Why Your App Needs a Landing Page

Marketing

Marketing your app starts long before you try to launch it. From pre-launch marketing activities to the app's arrival in app stores, successful app marketing is about continuing to build excitement.

At the center of that marketing is your landing page or app-focused website. This site will evolve based on where your app is in its development lifecycle. For those of you debating whether your app needs a landing page, we've put together why a landing page is integral to building your app's following before launch, and how each stage of a landing page's evolution helps position your app for success.

TL;DR

  • A landing page and web presence serves as the hub for all information about your app.
  • It helps in shaping your app's design identity with its logo, typography, and color palette.
  • Define the story of your app in a sentence to help showcase its purpose and core features.
  • The landing page should evolve with the app's development. Gradually reveal more.
  • Analyze the hard data on your landing page to refine your marketing messages.
  • Use your landing page and social channels to gather emails for user feedback and beta testers.
  • Interact with users through the landing page to keep the excitement level up after launch.

Start Shaping the Story of Your App

The first stage of your landing page should align with the tail end of your app's strategic planning phase. As soon as you nail down your app's concept and start creating its branding materials, you'll want to purchase a domain name reflective of your app's name and publish an initial splash page. This page will help legitimize your app and give you a place for potential users to discover you. It will also serve as the main place people can learn about your app ahead of it being in actual app stores.

This basic page is where you start shaping your app's design identity. Here's where you show off your app's brand — it's typography, color palettes, iconography, and logo. You also should include introductory teaser items and an email sign-up form. Other fields are optional and should only be included based on if they're important to your app. You might include some high-level information about when you plan to go live, though keep in mind that launch dates should always be considered fluid.

Most importantly, however, this is where you start introducing potential users to your app's story. At Savvy Apps, we help our customers define the inspirational story of their apps in one or two sentences. These short, emotional slogans showcase the purpose and core features of the app, and tell users why they will want to download the app once it's available. Phrases like Leap's "Want a better dating experience? Leap," FamilySignal's “Put your family on the map,” and Oleo's “Win the menu war” give users a glimpse of how their lives will improve by downloading this app.

This is Teleport's initial landing page with a brief description of the app and its inspirational slogan: “Go anywhere.”

Get Feedback for Your App from Beta Testers

The next stage of your app landing page or website is about increasing interest by revealing more about your app and actively reaching out to potential users for app feedback. You can begin to tease out more details about your app's features, a few screenshots, and additional materials as your app takes form. Consider getting more creative in your promotional content with interactive graphics or short video promos, like the one on musx's website.

In parallel, you should start building out your social media channels. Your page should include links to every social media channel and other web presences you have for your app. It's important to connect all these communication channels in one central location so people have a single place to learn all that's out there about your app. It's also useful to let, say, your Twitter followers know you have an Instagram account, or to connect your Facebook fans with the other social channels they wouldn't otherwise encounter. You can even take it one step further by incorporating tools like SumoMe's social sharing badge to enable users to share your landing page with their own networks.

By this point you should have a number of email addresses courtesy of your social media outreach and email sign-up form. You can then reach out to people to get new perspectives on what is and isn't working in your app. Through those discussions, you may find new ways to approach problems and features that might not have been accounted for in your planning. This audience outreach is helpful in getting a forecast of how your app will be received once it launches. Some of these users may even be interested in providing more hands-on feedback by using your app itself as part of a formalized beta testing group.

Other feedback comes from analyzing the hard data on your landing page that visitors provide when they interact with your marketing messages. You can test a variety of messages on your landing page and social channels in the weeks leading up to launch to pinpoint the types of marketing material your users prefer. Because you have full control over how and what you display on your landing page, you have more opportunity to see what users will respond to. Google Analytics, SumoMe, and other tools can help analyze how people are using the site. Use this data to identify what resonates with your users before you make a big push for downloads on launch day.

Build Activity for Your App Launch and Beyond

The big reveal of your full app website should coincide with the launch of your app. Once your app goes live you should provide all the details about your app, including support and documentation, pricing plans, a press kit, and a link to download your app in the app stores. You'll continue to add more information to your site until it eventually includes reviews, user testimonies, more in-depth previews, and links to articles about your app.

Take advantage of the information you gathered through your landing page up to this point. Send out an email blast to everyone who entered their email addresses on your landing page. This email should reflect the messages and features that have resonated best with your beta group in particular. Direct users to download, rate, and review your app in this email. Using tools like LinkTexting, you can even add an option on your landing page for people to opt to receive an SMS link sent directly to their devices to make it easier for them to discover the app. Reach out to any media you've cultivated relationships with to let them know the app is live. If they weren't already aware of the press kit, provide a link to it. The more information you provide, the easier you make it for the press to cover your app's release.

Discovery outside the app stores is important for your app. By refining your landing page's search engine optimization, you can increase the number of people who find out about your app, and then direct them to it in app stores. After all, it doesn't matter how well you've executed your app if no one knows how to find it or even that it exists. Maximizing your landing page's keywords, without flooding the solid, informational content on your site with them, is a powerful way to encourage organic traffic to your landing page and app. Select keywords that your users would search for when trying to find your app, or an app with features like it. You can use Google's Keyword Planner to help you come up with keyword ideas and Google Analytics to track the resulting traffic.

FamilySignal's landing page allows visitors to text themselves a link to download the app. It also takes advantage of an Intercom chat feature to engage users.

Most importantly, however, keep adding information to your landing page and giving users ways to interact with your app team to keep the excitement level up after your app's launch. Along with app FAQ and support documentation, we recommend adding team profiles and a blog to make users feel like they can get to know the people behind the app. There are tools like Intercom, which FamilySignal uses on its landing page, to further demonstrate that you're actively listening to user feedback and intend to address feature recommendations and other suggestions in later app updates. Similarly, Savvy helped FamilySignal build out an extensive knowledge base using Help Scout. By engaging with users and demonstrating that there's an active community around your app, you'll attract more interest and, hopefully, more downloads.

Concluding Note

The landing page is just one part of the holistic approach we use to position apps for success, but it's a critical one. Without even the most basic landing page, users will struggle to discover your app and won't have many options to share your app with their own networks. It's easy for an app to get lost in already overcrowded app stores. What's more, you're limited in the ways you can market your app if users do find its app store listing. By creating a landing page and stepping through its evolution, you stand to attract more potential users to your app as well as entice them to download it and stick with it.

Whitney Rhodes is the lead editor for the Savvy Apps blog. She helps share Savvy Apps' extensive knowledge with all who seek to build better apps.

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