I’m really excited to share about how you can build a Launch Page with ease. In this article, I’ll share the easiest and cheapest way I know to build one, and how you can go about building it.
Firstly, what’s a Launch Page?
A launch page, squeeze page, landing page, is a one-page website that seeks to collect email addresses (with permission) from interested subscribers about your new idea or product.
Why Use a Launch Page?
Before we get into that, why collect email addresses at all? Many bloggers, marketers will often tell you, that having an audience who are interested in what you’re sharing is far more relevant than broadcasting to a group of people who have no interest at all.
[blockquote text=’Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. – Seth Godin’ text_color=” title_tag=” width=” line_height=’undefined’ background_color=” border_color=” show_quote_icon=’no’ quote_icon_color=” quote_icon_size=”]
Seth Godin is one of the most respected marketers in our time, one that I personally follow and learn from, and a great blog post by Seth on this illustrates this concept. If you’ll like to read more, he wrote a whole book on Permission Marketing.
You may not have the full product or idea ready, but the concept often is enough to elicit interest and basically forms a stay-tuned channel.
A launch page does several things extremely well:
- It focuses your attention – with only 1 page without menus, sidebars, and other content – it focuses the visitor on what you have to tell them
- It showcases an Idea – A good launch page displays the key essence of what your product or idea is about. You can do it through a short video, an image or description. If the visitor resonates with it, they can take an action. Which brings us to…
- It collects emails – A good launch page will provide an opt in box, where interested parties provide their emails. This is fully permission-based opt-in, which means that when you do send an email to your subscribers, they anticipate and even look forward to you writing to them.
Since a launch page can be so powerful, let’s get right on to building one.
Step 1 – Build a Website in 5 Mins
Building a website doesn’t have to be hard. That’s the whole purpose of what Bootstrap Website is trying to achieve – empowering the average person to build their own website.
Step 2 – Install Launch Effect
Launch Effect is a WordPress theme that is built specifically to showcase launches and collect email addresses. I’m really excited about Launch Effect, because it takes away all the difficulties of setting up a Launch Page, like setting up an email subscription, inserting of video content, showcasing of images etc. The awesome creators made it responsive (which means it works perfectly across your devices), and they gave it away for free.
To install Launch Effect, you’ll need to log in to your WordPress admin, install and activate the theme.
Once you have activated the theme, you’ll need to do a couple of things.
Step 3 – Build a Mailing List
1. Sign Up for a Mailing List Provider
There are several mailing lists provider out there, and the best 2 I know are Mailchimp and Aweber. I’m recommending Mailchimp here as they have a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month – enough for many people to get started.
2. Create a List
Once you’ve signed up for a free account, sign into Mailchimp, go to Lists, and Create a List.
3. Create an API
Next, you’ll need to generate an API (a secret code that lets Mailchimp talk to Launch Effect).
Navigate to your Account Settings.
Under Extras, select API keys.
Your API key will be created, and you need to Copy it somewhere.
Step 4 – Putting Your Launch Page Together
1. Set Up ‘Sign Up’ Page as Home
Going back to your WordPress admin -> theme, after you’ve installed and activated the Launch Effect theme, click on customize. A Sign Up page is automatically created for you once you activated the theme, and you need to change the Static Front Page to the Sign Up page.
While you’re at it, you might also want to change your Site Title and Tagline.
2. Integrate Mailing List – Mailchimp
The API key that you’ve created in Mailchimp should go into this box here, and click Apply.
3. Adding a Youtube or Vimeo Video
Optionally, you may want to add a Youtube or Vimeo video that you’ve created to showcase your new idea or product. This is entirely up to you.
Youtube: Copying the Embed Code from Youtube
Vimeo: Copying the Embed Code from Vimeo
Paste the video embed code into Launch Effect.
4. Customizing Your Content
You can easily customize the rest of the contents, like adding a Logo, Background Image, text descriptions, that I will not go into. Do click around and try them!
Launch Effect Premium
Launch Effect works out of the box with a great deal of free features. If you feel that you need extra features, you can upgrade to their Launch Effect Premium.
Some of the coolest thing about their premium theme I can see is:
- PayPal integration – you can start taking pre-selling your new products, even before they are ready!
- Countdown Timer & Progress Bar – it may help to create a sense of urgency to your launch
- Full site navigation – if you need more pages to showcase your stuff
- Background slideshow – if you like the cool effect
- and more…