If you’re a B2B SaaS company investing heavily in PPC, content or lead generation, you probably already know that custom-built landing pages are a key component to your overall customer acquisition strategy.
In this post, we’re looking at how to construct a winning page from scratch. We’ll showcase landing page examples from a variety of SaaS companies, including MarketLogic Software, Zoom, Basecamp, TopTal, Intercom and more!
The first place to start, before even creating a single wireframe, is to think long and hard about your user journey:
- Who is your audience?
- What is the problem or need state that you’re looking to address?
- How is your value proposition unique vs. the competition?
- What part of the product or service are you going to visually communicate? If it’s a SaaS app or a tool, what’s the most important part of the product to showcase?
- Are there reviews and testimonials that you can leverage?
- What are the key frictions that usually exist for the average visitor? For example, think about all of the reasons that a user might not convert
The more detailed your understanding around these points, the more effective your page will be in persuading your visitors to take the desired action, whether that’s to buy there and then, schedule a demo, or hand over their precious contact details for a custom quote. Ready to build a landing page that converts?
Mapping questions to your landing page layout
If your SaaS landing page is to successfully become a persuasion page, you’ll need to break it down into specific sections, which focus on reducing ‘friction’ to convert. Within a B2B SaaS context, these frictions may include:
- Am I in the right place? Is this website relevant to my problem?
- How does the company compare against others in this space?
- What are other people saying about this product or service? Is the company trustworthy?
- Does the value offered outweigh the cost of the product?
- Do I know enough about the product to take action?
Your next step is to marry each question or ‘friction’ to a particular section of the landing page layout. At Conversion Stars, our formula for this is as follows:
- The Hero section: Should convincingly address the ‘Am I in the right place?’ and ‘Is this website relevant?’ questions. Should highlight your overall value proposition, in short-form format. We’d also suggest that you put your main call-to-action (i.e. form) here, to maximise - conversions.
- The Feature section: Should elaborate on the Hero section, and outline your top features in visual format.
- The Social Proof section: As the name suggests, address the ‘What are other people saying about this product or service?’ and ‘Is the company trustworthy?’ frictions. This means using ‘social proof’ signals such as client lists, reviews, or customer testimonials.
- Why us section: Address the ‘How does the company compare against others in this space?’ friction. Elaborate on some of the key features vs. the competition.
- FAQ section: Unlike other sections which are focused on addressing specific frictions, the FAQ should be a catch-all in addressing any lingering questions. Feel free to elaborate on any of the above points here.
You won’t necessarily need all of these sections, but we’ve found that this structure works well for SaaS clients who operate within particularly competitive industries, such as market insights and CRM.
So let’s breakdown each part of the page, and highlight some of the best SaaS landing page examples of B2B companies who are achieving excellence. We’ll also go into specifics around things we would look to test, as this will be crucial to improving landing page performance over time.
Landing page hero section
Ever heard of the five second rule? It basically implies that if you can’t effectively communicate why you are relevant to a user’s particular problem or need within five seconds, they’ll leave your site and look elsewhere. If you’re driving traffic to your page from PPC, this is particularly evident. The average prospect will likely click on numerous ad listings within a given search—therefore, you need to be aligned to their need pretty much straight away.
And that’s what the Hero section is all about: this is where you communicate your value proposition (i.e. how your solution solves a given problem) in five seconds or less. Within this part of the page, there are several elements that will need to integrate well with one another:
- The image or background
- The headline
- The CTA (Call to Action)
The Hero section: image or background
There’s no hard and fast rule to say that you absolutely need a hero shot (sometimes a colour background works just as well), but if you do decide to go down this road, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the hero image should give your audience an immediate idea of what your value proposition is. A good hero image is one that clearly communicates both your brand personality and (more importantly) reflects your Value Proposition (more on that below).
One common trend that we’ve seen lately is to showcase customers within in the hero, instead of generic stock imagery. Wave is an example of this, embracing their real-world clients within their hero image:
A good acid test when deciding if you have a suitable landing page hero image, is to look at the image without copy to see if you can tell what the image is trying to communicate. This example from Zoom pretty much does that, highlighting the key product benefit in a visual way:
Using people in your Hero images is a long-held best practice, but as with anything, be sure to A/B test to find what works best for you. If you do use a person shot, it often helps to use a context in which the person is using your product or service. It also helps if the model is facing your CTA, so to direct the user’s attention to the most important part of the page.
Using people is a sound option, but sometimes using a plain colour background can be more effective in reducing ‘noise’ on the page, laying down a canvas from which to tell a compelling narrative. We find that this works especially well in a B2B context, where people-focused stock images are overused. For Intercom, a neutral background colour really helps to focus the message onto the headline text:
We’d recommend that you test to see what works for you. Here are some things you could look to A/B test for this part of your landing page:
- People shots vs. colour backgrounds
- People shots: men vs. women, old vs. young etc.
