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3 Reasons to use a landing page for your Kickstarter campaign

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

1. Measure traffic

If you’re going to be working hard to drive traffic leading up to your project launch and also throughout the actual campaign, then you need a way to measure how effective your efforts are.

Yes, you could use Bitly to track traffic, however, it can be a pain to remember to use Bitly links every time you want to let someone know about your Kickstarter campaign.

Instead, you could create a landing page and install google analytics (see how at the end of this post). With google analytics, you can set conversion goals, gain insight into geographical data, and even see results in real-time.

google analytics

In addition, if a blogger decided to link to your Kickstarter campaign, although that may provide some value throughout the 30-60 day campaign duration, after your Kickstarter is over, it would be a worthless link.

Any SEO value that the link passed would go to Kickstarter, not your personal website or business. Yes, people may continue to find your campaign from around the web and decide to check out your business link provided in the campaign page, but wouldn’t it be great if you could hold onto that SEO value that you accumulated during the marketing phase?

This way, you can tailor messages based on the stage of your campaign or direct them to a sales page post-Kickstarter. Learn more about this below.

2. Controlling Visitor Flow

By using a landing page, you can customize the information a visitor sees and, depending on the phase of the campaign, display different calls to action.

For example, if you are in the preparation phase of the campaign, you could use your landing page to direct your supporters to a ThunderClap.It campaign, where they can pledge their social support so that your customized message will be tweeted out upon launch.

If you are in the final days of your Kickstarter campapign and need existing supporters to spread the word about your campaign, you could change the landing page so that it’s easy to share your campaign on a variety of social networks. You could then direct them to that landing page in a Kickstarter update.

kickstarter landing page 2

Finally, when your campaign is over, you can turn your landing page into a pre-order page or use a customized URL with Shopify to turn the landing page into an ecommerce store.

shopify pebble

3. Conduct AB Testing

From what I’ve noticed, there are a large number of successful physical products on Kickstarter. Selling physical products via retail outlets or other distributors is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but the incredible thing about online marketing/sales is that you can have access to real-time data about how people interact with your website and gain in-depth insight into their buying behavior.

It’s easy to think once you’ve had a success on your hands that you have the magic touch. I’m more guilty of this than anyone else! Yes, having a vision is important and sometimes this means going against the immediate trends. However, it’s crucial to let real-world data drive everyday business decisions, not your ego.

You can AB test your landing page to determine what types of wording and layouts yield the best conversions (click throughs to the campaign page or social sharing).

In the past, I’ve used Unbounce as a quick and easy way to set up an AB testable landing page.

How do you create a landing page?

It all depends on your level of coding ability. If you have no coding ability what so ever, I’d recommend using a company like Unbounce or LeadPages, as they offer out of the box solutions.

If you are familiar with website design, you could use a free or paid wordpress template coupled with google analytics. A quick google search yields: “10 Best Landing Page WordPress Themes.

You could also use the famous “Hacking Kickstarter” landing page. The open source template is available on GitHub.

My question to you

Do you think creators should use a landing page for their Kickstarter proejct? If not, why? Let me know if you’ve had a good experience with any other types of landing page software providers.

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23 Comments »

  • Adam said:

    That makes a lot of sense. It clearly would be better to share links to a page
    that you control, other than your Kickstarter page for blogs or even
    people you know to use. Never really thought of it.

    If you already have a website wouldn’t it than make sense for you to than create a page on that for your landing page? Especially, if the end result is after your project is
    successful on Kickstarter that your backers or future customers have a
    place to purchase more?

    The next question/post would be, what do you put on the landing page prior to your project launch? How much information about the project do you share? Just some basics, or details close to that of what you plan on having for the actual kickstarter project launch?

  • Bit of a Geek said:

    Nice article! Here are my thoughts on it.

    For me, the best approach would be to avoid using a landing page and just direct people straight to the kickstarter page. Here are my reasons:

    1. From a usability point of view, putting an extra barrier between the audience and the pledge function is the biggest mistake in my eyes. People are lazy by nature and making it as simple as possible to allow them to pledge should be one of your aims.

