Analyzing the Most Effective Web Sales Pages

For a business – particularly a web-based business – a sales page is one of the most crucial aspects for achieving success. Often also referred to as landing pages, they are responsible for educating, explaining, and convincing, all in one concise design. Visitors need to be informed of what it is they are being sold, and why they need it.  They then need to be able to quickly and easily give it a try. This is often achieved by offering a free trial, accessible by entering a minimum amount of personal information. Most sales pages tend only to take an email address initially. That way, they allow for you to quickly and easily start using the product, while also collecting a means to contact you further.

Sales pages aren’t purely just about ticking boxes when it comes to certain aspects. With so many out there all following a similar template, it’s important to present a unique design. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. Common methods are through the use of structure, typography, color, and styling. One of the most popular ways to produce an individual sales page is through the inclusion of custom artwork and illustrations. Many of the finest examples implement some form of these to differentiate their brand and product from competition.

In this article we are going to break down and analyse a pair of the most effective web sales pages around today.

 

Basecamp

Basecamp is instantly recognizable with its more-traditional design language. This includes serif fonts, hand-drawn illustrations, and subtle background graphics. It’s so recognizable that the logo barely features in the design. The page is more focused on selling the product itself.

The hero section presents a bold and effective headline. The neighbouring illustrative graphic brings the user’s attention to this while adding an element of playfulness to the design. As it continues down the page, the important attributes are listed in the form of checkmark bullet points. These highlight key features like collaboration, support, security, and reliability. This is coupled with a title which communicates the free trial offer. This points to the primary call to action which is presented as an email address form. It’s a simple hero section but executed with precision. It’s narrow for easy readability, and concise with its written content.

For users who are not yet convinced, the sales page continues downward with a large section dedicated to social proof. Not only does this contain testimonials, but also statistical proof in regard to the impact Basecamp has had on their business.

The sales page is completed by displaying a secondary call to action at the bottom of the page, along with some final elements to help convince the visitor. This includes text like ‘No obligations, no credit card required.’, and ‘3,984 businesses signed up last week’.

The very foot of the design also includes a neat graph which is both visually appealing, and conveys to the user that Basecamp is a fast-growing product. This highlights the fact that despite their longstanding presence spanning across almost two decades, they are not resting on their laurels and continue to innovate with their product. This gives the prospective user confidence in the company’s commitment to the product, and offers further social proof.

 

Apple Music

Apple Music’s hero section is beautiful in its composition. It’s simple but atmospheric, with delightful animated logo graphics which cleverly resemble different genres of music. The ubiquity of the Apple Music brand means they need not describe it in much detail within the first instance. The hero is kept simply to a logo, large headline, call to action offering a free trial, and a link to watch the TV advertisement.

Scrolling down presents the user with more detail on the Apple Music service. It this short pitch, it covers everything from its vast selection of music and ad-free experience, to its offline functionality and simple pricing structure.

The design then goes on to highlight each of these primary features, presenting a detailed but concise slide for each. These also include user interface demos for added explanation and to help the user understand what the product is. It similarly shows how easy Apple Music is to use and helps them envisage using the product on their own iPhone device.

Being such a long sales page, Apple is smart in including multiple instances of its call to action buttons. These are in the form of a standout slide with detailing on each of the three payment plans. It grabs the users attention with immediacy and once again highlights the three-month free trial offer. There is a great deal made of the fact the user can cancel anytime. This does away with any worries a potential user may have about commitment and becoming tied-in, in case they decide it’s not for them.

The page then continues to highlight further features, before once again presenting the pricing table. Despite the page seeming to be very long, Apple implements some neat scrolling features which make it seem more like a quick keynote presentation. The graphics, typography, and overall visuals are tidy throughout with an abundance of white space.

The reality is that a great number of users will click through the primary call to action, or the free trial button in the header. For others, Apple has put together their finest sales pitch to convince those who are not quite ready to commit. This includes those who are searching for further understanding as to why they should use Apple Music over a service like iTunes or Spotify.

As well as the final pricing table, Apple has included a well-presented ‘Now on

Apple Music’ section. This highlights the unique connections they have with some of the most prominent artists and radio hosts. It also presents a newer addition to Apple Music which is video content; notably Carpool Karaoke. It’s effectively providing the user with a snapshot sample of what they are missing out on, should they leave the sales page without signing up. It’s a highly effective last-chance attempt to convince the user of Apple Music’s merit.

These examples are excellent designs from which to pull aspects into your own sales pages. They are thought through from the overall structure to the finest detail, and tested in real world circumstances. Beth Morgan compiled a useful checklist for use in your own designs:

 

C = Clear Call to Action

O = Offer

N = Narrow Focus

V = VIA: Very Important Attributes

E = Effective Headline

R = Resolution-Savvy Layout

T = Tidy Visuals

S = Social Proof

 

It’s perfect for remembering the key aspects of creating an effective web sales page which converts users, and lends itself kindly to a memorable acronym.