A lot of people use our product to validate an idea. But let’s dive into a little more specifically about what it means…There are several different parts of validation:


Quick story: a customer of ours (who shall go nameless), got about 5,000 page views but only around 30 signups. If you’re wondering, that’s a ridiculously low conversion rate. When I looked at their page, it was easy to understand why…

The page only said something along the lines of “Coming Soon. Improve your business.” with an email capture form below it.

There was no validation happening there… of course everybody would like to improve their business! The only thing they validated was that a vague launch page is not enough these days to get people to sign up for your idea.

One of the most important things you want to do, and some people have even found it helpful to do before you put up the launch page, is to take your pitch and refine it down to a short email, find 10 people that are potential customers and email them that pitch saying “hey, does this make sense to you?” “Do you understand what we’re going after?”


It’s one thing to have a great idea. But if you’re going to be charging money for it you don’t necessarily have to put the price up front, at least put some indications that it is going to be a paid service. Either by offering a discount for people that sign up, or by putting up some arbitrary price as a way to indicate the paid options.

One of the worst things that you can do is capture 5,000 emails from people who all thought it was going to be free… you’ll realize that no one wants to pay money because they all signed up for something they thought was going to be free. It’s a huge mistake we see people make all the time!


Validate that you’ve got a proper incentive for people to sign up today, right now for something. And if you think about it, there’s a lot you can do to get those people to sign up.

You could take a couple blog posts and put them into a PDF and say “hey, download my 5 free tips. Just give me your email address and I’ll give you this. My product is not ready, but I’ll give you 5 tips anyways on how to make your life easier”.

Landing Page

The key is that your launch page doesn’t have to be about your product, it can be about solving the customers problem in another way.

Some of the best converting launch pages are ones that do this; where they take an idea and say “here’s how I’m going to solve your problem in advance. And when we launch, we’ll have an even better way to do it!”…


This landing page is from one of our recent customers, Landscapely.

  • The pitch is simple. So it talks about the problem and the benefit the customers get.
  • It talks about price. Landscaping from $35.
  • An incentive. Early access to the app and 25% off your first service.
  • Form is minimal. etc…

They have a great landing page, but the point is that by using this page, by viewing their conversion rate they are now able to validate:

  • Is this the right copy?
  • Do people sign up for the price?
  • Are people incentived by 25% off?

And they got all that within the package of a really simple launch page that converts well for them!

The big vision of this hack: Don’t skip talking to customers first!

#2 – Hack the incentive


Talking about incentives, we’re going to dive a little deeper into what I mean by having a proper incentive, because it’s so important!


The incentive should be related to your business, but more importantly; should solve a problem.

Offers free value

If you want to capture the email address, you need to provide something of free value. Yes, that means giving something away.


The “25% off when we launch” from our previous example doesn’t fit that immediate bill. Something more immediate could have been “5 Ways To Reduce Your Lawn Care Costs” as a downloadable PDF would be something more immediate, in addition to the percentage off.


Here’s another example of a recent customer: NiceRide, they are sort of a competitor to the classic AAA motor club. And they are basically saying that if you join their launch list, you get a free year of roadside assistance and member benefits when they launch.

It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s something that people will be incentived to get. They also change the CTA button text to say “Get It Free” to give more emphasis to the benefit.

The best incentive would be to combine these 4 hacks into a super incentive.

#3 – Hack the big boys


Find them

When I say “hack the big boys”, what I’m talking about here is finding where your customers live. Chances are you have almost no audience today. And even if you’ve got 10,000 email addresses, assuming you’re addressing a sizeable market; 10,000 emails still equates to “you have no audience” in the grand scheme of things.

There are other people who have a larger audience built that service your customers today. Their either related or their directly competing with you. Your goal is to find out where your customers hang out. You can do that with Google search, look for forums, etc.

Cultivate relationships

When you find these places where discussions are happening, start engaging with them and cultivating relationships.

Be a guide

Start answering their questions, start becoming known as an expert in that community.

I did it for KickoffLabs

If you’re wondering what the results can be from something like that, we’ve tried this with several communities, but I’ll just take one: There’s a lot of marketers and entrepreneurs on Quora (which is a Q&A based community).

Both before and after our launch, even through today, we go and participate in these communities. And when I say “participate”, I want to be clear that over a long time span, I’ve posted just over 90 answers to questions. So it’s not a ton of work, and from those 90 answers we’ve netted almost $100K in revenue so far :)

This is just one community, one location, 90 posts. If someone just told you that if you were to post 90 things in a forum, and you could make a hundred thousand dollars… I think you’d say yes!