- People shots: real people vs. illustrations
- Colour backgrounds: light colours vs bold colours
- Colour backgrounds vs. abstract backgrounds
The Hero section: headline
The purpose of the headline is simple: to draw attention to the problem that your product solves. In a short and concise manner, you need to describe why you’re the No.1 to option to solve a specific pain point. The best way of achieving this is to make a crystal clear, highly-compelling promise to your visitors.
It’s not about creating a mystery or curiosity around your product at this stage. Your prospects are busy people and don’t have time for guessing games: you need to be painstakingly clear about what you bring to the table.
Moz for example, focus on solving a specific need relating to SEO professionals:
Drift on the other hand, frame a user problem and highlight (quite literally) how their tool can be used to overcome user confusion:
As with your Hero shot, you should be continuously testing your headline and sub-headline for best results. Below are examples of elements you could look to test:
- Headlines with numbers vs. headlines with just text.
- Headlines that communicate a sense of urgency or scarcity of supply.
- Headlines that promise a given benefit within a specific time frame vs. no explicit time frame.
- Headlines that play on benefits vs. headlines that play on fear.
- Headlines with subheadings vs. headlines with no subheadings.
- Headlines that focus on a single main benefit vs. headline that focuses on multiple benefits.
- Shorter length headlines vs. longer length headlines.
- Headlines that utilise social proof vs. headlines that don’t.
The Hero section: the form
When it comes to your form (or whatever your primary CTA is), I’m a firm believer in having this in the Hero section, as almost everyone will see it immediately.
What’s more, your form really is a beautiful thing. At Conversion Stars, we’re big fans of multi-step forms. We’ve done numerous tests, and have found that Conversion Rate could increase by up to 170%, just by making your form multi-step.
That’s because people at different stages of the user journey won’t necessarily respond the same way to your call-to-action. People can be easily scared off by giving away their contact details straight-off-the-bat. Instead, lure them in with a multi-step form which asks only soft ‘ice-breaker’ questions first, before moving to the ‘hard ask’ of their name and contact details.
For our B2B SaaS client Market Logic Software, the ‘ice-breaker’ question revolves around isolating a marketer’s biggest pain-point from a dropdown list:
The second step would be to follow up with further qualifying questions (i.e. company size, industry), before finally getting down to business and asking for contact details. Compared to single-step forms, the clarity offered by seeing (at most) only a couple of form fields at a time really does help to reduce friction.
It’s not enough to stand still, even when it comes to something as mundane as your form. You should be looking at testing the following:
- Form field length: shorter forms vs. longer forms. In our experience shorter forms work better, but it depends on the industry and the qualification criteria.
- Form field questions: different types of ice-breaker questions. For example, do questions around ‘pain points’ work better than questions relating to objectives?
- Form CTA buttons - language, colour, size etc. Does an orange button against a blue background outperform a dark blue one?
Landing page features section
If the Hero section is the statement of why you are best placed to meet a specific need or problem, the features section is the how behind that. In other words, how does your product or service features support your overall value proposition? This is key to any good product landing page that converts.
In other words, after introducing the problem you can help to fix (in the Hero headline), it’s time to show exactly how your product fixes it. In order to do that, you need crystal-clear clarity on a) the user visiting your page, b) the problem or need that they have, and c) how the product helps to overcome it.
For Market Logic Software, the target audience is market research professionals within FMCG companies (fast-moving consumer goods). From the outset (before a single wireframe was constructed), the key problem for this audience was defined as:
Market Research professionals find it difficult to consolidate all of their quantitative and qualitative data. Too many platforms and too much unstructured data makes it difficult to answer complex market research questions, quickly.
Once the core issue were defined, we used icons, headlines, and text elements to communicate the broader features that help to overcome the problem:
You don’t need to provide a comprehensive overview in the landing page features section, just enough to detail how your product or service meets its stated value proposition. You can use the FAQ section to elaborate further, as we want to keep this section nice and concise, and focused around features which lead to a clear benefit.
When it comes to landing page optimisation, you might also want to look at A/B testing a number of things here:
- The use of images vs. iconography
- The use of numbers vs. textual statements
- Number of features - 4 vs. 6 vs. 8 etc.
- Headlines only vs. headlines and subheadings
Landing page social proof section
Social proof is all about instilling trust in your product or service, via the words or actions of others. Typically, this takes shape in the form of:
- Review ratings
- Customer testimonials
- Influencer testimonials
- Award wins
- PR coverage
- Case studies
- Trust seals and accreditation’s
- Brand partnerships
- Client lists
People are more likely to convert when they see that someone like them is vouching for the product or service.
Whatever your choice to demonstrate social proof, for best results, the communication of this needs to be primarily visual. For B2B SaaS companies, the most oft-used social proof signals are generally client lists, press coverage, and testimonials.
Client lists can be used to communicate expertise and authority. That being said, they are quite possible the weakest social proof signal, given that there is no implied endorsement from said client, other than just being your client. Even so, better to have them if you’ve got some heavyweight clients on your roster.
