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I've compiled the best SaaS Landing pages and broke down all their secrets (cortes.design)
561 points by pedrocortes on Nov 8, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 88 comments

Want to know my personal favorite? It's ConferenceBadge [1]. The design is clean and the page is very snappy. But what I absolutely love is how they answer every question that I might have on the landing page itself. I am not personally a fan of Close.io's that sells itself as "close more deals," but doesn't answer how.

I think a landing page should answer what it does, and how it does it in very unambiguous terms. Too bad so many SaaS companies try to make promises without giving an idea on how they'll deliver them.

[1]: https://www.conferencebadge.com/

I'm the CEO at Conferencebadge.com but I also happen to be the CEO at https://missiveapp.com, a team communication SAAS.

Both home pages were designed by the same team.

Designing Missive's home page was way harder.

Why Conference Badge:

- I have a conference in a few days, I have absolutely no time, I don't know how to do this but I need badges. HELP!

Why Missive:

  - I have a shared inbox, I need to easily collaborate around some emails.
  - I want to consolidate all my shared inboxes into one app.
  - I have an assistant, I want to her/him to help me with my emails.
  - I want to merge back both internal and external communication into one app.
  - I receive hundreds of orders a day, I want an app that let me share the load in between my production team.
  - I'm a solo user I just want a fast email app that works fast on Android and a Mac.
  - I want an app that lets me auto send confirmation SMS to my customer when their order is ready.
  - I want to chat with my team in a threaded interface
  - …
Some products are easier to market.

They are both beautiful landing pages, and I do agree that some products are inherently easier to market.

Was the team that designed these pages an internal team, or hired externally?


If only they were all like that.

As added bonus, everything is still visible, the signup button and phone button rollover work with my default mode of all JS off. None of the usual need to enable JS for clicking a signup button to have any effect at all, or to be permitted to see images.

I'm very impressed.

Its an easy product to communicate, most products arent that simple. But yeah great.

Very nice. My only complaint is the 300KB of JavaScript.

You have a good eye for effective communication. Thanks for sharing.

Holy cow, that's an _amazing_ landing page! So effective.

I agree, that's a really awesome landing page! I need to come up with something like that.

This is pretty cool, thanks for sharing!

Solid article, but essentially nothing new. For me it boils down to:

1) Have a product the market needs (even if they don't know they need it yet.) Yes. Easier said than done. The point is marketing mumbo-jumbo won't make a Me Too product unique.

2) Explain __crisply & clearly__ why I need it. Focus on benefits more than features. In short: Why should I care?

3) Make finding a complete features list easy. If I'm interested (i.e., I think I will benefit) I'll want to see in detail all you can do for me.

4) Making finding a product comparison (e.g., free v paid) easy.

5) Making finding an FAQ is easy, and make sure that FAQ is an FAQ and not more marking spin.

6) Make finding pricing easy.

7) Maintain a semi-active Twitter accnt. If that looks left for dead then I'm going to presume you're soon to fade as well. I can't commit to and invest my time in a solutions that'll soon be MIA.

8) A free trial is NOT a proxy for any of the above. My time is valuable, so free is not really free. If you can't clearly communicate your brand / product to me then I'm going to presume you don't know, or are too lazy. In any case, it's a red flag. I'm leaving.

9) Speaking of leaving: conversions are a false god. What's more important is churn / retention. High conversions aren't good if there's also a lot of churn. You want to build relationships, not one night stands.

10) If you think you're special and that any of the above doesn't apply to you. Think again.

7) Maintain a semi-active Twitter accnt. If that looks left for dead then I'm going to presume you're soon to fade as well. I can't commit to and invest my time in a solutions that'll soon be MIA.

I abstain from Twitter because I don't believe it's a good place to actually communicate and I refuse to buy followers and likes to keep up with the Joneses. Not saying you're wrong, but there's a disconnect between being "social" in a specific platform and being able to do the job.

Again. I'm not sure how else to say this...

It's about me (i.e., the buyer).

I don't think I'm alone when I say, Twitter is a fairly healthy signal. That is, having looked past Twitter activity (read: the lack there of) in the past, that signal has come back to bite me in the arse.

Perhaps you're the exception? But I, the buyer, don't care. I'm not going to risk shaming myself again. And if you abstain from Twitter - even if __you believe__ you have good reason - I don't care. It's not about you ;)

It's 2019, I don't think it's too much to expect to see:

- system status - new product announcements - product updates - relevant industry shares - trade show presence - etc.

Basically, something / anything that shows me you're alive, you['re well, and you actually care. Again, I've ignored this (lack of) signal before and I've paid for that. Sure you can ignore Twitter but then you all the questions I have above better be addressed somewhere; in a place I care about. Because...you got it now :)...it's all about me!