    2. You run the risk of asking too much of them. If you have a page which tells them to donate, tweet and Like, you’re diluting the focus of what it is you actually want them to do. If it was me, I’d want them to pledge over anything else. You can easily contact your pledgers by email at a later date and ask them to pledge then.

    3. The SEO benefits would suffer if you’re constantly changing the content of the page. Google holds on to page content and uses it to determine how high the page should rank. If you’re changing it, it can’t do that.

    4. Testing is awesome, but most of your pledge traffic is going to come on your first day. The benefits of knowing after that period will be minimal. Instead I suggest running a pre-campaign trial to measure this data, and then you’re equipped with important information before you even launch. Bitly’s analytics should suffice for when your campaign is up and running.

    I think that’s all the points I had to make! Maybe I’m just looking at it from my own perspective, perhaps a landing page might work best for certain types of campaigns. I’m sure there’s ways of utilising a landing page that I haven’t thought of. Good read Sal, some interesting takes. Hopefully this hasn’t sounded too negative :)

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Yes, you could create a landing page on a subdomain or a folder on the same domain. A lot of landing page softwares will also allow you to use your own domain.

    Good question. I think it would depend on the type of project, the person’s audience, marketing strategy, and how far along they are with the prototype.

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Love different points of view :)

    1. Not sure I agree that people are necessarily lazy, but making the process as simple and straightforward as possible as to what action they should take is definitely paramount.

    2. Good points. Personally, what I like about landing pages is you can also customize it for the particular audience. If you have friends that you know won’t pledge or can’t, you can use a different landing page to encourage them to share.

    3. True. I suppose it depends on how big of a change and the keywords you are ranking for. I’ve changed up pages of mine on a semi-frequent basis to expand on articles and include new links, though I haven’t changed the portion of the articles that had the keywords.

    4. Think it varies based on the campaign. Some do see the sort of Kickstarter slump model (lots of pledges in beginning and end, not very much in middle). I’ve also seen many with a more linear growth model or bursts of pledge traffic throughout.

    Appreciate your thoughts – for anyone reading, this is definitely a new space and the best practices are still being determined. The one thing I would recommend is for anyone (whether you’re taking my advice or Bit of a Geek) is to always follow the data you get when you conduct a test – not what may “seem right” or what others say.

  • Bit of a Geek said:

    Yeah, testing prior to the campaign is always going to be your best bet. You need to find out how your target audience ticks before deciding how best to approach pitching to them.

  • Adam said:

    While those are risks, I think the benefits of a landing page out weigh the downside. You do want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to reach your Kickstarter project, that is the whole reason you are doing this in the first place. But I dont think that extra step to reveal yourself of your needs and a little something about the project, will take away too much. They might just share or tweet the page out and never visit your project page, while not the pledge you were hoping for, it is still something you wanted anyway and that is a greater audience. You could put on the page “above all else, please Pledge” for them to not lose sight of the true goal.

    That landing page should also be good enough to convince people to check out your Kickstarter page. A Kickstarter project has a tendency to be fairly long and time consuming to check out. So if these people are lazy to begin with they might not sit through a 2min.+ video, or read the lengthy description, anyway.

    Kickstarter is also a new platform, and the majority of people still have never heard of it, and so dont know how it works. If you can prepare them slightly as to what to expect, for when they reach the page you might get a higher conversion rate. The value in being able to use the landing page prior to launch or after is just in my opinion too valuable to pass up over just one extra click.

  • Jacob A Tapia said:

    I think this is a great idea – especially for the A-B testing. That would help tremendously in figuring out what is working or not. Thanks!

    BTW, my current campaign: http://igg.me/at/citizensfilm/x/19986 :)

  • Bit of a Geek said:

    “So if these people are lazy to begin with” – oops I think my point was misinterpreted there! I’m a web designer with some User Experience history. The term ‘lazy’ isn’t a derogatory way to describe groups of people who use the Internet, it’s a way to explain that people want things quick and simple. So when designing a website, you have to make sure the user can reach a goal quickly and simply.

