The most important part of any landing page is how you promote it. It’s unlikely that your minimum viable product’s page is going to wind up at the top of Google, so you really need to make an effort to get it out there.
Promotion is the only way to get traffic, and traffic is the only way to learn.
Notice I didn’t say “get emails.” Building an email list may be your ultimate goal here, but going into landing page promotion with that as your only goal will lead you in the wrong direction.
Go into it with the expectation of learning something about your product and what you’re offering people. What you really want to do is find out:
- What specifically about your product gets people excited, i.e., what is its perceived value
- Who is excited about your product, i.e., who your market really is
Think of the email list you might build as a cherry on top of the crucial learnings about your product and market that a landing page should help you get.
“We Write Your Emails, Just Better!”
To test this theory out, we’re running an experiment. We want to take an idea for a business and lay the foundation for a flourishing company with nothing but a landing page and some Facebook ads.
It started with a simple concept: an AI-assisted email consulting service. Any emails in your inbox you don’t want to deal with? Forward them to us—Inboxly.
To get started, we made a landing page and set it up to capture emails. We tweaked the copy until we thought it was just right. Now we’re making a Facebook ad to try and get Inboxly out into the world.
Using Facebook Ads To Learn
Facebook ads are an incredible tool for driving landing page traffic because they help you control your customer acquisition process.
Many entrepreneurs want to use every method in the book for getting traffic. They’ll go on Reddit, Hacker News, various listservs, GrowthHackers, Inbound, they’ll even call family and friends to get more page hits.
It’s great to have that hustle, but sometimes it’s better to set up a controlled environment.
With Facebook ads, you can adjust your targeting, visuals, and copy on a microscopic basis, making your offering better and better with each new piece of data that comes in. You never have to ask, “Who are all these people coming to my landing page, anyway?” because you know precisely who they are, what they do, and why they might be interested in your product.
Armed with data, you can start confidently improving your product and your messaging.
Our First Ad
For our first Facebook ad, we wanted to entice people with a brief but persuasive headline. We wanted our ad text to show people that they would be getting something of actual value. Lastly, we wanted to do something that was recommended to us in a comment during our last experiment and A/B test our visuals.
Here’s how our ad design started:
- Headline: We write your emails, just better
- Ad text: An AI for your inbox. Sign up for the alpha preview now and get our in-house writing manual, “The 17 Emails You Send That Drive Your Coworkers Insane.”
- Link description: Sign up to get on the waiting list!
- Call to action: Sign up
Here’s what our ad looked like all put together:
There were a couple of crucial best practices that played into our decisions here:
- We wanted our product to be easy to understand. “We write your emails, just better,” makes it clear that we write people’s emails for them.
- We wanted our call-to-action to align with the page we were sending people to. Since Inboxly.co is primarily a landing page for collecting emails, it made sense for “Sign Up” to be our CTA.
- We wanted to use attention-grabbing images that would align with our product’s value. This pocket-squared gentleman seems like someone you would trust to do a good job responding to messages in your email inbox.
We chose two other images to split test too, both free from Unsplash. All of them convey different ideas of what our product is about, and we thought we could learn a lot about our core value proposition by seeing how people responded.
The gentleman with the pocket square, we thought, might appeal to people really invested in quality. They could be interested in an “AI” consultation on their email technique, but they want to make sure it’s coming from a trusted professional.
The other images were designed to appeal to the idea of saving time. Instead of sitting at your laptop doing all of this emailing, our product lets you ditch the desk and go do something else.
A/B testing these images would give us an indication of whether we should be pitching convenience or excellence.
Finding The Niche
You can’t talk about an ad’s creative qualities without talking about the kinds of people seeing it. For our experiment, we chose a broad cross-section of professionals working in fields like marketing, public relations, and customer service:
We wanted to make sure we were targeting people who would be interested in an emerging technology, so we tailored our targeting to hit on some specific markers of that (“Hacker News,” “Intelligent personal assistant,”) as well as possible use cases (“Email marketing, Productivity software”):
We went with a median bid strategy to get a good middle-ground between cost and delivery, and we decided to optimize for link clicks.
Then we clicked Publish, and sent our ad out into the universe.
Landing Pages Are Harder Than You Think
Remember what I said earlier about treating this like a learning experience? Well, if you only take one thing away from this piece, take that.
After a few days of running our ad for Inboxly, we went to go check on the results.
Ouch! A click-through rate of 0.403% and a cost per click of $0.776—those are not metrics you want your boss to see.
But hey, maybe those 24 clicks were all from highly qualified leads. Let’s check Instapage:
Oops. It’s almost like we did something wrong! We started investigating our ad a bit closer to see if there was anything that we truly messed up.
There were a few big elements that we think held this ad’s performance back: our targeting, our lead magnet, and our value proposition. As we prepare to run another lead generation ad—this time, with Facebook’s secret weapon for lead gen—these are the things we’re keeping top of mind:
- Targeting: The people who “liked” our ad were definitely not in our target market.
- We went a little too broad. We wanted to reach a wide audience of professionals who use email at work so we didn’t pigeonhole ourselves into a single group, but relying solely on the industry demographics Facebook offers was a mistake.
- Lead magnet: It wasn’t obvious that users would get an eBook or what that eBook was.
- After looking at some great examples of successful lead magnets, we realized that we’d been doing it all wrong. We needed to put the magnet up-front, not have it be a “side dish.” No one had any reason to care about our “waiting list.”
- Value proposition: “We write your email, just better,” isn’t a good way to convince anyone to click.
- We read up on what goes into a good lead gen ad, and we realized that we were being too vague about what our product did. We could do better.
With all of this in mind, we decided to turn around another version of the ad. This time, we would target more specifically. We would put our lead magnet up front and have that be the point of the ad. We would make a stronger statement of what your product would actually do for people.
Introducing: Inboxly 2.0.
Tune in next week to see how it goes 🙂