Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Idea to steal--the holding page

So you’ve worked hard to develop a range extension, you’ve added a childrenswear line, or a premium line, or you’ve diversified into new products altogether. You’ve secured a URL and have a holding page with a sign-up form to gather data on your new prospective customers, but how do you make it more appealing?

I like this example from luxury-apparel Net-a-Porter. It is supporting the imminent launch of its new menswear business with a call for “founding members”—a much classier alternative to the “sign up now” form.

The holding page explains the benefits of becoming a “founding member” of Mr Porter, such as exclusive access to the site before it launches to the public, as well as access to personal shoppers and seasonal previews ahead of everyone else. This exclusivity is entirely in keeping with Net-a-Porter’s luxury brand values—conveying the feeling that this is not for everyone, this is for “you”. Places for founding members are, according to the site, limited, further encouraging visitors to sign up and stay ahead of the curve.

What’s great about this idea is its simplicity—it’s just a data collection form after all. Even better is that Net-a-Porter is collecting two names with one form—those wishing to become founder members must provide a friend’s name and email address for the privilege. Are places really limited? I doubt it, I become a founding member with minimum fuss, which makes me question the authenticity of that statement. Still, the perceived luxury and the idea of getting VIP treatment appeals to all of us, I’m sure.

Next time you’re putting up a holding page ahead of a site revamp or a new launch, think about the message it sends your customers and prospective customers. What are they getting for giving you their valuable contact details? How are you making their experience special? Why should they take notice of your new brand? “Sign up now” just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, does it?--MT

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