Crafting a Support Network as a Founder and CEO


This post was originally published on Joel.is.

Sometime in late 2018, the concept of having a support network clicked for me. This was the year that I started working with Mandy, my second Executive Assistant. Caryn, who I worked with in that capacity for around a year and a half, had transitioned to lead Finance. The gap without this type of support helped me to reflect on the most ideal setup.

The journey to a support network

The first time around that I worked with an Executive Assistant, I had the thought that they could help me by taking on a lot of tasks I had been doing myself. And this is true in many ways. The second time around, I realized that the ultimate way an EA can help me to scale is to be a key partner in creating a support network around myself.

Rather than having my EA take on my tax filings, the best thing they can do is help me to find three people I can meet to decide on a great financial advisor to work with long-term. And this approach can be taken in many areas, and can be done yourself, without an EA. I now believe that the best way to reach your potential in life, is to form a support network for yourself and cultivate it over time.

In some ways, even thinking about getting this type of support feels like a privilege, and it is. At the same time, I believe thinking in this way should be something for everyone, at least in some form. We’ve all had mentors and people who have supported us in various ways, we’ve had parents or grandparents play that role. And for specific needs, we have people we can turn to: we have a dentist and a GP. We just may not have thought about this as a support network we cultivate and intentionally craft. And as a key example of one aspect of a support network, I’d argue, most of us should have a therapist.

Dedicated vs natural support

Friends and a partner are great pieces of your support network, too. But there’s a risk to over-reliance on those people to support you in tough times. It can take a toll on them, and it may line up with a tough time for them too.

In that sense, having naturally existing relationships as your only support can be risky and put you in a more vulnerable spot. Personally, I found that having a therapist I met with regularly helped me to process and work through some of my challenges and thereby have those challenges better formed and be in a more healthy place to discuss them in a different way with my partner.

This doesn’t mean to hold back from sharing challenges with a partner or friends, and often I do. In general, you communicate more regularly with your partner and friends than you meet with a therapist, so it’s likely that you’d share with them first. However, knowing that you’ll meet with your therapist in a few days helps to relieve some of the stress you feel and the urgency to find a solution. And when you do speak with your therapist, you have an opportunity to approach the challenge from a different perspective.

Relying on your co-founder for everything

I’ve found that having a co-founder also makes it easy to avoid getting more dedicated support such as a therapist or a coach. When you have a co-founder, it’s easy to rely on them for all of these support functions. This is a wonderful aspect of having a co-founder, they can be your best supporter. It’s also easy to build this reliance, because your co-founder is likely someone you speak with more than anyone else, perhaps even a spouse.

Not having a coach in the final year or two of working with my co-founder is something I consider a mistake. As we both became more burned out, and our vision for the company and natural choices of approach diverged, we couldn’t be the ones to help each other with those specific challenges. While I think the outcome to part ways was always going to be the right one, having a coach would likely have made the journey to that result smoother.

A key risk with over-reliance on natural relationships for support, is that they are not necessarily the best people to help you. They won’t be the best therapist, or the best coach, or the best financial advisor you could get. Additionally, these relationships are two-way streets. You can’t take too much otherwise it will feel one-sided and imbalanced.

Types of support to consider

Here are some of the types of support I’ve put in place for myself in the past couple of years:

  • Therapist
  • Coach
  • Executive Assistant
  • Financial Advisor / CPA
  • Peer founder / CEO group
  • Surfing and kite-surfing instructors
  • House cleaning

Other types of support I’m considering putting in place in coming years:

  • Personal trainer
  • Language tutor

In general, instructors and tutors fall into an overall category of being taught, which is something I’ve increasingly been leaning into. For my last few surf vacations, mainly due to Jess’ suggestion / request, I’ve had lessons almost every day. And there’s no doubt that I progressed faster than alone.

Of course, for most of us, cost is a key factor here. It is worth, however, establishing some of these relationships even if you do not set up regular sessions, even if you only have a one-off session.

As an example, I worked closely with a therapist for around two years. Since mid-2019, I’ve not met regularly with my therapist and have used some of the tools she introduced me to. However, I know that if I ever have a specific issue, or want to have regular sessions again for a few months, I can reach out to her. Having that existing relationship makes the barrier much lower for the future.

There are a couple of other benefits in getting professional support. Firstly, they will have their own network of other people who can help. For example, my financial advisor is connected to a group of people specialized in various different aspects, and was able to connect me with an attorney to help set up a trust. Secondly, if you set up regular sessions it will add a layer of accountability for yourself in that area, be it having your finances more in order or studying a language.

Start sooner than you think

If you’re an individual, it may feel like overkill to get some of this type of help in place. However, many of these elements of support are most effective as preventative measures, rather than necessary measures. It’s best to get them in place before a crisis, as the people you connect with can be ready and have relevant context, or even help you avoid the crisis in the first place.

And as a founder / CEO, I personally wish I had started to work on my personal support network much sooner. If you have a growing organization, don’t wait too long. As a founder, you generally get everything off the ground yourself and play every role. This can gear you up to have a mindset of solving everything yourself. But, if your company is starting to grow, if you’re starting to hire people, I’d recommend building your support network now. It will help you scale more smoothly, will make the journey feel calmer, and will equip you better for issues that will inevitably arise.





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Welcoming Maria Thomas as Buffer’s Chief Product Officer


In July, we shared that we were looking for a product leader to help us take Buffer forward in our next phase. After speaking to an incredible group of talented folks in product, I’m happy to share that Maria Thomas has joined us as our new Chief Product Officer.

We’re now a 10-year old company, and in the past year, I’ve done a lot of reflection on the purpose of the company and how we can set ourselves up to reach our potential and have the most impact. Buffer’s mission is to provide essential tools to help small businesses get off the ground and grow.

Maria brings with her a breadth of experience working in SaaS and working with small businesses. Her most recent roles have been as the VP of Product at Bitly for the past two years and Insightly for the prior three and a half years. These are both SaaS companies that served small businesses and navigated the ups and downs of all that comes with that segment, including having a large free user base. Maria also spent seven years building products for SMBs at Intuit.

The opportunity to bring on an executive is rare, especially at a company like Buffer, where we have some very loyal and long-tenured people and are striving to create a decades-long sustainable company. There’s much we can learn, however, from someone with experience of where we’re trying to go, and with Maria we have found a great blend of significant experience and expertise we can learn from and an excitement for the unique type of company we are. In particular, Maria and I connected and had great conversations around the freedom and creativity that can come with being unconstrained by VC investment and how that can help us have a more pure focus on the customer, and ultimately more compounding long-term success.

In Maria’s own words:

I am inspired and humbled to join Buffer. You have quite a following in the product management community. Several of my peers revealed that they’d had a long ‘crush on Buffer’ once they learned that I joined you as your CPO. I am thrilled to join a product-led company focused on helping SMBs, a profitable, transparent, sustainable SaaS business, and a majority female executive team.

We’re lucky to benefit from all of Maria’s great experience in product as well as her many years as an executive of similarly sized companies. Maria joined us late last year and has already had a significant impact, helping us to shape our goals and strategy for 2021. I’m confident that within the next few months, customers will start to see the positive and tangible results of her contributions.





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Shareholder Update: Q3 2020


Note: This is the quarterly update sent to Buffer shareholders, with a bit of added information for context. We share these updates transparently as a part of our ‘default to transparency’ value. See all of our revenue on our public revenue dashboard and see all of our reports and updates here.


Before I get into the numbers, please join me in celebrating a pretty big milestone this season — Buffer’s 10 year anniversary!

In late 2010, Joel launched the first version of Buffer and has led the company from that early twinkle of an idea to building a company that is now generating over $21,000,000 in annual revenue.

It’s wild to reflect on the different checkpoints, successes, and challenges that have been experienced over the past decade. The experiences, growth pains, and learnings have really shaped where we are today and where we’re headed next. We’ll be sharing more reflections in the very near future.

We have another piece of exciting news to share as well. As you may know, we’ve been looking for an experienced product leader to join Buffer for quite some time. We are thrilled to welcome our new Chief Product Officer, Maria Thomas, to our team. We look forward to partnering with Maria to expand on a unique strategy that helps us serve customers, differentiate Buffer, and continue to realize solid, sustainable growth over the next several years.

Let’s take a look at our financial results for Q3 and end of year outlook.  

Financial results from Q3 2020

Q3 2020

  • Total net income: $700,996
  • EBITDA margin: 16%
  • MRR: $1,761,962 (up slightly from $1,705,370 MRR at end of Q2)

We’re projecting an overall end of year ARR at just over $21.1M. This projection is an overall ARR downturn compared to 2019 ARR and we can attribute it to a few factors:

  1. Our Q1/Q2 decision to sunset Reply and focus those resources on building a product more complimentary to the overall Buffer experience for SMB customers.
  2. Our Q2 response of extending payment relief to customers struggling to adapt to the detrimental impacts of the pandemic on their businesses.
  3. The volatility of financial markets due to the economic effects of the pandemic on U.S. businesses and global businesses. Businesses represent a significant portion of our customer base and revenue. We’re all adapting to a new normal, experiencing uncertainty in this next wave, and this certainly impacts consumer behavior even in the social media space.

We have a number of initiatives in motion expected to have a positive impact on new business and retention metrics. We’ll share more about those product features in our Q4 report.

*Our drop in bank balance is due to us paying off a bank line of credit balance.

Looking ahead

As we head into the final weeks of 2020, the senior leadership team is solidifying our company objectives for 2021 and setting down shorter term OKRs across all areas. We’re so happy to welcome Maria to the team and to continue to build on the endless learnings from the past decade.





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IFundWomen’s Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community


How does IFundWomen empower and support women entrepreneurs? Their strength is in their community. IFundWomen, the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses, aims to empower and support women entrepreneurs as they navigate building their businesses. They’ve identified a powerful marketing channel to help these women bring their visions to life: digital community.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how IFundWomen integrates their marketing and community building to foster inclusive digital spaces. You’ll hear directly from Shakivla Todd, Marketing Associate at IFundWomen, and you’ll learn:

  • Community tactics to build closer, longer-lasting relationships with your customers
  • How to learn from your community to inform your marketing strategy
  • Where Shakivla finds inspiration for creating social media content for a small business audience⠀
  • How to avoid tone-deaf marketing in uncertain times

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer social media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Who are you?

My name is Shakivla Todd and I am the Marketing Associate for IFundWomen. More importantly, I’m a stellar older sister, a dope friend, and a budding plant mom. IFundWomen is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with capital, coaching, and connections. We offer immediate access to capital through a premium online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from corporate partners, expert business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge, and ignites action.

I manage our digital communities through social media strategy, Slack engagement, and e-mail marketing. I also am a startup coach and I get to coach women entrepreneurs on how to level up their social media game—this is one of my favorite parts of my role!

Where do you find inspiration for IFundWomen’s social media content?

I spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram to get inspo for social content. I am always stalking Ellevest, R29 Unbothered, Freelancing Females, Girlboss, the list goes on. Additionally, our community is #TeamMemes so pop culture inspires a good amount of my content. I am also looking for the next thing to be memeified! For example, millennials collectively are re-watching the early 2000s sitcom Girlfriends on Netflix. Everyone is talking about it, so I made a meme from a picture of the cast to promote one of our grant programs.

Lastly, I would be lying if I didn’t say that we get inspired by checking out our competitors. It’s a great tactic!

First thing I do in the morning is check all DMs across platforms. I can do this from laying in my bed, so it’s a good slow start to the day and I don’t have to worry about it during the workday. I like to respond to any messages and comments within 24 hours, but if it’s a launch day or something important I check in with Instagram much more frequently.

On an amazing day, I have already scheduled my posts into Buffer. So, I’ll go check on them to make sure everything is still good to go. After that, my day is clear to be creative and strategize for future content. I collaborate with our sales, coaching, and creative teams to ensure that we are consistently marketing our products, services, events, and partnership. I have to make sure everything is reflected in our marketing content calendar.

