Have you ever wondered why cold food doesn't tempt you? It's simple: there's less to smell. We crave warm dishes because hot food emits more aroma. Mouth-watering flavor sparks appetite, which drives your body to start digesting. A prelander works like a microwave warming up your offer and making the audience more eager to take action.
"Eh…what is a prelander again?"
You may know it by different names: a bridge page, transit page, pre-sell page, you name it. Prelander is a convenient term because it logically implies the page's position in a funnel — it appears before a landing page. Basically, a prelander is an intermediary between an ad and your offer page where the users actually confirm their conversion.
"Why do I need two pages instead of just one?"
Both pages aim to push the audience to purchase. But they act asymmetrically. Unlike a landing page, a prelander does not promote a product directly. It approaches the audience less explicitly and more subtly. The two pages complement each other like steak and red wine, pairing soft and hard sell for maximum impact.
"Still, isn't it a step further away from the conversion?"
You're right. Having a prelander does make your funnel longer. That's why you need to see it as an instrument. Tools are helpful only when used according to their purpose. Most audiences don't need an extra push to say, "Shut up and take my money." In such cases, you can use a landing page — like a hammer to drive in a nail.
But sometimes, you won't sell without predisposing the audience to convert. You may have a problematic offer, so the audience is like a concrete wall. Fortunately, with a prelander, you have a drill to drive an anchor nail into the hole.
"Ok. I need a prelander. What do I need to create the perfect one?"
First of all, choose the format that will work best for your offer. Of course, when brainstorming ideas for a prelander, the sky's the limit. However, there are proven approaches.
- Articles. Offering a solution for a problem is a classic way to warm up the interest of an uninterested user. Nothing handles the task better than storytelling. Articles perfectly fit with the narrative form by exemplifying the problem in someone else's experience and softly mentioning how the product helped to solve it. You can add testimonials in the final section of the article. They boost credibility and help sell your offer — but only if they're not ridiculously sugary.
- Quizzes. Quizzes are everywhere. You may have also killed time finding out "which superhero you are." But quizzes aren't just for fun. It is a tool to segment your audience and cater to each group in a more personalized way. You can divide users based on personality test results, quiz scores, or answers to a specific question. For example, if you target a broad audience looking for a Christmas present, offering a quiz with various results can equally provide for a range of specific audiences.
- Games. A free demo is a staple for promoting online games. It's good to lure the audience with the graphics and gameplay experience. After passing a mini-game, the users will likely want to play more. Offering a bonus upon registration is a sureproof tactic to convert the user. But in addition to creating a competitive mood, interactive content can drive sales of other products. For instance, offering a sneak peek into how a specific app works is better than writing volumes on its benefits.
"Content is king. Any rules or useful tips?"
Uh-uh. The offer owns the throne. And content is its loyal servant. Still, the content shouldn't slavishly obey the master. Instead, it serves the offer by preparing the audience for the target action. To succeed in doing so, the content needs to be:
- Engaging. It's a must! Prelanders need to get a firm grip on the audience. A boring prelander is a waste of money. It can kill even the perfect landing page, making the audience bounce before seeing the offer. To captivate the audience, we need to tickle emotions while providing rational benefits. In other words, the content must infotain — inform and entertain simultaneously.
- Intriguing yet empathic. Think of the copy as a conversation with someone you respect — a friend or a relative. If you want to tell them something important, grab their attention — with catchy headlines and intriguing introductions. But don't overdo it with overpromising or being way too pushy. Ultimately, the prelander must make the audience feel confident, not question your words or take a defensive position.
- Valuable. To jump-start action on a landing page, ensure the audience appreciates the content on a prelander. Do your best to make the audience feel you aim to take care of them. Proofread the copy. Simple wording is rewarding. So, keep the text concise. Still, don't make it a tweet — if you add too little text, it just won't work.
"And what about the looks?"
Shortly put, the layout needs to be natural, appealing and user-friendly. There's no magic formula to achieving it. But there are clear no-no's.
- It shouldn't look commercial. Leave the aggressive style with abundant call-to-actions to landing pages. If it's an article, a prelander can be designed as a news feed or a blog entry where the content leads the audience to the product through linked words. Make the links look relevant.
- It shouldn't be cluttered. Refrain from cramming too much information into too little space. A messy website with too many buttons, pictures, and other excessive elements will confuse the audience and cause high bounce rates. The page must be simple and logically structured. Otherwise, users will need to figure out what to do next.
- It shouldn't be hard to read. Bad typography with fonts that are too large or too small is a nightmare for readability. Pages with low contrast between text and background will also result in a frustrating experience.
- It shouldn't look cheap. The layout has to be beautifully designed. Upload top-quality pictures only. Ugly prelanders usually make the campaign worse. They look suspicious, so they will likely repel the audience, especially if the offer is costly.
- It shouldn't be boring. The page is going to spark interest immediately. It must be catchy but in an aesthetically excellent way. The audience will close and forget about it if it's unappealing or bland.
- But it shouldn't be flashy. Pages that bombard visitors with excessive animations and graphics can distract from the content. Too many contrasting colors can harm users' eyes and discourage the desire to read.
- It shouldn't take ages to load. The longer it takes for your pre-lander to load, the lower your CR will be. Remember about the 4-second rule. If a website takes four or more seconds to load, it will harm the user experience and spoil the overall impression.
"Wow, it’s complex. Can I skip all the writing and designing?"
Building a prelander takes quite an effort, but it's worth it. You can always copy templates or hire a pro. But if you're a client of MGID, you won't need to worry about finding a copywriter, web designer and front-end developer. Our team is ready to assist in crafting the copy, creating the layout and hosting your page. Just check with your sales or account manager and see your conversions soar like an eagle in the sky.