Stylish but not communicating value prop?

Hi all! I'm working on FORUM.LAND, and though I quite like the design of our site, it's clearly not doing great in signup conversion. Roast me!

  1. 3

    The pitch on Forum.land is to enable someone to create a forum quickly and easily with good features. That's pitching at the level of the IT or website contact in the organization.

    It looks like some of your competitors are pitching higher in the org, telling top leaders about the value of building community among their members, getting members more engaged, and about the value of having an online community and not just a membership list. Example: https://www.getopensocial.com/community-management-platform

    So that is an interesting difference. The competitors don't show what an example forum looks like in a screenshot, they spend the screen space telling about the value of the engaged community they can help you build. Selling benefits, not features.

    If I were you, I would probably drop the big screenshot at the top and find something else to put there. Some possible ideas:
    *) A set of cards with customer user cases (Mazda Miata owners! Chess Players of Oregon! Basket Weavers of South Carolina!) and you link through to a testimonial or case study or screenshots showing the value.
    *) An explainer video showing in about 90 seconds how easy and beneficial it is to implement your solution.
    *) A set of bullet points with results your clients achieved (40% increased member retention! 25% greater engagement! 1.5 Hours from Buy to Rollout! Cost 25% of competitors! or whatever)

    1. 1

      I never thought about it that way, thank you! As an engineer, it's my tendency to jump to speaking about the technical details which might not resonate with my target audience. I think like others have commented, providing more specific use cases will help fix this as well as what you mention, updating the assets to sell a pitch rather than showcase a product.

  2. 2

    The above the fold seems to have been covered by other comments -- you're assuming the value of a community is obvious and that you need to sell the customer on why your software is better for them whereas you should focus on why they should want a community. It may even be worth looking at any existing customers, seeing if they are using it for a more specific niche, and evaluating if you should just focus on that one niche.

    Moving just below the fold, the feature section also feels like it could sell harder in terms of solving the customer's problems.

    • "Build your ideal community" might be better than "Getting to know your users" though I'm not fully confident on that one
    • "Increase engagement through hurdleless commenting" rather than "No signup required for visitors" -- not very succinct but there's a few other way you can phrase it with the point being to say what the feature is going to solve rather than what it is
    • "Fine tune access for everyone" might be better phrased in the context of allowing fine grained control over user funnels or something in that ballpark

    Few grammatical points on the features:

    • "Inviting members, appointing moderators, and moderating content are a breeze." -> is a breeze
    • "Enjoy for free as long as you like" -> technically ok but might be clearer/punchier as "Free for as long as you like". That also has the benefit of putting the word "Free" more prominently

    The main menu has a Forum button that I'm going to interpret as a demo/sample forum but it isn't immediately clear that's what it is from the front page. Could be worth changing it to 'Demo Forum'/'Demo' or similar.

    Other minor point: on the pricing page, it might be worth a test to add in sign up buttons under each of the pricing options. Right now, you've got 3 options and a contact us option with a sign up button below them. It MIGHT help to have a 'Try it now!', 'Sign up now!', 'Sign up now!', 'Contact us!' set of buttons under each respective option on the principle of it being a more direct call to action for a user that's already shown enough interest to click into the pricing page.

    1. 1

      I agree, the phrasing could be much better, I like some of your rewrite suggestions. For the forum, it's us dogfooding and showing how we use our own product. Maybe rephrasing to "our forum" or something might be clearer. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. 2

    I really like the design and I think your copy is pretty strong, you've done a nice job with your home page. I'm a fan of the site.

    The only thing that stood out to me as a potential blocker is that I'm not 100% clear on what I would use FORUM.LAND for. "A home for your community" is nice, but further down the page some example use cases that help me understand how I would make use of FORUM.LAND.

    I imagine that I could do things like create a community-powered knowledge base, I could transition an existing community of dedicated Mazda Miata enthusiasts from Slack, or I could create a forum for my engineering team to talk to each other instead of using Discord, but I had to invent all of those use cases myself.

    Maybe pointing users to specific use cases that you've created the product to solve and show them why what you've built is better than what they're doing today would help drive more conversions than what you're seeing now.

    1. 2

      Yes I would second that. Is there a particular audience you have in mind, targeting media businesses, build your audience of super fans/embassadors, have them discuss content on your site.

      People that want a forum will probably use a forum tool but people who already have an audience and want to keep them engaged on the site longer probably want your tool.

      I could be way off but just my impression.

      1. 1

        Our main use case atm is helping startups provide better support. For example, if you're building an API, you can setup a forum to answer common questions and receive feedback from your early users. I have a few example forums I can link to which I'll add now!

    2. 1

      Thanks for the insight and the kind words! Yeah, looking at it I could really use some concrete examples of how people are using forums rather than focusing on just features.

  4. 1

    I think you need to really niche down to your ICP. This statement is too broad 'A home for your community. Create and manage a forum in seconds'

  5. 1

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  6. 1

    Super Comments above. I don't think I could add more value outside of the points already shared. However, here are guiding resources I found useful when iterating on my Value Prop & Positioning.



  7. 1

    Your design is not that great (sorry, I'd rather be honest and help you than otherwise). It's not bad, but it doesn't look professional.

    You got fantastic advice already, especially from @JHercules. I'll just add some thoughts:

    • The font choice might work well for your logo, but not for all those tabs in the screenshots.

    • It's lacking "human touch". Try adding photos with people enjoying the benefits.

    • There are too many competing elements. Most are are too big, and lack hierarchy

    • The pricing page is really hard to scan through, and nothing stands out

    My humble advice would be getting a professional design, if you can afford it. Or at least, start from a professionally designed template.

    You might like this one, but that could be because sometimes we get immersed so much in our own bubbles, that we miss perspective. Also because you mentioned you're more on the technical side, so design maybe it's not your strenght?

    Best of luck, keep it up! :)

    1. 1

      I think these are fair critiques. Our top priority has been getting a stable MVP up so the landing page hasn't been getting as much love as it should be. We'll be refining it a ton thanks to everyone's amazing feedback!

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