What advice do you have for brands that are trying to foster a supportive, inclusive online community?

Don’t be tone-deaf. A lot of STUFF is going on in this land of 2020. You can’t ignore it. You have to find some way to address it that aligns with your brand’s mission, values, and voice. That being said, don’t just say something to say something. Be authentic and make it work for you. For example, during the aftermath of George Floyd’s death instead of going silent or posting a black square, our response was amplifying and supporting Black women-owned businesses recognizing that one of the most important actions to combat racial injustice is to redistribute money to Black-owned businesses. ⁠

Don’t be tone-deaf. A lot of STUFF is going on in this land of 2020. You can’t ignore it. You have to find some way to address it that aligns with your brand’s mission, values, and voice.

Our community is loud and clear about what they need, want, and love. I like to try out different tactics and just watch to see where our community takes it. If something goes “viral” I continue to create content similar to that. Our followers are also often in our DMs asking for help to get their businesses funded. Their specific questions fuel my marketing strategy.

Our followers are also often in our DMs asking for help to get their businesses funded. Their specific questions fuel my marketing strategy.

For example, IFundWomen partners with companies to build grant programs for businesses. Over the summer, during the application window for one of our grants people were consistently sliding in our DMs asking very specific questions about their grant application. We decided to host a workshop specifically on grant writing. To promote this free workshop I seriously just took a screenshot of the first slide of the presentation that was going to be used for the workshop. The post blew up with nearly 1000 likes and over 400 people registered for the workshop. I think it succeeded because the Instagram post was very simple, straight to the point, and directly addressed a concern our community was having.

Perform like everyone’s best friend on the gram. What does that mean? That means most comments and DMs get very personalized responses. I interact with our followers not only on our posts but on their posts as well if it comes across our feed. I often engage as if our business account is a personal account. It’s a great tactic to beat the algorithm, but also to build community and brand trust.

Perform like everyone’s best friend on the gram.

I love reading Buffer’s, Later’s, Hootsuite’s blogs, and Social Media Today. A good scroll through TikTok and Twitter is also good for the brain. I think most trends start in those two apps. Shameless plug, I take what I learn all over the internet and put it into a roundup of “trends to keep up with” in my newsletter, Trending with Shak.

What’s your favorite IFundWomen partnership to date and why?

The Funding Journey is an IGTV series where we interview successful founders on the long, sometimes complicated, journey to getting their businesses funded. It’s my favorite because:

  1. I get to put on my true producer hat and build something out start to finish.
  2. Most of the founders we interview are from HUGE brands. It means amazing reach for us as a brand plus our community LOVES hearing from brands they love like Black Girl Sunscreen, Lively, and The Helm.
Link to Instagram post found here.
Link to Instagram post found here.

We hope this interview with Shakivla helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow her journey on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Shakivla? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Shakivla or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.





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6 Copywriting Tips for Creating Persuasive Landing Pages


As a modern marketer, you’re expected to be a multitasker with a diverse skill set. “Multiple hats … love ‘em!” In reality, though, it’s a pretty tough gig.

So, of course you’re constantly looking for ways to shrink the workload—and that includes beefing up your landing page copywriting skills to maximize conversions. What are the highest-performing landing pages doing that makes them so effective? 

Though the world has changed, this question comes back to the same stuff that Greek philosophers were preachin’ back in 350 BCE. See that confident-looking guy in the middle draped in baby blue?

Raphael’s School of Athens ft. Aristotle

Yup, that’s Aristotle. He argued that persuasion consists of three appeals: emotional, ethical, and logical

You may be wondering what he can teach you about landing page copywriting. Surprisingly, a lot. Much of what he said centuries ago is true today. To start, we’ve narrowed it down to six quick and effective copywriting tips:

Approached with these tips in mind, every element of your landing page copy can be an intentional play towards winning more conversions. From your headline to your call to action (CTA), sometimes all it takes is swapping one word for another to turn more of your prospects into leads, sales, and sign-ups

What’s more? These tips aren’t going anywhere any time soon. We think it’s safe to say that many of Aristotle’s persuasive techniques are timeless. (No, not your mother’s 70’s wedding dress kinda timeless.) Let’s explore how you can apply them to your landing pages.

The Emotional Appeal (Pathos)

When people talk about adding emotion to their copy, it becomes a bit of a guessing game in terms of which emotion we should appeal to. Should we tug at their heartstrings? Scare them into buying our product? Make them laugh so hard that their fingers slip and press the “Buy Now” button?

According to Unbounce’s 2020 Conversion Benchmark Report, it really depends on the industry. Medical practitioners tend to use words associated with sadness and fear, for instance, while marketers in finance and insurance rely on trust-related language. Take a peek at the full report to see all the industry-specific data.

But for now, I’ve got a coupla Aristotelian tips that are foolproof across industries.

Tip 1: Write like a human (with empathy).

How can you do that?

  • Use inclusive language: Aristotle acknowledged that emotions and experience vary from person to person—and to evoke feeling and persuade, the speaker had to understand and relate to the audience fully. But let’s be real; he was still speaking to people who were a lot like him (Facebook Demographics: Men, Greek, 40+, Likes: Philosophy and Box Wine). He never really had to worry about alienating visitors.

    But your audience is likely much more diverse, so define your target audience according to what problems you solve, instead of whose problems you solve. On HomeLoanGurus‘ landing page, we can see that they target homebuyers with poor credit scores who are seeking a loan: “Poor credit score? We help when the banks say no.” 

    Getting a loan can be a frustrating, embarrassing process—but by using words such as “you” and “we,” its copy comes off empathetic. They’re here to tackle problems with you, not sell a solution.

High-converting landing page copy example
Image courtesy of HomeLoanGurus and Conversion Lab (Click to see the whole thing.)
  • Use hypophora to frame the problem: Hypo-what? Hypophora is a rhetorical device used when a writer raises a question and then immediately answers it. It’s a great (non-aggressive) way to remind your audience of their pain points, that you totally get it, and you have the solution to fix it. 

    Like Symmetrix does in this supporting copy, by listing off customer pain points in the form of questions: “Were you going to the gym but didn’t know where to start when you got there? Do you want to save yourself the extra time of driving to the gym and getting changed when you arrive?” (As I sit here in my pajamas staring out at the Vancouver rain, the second question speaks to me.)

This image is a landing page example that demonstrates hypophora.

But be wary of…

  • Sounding inauthentic: Expressing empathy can create a connection between you and the audience, but overdoing it comes off as insincere and may harm your brand perception. There are many things going on in the world (#2020WorstYear) that you can incorporate in your copy to engage your audience. But if it’s not done thoughtfully—it’ll seem like you’re just jumping on the bandwagon.

    Take the business world’s response to Covid-19. It’s one big blur of marketing campaigns appealing to these “unprecedented times.” This compilation video by Sam Hadley sums it up pretty well:

    I’m not saying you should avoid talking about the important challenges your audience is facing. But take care that your brand isn’t just repeating cliches. Instead, highlight the unique ways you can help—that’ll resonate more. Looking for examples? Here’s how you can write landing page copy that tackles Covid-19 in an empathetic way.


Tip 2: Encourage action. 

How so?

  • Focus on concise, powerful action verbs: It’s tempting to dust off the adjectives when hyping up your product, but make sure your copy doesn’t digress. It’s not only hard to follow (and convert), it also may come off as disingenuous. (Think of those long-winded explanations to your parents when you came home past curfew. “You’ll never believe this, but there were no cabs … and then I realized I left my purse back at Jim’s house…”) 

    Since the goal of your landing page is to increase conversions, keep your copy purposive and give your prospects clear direction on how to get there.

    Actionable CTAs are especially important for conversions. Check out this CTA copy from McDonald’s—we can’t say we’re lovin’ it.

    From the hero image, the audience can see the landing page is promoting its coffee. However, how the prospect gets the coffee—through the CTA—is pretty weak. “Find a Location” just adds another step for its caffeine-starved prospects. Instead, we would’ve connected prospects to its delivery service right away: “Order McDelivery” gives prospects a clear direction to a sweet, sweet cup of Joe.

  • Consider point of view: What POV are you writing in? First and second person POV—through words such as “me” and “my” or “you” and “yours”— helps the audience envision themselves buying or using your product. A simple word swap may be the final nudge they need to convert. 

    Mixmax is an app that accelerates productivity. Using second-person POV and powerful action verbs (my personal favorite is “Mixmax-imize”), it’s pointing at you (yeah, you over there) to take action. How do you take action? Mixmax does a great job sticking to one, clear CTA: “Get Free Demo.”

Image courtesy of Mixmax (Click to see the whole thing.)
  • Suggest scarcity: Create a sense of urgency in your copy by noting deadlines, expiration dates, and limited supply. Most people will claim a deal immediately out of fear that it won’t exist tomorrow. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini points out:

    The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.

    LIV Watches uses this persuasive tool to promote its latest product launch. (“Don’t miss out!”) Picture the landing page without it. Visitors would just be reading about a snazzy new watch design. Maybe they kinda like it, but perhaps not enough to buy it right away. To Cialdini’s point, for many, the thought of having this watch simply isn’t enough to drive immediate purchases. Many will sleep on it. And most will forget about it or lose interest.

    High-converting landing page copy example
    Image courtesy of LIV Watches (Click to see the whole thing.)

    By adding the copy that suggests a limited supply—“only 500 will ever be made”—it becomes an exclusive item and time is now ticking to snag one. You could be the 501st person to try and order it—and get denied?! (The horror!) By introducing this idea of potential loss, LIV motivates those indecisive prospects to make the purchase right now. FOMO is a real thing, friends.

Want a quick assessment to see if you’re on the right track? Snag a personalized analysis of your landing page copy here using our Landing Page Copy Analyzer.

The Ethical Appeal (Ethos)

Aristotle described ethos as persuasion through character. In other words, you need to demonstrate to the audience that you’re a credible source of information. For your landing page, we’ve got a couple of ways to increase authority through copy—and it actually requires less writing.

Rather than spinning a big story, show confidence in the value you bring by being transparent. Keep your copy short and simple, and use social proof to uphold your promise. Let’s break it down.

Tip 3: Be clear and concise.

How can you achieve this?

  • Use fewer words and simpler language: In almost every industry we analyzed in the Conversion Benchmark Report, the reading level of the copy and the total word count are both related to better conversion rates. 

    Rule of thumb? Try to keep it under 300 words and written at a middle-school reading level. (It’s always “use”—never “utilize.” Don’t write “circumlocution” when you can just call something “unclear.”) For example, in the graph below you can see SaaS conversion rates increase as copy becomes shorter and easier to read.

  • Bullet points or lists: Make it easy for your reader by using lists of bullet points. Aristotle would’ve called this “eutrepismus,” but following our discussion on reading ease, we’re gonna take our own advice here and keep it simple. Bullet points and lists are especially great for laying out all the juicy benefits of your product or service. Like what Caneggs does for its protein-packed pancake mix:
  • Repetition: Don’t try to cover everything your product or service can do for every potential customer. Stick to one USP (unique selling proposition), put it in your headline and CTAs, and then repeat it a few times throughout the landing page. Because we see so many ads every day, we’re conditioned to skim for the good bits. Repetition signals what’s important.

Tip 4: Validate your copy using social proof.

Yes, you really shouldn’t be writing social proof yourself—see my point above about being authentic—but curating the right testimonials and reviews can do loads to validate and support your landing page copy. In a 2019 survey, 91% of respondents said positive reviews make them more likely to use a business’ services or products. But how do you source and edit your social proof so it’s as persuasive as possible?

How to optimize your social proof:

  • Source testimonials from your top customers: You may have a ton of customers, but which ones would go to bat for your brand? Using customer engagement tools such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey helps you identify your biggest fans. If they’re clickin’ 9 or 10, you can depend on them to leave a rave review. So follow up with an invitation to leave one!
  • Get specific reviews: Social proof works off of the idea that there’s safety in numbers—but people seek safety in numbers with people just like them. When building landing pages (and variants), it helps to use testimonials that speak to each buyer persona and the products they’re pursuing.

