Why design is not the most important factor in ICO landing pages.

Vast majority of ICO landing pages fail to serve their main purpose. Too many ICO founders and teams do not realize that the landing page must always have a very specific goal tied to business KPIs, and can have several secondary objectives that all support the primary purpose.

An ICO landing page is one of the most central parts of the whole marketing campaign. It’s where you drive the majority of your cold and warm traffic, and acts as a compendium of pertinent sources of information regarding the project. Most importantly, the landing page provides cold leads their very first and highly influential impression. A poorly designed and executed landing page will most certainly miscommunicate your capabilities to the target audience.

It will have visitors second guessing the amount of attention you give to the rest of your business. Don’t be surprised if this triggers an opposite reaction to what you’d expect to have, scrutiny over the other parts of your ICO instead of a boost in confidence.

Non-persuasive landing pages in general are often not read at all, get bounced from almost immediately, or invoke mistrust. As you probably know, building trust within your community is vital for the success of the project both now, and in the future once the sales close.

To add to that, the competition among ICOs is fierce and only keeps growing. It’s challenging (and expensive) to stand out from the noise. Moreover, due to the rampant scams and fraudulent activities it is increasingly harder for investors to find and identify legitimate projects they could invest in.

Keep in mind that the landing page design is often subject to evaluation by rating sites to measure the level of professionalism in an ICO. While some of these rating sites churn out high ratings in exchange for fees, there are sites out there that actually do the necessary due diligence to give a fair rating that will give a vote of confidence to your project.

However, as was mentioned in the beginning of the article design isn’t everything and it should not be your primary concern either.

The first communication channels

Although design does help to create trust and a consistent brand image the main purpose of an ICO landing page is to sell.

With your landing page you are not communicating directly with a person, the page is talking to an entire audience. Through persuasion and optimization the landing page can effectively pitch your ICO to visitors and convert them into token holders and eventual end users.

As mentioned previously, it is a compendium of the most crucial sources of information: whitepaper, team, key partners, a roadmap, a blog etc. Each piece of content should be carefully thought out and presented in a convincing manner.

It’s not as simple as providing a navigation bar and offering this content to visitors à la carte. You need to consider what sort of an action, or conversion, you want the visitors to take next.

Do you want them to read your whitepaper? Do you want to solicit their email addresses? Do you want them to join your Telegram community? Sign up for the whitelist straight away and commit? Or perhaps a combination of these?

You need a clear objective to lead your audience to and the landing page must reflect that desire in a clear and practical manner.

Grabbing the viewer’s attention

The most important thing your landing page has to immediately do, is to grab the viewer’s attention, so that he or she can potentially become part of your community. To a certain extent this can be done by design, but should also be reflected in every piece of content or copy you add to your page.

Text on landing pages should be (visually) engaging. Have you ever experienced someone commenting on your post “TL;DR”? “Too Long; Didn’t Read” is a typical millennial expression.

Millennials are expert scanners. They have zero tolerance for walls of text or copy that takes too long go through. Copy needs to be too the point and clear. Prioritizing is important. More importantly, every excerpt of copy you write should have a clear goal.

Too much text on a landing page is not very engaging
Building a landing page without a strategy won’t allow you to convert visitors into actual investors. If you want your landing page to be a tool for customer engagement, you need to strategically employ call-to-action in your landing page design, as well as content.

How to lead your users from the page to the sale

By using brand guidelines a company can make their brand consistent throughout their whole landing page, marketing collateral etc. This will give the brand the opportunity to give a strong impression and help you stand out.

By using buttons and call-to-actions (and repeating the same process several times) you will be able to lead your users to your goal.

This means that you have to take advantage of where the viewer’s attention goes to. By placing strategical buttons to suggest an action, you will be able to lead your audience where you want them to end up.

For instance, in the pictures below a call-to-action button is missing from where the attention goes naturally. CTAs placed under the main headline are an effective way for seamlessly maintaining the interest of the reader.

Think about where your gaze is directed to while viewing this headline
Something is missing here
Call-to-action in a strategic place

How to structure your landing page

The most impactful part of your landing page is section above the fold. This is the first, and possibly last, section your intended audience will see.

When you browse through ICO landing pages out there something that stands out is that most ICOs have the same exact section above the fold. In some cases even the color scheme and animated graphics match. This can result with two different projects looking the same, boring and bland. Often ICOs follow the same trends as they work with similar partners and employ the same resources. But this does not help them stand out from the crowd, quite the opposite, they blend in a get drowned out by the visual noise.

Do your best to avoiding these sort of trends and templates and you will be able to create an identity that gets noticed (in a good way). This is not only important for during your ICO, but will continue to serve you post-ICO when branding becomes even more crucial.

