Genuinely curious: How do people get so many signups with just a landing page?

I’m just getting started here, but it seems all of the startup journeys I read, they talk about how “we built slow and focused on the product, then by the time we launched we had 3,000 signups from our landing page.”

I’m genuinely curious, how have you managed to get so many signups with no product?

Share your story below to help your fellow Indie Hackers!

UPDATE: So it sounds like targeted online ads really do work!

  1. 6

    What they don't often talk about is how many of those signups turn into actual users... usually, very few. Some ways I've seen it done:

    1 - Social giveaways/drawings.
    "Visit our landing page, enter your email to be entered to win!"

    2 - Offering something free in exchange for emails.
    "Get this resource of 100 places to promote your startup by dropping your email on our landing page."

    3 - Asking personal social networks.
    "Hey, I'm launching this thing and it would really mean a lot if you liked my page and dropped your email to receive updates on my progress."

    4 - Promoting access in exchange for emails.
    "We just launched a weekly Clubhouse room for [your industry]. Want to know when we go live? Drop your email in the comments (or go to our landing page)."

    Approaches #1, #2, and #4 can generate a signup list with a decent conversion rate to users if targeting is on point and the incentive is aligned with your product.

    Approach #3 is pure vanity. RE: Example #4. Not all signups truly come from just a landing page. I know for a fact some founders are manually inputting emails from other channels into their email provider AND/OR submitting those emails on their landing page.

  2. 5

    We got 14k signups with Facebook ads.

    It's all about selling a story and making it frictionless to signup

    1. 1

      Thats really interesting, Hope you don't mind answering How much did you spend on FB ads? and did you use Stills or Video Ads?

      1. 1

        I think we were getting leads at .07$

        We did a carousel ad. The thing that helped a lot was that we were a free software and we targeted worldwide

  3. 3

    We have done that multiple times with several different products.
    Posts on reddit / producthunt / facebook groups / linkedin / run super targeted google ads campaign.

    We did that with ProveSource, PurpleAds and now LinksCartel.

  4. 2

    First, you have to have a lead-gen source that is reasonably compelling and attracts "qualified" (relevant) leads. Then you have to have a landing page or waitlist sign-up form that reinforces you have, or will have, a reasonably compelling solution that addresses their need.

    Also, it's not about the total number of people you attract to your waitlist, it's about how many of them are likely to buy (@rionmartin mentioned this too). Thus, attracting qualified leads is generally more important than attracting a large quantity of leads. There are some exceptions of course.

    I've been working on a physical product for a couple of years, and didn't start collecting leads until about a year ago, using a couple of relevant resource articles as the lead-gen source.

    While the numbers weren't massive, I did get 230 people to sign-up to the list, via a simple Google Form. But, at least I knew they were qualified leads (they were looking for a solution to a problem, that my product would address). Also, I got TONs of great information, because I asked people to provide some comments about why they were looking for the product -- what problem they had. This information is going to be used for content development and SEO.

    Then, I launched a one-page starter website in early March, with a waitlist form, and collected another 115 email addresses in the last 40 days.

    I started emailing the total list (297 people after de-duping and cleansing) with some update emails a few weeks ago, because I knew I'd be getting the first small batch of inventory in this month.

    The shipment of the first 50 units came in, and I emailed everyone on Monday (April 19). That email got a 56% open rate, and 36% click-thru-rate. All 50 units sold out in a couple/few days.

    Now that the initial stock is out, I'm feeding prospects into the waitlist again.

    Since this is a physical product, I'm starting with fewer quantities because I want to make sure I collect customer feedback quickly to determine if the current product design is adequate. If not, I'll have to make changes and produce more items using an updated design.

    Sure, I could accelerate all this by running some ads on Google, Facebook, & IG, but I'd rather not over-expose myself quite yet.

    Anyway, I wrote this in hopes it would help you -- plus just writing it down helps me too :)

  5. 2

    My guess is they have an established network and or large online following.

  6. 1

    They will not tell you how many sign ups actually activated or eventually become a paying customers.

    Does # of sign ups matter? Yes, it does.

    In the long run? Well, useful if they converted.

  7. 1

    Pay for traffic directly to the landing page. Instagram Ads work best in the niches I've been in. Google Ads are a quagmire, but can work if you know the technical aspects of SEO.

  8. 1

    By posting this everywhere -

    “we built slow and focused on the product, then by the time we launched we had 3,000 signups from our landing page.”

    Even then I don't think it will convert well as along as there is something on the page which screams - This will absolutely solve the problem you're having, These guys are absolutely capable of building and delivering it .

  9. 1

    haha I wonder how do they do it too! Maybe, they reach out to people. Post in forums etc. - Venkat

  10. 1

    I suspect they nail the product, which essentially sells itself, or have large followings.

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