Building an effective landing page is the main tool in your arsenal that will get you fully funded on your Kickstarter board game launch.
While it might not seem like much, the structure, content and design of your landing page can make or break your campaign.
Here are the topics that we’ll cover today:
- Do You Need A Website Or Landing Page?
- The Main Goal Of Your Board Game Landing Page
- A Special Hack From Newspapers: Keep Things Above The Fold
- 5 Elements You Need Above The Fold
- Get Feedback And Iterate To Optimize
- What Else Needs To Be On The Landing Page
- How To Build Your Landing Page
Do You Need A Website Or Landing Page?
I’ve seen some confusion between a website and a landing page so let’s parse out the difference between the two before moving on.
A website introduces people to your game company. As such, you’ll have a list of games (if you have many), an About page so visitors can learn more about you, and a Contact page so visitors can get in touch. You might also want to add a Blog to document your game design journey or something else that strikes your fancy.
A landing page specifically talks about your game. If your game company has five games, you’ll have one landing page for each game.
For a Kickstarter board game launch, all you need is a landing page (reason why below). You can build out the full website later during or after your launch.
The Main Goal Of Your Board Game Landing Page
The one (and only) goal for your landing page is to get people to opt-in to your email list. This lets you communicate with them for your upcoming launch.
People who come to your landing page have three options:
- Opt-in to your email list.
- Hit the back button.
- Close the browser window.
How can you create a page that makes them accomplish the one and only goal?
A Special Hack From Newspapers: Keep Things Above The Fold
I don’t know about you, but I grew up reading newspapers. I remember sitting on the couch devouring everything from the Culture section to the Business section (and yes, the Sunday Comics too).
On a newspaper, the top half of the front page is called ‘above the fold’. It’s where the most important (or enticing) piece of news is placed. This ensures that people who get a glimpse of the headline feels the burning desire to pick it up.
Although websites do not have a physical fold, this same idea still applies. For web pages, ‘above the fold’ means the part of the website you see before you scroll. Similarly to newspapers, this section is the most important part of your website.
People spend the majority of their time on this first screen. The further down the page you put information, the less likely people are to read it.
Remember, back to when we talked about the goal of this landing page? Since you want to collect a visitor’s email, this newspaper hack has huge implications for your landing page.
It is absolutely critical to optimize the section above the fold on your landing page; you’re guaranteed that everyone who arrives at your website will see this section. If a visitor has to hunt for a form to include their email, they will very unlikely take the time to do so. If there’s one you take away from this article, it’s this: keep the email opt-in box above the fold and easily visible.
5 Elements You Need Above The Fold
To get email opt-ins, your landing page must effectively convert page visitors into email subscribers. Here are the elements you must have on your landing page in order to get the email opt-in.
1. An Enticing Image That Represents The Game
You’ve probably heard the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. That remains true with all things digital. The initial image you choose to present on your landing page plays a crucial role.
This main image, also called a hero image, should both impress and convince your site visitors the game is worth some attention. Don’t simply use a graphic just because you have it; but rather find the image that best represents the universe of your game.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Image from Spirit Duels
Immediately, you can get an idea of what the game is and what the world is like.
2. The Name Of Your Game
When creating a landing page, always assume that visitors will just quickly scan through your site. They’ll look for eye-catching images (like what we learned earlier) and big headlines to give them a snapshot of what message you’re trying to convey. Typically, you will have about 3 seconds (maybe less) to compel a visitor to keep reading.
Remember, the goal of the landing page is to capture a visitors’ email. Therefore, the headline must be conspicuous and memorable. For board games that want to launch on Kickstarter, the headline is quite simple: it’s the name of the game.
That’s why it’s so important to have a game name that evokes curiosity and is enticing. It has to create enough intrigue that a person who arrives on the page gets a desire to leave you with their email or (worst case) study the page in more detail.
3. Supporting Game Details
It’s important to have details that support your game below the headline. This supporting text should grab the visitors’ interest and also tell them exactly what to expect with the game. In theory, this is very simple, but I know that it can be much more complicated in practice.
What I would recommend is taking a look at other games with pages on BoardGameGeek. You’ll notice that each game can be summed up into one concise sentence.
Image from Sea of Nadia on BGG
That’s what your supporting game detail needs to be. It should be clear enough that a visitor should be able to tell a friend what your board game is about after just reading the headline (the name of the game) and the supporting detail here.
Some people choose to go a little crazy with this and end up writing paragraphs on end. Truth be told, if you are struggling to condense the description of your game down to one sentence, you need to work on your value proposition.
