Every single day, your weak homepage is
losing customers and costing you cash.
You know you have a great product, but why isn’t it growing as fast as it could?
If you have a product addressing a meaningful need for your customers, you’re on solid ground. Now you just need to build a story to inspire your target audience, craft brilliant copy to convert them, and deliver automated email campaigns to close the deal. Need some help with that? This is what I do.Dan Kaplan, Guy Who Runs Threadling
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You’ve Built A Product That Solves A Meaningful Problem For A Significant Number of People, But…
…for all the work you and your team have put into creating something great, customers aren’t rushing in as fast as they could.
Sure, the problem may be your product itself, but assuming you’ve got people paying for it and coming back to it day-after-day, you’ve got something, right?
You know customers need what you’ve built.
But if you’ve got something, why are only a handful of the people who come to your website signing up? And why are so few of THOSE people giving it more than a single try?
Why, for all the effort you’ve put into making your product work, hasn’t it swept through your target market like a whirlwind of awesome?
The Story You’re Telling
Is Selling Your Startup Short
By your story, I don’t just mean the stuff you tell the press.
I’m talking about the whole package: your target market, your positioning, and the narrative you offer to help people understand what you’ve built.
I’m talking about the language you use on your website and inside your product. I’m talking about the videos you create and the marketing emails you send.
I’m talking about everything you are doing (or not) to persuade the people who NEED your product that you’ve got what they want, right now.
If You’re Like Most Startups, Your Homepage
Looks A Lot Like All The Others
At the top, you have your image or video on one side, some copy on the other, and a colorful call-to-action nestled under the text.
Below, you’ve pasted in some logos from your marquee customers, then more screenshots and some copy talking about them: Here’s feature X. There’s feature Y.
If your company is like most startups, your copy talks in vague, grandiose, or jargon-laced terms about your product, instead of focusing on your benefits and the problem you solve.
Indeed, your whole website goes on about what your product is and what it does while offering minimal context about why your potential customers should care.
You want people to give you their credit card upfront to start a trial. You want them to install your code into their websites or apps. You want them to hand you the email addresses of the other people on their teams.
You’re demanding all these things from your visitors long before they have begun to understand your value, and long before you’ve established even a smidgen of trust.
Given all this, is it any wonder that your conversion rate isn’t great, and that the majority of the people you do convince to sign up run away before they’ve even given the product the ol’ college try?
That Conventional, Short-Form Homepage
Isn’t Closing The Deal…
It’s a tease.
It’s putting 95% of the burden on your on-boarding experience, your lifecycle emails, and your sales team, and that’s asking a lot.
No matter how pretty it is to look at, is your homepage:
Getting to the root of your customers' motivations?
Are you offering your potential customers what they desire most from their work or life? Do you understand their biggest problems? Their boldest hopes? Their grandest dreams?
Speaking to those motivations in simple, precise, and utterly compelling language?
Are you writing copy that speaks directly to those desires? That shows them you that you understand their problems? That you share their hopes, fears, and dreams?
Connecting those motivations to a persuasive story that sells your product?
Are you showing your potential customers exactly how your product will help them become better versions of themselves?
If your homepage is like the homepage of most startups I see, I’d be willing to wager that it is not.
If Your Product Is Worth The Code It’s Built On,
You Can Do Much Better Than That
First, you’ll have to stop chasing quick wins.
Indeed, to boost your conversions by as much as 150%, you’ll have to let go of the notion of “quick wins” entirely.
Yes, it’s possible that in 1-2 days, you could tweak your messaging to focus more on the benefits of your product, and less on the product, itself, but doing this is likely to create a local maximum.
You will hit a conversion rate boost of 25% and think you’ve nailed it.
While it’s true that riding the 25% bump (from 4-5%, say) feels pleasant, it’s nowhere near as awesome as the 150% bump from 4-10%, or from 6-15%.
Assuming that you’ve got the product to back up the story you’ll have to tell with your marketing to get a conversion rate of 10-15%, that 150% bump can begin to change the trajectory of your company.
Better, if you’ve done the necessary legwork to get the right funnel in place, that 150% boost will be just the first step in turning your marketing effort into a beautiful, customer-creating machine.
Dan Kaplan has a natural talent for creating modern websites that focus visitors on what’s important and maximize conversion rates.Fergus Griffin — SVP Marketing, Salesforce.com,
What If Your Homepage Did Your Story
The Justice Your Product Deserves?
I’m not talking about a long-scrolling homepage with lots of short snippets of copy and fancy imagery: those are just conventional homepages that are longer.