Here are 5 main factors that make a great landing page:

  1. The offer itself
    a. Is the ICO offer clear?
    b. Is your offer congruent to your bought/referral traffic?
    c. Is the offer pictured, demonstrated, and described adequately?
  2. Sign-up form
    a. Can you actually see the sign-up form?
    b. Is the number of fields correlated to the KYC process?
    c. Is the call-to-action clear and noticeable?
    d. If a person scrolls away from the sign-up form, can they easily return?
  3. Trust
    a. Are there relevant trust icons?
    b. Are there non-anonymous testimonials and review?
    c. Are there clear privacy policies?
    d. Are there any relevant disclaimers?
  4. Visual hierarchy
    a. Does the page maintain the ad scent?
    b. Are your layout or imagery synced with your primary call-to-action?
    c. Is the most important content/information easily visible?
  5. Persuasiveness
    a. Reciprocity — give a chunk of free value in return for something, such as email address
    b. Commitment & Consistency — smaller commitments facilitate consistent behavior and continual trust building
    c. Liking — more intimate familiarity with the persons(s) behind the solution, thus more likely to say yes to a request
    d. Authority — either internal, or that borrowed from external figures as people are (generally) hard-wired to respond to authority
    e. Social Proof — evidence that the solution is trusted/reviewed highly by others
    f. Scarcity — when something is scarce people are more motivated not to lose out

How to craft a strong CTA:

By evaluating how well your current call-to-actions on your ICO landing page are working, you can determine whether your strategy needs changes. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many landing page visitors do I get?
  • How many visits does each page on my landing page get?
  • How many clicks does each link get in a given day, week, month, etc.?
  • How are my social media channels growing?

By asking these questions, you can enhance the engagement and conversion of your target audience. With a lot of patience, reflection and creativity, you can devise the perfect strategic landing page with call-to-actions that will drive landing page engagement and increase investor conversion for your ICO. There are also a couple of easy steps to customizing the call-to-actions themselves:

  • Use verbs
  • Be descriptive
  • Use inclusive language
  • Use persuasion principles appropriate for that context

Depending on your goals for your landing page, you may choose to employ a variety of call-to-actions. As you are doing this remember to keep the CTAs in line with your primary objectives set out for the landing page. Here are some samples of CTAs dependent on the goals:

  • Subscribe (to our Telegram group, to our newsletter, to our blog etc.);
  • Download (our whitepaper, our app etc.);
  • Follow us (on Facebook, Twitter, Medium etc.);
  • Contact us (in Telegram, by email etc.);
  • Purchase (a tool kit, a video training, tokens etc.)

How to optimize once the landing page is ready:

Now that your ideal landing page is live you are prepared to open the floodgates and let the traffic flow in. The most important step to starting to optimize the landing page you’ve created is to start aggregative quantitative data from the site. You want to know how many unique visitors you are getting daily, weekly, perhaps even monthly, and how these visitors are behaving once they arrive.

When you have some preliminary numbers to better understand the effectiveness of your page, you want to start providing context for optimization by complimenting quantitative data with qualitative feedback. Without understanding why visitors are behaving in a certain way, or not behaving the way you want them to you will not be able to properly improve the landing page.

Do not rely on gut feeling, hunches, or guesswork as you may end up inadvertently depressing your conversions rates. Unless you are certain the changes you’ve made correlate with the results it is impossible to scale these learnings in the future.

To get you started here are some quantitative feedback methods and tools to work with:

  • User surveys — SurveyMonkey, Qualaroo, Formstack
  • Click/scroll/eye tracking, heat mapping — hotjar, crazyegg, Attensee
  • Usability tests — ethnio, UserTesting.com, loop11, usabilityhub
  • Community management FAQs

Another strategy for optimization is implementing exit pops and overlays, as they are powerful tools to get the traffic that lands on your page to stick around longer so that you are then able to persuade them one last time. Consider the following factors when designing and implementing these:

  • Trigger timing — how long until an exit pop/overlay triggers
  • Trigger segmentation — who exactly gets prompted
  • Size — grey out the whole screen, or a simple banner sized exit pop
  • Offer— an additional “last chance” offer for those about to bounce
  • Images, form, copy, etc.

When implemented non-intrusively you should see a reduction in bounce rates, and an equal increase in engagement numbers. Do not expect the first iterations to work out, instead, experiment with different types of variants through split testing and only implement the best performing ones live.

Last tip is to keep the link to CTA ratio low, so that visitors are not leaving your primary landing page chasing after content that is not relevant to your business goals. Do not include any non-pertinent links that compete with your primary CTA.

Final Thoughts

A landing page is an important tool in your ICO marketing strategy. By having an eye-catching, well-thought-out design you will be able to convey trust to your potential investors.

By creating this trust, you will be able to stand out from the drowning noise of other ICOs and come across as a legitimate project.

A landing page, however, also needs a strategic goal. By giving the viewer instructions in the form of call-to-actions, you will be able to lead him to the next step of the sales funnel.

Call-to-actions should be understandable and easy for your target audience to execute. Depending on the goal of your landing page, you can use different types of call-to-actions.

Optimizing these call-to-actions by looking at data collecting from performance metrics as well as qualitative feedback, you will be able to optimize your landing page to get more conversions and provide visitors with a more seamless experience.

If you liked what you just read, we have another article for you that talks about cutting ICO marketing costs by using messenger marketing. Read the article by clicking the banner below.

Article written in collaboration with Peeter-Erik Kiis