Can a bad Initial Coin Offering (ICO) landing page cost you money?

Yes, it can. That’s why we’ve created this landing page tutorial, factoring in all of today’s most in-demand design trends.

A bad landing page is one of the most common and frustrating mistakes you can make in any online venture. It’s a leaky bucket that costs you leads, money, and even your SEO clout. Bad website design is actually to blame for most ineffective landing pages out there; from PPC to ICO.

Here’s how to stay in the game by building landing pages the right way.

You Should Be Testing Diligently

Your results will not be perfect right out of the box. That’s not how the internet works. Any landing page tutorial that tells you otherwise is lying.

Testing and adjusting are at the heart of every single successful landing page. That means monitoring the performance of your site while trying different variations of your:

  • Headline
  • Title
  • Lead sentence
  • Microcopy on your lead form, or button

Small tweaks can make a big difference. The most famous example is Jared Spool’s $300 million button. He changed one single word on a button and unlocked $300 million in sales that were being held up by a bad label.

So what is causing your page to fail? You’ll have to commit to testing and trying new things to find out.

Ask Yourself If An ICO Is Even Suitable for Your Business

This landing page tutorial isn’t much good to you if you’ve set yourself up to fail. It could be the concept that falls short and not your execution.

“In fact, (ICO campaigns) may be detrimental to some companies: You will spend time and money on a campaign, only for it to fail in securing enough funds,” wrote Andrew Marshall of

“Some startup owners seem to think that an ICO is a tool for any project … While that used to be the case during the formative days of the ICO market, it’s no longer true.”

If an ICO isn’t a good fit for your business, this landing page tutorial isn’t going to help you very much.

Invest in User Experience

Many companies will put ungodly amounts of money in acquiring traffic and users, but invest almost nothing in converting them. This only helps to create leaky sales funnels.

It’s the kiss of death for your landing pages: You’re seeing good traffic numbers, but nobody is interacting with it because of a bad user experience. People are getting frustrated and leaving.

Not sure the user experience matters? Forrester Research reported a 10% improvement in UX score at the enterprise level can translate into more than $1 billion because user experience impacts customer loyalty.

Keep The Journey in Mind. Where Did They Come From?

How did people arrive at your landing page? From a Facebook ad? A pay-per-click ad? Direct mail?

This starting point is crucial, and you should have a dedicated landing page for each. Not just for tracking reasons, but so you can ensure the user’s journey is seamless at every step of the way.

Let’s say you’re running a campaign to seek donations for your cause. You try to get people to donate using a targeted Facebook ad campaign. That’s a great start.

But once you’ve earned their click, the next step needs to match where they just came from. That means the branding and messaging on the landing page needs to match the ad. Any disconnect and people may think they’re in the wrong place.

Keeping with the example above, you need to send people to a dedicated “donate here” landing page. Everything here needs to be designed for one purpose only: Collect donations.

Don’t just send people to a general page, and don’t put any unnecessary information on the page to confuse users. Remember: One goal, one message, one button or call-to-action.

If you take one thing away from this landing page tutorial, we hope that’s it.

What Do You Want Them to Do? Don’t Ask for Anything More

If you’re looking for donations, ask for them. Nothing else.

Don’t clutter your landing pages with any other calls to action or buttons. These are distracting. The only thing people should be asked to do on your landing page is donate. Don’t ask them to:

  • Sign up for your webinar
  • Join your newsletter
  • Follow you on Twitter

One goal, one message, one button or call-to-action.

It’s a simple principle called attention ratio. Basically, you need to compare your ratio of links on your landing page to the total number of conversion goals you have. You probably only have one goal, so your attention ratio should be 1:1.

Every other place your user can click is an invitation to not click your one magic button.

If you’ve got a “donate here” button as your desired focal point, but you’ve also got a “join our mailing list” button on the page, your donation button is now getting half the attention you want it to.

Thinking from an ICO standpoint, you may want to highlight your Whitepaper early on (pre-ICO) and then an Invest button once your ICO is live.

Don’t Overwrite the Copy

Most people make this mistake, and yet we’ve noticed this subject is absent from other landing page tutorials.

Every single word on the page should be driving people to hit the magic button. Anything else is distracting and may actually cost you clicks and money.

The copy on your landing page should do one of five things:

  1. Reiterate the message/offer/goal from the ad that brought them there
  2. Let them know the positive outcomes that come from their action (i.e. your donation will help feed a family of four)
  3. Alleviate any fears that could stand in their way of acting (i.e. you don’t need a credit card)
  4. Close the deal (i.e. click here to get started)
  5. Add social proof (we’ll get to that later)

Do not waste any valuable attention real estate with:

  • Any other offers or action. Wait until the Thank You page for that
  • Any unnecessary info about you. This isn’t the place for your history or mission statement
  • Any other links or navigation menus that could take them off this page without donating.

