Put your product front and center
Screenshots of your upcoming product are one of the best ways to explain what your product does and get people excited. If you could include a screencast that’s even better.
If your product isn’t ready yet, you should still be able to create a mockup of at least one screen. It doesn’t matter if the final product looks different. Being able to show a mockup makes your product more tangible and gets people excited for your product launch.
Establish your brand
People don’t just buy into the functionality of your product, but also the brand. Make sure your landing page stands out. Don’t use a generic template page. Design something that expresses what your organization stands for. Make sure your tone of voice matches your company’s identity. You don’t have to get too fancy. Pick a font and color that works for your company, plus use the type of language you’d use when talking to a customer.
Make use of the AIDA model
Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. Use an intriguing image or screenshot with a great headline that grabs people’s attention. One sentence that makes them stop and look. Now you’ve got their attention, get them interested. Explain how your product will make their lives better. Don’t describe your product features, tell them how their life, whether it’s personal or professional, gets better if they use your product.
Even if you have a B2B business you’re still targeting a person within that business, not the business itself. It’s a human-being that is visiting your website.
Once they are interested, convince them your product will satisfy their needs. Convince them they should subscribe to your mailing list. Offer them a discount or convince them otherwise why they should sign up right now. Lastly make it very easy for them to sign up to your list. The sign up form should be front and center. Don’t hide it on another page. Don’t ask for information you don’t need. The email address should be enough. Once you have that you can always contact them to request additional information.
Another way to look at it is this: Answer these questions: What are you? Why should I care?
Provide the right amount of information
You will want to provide enough information to get visitors interested enough to hand over their email address, but not so much that they will get bored and close their browser window. The amount of information you should provide varies from product to product and you can base it on your interactions in real life. How quick do people grasp your value proposition when you talk to them in person? Is a few sentences enough, or does it take you 20 minutes to really get the message across? (In case of the latter you should probably work on your pitch! ;) – Go through the pages on BetaList to see what intrigues you and how much information they have on their website.
Generally you want to provide just enough information to have hand over their email address, and then after your sign up form you can link to additional information in case people are really interested in reading more right now.
Make it easy for people to sign up
For example use a service like MailChimp to allow people to enter their email address. Use this link for a free $30 credit. Make sure your “sign up” button is clearly labeled. Instead of saying “sign up” or “submit” it’s better to use wording that indicates the value someone gets when they sign up. Since your product isn’t ready yet, “Get early access” will probably do fine. You can use discounts too.
If you have social proof, share it. For example you can tell people how many other people signed up so far. Of course this only makes sense if it’s an impressive number. Alternatively you can mention your advisors or partners if those have credibility for your target group, or maybe just tell about yourself and your background.