    Unbounce customer, Woolx, offers a variety of wool apparel for both men and women. But they’ve done a great job sourcing testimonials that are specific to each of their products. This way, when they build out landing pages for their different products, the copy is backed up by reviews with substance (not just a bunch of 😁😁😁 and !!!). Like they do for the Avery leggings:

Image courtesy of Woolx and Ad Logic. (Click to see the full thing.)
  • Use relevant endorsements: Social proof can also be in the form of a relevant expert or influencer endorsement. On its landing page, Woolx highlights five outdoor magazine features and includes a quote from Backpacker Magazine. With over 500k Facebook likes and 150k followers on Twitter, Backpacker Magazine says Woolx is the warmest wool they’ve tested?! To some, this endorsement means nothing. To others, Woolx is droppin’ all the right names. 

But be mindful of: 

  • Using negative social proof: We may think that we’re making an impactful statement by incorporating negative social proof into our copy. But it can give mixed signals. 

    For example, imagine an environmental organization building a landing page for its recycling campaign. It may be tempting to exclaim that 65% of Americans don’t recycle in hopes of motivating their audience to join the movement.

    But would this statistic get the audience up on their feet to recycle? Or is it normalizing this behavior? It’s certainly a risk.

The Logical Appeal (Logos)

While our emotions dictate a lot of our buying behavior,  we all like to believe we’re making smart and logical decisions. So to round out your landing page copy, tap into this consumer tendency to look to reason. (Awkwardly, this just taps into another emotion: trust.) If you can validate your pitch with a statistic or fact, they can validate their purchase and convert. Win-win!

Tip #5: Use statistics strategically.

  • Incorporate the framing effect: As objective as statistics may seem, we can actually frame the same information in various ways to create different effects. Take the earlier example of America’s recycling habits. We could call out the 65% of Americans that aren’t recycling. Or, we can applaud the 35% that is. But is 35% something to brag about? What if we reframe it as 114.87 million Americans recycled in 2019? Much better. And that, my friends, is the framing effect. 

    The purpose of the framing effect isn’t to manipulate, but to express numbers in a way that resonates with your audience. The Ocean Cleanup does a swell job demonstrating how each sale contributes to its cleanup operations on this landing page:

    Each pair of sunglasses sold will help clean over 1.5 miles of ocean—which is a lot, but hard to picture if you’re not the nautical type. The organization uses football fields as the metric to show the impact of just one sale. (Now you’re speakin’ our language.) And it seems to be working—there’s over 162, 440 football fields of ocean already clean.


Tip #6: Argue a strong value proposition.

What makes a value prop strong?

  • Focusing on the benefits: Up until now, we’ve danced around this tip, but it’s one of the most important ones. Sometimes we get so excited about showing off all the flashy features of the product, we forget what visitors really care about. Dedicate your landing page copy to the specific benefits for your customers—because if they can’t see how you directly solve their problems, they will seek a solution elsewhere. We’ve got a whole article on copywriting tips for keeping the spotlight on your customers that you can access here.

    Drizzle Honey’s landing page offers a sweet demonstration of a benefit-focused value prop. Fact: Drizzle Honey’s products are jam-packed with superfoods. A feature-driven value prop would leave it at that. (“It’s got turmeric and ginger—our work is done here.”)

    This is just the benefits section. Click to see the whole thing.

    Whereas, here they hold up a magnifying glass to each ingredient and its benefits to the consumer. Better digestion, reduced inflammation, improved intestinal health and waste elimination? Now that’s what I’m putting in my tea the morning after taco night.

  • Anticipating the objection: Procatalepsis, also called prebuttal, is a rhetorical device used to strengthen an argument by dealing with possible counter-arguments before the audience can raise them.

    On its Unbounce landing page, Peakon anticipates the internal battle we all have when we sign up for a free trial that requires credit card information. (Will I forget and get charged the next month? Will I be too lazy to cancel? Will I even use this free trial?) Right at the top, they assure prospects that no credit card is required. Zero commitment.

    High-converting landing page copy example
    Image courtesy of Peakon. (Click to see the full thing.)

    Peakon also addresses usability-related arguments in the copy supporting the CTA button: “Works everywhere, for everyone.” And they mean it! No matter the language you speak or the size of your business, they’re confident they can “handle anything you throw at them.” Using procatalepsis gives visitors fewer reasons to bounce—leading to more conversions on the spot.

Persuasion: A Tale as Old as Time

Taking the time to understand how to incorporate persuasive techniques into your landing page copy is worth it. Although we feel like some of Aristotle’s terminology could use a little updating—procatalepsis sounds like something that’d send you to the emergency room—you now have six simple copywriting tips in your back pocket for your next landing page.

After you start seeing the conversions roll in, you may be curious how your mastery of persuasion stacks up against the rest. Check out the competitive landscape in our 2020 Conversion Benchmark Report.



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Reflecting on 10 Years of Building Buffer


Today marks ten years since I launched the first version of Buffer. What started as a landing page to gauge interest, and then a very basic product that I worked on alone, has become so much more. Buffer is now a leading social media management platform and a team of nearly 90 people working remotely worldwide, with our own approach and culture.

Reaching this milestone means a lot for me, and I thought it would be interesting to reflect on each year of the Buffer journey. As you’ll see, things have changed enormously over time, and I could not be more proud of where we are now.

2010: After getting paying customers, I shifted the focus to marketing.

I launched Buffer on November 30th, 2010. One of the things that inspired me to launch earlier than I may have otherwise, was an initiative someone started on Hacker News called November Startup Sprint. I decided to participate and committed to launching the first version of Buffer by the end of November 2010, which I only just accomplished. Something I learned from this experience is that you’ll always have additional features or fixes you want to finish before you launch, but actually putting something out there in the world is really what starts momentum.

I employed many of The Lean Startup techniques in order to validate the problem and the existence of an audience before launching. Thankfully, these steps and a healthy dose of luck resulted in some strong initial traction for the product. I had the first paying customer within four days of launch.

After the first paying customer, I took a step back, acknowledged that as a significant milestone, and decided a slight shift in focus was required. As an engineer, it’s easy to keep building, adding more features. I knew it was time to focus on marketing and further customer development. This is what led me to bring on a co-founder. It was time to keep the balance of development, marketing, and customer development with a product that had proved it was “good enough.” It was clear that there would be more people out there who would find value even at the early stage. This has been a valuable lesson I’ve tried to maintain: when the signal is there that the product is good enough, shout about it!

Read more about how I went from an idea to paying customers in seven weeks.

2011: Transitioning to working full-time on Buffer.

2011 was a year of transition for me, from contract web development work to working full-time on Buffer. Before starting Buffer, I was doing what I called “working in waves,” a method to have enough funds to work full-time on a project for a certain period of time. The idea is that you work a full-time job or contract work for a set amount of time and then work full-time on your startup idea once you have enough funds to support yourself for a set amount of time. Having tried working in waves, I would not recommend it as a long term strategy. Read my thoughts.

With Buffer, I was completely focused on hitting ramen profitability. I sensed that if I could get there, it would change everything. Ramen profitability describes a situation where you’re making just enough to pay your living expenses. For me, that first goal was £1,200 per month.

We reached ramen profitability early in 2011, and I gradually dropped the number of days of contract development work I was doing as the revenue grew. My co-founder finished his college year and had the summer free to focus entirely on Buffer. We decided to get on a plane and travel to what we thought of as Startup Mecca, San Francisco. This was, in fact, my first ever trip to the U.S., which I now call home. Later in 2011, strong revenue growth combined with a year of working on Buffer and some great education from AngelPad allowed us to raise $450,000.

2012: Becoming a fully remote company.

Becoming a fully remote company is a decision I made in 2012. During the few months I spent focused on whether to commit to Buffer being a distributed team, I sought advice from many people. I received some of the best advice from David Cancel, whom I had the chance to sit down and chat with over coffee. His key insight was that in his experience founding several companies so far, he has found that two scenarios work well, while one doesn’t work too well. He advised that we either be fully distributed or have everyone in the same office. David said that the time he had a main office with most people there and only one or two people working remotely didn’t work so well.

With this insight and further thinking, we became a fully distributed team. Here’s a screenshot from my email to the team sharing this news:

An email to the Buffer team about becoming a fully distributed company.

We immediately hired several people working remotely to quickly balance out the team from a group forming in San Francisco and ensure we were truly fully distributed. This was an immediate benefit to us, especially as a team focused on outstanding customer support since we quickly covered all time-zones. Read more about how I made the decision for Buffer to be fully remote.

Becoming fully remote didn’t mean we never met up in person, though. Over the years, we’ve found ways to incorporate annual retreats into our yearly planning and have prioritized this key time together for brainstorming, talking strategy, and setting the tone for the year ahead. See more about our past ten retreats in this post.

2013: Creating values and living by them.

In 2013, as we became a team of ten, we decided to articulate and document our company values. At the time, I knew we had already formed a strong culture, so I polled the team to ask them how they would describe it. From there, we came up with our original Buffer values.

The original ten Buffer values.

One of our more unique values, default to transparency, which is the value that Buffer is known by the most, was put to the test this same year. In late 2013, Buffer was hacked. We shared transparently and quickly with our customers and the broader public what had happened and what we were doing about it. We alerted our community to the breach before knowing the source of it, and we provided updates on our progress every few hours for the first few days. Both our community and the public responded well to this openness, reinforcing my theory at the time that bugs and downtime can be a good thing, as long as they are rare and handled with great care.

We further committed to this value by making our salaries transparent at the end of 2013, which resulted in a spike of applications for open Buffer jobs, and is a step I believe contributed significantly to growing our brand.

Check out our transparency page to see a full timeline of transparency at Buffer.

2014: Our largest acquisition offer and deciding not to sell Buffer.

In the early years, we received a number of acquisition offers. The earliest offer we had for Buffer was not long after we had started, and it felt fairly easy for us to say no simply because we felt we had much more growth ahead and wanted to see where our path would lead.

However, in 2014 we received our largest acquisition offer to date. It was a nine-figure offer from a public company, and it stopped us in our tracks and made us truly step back and reflect. For myself, my co-founder, and for most of our team with early-stage stock options grants, it would have been a life-changing outcome. An offer like that drives existential questioning, making you really think about the purpose and fulfillment of what you’re doing. Ultimately, we believed there was significantly more growth from where we were, and we have since increased revenue 6x. Beyond the growth potential, however, it was the culture and the movements we had become part of (transparency and remote work, in particular), which led us to turn the offer down and continue on our path. The most memorable advice we received during this decision process was from Hiten Shah, who asked us simply, “Are you done?”.

Money will come and go, but experiences and learning is what I define as true wealth. This is why I try to frame a decision of whether to sell around the opportunities for learning and experience in each path. I reflected on how if I sold Buffer, I would sacrifice many future learnings. I asked myself if and when I would ever have the learning opportunity I did for the years ahead from that stage of Buffer. Here’s a longer post reflecting on not selling Buffer.

I made the decision to continue learning with Buffer, and this is a decision I feel great about to this day. Instead of an acquisition, we raised $3.5 million in late 2014 with a secondary liquidity component, in part to remove the pressure to sell and help us go long. Here I am six years later, still energized and happy with my gradual return, so overall, I believe that worked out. More recently, I’ve been focused on finding ways to separate exit from liquidity for myself and the whole team. This helps us take a genuinely long-term view on the business.

2015: Exploring self-management.

In 2015, after reading Reinventing Organizations, the entire team voted and agreed to become self-managed. We reorganized Buffer into a completely flat structure. At first, this felt energizing and invigorating. There was a great sense of freedom and ownership. Over the course of a few months, things started to feel off. People were easily lost, especially those that had just joined Buffer. More experienced people often didn’t quite see a place to help out and share ideas around which direction a project could take. The amount of freedom people had, with absolutely no guidance, expectations, or accountability, was pretty overwhelming.