Highlight Team Members

If you want to avoid potentially being listed as a ‘scam ICO‘, you’ll want to make sure that you maintain as much transparency as possible.

This means highlighting who is on your team, what they do, social links for that individual, and an image.

Not only does highlighting team members show transparency, it provides credibility to potential investors. And when trying to raise funds, you’ll need all of the credibility that you can get.

Make Sure You Have a Thank You Page

There are few things more confusing or frustrating to a user than filling out a form, or making a purchase, only to have the same screen they just left still staring at them.

Even if there’s a small message at the bottom of the page thanking them, that’s too easy to miss.

Always have a dedicated Thank You page to thank users for whatever action they just took, confirm that it worked, and explain what happens next (i.e. an email with a receipt).

These are particularly important if your customer is only taking the first step in your education and nurturing process. Your customer may not be ready to buy, but your Thank You page can help easily guide them through your sales funnel and help them arrive at a purchase decision.

If they’ve just purchased or downloaded something from you. Use the Thank You page as a chance to take advantage of the trust you’ve established to offer them something more.

“On ecommerce sites, cross-promotions typically happen on item and cart pages. But even after a completed transaction, relevant cross-promotions on the Thank You page can be very effective,” wrote Sandra Niehaus of SearchEngineLand.

“We’ve found this approach to work well for B2B and other lead generation companies, too. After a form submission, the Thank You page can cross-promote additional white papers, studies and other resources related to the primary offer.”

Add Social Proof

We touched on this earlier in this landing page tutorial. Explain why users should trust you. You can do that a few different ways:

  • Client testimonials: Glowing reviews from your customers. Keep them as relevant as possible. Have one for each product or service you offer, if possible
  • Online reviews: This is a major purchase decision-maker. In fact, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Mention media coverage
  • List any awards you’ve won. Keep them as recent as possible
  • Talk about milestones that prove you’re the real deal. This may include statements such as, “we’ve been in business since 1987” or “join our list of 300,000 subscribers”
  • Display certifications and licenses, like “we are FDA approved”

Any one of these could put any of your customers’ hesitations to bed. But don’t overdo it.

Don’t Make People Wait

This could easily be the most underrated section of this landing page tutorial.

Think about how long you’ll wait for a page to load before you give up and go elsewhere. Other users are no different.

Think about this. Data shows that a one-second delay in page load speed can result in a 7% reduction in your conversions.

At the same time, a slow loading page will also cost you leads before people even arrive on your site, as Google now factors in your load time into your SEO ranking.

“Speeding up your website is a great thing to do in general. Visitors to your site will be happier (and might convert more or use your site more), and a faster web will be better for all,” wrote former Google webspam team chief Matt Cutts.

“Instead of wasting time on keyword meta tags, you can focus on some very easy, straightforward, small steps that can really improve how users perceive your site.”

Test your page load speeds across multiple platforms and devices with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. The tool will also give you tips on how to speed up your results, which may include:

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  • Compressing images
  • Eliminating extraneous code
  • Minimizing redirects
  • Upgrading your hosting service

Don’t Write Crappy Headlines

No proper landing page tutorial would be complete without a section that teaches you how to write a strong headline.

Many people write terrible headlines. Heck, a lot of professional writers aren’t much better. Due to the fact so many people are bad at it, and because it requires imagination, they don’t put much thought into headlines.

Your headline needs to spark an emotional response. It doesn’t need to be the ending of the movie E.T., but it needs to create some sort of reaction. Often people won’t make rational decisions, rather make emotional decisions then rationalize them.

Let’s say your landing page is asking for donations to your charity.

  • Bad headline: “Donate To Our Project Warmth Campaign Today”
  • Better Headline: “Your Donation Can Keep a Family Warm Tonight”

One of those headlines speaks to the action you want them to take (yawn). The other speaks to how they want to feel after they’ve taken the action (there you go).

Headlines themselves need to be tested. Even if you design a headline to play well, it may not. You won’t know for sure without A-B testing.

Don’t Put All Your Visitors in One Bucket

Not all of your visitors will want the same thing from you, so don’t send them all to the same landing page. You may have more than one offering, and you’ll need a dedicated landing page for each.

To take that a step further, you should have a buyer persona created for each of your major target markets. You should have a landing page for each of these personas with tailor made messaging and visuals for all of them.

Use Relevant Images

The internet hates stock images. Don’t use them. We’ve had quite enough posed pictures of people in suits smiling or people on cell phones laughing.

Use unique images and spring for a professional photographer to shoot people using your product and services. Paying more attention to your images will increase your clicks and conversions.

We hope You Found This Landing Page Tutorial Useful

If you’re looking with help with setting up a well-designed landing page for your ICO, we can help. Click here to learn more!

Categories: UX DesignWeb Design


Antonio is the Founder & CEO of He writes about design, freelancing, business, and marketing. Connect with him on Twitter and start a conversation!

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