The work is not that hard it’s actually kind of fun to go in and see what problems your customers have that are; either related directly (those are the best questions), or even indirectly to the product or service that you’re offering to those customers. It’s not only yielded us direct revenue, it’s yielded us relationships in the space, contacts with other companies, etc.

Like I said, we did this up to launch to build a reputation. So pre-launch we we’re focused more on learning about the entrepreneur and internet marketing customer that was in our space. Post-launch, we started shifting the participation to answering questions that were beneficial to both the customers and us.

Totally worth it… And don’t think that there’s not a place for you to participate and benefit potential customers. For every space you’re in, there’s a gathering of people somewhere online that you can leverage before and after launch.

#4 – Hack someone else’s tribe


Unless you are doing something that is completely unique and does not exist today… there is a competitor in the space. Not only that, there are probably people that range the spectrum from competitors to frenemies (people that do very similar, related things but don’t directly compete with you) that already exist.

If a competitor does not exist, I would personally question whether you’ve done enough research or whether or not there’s money in the space. As soon as someone proves there is money, there is a competitor.

Spec out the competition

So first you have to go out and find the competition. Use tools like Moz or UberSuggest and use keywords to locate competitors.

Engage their customers

We literally would look for tweets with people that were frustrated with a competitor and personally ask them what other frustrations they had. There wasn’t some spambot on Twitter replying to everything, I had a scheduled item on my tasks lists to look through the queries, where there would be 50-100 complaints a day, and pick out a handful of them and respond to their questions.

When you start identifying the problems and frustrations people have from your competitors, you can start to figure out where you can differentiate yourself and how you can speak better to them through your landing page copy.

Look through their support forums

This is an easy win. What questions do people have that go unanswered? What things can you help out with? I’ve even answered questions about our competitors product, just because I know the answer. The kudos you get from doing that paid dividends in the end.

Predict opportunities and trends

When you’re engaging with potential customers through communities, forums, and social you can see what the opportunities for you to stand out are.

#5 – Hack virality


Be realistic

Something that a lot of people forget, is making sure that your launch has a viral component. When a lot of people think about virality, there tend to be 2 different answers you get from people:

  1. Really not understanding what it means.
  2. People who think the only way something viral is a success is if you get 10 million hits on YouTube and getting that “hockey stick growth”.

Hockey stick growth is not unheard of, it’s just something that you shouldn’t necessarily think of as the only form of success in virality.

If, for example, every 1 person that you sign up brings on .3 additional people – you are still getting a nice boost from having virality built into your launch and app.

It’s not all or nothing… Set a realistic goal to get people to share what you’re doing.

Personalize it

Making it associated with your brand, with your rewards.

Just ask

Don’t forget to ask people to share. On the landing page, thank you screen, and on the email.

Focus on 3

I tend to tell people to focus on the three core communities, so Facebook, Twitter and Email. If you’re a B2B app, then perhaps you also want to focus on LinkedIn as well.

Here’s a great example from a customer of ours named Curate…

Engage your sign ups

When you get to their thank you screen, they immediately offer an incentive. Invite 3 people and get into the beta sooner. They make it ridiculously easy by providing the share links and a counter that show how many people have joined.

If your page just sends somebody to the standard Mailchimp “Thank You” screen after joining your list, I would consider that a gigantic lost opportunity.

Why? Over 35% of leads we’ve generated (thats 4 million+ leads!) have come from people clicking on one of our referral links and sharing it out.

That means that our customers on average are getting an additional 35% lift that they would NOT have gotten, had they just sent somebody to a “Thank you for signing up. We’ll be in touch soon.” style page. That boost can make a huge difference in the bottom line long-term, both through your launch and through revenue growth.

This is something we use to differentiate ourselves (yep, it’s a KickoffLabs exclusive feature), something that we make easy, and is something that we believe in as a key to success.

#6 – Hack scarcity and urgency


Create an illusion

Whether real or not, it does produce real results. Just today, our other KickoffLabs co-founder, Scott, sent me an email about the new Mailbox app offering up 1 of his 3 invites.

They could probably let everyone in today, they’re owned by DropBox so there’s no limitation. They are creating the illusion of scarcity where each person can only invite 3 people into their beta and I’m sure that it’s helping them.

Put up a wall

They are also putting up an artificial wall that makes people that “get in” feel part of an exclusive club. That’s a powerful psychological trick!

The way it works is dealing with people’s feelings of loss to something they might not have even had.

Gamify your launch

“Hey! Here’s something great! BUT you might not get it!”