Our self-management setup was a partial success for customers. One of the experiments we pursued during this time was to create a team specifically aimed at launching new functionality rapidly for customers. We launched Pablo, our popular image creation product, out of this team. The main challenge we found with these types of projects is resourcing, maintaining, and improving them over time. We’ve since become more deliberate about what we choose to launch rapidly while maintaining our culture of experimentation.

We eventually decided to move away from self-management. This period will always hold a special place in my heart, though I believe ultimately we are better placed with some hierarchy and structure. It reinforced to me that it’s okay to try big experiments and to go in knowing that not all of them will work. This is a mindset we’ve kept at Buffer and has helped us continue to experiment with the way we work. This type of exploration and playfulness generally becomes harder to do as you grow larger, and the boldness, optimism, and curiosity that it requires is something that I’m committed to supporting.

2016: Launching Reply, then facing cash-flow challenges and layoffs.

Early in 2016, we launched Buffer Reply, which was the result of an acquisition and a lot of great work to adapt the product to make it feel like a Buffer offering. This was a bold move to expand beyond social media marketing and into social customer service. As a company, we had always held ourselves to a very high bar for customer service, and we found the tools out there for managing customer service on social media to be lacking. We had some success with Reply, and over the next few years, grew monthly revenue from $4k at acquisition to over $70k at its peak. Ultimately, we found that the need for customer service on social media was less widespread and didn’t develop as we imagined it may, and also found that we were spreading ourselves thin with taking on very different types of products and customer segments, so we sunset Reply in 2020. The experience of Reply increased our ambitions as a company, launched us to serving more than a single customer job, and paved the way for us to build a social engagement tool, which is coming in early 2021.

After we concluded our self-management experiment, we felt a drive to grow the team more rapidly again. We ultimately grew from 34 to 94 people. With team growth, however, comes the need for new systems, and existing approaches start to show cracks and feel ineffective. Our revenue growth, while strong, didn’t keep pace with hiring, and we found ourselves in financial challenges.

With the prospect of only five months of runway before depleting our cash reserves, we made the excruciating decision to lay off ten team members. What was more disappointing than anything was that this was totally within our control. It was all caused by the fact that we grew the team too big, too fast. We thought we were being mindful about balancing the pace of our hiring with our revenue growth, but we weren’t. One of our advisors gave us an apt metaphor for what happened: We moved into a house that we couldn’t afford with our monthly paycheck.

A chart showing our bank balance projections for 2016.

We made an important yet challenging decision to solve our financial challenges ourselves rather than raising a bridge round of funding to see us through. It was a painful process to go through, and I’ve now experienced first-hand the loss of morale, the negative impact on culture, and the erosion of trust that layoffs can cause. This is especially true for a small, tight-knit, and mission-driven team. With all of that said, I’m grateful for the personal and company growth that this enabled for us. We immediately leveled up our financial operations and set down a commitment to financial stability.

This experience led us to truly figure out sustainability at Buffer and understand how we could be around long term. I believe we’re better off as a company for this and have developed some strong financial principles for our company, which have led to us being around and self-sustaining four years on. I’m proud of the results we have to show for these efforts. We’ve been profitable every quarter since we made these layoffs; eighteen straight quarters of profitability.

2017: Recommitting to a single path, stabilizing the company, experiencing co-founder conflict, and the lows of burnout.

2017 was perhaps the hardest year of the Buffer journey so far. After a difficult 2016, I focused on stabilizing the company, mending the erosion of trust with the team, and charting a clear, singular, and enduring direction for the company going forward. In the midst of this, significant conflict developed between myself and my co-founder, and several investors became involved in the disputes. This contributed to some of the lowest points of my career and experiencing severe burnout.

In the earlier part of the Buffer journey, we were lucky to have it all: great growth, funding on fantastic terms, building a generous, positive, inclusive culture, and maintaining a lot of individual freedom. Over time, some of these things started to feel like trade-offs, and we started to debate our path. Rapid growth vs. freedom, focus on culture vs. product, performance vs. nurturing. I don’t fundamentally believe these things must be at odds, but in late 2016, it felt that way to all of us. My co-founder and I started to increasingly fall on different sides of these choices. What was once a beautiful balance of complementary strengths and opinions felt like constant misalignment and mixed messages to the team. After many attempts at finding common ground, we agreed we had grown apart and developed differing visions. In early 2017, my co-founder and our CTO both moved on from Buffer.

After this significant change, I focused on stabilizing the company for the team and in terms of our financials. I articulated a clear path for the company focused on sustainable growth, product quality, and an empowering company culture. We had great revenue growth, and I made a decision to pause hiring for most of 2017 in order to build our profitability. We went from burning $30-150k per month in early 2016 to consistently generating more than $300k in monthly profit in 2017.

After an initial amicable parting and starting to meet as friends rather than co-workers, we started to open up about lingering unsaid frustrations. With this, resentment started to grow between my co-founder and I, specifically around the timing and scale of liquidity he could expect. Admittedly, as the CEO of an 85+ person company just recently coming out of layoffs and significant leadership change, this wasn’t my top focus. All of this led to high stress, low energy and capacity, negativity, and stubbornness. This also drove challenges in my relationship with my partner, Jess. I’m happy to say we got through it and got married in 2019.

Throughout all of this, I can look back and see that while I was exercising and keeping myself in good shape, as well as feeling optimistic about the future of Buffer, it was adrenaline that was carrying me forward. By the spring of 2017, the company felt much more stable, and the adrenaline was no longer needed. As soon as the adrenaline subsided, my body and mind could suddenly feel what it had worked through. That’s when burnout hit me, and I felt unable to function effectively. With great support from my leadership team, I took a six-week break to recharge and came back much better equipped to take on the rest of the year.

Read my full experience with burnout here.

2018: Spending $3.3 Million buying out investors.

After recommitting to a path of long-term sustainability in 2017, I had conversations with our main venture capital investors, and it became clear that our choice of path was not a great fit for the investment. Thankfully, we had been open about this possibility when we raised the funding back in 2014, and so we were able to open up conversations about a way to move forward. These discussions were challenging and uncomfortable, but pushing ahead with them allowed us to ensure Buffer was set up to run independently in the long-term.

These discussions, and over a year and a half of profitability, resulted in our ability to spend $3.3 Million buying out our VC investors. This was one of the most important decisions I’ve made in the Buffer journey so far. This was a key inflection point for Buffer that put us truly on a path of sustainable, long-term growth, and we’ve been better off for the significant increase in alignment in our shareholder base. I’m grateful to our VC investors for being open to this solution and to our many remaining investors who are excited about this unusual path.

A timeline of funding history. 

At times, this move towards stability and setting ourselves up for the future has felt like a slow journey and has drawn focus away from customers, which I have found painful. With that said, this is foundational work on the core of the company — ownership — and has set us up to be able to be more customer-focused and have less distractions going forward. Additionally, it has helped us to maintain and continue to craft a company culture that puts people over profit, something I believe will pay dividends for years to come. With the benefit of hindsight, these decisions have driven long-term benefits for Buffer. For example, we figured out how to be profitable and sustainable, and as a result, we were better set up for unknown future events like the impact of COVID-19 and the global pandemic on our customers, team, and finances.

2019: Creating balance and setting myself and Buffer up to scale sustainably.

2019 was a different year for me in many ways. On the personal side of things, I established a routine living in Boulder, I got married, and refocused on hobbies like skiing. This was the year that I really worked on integrating my work and personal lives, rather than taking the early-stage mentality of sacrificing my personal life, relationships, and hobbies in order to spend more time and energy on work. While we had become financially sustainable, I truly believe this personal change made it sustainable for me to keep operating as CEO in the long-term.

At Buffer, after two eventful and foundation-building years for the company itself, I decided to turn this thinking to my role. Something that clicked for me towards the end of 2018 was that I would significantly benefit from setting up a support system around myself. Without an active co-founder, it became that much more critical that I have other types of support to fill that gap. I decided to take a new approach this time, putting together a group of people rather than relying on a single person. In late 2018, I brought on a new Executive Assistant and tasked her with helping me to form this support network, which I decided would include a coach, a financial advisor, and regularly connecting with other founders. In addition, I was regularly meeting with a therapist since mid-2017. By the end of 2019, this support system was fully established, and I am confident this group has made me a better leader over time.

2019 also marked the beginning of starting to reflect on my role, and the initial step I took towards the end of the year was to make a decision to hire a Product leader. This was the final area of the company I chose to fully let go of, and we recently brought on a great CPO to lead us and level up our product strategy, quality, and operations.

2020: Building a resilient company and taking a step back to think about purpose.

We are almost at the end of 2020, and I think calling this a tough year would be an understatement for many. This year our focus was on building a resilient company.

I started the year traveling and taking some time off in Thailand and New Zealand. As part of this, I had a chance to step back and start to reflect on what we had achieved and where I may want to take the company next. A level of clarity started to emerge about the type of customer, and type of company, that I feel energized to work towards.

Of course, by the end of February, COVID-19 was taking hold and already starting to impact many countries around the world. We were lucky at Buffer, as a fully distributed team with several people in Asia, that we had an early warning, and it became clear quickly that this would be a global challenge. We canceled our upcoming company retreat to Greece and start to focus on how to get the company through this period as unscathed as possible. Our mantra for the year became resilience, with a focus on people over profit and mental well being. A key decision I made was that I wanted to get through the year accruing the least debt possible in terms of impact on the team, issues such as burnout, customer satisfaction, and our financial position. We set up a COVID-19 customer assistance program, reduced some of our performance criteria and deadline focus, and implemented a 4-day workweek pilot.

This year, we experienced the worst customer churn we’ve ever seen at Buffer as thousands of our small business customers struggled to adapt and survive. We saw a consistent decline in revenue from mid-March to mid-June, and throughout that period, we crafted countless new projections and scenarios to ensure we could emerge in a strong position. Thankfully, the decline eased off, and since mid-June, we’ve seen modest growth.

With the financial impact of the pandemic stabilizing, I was able to turn back to some of the reflections I had around Buffer’s purpose and my CEO role. I worked with my coach and arrived at clarity that what we’ve always been focused on at Buffer is helping small businesses to succeed and do good along the way by providing tools to grow and serve an audience and inspirational content to rethink how businesses are built. As for my role, I’ve realized that the next key evolution is in truly reflecting on the work that energizes me versus the work that drains me. I love to focus on the high level of bold vision and strategy and the details around customer experiences and our culture. The in-between of operations and keeping the train running on time is less fun for me. I’ve been shifting my role, and Caro, our Chief of Special projects and someone I’ve now worked with on Buffer for over eight years has been stepping into operations to give us the best long-term outcomes.

One of our all-hands meetings.

It’s been powerful to take a step back and reflect on ten years of building a company. Looking back, there are a few additional observations I want to share.

In the early days, it’s easy to treat a startup as a sprint, but it’s really a marathon. It’s vital to pace yourself and take care of yourself. Regular rest is a necessity, and I’m going to continue to work towards incorporating rest and true vacations into my annual cycle. Additionally, as with life, there are seasons to a company. There have been stages of growth, market changes, and role evolutions. There are always periods with different focuses, and it is a continual journey towards ideal equilibrium.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to grow without compromising, and after doing so, you might have to work to find your purpose again. This is an example of the hard work it takes to create something enduring. If you are to be successful long-term, you have to take time to reflect and rediscover your passion, and sometimes make some bold changes to get back on track.

I’ve been fortunate and privileged and have achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of. I’m proud that Buffer has reached the 10-year mark and that with the help of many people, I’ve created a company that gives meaningful employment to over 85 people across the world. We’re far from perfect and still have much to improve and learn, but there’s a time to catch your breath and say, “we’ve created something awesome.” We have many people on the team who have been part of this wild ride for six, seven, even eight years now, and this blows my mind. It’s a significant part of any person’s life to spend working on something, and I couldn’t be more grateful to those people.