For the record, I'm not a big Twitter fan either. But it's not about me.

There are lots of ways other than Twitter to show those signals you talk about. Your own product blog would be a good place, for example. If I had market research that showed a significant portion of my target audience were active Twitter users and cared to see me active on Twitter, sure, I would meet my audience where they are.

"There are lots of ways other than Twitter to show those signals you talk about."

Yes there are. At no point have I suggested otherwise. What I'm saying is this:

- A dicey Twitter accnt is a red flag.

- The lack of a Twitter account (very often) a __red flag__.

Of course there are exceptions. Always are. Let's not get stuck in the weeds over the obvious :)

If you think you are an exception (read: you're 99% certain) then yes, of course, don't worry about. But if your "logic" is, you don't care about Twitter (and have not considered that I, the buyer, do) then good luck. My confidence in you being able and willing to serve me has dropped, likely significantly.

The original article was about SaaS. If there's a SaaS that (e.g.) never ever goes down (or anything else mentioned) then sure. No Twitter. Anyone else should probably not ignore it. Is it really that big of a deal to be safe rather than sorry?

If you put a link to a company social media account on your site, make sure it's active?

That makes sense.

Yep and I agree with some of your points.

The main point of that article was showing strategies that you can replicate for each scenario (social proof, intro, product explanation...)and I think you got that ;)

Yes. I did. I think we all did :) But we see these things __botched__ all the time.

The reason for that is too many still have it all wrong. They get the means right. "Look ma! My CTA is just like that article!!" But they miss the start, and the ends. That is: It's not about them, it's about me.

The article is about tools. That's great. But unless you understand and embrace why you're using them, you're going to get it wrong. Again, plenty are still getting it wrong.

Put another way, a fancy new IDE or a hot-shot framework, etc. are tools. They don't mean you're going to build good / great product. You need a broader awareness for that. Not just how to use the tools, but why.

I was wanting to shine some light on why.

Why would I need a twitter account at all? I have used twitter on and off for years, and have never been able to get any value from it. Sure, if you have a twitter account (or any social media accounts, really) it should be semi- frequently updated.

Then link to Mastodon instead. The point is to have an active feed of news, updates, and changes. It doesn't matter if it's not on Twitter.

Oops. How could I forget, my favorite one? This should have been 10, and 10 becomes 11.

10) Beyond just the website...The Experience is The Product. Not just the X in UX, but the end to end experience. For example, does the contact form send me a copy? How soon do I get follow up? Is the getting starter / documentation up to date? Etc.

This is an excellent summary. One addition. All of the above takes a long time to get right. Even years.

Yup. But if it were easy everyone would be doing it.

Just the same, if you flip it over, those who have done well 99 of 1000 times have got all / most of these right (i.e, B to B+ or better).

For what it’s worth, we’ve had a lot of success with a strategy not mentioned here: hosting a site that’s intentionally mysterious, if not slightly provocative.

About 35% of all visitors to our site end up subscribing.

We’re not a SaaS company, so I realize this may be comparing apples to oranges, but we had experimented with a lot of different, elaborate, shiny landing pages that were similar to a few encouraged here.

And after falling flat on our face for months, we realized that an incredibly simple, borderline-mysterious landing page converted users far more effectively.

(For the curious, this is the landing page: https://techloaf.io)

This is important - techloaf (big fan here!) is obviously an outlier, but generally the bigger and more complex the product, the vaguer the landing pages get.

I always thought this was a shifty strategy to get you on the phone and have salespeople con you, but after reading _Mastering the Complex Sale_ I've come to realise that it makes sense - you want to understand a potential customer's needs before you actually try to pitch anything concrete at them.

That's probably good for getting a lot of sign-ups with no intent to become a paying customer/active user of your product, but I'm curious how many of those users would convert down funnel.

Convert to what? Croutons?

You should come write for us :)

To sign ups or subscribers.

They’re one and the same for us; our core product is a weekly newsletter.

Your emails are hilarious. Love them!

For the lazy, here's a preview: https://mailchi.mp/872ceee548ec/its-loaf-time

Thank you! Nice to see a few early supporters on here :)

I'll admit, I subscribed without knowing what I was getting into. Sometimes a little mystery is good in life :-)

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in your case, an example.

Exactly, we have the luxury of being able to show a single, clear example of essentially the entire product. I realize that most SaaS companies probably don’t have that luxury, as each customer’s use case will be slightly different.

IMHO, "I’ve compiled the best examples of SaaS Landing pages I’ve seen over the years (1000’s of them) into actionable examples you can use as reference!" is incomplete without mentioning actual statistics about conversion -- or any other measurable goal that the company might have for the landing page.

Without that, what would be the qualification of "best"? The best the OP has seen... but then that's comparing landing pages mainly from the perspective of one person (that may or not be part of the target group of the SaaS).