That impact on conversion rate can be incredible because it’s a powerful motivational force for anyone. It’s a trick that people use all the time to make people want things more, and it can be really simple.

Join now or lose out

Here’s an example from our customer, HostelRocket who are using a simple countdown to create a sense of urgency.


Ideally, if you’re going to make this a core component of your campaign, as you get within each week you would be sending email updates to people reminding that t. Each closer step you get, assuming you’re growing your list along the way, you’ll see people taking that next step to whatever it is you want them to do.

#7 – Hack social insights


Learn more

The more you know about your customers, the more you can refine your copy, offer and pitch.

Get more personal

The more you personalize your emails, the more you can segment your emails.

Ask for less

If you understand your customers, you’re asking for less data over time.

Our report

This is a KickoffLabs report of our webinar audience. We didn’t have to ask our audience about any of their demographic information, but we’ve got it broken down into actionable data. These are great generalizations to use for segmenting your audience!


We capture a lot of this data whenever somebody signs up to your landing page, and this can be incredibly powerful. If you know that a majority of your audience is within a certain demographic, there are things you can do to appeal to them by changing your message. The name of the game is keeping your list more personal and engaging.

#8 – Hack pre / post launch


I’ve mentioned this several times before, so it must be important…

Keep in the loop

It’s about keeping your signups engaged by letting them know what you’re company is up to.

Get feedback

Don’t forget to ask questions as you send email updates.

Slow launch

You want to let them in. There’s the concept of the “slow launch” of just letting something like 10 people in at a time, so you can get more feedback as you go.

Deliver the goods

Ultimately, you want to ship something amazing…

Here’s an awesome example of a great email that keeps people in the loop:



Note: The second half of the presentation was meant to be led by our in-house growth hacker, Izzy Palmerin. But due to some technical difficulties with Google Hangouts, things didn’t work out as planned. Still there’s nothing to prevent you from learning from these additional growth tactics.

Bonus hacks


*easy hack: Change your CTA text

Make your call-to-action text directly related to the incentive. That seems to work best.

Things that don’t work well are when it says “Join”, or “Sign Up”, or the worst case “Submit” – because it’s not related to what you’re doing. You can have some fun with the call-to-action text!

Optimize your ads

If you’re running ads, through retargeting, Facebook ads, Google, etc… Those are some of the best places to try out copy before putting it up on the landing page.

If all of a sudden you try out a different headline in your ad that gets you twice the clickthrough rate, you should match that headline on the landing page to leverage what worked for that variation of the ad – and vice versa, make a change to your landing page that works well, try those changes to your ad.

Submit your launch

There’s a lot of place where you can submit pre-launch companies. Especially if you’re targeting early adopters and startups, there’s places like BetaList, StartupList, Show Hacker News, there’s a ton of communities!

But the best community to announce your pre-launch is the original niche community you’ve found (using our 3rd Hack). Just simply doing a post that says “I’m doing something you might find interesting, I’d love to get your feedback”. That approach is not spammy and won’t get you kicked out of message boards. Above all, it gets you a chance to engage with people and get real feedback as you’re going.

For a nicely compiled list of places to submit your launch, check out this post on Hacker News.

Launch soon

Although I’d love for you to use our service and take forever to launch. The truth is the sooner you get through launch, the sooner you can start using our other tools to continually build your email list.

Launch a little bit before you’re ready, because you need that feedback.

Hack fails


Our general take on some of these past “successful” launches: they had generic launch pages that didn’t explain what they were doing and they got a ton of signups. But guess what? None of these companies are still in business!

What did they do wrong?

The reality is you want people to sign up that are going to understand what they’re getting into that are eventually going to take the next step of purchasing something, engaging with your app, working with your product, etc.

What happened in all of these cases is that people didn’t know what they were signing up for. They didn’t have that context. You could signup hundreds of thousands of people, but if you’re not engaging with them and providing with them that context, they are not ultimately going to buy or use your offering.

Second to not getting ANY attention to your page, the biggest failure is getting the wrong attention.

Hack wins



Look at DropBox’s classic win of setting up a great explainer video and inviting friends.


Went from 0 to 138,790 users in less than 40 days, check out the case study here.


300,000 signups for a product that isn’t even released yet, check out the case study here..

What you’ll notice about all of these examples, is that they clearly define their audience, they only ask for something really simple (an email address), and they really do push and encourage the sharing.

Other than DropBox, they’re not necessarily getting a greater than 1 viral factor, but they are getting enough people to share where it makes a huge difference in their contributions.