As I look ahead to 2021, while I’ve learned that it never gets easier, it’s always interesting, and there is never a dull week. My admiration for long-term companies has grown significantly. I find myself fascinated by companies that exist for decades and even more so by founders who find a way to keep evolving, increasing their ambition, and remaining energized.

I’m excited to continue on this path of long-term sustainability and thankful to have an incredible team to work with, thousands of happy customers, and a foundation of profitability. It has felt liberating to have a structure that allows us to think in terms of years rather than quarters. I’m ready to dig in for another decade and see the heights we can reach and the value we can provide.

Whether this is the first post of mine you’ve read, you’ve been following along since the beginning, or you’re somewhere in between, thank you for taking the time to read this as I reflect on this big milestone in Buffer’s history. I’m so thankful for the incredible community and customers we have around us that let us continue to do what we do every year.





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Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More


Success on social media can often feel like a secret science. Something that only the few can achieve. But creating a successful social media strategy is a skill that can be learned. Mastered, even.

And you don’t need a flashy brand or a big budget.

What you need is a deep understanding of what your audience cares about, and how to get your content in front of them in the right places at the right times.

That’s why analytics are so important. Analytics help you to make better decisions and get better results. And today, I’m excited to announce our latest feature:

Analytics for LinkedIn Pages!

Together with our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter integrations, this makes Buffer’s analytics an all-in-one solution for these four popular social networks for businesses.

Want to see what’s new and why 3,000 customers use our analytics to boost their social media strategy?

Let’s take a look.


If you have been using Buffer for your social media planning and scheduling but not measurement and reporting, I think you’ll be thrilled to try our analytics. The analytics in Buffer lets you track your performance, analyze your posts, and report your results. Ultimately, we want to give you more data and help you get better results.

Buffer analytics dashboard

Let’s talk about the new feature first.

How to analyze and report your LinkedIn performance

We intentionally designed our analytics to be simple so that you can easily get what you need and create reports in a few clicks. For this feature, we managed to work with the LinkedIn team as we built it.

“I’m excited about this new feature by Buffer because we have seen many small businesses leverage their LinkedIn Page to build thought leadership and recruit new teammates. This new feature will help them understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn,” said Ting Ba, the Group Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn Pages.

Here’s a quick 2-min video walkthrough of using Buffer to analyze your LinkedIn posts and showcase your results. If you prefer a more in-depth explanation, feel free to read on.

This new feature will help [small businesses] understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn.

– Ting Ba, Group Product Marketing Manager, LinkedIn Pages

1. Know what’s working to optimize your LinkedIn strategy

If you know what content resonates with your followers, you can create more of those content to engage your followers and grow your following.

But how do you know what’s connecting with your followers?

Buffer allows you to easily see your top-performing posts sorted by your most important metric: impressions, likes, comments, shares, or engagement rate.

Sorting posts in Buffer analytics

I like to sort my posts by engagement rate because it tells me how often people engaged with a post after seeing it. To me, a high engagement rate is a sign that the content resonated with my followers. But you can also sort your posts by other metrics, depending on the goals of your strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here.

Once you have sorted your posts, you can immediately see which posts have performed the best (according to your chosen metric). Next, analyze the top posts to see if there’s a clear recipe for success. Think about:

  • What’s special about these posts?
  • Is there a post type (e.g. video, image, article, text) that my audience seems to prefer?
  • Is there a topic that my audience seems to like?
  • When were the posts published? Is there a trend?

To make things even easier for you, Buffer analyzes your posts for you to tell you which day, post type, and posting frequency gave you the highest engagement rate. This lets you experiment with different posting strategies without the hassle of analyzing your posts yourself.

Posting recommendations in Buffer analytics

2. Understand your LinkedIn growth and results

After you have analyzed your posts and come up with more content, you would also want to know if the new posts are bringing in better results.

  • Are we getting more followers?
  • Is the number of impressions growing month-on-month?
  • Or simply, did all the metrics increase?

There are several ways to do this in Buffer, depending on what you want to achieve:

First, if you want a quick overview of your LinkedIn Page performance, you can this at a glance under the Overview tab. This is a summary of your Page’s key metrics and how they have changed compared with the previous period.

Overview performance

Second, if you want to see how these metrics have changed over time, you can look at the metrics insights chart under the Overview tab. This is one of our customers’ favorites because they can visually see the growth of the metrics. It is also a great chart to show others in your reports.

Metrics insights

Finally, if you want to see how your posts have performed on aggregate, you can look at the post summary table under the Posts tab. It tells you the number of impressions, likes, etc. received by your posts and how those metrics have changed compared with the previous period.

Post summary

3. Showcase the value of your work

After all your hard work, you would also want to put together monthly reports to share your results with your team, your manager, or your clients. It is also a great way to show that you understand your numbers.

Every table and chart can be easily added to a social media report in a few clicks.

First, click on the plus button in the upper-right corner of the table or chart.

Add to report button

Then, if you want to create a new report, enter the title of the report. If you want to add the chart to an existing report, select the respective report.

Create a new report or add to an existing report

And there you have it—your social media report! (And not a spreadsheet in sight.)

To make your report more comprehensive, I recommend adding a description of the report and notes for the charts in your report. This will help people who view your report make sense of the data and understand your work.

Description of the report

Once the report is ready, you can export it as a PDF file and share it.

Here’s a pro tip: Instead of creating new reports every month, you can simply change the date period of your report to get the updated data.

Everything that I have described above is also available for your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter channels. You can create multi-channel reports by adding charts from various social channels into the same report. You no longer have to go to each social network to download the data and compile them in a spreadsheet!


A recap of our latest analytics features and improvements

Besides analytics for LinkedIn Pages, we have also added several other analytics features this year, which I thought you might be interested in:

Campaigns

Campaign report

Social media is not just about posting X times a day. Top brands plan campaigns that span multiple social networks. You can now plan your social media campaigns and get automated campaign reports in Buffer.

Boosted post insights

Boosted post insights

If you boost your Facebook and Instagram posts, you would want to know how they are performing. How does it compare with your organic results? You can do this comparison right inside Buffer.

Best time to post on Instagram

Best time to post on Instagram

The age-old question: when is the best time to post? Our team developed an in-house statistical model to predict your reach potential on Instagram according to your previous posts and your follower activity. This is personalized to your brand specifically. To save you time, we also suggest the top three dates and times to maximize your reach on Instagram.

Hashtag analytics for first comments

Hashtag performance chart

While we had hashtag analytics for Instagram posts for a long time, we were not able to analyze the hashtags in the comments. Many customers put their hashtags in the first comment to keep the caption tidy. To ensure that they can also benefit from the hashtag analytics, we made it possible to track and analyze hashtags in the comments.

New date period options for faster reporting

New date picker

Here’s a small improvement that saves lots of time. Previously, the date period options available were “Last 7 days”, “Last 28 days”, “Last 30 days”, and “Last 90 days”. We realized they were not that helpful because what customers really wanted was to look at their data for the week or the month. So we updated the options to “This month”, “Last month”, “This week”, and “Last week”. This has made weekly reviews and monthly reporting much simpler.

Get more data. Make better decisions.

Doing social media without analytics is like running with your eyes closed. You will get somewhere but probably not where you want to go. We want to equip you with the data you need in a simple and accessible way so that you can make better decisions. Better decisions on what content to post to grow your reach and engagement.

If you already have analytics in your Buffer subscription, the new LinkedIn integration is already available to you.

Otherwise, feel free to grab a 14-day trial of Buffer and start making better decisions.


FAQs

Where can I find the analytics in my Buffer account?

If you already have the analytics in your Buffer subscription, click on “Analyze” in the upper-left corner to see your analytics.

I have a Buffer subscription but why do I not have access to the analytics?

It might be because you do not have the analytics in your Buffer subscription. You can try the analytics for free for 14 days before you decide whether you want to keep it.

Can I connect my LinkedIn personal profiles?

It’s currently not possible to connect your LinkedIn personal profiles to Buffer’s analytics. If you need this, would you be up for sharing your feedback with us?





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The Essential Elements of a High-Converting Landing Page


Huddle up, marketers! Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger has a piece of advice for you. (If you’re not reading this in his voice, you’re doing it wrong.)

The day is 24 hours. 6 hours we sleep, so you have left 18 hours. So don’t ever give me this thing, “I’m working 12 hours so I don’t have time to exercise and to work out.”

Ugh. Worst motivational quote ever, Arnie.

As a one-person marketing team (or even with a couple of coworkers), your day is jam-packed. One minute you’re responding to a nasty post about your brand on Twitter—the next, you’re diving into PowerPoint to polish an important deck. All the while, you’re also expected to create marketing collateral that brings in new customers.

Time for exercise? To quote Arnie’s most famous movie line: fuggedaboutit.

With so much going on, you need to be sure that—whatever you’re working on—you get it right the first time. That’s why we built this list of the must-have elements for a high-converting landing page.

The Five Essential Elements of a Landing Page 

Whether you’re trying to collect leads, drive sales, or do something else entirely, landing pages do what your website can’t by honing in on one dedicated conversion goal.

Websites distract your visitors with multiple products, services, and offers. In contrast, landing pages keep your audience focused on a specific campaign (and make ’em much more likely to convert). If we’re talking quick-fire tactics that get results, landing pages are it. 

But how can you be sure that your landing page is gonna hit the mark?

Here are the five core elements of a high-converting landing page:

  1. Clear unique selling proposition (USP)
  2. Engaging hero shot
  3. Compelling benefits 
  4. Inspirational social proof
  5. Strong call to action (CTA)

Simple, right? We’ll go through each element in detail, but here’s a handy visual to put the puzzle of the anatomy of a landing page together:

Remember: your page should only have one conversion goal. Your conversion goal is what you want to get out of your landing page—leads, clicks, sales, whatever. Before creating a landing page and plotting technical elements like headlines, hero images, and buttons, be sure to identify the one thing you’re hoping to get from your visitors.

One landing page means one conversion goal. Always.

1. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

What makes you different from your competitors? Why should someone choose you over another brand?

Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets clear expectations for your customers and pinpoints why you are the company of their dreams. It’s not about elaborate features, but rather your one-of-a-kind brand promise to your customer. 

A helpful analogy to consider is The Bachelor, or The Bachelorette. (Yep, we’re going there.)

A room of hopeful singles line up to steal the heart of an attractive host. Each competitor says that they love puppies, have a stable job, and are ready to settle down and start a family with “the one.” Blah, blah, blah

The key to making it to the end of the show (the engagement ceremony) is to stand above the rest and prove the promises you’ve made. This is reality TV—if you lie, Twitter will call you out.

Back in the marketing world, you’re in a similar position, vying for the heart of eligible customers. Just being in the room isn’t enough to be noticed. To stand out from the crowd, your USP needs to clearly outline who you are and how your offer will benefit visitors.

“CPR certified” is a feature. “Saving your life” is a benefit.

How does this look on a landing page?

You should get to the point—and quickly—before your customer moves on. The trick of a good USP is to break down your offering to its most basic level, describing the specific benefit your customers will get by choosing your product or service.

Imagine a terrible, horrible pick-up line. Something along the lines of: “Are you an angel? ‘Cause you look like you just fell out of heaven …” (Oof, facepalm.)

What ultimately makes this opener tank is that it doesn’t set any expectations. What level of commitment is being promised or asked for? A laugh? A few minutes of polite conversation? Getting married, having a few kids, and settling down in Florida? You just don’t know.

Let’s explore the three spots you wanna be sure your USP shows up:

USP tactic #1: The main headline

Your headline is the first thing that people see. It’s critical that it describes what a visitor will get from your company and show the visitor they’re in the right place. Ideally, your headline is short, punchy, and—above everything else—clear. 

A classic example of an excellent USP headline comes from Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it’s free.”

Haven’t we all watched the minutes tick by in agony while waiting for pizza? Knowing it’ll be free if it’s late suddenly makes the time worthwhile. Heck, I almost hope it’ll be late. 