4. A Reason To Sign Up Now (Not Later!)
Visitors must see a compelling reason to sign up to your email list now and not later. Simply asking for an email address is not going to convert visitors. People are far more likely to give you something if they get something in return. Research shows incentives boost engagement. Explain exactly what benefit the user gets by giving you their email.
On the landing page, consider providing a reward to the people who give you their email address. The main rule of an effective promise is to focus on the needs of your contributors. Don’t say what you need. Tell them what they need (and, preferably, why).
Some examples of what you could offer to make people want to sign up right away:
- Access to launch day pricing before anyone else
- Additional goodies added to the final game, only for those on the email list
- Access to insider content
With Kickstarter campaigns, what typically works best is offering earliest access to the limited quantities of the most discounted pricing.
Do not force the visitor to scroll your page to find out what you’d like to offer. The first block must include this reason why the visitor should leave their email with you right now.
5. The Strong Call-To-Action
Since the main goal of your landing page is to build up an email list for your Kickstarter launch, the main call-to-action (CTA) that you offer on your landing page must be email opt-in. That should be the main (and only!) CTA on your page so that you do not confuse visitors with different requests and asks along the way. If you need a refresher on this, be sure to go back to read How To Market A Board Game For Kickstarter and focus on the Marketing Model.
Putting It Together
Here’s what the section above the fold can potentially look like once you put all of the five elements together.
Again, this is just one possibility! Feel free to get as creative as you want, as long as these five elements are present.
Get Feedback And Iterate To Optimize
A lot of people create in a vacuum with fears that feedback equates to criticism. However, just think back to your own game. You could design your game in a vacuum, but everyone knows that playtesting lets you tweak the mechanics and optimize the gameplay. It’s the same here with your landing page. Opening yourself up to feedback will let you see something you might have entirely missed before and allow your page to be the best it can be.
Wesley, creator of HERO is an incredible example of this. He put in the work to build up his initial landing page and opened up to feedback. Below you can see the original page, and then the optimized page after feedback and discussion with others.
HERO before optimization
HERO after optimization
So once you have this section above the fold ready, be sure to get some feedback! Head to the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing Facebook Group to show us what you have. We’re all in this together and everyone in the group will be thrilled to provide tips and pointers!
What Else Needs To Be On The Landing Page
Before we dig into what else needs to be on the landing page, let’s be sure to visit the main goal of it: to capture an email. Now, put yourself into the shoes of the visitor, what else do they need to know to be interested in the game? Below are some ideas, but be sure to let your creativity guide you.
What I mean by game basics is the information you’d find on the box: how many players can play the game, and what ages are appropriate for the game.
Introduce The World
This one is probably the most fun since you are giving people more of a glimpse into the world you’ve created. Maybe you’ll write a prologue, maybe you’ll insert a quick video, maybe you’ll show off character cards and their back story – whatever you decide to do, be sure to give it your own personal flair.
How To Play The Game
One of the things people will be curious to know about is how to actually play the game. Tell them! How many phases are there in the game? What are the steps? Any complicated mechanics they need to know about? Is there a betrayal aspect to it? The first round of this won’t be easy, but don’t give up. Go back to it again and again to hone and optimize this so that it will be clear and concise to any new visitors to your page.
Lastly, I also like to add an additional email capture at the bottom of the page. This ensures that if someone is very interested and gets to the bottom of the page, they will still be able to opt-in.
How To Build Your Landing Page
Now for the technical stuff.
This might seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry! It’s definitely much easier than it sounds.
If you’re well-versed with all things technology, there’s ample opportunity to build up your page from scratch. However, for most of us (myself included), this does not come second nature.
Thankfully, there is now software out there that makes it dead simple to set up a professional (and conversion-optimized) landing page. There are a multitude of programs to choose from like Squarespace, Wix, Unbounce, Instapage, and more.
To make things as easy as possible for you, I’ve created the Crowdfunding Starter Kit, a video course to take you through everything you need to know to set up your landing page. There’s also a bonus Mailchimp setup module in there too for those who don’t have that configured yet.
A note before you get started: shen I build landing pages, the platform I personally like to use is called ClickFunnels. It has a drag-and-drop interface and completely eliminates the need for me to ask software engineers how to make things work. So yes, the course takes you through setting up a landing page on ClickFunnels.
However, I know that not everyone will use the platform (you might already have a platform you’re using and like!) and that’s totally OK! The course will still take you through the basics of how to create a landing page and points you to things you need to know.
Before you go, be sure to join the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing Facebook Group to learn the most up-to-date marketing methods for your board game!