“The best launch is if you have a product that other people like using so much that they tell other people about it.”

-Robert Scoble, tech evangelist

It’s a great quote and I’m a fan of Robert’s, but I would modify this quote to: “The best launch is if you have an EXPERIENCE that other people like so much they tell other people about it.”

It’s not just about the copy on your landing page, not just about capturing the email address, not just about the product – it’s the complete experience.

Did people feel like there was a connection? Do people feel like they can trust you?

That’s what you need to think through. And part of thinking through that, is if there are parts that you can make easier on yourself, like using a landing page builder to make the landing page so you can spend your time on both the product and the experience that goes around the launch landing page.


Thanks for reading and for sharing!

-Josh Ledgard,

Co-Founder of KickofflLabs


P.S. If you like what you’ve learned here, don’t miss what we have in store for you during our next Live Marketing Chats webinar.

We’d love for you to join us! Reserve your spot here and bring us your most toughest marketing questions.

It’s 2014 – Are you listening to the best marketing and business podcasts?

I grew up with a parent who was a talk radio addict in the car. We rarely listened to music. Instead my ears were fed a diet of NPR, Larry King, and news, and sports talk. Podcasts are the talk radio of our generation. Sure, there are music based podcasts, but that’s not where the medium really shines in my opinion.

Whether you’re in the car, working out, cleaning house, or relaxing at home – podcasts give you easy access to all of the news, information, and education you’re looking for, and you don’t even have to stop what you’re doing.

The challenge, with podcasts, is that the selection is huge. Practically anyone can start a podcast today so it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of some of our favorites! This list has a set of podcasts that have consistently demonstrated value over the last year for our own business.

Startup Focussed Podcasts

These podcasts are for anyone looking to start or grow their businesses.

Startups for the Rest of Us – Rob Walling and Mike Taber have both launched several successful ventures and host an amazing conference for bootstrapped entrepreneurs twice a year. The show is tight, to the point, and packed with nuggets for anyone starting or growing their new business.


Bootstrapped with Kids – Scott and Brecht rock. I met them both at Microconf and can attest to how down to earth, genuinely good people they are. Every week now I listen in to find out if Brecht’s family has survived the most recent part of his bootstrapped journey across the country in a giant airstream trailer. – Had a chance to meet Ian of Ian Landsman and Andrey Burtov at Microconf this year and it’s clear they’ve got the experience and knowledge to back up the advice they share with their journey. Give them a listen.

This Week in Startups – A weekly podcast hosted by Jason Calacanis. Whether you’re looking for insider tips and tricks, or just want to know what’s going on in Silicon Valley, Calacanis offers his listeners an insider’s look into the tech industry.

Mixergy – There are some really good interviews here, but some even more awesome classes taught by really neat founders.

Entrepreneur on Fire – John Lee Dumas provides his listeners with a new podcast episode 7 days a week. Each episode features a new entrepreneur who shares their successes, failures, best kept secrets, and more! This one is a favorite or mine. :)

Seth Godin’s Startup School – In this podcast mini-series, Seth Godin guides 30 entrepreneurs through a workshop to turn their startup dreams into successful realities. Although it’s no longer in production, it’s definitely worth a listen to be part of that class. Listen to the whole series.

Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner – Entrepreneurship Corner only produces podcasts during school months, but with over 3,000 to choose from, I think there is plenty to keep anyone busy during the summer breaks. Pick and choose from the best ones in the catalog here.

TropicalMBA – Dan and Ian’s show brings you the inside story of bootstrappers travelling the world while working to make their businesses profitable and successful. You have to learn how people selling cat furniture made more money than you right?

The Rocketship Podcast – They have now passed 50 20 minute interviews with successful entrepreneurs.  Every one I’ve heard contains several useful gems.


Marketing Focused Podcasts

The BeanCast – The BeanCast is the self-proclaimed “best marketing podcast anywhere” – well, it made this list, so it’s got to be doing something right. Listen in as Bob Knorpp brings you a weekly episode full of the best of the best in marketing, advertising, and public relations.


Marketing Smarts – A 30 minute, weekly podcast that interviews marketer’s from all walks of life. Listen in as the folks at Marketing Profs teach you how to market smarter.

Marketing over Coffee – Chris Penn and John Wall give their listeners bite-sized shows that are designed to be listened to while you drink your morning cup of coffee. Don’t let the show length fool you, you’ll hear everything from what’s new in technology to information interviews with industry.

HBR Ideacast– A weekly podcast by Harvard Business Review that features the leading thinkers in business and management.