I’m talking about a long-form page like the one you’re reading right now: an essay about your customers, the problems they have, and the ways your product will make these problems go away.
Savvy affiliate marketers and people selling informational products like ebooks and online courses have known this for years: a great long-form page will beat a short-form page almost every single time.
Why should your software be any different?
When you are selling software to businesses, you are asking a lot more than just “hey, just try out my app.”
You are asking your visitors to invest their and their teams’ time and energy in understanding your product, configuring it to meet their needs, and making it work.
If you are a startup, this an especially significant request: your visitors probably know relatively little about you, and your current homepage isn’t making your product any easier for them to understand.
Sure, you could optimize your homepage for fly-by signups, but how many of those fly-by people are going to stick around for more than a day?
With A Long-Form Homepage,
Your Story Has Room To Breathe
What if, instead of speaking about your product and its features in broad or vague terms, your homepage told a compelling story about your product’s benefits, its use cases, and how it helps its users succeed?
More of your users would stick around
Instead of fly-by signups that abandon your product in droves because they don’t get it, every person who signed up would know exactly what problem your product solved and how it fit into their lives.
They'd be better educated if and when your sales team needed to reach out
Instead of wasting your sales team’s time with basic questions about your product, your potential customers would have the context they needed to take the next steps.
You’d have a clear, in-depth story that anyone in your target market (and on your team) would understand.
Your explanations about your product wouldn’t be convoluted or hard to articulate. Your customers would get it, and your team would have a clear mission to get behind.
You’d sell more software
The questions about what your product is, what it does, and why it matters would be answered, once and for all. Your conversion rate would skyrocket. Paying customers would beat down your door.
Your startup would be positioned to grow like mad
With a deeply-considered story that got inside the heads of your audience and spoke in compelling terms to their hopes, fears, and dreams, you’d have a rock-solid foundation for growth.
But Long-Form Homepages Are Really Hard.
They Have To Be Brilliant
This is where I come in.
Hi, my name is Dan Kaplan. I started my career as a long-form magazine journalist, getting paid cash money to write 3500-10,000 words stories on some pretty nifty things. I was busy dreaming of The Atlantic and The New Yorker when, in 2006, I realized that the business models supporting the kind of writing I loved to create were facing extinction.
After abandoning my magazine dreams and struggling for a couple years to find a new path, I re-discovered my voice in product marketing. Since then, I’ve worked for Salesforce, Twilio, and Asana.
Now, I help startups grow like crazy by telling their stories in ways that inspire, acquire, and convert customers. This means I get into your customers’ heads, understand their needs, and tell your story to them in utterly-compelling language.
It means I re-write your homepage to maximize qualified signups. It means I design email campaigns to educate and nurture these signups until they’re eager to buy.
It means I help position your startup for meaningful, lasting growth.
If clear positioning, a compelling story, a high-converting website, and more growth sound like things you could use, click here and send me an email.
Dan has the rare ability to look at your product roadmap and the competitive landscape and to position your company where it needs to be. I can’t emphasize enough how crucial Dan’s skills can be to a startup’s success.Elise Ackerman — Content Marketing, Twilio
If You Want To Do It Yourself, I’ve Written
A Free Course On The Foundations Of Real Growth
Alicianne Rand — VP Marketing, NewsCred
I’m pretty much obsessed with this email course. I sent it to my team. Then, I sent it to my entire company. I get excited to see this email in my inbox and that is not something I ever say.
Ryan Gum — CEO, Flow
This was an awesome email: Clarity in your writing, actionable tactics, and no BS
In this free course, you’ll learn how to:
- Get inside your customers’ heads and dig into their hopes, fears, and dreams
- Avoid the critical mistake that can singlehandedly stifle your growth
- Create content that brings the right people to your door
- Tell your story to convert them once they arrive
- Overcome your on-boarding hurdles
- Tap into the tremendous, unexpected magic of long-form marketing
Enter Your Email Below To Get The Free Course!
This Course Is Not Designed To Help
You Score “Quick Wins”
This will not be the the kind of marketing that sends you headlong into a fun-but-ultimately-unsatisfying local maximum.
It will be the kind that can meaningfully shift your growth metrics up-and-to-the-right.
Indeed, over a total of six emails, this course will walk you through the core strategies (and some tactics) necessary to meaningfully grow your startup.
Why am I giving away this course for free? It’s because I love to help startups succeed.
I’ve seen too many startups struggle to achieve their potential because they don’t know how to tell their stories.
If you know you’ve got a solid product but it’s not growing as fast as it should–sign up now and give the emails a read.
Your company is too good to see its story go to waste.