Codecademy, an online coding learning platform, also delivers with their headline:

“Go from curious to confident.” Not only does Codecademy address the emotional state coding noobs have when they land on the page, but they also promise a clear outcome. In five simple words, they explain the full journey a new student will experience with them.

Tip! Can’t agree with your boss on a headline? Maybe it’s not even about words but a big debate between a blue and red color scheme. Page variants allow you to create multiple versions for one campaign to test messaging or address different target audiences.

See how these brands—including Codecademy—optimized their campaigns by experimenting with landing page variants.

USP tactic #2: The supporting headline

Your headline can only say so much if it’s to remain digestible. The easiest way to keep it short and sweet is to add a supporting headline. 

A supporting headline can be used in two ways:

  1. As a direct extension of the headline, where it follows the primary headline (like finishing a sentence).
  2. To extend the message by applying an additional, persuasive layer to support the primary statement.

Here’s a good example from Perfect Keto, a ketogenic snack and supplement producer, for a protein bar campaign:

Where the headline empowers the visitor with support to take on the complicated world of a high-fat-low-carb diet, the supporting headline cuts to the chase. Yes, they’re delicious. Yes, they come in different flavors. And we’ll reaffirm it one more time: they’re keto-friendly.

But one-size-fits-all is rarely the best approach. Different things work for different people. That’s why we love how wine subscription service Winc, experimented with headline structures in landing page variants.

The original shows a clear main headline and supporting headline:

Smart Traffic Landing Page Example - Winc

Though the headline doesn’t quite get to the heart of their USP, it’s a beautiful landing page (click the image for the whole thing). It also gets kudos for being structurally correct.

Headline? Tick ✔.
Supporting headline? Tick ✔.

Now here’s where things get interesting in the second variant:

Smart Traffic Landing Page Variant - Winc

Click on the image to see the full landing page variant.

The original supporting headline has become the main headline without new supporting text in its place. It’s much cleaner and to the point. 

Another thing that Winc does extremely well on both variants? The care they take with the other headings further down the pages. Even if you quickly skim-read, you know exactly what Winc does and what you’ll get with the service. 

The lesson here is simple: Pay attention to every headline on your page, not just the big ones. 

Want to learn more about how Winc experimented with their headlines? Check out this video and see how to optimize campaigns with landing page variants:

USP tactic #3: The closing argument

As your landing page comes to a close, you have one final chance to communicate the benefit of your offering. Think about it this way: before your visitor is ready to commit and live their happily-ever-after with you, they need that final assurance that they’re making the right move. 

You can assuage their concerns by ending your page with some killer copywriting or a clear call-to-action that closes the loop of your USP narrative. 

As with most things in life, keep it simple—like healthy food delivery service Daily Harvest:

Short and sweet. Boom.


2. Your Hero Shot

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true in the short attention span world of the landing page. Your hero shot is the visual representation of your offer and can help your visitors better understand what it is or what it looks like. 

Before you’re tempted to deep-dive into the blissful world of happy stock photos, take a step back and think about what you’re selling. What does the image say about your product, offer, and USP? 

Cecilia Martinez

Your visuals, together with the copy, need to tell a story. You need to ask yourself what is more likely to resonate with your audience. How does the visual make visitors feel? How does that feeling relate back to your solution?

– Cecilia Martinez, Interactive Design Manager, Unbounce

The idea is to get your customers to empathize and place themselves in a scenario where they’re using your product. Have a look at this example from organic baby food brand Love Child Organics:

This landing page (designed by Banan) could easily have used a visual of a savvy parent satisfied with their purchase. Instead, they shift the focus to their real customers—the picky eaters themselves. This tyke is enjoying a nutritious meal with no airplanes or “choo-choos” required. Don’t you wish that were your kid?

How about some extra reading? Love Child Organics brought in 14 000 email subscribers with a brilliant campaign focused on social media and landing pages. Learn how they built their community.

3. Your Features & Benefits

An effective headline and hero shot get your customer’s attention, while the features section provides a little more detail and answers any remaining questions.

When you’re introducing your features, it’s best to frame them in a way that accentuates the benefit they deliver. Remember: your features describe what your product or service does, while your benefits describe the value you’re providing. Before listing your features, try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and answering: “How will this product or service benefit me?

Sure, you could write a novel-length landing page covering every feature, but you’ll lose your visitor’s attention quickly. You’re better off writing a brief summary of each (with a focus on value), then maybe a few bullet points for clarity. You can always circle back to remove any bloat or verbose verbiage—y’know, terms like “verbose verbiage.”

TouchBistro, a point of sale system for restaurants, cleverly turns complicated features into situational benefits. A restaurant manager will easily be able to see how using TouchBistro will make their day-to-day operations easier:

Best Landing Page Examples: TouchBistro
This is just a snapshot of TouchBistro’s benefits section. Click on the image to see the full thing.

Another great example (and one that’s a little more B2C-friendly) is Western Rise’s campaign for this line of pants:

By distilling their features into clear, simple benefits, Western Rise ensures that any visitor will immediately understand why these pants beat out the rest. “My Levis aren’t stain-proof. They’re quite uncomfortable, and the hems are starting to fray. Holy cow, I need these pants!

4. Your Social Proof

If you’ve ever bought something online (and especially if it was expensive), you’ve probably obsessively scrolled through thousands of product reviews. 

That’s social proof, and it’s a powerful tool of persuasion.

Simply put, social proof is the use of social signals to illustrate that other people have bought, consumed, read, or participated in what you’re offering. The idea is that people are more likely to convert if they see that others before them have (and were glad they did).

The research doesn’t lie. Research from BrightLocal affirmed that the average consumer reads at least 10 reviews before trusting a business, often spending almost 14 minutes reading customer feedback before making a decision. 

The fact is that if you don’t provide the right social cues, your would-be customers may just head down a rabbit hole of a Google search and find something irrelevant yet convincing—like these downright silly Amazon reviews

Keep control of your brand narrative by using social proof tactics like:

  • Customer reviews
  • Count of how many customers you have
  • Trust seals to establish the security of information
  • Awards from reputable organizations
  • Expert testimonials

5. Your Call to Action (CTA)

Your conversion goal is the purpose of your landing page. Your call-to-action (CTA) is the tactic that makes your goal a reality.

Generally, CTAs are presented as a standalone button on a click-through page or as part of a lead gen form. Poor CTAs are the standard “CLICK HERE” or “SUBMIT.” Terrible CTAs are created without thinking about the visitor journey. 

What does that mean? Have a look at this social media ad from the Seattle Times:

How does the CTA make you feel? Yikes! 🙈

Yes, we’re just talking about a button, but it’s the button. It’s the entire reason you spent all this time creating a landing page. A good CTA ties back to your USP and clearly articulates what a visitor will receive in exchange for their click.  

When we looked at some of the best landing page examples created by Unbounce customers, they all had one thing in common—a clear (and often clever) CTA.

Branch Furniture delivers a masterclass in their CTA copy:

Best Landing Page Examples: Western Rise
Click on the image to see Branch’s full landing page variant.

At first glance, you might be quick to point out that the landing page shows multiple buttons, each with a different CTA. And, true, having more than one conversion goal is a strict no-no—but you can use different CTAs as long as they serve the same goal.

By using CTA copy such as “Build My Office” or “Explore Workstation,” Branch crafts a virtual journey with their would-be customers in the driver’s seat.

Tip! CTA buttons are arguably the most important element on your landing page. By designing these buttons to stand out, you can dramatically increase the chances of conversions. This includes playing with color, fonts, sizing, and placement—all quick and easy fixes.

Have a look at the 7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design to learn how to optimize CTAs to draw attention on your landing page, plus other nifty design tricks.

But the forms! What about the forms?

Many a lead-gen marketer would argue that getting someone to click on a button is easy, but forms are the real challenge. And they’re not wrong—people are extremely wary about entering their personal details. 

Also, if you have to complete a form so detailed that it includes everything from your mother’s maiden name to your cousin Fred’s blood type, it’s just not worth it. That’s why we always recommend keeping forms to the bare essentials.

Have a look at this landing page for Bariatric Eating (designed by Lifestyle Collective):

How’s that for one field to rule them all? What’s smart here is that the visitor’s experience informs the whole process. Instead of data mining, Bariatric Eating asks for minimal input to get the downloadable in their followers’ hands. 

Another example is from Vancouver-based dog boarding service JetPet:

By implementing a step-based form—also known as the breadcrumb technique—JetPet minimizes the perceived effort of completing the form.

Tip! If you have a long list of questions or input fields required for your lead-gen form, or if you’re requesting particularly personal answers, it’s a good idea to use the breadcrumb technique. People are more likely to commit to big tasks after committing to a small task—allowing you to ask more questions with the appearance of asking less, and all with a higher conversion rate. Win, win, and win!

Since it’s so important, let’s recap CTA best practices:

  • Avoid generic language like “CLICK HERE.”
  • Only ask what you need and keep forms short. If you can’t budge on input fields, break your questions into steps using the breadcrumb technique. 
  • You can use multiple CTAs as long as they serve one conversion goal.
  • The visitor is your priority. Be clear how clicking on your CTA will benefit them or what they will receive in return.

Running Out of Time? Hello, Landing Page Templates!

A few thousand words in, and you’re probably getting a bit overwhelmed. “I was told this would save me time. Now I’ve gotta design something, I need to remember all the different elements to put on my landing page, I’ve gotta test what works. Unbounce—it’s just become a whole, big, thing.” 

Deep breaths, you. It’s about time we talked about templates. 

Templates are the ultimate time-saver when creating high-converting landing pages on a time-crunch. They’re designed for specific conversion goals and they’ve got all the essential elements—they’re just waiting for your finishing touch. Slap on a logo, update the copy and visuals, and bam! You’ve just created an effective landing page. It really is that easy. 

When you can build landing pages in a jiffy, you’ve got way more time for other things. You could even squeeze in a workout—or rewatch Friends on Netflix. Hey, you do you. No judgment here.



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The Essential Elements of a High-Converting Landing Page


Huddle up, marketers! Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger has a piece of advice for you. (If you’re not reading this in his voice, you’re doing it wrong.)

The day is 24 hours. 6 hours we sleep, so you have left 18 hours. So don’t ever give me this thing, “I’m working 12 hours so I don’t have time to exercise and to work out.”

Ugh. Worst motivational quote ever, Arnie.

As a one-person marketing team (or even with a couple of coworkers), your day is jam-packed. One minute you’re responding to a nasty post about your brand on Twitter—the next, you’re diving into PowerPoint to polish an important deck. All the while, you’re also expected to create marketing collateral that brings in new customers.

Time for exercise? To quote Arnie’s most famous movie line: fuggedaboutit.

With so much going on, you need to be sure that—whatever you’re working on—you get it right the first time. That’s why we built this list of the must-have elements for a high-converting landing page.

The Five Essential Elements of a Landing Page 

Whether you’re trying to collect leads, drive sales, or do something else entirely, landing pages do what your website can’t by honing in on one dedicated conversion goal.

Websites distract your visitors with multiple products, services, and offers. In contrast, landing pages keep your audience focused on a specific campaign (and make ’em much more likely to convert). If we’re talking quick-fire tactics that get results, landing pages are it. 

But how can you be sure that your landing page is gonna hit the mark?

Here are the five core elements of a high-converting landing page:

  1. Clear unique selling proposition (USP)
  2. Engaging hero shot
  3. Compelling benefits 
  4. Inspirational social proof
  5. Strong call to action (CTA)

Simple, right? We’ll go through each element in detail, but here’s a handy visual to put the puzzle of the anatomy of a landing page together:

Remember: your page should only have one conversion goal. Your conversion goal is what you want to get out of your landing page—leads, clicks, sales, whatever. Before creating a landing page and plotting technical elements like headlines, hero images, and buttons, be sure to identify the one thing you’re hoping to get from your visitors.

One landing page means one conversion goal. Always.

1. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

What makes you different from your competitors? Why should someone choose you over another brand?

Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets clear expectations for your customers and pinpoints why you are the company of their dreams. It’s not about elaborate features, but rather your one-of-a-kind brand promise to your customer. 

A helpful analogy to consider is The Bachelor, or The Bachelorette. (Yep, we’re going there.)

A room of hopeful singles line up to steal the heart of an attractive host. Each competitor says that they love puppies, have a stable job, and are ready to settle down and start a family with “the one.” Blah, blah, blah

The key to making it to the end of the show (the engagement ceremony) is to stand above the rest and prove the promises you’ve made. This is reality TV—if you lie, Twitter will call you out.

Back in the marketing world, you’re in a similar position, vying for the heart of eligible customers. Just being in the room isn’t enough to be noticed. To stand out from the crowd, your USP needs to clearly outline who you are and how your offer will benefit visitors.

“CPR certified” is a feature. “Saving your life” is a benefit.

How does this look on a landing page?

You should get to the point—and quickly—before your customer moves on. The trick of a good USP is to break down your offering to its most basic level, describing the specific benefit your customers will get by choosing your product or service.

Imagine a terrible, horrible pick-up line. Something along the lines of: “Are you an angel? ‘Cause you look like you just fell out of heaven …” (Oof, facepalm.)

What ultimately makes this opener tank is that it doesn’t set any expectations. What level of commitment is being promised or asked for? A laugh? A few minutes of polite conversation? Getting married, having a few kids, and settling down in Florida? You just don’t know.

Let’s explore the three spots you wanna be sure your USP shows up:

USP tactic #1: The main headline

Your headline is the first thing that people see. It’s critical that it describes what a visitor will get from your company and show the visitor they’re in the right place. Ideally, your headline is short, punchy, and—above everything else—clear. 

A classic example of an excellent USP headline comes from Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less—or it’s free.”

Haven’t we all watched the minutes tick by in agony while waiting for pizza? Knowing it’ll be free if it’s late suddenly makes the time worthwhile. Heck, I almost hope it’ll be late. 

Codecademy, an online coding learning platform, also delivers with their headline:

“Go from curious to confident.” Not only does Codecademy address the emotional state coding noobs have when they land on the page, but they also promise a clear outcome. In five simple words, they explain the full journey a new student will experience with them.

Tip! Can’t agree with your boss on a headline? Maybe it’s not even about words but a big debate between a blue and red color scheme. Page variants allow you to create multiple versions for one campaign to test messaging or address different target audiences.

See how these brands—including Codecademy—optimized their campaigns by experimenting with landing page variants.

USP tactic #2: The supporting headline

Your headline can only say so much if it’s to remain digestible. The easiest way to keep it short and sweet is to add a supporting headline. 

A supporting headline can be used in two ways:

  1. As a direct extension of the headline, where it follows the primary headline (like finishing a sentence).
  2. To extend the message by applying an additional, persuasive layer to support the primary statement.

Here’s a good example from Perfect Keto, a ketogenic snack and supplement producer, for a protein bar campaign:

Where the headline empowers the visitor with support to take on the complicated world of a high-fat-low-carb diet, the supporting headline cuts to the chase. Yes, they’re delicious. Yes, they come in different flavors. And we’ll reaffirm it one more time: they’re keto-friendly.

But one-size-fits-all is rarely the best approach. Different things work for different people. That’s why we love how wine subscription service Winc, experimented with headline structures in landing page variants.

The original shows a clear main headline and supporting headline:

Smart Traffic Landing Page Example - Winc

Though the headline doesn’t quite get to the heart of their USP, it’s a beautiful landing page (click the image for the whole thing). It also gets kudos for being structurally correct.

Headline? Tick ✔.
Supporting headline? Tick ✔.

Now here’s where things get interesting in the second variant:

Smart Traffic Landing Page Variant - Winc

Click on the image to see the full landing page variant.

The original supporting headline has become the main headline without new supporting text in its place. It’s much cleaner and to the point. 

Another thing that Winc does extremely well on both variants? The care they take with the other headings further down the pages. Even if you quickly skim-read, you know exactly what Winc does and what you’ll get with the service. 

The lesson here is simple: Pay attention to every headline on your page, not just the big ones. 

Want to learn more about how Winc experimented with their headlines? Check out this video and see how to optimize campaigns with landing page variants:

USP tactic #3: The closing argument

As your landing page comes to a close, you have one final chance to communicate the benefit of your offering. Think about it this way: before your visitor is ready to commit and live their happily-ever-after with you, they need that final assurance that they’re making the right move. 

You can assuage their concerns by ending your page with some killer copywriting or a clear call-to-action that closes the loop of your USP narrative. 

As with most things in life, keep it simple—like healthy food delivery service Daily Harvest:

Short and sweet. Boom.


2. Your Hero Shot

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true in the short attention span world of the landing page. Your hero shot is the visual representation of your offer and can help your visitors better understand what it is or what it looks like. 

Before you’re tempted to deep-dive into the blissful world of happy stock photos, take a step back and think about what you’re selling. What does the image say about your product, offer, and USP? 

Cecilia Martinez

Your visuals, together with the copy, need to tell a story. You need to ask yourself what is more likely to resonate with your audience. How does the visual make visitors feel? How does that feeling relate back to your solution?

– Cecilia Martinez, Interactive Design Manager, Unbounce

The idea is to get your customers to empathize and place themselves in a scenario where they’re using your product. Have a look at this example from organic baby food brand Love Child Organics:

This landing page (designed by Banan) could easily have used a visual of a savvy parent satisfied with their purchase. Instead, they shift the focus to their real customers—the picky eaters themselves. This tyke is enjoying a nutritious meal with no airplanes or “choo-choos” required. Don’t you wish that were your kid?

How about some extra reading? Love Child Organics brought in 14 000 email subscribers with a brilliant campaign focused on social media and landing pages. Learn how they built their community.

3. Your Features & Benefits

An effective headline and hero shot get your customer’s attention, while the features section provides a little more detail and answers any remaining questions.

When you’re introducing your features, it’s best to frame them in a way that accentuates the benefit they deliver. Remember: your features describe what your product or service does, while your benefits describe the value you’re providing. Before listing your features, try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and answering: “How will this product or service benefit me?

Sure, you could write a novel-length landing page covering every feature, but you’ll lose your visitor’s attention quickly. You’re better off writing a brief summary of each (with a focus on value), then maybe a few bullet points for clarity. You can always circle back to remove any bloat or verbose verbiage—y’know, terms like “verbose verbiage.”

TouchBistro, a point of sale system for restaurants, cleverly turns complicated features into situational benefits. A restaurant manager will easily be able to see how using TouchBistro will make their day-to-day operations easier:

Best Landing Page Examples: TouchBistro
This is just a snapshot of TouchBistro’s benefits section. Click on the image to see the full thing.

Another great example (and one that’s a little more B2C-friendly) is Western Rise’s campaign for this line of pants:

By distilling their features into clear, simple benefits, Western Rise ensures that any visitor will immediately understand why these pants beat out the rest. “My Levis aren’t stain-proof. They’re quite uncomfortable, and the hems are starting to fray. Holy cow, I need these pants!

4. Your Social Proof

If you’ve ever bought something online (and especially if it was expensive), you’ve probably obsessively scrolled through thousands of product reviews. 

That’s social proof, and it’s a powerful tool of persuasion.

Simply put, social proof is the use of social signals to illustrate that other people have bought, consumed, read, or participated in what you’re offering. The idea is that people are more likely to convert if they see that others before them have (and were glad they did).

The research doesn’t lie. Research from BrightLocal affirmed that the average consumer reads at least 10 reviews before trusting a business, often spending almost 14 minutes reading customer feedback before making a decision. 

The fact is that if you don’t provide the right social cues, your would-be customers may just head down a rabbit hole of a Google search and find something irrelevant yet convincing—like these downright silly Amazon reviews

Keep control of your brand narrative by using social proof tactics like:

  • Customer reviews
  • Count of how many customers you have
  • Trust seals to establish the security of information
  • Awards from reputable organizations
  • Expert testimonials

5. Your Call to Action (CTA)

Your conversion goal is the purpose of your landing page. Your call-to-action (CTA) is the tactic that makes your goal a reality.

Generally, CTAs are presented as a standalone button on a click-through page or as part of a lead gen form. Poor CTAs are the standard “CLICK HERE” or “SUBMIT.” Terrible CTAs are created without thinking about the visitor journey. 

What does that mean? Have a look at this social media ad from the Seattle Times:

How does the CTA make you feel? Yikes! 🙈

Yes, we’re just talking about a button, but it’s the button. It’s the entire reason you spent all this time creating a landing page. A good CTA ties back to your USP and clearly articulates what a visitor will receive in exchange for their click.  

When we looked at some of the best landing page examples created by Unbounce customers, they all had one thing in common—a clear (and often clever) CTA.

Branch Furniture delivers a masterclass in their CTA copy:

Best Landing Page Examples: Western Rise
Click on the image to see Branch’s full landing page variant.

At first glance, you might be quick to point out that the landing page shows multiple buttons, each with a different CTA. And, true, having more than one conversion goal is a strict no-no—but you can use different CTAs as long as they serve the same goal.

By using CTA copy such as “Build My Office” or “Explore Workstation,” Branch crafts a virtual journey with their would-be customers in the driver’s seat.

Tip! CTA buttons are arguably the most important element on your landing page. By designing these buttons to stand out, you can dramatically increase the chances of conversions. This includes playing with color, fonts, sizing, and placement—all quick and easy fixes.

Have a look at the 7 Principles of Conversion-Centered Design to learn how to optimize CTAs to draw attention on your landing page, plus other nifty design tricks.

But the forms! What about the forms?

Many a lead-gen marketer would argue that getting someone to click on a button is easy, but forms are the real challenge. And they’re not wrong—people are extremely wary about entering their personal details. 

Also, if you have to complete a form so detailed that it includes everything from your mother’s maiden name to your cousin Fred’s blood type, it’s just not worth it. That’s why we always recommend keeping forms to the bare essentials.

Have a look at this landing page for Bariatric Eating (designed by Lifestyle Collective):

How’s that for one field to rule them all? What’s smart here is that the visitor’s experience informs the whole process. Instead of data mining, Bariatric Eating asks for minimal input to get the downloadable in their followers’ hands. 

Another example is from Vancouver-based dog boarding service JetPet:

By implementing a step-based form—also known as the breadcrumb technique—JetPet minimizes the perceived effort of completing the form.

Tip! If you have a long list of questions or input fields required for your lead-gen form, or if you’re requesting particularly personal answers, it’s a good idea to use the breadcrumb technique. People are more likely to commit to big tasks after committing to a small task—allowing you to ask more questions with the appearance of asking less, and all with a higher conversion rate. Win, win, and win!

Since it’s so important, let’s recap CTA best practices:

  • Avoid generic language like “CLICK HERE.”
  • Only ask what you need and keep forms short. If you can’t budge on input fields, break your questions into steps using the breadcrumb technique. 
  • You can use multiple CTAs as long as they serve one conversion goal.
  • The visitor is your priority. Be clear how clicking on your CTA will benefit them or what they will receive in return.

Running Out of Time? Hello, Landing Page Templates!

A few thousand words in, and you’re probably getting a bit overwhelmed. “I was told this would save me time. Now I’ve gotta design something, I need to remember all the different elements to put on my landing page, I’ve gotta test what works. Unbounce—it’s just become a whole, big, thing.” 

Deep breaths, you. It’s about time we talked about templates. 

Templates are the ultimate time-saver when creating high-converting landing pages on a time-crunch. They’re designed for specific conversion goals and they’ve got all the essential elements—they’re just waiting for your finishing touch. Slap on a logo, update the copy and visuals, and bam! You’ve just created an effective landing page. It really is that easy. 

When you can build landing pages in a jiffy, you’ve got way more time for other things. You could even squeeze in a workout—or rewatch Friends on Netflix. Hey, you do you. No judgment here.