Internet Business Mastery – A weekly podcast that focuses on becoming successful in Internet marketing and online business. Internet Business Mastery touches on everything you may ever need to know about running your own online business – step by step, from the beginning.

The Lede by CopyBlogger – Copyblogger’s Director of Content, Jerod Morris, hosts a short weekly podcast in which he interviews Copyblogger staff and a variety of special guests to bring you everything you want to know about copywriting, content marketing, Email marketing, and more!

Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel from Twist Image blog discusses the complex world of social media and digital marketing, bringing you marketing and communications insights “from the edge”.

Internet Marketing – One of the UK’s most popular Internet marketing podcasts, Internet Marketing focuses mostly on digital and SEO marketing. Andy White interviews the likes of Avinash Kaushik and Seth Godin (to name a few).

SEO101 – If you are even slightly interested in learning about SEO, this is a must-hear podcast. Ross Dunn and John Carcutt break down the enigma that is SEO and teach you the ins and outs, from square one.

Smart Passive Income – Host by Pat Flynn teaches you how he has built his business to be able to support his family with passive income alone, so that you can do the same.


When You Need an Inspirational Break…

Sometimes you just need a good story or laugh in between all the quick hitting tips and tricks. Balance your listening out with the following:

Freakonomics Radio- Brought to you by the men who brought us Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Freakonomics Radio continues where the books left off by bringing you the things you never thought you wanted to know, and revealing that you may not know as much as you think!


This American Life – This weekly podcast is one of the most popular podcasts in the country. The podcast mainly features true stories about everyday people and the lives they live. Some notable subjects are babysitting, life aboard the USS Stennis, stories about summer camp, children switched at birth – the list is really endless and you’re bound to find a new appreciation for the people around you just by listening.

Ted Radio Hour – This podcast is based on the show TEDTalks. Guy Raz takes his listeners on a journey to discover Ideas Worth Spreading. You’ll learn about interesting new inventions, new solutions to old problems, and maybe even get a fresh perspective on how to create your own new ideas.

RadioLab from WNYC – RadioLab weaves compelling stories with music to create something truly captivating. Host Jad Abumrad will take you on a journey through science, philosophy and human experience meant to enlighten and broaden your mind.


What do you think?

Did we miss any?  I should also include a shameless plug for our regular marketing chats. You can join them live at Not technically a podcast… but can watch the archive and participate in new shows. :)

July 2014 Landing Page Analytics & Our Favorite Pages

We spend a lot of time analyzing landing pages at KickoffLabs. We know that the more successful our customer become the more likely they are to tell their friends about us… so this stuff matters. It’s also information we thought you might find valuable.

July Conversion Rate


This is the conversion rate across all the landing pages on our platform. This means that for every 100 unique visitors to a landing page 19 of them gave their email address to the page owner in exchange for something.

July Viral Boost


That means 27% of the leads captured by KickoffLabs came from our refer a friend viral tools. If you aren’t encouraging leads to share your landing page it’s clear that you are missing out. BTW – we make this really easy.

July Age Groups


Almost one third of the people that signed up on a landing page in July were between the ages of 25 and 35. 36 to 45 was the second highest grouping.

July Gender


July belonged to campaigns targeted at women as over 70% of the leads generated were female.


July’s Favorite Pages

These are some of our favorite pages for the month of July.

Favorite Contest Page


Scoperks hosted a fitbit giveaway that yielded some great results with our “Three Step” contest theme.

Favorite Launch Page


I loved the Team launch page so much we used them as an example in one of our webinars. They used our “Small Box” launch theme, but really made it their own.

Favorite Lead Generation Page


I loved seeing someone use the KickoffLabs “Grand Headline” page to drum up nominations for an upcoming awards show.


That’s it for now.  If you aren’t getting a viral boost with your landing page and would like to get one…

Check out KickoffLabs Today

9 Landing Page Designs Reviewed: w/ Conversion Rate Optimization Advice

I truly love looking at (and tearing down) landing pages. Seriously, I could do it all day!

Having said that, it’s always a great experience helping people better their businesses by optimizing their online presentation card: the landing page.

During last weeks live chats webinar, I had the opportunity to review 7 brand new pages, as well as re-review 2 pages that have recently been improved. So let’s get straight to business…

The Landing Page Reviews

Be sure to check out the video for plenty more hidden marketing gems!

1. PlayTank

What I like

  • Playful colors and imagery that play well with the brand.
  • The page is appealing in the way things are presented.
  • Problem focused copy, which is good but I have some suggestions.
  • The page is mobile responsive.