    It seems like having a landing page is repeating a lot of information, because you’ll have all the info on the page, and then again on the Kickstarter page when they click through to it. Information overload is a dangerous thing when you’re asking people for money. They’re easily put off if they’re being told too much.

    Here’s an alternative use for a landing page which I just thought might be useful:

    Direct your users to your Kickstarter page, which will contain all the information they need about the product. At a later stage in the campaign, create a landing page for your existing pledgers to visit which tells them about everything they can do to help you reach your fund goal. Generally, people who have pledged money towards a product are really eager to make sure the product becomes a reality, so at this stage, you wouldn’t be asking too much of them. You’ve achieved your main goal with that person (obtained their pledge) so you don’t need to worry so much about confusing them with different calls to action.

  • Adam said:

    Than what do you suggest doing and using before you pre-launch? I think the beauty of the landing page is to not only send out one link, but also for people who are not your users. Those are the people you are going to need to get you over the top. Using the landing page to grow your social base and inform them of what is coming, before you refer them to your Kickstarter page. In the end whatever works is whats important.

  • Bit of a Geek said:

    Yeah absolutely, you definitely need to grow your social base prior to the campaign, and a website can help you do that.

    I just wouldn’t direct people to it once the campaign is live :)

  • Matt Marcy said:

    Thanks for this. Great stuff. Wish I would’ve thought to set this up before lauching. I have been using the bitly analytics, and I’ve found them helpful. Also, by giving my bitly link a customized name it’s easy to remember. May look into a landing page, though, or definitely for any future campaign. bit.ly/disillusioned

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Yea – in my experience, it’s always best to follow the data! Hope your campaign is successful! Don’t know if you saw this article, but I’ve compiled a list of some Indiegogo communities online: http://www.crowdcrux.com/indiegogo-communities-online/

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Good tip! Thanks for sharing :). If you’d ever be willing, would be awesome if you could share some of your analytics on KickstarterForum.org when you reach the halfway mark.

  • Jacob A Tapia said:

    thanks! i’ll check it out

  • Adam said:

    Well 5 days into my project launch and I have to say that the launch page wasn’t what i was expecting. Now I cant complain, because my project “The Magwoods” http://kck.st/1fFKpd4 was funded in under 3 days. Mostly from the Kickstarter community. Once people start liking you on facebook or twitter they seem to share stuff from that social platform, which is usually Kickstarter links. To try and have them continue to share an outside page seems to be swimming upstream.

  • Missy Koefod said:

    This really is fantastic advise non of which occurred to me before I landed on your blog. We just launched today and I will be implementing your advice tonight (no sleep tonight!). What an amazing resource! I am really excited to try the analytics! If you want to take a peek and let us know what you think we are at http://tinyurl.com/1821bitters

  • shapeit said:

    I wish I had thought of it when launching my Kickstarter (http://kck.st/U3o3PI).

    I’m missing Google Analytics in my campaign. If anybody has any idea how to incorporate some form of traffic analytics into existing project page ping me please! :D

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Hmm…. you could use the bitly shortlink for your Kickstarter shortlink? See: http://kck.st/U3o3PI+

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Happy to see that your campaign was successful!

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Congrats on hitting your goal!

  • shapeit said:

    We already use it but it would be nice to track visits that didn’t come directly through this link. I guess this one shows only stats for people who clicked on the link specifically right?

  • CrowdCrux (author) said:

    Yea, that’s correct. Yea, I can’t think of any ways to do that at the moment with your existing campaign with Kickstarter. I’ll get back to you if I think of something.

  • Matias Cisternas said:

    I want to make a very complicated question. I need to know which companies make PR campaigns for free in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds are. I just found a http://www.fundzinger.com charged a 7% commission. But there are others?

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