That's true but you can't get that data so I have to compile the examples that startups can apply in the right context to get them better results.

I understand that conversion data is hard to get... but it would put a real number to explain “best” or “better results”.

Now it’s a (nice) collection of pages the OP found eh... nice/interesting/attractive (and likely to convert well, since these are actually in use - insert “survivorship bias” here), but no real explanation for why these are measurably better than others.

Appreciate the effort though. Just questioning the wording like “best” and “better”.

I understand your point, it's definitely something to consider as I'm still trying to find ways to write the best or most actionable articles possible.

Thanks for feedback, cheers! :)

Just thought about this: could you ask the companies in your list how/why they ended up with these landing pages? What where the alternatives and smaller variations they tried? Tried for how long (or are they still optimizing)? Did they A/B test between alternatives and options? What did they measure, or tried to optimze for? What was their sample size, the outcome and their decisions? What was “best or better” for them, specifically?

That could be a very interesting follow-up to your analysis, also by providing data that sometimes “best” is an opinion or hunch, sometimes a choice or preference, sometimes a measurable result. Cheers!

Without conversion data it's impossible say something meaningful about the effectiveness of the showcased landing pages.

The author gives several reasons why he likes the examples (creating curiosity, layout, using case studies, ...), but without data it's more about personal preferences, current best practices and common sense. No real secrets.

I’m amazed that your comment isn’t higher. That was my first thought as well. They may be great design wise but if they don’t covert at all it means very little. Many tv commercials than win awards are terrible at converting for example.

I mean no disrespect, but I am horrified by your first case. If I don't know what a product does and the basics of how it works in the first 15 seconds, I move on. I never give personal info in order to proceed into the web site. Not ever!

Good observation. The reason that CrazyEgg can get by with such a headline is that they count on their audience (marketers) already being familiar with the tool. If you look at older versions of their website through the web archive you'll see that they used to have more informative headlines, such as "Get Immediate Insight Into Your Visitor's Behavior"[1] followed by actual descriptions of what the product does.

When creating their landing pages, people often model pages of well-established companies, missing the fact that their audience's awareness level is totally different. It's a common mistake. You end up with a website as pretty as the one from your favorite startup, but with horrific bounce and conversion rates.

I call it the cargo cult[2] approach to marketing

--- [1]: http://web.archive.org/web/20110225071634/https://www.crazye... [2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

CrazyEgg is a real product? I thought it was a mock-up with the vaguest description possible. I clearly do not understand this article.

Not just landing pages either. Lots of eCommerce sites take inspiration from Amazon and the likes, despite Amazon obviously having far more audience awareness and the ability to get away with what would otherwise be questionable UI designs.

Jakob Nielson says something similar about Amazon here:


Good point!

I would agree. Some of the examples for me are exactly what I dislike about many landing pages.

They do a very poor job of explaining what it is the company does and you could put 10 companies under the same tag line and it would be just as true.

I totally agree. What a generic, worthless tagline: “Make your website better”. Better how?

I also agree. There needs to be a unique and specific selling proposition. For example in real estate: "your home sold in 120 days or I'll buy it". That give me a reason and beneficial out come to contact them. Generic "make it better" without any specific stats, features, or a guarantee etc is a wasted opportunity. There are a lot of ways to do it but it generally needs to be enticing and specific.

But it helps you to know it is not "Make your sales org better".

It helps if you search for something that makes your website better, you know you are in right place and you can read more. If not you move to next page in 0.5 second instead of reading some irrelevant technical details of how.

"Irrelevant technical details" is exactly the "how" in the "how". I need to know some of it to evaluate whether I'm really "in the right place". I'm not going to trust the smiley faces on stock photos - that's how charlatans work.

It’s likely you’re not exactly the target audience.

Yeah sure, the target audience of charlatans are extremely gullible people. That doesn't mean everything is OK.

So are you buying services after reading first page?

I am more like discarding stuff after reading first page and getting into details when I have more time, then after I get through details I buy.

You do have a point but it depends on the case.

This would be a stupid idea in most cases but I mentioned CrazyEgg get's most of their traffic through content marketing.

This means their landing page is an article and when people see that headline the audience is already warm, it's totally different.

I feel like pretty much all websites and landingpages are the same - a single page, broken into sections, plenty of space, some happy people, some key points, a pricing table, maybe a section that scrolls in parallax. In fact this is such a pattern that pretty much all website builders put together this formula of site.

Indeed I noticed this pattern in 2014 and suggested the idea to a colleague who then built the first website builder around this pattern: https://www.redferret.net/?p=45278

These days, a site has to completely break this pattern to be innovative.