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8 Event Landing Page Examples that Drive Interest and Ticket Sales


The only thing better than the energy of a live event? The excitement you feel before you go.

As an event marketer, your job is to inspire that feeling in potential attendees—and then turn it into action (e.g., ticket sales and registrations). 

Whether you’re promoting a conference, show, activity, or even a webinar, the rules are the same: if you can create a certain level of antici—wait for it—pation for an upcoming event, you’re golden. 

While building excitement for future events easier said than done, building an awesome event landing page can help you do just that. With the right message and conversion-focused call to action (CTA), your event landing page can take visitors from “That looks kinda neat” to “I can’t miss out on this!”

Why do you need event landing pages?

Maybe you’re still wondering, “Should I bother with event landing pages?” The short answer is yes, yes you should (and with the right landing page templates, it’s no bother at all).

Here’s why: Event landing pages are the best way to drive ticket sales and registrations.

There are two main types of event landing pages: 

  1. Event registration landing pages that get visitors to sign up for an event. For free events, registration pages are designed to drive signups and reservations; for paid events, these pages are designed to sell tickets.
  2. Lead gen landing pages where visitors can ask to receive more details. These pages are designed to build interest and capture contact information (typically an email address so you can contact them closer to the event date or once tickets go on sale, for example).

In either case, an event landing page can support your conversion goal better than a page on your website or a third-party listing. While the latter can easily get bogged down with irrelevant details and competing calls to action, a dedicated event landing page is built to do one thing: convert. Creating one helps you target specific segments and focus on messaging that gets them to RSVP. 

Editor’s note: Though many events are paused temporarily, you can still plan ahead and build anticipation (and your email list) for whatever events are in your future. Part of navigating the “new normal” is looking forward and reminding customers of better days ahead.

How to Create an Event Landing Page: Best Practices that Convert

Simply having event landing pages isn’t enough to guarantee conversions. But if you follow these event landing page design guidelines, you can use your landing pages to make a better first impression and motivate attendees to RSVP. 

Here are the main event landing page best practices to keep in mind when designing your own:

Focus on a single conversion goal.

Like all landing pages, pages for your events should be built around one call to action: getting attendees to register. Everything from the headline to the design to the event details provided should support this goal.

Target specific types of attendees.

A major advantage of event landing pages is that you can use multiple variants to target specific types of attendees. For example, if you’re promoting a marketing conference, you might create a unique landing page to target founders specifically.

Give folks something to look forward to.

Your landing page should layer on elements of FOMO and can’t-miss excitement to make visitors itching to attend. Maybe you offer a sneak peek of the upcoming speaker lineup or a fun recap of last year’s event. You could also include quotes from past attendees or photos and video clips of standout moments from a recent show. 

Set clear expectations.

Visitors need to know exactly what they’re getting into before they’ll register to attend. It takes a lot to get people out the door, so the best event landing pages highlight all the most important details. Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, your landing page might include an overview of the agenda, speaker details, location, and ticket prices. 

Make it easy to RSVP. 

For the same reasons you wouldn’t give out confusing directions to your venue, you don’t want your landing page or RSVP form to be confusing. Instead, you should make it as simple as possible for attendees to sign up. Many of the best event landing page designs (including some of the examples below) feature easy-to-complete registration forms.

8 of Our Favorite Event Landing Page Examples Built with Unbounce

Looking for a bit of event landing page inspiration? We picked these event landing page examples because they embody many of the principles described above. We hope you learn a thing or two about event landing page design that you can use to promote your next event.

1. Collective Zoo

Cerebro Marketing created this page for Collective Zoo to promote a UFO-themed concert. When people from all over America were planning to storm Area 51, this landing page redirected some of that hype to a free event in downtown Las Vegas.

We love that the language is totally on theme (“Discover what to expect below”) and they carry the concept through to the event details with a “classified” lineup. Plus, if you step back to reflect on the overall design, you’ll notice how much this page looks like an actual event poster you might see plastered to a street pole.

The truth (about event landing page design) is out there:

Your event landing page is a preview of your live event. If it’s boring or dull, people will assume your event will be, too. That’s obviously not the case, so it’s important to create an event landing page that sets the right tone. Your copy and design should reflect what your attendees can expect and make it impossible for them to resist signing up.

2. Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair

Artist Project launched this event landing page to sell tickets for the Contemporary Art Fair, which ran in February 2020. The page creates a sense of FOMO and urgency to encourage guests to get tickets for the opening night party. With an action-oriented heading “Don’t Miss Toronto’s Most Exciting Art Fair!” and a time-limited offer to save 20%, the message is clear: if you want in on this, take action now.

To drum up interest in an art fair, your design needs to be on point. You can’t promote an art show without, well, showing some art. This landing page does a terrific job showcasing a range of artists and mediums to highlight the diversity featured in the fair. From mixed media reflections on war to vibrant social commentary in the form of collage, it’s clear that a huge variety of art and talent will be in attendance.

Event Landing Page Examples - Artist Project

In addition to previewing 2020 showcases, we also love that there are featured highlights from previous years. If you’ve been running an event for multiple years, use photos of past excitement to encourage visitors to get in on the fun.

Perhaps the biggest take away from this event landing page example is this: 

Make a point to weave the heart of your event into your landing page design and copy. Use visuals to tell the story of your event and use CTA-focused copy to turn interest into action.

3. Thinkific 

Event Landing Page Examples - Thinkific
Image courtesy of Thinkific. Click to see the full thing.

We’ve all heard some variation of the marketing adage: “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” Well, in this example, Thinkific does a great job of speaking to one specific demographic—women entrepreneurs in the digital space. More importantly, Thinkific highlights how the free virtual summit, Think in Color 2020, caters to this particular audience.

The images and video are particularly powerful because they show attendees that the speakers are diverse, young, intelligent women who are excited to share their industry knowledge and lift other women up.

Combined with inclusive messaging (“stop settling for sameness in the online space”) and an emphasis on the unique challenges that women face in building an online business, this landing page gives attendees plenty of incentive to get in on the action.

Here’s an important reminder from this example:

When designing a registration form, for example, remember that less is often more. Remove potential barriers by keeping forms short and sweet. Only ask for the essential details needed to get attendees on the list and make sharing additional info optional.

4. Netwrking.com

You’ve heard of speed dating, but what about speed networking? Netwrking.com hosts online speed networking events and created this event landing page to build a pre-launch list. 

This approach makes sense for the target audience—since the idea of getting in on the ground floor appeals to those interested in making new business connections—but it can also work for other types of highly-anticipated live events.

We love that the hero image makes it feel like you’re already on a video call with your new group of contacts. They use language that speaks to entrepreneurs and optimists (“You’ve got to have a dream, right?”) and invites the reader to participate (“We’d like to have thousands of members on board before the end of 2020 and we need you to join us today!”). Plus, the only piece of information required to sign up is your email address.

What you can take away from this event landing page example:

Any type of pre-event registration like this will help you identify your most ideal customers. And since the goal is to drive interest, rather than get people to commit to making a purchase, this type of registration page can be launched far in advance.

5. Paint Cabin

Event Landing Page Examples - Paint Cabin
Image courtesy of Paint Cabin. Click to see the full thing.

Created by agency Disruptive Advertising, this event landing page focuses on Paint Cabin’s virtual paint nights. The concept of this event is simple yet innovative: you can attend a live paint night from the comfort of your own home. This might sound counterintuitive at first, but the landing page fills in all the blanks before you have a chance to ask, “How does that work?”

Who love the energetic headline and color contrast. “Create! Drink! Repeat!” is both descriptive, fun, and paints a clear picture of what the event is all about. The design is fun and engaging in the way a paint night should be.

Plus, the content plays into attendees’ sense of FOMO, urging them not to “miss a thing” by “book[ing] now.” By adapting to offer private streaming as part of this “stay at home series,” Paint Cabin creates a hybrid live-virtual event to fit the times—and this example gives guests hope that they can enjoy a favorite activity while still social distancing.

Here’s the biggest lesson we hope you learn from this example:

Video content is always a great addition to your landing pages. Whether it’s a montage of clips from past events, a recap of last year’s convention, or a promotional video for an upcoming headliner, videos make a huge impact without taking up a ton of space on your page. Use videos to help returning guests relive the magic and give first-timers a sneak peek of what’s to come.

6. FraudBuzz

At first glance, this page comes across as fairly simple (especially in comparison to the last few examples listed above). But that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, the clean, no-frills design sets just the right tone for the topic at hand: fraud protection and prevention.

Co-Op Financial Services created this landing page to drive registrations for its monthly webinar series, FraudBuzz. It’s short and concise, but also informative enough to do the trick.

In fact, it answers just about every question attendee might have before signing up, including:

  • Who? “Meet your host”
  • What is it? A live webinar discussion about fraud and risk.
  • Where and when? Presented online, with the date, time, and duration listed.
  • Why? “During the bi-monthly series, you will learn about…”
  • How to attend? Fill out the form, which is conveniently visible above the fold.

What other event marketers can learn from this example:

Your landing page doesn’t need to be long to be helpful; and it doesn’t need to be flashy to get your message across. By providing key details and the right amount of context for whatever event you’re hosting—whether that’s a quick overview or an in-depth agenda—you can ensure your page appeals to the right type of attendees.

7. Shoelace

Event Landing Page Examples - Shoelace
Image courtesy of Shoelace. Click to see the full thing.

The retargeting pros over at Shoelace built this event landing page for a webinar hosted earlier this year. They knocked it out of the park by telling attendees exactly what to expect—including who, what, where, when, and how to sign up.

First off, the heading and introductory blurb provide valuable context about the topic itself. Next, core details about the event, like the date, time, and duration, are laid out; and the panel members are listed.

And that’s all happening above the fold.

As we scroll down the page, we’re greeted with images of the panelists and moderator, along with their titles and companies. For those who dig deeper for more info, Shoelace delivers with punchy, informative bullet points that elaborate on the topics being discussed.

Here’s your key takeaway from Shoelace:

Use your landing pages to highlight some of the value attendees get from your event. If the main event is your speakers’ expertise, for example, make a point of introducing who they are and what they do. As we can see in the example above, including panelists’ pictures, titles, and companies is a good place to start.

8. Twinwoods Adventure

This use case is a bit different than our other event landing page examples. Twinwoods Adventure uses this landing page to drive bookings for indoor skydiving. Although this isn’t a one-off, pre-scheduled event, the goal is still to get booking and sell tickets in advance.

One of the best things about this page is that it’s immediately obvious what the activity is, thanks to heavy-hitting visuals balanced with information copy. The price is listed upfront for transparency, followed closely by a CTA with clearly defined value (“Get My 15% Discount”).

On the live page, that’s an animated hero—which really brings the headline (“Feel the Rush”) to life. Further down the page, there’s also a video that shows the wind tunnel in action. This ticks a whole buncha boxes: setting attendee expectations, showcasing the activity, and creating excitement.

Plus, they play off FOMO in a big way by:

  • Boasting that they “attract over 100,000 visitors per year”
  • Showing off their high ratings on Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor
  • Including quotes from real visitors (“Do it, you’ll love it.”)

Here’s a design tip you can borrow from this example:

Twinwoods knows people might want to learn more about the experience before booking. So, they used on-page tabs to answer FAQ. Because this loads the information directly on the landing page, there’s no reason for interested customers to click away before booking.

Turn Anticipation into Action with Event Landing Pages

We know how difficult and time-consuming it is to create event landing pages from scratch. If you hire outside devs to do the job, you might spend more than you’d like. Worse, building an event landing page from the ground up takes ages–and can prevent you from running campaigns with enough lead time before your event. 

Thankfully, there’s a faster way to create beautiful, conversion-centric event landing pages. A landing page builder like Unbounce makes it easier to start promoting your event and accepting RSVPs. With over 100+ templates to choose from, it’s never been easier to create high-converting event landing pages that get folks excited to attend.



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