Usertesting.com feature some strong customer brands in their client list. They also go a step further, linking through to a full client case studies which really hammer home the value that they were able to add:
Coverage in the press can provide validation that your product is the real-deal. Naturally, the more well-known the publication, the more kudos it will lend. TopTal conveys this awesomely, with logos, quotes, and in some cases, video links to the actual report (in this case, interviews with the CEO):
Landing page testimonials
If your social proof section is a brief window into the buzz around your product or service, the testimonials section is the elaboration of this.
Testimonials come in many shapes and sizes, from simple quotes to full-blown video endorsements. Below, you can see a powerful example from Hootsuite, which combines a quote with options to elaborate further via video or an in-depth case study:
Overall, within the social proof section, there are lots of different aspects that you can look to test:
- Different forms of social proof - review ratings, PR coverage, case studies etc.
- Text testimonials vs. video testimonials.
- Social proof positioning - above-the-fold vs. below-the-fold.
The ‘Why Us’ section
Naturally, people will have questions relating to why exactly they should choose you over the competition. Particularly if your landing page traffic source is Google, many users will click back and forth comparing numerous providers to gauge who would provide the best fit. With that being the case, you need to leave a lasting impression to address the ‘why should I choose you’ friction.
Again, the key here is to focus on clarity. It’s better to come up with a headline and a couple of lines of text, than it is to write 200 words about a single benefit. The more concise your message, the more coherent it will likely be, and the easier it will be to persuade your visitors to convert.
This comparison from InsightSquared demonstrates the direct approach in action, taking on a competitor by leveraging ratings and reviews from third-party sites:
Comparison tables work great as a quick visual reference, or when comparing multiple companies side-by-side, but if you’re comparing against a single competitor, you’ll probably want to elaborate further on the core points of distinction.
You might want to look at testing a number of elements for this part of your page. For example:
- Section layout - text layout vs. comparison table
- Image testing - product shots vs. person-focused images
- Headlines only vs. headlines & sub-headers
The FAQ section
When it comes to elaborating on product features, benefits, and other points outlined in previous sections, the FAQ part of your SaaS landing page plays an important role in solidifying understanding. If your visitor makes it as far down as this part of the page, then you’ve done well! The intent level will probably be higher than the average prospect, but they may have a few lingering questions which will need to be addressed.
A good FAQ section will focus on 6 to 8 questions that are designed to overcome any remaining friction to conversion. Why only 6 to 8 questions? In all likelihood, a large chunk of your traffic will come from non-desktop browsers, so overloading your mobile landing page with FAQ’s can actually work against you by adding more ‘noise’ to the page.
Good questions to ask around this stage include:
- Questions around supporting product or service features. This helps to remove lingering friction around product or service performance.
- Questions around how your on-boarding process works, once the user takes action and fills in the form. This helps to remove friction around your on-boarding process.
- Questions around how to claim on any promotions or trials that are tied to your landing page, helping to remove friction around effort.
- Questions around payment schedules, additional fees. This should be focused on removing friction around cost.
FAQ’s don’t need to be boring either. This example from Intercom demonstrates how SaaS businesses can make FAQ’s fun, visually distinctive, and engaging:
Although testing for an FAQ section may sound counter-intuitive, actually it can make quite a difference to your conversion rates, as users who make it up to this point tend to be more engaged than the average user. Potential testing opportunities could include:
- Q&A depth - long-form answers vs. short-form answers.
- FAQ Layout - standard vs. accordion vs. enhanced (with images).
- Subheaders - no subheaders vs subheaders.
This pretty much concludes our deep-dive into creating a successful SaaS landing page. Hopefully, it provides some inspiration for your own landing pages.
Here are some points to remember:
- Before designing your landing page, you really need to zero in on your audience and understand their problem or need. Only by having true empathy with them, can you craft a page that drives results.
- Think of your landing page as a persuasion page. In order to persuade your target audience to take action, you need to be relevant to their needs, and use every section to remove friction across the decision-making journey.
- Key components of the Hero section include image or background, headline, and form.
- The features section highlights the core features of your product that support the value proposition highlighted with the Hero section.
- Social proof comes in different shapes and sizes and social proof signals should be peppered throughout your landing page. The social proof section is a good place to anchor the bulk of these signals in one digestible grouping.
- Testimonials should be used where possible to hammer home the value of your product. More elaborate testimonials such as case studies and video testimonials can add an air of authenticity, and instil a higher degree of trust than simple ‘quote’ testimonials.
- The ‘Why us’ section is where we recommend comparison vs. other players in the space. Here you can choose to be a bit more direct in your messaging, as you really want to hammer home why your product is the ideal solution to your visitors’ needs.
- Choose six to eight concise FAQ’s, in order to help remove any lingering friction to conversion.
- Above all, always be testing across each of your sections. Ongoing landing page optimisation is key!
Harpal Singh is Managing Director at Conversion Stars, a London-based marketing agency that helps companies drive more conversions through their PPC campaigns. You can find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course, the Conversion Stars blog, which covers PPC and landing page optimisation. Conversion Starts are giving away an Unbounce template based on their own SaaS landing page theme, Apollo. Click here to get yours now.
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