What they really are and what most of us don't know: They are the ultimate testing toolkit for our ideas, our products and a lot of other endeavors, if we combine them with a proper marketing and customer development strategy. It’s a great way to instantly get feedback about an idea we were thinking to start working on.
What I was able to observe though is that almost nobody uses them to test an idea’s potential and its underlying assumptions. Instead we use them to bridge the time between not having a website and having a website. We seem to use them only once we decided to commit to a certain project.
But it makes so much more sense to start using them before we even decided to work on a project and use them as a first indicator whether or not we are working on something the market really wants. Combining them with ads on all kinds of platforms make them an even more powerful tool.
If we direct potential customers to our landing pages and none of them sign up, we know that we either have to change their content and appearance or that we need to work a bit harder on our idea and its underlying assumptions. We should maybe even consider testing possible pivots with our landing pages and see how people react.
And if we’re not even able to get people to sign up and give away their e-mail addresses, we will most probably also not be able to create and sell a product that people will be willing to pay money for at the end of the day.
So we should start using landing pages again for what they were initially made for. They were made to help us build a simple but efficient minimum viable product with the sole purpose to test our idea’s potential, its underlying assumptions and to attract and filter out our early adopters.