Do people actually give away their email address when stumbling across a mysterious non-descriptive landing-page that says nothing about who or what a company is? In other words - what's the point of having "we're in stealth mode" landing page in the first place? Might as-well point your domain at an ambiguous Tumblr blog, or a Facebook page. Thoughts?

I do. If I'm curious about something, I sign up. I already ignore thousands of emails a day, what's a few more?

Yes they do. Sadly. Some make up fake emails or use a junk email, but many give their real.

This is the dozenth post of its type. The truth is that there isn’t some secret sauce when it comes to marketing and conversion. What makes an effective landing page is pretty well documented at this point.

You're right, there's no secret sauce but you need to be aware of the right strategies in the right context and that's the real goal of the article.

Let's face it people are looking for "secrets" so I used the article to steer them to the right direction.

Documented where?

Sign up to find out.


I don't know where it would be documented either as SaaS Landing pages usually require a different explanation as every niche needs a specific strategic!

I wrote another article about the ideal structure if you interested: https://www.cortes.design/post/how-to-make-a-conversion-driv...

Frankly, Medium killed objective analysis. Even though that site is not hosted, on Medium, it's junk like most Medium articles, based on confirmation bias. I can bet +1 that you can have a plain HTML page, that explains what your SAAS does and still make a killing, if you build a product that the market wants/needs! Without all landing page gimmick.

Re: "Junk like most Medium articles"

Thank you for saying this! I've been pressing Medium for a long time to be more aggressive at shoving crappy publishers off of the platform.

I think what happened is that Medium was originally great for content marketers. There was a growth hack that let certain publications get big just by publishing any remotely relevant article. Many of these published 30 times a day (and still do). Additionally, the Medium algorithm seemed to reward articles mostly for having a clickable title.

However! Medium made a recent change to manually review all articles before allowing them to get algorithmic boosts. That did a ton for weeding out the junk articles and removing the incentives for these content-mill publications.

You can see this in action if you go to one of the big publications and append /latest. Most of the articles these pubs are publishing now are getting fewer than 50 claps. In other words, nobody is reading them. I think eventually, most of these pubs are going to end up leaving.

Then on the flip side, Medium is partnering/paying a lot more for high quality writing. And as a result of less competition with content marketing junk, those high quality articles are getting a lot more views. I just published something the other day that I spent two years writing and researching, and it's got 250k views (and I think will make $10-15k in their network over its lifetime). I'm not going to link it, but I think it met a bunch of standards of quality that many past Medium articles haven't: all the advice had been tested on multiple people by the author, the article was peer reviewed, it was copy edited.

My world is mostly personal development writing and we do have a partnership with Medium. It's just a weird middle ground where the old growth hackers are still around and have been offered a chance to participate at a higher level of quality. But I'm finding that most of them either aren't able or don't want to. From my world, the old definition of quality was an article that was a summary of something the author read but probably never personally tested, i.e. "10 Foods That Made Ben Franklin Crazy Productive." And what got us a partnership with Medium was putting together a style guide that had a much stronger opinion about what goes into a high quality personal development article. Style guide here, but you'd really have to be a nerd to read it =) https://betterhumans.coach.me/draft-style-guide-for-personal...

Could you explain a bit why do you think it's "junk like most Medium articles" ? Sure simple landing pages can works really well, but that's not the point.

The first rule of effective writing (of any sort) is to imagine yourself in the position of the reader. It's not about what you want to say or get done, it's about what they want or might be interested in.

Am I the only one who thinks "Creates curiosity in visitors" is a horrible idea?

"Make your website better. Instantly." is a totally meaningless header that will only frustrate visitors.

Exactly my thoughts. I hate things like that. It’s an art to tell visitors in one or two snappy lines, what your product is all about.

I have Googled for Roadmap listed, no luck yet. Anyone know the url to that website?

Weird...It's : onroadmap.com

Thanks! I was looking everywhere without luck too

The examples in the first half of this article are supposed to be sarcastic, right? EmbedSocial is the first one to show any semblance of information, and even then it doesn't say what it does.

For a site design blog, the "What to read next" covering the bottom corner of text isn't too great.

You're right, it's supposed to show up only near the end but i'm having problems getting it working :P

Even if it reveals at the end, it should still be dismissible. That kind of dark pattern gets me hitting the Reader button every time. And setting it to always go to Reader mode on such a site.

Pity you don't have screenshots from their mobile versions in you own mobile version.


Could you please refrain from plugging your stuff here unless it's utterly relevant? Eventually we do ban accounts that abuse the community like this.

Can someone report this guy? Went through his comment history and is shilling surveyking 4 times in the past 2 months

Please email us at hn@ycombinator.com when you notice stuff like this! We don't see nearly everything on the site, but we do see email.

why don't you do it?

Don't open any Flask thread.

That has almost nothing to do with the topic at hand. On top of that, SurveyKing's landing page isn't exemplary at all.

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