Things to improve

#1 – Tie down good copy with a good headline. My biggest challenge with the page was that it took me a lot reading copy to understand what they were after. This is where get into a problem of context on landing pages where people who are writing the landing pages (the marketer, business owner, etc) doesn’t understand exactly how little people know about your product when they come to your page.

When I first landed on the page it striked me as sort of an edu-tainment type of product. Something that my kids can play with, until I got to the description…

I feel like it should be higher up on the page. There needs to be some sort of central tagline or headline on the page that says either what it is or something else that gets the point across.

#2 – There is no clear call-to-action. There is a signup bar at the top, which is great, but since the color is blue with al lot of blues in the background, it doesn’t stand out as something that I should do right away.

Apart from that, there are no buttons on the page; where people’s eyes are normally drawn to. I would use this space to include a strong CTA. If you’re looking to keep the page clean, you can even use a button that opens a modal popup and not include a form on the page.

#3 – Use detailed headlines. One word headlines look good, but I think it’s important to give it that second word to answer the “what”. There needs to be a little bit more text, because you can’t assume that people know what the benefits they’re getting out of it are.

#4 – Images can break user flow, if… The other thing I notice are when I click on any of the screenshots they take me to the plain image link that opens in the same browser window. For one, the image isn’t that much bigger, and two, I just lost my place on the page!

When you include screenshots, I’d try to have open in a new window or, ideally have them popup with a lightbox. That way you’re not interfering with your visitors flow. Don’t make people click back to the page just because they wanted a closer look at the screenshot.

#5 – Avoid distracting elements. The website turns the mouse cursor into a big funky purple pointer. I found it distracting and initially couldn’t figure out where my mouse was. I just thought it was part of the landing page.

I think it’s just one of those playful things that aren’t necessary. I haven’t seen any studies or done any tests to know whether or not doing this would lower or increase conversion rates. I just found it personally distracting.


2. Nudge mobile app

What I like

  • Another responsive page, which is huge because there’s a large % of views coming in through mobile. Sometimes up to 45-50%, based on our internal data!
  • The use of a countdown to create a sense of urgency*.
  • Based on the screenshots, it’s clear that it’s an app.
  • The background image is great because there is nothing about it that draws attention, but I feel like it pulls your eyes in. Nice pic!


Things to improve

#1 –  Use scarcity… scarcely. While the intention to create scarcity is good. I don’t think that in this case the progress bar isn’t being used for anything. I would just cut the progress bar.

#2 – Make your text readable. The text color is a little too off-white for the background and I feel like the contrast is a little bit lower than it should be.

So either the background should be darker or the text should be whiter. The text basically needs to be easier to read on the page.

#3 – Choose one solid product image. I felt that having two images squeezing the text makes the page feel really complex. One quick solution would be to just cut out 1 of the 2 images, and to move the copy and signup form to be on the right side of the 1 image.

I think you only really need one screenshot to get the point of the app across if the text is good. Both screenshots are very similar anyways, and are competing for the same attention on the page (and taking away attention from the center call-to-action).

#4 – Explain the benefits. There’s a lot of talk in the copy and I have a hard time understanding what the difference is from this to something like Yelp. You need to make that difference clear to really stand out in a mobile app space.

The app is activity focused, so maybe that should be front and center. You need to explain to people why they should sign up. Features are fine, but benefits are better.

#5 – Use terms that your target market can understand. The product uses the term: “preference based context driven search”. I’d love to see that phrase tested against your target market to see if they actually understand what that means.

Don’t over-complicate the copy. You could simply say “Easy search to find great activities”, and that could even be your tagline.

#6 – You need a real incentive. There’s no reason that I should sign up today. If I sign up before the counter is up, what do I get? Do I get extra kudos on my profile? Early access to the app? Inclusion as a beta tester? There needs to be some sort of incentive to sign up for the list.

There’s also no incentive for sharing. So if someone decides to sign up, there is nothing they get from referring their friends!


3. Tai Creation

What I like

  • Page has a simple, clean look.
  • The button color on the form clearly stands out.
  • Clicking on images opens up a larger view in a lightbox.


Things to improve

#1 – Get to the point. I had to read a lot of the copy to understand what they’re offering. The page starts off with the claim that they’ll “help you start your online business”… Thing is so can just about any other service where you can buy a domain or put up a website.

Anybody can use a generic sales term, but you need to explain what you are doing specifically?

#2 – Highlight your strengths. Reading through the page I discover their niche is that they’re best at taking a retail store, integrating with a point-of-sale device, and putting the store online.

I think that is a real value proposition that can be really specific. “Put your retail store online today”, would be a much better title for the page because it gets to exactly what you’re offering and to where you’ve had success in the business so far.

#3 – Add context to images. The other thing that I would do is add some captions to the images. You’ll help explain the service a lot better with a bit of helper text underneath your images.

#4 – Cut down on form fields. The form feels a little lengthy. Do you need to collect all that information in one swoop? I’m not sure you need the message field, and it would pull the CTA button up higher if you removed this field.

You could probably guess the company name from their email address – if they have a company email address. So I would probably remove that too. Once you do that the button will line up more with the bottom of the images in the desktop view for a cleaner look.

By the way, if you’re using KickoffLabs we automagically retrieve a lot of the information you’re asking for, so no need for conversion-killing clutter!

#5 – Show off your customer successes. I would say “See stores we’ve made”, something that mentions that these are examples of customers you’ve worked with.

#6 – Use relevant copy. Where it says “Check this out”. I would update this to say “What we do”, because that’s what you’re saying here.

Say what you do and who you’ve done it for, and that’ll fit a lot better on the page in this case.


4. Konsolidate

What I like

  • Nice big headline, with a clear CTA.
  • Perfect subheadline layout.


Things to improve

#1 – Readability is top priority. The header text, because of the clouds, is a little hard to read. It also contrasts with the green grass, making the white text harder to read over that.

I would maybe use a shadow on the font to make the white stand out, or even just use a darker background image that allows the copy to stand out.

#2 – Choose a CTA and make it stand out. The “Take Action” button is really buried and doesn’t use a contrasting color. You’d maybe want to take one of the colors of your logo; like a nice orange that everyone seems to agree is the universal color of conversion!

#3 – Clearly define user interactions. There are conflicting interests on the page… You’ve got “Calculate my payment”, but it doesn’t popup a payment calculator, it just pops up a form. Your call-to-action should line up with what you’re asking people to do.

#4 – Always have a visible CTA. I’ve said this a few times in the reviews, but it’s worth mentioning again:

You don’t know which piece of copy will get people to take action and thus the next step.

But what you do know, is that when people decide they want to take the next step, it needs to be obvious where that is. That’s why you see pages with multiple buttons and call-to-actions.


5. U Street Pub Crawls

What I like

  • Great example where the background helps reinforce the message.
  • Logo clearly describes what’s going on.
  • Image comes to life with animation by hovering over the form, (that’s a KickoffLabs theme).
  • Clear description of “What” it is and “Who” it’s for.


Things to improve

#1 – Answer the “why” people should sign up. People want to know what’s in it for them, now! Every landing page and signup form needs an incentive.

I would offer up a coupon code, a free list on top pubs, or something else that creates immediate value for your signups. Use the space below the form and put the incentive there. You need to clearly explain to people why they should sign up.

#2 – Match your brand colors. The call-to-action is loud (which is good), though I think it should be a bright orange instead of the bright green to kind of go with the overall landing page color scheme. That’s probably a minor thing but helps to achieve a more balanced look of the page.

#3 – Personalize your CTA button. I think that “Notify Me’ could be “Start Crawling” or something more playful to go with the main message. Something that relates to the action that signups are taking.

#4 You should take off our branding from the page. We’ve tried branding on the bottom, we’ve tried branding on the top, etc. Pretty much any 3rd party branding will lower your conversion rate by about 35%.

If you care about conversion rates at all, you should remove the branding on your landing pages. Whether you use us or another paid solution, it’s worth it.


6. Purple Slate

What I like

  • It’s got a really clean and simple look.
  • CTA button stands out on the page*, see suggestion #1.
  • Second CTA at the bottom, for people who scroll through.
  • Page talks to the person. Uses “you”, not “we”.


Things to improve

#1 – Optimize the form. It’s a great CTA, but I think that the button could be bigger and also the full width of the form. I would also personalize the sign up button with some playful, action-based copy.

#2 – Big videos can be distracting. I’m not a huge fan of video backgrounds on pages. Not a fan at all. Haven’t seen a test or any research on how landing pages with or without the video background can affect conversions…

I just personally find it distracting. Anything that potentially takes away attention from your main CTA is a no-go in my book. I actually think that a still photo would probably work better. That and the site would load a little faster too!

#3 –  Lead with your strongest headlines. As I go through the copy, the first headline I see is “Easy sign in to our Mobile App”… Is this really the headline you want to lead with? I mean, really hope that it’s easy to sign in to.

Those are just specific features that don’t work to engage visitors. I would move that headline down the page as just a bullet point and not focus on that being a key reason to use the app.

#4 – Define your core value proposition. I’m not 100% sure what the app does… I get that it’s a free invitation maker, but what’s the key differentiator from other apps doing the same thing?

I would use something that explains the benefit more clearly, like: “Create invitations on the go with our mobile app”.. Whatever it is people get out of using your product, you need to make that immediate and obvious.


7. Grey Campus

This is an updated page based on some feedback we gave during a previous live landing page teardowns.




What I like

  • It’s much simpler than it previously was, before it was cluttered.
  • I can now understand what they’re offering.
  • Nifty templates for convincing upper management to try the service.


This page is a significant improvement on the first page we had a look at! Here are a few more suggestions:

Things to improve

#1 – Good spacing increases readability. I think you can add a little bit more space between the headline and the top of the page.

#2 – Don’t confuse with secondary CTA’s. I thought that the form was a required step for signing up, but then I noticed that it’s for finding a location near me, and that there’s another call-to-action on the page that says “Enroll”.

You need to decide which call-to-action you want people to take. Do you want them to select a training location, or to enroll? It’s okay to have a secondary call-to-action on the page, just be sure to properly differentiate between the two.

#3 – Provide a solid second option. I also think that you’re asking people for a lot of money right off the bat. If I click “Enroll”, there’s no secondary call-to-action to capture email addresses.

I would use a signup widget, a form, etc… just something that’ll help grab emails because not everybody is going to sign up right away. First you’ve got some convincing to do!

You might as well start a relationship by sending them some tips, a pdf ebook, etc. Getting more leads in the marketing funnel should be one of your primary goals.

#4 – Animations do not help conversion rates! People ask us to include these in their pages all the time! It does not help conversion rates, if anything it lowers them.

When I load the site, the page looks blank for a split second. As I scroll down, the page also looks blank for a second. This does not help engage people and it’s just for show.

You’re better off just having your content appear normally on the page and not having stuff appear like this. I guarantee you’ll do better without having the animation. 99% of the time it’s not visually pleasing, it’s just distracting.

#5 – Include a proper incentive. The second call-to-action on the page is to receive a sales call. Trust me, a sales call is not a reason to give my information… You need to provide a real incentive for collecting people’s information. If I’m getting something in return and then you follow up with a sales call – that’s a much better exchange.


8. Wine Awesomeness

I really like the changes they made and it’s a huge step forward from when we first reviewed their page.


Wine Awesomeness Landing Page Review


What I like

  • The copy now gets to the point.
  • Not asking for too much information on the form (like they were before)
  • Sponsors have good placement on the page.


Things to improve

#1 – Text should be easy on the eyes. The page uses some great background images, but the lightness of the text box makes the text hard to read. I would try making the box a little more opaque and less transparent.

#2 – Add support copy. To reinforce the prizes and contest partners, I would include the text “Contest includes great prizes from.. ” and then name the sponsors.

This will help provide a secondary backup to what you’re offering. You’ll get people more excited if you explain who the prizes come from.

Going after the page with a focus on readability is the next step!


9. Crully

What I like

  • A six-letter domain, so it couldn’t have been cheap.
  • Big primary call-to-action.
  • Good concept of using video for apartment listings.


Things to improve

#1 – Don’t hide your navigation. Do you really need the menu “sandwiched” in desktop mode? Would people know to click the menu to get more options? I would perhaps place the logo a little more to the left and place the menu items directly in the navigation bar.

#2 – Better explain the product. I think you should explain the “why” a little better. Why should people use your app for finding listings? Why should landlords use the service to rent out apartments? This product has a little explaining to do and with good reason: there’s something unique about the app. Speak to the benefit of why you’re “better, easier and faster”.

#3 – Give people a secondary call-to-action. There’s no call-to-action on the page other than the search. Which seems to be the primary goal. But what do I do if I want to rent an apartment?

#4 – Optimize the user experience. I wish the video popped up as opposed to sending me to the listings page.


In Closing

The aim with these landing page reviews has been to help people optimize their pages for maximum conversion rates. Hopefully, you’re also able to take away some good advice and tips that you can implement on your own landing pages and marketing campaigns.

What did you think about the reviews? Do you have any suggestions for improving landing page conversion?

Be sure to give us a shout out via social to let us know!

Thanks for reading!

-Josh Ledgard,
Co-Founder – KickoffLabs

P.S. If you’re ready to start building smarter campaigns, you really should give KickoffLabs a shot. We offer a more detailed, hands-on conversion rate optimization for all of our paid customers. Give us a try, you’ll be glad you did!